9thdoctor

Yaron Brook talks to Reason Magazine

Recommended Posts

Sounds like something out of Greek tragedy. Not quite Oedipus and not quite Phaedra (fortyish woman marries a suitable husband and becomes unsuitably involved with his twentyish son, all with a bad outcome), but in the same tradition.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Couple this with the fact that Nathaniel once said that he credited Rand for basically "raising him" through The Fountainhead.

Was the Objectivist movement essentially torn apart by people dealing with their Oedipus Complexes? It is a disturbing thought...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Couple this with the fact that Nathaniel once said that he credited Rand for basically "raising him" through The Fountainhead.

Was the Objectivist movement essentially torn apart by people dealing with their Oedipus Complexes? It is a disturbing thought...

So who was the father figure here? -- the guy whom the O'ist versions of Oedipus desired to kill? Frank?

There might be material for a book here. Not a good book, granted, but a book nonetheless. :tongue:

Ghs

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So who was the father figure here? -- the guy whom the O'ist versions of Oedipus desired to kill? Frank?

Well I'm not sure about that but if a lot of Objectivists (who are about 85% male IIRC) see Rand as a substitute-mother type figure, it would explain why a non-issue such as Rand's personality is such a hot button... defending one's mother's honor etc.

I know, weird and silly speculation. But this "Rand as substitute mother" pattern may have some significance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Christ!! Don't give these pinko psychobabblers any ideas!!"

Seriously, it is somewhat surprising that there hasn't already been a "psycho-biography" written about Rand, et al. It must be that the field of "psycho-history" http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Psychohistory#The_grand_Freudian_conspiracy has fell into disrepute among the academic intelligentsia. Coles' bio on Luther and Erickson's bio on Ghandhi were pretty much savaged for the authors using grand canyon-wide speculations based on mere shreds of questionable "evidence."

Nevertheless, it is a perfect field to employ ad hominems in, which the media Rand- haters love. So, sooner or later, we can expect to see someone use psychohistory methods on Rand, Brandens, the "Collective," and the somwhat inept buffoonery from the ARIans (Yeah, I know some of them have produced good work, but that does not excuse their other cultic antics.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Christ!! Don't give these pinko psychobabblers any ideas!!"

Seriously, it is somewhat surprising that there hasn't already been a "psycho-biography" written about Rand, et al. It must be that the field of "psycho-history" http://rationalwiki....dian_conspiracy has fell into disrepute among the academic intelligentsia. Coles' bio on Luther and Erickson's bio on Ghandhi were pretty much savaged for the authors using grand canyon-wide speculations based on mere shreds of questionable "evidence."

Nevertheless, it is a perfect field to employ ad hominems in, which the media Rand- haters love. So, sooner or later, we can expect to see someone use psychohistory methods on Rand, Brandens, the "Collective," and the somwhat inept buffoonery from the ARIans (Yeah, I know some of them have produced good work, but that does not excuse their other cultic antics.)

The fact that Luther had a major religious experience while "on the can" gave psycho-historians a lot to work with. 8-)

Herbert Spencer was a victim of psycho-history in a 1968 article by Richard L. Schoenwald, "Town Guano and Social Statics." This appeared in a respectable academic journal, Victorian Studies (Summer 1968). In my article "Will the Real Herbert Spencer Please Stand Up" (LR, Dec. 1978), I commented as follows:

Spencer, Schoenwald informs us, was "an adult whose development had undergone severe twisting." Specifically, "Spencer's self-esteem had been undermined hopelessly in the oral and anal stages of his development; he could commit himself only to paper, not to a woman." It seems that the infant Herbert reveled in his ability to "create" feces, and he bitterly resented the effort of his parents to curb "the anal freedom in which he had gloried." Spencer interpreted his parents' toilet-training efforts as "a fearful attack from behind," and his "once loving parents [were] now revealed as devilish obstructors of the path of glory." This, we are to believe, was the basis for Spencer's hostility to the state. Note well the marvelous explanatory power of this "theory." Why, for instance, did Spencer oppose governmental sanitation regulations? Because he "saw in sanitary reform an attack on his magical anal producing powers...."

I know this reads like a Monty Python script, but it was intended and taken seriously.

Ghs

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In those days it was smear-that-way galore. Some ass magazine publisher did it to Barry Goldwater in 1964. Barry sued and won on the grounds of libel in spite of the fact of being a public figure.

--Brant

Barry probably stopped most of such crap, but Spencer was dead

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So who was the father figure here? -- the guy whom the O'ist versions of Oedipus desired to kill? Frank?

There might be material for a book here. Not a good book, granted, but a book nonetheless. :tongue:

George,

I'm not a believer in the Oedipus Complex.

And Leonard Peikoff has said that his relationship with Ayn Rand wasn't "psychoanalytic" :)

What struck me was the reported rivalry between Leonard Peikoff's mother and Ayn Rand.

Robert Campbell

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I should clarify that I was kind of being snarky in my reply, and wasn't intending to give the impression that I endorse Freud (I do not. Freud was crazy).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rand primarily advocated a return to reason, not individualism.

"I am not primarily an advocate of capitalism, but of egoism; and I am not primarily an advocate of egoism, but of reason. If one recognizes the supremacy of reason and applies it consistently, all the rest follows."

(All the rest did not follow... but that's a separate issue)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rand primarily advocated a return to reason, not individualism.

"I am not primarily an advocate of capitalism, but of egoism; and I am not primarily an advocate of egoism, but of reason. If one recognizes the supremacy of reason and applies it consistently, all the rest follows."

(All the rest did not follow... but that's a separate issue)

"Return to Reason" was the title of a short book written and published by Paul Lepanto over four decades ago. It wasn't all that good, but it was a serious think piece. It was the first book that attempted to explain Objectivism in toto beating out Peikoff by many years. What made it work was the author's sincerity. Peikoff's book is about ten times better. Or a hundred. Depends on your perspective. Buy it on Amazon while the few cheap copies are still there.

--Brant

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What struck me was the reported rivalry between Leonard Peikoff's mother and Ayn Rand.

I'm drawing a blank on where that was reported. On the other hand, I remember reports of rivalry between Nathaniel Branden's mother and Ayn Rand.

Barbara Branden remained lifelong good friends with Leonard's mother -- the mother's life long. When Leonard's mother died, I think in the early 2000s, Barbara went to the funeral and the gathering at the house afterward. Leonard, she said, huddled in a corner with friends of his who had accompanied him and didn't deign to notice Barbara's presence.

Ellen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

I would like to have a source for where Ayn Rand explicitly rejected the categorization that her ideas could not be separated into "philosophical" and "non-philosophical" categories. I would find that to be extremely interesting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

She expressly rejected such a distinction in a letter to Hospers, insisting that everything she said was her philosophical position:

You say that you speak on politics from general observation and not as a philosopher. That is a point of difference between us: I never think or speak of anything except as a philosopher.

(17 April 60, Letters p. 506)

Attempts to draw this line have been around for years; her genuinely philosophical stands are the statements a given speaker agrees with and wants to defend; non-philosophical matters of opinion are the statements the same individual doesn't buy into (cigarettes, homosexuality and a woman president being the big three).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

She expressly rejected such a distinction in a letter to Hospers, insisting that everything she said was her philosophical position:

Indeed, but what about having blue-green as her favorite color? Liking cats while, far as I know, never having a dog?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

She expressly rejected such a distinction in a letter to Hospers, insisting that everything she said was her philosophical position:

Indeed, but what about having blue-green as her favorite color? Liking cats while, far as I know, never having a dog?

Not to mention collecting stamps but not coins :)

Robert Campbell

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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."

So David Kelley sanctioned vagueness and imprecision? Reminds me of Karl Kraus's contention that WW1 wouldn't have happened if people used commas properly.

http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/conscience-realist/2012/sep/17/asking-don-watkins-can-ayn-rands-ideas-really-end-/

I don’t like the term “libertarian”—it’s too vague and imprecise—and I definitely don’t want to be associated with Ron Paul. By contrast, I stand for pure, uncompromised laissez-faire capitalism,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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."

So David Kelley sanctioned vagueness and imprecision? Reminds me of Karl Kraus's contention that WW1 wouldn't have happened if people used commas properly.

http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/conscience-realist/2012/sep/17/asking-don-watkins-can-ayn-rands-ideas-really-end-/

I don’t like the term “libertarian”—it’s too vague and imprecise—and I definitely don’t want to be associated with Ron Paul. By contrast, I stand for pure, uncompromised laissez-faire capitalism,

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."

So David Kelley sanctioned vagueness and imprecision? Reminds me of Karl Kraus's contention that WW1 wouldn't have happened if people used commas properly.

http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/conscience-realist/2012/sep/17/asking-don-watkins-can-ayn-rands-ideas-really-end-/

I don’t like the term “libertarian”—it’s too vague and imprecise—and I definitely don’t want to be associated with Ron Paul. By contrast, I stand for pure, uncompromised laissez-faire capitalism,

I clicked on his boring dull interview. Erk, Watkins looks so smug and smirky. Is he Brook's Harriman - the future of ARI, the Great White Hope?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Carol,

I don't know what Yaron Brook's plans are for Don Watkins. If he's to Brook what Harriman has been to Peikoff, he's worse than I thought.

I hope he finds an interviewer who asks whether reading Atlas Shrugged to applying for employment at the Ayn Rand Institute is quite the natural progression that Watkins makes it out to be—and how he squares his and his management's past statements about libertarianism with what he's saying now.

Robert Campbell

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I looked at David Horowitz's Frontpage website. In endorsing Paul Ryan, Horowitz remarks that "Democrats have already accused [Ryan] of murder." No explanation of this startling occurrence. Is there a coverup going on?

In his hugely long list of columnists I noted two with the surnames of Swindler and Plotinsky. I can think of a lot of fun titles for books they could co-write.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not knowing anything about Don Watkins I googled his name. This "bio" on Forbes is bizarre. "About me"...presumably Don Watkins? But 80% of it is about Yaron Brook. Evidently Don Watkins is a dim reflection of Brooks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I looked at David Horowitz's Frontpage website. In endorsing Paul Ryan, Horowitz remarks that "Democrats have already accused [Ryan] of murder."

Carol,

Most likely, he's referring to the commercial that ran in Summer 2011, in which a man who looks a lot like Paul Ryan pushes an old lady's wheelchair to the edge of a cliff and throws her off it.

I haven't yet heard of anyone whispering in Harry Reid's ear that Paul Ryan should confess to the murder that he got away with. Maybe that will be the sequel to someone (most likely someone named Harry Reid) whispering in Harry's ear that Mitt Romney paid no Federal income tax for several years running.

Robert Campbell

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...