Hello from a Peripheral Objectivist


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I found this site quite by accident, but am glad I did. I googled "The Objectivist Center" the other night, and though TOC came up first, a blog belonging to one Diana Hsieh came up second. After spending an hour at the latter, I felt like I needed to take a bath.

Nonetheless, through a chain of links that popped up, I eventually worked my way over to here. Looked like a nice place to come, discuss issues and principles with people, and get an honest, forthright reply, but without the haranguing and blistering judgmentalism.

I was a Teenage Objectivist, and I hung up my large-O objectivist cape in 1989. This was not because of many major disagreement with the philosophy, but mainly because -- to paraphrase Shakespeare -- there was more to be found between heaven and earth than lies in Ayn Rand's philosophy. On balance, though, I'd say my priniciples are objectivist.

What do I do? First and foremost, I am a 41 year-old father of a 10-month old baby, Evan Bernard. He keeps me young, by default. Keeping up with him is a workout in itself. I am a professional photojournalist, having just left the military after 17 years, most of which were spent in the Army. I bicycle, I go hiking in the mountains of northern New Mexico and shoot stuff with both my Winchester 30.06 and my Rolleiflex SL-66. I also write for the New Individualist, which is published by TOC/Atlas Society (or, IOS, as I like to think of it).

Back to Objectivism, I guess you can call my title "Apostate Objectivist," or "ex-Objectivist." Actually, I find it quite liberating, as it gives me a sort of diplomatic immunity -- I can't be excommunicated, because I already quit. These days, I'm a Robertist.

BTW, I also decided to park my pants here because you guys were judicious in supporting Chris Sciabarra. I read his early bio of Rand, "The Russian Radical," and thought how nice it was an outsider is taking her intellectual development seriously. I am sorry that by stepping into the circle of official Objectivism, he got burned. He deserved better than that.

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Robert,

A very warm welcome to you. I really look forward to reading what you have to say since I believe you inhabited what I call "The Silent Contingency" of Objectivism for years, as did I.

It really doesn't matter what we call ourselves (except maybe "individuals"), but I see no reason to give up a normal usage of the English language because of the noise from a few fanatics. Words can have more than one definition in English, so Objectivism is both a proper noun and a label for a general school of thought.

Still, I have a fancy for "Renegade Objectivist" instead of just plain "Objectivist" when I think about myself.

Please pull up a chair, get yourself some refreshment and make yourself at home.

Michael

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Hi Robert,

Let me extend an unofficial welcome to OL. Like you, I gave up my membership to Club Objectivist in the later 80s and sought my own path while maintaining O-ist foundations. I too am 41 but with two young children, a 3 year old girl and a 6 year old boy.

I think you will find this to be quite an eclectic mix of individuals and of individual relationships to O-ism. There are some solid Objectivists, some "peripheral" or renegade objectivists, and some who are non-objectivists with a very clear interest, history, and knowledge of Objectivism. Some point to tolerance as the foundation for civility with such an eclectic mix. For myself, I don't feel the need to tolerate perspectives I respect and appreciate. I like the people here and how they treat one another. Whether the foundation here is based on tolerance or mutual respect, I look forward to what you have to contribute.

Paul

I'm just not too sure if we can handle another Texan. //;-))

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I'm just not too sure if we can handle another Texan. //;-))

Paul: Thanks for the kind words. It's nice not to have to be tolerated. You won't have to even tolerate my Texanism: I only reside here; I am a Goddamned Yankee, through and through: I was born in Washington, D.C. and grew up in the Baltimore area. I have lived in Texas for eight years, and every Sunday in the fall and winter, I leave the house with my Washington Redskins sweatshirt on to start fights and shouting matches with the evil Dallas Cowboy fans! Ha ha!

Also, you might be interested to know that I am an honorary Canadian, and a full member of the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 32, of Nipigon, Ontario. I served with some Army buddies in the Canadian Forces when I was stationed in Germany, and they invited me to become an RCL member.

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Paul,

I honestly don't recall where I got the term "Renegade Objectivist" from, but I would be happy to give you credit. It is entirely possible I assumed it while reading something you wrote. It describes my feelings precisely and I intend to keep on using it.

But, if you were the man, you were the man...

Michael

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Michael, I think I am mistaken. In one of my earlier posts I called myself a "rogue objectivist." However, I did write my above post where I used "renegade Objectivist" without seeing your post. I had to break off to put the kids to bed before posting what I had already written. Something in the air I guess. Either way, I like Renegade Objectivist too.

Paul

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Well, we can always get real with it and say "Recovering Objectivist".

Always makes for a good T-Shirt...

Welcome, Mr. Jones. I'm looking forward to it. I didn't notice if you put a website up or anything; is there anywhere we could see your work as a photojournalist?

best,

rde

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Robert -- Welcome from your friends at The Atlas Society and it's Objectivist Center, which just finished up a week-long conference in Orange, California. I'm glad the silly Noodle stuff didn't turn you off further to the philosophy and that you're on OL. By the way, one talk at our conference was on "Who is an Objectivist?" by Will Thomas and I think that even though you call yourself a recovering Obj, you probably are one by a rational, as opposed to oxthodox, definition. We'll probably publish or post that talk along with Barbara Branden's on Objectist rage, Robert Bidinotto's on cooperation and mine on muture Objectivism.

I'm also glad to find another 'Skins fan, though be careful down in Dallas.

Also see my reply to your Mahler post.

Welcome!

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