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Mark

Barney Continues Telling His Story

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Rand's most naïve view (or advocacy to the reader) is that there are no idealational conflicts among those who are "rational." This is derived from human perfectibility.

How to counter the perfect Soviet Man (or Nazi Man)? The perfect Randian Man. She was trapped in the binary.

Before you advocate for what should be you need to know what is. Rand knew collectivism and its ideology. So she countered with individualism and it's ideology. Great! But she didn't know the non-ideological masses. Therefore Objectivism is reactive to what people ideologically shouldn't be as opposed to reactive to what people in toto really are. Yes, she had some in-betweens. 

Of Objectivism's four pillars--reality and reason, morality and politics, it's the morality where it therefore mostly falls short and left libertarians short. They didn't buy the center. They had the politics without enough of the morality politics needs. The morality in individual rights is in or from rights only cutting libertarians off from humanity even more than official Objectivism does.

Now that we are engaged in cultural warfare--there is no more Age of Reason for now--people of ideas are out of work while the conservatives and hoi American polloi fight it out with the left. We can join the conservatives or sit on our rumps, for this is the Age of Trump.

--Brant

not sayin' what to do

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I wrote, addressed to Michael, re Carl Barney:

"You spoke of desires for perfectibility.  I'm doubtful that Barney ever had such desires."

Michael replied:

20 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Ellen,

You're not wrong to think this, but it is based on the idea that people are consistent in their desires. Rand held such a view of humans, say, that of so-and-so liked a certain composer, so he couldn't possibly be an advocate of her kind of integrity and so on.

I have come to the conclusion that the brain is a lot more modular than that. Sometimes there are inner conflicts and contradictory desires, depending on which part happens to be in running a neural network at the moment. (And thank God. Humans would be insufferably boring little carbon copies if that were not the case. :) )

This is a longer topic than I have time to write about right now, but I find one point important in evaluating Barney on this score--that he was mostly attracted to human perfectibility systems, ones that he studied, and not, say, Ponzi schemes and the like.

Michael

Michael,

Whether right or wrong, my evaluation of Barney is certainly NOT "based on the idea that people are consistent in their desires."

You actually think that I would hold that idea, after all the years I've been posting on OL?

I'm well aware that people can have many forms of inconsistencies in their desires.

I agree that it's an important point in evaluating Barney that "he was mostly attracted to human perfectibility systems, ones that he studied," but I don't think that this entails sincerity.  There are some people who are predators on human desires for betterment.

I might be overly negative in my evaluation, but what I keep coming back to is Barney's ripping off students.  A person who does that doesn't have the students' betterment at heart.

There's probably no way we could be certain of an assessment.  Neither of us knows the man.  I know some people who know him, but they're people I haven't been in touch with for quite awhile, and I wouldn't contact them just to ask about Barney.  The one sort-of-ARI-connected person with whom I've had any conversation about Barney only knows of him, has never met him.

Ellen

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1 hour ago, Ellen Stuttle said:

You actually think that I would hold that idea, after all the years I've been posting on OL?

Ellen,

Only if hatred and/or disgust (and similar) are acute, which I believe they are in the case of Barney (and, probably, in the case of cons in the educational world which I believe you treasure), and you dismiss any other considerations out of the impatience those emotions prompt.

Not only that, this sort of oversimplification is not a constant. It comes in waves, which are the way humans experience consciousness in different emotional states.

When in "throw rocks at the enemy" mode, it's not accurate to say that you hold an oversimplified idea in the same manner you hold an idea in a state of intellectual consideration. ("You" meaning "you in general.") But it is accurate to say that, while in that mode, you only let an oversimplification into awareness in order to dismiss and resist anything that does not conform to the evaluation intermingled with hatred and/or disgust, etc. Those emotions are strong in the human heart and, when intense, they demand exclusive space in the mind.

This happens to all of us, Rand included (she even cultivated it), me included, everyone included. Welcome to the human race.

:)

I don't want to defend Barney, but when I frame things according to the human condition and am in intellectual consideration mode, I just can't agree with the idea that Barney (or any person), when it comes to his ideology, does not have a sincere bone in his body--he's only in it for the con. However, I'm with you on one thing. There's an inner part of me, an angry part, that strongly wants to believe he's only in it for the con.

Michael

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In the third lawsuit filed against the Church of Scientology and its leader, David Miscavige, in three months, a 25-year-old woman alleges she was repeatedly sexually assaulted as a child in Scientology’s care

“The first time Doe was sexually abused in Scientology’s care, the lawsuit states, was during her two kindergarten years at Clearwater Academy on Drew Street in downtown Clearwater.

“The lawsuit states that on multiple occasions an employee: forced Jane Doe and other young girls to perform sexual acts on each other; masturbated in front of and ejaculated on Doe; and, on at least one occasion, forced his penis into her mouth.

“Doe reported this to adults at the school, but no action was taken to remove the employee or stop the abuse, according to the lawsuit.

Hubbard’s policies, rolled out following the formation of the Church of Scientology in 1953, teach it is a “high crime” to report a Scientologist to law enforcement. Phones within certain church facilities are incapable of dialing 911, according to the lawsuit.”

At age 11, Doe was sent by Scientology to live in Caracas, Venezuela without her parents. The next year she was assaulted by the son of a high-ranking Scientologist at the Caracas Org, a church facility, according to the complaint.

“Doe immediately disclosed the assault to her auditor, a person who conducts spiritual counseling sessions. Instead of reporting the assault to law enforcement, the lawsuit alleges church officials “sentenced” Doe to three months of physical labor and issued her a “non-enturbulation" order, which warned she was at risk of losing standing in the church for “bringing in” the sexual assault.

https://www.tampabay.com/news/clearwater/2019/09/19/scientology-policy-enabled-years-of-child-sexual-abuse-lawsuit-says/

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On September 21, 2019 at 6:51 PM, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

I just can't agree with the idea that Barney (or any person), when it comes to his ideology, does not have a sincere bone in his body--he's only in it for the con.

Six or so years ago, I wouldn't have agreed with that idea myself.   Climate-dispute-related experiences which I'd rather not have had have been unpleasantly educative.

Whether or not Barney is a thorough con, I can't be sure, but his history sounds to me as if he is.  At any rate, I think that there's enough evidence to be sure that he isn't the "profoundly good," misled-in-youthful-innocence person Biddle presents him as being.

Ellen  

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