Pure Liberal Fire


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REVIEW Pure Liberal Fire by Kyrel Zantonavitch


The author claims to be a "pure liberal -- the only one on this earth." This is the "new and perfected version of classical liberalism."

I'll take his word for it. I'll not examine whether he's a megalomaniac, deluded or objectively truthful. I don't care. I'm not interested in perfection regardless. I'll simply examine these ideas of his which are not exclusive to him as a person. I do point out, however, that from being the only one to the existence of others of this ilk only takes a few more paragraphs. This is not a good portent. The first paragraph needs to be rewritten to get rid of the contradiction. Or the other paragraph, if the author hates any intimation of modesty.

Not yet enough reason to buy this book, but the review has only just started. So far it is a set up for a religious tract, a notion of which I hope to be quickly disabused.

Instead of reviewing this book essay by essay--there are 98 of them--I will review it section by section, of which there are eight. Next review will be on "Metaphysics and Epistemology." Look for it by this weekend or even by tomorrow.


To my way of thinking, the philosophy and culture of Western liberalism began with the Greeks 2600 years ago. Along with science, they invented the rudiments of the epistemology of reason, ethics of individualism, and politics of freedom. Their lifestyle was far the richest and best to-date. The Romans improved Greek thought somewhat. Then came skepticism of reason, religious domination, and a Dark Age. The Italian and European Renaissance brought back liberal philosophy and culture, and even advanced them slightly, in my view. The European Enlightenment did even better. Then came more skepticism of reason, socialist domination, and the current Dark Age. But the Austrian economists fought back against this, as did the ultra-genius Ayn Rand, and their libertarian off-shoots. That's where we are today.

But even Rand wasn't 100% committed to, or convinced by, the epistemology of reason, ethics of individualism, and politics of freedom. Epistemologically she was a scientific skeptic who doubted relativity, evolution, and the Big Bang. And she created a semi-cult. All of this violates reason, and thus liberalism. Ethically, she wanted loyalist followers more than independent friends, and created a semi-cult. This violates individualism, and thus liberalism. Politically, she believed in coercive subpoenas, libel censorship, and couldn't fund gov't without forcible taxation. This violates freedom, and thus liberalism. So she and her philosophic followers fall a bit short of meeting the immensely high Liberal Standard. I don't.

Hence the arrogance and megalomania of calling myself a "pure liberal -- the only one on this earth." It seems to be true! But strong, careful, independent, free-thinking Objectivists aren't all that inferior. Especially if they've read and absorbed my book.

I think the world has been ascending towards liberal philosophy and culture for 30 years now. Quietly, the planet is experiencing a Second Renaissance. This includes the thinking of the conservatives, progressives, Austrians, libertarians, and Objectivists. Even the Christians, Muslims, Chinese, and Indians. So sometimes in my book I write as if the New Liberals are already here.

I write with a lot of fire, fury, and fervor. So I've been told. Seems normal to me, believe it or not. I just try to write in an energetic and non-dull manner. I'm not sure why everyone is so afraid of me. But I hope the supposed "religious" tenure identified above is that of an intellectual revolutionary -- not a religious fanatic. Religion is a very false and evil version of philosophy. It gains its power and fervor via emotion and craziness -- not rational persuasiveness. This last is my goal. If people think my book has too much passion in it, I hope they'll ignore all that, and just focus on the reasoned arguments offered inside.

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Metaphysics and Epistemology

Reality exists. Man using reason learns of and knows reality both generally and in many particulars.

You can claw this information out of this section of Mr. Zantonavitch's book or you can read the above two sentences. Better yet, read Ayn Rand.

Do not read this book to learn about axioms. I found it confusing and obscuring.

So far, no footnotes, same as Rand, so we aren't going to be dealing with scholarship but a fountainhead of thinking.


It may seem as if this section of the book features simple, direct reason and clear, solid common sense regarding reason and reality, thinking and truth. And in most respects that's accurate. But it isn't remotely copied from Aristotle, Aquinas, Locke, or Rand. I wrote it without research, or referring back to any of these powerful liberal thinkers. I just tried to make it true and relatively wide-ranging, without specifically attempting to go beyond them (usually), or contradict them (usually), or reconfirm them. I simply dealt with the issues regarding truth-determination which seemed to be most important: foundational epistemology with a bit of metaphysics inevitably throw in.

If it almost all seems to be obviously true, that's only because I made it so. I say many things Rand doesn't. And even when I agree, I say it rather differently (sometimes deliberately). Hopefully this is helpful to the would-be pure liberal. And hopefully it quietly devastates my sworn enemies of Berkeley, Hume, Kant, and Hegel.

My epistemology is a lot easier to follow along with than Rand's. So my 10 pages constitute a kind of gloss on her 150. Not a specific agreement or disagreement.

It may be worth noting that most of this stuff was written in a kind of fury. I truly despise thse two subjects. I figure all "metaphysicians" are liars, and so too pretty much all epistemologists. All fatuous double-talkers and empty, pretentious, blow-hard know-nothings. All scamsters and monsters. You're a fool if you ever read along, or give them any credence or respect. They'll ruin your life in a heartbeat.

I'm a little disturbed at the way this section was reviewed: so briefly, alas!; and all grouped together into one piece. This section of the book features four essays which are rather conventional (by my standards), but which ferociously attempt to cut to the chase regarding all of truth -- all of reason and reality. But the last two mini-essays are historical. I point out exactly how epistemology goes wrong, naming names. And I identify the root of all evil. No other famous philosopher or Objectivist has done this. It would have been interesting to see if Brant agreed or disagreed!

The reviewer concludes with: "So far, no footnotes, same as Rand, so we aren't going to be dealing with scholarship but a fountainhead of thinking." Exactly! Or so I hope.

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I'll not be writing any more reviews of this book section by section or, as I intended, a general more positive one summing it all up. I was suckered into this project by the word "liberal" in the title. Before today I had briefly touched down here and there in the last parts of the book and I started with a project in mind to thoroughly go at it in serious consideration of what I thought would be a densely packed and interesting tome. That idea begin to break down in the Introduction then, appalled, I slashed through the first few sections not in days but little more than an hour. WTF? So, I just read. I'm now on page 110. It's over. What happened?


p. 97

In some ways, distinguishing between different types of religious beliefs and practices is helpful and important. But in most ways it isn't. At bottom, all people who believe in god (sic) are essentially inhuman, subhuman, humanity-destroying, society-destroying, self-destroying vermin.

p. 101

Death to Islam. Death to moderate, mainstream, normal, average, standard, traditional Islam . . . . And immediate death to all those honest, sincere, energetic, activist Islamic leaders of the governments, mosques, and madrassas of Saudia Arabia, Iran, and Pakistan. Kill them all and bomb their inhuman institutions out of existence today!


This is hardly all of this--stuff. It's the like of which precisely blew me out of Solo Passion in 2006 and why I am here. Kyrel may have even been part of that back then. Don't remember or care.

Here's what else I think of this book: very poorly done, not worthy of a review.

Kyrel, you are on my permanent "ignore" list and I won't read you any more even if someone quotes you.


Edited by Brant Gaede
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I can recommend this section while disagreeing with an awful lot and seeing its confirming religious tone and stricture. Rand's Objectivist Ethics is much more complete and substantial, though in itself quite incomplete and too inclusive. I expected a lot more here but there's still a lot to think about in only twelve pages, for the author's specialty is condensation. What's to think most about is the overall gross deficiency of this section. Ethics are the heart of Objectivism as presented by Rand. Not here.


note: there's a lot of religious tone and stricture in Objectivism too

Ah, a briefly positive remark from Brant in his first sentence! And yes, one of my specialities is condensation/conciseness. :cool: But it may well be that this section was too short, as noted. Only 9 of 99 mini-essays in my book deal with ethics (altho' many not in this section do range around, and touch upon it for sure). I'm a political junkie. Rand too probably excessively wrote about politics. This subject is admittedly something which the individual can't do a lot about, and where new knowledge doesn't much benefit him. But ethics, in contrast, is something which the individual strongly controls in his life, and can directly gain from.

Still, I'm proud of my pointing out the limits of the examined life and of compassion. Never read that before from an Objectivist! And my Ten Commandments were meant for all people for all time. If anyone can point out a better list from someone else, or can add and subtract a few dictates from mine, I'd be grateful. And no, I don't always live up to them myself. :sad:

As elsewhere, many of these short, hard-hitting, fearless essays constitute a gloss on Objectivist, classical liberal, and Helleno-Roman theory -- not a specific agreement or disagreement. My approach to these issues is unique, and I hope helpful, and food for thought.

But I still think this book evidences a ferocious and unyielding pursuit of the truth -- not a religious tone as suggested above. Not like Rand and the cult "Objectivists." My approach and style is different.

I truly like studying the difficult and controversial issues, and I do so in a manner which isn't merely "politically incorrect," but "philosophically incorrect" too. I wish the reviewer had spent more time citing actual sentences which he thought mistaken in analysis. Perhaps he could have corrected my errors.

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Still, I'm proud of my pointing out the limits of the examined life and of compassion. Never read that before from an Objectivist! And my Ten Commandments were meant for all people for all time. If anyone can point out a better list from someone else, or can add and subtract a few dictates from mine, I'd be grateful. And no, I don't always live up to them myself. :sad:

May I recommend on "commandment" that will stand you (or anyone else) in good stead anywhere, anytime:

Do not do to others what you would not want them to do to you.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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My review of Wolf's latest book will appear on Amazon in about three weeks. It will probably be generally positive albeit with a serious caveat or two. It will not appear on OL. I'm through with this thread regardless.


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Here's a really brief appearance by myself from yesterday on New York City cable access t'v' promoting my book. I'm on from about 12:08 to 16:33. http://www.bronxnet.org/tv/bronxtalk/viewcategory/7/bronxtalk

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