9thdoctor

Yaron Brook talks to Reason Magazine

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There's an old story from the seventies about Rand threatening to sue Reason Magazine, and someone pointed out that the name of the lawsuit would have to be: Ayn Rand vs. Reason. So what's this, another step in that crossing the Rubicon process we seem to be observing lately? If Reason's kosher, what's not? According to Peter Schwartz they couldn't be more kosher than a bacon cheeseburger.

I like how Welch slyly traps Brook into identifying with and defending "libertarianism". It doesn't even look sly, and that's a key part of the slyness.

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Wow!!! Thanks for posting this!. Brook being interviewed by the oldest and largest publication advocating libertarianisn, that is something that Peikoff would never consent to. I was wondering where this conversation took place? It is clearly at a conference, maybe the Future of Freedom event that's held in Las Vegas annually? In the backgrund is a booth for "Laissez Faire Books", an organization that Peikoff threatened to sue because it had purchased the inventory of Palo Alto Books (from the defunct NBI Book Service) and was offering for sale copies of The Objectivist and other unauthorized publications. So, was Brook a speaker at that conference, or was he just an observer?.

And when Jim Ellison, a trustee of ARI, assumes the position of Director of The Cato Institute, by far the biggest and most influential libertarian thinktank, will Brook be a featured speaker at Cato conferences?. The mind boggles!

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Noting how the Piekoff-Kelley split was precipitated by the issue of whether or not it was good or bad to merely speak with libertarian think tanks....

I think it is fair to say that Kelley has won.

But will ARI ever swallow the humble pie and admit it? No. They won't.

Even worse is how ARI and their associated goons manage to essentially accept the Open System, by separating Rand's statements into "philosophical" and "non-philosophical" categories (a categorization which was explicitly rejected by Rand herself), and THEN claiming that Open System refers to "modifying the essentials of Objectivism" (which it does not) before knocking down the Straw Man.

ARI will never publically retract their feud with Kelley and TAS because they are simply too wedded to the constant maintenance of a lofty, condemnatory, condescending posture of Relentless Moral Upstandingness. They will never admit their mistakes.

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I was wondering where this conversation took place? It is clearly at a conference, maybe the Future of Freedom event that's held in Las Vegas annually?

It was probably at the FreedomFest 2012 conference. Both Brook and Welch were keynote speakers (link).

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It was probably at the FreedomFest 2012 conference. Both Brook and Welch were keynote speakers (link).

Jesus, look at that lineup! But Dinesh D'Souza? Ick.

I suspect the fundamental difference between this and David Kelley's offense is a matter of timing. If you check the agenda you'll see that Brook did not deliver an "after dinner speech". He was scheduled between the "Special Event Luncheons" and the "Afternoon Breakout Sessions". You can't tell me that doesn't make a difference.

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I detected in what Yaron had to say was we have a -duty- to flourish. This I deny strongly. We can flourish (if we can) if we choose to or not if we choose not to. It is no wrong, not to maximize one's output or not to realize one's potential.

We have a right to be lazy as long as our laziness does not turn us into parasites.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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I like how Welch slyly traps Brook into identifying with and defending "libertarianism". It doesn't even look sly, and that's a key part of the slyness.

What ho? The very lack of evidence is evidence?

Ba'al Chatzaf

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What ho? The very lack of evidence is evidence?

You’re “what ho”-ing me? But what does it mean when you say it, ye old horse, woefully unsound on pigs? Lack of evidence? Maybe you didn’t catch what I was referring to. Zap to 2:15 in the Brook/Welch interview to find what I’m talking about.

Tinkerty-tonk.

(yes, that was meant to sting)

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Wow!!! Thanks for posting this!. Brook being interviewed by the oldest and largest publication advocating libertarianisn, that is something that Peikoff would never consent to. I was wondering where this conversation took place? It is clearly at a conference, maybe the Future of Freedom event that's held in Las Vegas annually? In the backgrund is a booth for "Laissez Faire Books", an organization that Peikoff threatened to sue because it had purchased the inventory of Palo Alto Books (from the defunct NBI Book Service) and was offering for sale copies of The Objectivist and other unauthorized publications. So, was Brook a speaker at that conference, or was he just an observer?.

And when Jim Ellison, a trustee of ARI, assumes the position of Director of The Cato Institute, by far the biggest and most influential libertarian thinktank, will Brook be a featured speaker at Cato conferences?. The mind boggles!

I hope that Brook and other orthodox O'ists don't enmesh themselves too much into the libertarian movement. Their ultra-hawkish views on foreign policy are awful.

You mentioned "Jim Ellison." Were you thinking of John Allison? An entire chapter ("The Banker") was devoted to Allison in Weiss's Ayn Rand Nation. Allison is (or will be) the new president of Cato.

Ghs

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Wow!!! Thanks for posting this!. Brook being interviewed by the oldest and largest publication advocating libertarianisn, that is something that Peikoff would never consent to. I was wondering where this conversation took place? It is clearly at a conference, maybe the Future of Freedom event that's held in Las Vegas annually? In the backgrund is a booth for "Laissez Faire Books", an organization that Peikoff threatened to sue because it had purchased the inventory of Palo Alto Books (from the defunct NBI Book Service) and was offering for sale copies of The Objectivist and other unauthorized publications. So, was Brook a speaker at that conference, or was he just an observer?.

And when Jim Ellison, a trustee of ARI, assumes the position of Director of The Cato Institute, by far the biggest and most influential libertarian thinktank, will Brook be a featured speaker at Cato conferences?. The mind boggles!

I hope that Brook and other orthodox O'ists don't enmesh themselves too much into the libertarian movement. Their ultra-hawkish views on foreign policy are awful.

You mentioned "Jim Ellison." Were you thinking of John Allison? An entire chapter ("The Banker") was devoted to Allison in Weiss's Ayn Rand Nation. Allison is (or will be) the new president of Cato.

Ghs

Yup. I should have said "John Allison" instead of Jim Ellison. And it was "FreedomFest2012," not "Future of Freedom."

I hadn't really thought of the foreign policy differences between the ARIans and Cato. I'm really curious to see how many changes Allison makes to Cato. Anyway, I am still stuned by an Objectivist being chosen to run Cato, but maybe it really isn't as dramatic a change. Ed Crane (the outgoing head of Cato) specifically referred to himself and "most of the staff" at Cato as "Objectivists" in a speech he delivered at the Atlas Society's "50th Anninversary Celebration of Atlas Shrugged" in 2007.'

I know that those ARIans have a reputation for hanging onto every word uttered at TAS :wub: , so maybe they finally "got it."

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Brook being interviewed by the oldest and largest publication advocating libertarianism, that is something that Peikoff would never consent to.

Jerry,

I think you mean that Leonard Peikoff has never consented (and never will consent) to being personally interviewed by Reason magazine.

He has consented, in effect, to Yaron Brook being interviewed.

Otherwise Brook would be out of a job.

Robert Campbell

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Gotta love it...

The coauthor of Brook's new book, quickly promoted during the interview, is Don Watkins.

When last spotted on the same forum with persons like ourselves, Don Watkins proclaimed that David Kelley had been purged, and absolutely had to have been purged, for "the sanction of libertarianism."

Will Watkins now disown Brook?

Stay tuned.

Robert Campbell

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Brook being interviewed by the oldest and largest publication advocating libertarianism, that is something that Peikoff would never consent to.

Jerry,

I think you mean that Leonard Peikoff has never consented (and never will consent) to being personally interviewed by Reason magazine.

He has consented, in effect, to Yaron Brook being interviewed.

Otherwise Brook would be out of a job.

Robert Campbell

Brook raises much too much money to be out of a job for that reason. That's an opinion only. Peikoff's relationship with ARI seems to be becoming more attenuated as he gets older.

--Brant

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Wow!!! Thanks for posting this!. Brook being interviewed by the oldest and largest publication advocating libertarianisn, that is something that Peikoff would never consent to. I was wondering where this conversation took place? It is clearly at a conference, maybe the Future of Freedom event that's held in Las Vegas annually? In the backgrund is a booth for "Laissez Faire Books", an organization that Peikoff threatened to sue because it had purchased the inventory of Palo Alto Books (from the defunct NBI Book Service) and was offering for sale copies of The Objectivist and other unauthorized publications. So, was Brook a speaker at that conference, or was he just an observer?.

And when Jim Ellison, a trustee of ARI, assumes the position of Director of The Cato Institute, by far the biggest and most influential libertarian thinktank, will Brook be a featured speaker at Cato conferences?. The mind boggles!

I hope that Brook and other orthodox O'ists don't enmesh themselves too much into the libertarian movement. Their ultra-hawkish views on foreign policy are awful.

You mentioned "Jim Ellison." Were you thinking of John Allison? An entire chapter ("The Banker") was devoted to Allison in Weiss's Ayn Rand Nation. Allison is (or will be) the new president of Cato.

Ghs

Yup. I should have said "John Allison" instead of Jim Ellison. And it was "FreedomFest2012," not "Future of Freedom."

I hadn't really thought of the foreign policy differences between the ARIans and Cato. I'm really curious to see how many changes Allison makes to Cato. Anyway, I am still stuned by an Objectivist being chosen to run Cato, but maybe it really isn't as dramatic a change. Ed Crane (the outgoing head of Cato) specifically referred to himself and "most of the staff" at Cato as "Objectivists" in a speech he delivered at the Atlas Society's "50th Anninversary Celebration of Atlas Shrugged" in 2007.'

I know that those ARIans have a reputation for hanging onto every word uttered at TAS :wub: , so maybe they finally "got it."

Ed apparently likes Allison, so that might be a good sign. Allison was chosen with the agreement of Ed and the Kochs. The Kochs dropped their lawsuit as a result.

I don't know anything about Allison, except what I have read in various articles and "The Ayn Rand Nation." According to the latter source (based on an interview), Allison agrees with Rand's quasi-isolationist view of WWII -- i.e., that the U.S. should have let Germany and the U.S.S.R. fight it out to exhaustion, and then picked off the winner.

Of course, this position doesn't necessarily have any implications for current foreign policy.

Ghs

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I hope that Brook and other orthodox O'ists don't enmesh themselves too much into the libertarian movement. Their ultra-hawkish views on foreign policy are awful.

This is what I was thinking of when I mentioned crossing the Rubicon. But it’s not their foreign policy views, I don’t object to that being part of the dialogue, it’s the way they conduct dialogue, and the McCaskey case exemplifies this. Are the ARIans aiming to conquer the other libertarian institutions, and impose their dictatorial culture? Cato is, by one lineal step (via Cato’s Letters), named after Cato the Younger, whose opposition to Caesar cost him his life. This scene has an eerie resonance:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGvGGyLn9Os

OTOH, it may be that Allison (in particular) is fleeing the stultifying ARI atmosphere, and in a few years this will all seem like a silly conspiracy theory. Hope so.

Will Watkins now disown Brook?

Stay tuned.

Stay tuned indeed. Here’s all I expect to hear from that quarter.

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Brook being interviewed by the oldest and largest publication advocating libertarianism, that is something that Peikoff would never consent to.

Jerry,

I think you mean that Leonard Peikoff has never consented (and never will consent) to being personally interviewed by Reason magazine.

He has consented, in effect, to Yaron Brook being interviewed.

Otherwise Brook would be out of a job.

Robert Campbell

Brook raises much too much money to be out of a job for that reason. That's an opinion only. Peikoff's relationship with ARI seems to be becoming more attenuated as he gets older.

--Brant

When money talks, even Peikoff listens.

Here is a nasty and quite possibly unfair thought that has occurred to me over the years, but I doubt if I am the only one who has ever considered it:

After Peikoff was the Last Man Standing around Rand, I wonder if he sometimes pushed the limits of even his endurance by prostrating himself intellectually, because he figured that he would come into a lot of money after Rand's death, if he could stick it out.

Ghs

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Well, The Ominous Parallels took 14 years to write and publish, but there wasn't substantially much in the final product that wasn't already in the short lecture course he gave about that work in progress at NBI in the spring of 1968. I think some material was published in The Objectivist post-break, if not The Ayn Rand Letter too. Nathaniel Branden was discouraged by the quality of the writting back then and the quality was the same, finally, ten years later when the book came out. I wonder if Rand had lived another 5 years if Peikoff's book would have taken another 5 also. Apparently he had to run it by her again and again as he wrote it and she was hard to satisfy.

--Brant

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Ghs,

Allison agrees with Rand’s quasi-isolationist view of WWII -- i.e., that the U.S. should have let Germany and the U.S.S.R. fight it out to exhaustion, and then picked off the winner.

She never wrote that. You will find it in an off-the-cuff answer at a Philosophy of Obectivism lecture, if Mayhew can be believed. Any mention of it should come with the caveat that it was an extemporaneous remark.

Her written position was simply that the U.S. should have stayed out of the war. She wrote this about a dozen separate times, and without mentioning "picking off the winner." See:

Ayn Rand on WW II

and

Footnote page for same

By the way, Heinrich Himmler, head of the German Gestapo, tried to negotiate a peace with the Allies behind Hitler’s back, on the condition that war would continue with Russia. Both the UK and US rejected his offer. A couple of weeks ago I finished writing

The Attempted Assassination of President Truman

and had reason to mention this in the 4th footnote.

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If Brook can be effective in getting more people to read "Atlas Shrugged" then a hat tip goes out to him.

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[Peikoff] has consented, in effect, to Yaron Brook being interviewed [by Reason].

Otherwise Brook would be out of a job.

Robert Campbell

I wonder if Peikoff would win at this stage if some issue did come to a show-down between him and Brook.

I think that Brook, however, has a keen sense of just how far he can go without precipitating a show-down.

Ellen

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If Brook can be effective in getting more people to read "Atlas Shrugged" then a hat tip goes out to him.

Theoretical physicists tell us there are two kinds of hat-tip: the ordinary hat-tip, and the anti-hat-tip.

When an anti-hat-tip comes into contact with an ordinary hat-tip there is a flash of light, a sound like a thunderclap -- and no more hat-tips.

So the question is: if we put together all the hat-tips Yaron Brook gets from giving away copies of Atlas Shrugged, and all the anti-hat tips he gets from some of the other things he does -- such as printing a web address to pro-war propaganda on the back of said copies of Atlas Shrugged, or trashing Ron Paul – what do you get?

Some light and noise, and a lot of left over anti-hat-tips.

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When money talks, even Peikoff listens.

Maybe, if it's a lot more money than John McCaskey was raising.

While demanding that he be shown the door, Peikoff declared that McCaskey's financial help to ARI would merely elevate him to a slightly higher "rung of hell."

Here is a nasty and quite possibly unfair thought that has occurred to me over the years, but I doubt if I am the only one who has ever considered it:

After Peikoff was the Last Man Standing around Rand, I wonder if he sometimes pushed the limits of even his endurance by prostrating himself intellectually, because he figured that he would come into a lot of money after Rand's death, if he could stick it out.

I've heard the opinion voiced, by more than one knowledgeable person, that Peikoff secretly hates Ayn Rand.

Robert Campbell

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If Brook can be effective in getting more people to read "Atlas Shrugged" then a hat tip goes out to him.

Lots of folks could successfully promote the reading of Atlas Shrugged (which has never needed heavy promotion to sell snappily) without dragging Peikoff's baggage along with them.

Robert Campbell

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I've heard the opinion voiced, by more than one knowledgeable person, that Peikoff secretly hates Ayn Rand.

I heard intimations of his resenting Rand, as well as Branden, as far back as from his first wife , Susan Ludel (Ludell?), when she was breaking up with him in the mid-'70s. This was before Peikoff would have had to confront the fact of the AR/NB affair. I think that learning of that must have been devastating for him, with a feeling of betrayal that Rand had had such an affair, and hadn't confided in him, and the compounding of resentment against Nathaniel.

Ellen

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Ayn Rand appears to have been a substitute mother figure for Leonard Peikoff.

Which would have intensified the already toxic aspects of their relationship, and made her affair with Nathaniel Branden truly unthinkable, as well as unforgivable.

Robert Campbell

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