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Air brushed Objectivist publications and materials


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#21 Roger Bissell

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Posted 06 March 2006 - 11:14 PM

Yes, Ellen, The Objectivist Newsletter and The Objectivist are available in bound hardcover editions from The Ayn Rand Book Store for approximately $40 and $55, respectively. There is also a deal for the combined periodicals including The Ayn Rand Letter for about $154. There is also shipping and handling, of course.

Shoot me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure that these are the original, uncut publications. Actually, shoot ARI instead, heh-heh.

REB
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#22 Michael Stuart Kelly

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Posted 07 March 2006 - 01:27 AM

Roger,

Kat and I just got them recently (and the AR Letter). They are exact black and white reprints and are complete, notices and all.

I know the AR Letter is because I received it when I was in college. The only thing is that it is in black and white, while the original was black text on light brown paper with some green details.

Michael

#23 Ellen Stuttle

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Posted 07 March 2006 - 05:39 AM

Roger:

Yes, Ellen, The Objectivist Newsletter and The Objectivist are available in bound hardcover editions from The Ayn Rand Book Store for approximately $40 and $55, respectively.

I'm reassured to learn that those can still be obtained. And the price seems reasonable -- for those.

There is also a deal for the combined periodicals including The Ayn Rand Letter for about $154. There is also shipping and handling, of course.

But why they'd add about $60 (adding up the prices minus shipping and handling) for the AR Letters? An uncharitable, suspicious hypothesis: to deter all but the committed from buying those? IMO, mostly the Letters don't present her in a flattering light, as, mostly (though not entirely), they exhibit her moralizing tendencies without the accompanying substance of the earlier articles. (I started to find The Ayn Rand Letter embarrassing as it progressed and felt glad when she stopped publishing it, though sadden by her waning powers.)

Ellen

#24 Ellen Stuttle

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Posted 07 March 2006 - 03:17 PM

I wrote, re the about $60 being charged for The Ayn Rand Letter:

An uncharitable, suspicious hypothesis: to deter all but the committed from buying those?

That was flippant. Being serious, I think that the more likely possibility is that they don't realize how bad a lot of those Letters are and they're charging what I consider an excessive price because they expect they can get it from her admirers - i.e., that they're engaged in shrewd pricing.

Ellen

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#25 Charles R. Anderson

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 02:35 AM

Is it the case that everyone in this long list of missing people has been "officially" riden out of town? Or is it that there is simply great fear that some of them are no longer under ARI control and therefore might at some time in the future say something ARI would not like?

It must be terrifying to have so much to worry about.

I think I had better get all my copies of The Objectivist Newsletter and The Objectivist under lock and key. A controlled heat and humidity environment would be a good investment in preserving our history.

#26 Barbara Branden

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 07:12 PM

Charles, you asked: "Is it the case that everyone in this long list of missing people has been 'officially' riden out of town? Or is it that there is simply great fear that some of them are no longer under ARI control and therefore might at some time in the future say something ARI would not like?"

I suspect that one or the other of the two possibilities you describe is the case. The ones I know to be persona no grata to Rand and/or Peikoff are the following:

Nathaniel Branden
Barbara Branden
Alan Greenspan
Joan and Allan Blumenthal
Edith Efron
Robert Efron
Hank and Erika Holzer (Phyllis Holzer is Erika)
Bee and Robert Hessen
Roger Callahan
John O. Nelson
Wilfred Schwartz
Susan Ludel (a former wife of Peikoff)
Kay Smith

#27 Charles R. Anderson

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 11:06 PM

Wasn't George Walsh also sent packing, at least after he joined David Kelley in starting the Institute of Objectivist Studies?

What was George Reisman's status?

I should probably know these things, but for many years I was so disgusted with all the falling outs that I thought of it all as being a very bad soap opera. To pay attention to it was certainly no more fun than listening to Cuffy Meigs in a meeting. Now I understand that the problem is never going to go away until Objectivists start to understand the concepts of friendship, benevolence, tolerance, and to be willing to really compete in the marketplace of ideas. For whatever it is worth, I need to try to help them understand these things and see to it that I am not part of the problem.

Normally healthy people do not condemn anywhere near such a large fraction of their friends. I don't recall anyone being run out of Galt's Gulch, which is not a definitive statement of how things should be, but it should give Objectivists pause to examine what their purpose is. Too often it seems to be that I am more holy than thou. It sure would be more useful for acquiring knowledge, more fun, and more effective in persuading others to take Objectivism seriously, if more benevolence, tolerance, respect for the intelligence of others, loyalty to friends, and the kind of self-assurance that can stand up to a challenge were widely found among Objectivists. It has been a horrible tragedy that so many are so wanting in such basic human skills.

I am finally reading The Passion of Ayn Rand. It is fascinating, perceptive, and very well-written. I have read some of PARC and very many of its arguments are very poor. Given that, it is not surprising that the writing is also poor. This makes the impact it seems to be having on many other Objectivists a very strange thing to observe.

#28 jenright

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Posted 18 March 2006 - 12:04 AM

Charles R. Anderson: Wasn't George Walsh also sent packing, at least after he joined David Kelley in starting the Institute of Objectivist Studies?

The way it looked at the time, and the way George recounted it later, George chose to leave.

#29 Ellen Stuttle

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Posted 18 March 2006 - 03:46 PM

John Enright:

The way it looked at the time, and the way George [Walsh] recounted it later, George chose to leave.


Agreed. He was well pleased by the splitting between David and Leonard, and the founding of IOS. Wasn't it George who gave the opening speech in which IOS was described as "a home for homeless Objectivists"?

The person I'm curious about in the list Barbara gave is Susan Ludel. The only thing I know about the circumstances of her divorce from Leonard Peikoff is that he was quite upset by the breakup of the marriage and he had some sessions with Edith Packer at the time. Did the break between them involve philosophic issues such that she'd later be considered philosophically non-grata? Or did she develop differences with Objectivism after she and Leonard had split? Does anyone know details?

Ellen

EDIT: Darn, words can be tricky. The word "sessions" could be taken to imply something the truth of which I don't know. I'm not sure if Leonard had some formal counseling "sessions" with Edith, or if he just talked with her as a friend (who happened to be a psychotherapist). My source wasn't Edith herself but a client of Edith's to whom Edith on occasion said maybe a bit more than technically she should have. I remember a certain number of details, but I'm unsure as to the exact status -- formal or not -- of the "sessions."
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#30 Robert Campbell

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Posted 20 March 2006 - 03:29 PM

Michael,

The first paperback version of Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology was published by The Objectivist, Inc. in 1967 and remained in print until shortly before the Mentor edition came out. It was shaped like a copy of The Objectivist, except thicker, and had the green stripe that you recall.

Stolen Concept

On stolen concept, I found the following reference by Ayn Rand in the "Forward" of "Introduction To Objectivist Epistemology," The Objectivist (July 1966):

These are the reasons why I chose to introduce you to Objectivist epistemology by presenting my theory of concepts. I entitle this series an "Introduction," because the theory is presented outside of its full context. For instance, I do not include here a discussion of the validity of man's senses—since the arguments of those who attack the senses are merely variants of the fallacy of the "stolen concept."' (That fallacy consists of "the act of using a concept while ignoring, contradicting or denying the validity of the concepts on which it logically and genetically depends." See "The Stolen Concept" by Nathaniel Branden, THE OBJECTIVIST NEWSLETTER, January 1963.)


In the Meridian 1990 Expanded Second Edition, edited by Harry Binswanger and Leonard Peikoff, the same paragraph reads as follows:

These are the reasons why I chose to introduce you to Objectivist epistemology by presenting my theory of concepts. I entitle this work an "Introduction," because the theory is presented outside of its full context. For instance, I do not include here a discussion of the validity of man's senses—since the arguments of those who attack the senses are merely variants of the fallacy of the "stolen concept."


Note from Michael: This 1990 version of ITOE is the only one I have at present, but I will go on the presumption that this paragraph was given the same way in the 1979 First Mentor Printing. Also, in the early 70's, before I went to Brazil, I used to own a paperback printing of ITOE that was thin, but wider and taller than a typical paperback, with a cover that had a green stripe running down it. I don't know the date and lost that book in Brazil, but I seem to remember that it did not include the Peikoff essay, "The Analytic-Synthetic Dichotomy."...

Does anybody else remember this original printing? I would be interested to see if it came out before the break and if the paragraph mentioning Nathaniel Branden was altered there also.


In those days, before it was added to the 1979 edition, Peikoff's essay was for sale as a leaflet.

I have a copy of ITOE from the 4th printing (1973) of the 1967 edition. In the Foreword Rand has already dropped the citation of Nathaniel Branden's 1963 article. I haven't seen a 1967 printing for a long time, but I don't recall any differences in the text.

If so, this is one editorial change that Rand made to one of her articles that was not a reaction to the break.

Robert

#31 Michael Stuart Kelly

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Posted 20 March 2006 - 04:03 PM

Robert,

Helloooooooooooo friend!

It is great to see you here!

Thank you very much for that info. David McKeever has also sent me some stuff on the green-striped issue offline and all of this will definitely be included in my article.

(The one you already know about, which is very near completion, but don't tell anyone...)

:D

Michael

#32 Ellen Stuttle

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Posted 20 March 2006 - 04:50 PM

Michael quotes from the original Forward of Rand's series of articles "Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology" which began in The Objectivist (July 1966):

These are the reasons why I chose to introduce you to Objectivist epistemology by presenting my theory of concepts. I entitle this series an "Introduction," because the theory is presented outside of its full context. For instance, I do not include here a discussion of the validity of man's senses—since the arguments of those who attack the senses are merely variants of the fallacy of the "stolen concept."' (That fallacy consists of "the act of using a concept while ignoring, contradicting or denying the validity of the concepts on which it logically and genetically depends." See "The Stolen Concept" by Nathaniel Branden, THE OBJECTIVIST NEWSLETTER, January 1963.)


That paragraph exactly is in the First Edition of the green-striped booklet in which ITOE was first published under one cover.

Larry has a (liberally annotated with his marginal notes in tiny handwriting) copy of that first edition autographed as follows:

To Larry Gould -
- Cordially -
Ayn Rand
11/11/69


Robert Campbell writes:

I have a copy of ITOE from the 4th printing (1973) of the 1967 edition.  In the Foreword Rand has already dropped the citation of Nathaniel Branden's 1963 article.  I haven't seen a 1967 printing for a long time, but I don't recall any differences in the text.

If so, this is one editorial change that Rand made to one of her articles that was not a reaction to the break.


See above: the credit is given in the 1967 printing just as it was worded in the original article. (The split was in late summer 1968; probably the credit was dropped by the Second Printing, if that appeared after the split.)

Ellen

PS: Great to see you here. I hope you'll have a little time for contributing, though I expect you're plenty busy.

#33 Robert Campbell

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Posted 22 March 2006 - 10:05 AM

Ellen,

Well, that settles it: Rand removed the reference to the "Stolen Concept" article from later printings of ITOE.

I remember wondering, when I first read ITOE, how anyone who hadn't read Nathaniel Branden's 1963 article would have a clue what Rand meant in her Foreword, when she casually mentioned the fallacy of the stolen concept.

Robert

#34 James Kilbourne

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Posted 02 April 2006 - 07:36 PM

I knew that THE BELIEVERS were airbrushing the Branden's out of existence, but when you see it all listed together it just makes you sick. It will take Rand 100 years to recover her reputation completely, thanks to her "followers".

#35 Roger Bissell

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Posted 02 April 2006 - 08:47 PM

James, you have turned a bright spotlight on the inescapable conclusion and resultant emotion from seeing all the anti-Branden airbrushing compiled in one place.

The apologists for the airbrushers seem to have an excuse for each of the various blank-outs, and the very proliferation of such excuses reminds me of nothing so much as a tap-dancing defense attorney who has to resort to a plethora of ad hoc refutations of the evidence against his client.

Ironic, isn't it, that a certain attorney hasn't turned his skills toward pulling the covers on this particular collective fallacy of the airbrush apologists. But then, that would require an absence of bias!

REB
Objectivism, properly used, is a tool for living, not a weapon with which to bash those one disagrees with.

#36 Michael Stuart Kelly

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Posted 03 April 2006 - 02:05 AM

James,

You may have just given me the gas I need to complete my article on all this. I have a small list of other items that I have not added to this list yet. Since the article is near completion, I have been putting off updating this list, and the lists of the Brandens' contributions to "official" Objectivism.

But every damn time I get near that article, I have to force myself to drag my soul (sort of like dragging a drunk elephant by the trunk on foot through rush hour traffic). It's depressing as all hell.

To hear a response like yours in that state of mind makes me not only sure that I am doing the right thing, but that this effort will have impact and maybe even do some good.

Roger gave me that kind of impact earlier in the thread (and I bet he didn't even know he helped me like that back then). He wrote:

This is all just incredible. I am practically speechless with indignation.



This isn't a sudden call for comments like this, but they have helped me keep my morale up. Thanks, guys.

Michael

#37 Robert Campbell

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Posted 03 April 2006 - 06:13 AM

Michael,

Yes, please go for it!

All of the airbrushing needs to be systematically and mercilessly exposed.

I considered myself fairly well informed about this kind of stuff, but I was naive enough, before I saw some of the examples on this thread, to think that Rand would not have tampered with the text of her own articles when it came time to republish them.

Taking out NB's definition of stolen concepts and the reference to his article on the subject actually left a hole in the Foreword to ITOE. Rand apparently didn't care.

Robert Campbell

#38 jenright

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Posted 03 April 2006 - 07:18 PM

I'm not sure you've noted the eliding of NB from the "Introduction to Ninety-Three" in RM.

The following paragraph is edited out:

"The briefest summary of the difference between the Romantic school of literature and the school that took over in the later decades of the nineteenth century is given by Nathaniel Branden in his book Who Is Ayn Rand?, in a passage dealing with my own literary method. Mr. Branden writes: 'Contrast the heroic sense of life projected in the novels of the great Romanticist, Victor Hugo, with the sordid and doomed sense of life conveyed in the novels of the arch-Naturalist, Emile Zola. Consider the literary means by which each writer's sense of life is projected. Where Hugo builds purposeful plot, Zola unravels calamitous contingency; where Hugo dramatizes the conflict of crucial values, Zola describes the horror of torpid depravity; where Hugo delineates characters in terms of their fundamental motivation, Zola lingers on the surface of accidental, journalistic minutiae,; where Hugo presents life as exciting and man as a giant, Zola presents life as futility and man as a pygmy; where Hugo sees literature as artistic creation, Zola sees literature as history - Police Gazette history.'"

#39 Kat

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Posted 15 April 2006 - 11:56 AM

Here is one more example of ARI-brushing that I ran across on the web. Click the title for the full article.

C-SPAN American Writers Program on Ayn Rand a Sham Cedes Control to Doctrinaire Rand Institute
by Louis Torres & Michelle Marder Kamhi

The richness and breadth of American culture has been considerably illuminated by C-SPAN's on-going series American Writers: A Journey through History, focusing on forty-five writers who have "chronicled, reflected upon or influenced the course of our nation's history." In two-hour programs, often filmed on locations of historic significance, scholars, writers, and historians have offered well-informed appraisals of the lives and work of these seminal figures.

Since C-SPAN has never featured a book dealing with Ayn Rand's fiction, philosophy, or life (apart from Brian Lamb's 1989 "Booknotes" interview--re-broadcast on "Encore Booknotes," May 11 and 12, 2002-- with her protégé and long-time associate Nathaniel Branden, about his intimate memoir Judgment Day: My Years with Ayn Rand), its selection of her for the American Writers series was a welcome surprise to those interested in her work and thought. Even more surprising was the inclusion of her image among the four writers featured on the series logo--in the company of Benjamin Franklin, Frederick Douglass, and Mark Twain.

While C-SPAN is to be commended for its decision to include Rand in the American Writers series, we regret to say that the program--which aired live on Sunday, May 12, 2002; was rebroadcast on Friday, May 17; and is accessible on the Ayn Rand page of the website for the series--was little more than a sham, failing in every respect to meet the high standards set by earlier programs--many of which we have viewed with pleasure and interest since the series began over a year ago. Though the Rand page indicated that the focus would be on The Fountainhead, no specialists on her fiction took part in the discussion, or were even cited--in contrast with the practice for other novelists, such as Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck, and William Faulkner--and very little was said about the novel itself. Furthermore, neither Rand's biographer nor any of the major writers on her life and work (with one sorry exception, noted below) made even token appearances. The result was an often disjointed, ill-informed, and misleading program.

Among the conspicuously missing guests were Barbara Branden (author of the definitive biography The Passion of Ayn Rand, and a long-time friend and colleague of Rand's); Douglas den Uyl (formerly Professor of Philosophy at Bellarmine University, now Vice President for Educational Affairs at the Liberty Fund, author of The Fountainhead: An American Novel, and co-editor of The Philosophic Thought of Ayn Rand); Mimi Gladstein (Associate Dean and Professor of Literature at the University of Texas at El Paso, the principal scholar on Rand's fiction, author of The New Ayn Rand Companion and Atlas Shrugged: Manifesto of the Mind, and co-editor of Feminist Interpretations of Ayn Rand); philosopher David Kelley (author of The Contested Legacy of Ayn Rand, and founder and executive director of The Objectivist Center, an institute devoted to open-minded examination of Rand's thought and its application to contemporary social and cultural issues); and Chris Matthew Sciabarra (Visiting Scholar, New York University Department of Politics, author of Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical; editor of The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies, and co-editor of Feminist Interpretations of Ayn Rand).

In lieu of such diverse experts on Rand's life and work, just three guests took part in the program, all of them affiliated with the doctrinaire, cultish Ayn Rand Institute (ARI): Eric Daniels, Jeff Britting, and Leonard Peikoff:

...Read the entire June 2002 article at Aristos.com. This is just only about half of it. It has many links which I have not copied here.

Kat

#40 C. Jordan

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Posted 06 June 2006 - 11:42 AM

Barbara, one quick question: what "blasphemy" did Alan Greenspan commit to be excommunicated? I assume that Peikoff (not Rand) expelled him from the Garden of Reason; though we all know what to make of the word assume.
"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, won't go away." Philip K. Dick




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