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Applause seems in order for the strong pro-Branden defense being mounted by OL member Robert Campbell over on the preconceptual metaphysics website. He is doing an excellent job of pointing out the flagrant hypocrisy of those who attack Nathaniel Branden while completely dropping the context of his invaluable contributions to Objectivism, even to the point of posturing as “holier than thou” defenders of Objectivist morality as they plagiarize his work Great job, Robert! I only wish I had your patience!

Dennis

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Dennis and Michael,

I'm not quite finished over there--have some cleanup to do tomorrow. Gotta fix my French, too.

I really appreciate your support. I thought I'd seen it all, but some of the "arguments" at SOLOP still make my jaw drop.

Robert Campbell

Professeur de Psychologie

Apotre de l'Arbitraire

Citationniste Enrage'

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Good work, Robert. I'm especially looking forward to Hsieh relaying your views to Andy Bernstein and asking him (and, hell, why she's at it, all ARIans) to grant Sciabarra permission to publicly release their private correspondence with him.

J

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Hello one and all:

Regarding the question of who reached the finish line first--Rand or Branden: I do recall in My Years with Ayn Rand that N. Branden describes an afternoon when he was mulling over the issue of self-esteem, and he finally had a revelation and became excited over this flash insight. Excited, he rushed to Rand's home to relay and share his great discovery. Rand sat and listened, smiling. "Wait till you read what I wrote in Galt's speech. He talks of self-esteem along similar lines," she said. And then Rand read to him her take on self-esteem. Ta-da! Great minds think alike!

Of course, I'm paraphrasing from memory, I'm sure you all know what passage I speak of. Read it for yourself.

Victor

P.S.

Robert, have you become N. Branden’s greatest champion, trying to elevate his intellectual works so that we all might catch a little peek? If so, we already know, Town Crier. Or are you just fond of tapping on the bowl to annoy the little fishy? :)

You're just a trouble maker, I think. To a degree, I rather admire that. But put a foot on the breaks once in a while, huh? [insert wink-wink icon here].

Edited by Victor Pross
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You're just a trouble maker, I think. To a degree, I rather admire that. But put a foot on the breaks once in a while, huh? [insert wink-wink icon here].

I like Robert Campbell's irruptions at SOLO. They engender discussion and extend my understanding.

I appreciate your need to chide Campbell as a 'troublemaker,' and I appreciate your winky-winky 'put a foot on the brakes old pal old chum old troublemaker . . . '

So, how about this, Vic, old pal, old Banned-from-SOLO-for-imposture, old buddy? --

Put a sock in the nil-content sniping once in a while, wouldya?

Thanks.

Edited by william.scherk
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Mr. Sherk,

Perigo wrote the following in regards to the banned:

"...It's not to ban, or even moderate, except in the most egregious and blatant instances of bad faith. Sherk and Pross and, longer ago, the pomo "pusballs" were examples of this.

Does this mean we are brothers now!? What do you say, old pal, old fellow banned from SOLO. If you are the same Sherk, I can imagine that you would like Campbell's disruptions at SOLO. As I said, I rather admire that, but he pushes too much and is making mistakes where HE comes out looking like an ass, and SOLO as the victimized good guys.

Okay? You old egregious bad-faither! :rolleyes:

Victor

PS

Put a sock in it? One must admire that rapier Oscar Wilde wit of yours.

Edited by Victor Pross
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William!

Good to see a post of yours. Agree about the "nil content", though I don't share your appreciation for Victor's "need" to chide and bicker without a point. I'd trade ten Victor Pross for one Robert Campbell any day. William Scherk: priceless.

Mikee

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Michael writes about William and Victor: "You are both talented satirists of the first order".

I concur! Although I must say, when I first encountered Victor's posts on Solo, my impression of him was that of a fratboy on steroids.

Anyway, yes, props to Robert Campbell. His reasoned defense of the Brandens and Chris Sciabarra are always a treat.

Mick

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Mick,

I concur! Although I must say, when I first encountered Victor's posts on Solo, my impression of him was that of a fratboy on steroids.

Hey, I agree! Reading some of my old posts, that's what I thought! Great minds really do think alike. :D

Victor

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Victor, I am in agreement with William. You are much less subtle than apparently you think you are. Do you really believe your sniping (and your annoyance) has gone unnoticed? Are we to pretend not to understand exactly what brakes you want Rober to put a foot on? Or your purpose in suggesting that he is "elevating" Nathaniel's work? Have the grace and the dignity to say what you mean. Enough implications, if you please.

Barbara

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When Robert Campbell's articles first appeared on Solo, I sent him the following email, which I want to echo here:

"Just I line to tell you how impressed I am by your three recent articles on Solo -- both by their content, with which I am in agreement, and, even more, by the calm rationality of your presentation. If I still were giving lectures on psycho-epistemology, I would cite your articles, most particularly the one on 'Unusual Behavior. . .' as Exhibit A in how to present one's case."

A couple of days later, I wrote him again:

"Robert, I haven't had time to carefully read everything you've posted to Solo, but I've looked through it all, and also the comments -- and you are doing a masterful job. You're making Peikoff et al look very bad indeed, as they should look. The claque attacking every word you say will never know it, because they'll never let your points penetrate their skulls, but anyone with a grain of sense will certainly know it. (I've now read Bernstein's apology a number of times, and every time I do, I shake my head in disbelief.) I didn't know before what Peikoff and Binswanger did to David Kelley and Nathaniel; it's truly disgusting. Not just the failure of attribution, but the plain garden variety plagiarism.

Barbara

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Robert,

I am grateful and proud to watch you work. You take some incredibly stupid hits, from people I thought might be capable of more, but you roll right through. Heck, half the time it seems they just bob and weave- never much straight on refutation. I love your writing, and I think this will only gain you even more admiration. Phil Coates did something like it, now you are doing it.

I'd like to say the effect is like smacking a hornet's nest with a stick, but really, it's not even up to that in terms of response.

Wonderful, relentless, thank you. Nathaniel has a very special place in my heart because there were times where he gave me some guidance and help in my actual, personal life-doings that made a critical difference; I cannot go into details other than saying it had to do with things family-related, for one, and they were critical. As one of his book endorsers said, "Nathaniel Branden is a giant." That is so, it is real, and there is no changing that.

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You're just a trouble maker, I think. To a degree, I rather admire that. But put a foot on the breaks once in a while, huh? [insert wink-wink icon here].

I like Robert Campbell's irruptions at SOLO. They engender discussion and extend my understanding.

I appreciate your need to chide Campbell as a 'troublemaker,' and I appreciate your winky-winky 'put a foot on the brakes old pal old chum old troublemaker . . . '

So, how about this, Vic, old pal, old Banned-from-SOLO-for-imposture, old buddy? --

Put a sock in the nil-content sniping once in a while, wouldya?

Thanks.

WSS- You must be busy on other things; lately you just give us little tastes! More, please, if possible? You're a treat, man, a treat! More, more, more? Pretty please?

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""...It's not to ban, or even moderate, except in the most egregious and blatant instances of bad faith. Sherk and Pross and, longer ago, the pomo "pusballs" were examples of this. "

Y'all know, I was looking at this last week, and it made my eyes point in different directions. "Bad faith?" What the bloody eff is he talking about, "bad faith?"

I think that means you're in trouble if you don't roll with every last bit of the Perigo mindset, you are guilty of bad faith. Some kind of funk like that. Faith is a hotword in O-world anyway, and then there he goes and uses it as a nice, nebulous catch-all. Heh. Uh-huh, uh-huh...

I mean, if there's a style manual replete with restrictions for posting on SOLOP (and I mean the real deal ), just say that and then repel all boarders. Instead, you get this flavor-of-the-month thing going on. I still want to see his "evidence" that completely validates his claim that OL is a site composed of liars. I haven't lied once, eff him for that.

Edited by Rich Engle
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I'm still over there wading through the muck. I absolutely for the life of me can't grasp how anyone would not give NB the nod that he was, without a doubt, the most significant writer in the area of self-esteem, ever. I mean, for crying out frickin' loud! This is preposterous! That's what's basically being done over there, no? Anything at all to minimalize the man's work. It's just total, screaming bullshit. Talk about self-esteem problems! Go ahead and think Nathaniel is a total scoundrel, I suppose, but the work simply speaks for itself. Prior to '68 there really was nothing even remotely close to his Psychology of Self Esteem. Go look, there really just wasn't! No one ever wrote a book that heavy and pointed. It ain't there.

Edited by Rich Engle
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Rich,

I've benefited from Nathaniel Branden's advice on a couple of occasions myself.

The Psychology of Self-Esteem came out when academic psychologists were just starting to get serious about the subject. As a statement of theory, it was way ahead of anything else being done then.

Dr. Branden's subsequent books have also been written for the general public, and pigeonholed by most academics as "pop psychology" or "self help." But all you have to do is pull another couple of self-esteem books down from the shelf and compare them with any one of Dr. Branden's. You won't see the crispness of argument, the clarity, or the eloquence in the other books.

In the last decade, academic research on self-esteem has taken some strides ahead. There are other treatises or theory books now with messages pretty similar to Dr. Branden's--books by Bednar and Peterson, or by Mruk, come to mind, along with articles by authors like Kernis, or Morf and Rhodewalt.

Dr. Branden's work is still a lot easier to read.

Some of the ARIans haven't seen much of his work, and have no real notion of its significance. Others ignore the content of what he's said and written because they've been taught that he is Satanic, just as some ARIans never read anything by David Kelley, or ignore the content of what they've read, because they've been told he has thrown out objectivity and doesn't believe in moral judgment.

For the life of me, though, I don't see how any of these folks can pick up a bound volume of The Objectivist Newsletter or The Objectivist without noticing that Nathaniel Branden is everywhere. Their guru, Leonard Peikoff, had only started becoming a major contributor to The Objectivist the year before NB was given the boot.

Who knows? Maybe for them each article bylined "Nathaniel Branden" is surrounded by fnords.

Robert Campbell

PS. Nathaniel Branden also wrote articles on other subjects that have been frequently used without attribution. See http://www.solopassion.com/node/1379#comment-15254 for a really juicy example.

Edited by Robert Campbell
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The whole NB is evil and immoral and a liar thing is so out to lunch. It makes me wonder if any of these decriers ever watched him work in recent years. Some years ago he did a two day gig at the Learning Annex/Toronto- a lecture one night, a hands-on seminar the next. Fantastic international audience. I have never seen so much goodness come out of a seminar- people were literally transformed, refocused, upbeat. Most of those kinds of things don't have any staying power, but that one surely did. His lecture on self-esteem still rates as one of the best talks I've ever seen anywhere, it was simply phenomenal. I loved both days, but I'd never trade the memory of that lecture.

Edited by Rich Engle
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No doubt Branden’s detractors would claim that he’s just an “actor” impersonating a brilliant therapist, skilled at fooling his audience into believing he has transformed their lives, much as he mesmerized Ayn Rand out of her debilitating depression and tricked her into launching Objectivism as a philosophical movement.

We can thank the perpetrators of that palpable nonsense for the juvenile moralizing that continues to erode the same movement he founded.

Dennis

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Rich,

Having attended one of NB's intensives, and a workshop (both many years ago now), I know whereof you speak.

You realize that if you said "goodness" on SOLOP, with the shade of meaning that it had in your previous post, Lindsay Perigo would snort at you for days.

But then, Mr. Perigo's distrust of counselors and clinicians works well together with Jim Valliant and Casey Fahy's blind praise for Ayn Rand's performances as an amateur therapist.

Robert

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