Ninth says: "My question (and I admit I didn't ask it well) is whether Peikoff could have gotten away with an excommunication then, especially if it played out as publicly as the McCaskey one has. This is in the time period when he did signings for Laissez Faire Books, imagine that!"
Well, I think your question was clear enough, but I picked up on different parts of your statement. Mea minima culpa.
ARI was founded in 1985, a few years after the publication of Ominous Parallels, so it's hard to know. The Internet is one factor that changes things. Just as it's harder for the MSM to sweep bullshit under the rug, so it is for the cultist arbiters in these obscure corners of the culture wars. Peikoff did have readers for the manuscript of Objectivism: the Philosophy of Ayn Rand, and I remember that there was a report of some kind of back and forth with Binswanger, about an issue of conceptual heirarchy in the book. But I guess there was no animosity about it.
Peikoff later rationalized his 1982 book signings for LFB, saying that Andrea Millen Rich had told him (I think) that there would be no anarchist books under her management, or that it was no longer a libertarian-in-bad-sense store, or something. Some time later Andrea responded to this assertion in an email that was posted on the Internet, in which she made clear that Peikoff in making any such assertion was not exactly evincing a comfortable relationship with the truth thereby. (My periphrasis, not hers.)
Of course, nothing major changed about the libertarian movement or Laissez Faire Books over the next several years since Peikoff's book signings in 1982 except for the publication of The Passion of Ayn Rand, and Hessen's selling of Second Renaissance stock to LFB while simultanously giving the bio a glowing review in his mailing to the SR list. But now it was arch evil for Kelley (who was too charitable toward the bio in Peikoff's eyes) to give a talk to the LFB Supper Club to explain why Objectivism is the best foundation for political liberty.
See the schism chronology here:
Here is a response to an inquiry from Barbara Branden that Andrea gave about Peikoff's book signings for LFB:
>This is such an old story, dating back to 1982 or whenever it was when Leonard's book first came out. He did come down to LFB on Mercer Street for an autograph party. He never asked me if I were libertarian, and I assumed he knew that LFB was a libertarian bookshop.
>As I remember, someone asked him later that evening why he had agreed to sign books for us and he said something to the effect that he would sign books for Attila the Hun in order to get his message out. That doesn't sound like he thought we were "no longer libertarian," does it?
>A few months later he signed books for us again in New Orleans at the NCMR (Natl Cmte for Monetary Reform) hard-money investment conference (Jim Blanchard headed it), and hung around our booth for quite awhile in case people came over to chat with him.
>Yes, he signed a book for me personally, as you describe. I'm in San Francisco at the moment so can't give you the exact wording.
>Poor Leonard; this has haunted him for 20 years!
Archived here: http://www.dianahsie...259178750051950
The only reason I'm again dredging up all these old claims is that it's history and I like history. I like to study history and to refresh my memory of various dates and things.
Edited by Starbuckle, 15 November 2010 - 12:01 AM.