TOC generously feeds both intellectuals and parasites


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TOC generously feeds both intellectuals and parasites

I do not want OL to be a long-distance debating society, but since the material presented here has been of so much derogatory concern elsewhere, I wish to register a formal observation of contempt.

The people on the pro-side issue of PARC are loudly bashing TOC for its seminar policies. They proudly proclaim that their scruples and integrity do not permit them to have anything to do with TOC because of the Brandens.

Yet these same people are planning to cash in on an unearned audience that TOC generates to see if they can sell a book or two about the Brandens. They know that they never could draw such an audience on their own.

The name for that is parasite.

In this case, TOC literally is a host.

Michael

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Michael, I assume you are talking about the endless preoccupation with this at SoloPassion (and Noodlefood?). I like to prune down lot of verbiage to simple statements and here is what they are saying:

1. TOC is 'endorsing' or allying itself with Nathaniel Branden and Barbara Branden by inviting them to speak.

2. The Brandens are going to be speaking on Rand

3. There is a book out which 'proves' to -every reader- they are bad people and, not only that, have -nothing to offer- intellectually.

4. TOC organizers are morally obligated to have read that book.

5. TOC agrees with it.

6. Therefore TOC is acting immorally.

Now, when you essentalize the argument this way, you can see that it is a bad one...and there are multiple flaws in not one but EACH of the five premises. The only thing that makes it seem plausible to the readers is endless numbing repetition.

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Phil,

I agree with your evaluation of the six statements. (Why did you say five?)

That already is a mess. But what causes my extreme contempt is that they want to use TOC's audience to sell books and bash TOC (and TOC's lecturers, especially the Brandens, but others too) at the same time.

The truth is that they do not have the capacity to generate the kind of specialized audience that TOC does through a seminar. They simply aren't good enough and true enough to catch on with that public.

So they must latch on and suck on the achievements of others - ones that they did not earn through their own efforts. And, just like any parasite, they work against the host.

Michael

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Michael, Phil said five premises. The sixth statement was the conclusion.

If I were the least bit Social Metaphysical, I would be cringing now at the thought that I am evil for attending the TOC Summer Seminar while the Brandens are invited speakers. But I agree with you: this is just a craven, parasitic attempt to intimidate people into abandoning their values and their independent choice. I appreciate the forthright stand of people like James Heaps-Nelson against this Argument from Intimidation tactic. How he can stand to be on the same discussion board with the parasites is beyond me. To each his own, I guess.

REB

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Michael-

Spot on with your intro post to this thread. PARC is a cheap whore that will flash a nonsequitur or two on any street corner. And PARC is definitely a dominatrix whore to be enjoyed by those out there who like being told what to think. Of course, given the average jury, it's certainly easier for a prosecutor to just tell, rather than show.

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Guys, I wouldn't use terms like "parasite", "whore", etc. because they imply that the mistakes of those on the other side are universally intentional or dishonest (and I thought this site was supposed to be a haven from this sort of name-calling and tit-for-tat? If it's not then I wonder if I am in the right place).

There is lots of room for honest error and jumping to conclusions in judging people...Rand, Branden, whoever. It's tempting when someone calls you immoral or dishonest or repeatedly vilifies you to eventually retaliate by using the same language, to escalate the rhetoric without proof. But don't do it without solid proof.

And, no, you can't say "well, I'll let myself do it on only one little thread" or "they started it" or "I have to fight fire with fire, prove my manhood, and defend myself" or "this is just for -humor-".

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Phil,

I was in doubt about whether to start this thread or not for precisely the reasons you mentioned.

However, I have been in show business a good many years. This behavior of stealing or cashing in on an audience you do not have the talent to draw, one gathered by a person/group you are hostile to, is a typically called a dirty trick.

There is no excuse for that kind of behavior among people of honor. There are about 6 billion people on this planet. That's more than enough market. Objectivism deals with earning your values and producing them, not trying to sneak them from people you despise at an event they sponsor.

In the defense of those who used harsh language here, such blatant observable hypocrisy makes them mad, as it did me. But still, point noted. The acrimony level should be lowered. OL is for better things.

Michael

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Michael, in response to Phil, you say that we should lower the acrimony level, that O-L is for better things.

OK, then I suggest you rename this folder "Pet Peeves: sometimes we just gotta express our irritation." :-)

Ex-Rantian,

REB

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> Ex-Rantian

Now that's funny :-) If I weren't so opposed to calling people names, there are people in the Oist movement I might call RantDroids.....stop, stop, I can't control myself.... :-$

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Michael, just now it looks as if PARC is a major topic of argument and contemptous putdowns on each of four different websites.... Solopassion, Noodlefood, and now Objectivist Living and RoR. If I were Jim V and believed in my book, I would be trying to engage in debate and start a lively thread on each and every website. And keep it going. Challenge opponents in such a way that they feel they have to not let it pass. But you are helping him. He's BAITING YOU to help him make his book be the central topic in the Objectivist movement - agree or disagree is not important. (Same thing with the ludicrous idea that TOC -has to respond- which to their credit they are not. Or the idea that everyone -has to read it- or they are irresponsible.)

He can always count on you to rise to the bait (the Hessen thread on RoR most recently). Jim is not a troll..he believes in his book...but you are "feeding him".

In principle, a book about Rand's life is a worthy project. But the way this has developed and the potential for another '68 or '89 schism which will go on for -years-, it hasn't been handled well **regardless** of whether the book is basically wrong-headed or on target. The problem is that energy spent on debating Rand's personal life in the trivial manner in which this is largely taking place is energy taken away from more philosophical issues, from spreading the philosophy, from more creative projects...and, since it is inevitably emotional, has lots of fact-checking and side issues to explore, leads to hard feelings, subverts every website it is on (except for Noodlefood where the people who have not removed from the site pretty much all agree).

I want to suggest to you to stop doing that, whether on this list or trying to keep up with all of it. Just ignore the more 'volatile' aspects of it. Suppress the desire to have a "comeback" to everything. [if you can do what Ellen does which is 'chew' the book line by line that's different...but that doesn't require going and trying to do it on every or most lists.]

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Phil,

Then let's get off the topic of that book. No arguments here. (I will do the review I announced, though, and publish others, all with locked threads.) For the record, we have very different views about the character and intentions of Mr. Valliant.

Also, for the record, on RoR, my comments were restricted to an incorrect insinuation against the historical thread on OL. I am very proud of that thread and I think it will be a small tool for Ayn Rand scholars and historians for years to come.

Now that this has been made very clear to all, I will probably not continue (as I stopped once before after a correction of insinuation when that thread opened with material from OL).

Michael

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I was over the top with that post, and for that I appologize to those here at OL, and in all sincerity, even to James Valliant. I'm just so sick and frustrated with all roads leading to PARC.

And lest anyone get me to ranting again, please do not tell me to read PARC. I have already. And guess what...I still love Barbara(gotta keep those rumours about us abounding after all ;) ). This I will illuminate further in the very near future.

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Michael-

Don't worry, I only apologize for attacking him here, where it's (rightly) not open to long, drawn-out discussions. The shots will soon be fired elsewhere though, and there will be no accompanying apologies. ;)

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That's right, blame everything on me: EVERYBODY SHIT ON PHIL :-)

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Well, yes, Phil. It seems like it works that way on an almost metaphysical level. :-({|=

I think not around here, my friend. Seriously doubt it, tempting though it may be for some to feel the tug of herd mechanics.

rde

Nobody deserves to be Wing Man<tm>

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I'll settle for either like, love, or unreserved hero worship.

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  • 3 years later...

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