Barbara Branden

My response to Ed Hudgins' "The Atlas Society Policy and the Summer Seminar"

Recommended Posts

Ed, I have read your statement, "The Atlas Society Policy and the Summer Seminar," very carefully and thoughtfully. I want to say that I very much admire your good will and benevolence, as I have admired them during our conversations and through observing you over the past couple of years – that I am in full agreement with you that the goals of The Atlas Society are reasonable and appropriate -- and also that I think I understand you in the matter of the invitation to Perigo as I did not until now.

I believe I have grasped the difference between us in this matter, which was bewildering to me before. I think it is not the case that we have a similar estimate of the man, but that we differ on whether TAS should extend an olive branch to him and can reasonably expect that he will change his behavior. I have followed Perigo to some degree for the last few years, as you have not and had no reason to do; I have done so not because of his continuing attacks on me, but because I've been fascinated by the psychological phenomenon that is Lindsay Perigo. You apparently see a man who might be open to reason if he is brought to grasp that his irrationality is self-defeating; I see a man driven by demons, by malice and by hatreds that make him impervious to reason when his self-image is at stake. And that self-image is, above all, of Perigo the Beleaguered Rebel – the rebel against everything conventional (whether a particular convention is good or bad), whose life is dedicated to a battle with the "Kassless" Babbitts of the world and who is prepared to go down to lonely defeat if he must. In a word, he believes he is doomed to martyrdom, and in some real sense relishes that fate and is determined to bring it about because it will establish his superiority to the rest of us and his dedication to his principles.

And I see a man often befuddled by alcohol, which serves to make him still more grandiose and still more irrational. As you may know, he has very often in the past excused one or another of his forum tantrums by saying he had had too much to drink; apparently he hasn't done that lately, because even his cronies were not taking it seriously any longer. Now, he defends his invective-filled tantrums as "rational passion."

Nor do I think you realize the extent of his deterioration since he last spoke at TAS. I agree with you that he once was a very good speaker, who could attract a large audience. But did you hear the talk he gave (the one that was supposed to be a refutation of my "Objectivism and Rage" talk -- which I had not yet given)? I suggest you listen to it; you will see what has been happening to him. His deterioration has vastly accelerated since that disastrous speech that almost no one attended — and that constituted a humiliation for him for which he never will forgive TAS or me.

This is a man who is out of control, and if he agrees to your terms you will have on your hands a pathetic, (yes, even I can see the pathos of his deterioration) severely emotionally disturbed man who can be set off into total irrationality by any perceived slight – and who perceives slights in the least disagreement with his positions on any and all subjects.

You have stated the terms you demand if he is to appear at the Summer Seminar. I see two possibilities: 1) He will feel that he would be "Kassless" if he acceded to you terms, and he will back out in a fury of invective; 2) He'll say he agrees to your terms, intending to do his work through conversations with Seminar attendees and through planting questions in the question periods following his talks that will clearly "require" him to discuss the evil of TAS and "the Brandens." I believe you underestimate Perigo's deviousness, and the amount of backstage plotting he and his cohorts do. As one example, in advance of anything said publicly, he carefully orchestrated the scurrilous attack on Chris Sciabarra, which came from Perigo, Diana Hseih, and one or two others. One could tell it by the similarity in wording of many of their posts, a similarity too great to have been accidental. You can be sure that if Perigo goes to the Seminar, he will do everything possible to arrange methods for the achievement of his purposes.

I realize that to anyone who is not familiar with Perigo's excesses, this may seem an exaggerated, even hysterical, attack on a flawed man who is nevertheless dedicated to the principles of Objectivism. But to those who have followed his activities and his writings, it is if anything rather mild. Ask Robert Campbell or Robert Bissell or Michael Kelly – or Robert Bidinotto – or several dozen others who characteristically tend to be slow to condemn anyone.

Here are just a few quotes from his posts to his forum that will give you the flavor of Perigo's communications:

1. Discussing the Objectivist Center's change of name to The Atlas Society:

"…that motley collection of cowardly weasel-worders, those evasive sponsors of smearers and Rand-diminishers, they who are embarrassed by and are an embarrassment to the word 'Objectivist,' will no longer be using it [the name 'Objectivist']… What a relief! Even more edifying is the probability that this is the last nail in their lice-ridden coffin. Mealy-mouthed appeasement doesn't rule. How could it – except at TOC, its natural home?"

2. Perigo on Nathaniel and Barbara Branden:

"The Brandens' place in history is secure… as lying, conniving, gold-digging, parasitical manipulators of an innocent and epochal genius."

And:

"Those two wrote the manual on insincerity, informed by Iago-like malice and cunning."

And about me:

"The lying, smearing, low-life bitch!"

Ed, Perigo's vendettas have nothing to do with ideas, everything to do with his hatred of whoever crosses him. As an example, here is what he wrote about me before he decided that I had crossed him:

"Barbara Branden. One of the world's great exemplars of the art of writing. Peerless in her elegance and eloquence, invariably leaves her readers, crusty Founder included, moist-eyed and wistful for more. Will go down in history as Rand's definitive biographer. Told the truth, lovingly, fearlessly. Kept her head while all about her were losing theirs. Honoured by Founder as 'Majesty.'"

I echo Michael Kelly's question to you, here on Objectivist Living, about Perigo:

"What I don't get—and this is not offered in a sense of hostility, I am genuinely perplexed—what I don't get is what makes you think that this time will be any different?

"As a child I learned that you judge a person by what he says and what he does. And if he keeps doing wrong, but saying each time, "This time I learned my lesson and I will be good," you soon stop believing him. How many times does it take and why does Perigo get a free pass, anyway? He's an adult, not a child...."

Because of his embrace of martyrdom, because he has never learned the difference between rational egoism and vanity, Lindsay Perigo is the suicide bomber of Objectivism. I do not want to see him take The Atlas Society with him.

I want to comment briefly on your attempt at a rapprochement with ARI through Yaron Brook. Whatever the accomplishments of ARI, and I do not deny that there have been notable accomplishments, there are at least two particular issues that I see as being so beyond the pale, so appalling that they should make any rapprochement unthinkable. (These criticisms are not directed at the members and students pf ARI, many of whom, when they make public statements, are merely echoing the words of their teachers, and many of whom are unsympathetic to the policies I'll name; they are directed at those who are the setters of policy and the voices of that policy.)

The first is the ARI position on foreign affairs. Are you aware that their writers have said, again and again, that we ought – today – to level Teheran and to kill its many millions of inhabitants with nuclear weapons? Do you know that they have said that those atomic weapons should be aimed not only at Teheran's government buildings and military establishments, but also at mosques and schools? – a horror even Hitler did not contemplate. This attitude has caused ARI to be widely seen as a organization of vicious cranks and cultists; and has caused me to conclude that any association of TAS with such ideas could only greatly – and legitimately – damage the fine reputation TAS has earned.

Secondly, do you know that the Ayn Rand archives held by ARI are open only to those who are proven devotees of ARI and that legitimate non-ARI scholars are refused entrance? Do you know about the ARI "air-brushing" of Nathaniel's work? Do you know that in some of her published writings, Ayn Rand's credit to Nathaniel for one or another concept has been removed? Do you know that Tara Smith, an ARI writer, in a chapter on Rand's concept of self-esteem, gives credit to Leonard Peikoff for developing the concept, and that Nathaniel's name is not so much as mentioned? – despite the fact that Rand had said that his work on self-esteem, as published in The Objectivist Newsletter and The Objectivist, consisted of his own identifications and was an integral part of Objectivism? I think you can imagine the disgust all of this – and I'm only scratching the surface – would cause among scholars and writers were it to become known. And that it, too, would greatly damage TAS's reputation should TAS be associated with ARI. And surely it is only a matter of time until this will be known publicly.

You wrote that the open approach of TAS "assumes a community of generally well-intentioned and intellectually honest individuals." Do you think that Perigo's vendettas and ARI's appalling lack of humanity and of the rudiments of scholarship are the hallmarks of generally well-intentioned and intellectually honest individuals? Surely you and the other TAS principals have worked too hard and too long to establish TAS's reputation as an organization of civilized, reasonable people to allow yourself to be associated in the public mind with the likes of Perigo and ARI.

You wrote that: "We want to build a benevolent community of Objectivists and a benevolent culture and society based on reason and rational, responsible self-interest." Ed, you will not accomplish this by allying yourself with Perigo or ARI.

About both Perigo's invective and ARI's bloodthirstiness and lack of integrity, I would say -- to quote your words:

"The widespread perception that Objectivists are fanatical ideologues who speak of reason but do not practice it, and who are instead irrational, screaming loonies, continues to be fueled by such public statements and actions, which do incredible harm to the spread of the philosophy."

With all good wishes,

Barbara

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good job, Barbara -- DAMNED good job!

My sentiments...and thoughts...exactly. Not all olive branches are destined for success, and not all schisms are meant to be healed.

Ed, I know you'll be reading this: Becky and I will not be attending TAS Summer Seminar this year, despite it's being relatively close to us on the West Coast, as long as your recently announced feature speaker remains on the scheduled program.

I'm very disappointed in the direction the program selections have taken this year, and I still hold out hope that Will Thomas and any others working with him on speaker selection will reconsider and do the right thing.

Best to all,

Roger Bissell

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ed; I wish you would tell us what the up side is to the invitation to Lindsay.

Has Will listened to recent appearances by Lindsay?

Edited by Chris Grieb

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

~ I, unfortunately, have no real bone to pick re this subject; but, I have been following the 'goings-on' of it. I say 'no bone' 'cause I can't attend the conferences.

~ However, from a long-watching 'side-liners' view, I think there's some things worth others noting.

~ I question the worth of Ed Hudgins' 'public' reservationalism, as re several other 'public' announcements in the past (and, I think all this started then) not being kept 'private' (as in e-m's)...starting with 'Drooling Beast', through the Sciabarra scandalizing, and now Linz' invitation to speak at TAS (all backdropped by Hatfield-McCoys supporters with chronic rabidness showing on both sides); all I can wonder is, after all that, re Ed: "Why bother with this?"

2Bcont

LLAP

J:D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

~ Now, Ed must have known he'd be setting himself up as a 'public' target the moment he hinted at what his reservations were, especially 'publicly', MOST especially in SOLO-P! --- SOLO-P's guardian-supporters (of the worth of SOLO-P being the primary forum worth reading about O'ism) have made themselves pretty clear on THIS subject (mainly via Chris Cathcart and Casey Fahy...whom I've come to regard as mild versions of Fred Weiss) that their high-powered cross-bows, and primary shooters, were ready for the new dartboard which Ed popped up.

~ O-t-one-h, they both brought up, contemptuously of course, worthwhile points to consider: If Ed's going to bring up 'X', 'Y' and 'Z' as worries to ponder re his invite, well, "Jesus, Harry...How about 'A', 'B' and 'C' you've dismissed since The Big Bang, if you're going to throw stones in your 'explanation' of your reservations?"

2Bcont

LLAP

J:D

Edited by John Dailey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

~ O-t-other-h, how could Ed not voice such concerns re Linz' past history of his style of handling 'disagreers' with him? Look at me: I re-insulted F. Weiss (with interest), got his buddy-of-then Linz' attention who then insulted me, I dared Linz to drop me...and 'moderated' (he said 'per your request: r-i-g-h-t) I be then gotten. Ok; bye.

~ As an aside, I noticed that some argued that without insulting and name-calling, there's no 'passion' and everything is bland and boring...too 'sedate' as one complained about RoR. Are these guys worth discussing Relativity with (whether from ARI's view or wherever?) or the worth of Fischer's attempt at changing chess standards to 'Shuffle'? I picture them, 'passionately', kicking your shin or the chess board if you disagree...or you outdo them in mother-insulting. 1st time I've read a (supposedly 'rational') defense of 'flaming' in cyberspace. And they're worth 'discussing' O-ism with?

2Bcont

LLAP

J:D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Barbara,

Of course I agree with everything you just wrote.

I am watching the responses with interest on SOLOP. Pure "us against them" stuff, attacks on TAS and you and whatever. No dealing with the issues you brought up.

Why am I not surprised?

You really yanked the covers off and it is hurting.

One thing is clear: Perigo REALLY WANTS to keep this invitation. It is his lifeline to legitimacy in the Objectivist world right now. He blew it big time and doesn't have many options left.

(And, of course, this time will be different. How do we know? He says so. Just like he always has before blowing it again.)

Michael

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

~ Well, I slid into personal aspects there, but it should be clear to all who're familiar with Linz'...style...(and, for those who're not, or consider my personal aside as trivial [ :tongue: ]) that Ed has a place to be concerned.

~ Ntl, it's the 'public' aspect Ed used which raises this whole...new...controversy. --- Is Ed 'backing out', as he's now accused of attempting to? Will Linz show up, as he's now hinting about not? Will Will-&-Grace finally marry? (Ok; skip the last one.)

~ Now, to dear Barbara's 'public' missive...(oh dear, oh dear, oh...my. W.S.Scherk: I need your subtlety here...)

2Bcont

LLAP

J:D

Edited by John Dailey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Barbara:

~ Regardless a small group's uncivil-ized clamor for an acceptance of (at least their own personal style of) anti-civility in discussions (what kind of people does that make one think of? Other than a 'wolf-pack' as R. Campbell so aptly labeled?), your own 'publicly' voiced concerns herein I do not think...anymore than Ed's...help towards any potential 'rapproachment' (and, I DON'T mean 'personal) re all institutional sides here.

~ Yes, you make several (ok: many) worthwhile concerns Ed did not bring up re any antagonistic supporters playing hob with any ostensible 'civilized' lecture/conference given. Such is to always have been expected since ALLEY OOP (or B.C. [remember that comic strip; often had a 'soapbox' wisdom-giver?) days, no? Ergo, not worth bringing up except for newbies-to-'politics' to expect. (Such a concern applies both ways, of course, for newbies to consider.)

2Bcont

LLAP

J:D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Barbara:

~ Your personal, 'public' (esp. n-o-w) analysis of Linz, I think, will make it harder for Ed to keep the olive branch out there for whom many consider equivalent to an O'ist Arafat, true and accurate it be...or not.

~ I remember reading in PLAYBOY (ok; a while ago...and yes: I DID 'read' [well, 'after'...] the mag!) an interview with George Lincoln Rockwell. Given the context of yours, consider: if Hefner could handle THAT, Ed should be ok with Linz, no?

~ Linz should...stay...accepting of the invite, go do his thing...and let's all see where the cards fall; and deal with the worried CLOVERFIELD afterwords (and learn from it!)

E-N-D

LLAP

J:D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
"…that motley collection of cowardly weasel-worders, those evasive sponsors of smearers and Rand-diminishers, they who are embarrassed by and are an embarrassment to the word 'Objectivist,' will no longer be using it [the name 'Objectivist']… What a relief! Even more edifying is the probability that this is the last nail in their lice-ridden coffin. Mealy-mouthed appeasement doesn't rule. How could it – except at TOC, its natural home?"

That is particularly ironic if you read the sanctimonious drivel that he now utters about the same organization:

It shows that this is indeed a defining moment for TAS, and this ultimate Rand-diminisher obviously realises it—whether to ossify in the sewer of Brandroidism or step forth into the sunlight and become the open, benevolent Objectivist community David Kelley said it would be.

So, by inviting Perigo the cowardly weasel-worders have suddenly become an open benevolent society. How obvious can you be?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is the kind of thing that really irritates me, not about Perigo per se (he's essentially a politician, after all, so his relationship with the truth is not always a happy one), but by the fact that people swallow THE BIG LIE when he presents it.

THE BIG LIE is a formal rhetorical technique (whether the politician is lying to the public or lying to himself, or even just plain mistaken). How it works is as follows: When a politician is being accused of some unsavory fact, he repeats the fact in the clearest terms possible and then flat out denies it. The emotional impact of this is powerful. People think, "Boy, he didn't back down from that at all. He says he didn't do it, so maybe he's right."

Notice that there is a small issue of evidence that gets left to the wayside with this. It is a rhetorical trick to get people away from looking at the facts. Here is a great example (from here, where Perigo is responding to Barbara's post above):

Funny thing is, I've never "excused" any of my "tantrums" by saying I had had too much to drink, as far as I recall—though, of course, my brain is rotted by alcohol, so I could be wrong.

I have read those excuses. People who have been accompanying SoloHQ since 2005 and before have read those excuses. I have even defended those excuses.

I managed to dig up one example from around July 2005. Sorry, I don't have a lifetime to devote to this, so one is all I will do (for now). People can check the date on it and filter through posts earlier if they wish. They will find more examples. I remember this one well because I was one of the ones cussed. The only thing is that Perigo went so much over the top that he deleted the posts, so the evidence will have to come from later in the thread. Here was the outburst of hatred, foul language and vulgarity:

Post 12

(Edited by Lindsay Perigo

on 7/29, 9:39pm)

I can't remember the content of it, nor the following one, but I remember them being about the same in irrationality and pure spite:

Post 15

(Edited by Lindsay Perigo

on 7/29, 9:40pm)

Hong Zhang made a post immediately following this one where she received 57 santion points and other posters complained about Perigo's outburst:

Post 16

Linz, you are disgusting.

This was the kind of climate that was going on back then. (If you read the thread in context, you will get an idea.) Below is Perigo's apology at the time. (This was relative to an incident where Perigo set up Barbara and was now acting all innocent and stuff. But that was another issue. For the record, he posted an old article from his magazine written by a well-liked poster who had stopped posting for a while. Everybody was glad to see him return and Barbara gushed. Then out popped Perigo with the accusation that he had a picture of her with a copy of the magazine in her hand, so how could she think the piece was new? Thus, her statements were not credible. A tricky, nasty little set-up, but typical of his kind of operating. And, of course, all with feigned innocence and deniability in place. He is addressing James Kilbourne below.)

Post 20

Let me explain. I'm sitting here looking with approval at the applause for Cordero's article, but increasingly puzzled at the comments from some who *should* have seen it before. You & Barbara in particular, since you want me to name names. Then I think, "These buggers don't even bother to *read* the FreeRad!" On top of the private campaign you've both been waging to make me over in my own house, this pisses me off. And I let rip in a way that lends credence to your campaign. I can see clearly that in this instance I owe you, Barbara & Michael an apology, which I proffer unreservedly. This was a chronic, ranting, unjust over-reaction on my part. I'm sorry.

In the following post, Perigo mentioned that his statements were "unjust" in addition to being "incendiary." He is normally not known for understatement, but here he engaged in it. The posts were actually embarrassing drunken ravings, but of course, he did not want to say that.

Post 39

I deleted them myself, at the suggestion of a well-wisher, because of their incendiary nature. Normally, "incendiary nature" wouldn't bother me, but when you add "unjust" to the mix, I am bothered. I have apologised for those posts. That should be the end of the matter.

In the following post, Perigo closed the trap he set for Barbara and admitted to drinking too much.

Post 51

Well that's very strange. In the current issue of FreeRad, there's a photo of you reading that very issue.

. . .

Drunken??!! Now that's an arbitrary assumption. Yes, I'd had a few. Friday night. Unwind time after a hard-working week in the office, presenting the Dreadful Face of Linz to unsuspecting television viewers. How terrible. But I knew exactly what I was saying. What I was saying was wrong, on reflection, as I've acknowledged (to no avail), but it wasn't alcohol making me say it.

Now it is true that he denied that it was the excess alcohol he consumed that influenced him post a mountain of crap that he felt necessary to apologize for and delete, as if saying so would make this a fact. But, come on, where have I heard that one before?

All this gets complicated by the fact that drinking alcohol really is a private affair (unless, of course, a person insists on inflicting public damage under the influence). Perigo and his supporters like to put their hands on their hips, strike a badass pose and say, "Ho, ho, ho. It is nobody's damn business what I drink!" Under normal conditions, I agree. But like I said, if you make a public mess under the influence, you make the issue everybody's business.

Now, deny that this even happened?!!! The only thing that did not happen was that Perigo did not say, "I was a raving drunk when I wrote that." But what irresponsible drinker in a prominent position does say that?

I think the fact that Perigo can't remember all this stuff is another case of denial where he is simply lying to himself. I have emails from him from around that time and shortly thereafter where he exclaimed things like, "I had forgotten all about that" with reference to some of the then recent scandals on SoloHQ where he was an active participant. But I also admit that he might know what he is doing. Either case is not good.

Those who have the stomach can research further. There's plenty more where that came from. I don't care if Perigo remembers it or not. It's there.

People can fall for Perigo's THE BIG LIE if they want to, but now they will have to do so with at least one undeniable fact in their face.

Michael

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow! Barbara, you've just revived Linz. He'll feed off this for the next two-three years. He only has two things going for him: conflict and writing ability. Now he gets to wrestle with a biggie once again. On the other hand there is something to be said for filleting a fish as opposed to letting it flop around on the ground.

--Brant

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I managed to dig up one example from around July 2005. Sorry, I don't have a lifetime to devote to this, so one is all I will do (for now). People can check the date on it and filter through posts earlier if they wish. They will find more examples. I remember this one well because I was one of the ones cussed. The only thing is that Perigo went so much over the top that he deleted the posts, so the evidence will have to come from later in the thread. Here was the outburst of hatred, foul language and vulgarity:

Post 12

(Edited by Lindsay Perigo

on 7/29, 9:39pm)

I can't remember the content of it, nor the following one, but I remember them being about the same in irrationality and pure spite:

Going back and revisiting Perigo's previous infantile behavior is both funny and sad. Christ, look at what he was enraged about on that Lessons Learned, Lessons Forgotten thread. He wasn't irate that people were disagreeing with anything. They were praising the article in question. He flipped out because Barbara hadn't read her complimentary copy of his little publication. Basically, mommy inadvertently revealed that she hadn't honored precious Lindsay by taping his important school project to the fridge so that everyone could see what a special boy he was, so he pooped his pants and threw two tantrums to get back at her for not adoring him enough.

And it's odd, isn't it, that he admitted that his behavior was unjust, but whined that the people who were expecting him to stop behaving unjustly were really trying to make him into a "eunuch" and take away his "rational passion"? How can the behavior in question be both "unjust" and "rational passion"? I guess I'll never understand the minds of self-important, vindictive toddlers or why Objectivists are so enamored with them.

J

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm "double-posting" this comment, here and on the thread in which Ed Hudgins issued his public statement. This is my personal viewpoint, and it should not be taken as representing the views of my employer or anyone other than myself.

I am saddened and depressed by this thread, and what is transpiring on this site and elsewhere concerning the matter of the Summer Seminar speaking invitation to Lindsay Perigo.

It didn't have to come to this, and frankly, participants on all sides of these contentious issues are deliberately making any positive resolution impossible -- by pouring more gasoline on the fire and then finding "moral" reasons to rationalize their gleeful pyromania. If there is a market for civility, it is not easy to find on many online Objectivist discussion groups -- and sadly, that observation is not meant to apply exclusively to the SOLO-Passion site.

Let me admit that my own past record on this score has hardly been unblemished; but -- seeing too clearly the dead end of this acrimony -- I have been trying to set a better example more recently, in the interests of better promoting the philosophy that we all claim to value.

However, the continuing competition in vituperative, intramural one-upsmanship is putting Ed Hudgins (and TAS) in an impossible position, when his only aim all along was to heal wounds within the Objectivist movement by encouraging greater civility. Put yourself in his shoes: At this point, any decision he makes, either to affirm or rescind that invitation, will merely be seized upon by partisans to score points and to smugly assert their sanctimonious I-told-you-sos. Any decision he renders will be damned by one side as a "cowardly capitulation" to the other side -- and all of you know it. I could write all the talking points for both sides in advance. Even five seconds of reflection will tell you that this double-bind interpretation of Ed's motives is illogical and completely unjust.

Since I realize that all the combatants on all the competing websites furtively follow all the threads devoted to this food fight, let me address you collectively:

Can any of you honestly imagine a Howard Roark sinking to this sort of mud-wrestling?

Could you imagine his posts appearing on any of these threads?

Then, ask yourself why.

So please stop rationalizing the all personal insults, the obscene language, the gratuitous psychologizing, the He-threw-the-first-punch finger-pointing. This behavior is undignified and unseemly, and nobody involved seems to realize that it is only providing Objectivism's real enemies with an abundance of footnotes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Robert,

With all due respect (and you are a person I care for deeply), you are under an incorrect impression. I personally do not want to score points or win anything. I want this whole thing to go away.

But I am appalled. Morally appalled. Common sense-wise appalled. Personally appalled. And I freely express it. The enormity of the appeasement with just plain wrong is irking me to no end. What is wrong with you guys?

Can I "honestly imagine a Howard Roark sinking to this sort of mud-wrestling?"

I can't honestly imagine Roark staying in the same room with Perigo for more than a few minutes! I certainly cannot imagine Roark inviting someone like Ellsworth Toohey to inaugurate one of his buildings. Didn't Toohey make a career out of bashing Roark? Perigo has done the same with TAS (and ARI). That's all the guy does is bash. Yet you honor him.

Well that's you. Your corner of the universe is TAS, but mine is OL. I will not stand silent on what I see as wrong, nor will I accept unearned guilt for "putting Ed Hudgins (and TAS) in an impossible position." I did not do that and I will not pretend I had a hand in it.

You guys did it. That's your baby, not mine.

Maybe it did not occur to you just how much what this guy stands for is hated by people seeking to live a life of productive rational values.

I suggest you check your premises.

Michael

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil. The man who is wrong still retains some respect for truth, if only by accepting the responsibility of choice. But the man in the middle is the knave who blanks out the truth in order to pretend that no choice or values exist, who is willing to sit out the course of any battle, willing to cash in on the blood of the innocent or to crawl on his belly to the guilty, who dispenses justice by condemning both the robber and the robbed to jail, who shoves conflicts by ordering the thinker and the fool to meet each other halfway. In any compromise between food and poison, it is only death that can win. In any compromise between good and evil, it is only evil that can profit. In that transfusion of blood which drains the good to feed the evil, the compromiser is the transmitting rubber tube." -Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have checked my premises, Michael -- and those in your response, which promises only a continuation of more of the same.

For that reason, I take my leave of this website.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's the Brandens vrs the Randans since 1968. Just how naive does TAS pretend to be about that? And it wasn't Ed responsible for this mess, it was a guy named Will, Robert. In any case, TAS all but completely abandoned Objectivism to the ARI when it changed its name. And remember, Howard Roark would not have written "To Whom It May Concern." That article by Ayn Rand marked the end of the "civility" thing. It also reflected the rotten inner state of a philosophy that is a hagiography for her. The ARI/PARC people try to maintain it the way the Russians try to maintain Lenin's body. This is a war zone.

I, however, have a different idea about how to fight than what is going on now. Or at least a different orientation. This is much too personal for me.

BrantGaede@aol.com

Edited by Brant Gaede

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was of course a very stupid move of TAS to invite Perigo. Anyone could have foreseen what the result would be and that this could only lead to a new schism, so they shouldn't put the blame elsewhere, they must blame themselves for their suicidal decision.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Can any of you honestly imagine a Howard Roark sinking to this sort of mud-wrestling?

No, but I could see Frisco and Ragnar having some fun with it. My impression of Roark is that he wouldn't sink to discussing the issue, but would probably just dynamite the conference center the night before the seminar began.

Aside from speculating about what fictional characters might do, I wonder what Rand's judgment would be of Perigo's behavior over the past few years and of TAS inviting him to speak at a seminar claiming to advocate the advancement of her ideas. My guess is that she'd line up Bidinotto, Hudgins and Thomas, and do that Three Stooges slap-them-all-with-one-swing maneuver.

I have checked my premises, Michael -- and those in your response, which promises only a continuation of more of the same.

For that reason, I take my leave of this website.

Wow, MSK, I think what just happened is that you've taken the first step toward being invited to give a few speeches at the 2009 TAS seminar! All you need to do now is call Robert and Ed scumbags and various other names, and insult TAS on an almost daily basis. Then, instead of taking leave of you and your website, they'll be doing everything they can to reach out to you and heal the wounds.

J

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cross-posting from the other thread (original here):

However, the continuing competition in vituperative, intramural one-upsmanship is putting Ed Hudgins (and TAS) in an impossible position, when his only aim all along was to heal wounds within the Objectivist movement by encouraging greater civility. Put yourself in his shoes: At this point, any decision he makes, either to affirm or rescind that invitation, will merely be seized upon by partisans to score points and to smugly assert their sanctimonious I-told-you-sos. Any decision he renders will be damned by one side as a "cowardly capitulation" to the other side -- and all of you know it. I could write all the talking points for both sides in advance. Even five seconds of reflection will tell you that this double-bind interpretation of Ed's motives is illogical and completely unjust.

Robert,

I'm sorry to say that it just doesn't wash. Sure, the battling "is putting Ed Hudgins (and TAS) in an impossible position." But the over-riding question I have about the whole incident is WHY did Will and Ed not know that that exactly would be the result? Why were they so oblivious at the wheel? That Ed's aim all along was to heal wounds, I can fully believe. But how could he possibly have imagined that the decision to invite Linz Perigo to talk at the forthcoming Seminar -- so close after the Atlas Celebration, and on the topics Linz has chosen -- would ever accomplish anything except the opposite of the goal? It's the complete out-of-itness as to the realities of who the people are, what the issues dividing them are, what the results would inevitably be which I find mind-boggling -- and a very poor advertisement for the wisdom of the TOC leadership. Had Ed waited till next year and done some preparing... Alternately, if there was a strong desire to invite Linz this year, if a relatively innocuous subject -- such as, e.g., the political picture in New Zealand -- had been proposed to Linz instead of leaving him to choose two subjects sure to inflame, and then accepting the choice...

Instead, given the way the timing and the details were handled, I can only think, quoting from Francisco:

"Brothers, you asked for it." In other words, contra your statement "It didn't have to come to this," yes, it did. It was doomed to come to this, given the way it was handled, as some careful attention to what goes on in listland could have foreseen.

Ellen

___

Edited by Ellen Stuttle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wow, MSK, I think what just happened is that you've taken the first step toward being invited to give a few speeches at the 2009 TAS seminar! All you need to do now is call Robert and Ed scumbags and various other names, and insult TAS on an almost daily basis. Then, instead of taking leave of you and your website, they'll be doing everything they can to reach out to you and heal the wounds.

LOL! You hit the nail on the head.

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...