Yaron Brook AMA Tomorrow at noon EST


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I'm not sure why the person making the Reddit announcement was deleted on Reddit, but for general information, here is the link to the Yaron Brook AMA: IAmA with YaronBrook AMA!.

Here is Brook's Twitter account where other links can be found: Yaron Brook.

Also, I suppose this is the relevant place to mention the kerfuffle between Yaron Brook and Lindsay Perigo starring Amy Peikoff. :) 

There was supposed to be a debate recently between Brook and Perigo on Amy's Blog Talk Radio show (Don't Let It Go Unheard). This debate got a little buzz in the subcommunity and, as I looked at it unfolding, I was thinking, there is no way in hell this thing will happen.

I was right. :) 

Perigo wanted to bash Brook to his face, Brook wanted none of it, Amy made a no-bash rule (no "sweeping statements" about each other or something like that) and Perigo bowed out. Amy then did the entire show with Brook.

If anyone wants to get an overview, here are the relevant links: 

The Don't Let It Go Unheard show: A Discussion with Yaron Brook on Immigration Policy

Amy Peikoff's Facebook announcement for this show and the change (and a few comments from readers): Announcement and update

Lindsay Perigo's "grand gesture" article on his site (and a few comments from readers): Open Letter to Objectivists—Make Objectivism Great Again!

Ed Cline (an ortho-leaning Objectivist) also posted Perigo's article and I'm including it because there were a few comments from readers: Philosophical Fakery

I have a few comments from my distance about this kerfuffle.

1. If you look at the interaction and audience numbers, it's easy to see this is a miniscule ripple in a tiny bubble. The rhetoric is grandiose and the posturing is Byronic and peppered with lots of talk about principles and so on, but audience-wise, this is a big fat fizzle (at least so far, but I don't give good odds--hell, almost no odds at all--for that changing).

2. I read Perigo's article. It's easy to see where I agree with him about President Trump. He also gave a few quotes from Rand and Peikoff that I found interesting. But my antenna kept wiggling. Something sounded off. Then it hit me.

Once again, the emotional heat did not come from disagreements about the ideas. The mini-train wreck that got people to look (meaning the very few who did look) was just one more power struggle by public goading and shaming that Perigo loves to do. This is the exact crap leftists do all the time. It blew up in their face bigtime with Trump, but that's what they do.

You think they are talking about ideas, but they rely on taking someone out in public as their underlying mechanism for audience draw. The rule-of-thumb publicity-wise is, when considering the general public, nobody is interested in ideas, but everybody is interested in a fight.

Perigo entertains delusions of taking over the Objectivist movement, whatever that means anymore. At least he used to and it sure looks like he still does (just look at the derogatory jargon he invents for those he wants to take out).

So, even though I may agree with some of his statements about Trump, I find repugnant the garbage that comes entangled in his zeal. Also, when he starts gushing a lot about Trump, I get creeped out. I don't see it as hero-worship so much as blind groupie-like hysteria (which later can be rhetorically weaponized as propaganda).

3. I have no idea why Brook is so all over the map about Trump, but it's clear to me it is not ideological. There has been way too much hatred in his pronouncements over months. Talk about "The lady doth protest too much, methinks," just read what he has written. He practically equates Trump with Hitler and it's constant.

This indicates to me there might be some gigantic hidden conflict of interest (like secretly being a globalist with a backstage-promised seat at the ruling class table once there is only one government in the world, or maybe there are some advantages now by other globalists or cronies cashing in on insider-protecting international Trade agreement conditions to screw their American competitors--after all, fundraising sucks :) ). Or there might be a strong emotional reaction to Trump's tone of unashamed bragging about his achievements and marketing exaggerations. I could go on speculating, but it's not worth it.

There is one sweeping statement I can add, though. And this pertains to all anti-Trump intellectual elitists. President Trump has been--and still is--like slap in the face to them. Why? Because they make a living out of telling others how save the world in the name of this or that. But Trump is actually doing something concrete to fix countless things--he's producing all out in the open--while they only talk about it and make deals in secret about God knows what with other elitists. That has to sting. Nobody want's to be faced with the real deal that they should have been, but gave up.

4. I listened to a little of the show. I might listen to more (probably not), but during the first 25 minutes or so, given the tiny size of this kerfuffle, I was surprised at how much Perigo got under Brook's skin. It's obvious, especially when he started talking about his "critics." And it's just as obvious Amy was walking on eggshells trying to step around his bruised feelings. I hate to say that because I know this will get back to Perigo :evil: and that will make him think he's somehow relevant to the world outside his bubble. He isn't, but he did squat on some real estate in Brook's head. :)

I merely observe.  

5. As to Amy, I disagree with her about a lot (probably more surface than substance), but underneath, I like her. I think she does her best without any covert intention of manipulating others. From what little I've seen and heard, I don't feel any power struggle or hidden agenda in her work. I think she believes in what she's doing and saying without contamination (except for an eggshell or two :) ). She's sincere.

So there it is for what it's worth to whomever it's worth something.


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9 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Perigo entertains delusions of taking over the Objectivist movement, whatever that means anymore.

The sink-ring leftovers at SOLOpassion are funny sometimes. A tempest in a thimble takes on Grand Proportions. I couldn't gag my way to the finish of Lindsay Perigo's TL;DR: Brook==Traitor open letter.

How Amy thought that she could get any other Perigo but an insulting Perigo ... was weird, but we get a glimpse into Lindsay's motives for withdrawal. Was it so important to him that terms like Obleftivist and Traitor to Objectivism be put on the 'air'? Yikes.  Trust a man to not understand his own reach.  

With all the material provided to Lindsay that underlined Brook's waffly opinions and groaners, there was no need for a pistols-blazing insult-fest, at least if Lindsay's goal was to confront Brook's waffle and slop. Name-calling, label-gunning, ridicule, offensively-designed statements, these are all part of a fun online discussion. But just as a live-chat or a podcast or a radio call-in is more like a conversation than anything in an online forum -- you need to tailor your message to its format. 

It looked like Lindsay, on the other hand, was imagining himself on a vast stage with a vast import to his words. At the balcony, addressing a wartime crowd of cold, hungry, angry men. 

If his motive had been to argue rationally with Brook, to confront him with apparent hypocrisy plus addled, shifting or incoherent personal opinions on immigration, then he could have adapted himself. Instead, he just gets to bitch with his cronies, his claque, in his cul-de-sac.  Sad!

Mind you, there is an equal and opposite reaction to any zaniness on Lindsay's part.  Or, Perigo believes that there is now an organized mini-movement to tamp down  "Obleftivist" in the cultural consciousness of Rand-esteemers. As well as a concerted mini-effort that The Pure should not link to or read the Traitor article.  The thimble is rocking, just thrashing and smoking with stormy weather.

You can't make that stuff up. 



Lindsay Perigo's picture

Ed commented on Amy's wall that Yaron was not a good spokesman for Objectivism. I knew nothing of this. Amy then contacted me to tell me I was not to make "sweeping statements" critical of Yaron such as "Yaron is not a good spokesman for Objectivism." She told me someone had tried to post that, but didn't tell me who. She also said she assumed I knew who it was, when I had no idea. In any event, after I let this sink in, it was clear that if "Yaron is not a good spokesman for Objectivism" were not allowed, "Yaron is an Obleftivist traitor to Objectivism" would not get beyond the third word. That's when I pulled out, and expressed my uncensored thoughts in the Open Letter.

It's sad that nothing has changed. Had Yaron and I debated, unimpeded by a ban on "sweeping statements," it would have been a first in the history of an Objectivism hamstrung in its flourishing by the lack of open-debate oxygen. The orthodoxy openly debating a dissident. At least, it could be framed that way. Thinking about it, it would really be a case of a treasonist debating a keeper of the faith, even if the latter does think aloud in alarming ways routinely.

What this episode has made very clear is the hijacking of Objectivism by Obleftivists. Ghate, Brook and, it would seem, the co-opted Binswanger, a shudderingly creepy Vulcan. We must reclaim Objectivism from these grotesqueries!

I am reliably informed ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... the Obleftivist establishment are working overtime behind the scenes to have my article shut down. Anyone who links to it is beat up on immediately. They're terrified the term "Obleftivism" will take hold. Let's see that it does!!!!!


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14 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

If anyone wants to get an overview, here are the relevant links: 


Lindsay Perigo's "grand gesture" article on his site (and a few comments from readers): Open Letter to Objectivists—Make Objectivism Great Again!


The thread gives clues about why Yaron Brook is being so bonkers (as I see it) about Trump:

Funding: Cato and the Koch brothers.

A remark - link - by Ed Powell, who says that Yaron says different things about immigration depending on which group he's talking to.  I've heard a similar comment from a friend of mine who's occasionally attended ARI-sponsored and other events where Yaron was speaking.

A quote from Yaron (transcribed by Neil Parille) - link:

//quote Yaron Brook//  "What are we going to say in 20 years to the Ayn Rands of the world, and here I’m exaggerating a little bit, who didn’t get into the United States because we put an immigration ban on and built a wall all in the name of preserving the American culture that is rotting away from within anyway, right [my emphasis]. I mean I’d rather get a few more scientists, and a few more Ayn Rands, and a few more Yarons and Elan Journos and the rest of the immigrants that are here at the Institute. And, yeah, for every one of those a hundred thousand uh, uh, uh, Mexicans or Latin Americans or whatever, but, you know, I think we’re worth a hundred thousand." //end quote//

That's revelatory about Yaron's view on the American scene.  It also might indicate a pitch to immigrant tech people.  Are there a number of those at ARI?  There are a lot of them in California.


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On 2/11/2017 at 9:47 PM, Ellen Stuttle said:

That's revelatory about Yaron's view on the American scene.  It also might indicate a pitch to immigrant tech people.  Are there a number of those at ARI?  There are a lot of them in California.


Without looking into the money trails, it's hard to say for sure. But it's easy to speculate "for sure." :) 

I speculate there is ruling class money (including Silicon Valley money) all over Objectivist organizations.

Don't forget that John McCaskey, the dude Peikoff insisted be excommunicated from ARI over his negative Amazon review of The Logical Leap, was a total Silicon Valley millionaire. He still is as far as I know, although I think he doesn't do that anymore and does philosophy instead (funded by what he did before, of course).

Anyway, I have been looking around on this dustup and there is an interesting argument emerging on the other forums. It basically says that no one should look too hard at the funding of ARI and TAS because... well, just because... And anyway, funding would never influence what the ARI and TAS folks say and do.


I say baloney.

Who are the real customers of ARI and TAS? According to them, the customers are people who consume ideas.

And who pays for those customers?

The customers?

Hell no. It's millionaires through charity. That's who.

When your own customers don't supply your income, you've got a hobby or a charity. You don't have a business.

(For the record, OL is partly sustained by OL users in small amounts, and in greater part by me. So this fits more into the hobby category. It certainly is not a business or think tank sustained by charity. :) And I'm fine with that until we transform it into something else.) 

Anyway, my point is that if a millionaire donor says to an O-Land organization funded by him to nudge the discourse in one direction or another, I believe there will be a lot of undiscussed compliance--maybe with a little flexibility on all sides. If someone like McCaskey goes full frontal "No-way José," he or she will have to leave, of course. But sadly... Oh so sadly...


It's begging credulity to think that the people who pay the bills don't get to call some of the important shots. Gimme a break. Yet this is exactly the position that is emerging since the funding issue arose as possible reason for some of Brook's positions.

This is just one more way the Objectivist movement lives in a bubble mostly divorced from reality.


I have an idea for the leaders of the Objectivist movement...

Why not make products and sell them to customers on the open market and live off of that just like Ayn Rand did?

:evil:  :) 


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17 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

It's begging credulity to think that the people who pay the bills don't get to call some of the important shots. Gimme a break. Yet this is exactly the position that is emerging since the funding issue arose as possible reason for some of Brook's positions.

I'm especially inclined to give the funding issue credence regarding Brook's position because:

He's so over the top in the language of his antipathy to Trump.

Likely funders (Cato, Silicon Valley people) are into "globalizing" economically and might be beguiled by "globalization" in the political sense, contrary though it is to O'ist principles.

That remark I quoted about American culture "rotting away from within anyway."

Previous reports I've heard about Brook's pitching messages (substantively, not just stylistically) according to audience.


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