Andrew Bernstein's brief article in JARS


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As Associate Editor of the Journal of Ayn Rand Studies, I need to correct a gross misstatement of fact that is presently being circulated at SOLOP (see http://www.solopassion.com/node/893#comment-7535).

...Bernstein's short statement was misrepresented as an actual contribution by JARS. It appeared in the table of content, in the "Discussion" section, under the title 'Reply to Kirsti Minsaas on the Ayn Rand CliffsNotes.' Then it was abstracted and included in the Abstracts section as follows: "Andrew Bernstein replies to Kirsti Minsaas' review of his CliffsNotes to A[n]them, The Fountainhead, and Atlas Shrugged (JARS, Fall 2001). He defends the literary and philosophical merit of the works." Then, Bernstein's biography was included in the Contributors Biography section, right on the top of the list, an almost full page list of his publications and academic history. His address was given as the Ayn Rand Institute.(!!!)

No won[d]er he felt the need to distance himself from this alleged contribution.

I am willing to cut the author of this comment some slack, as I would not expect her to know the details of JARS editorial policy.

Here are the facts:

The Abstract was written by Andrew Bernstein.

The Biography was written by Andrew Bernstein. It was unusually long, but was run uncut.

Andrew Bernstein signed a copyright letter for his article before it went to press.

And Andrew Bernstein knew that his brief article would be listed in the Table of Contents.

All JARS authors write their Abstracts and Biographies, sign copyright letters, and know that their work will be listed in the Table of Contents for the issue in which it appears. That's how we've been doing business, since Volume 1, Issue 1.

Robert Campbell

PS added in editing: A second poster to SOLOP (http://www.solopassion.com/node/893#comment-7544) has now picked up the same false statement and embroidered it:

Bernstein's statement was equal to a letter to the editor. If JARS had not misrepresented this and lied by calling him a contributor, he would not have written the second statement.

Bernstein was protecting his professional reputation and Sciabarra turned this in to "ARI telling him to do it or else" with no evidence at all. This is one more false statement in Sciabarra's "scholarly" work and more proof for Diana's case.

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Robert,

It is unfortunate that the present spite against Chris and JARS on a couple of forums requires the need for this kind of zeal. It is obviously a good thing to remind people what the facts and standards are.

I even see the need to include the second quote. People who don't know that guy might think the comment bears relationship to some kind of reality. Most people who read a few posts by him start to ignore him.

JARS is a wonderful publication of serious Rand scholarship and has a well-deserved reputation for the strictest academic and ethical standards. It cannot be dismissed on a scholarship level.

That's the main reason why the Orthodox Objectivist branch hates it so much and periodically makes (and encourages) monkeyshines in public about it.

Michael

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  • 1 month later...

Robert,

On a Google search looking for something else, I accidentally came across this notice by Hsieh of the Bernstein-JARS thing (June 2002).

The following pearl of wisdom, right after Bernstein's backpedal text, was just too funny to pass up in today's context:

I almost feel sorry for Bernstein in reading this groveling apology. But then I think to myself the very true thought that Chris Sciabarra is probably the most moral person I know. So perhaps Andy Bernstein is getting precisely what he deserves.

What a hoot!

:D

Michael

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Michael,

Um, yes. It explains why "Dialectical Dishonesty" was necessary.

But one has to wonder whether the senior leadership of the Ayn Rand Institute will ever accept Ms. Hsieh, in spite of all the hard work she has put into denouncing.

Robert

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Andy Bernstein incident of 2002 constitutes such an exposure for the Ayn Rand Institute that the zealots just can't stop bringing it up. On some level, they have to realize how bad it makes ARI culture look, so they keep trying to twist and spin it out of shape. None of their attempts have worked, and none will. They would be far better served, IMHO, by acting as though it had never happened...

Fred Weiss has now made a complete fool out of himself by quoting a much tamer version (editorially suggested by Ms. Hsieh back in 2002) instead of Bernstein's actual recantation (widely known, and still available on Ms. Hsieh's blog):

http://www.solopassion.com/node/1129#comment-11326

Follow the thread upwards if you want some grim amusement.

Robert Campbell

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What I find most amusing about that SOLO Passion thread, Robert, are two things:

1. Diana didn't comment when Fred Weiss mis-identified her suggested apology formula as being Andrew Bernstein's actual apology -- because she didn't recognize the words as her own!!! My God, how many intellectual/emotional/moral light-years from objective reality has the Hsiehster traveled in the past 4 years to not be able to recognize her own words and to recall that she wrote them??

2. When "Mark" committed a similar error (further up the thread), misinterpreting something Fred said as referring to Andrew B., when actually it applied to Chris Sciabarra, Diana responded -- how can I rephrase her words euphemistically, so as to blunt their unseemly nature? -- by suggesting that he go have sex with his highest value.* :-)

REB

P.S. -- I owe this very creative wording of "go f*** yourself" to George H. Smith.

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Robert,

Michelle Cohen has posted about you and OL here.

I realize that Campbell intended to entice me into responding to him publicly on OL, but since I don’t read the OL forum, I have no obligation to respond to whatever anybody there may say, nor do I care whatever insults are hurled at me over there.

I wasn't aware of anyone insulting this woman over here. Did you hear anything? I also find it strange that she thinks you are recruiting her.

Dayaamm!

If she doesn't find you enticing, we sure do...

:D

Michael

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No enticement was intended. :) Ms. Cohen is free to post at OL, or not, as she wishes, but I was not expecting her to reply here.

Any further documentation that I am able to provide regarding Andrew Bernstein's short reply in JARS will appear on this thread. Ms. Cohen may be disappointed to learn, however, that e-mail or snail mail correspondence between Dr. Bernstein and Chris Sciabarra will not be appearing here--unless both parties consent to its public release.

I might add that Dr. Bernstein's act of penance, back in 2002, patently contradicts Ms. Cohen's charges. Dr. Bernstein confessed the sin of publishing in the Journal of Ayn Rand Studies. He did not allege that he was inveigled, snookered, hoodwinked, bamboozled, or subjected to editorial irregularities of any sort. And even the harshest of his fellow ARIans would have counted these as mitigating circumstances. So Dr. Bernstein could be relied on to bring up editorial improprieties--if there were any--in his own defense. Yet he made no such claim.

Robert Campbell

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Robert,

I am astounded at the hunger some Objectivists have to rewrite history once they have crossed a line of True Belief.

Apparently there is an effort to promote the notion that Dr. Bernstein didn't write ANYTHING for which he felt he had to retract, even though he retracted: not that the content was off - they claim or insinuate that there was nothing written at all.

I see this as a hunger for faith and extremely ironic, as it done within the confines of a philosophy of reason.

Michael

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Robert, you do know -- don't you? -- that even if you DID post email or Snailmail correspondence between JARS and Andrew Bernstein, in order to support your side of the story, it would make absolutely no difference.

You see, since you and Chris Sciabarra have already been Brandened -- I mean, branded -- as LIARS by the Hsiehster Brigade, it doesn't matter what form your claims are presented in.

I mean, an email or SnailMail document can be forged or (more simply, for online display) faked. How could a good, moral Objectivist have a bit of trust that you were providing bona fide documents?

So, I think the situation is hopeless. Nothing you or Chris say or do will make a bit of difference in the eyes (minds?) of those predisposed to hate and disbelieve you (and those who trust them).

There may be some marginal value in continuing to preach to the other church's choir, considering that some of their audience may not have made up their mind -- and that seeing people with a reasonable tone may be more persuasive than seeing those with rantful, vitriolic ways.

The risk there is getting dragged down into their kind of behavior. You and Phil Coates still amaze me, with your ability to keep a sane, civil approach, in the face of the howling wolf pack's onslaughts.

On the brighter side, we have the creative, benevolent atmosphere of Objectivist Living, and we have the creative, benevolent atmosphere of the TAS/TOC Summer Seminar (which starts in less than two weeks, right in my back yard here in Orange, California!).

I look forward to seeing both you and Phil in a setting where you're not batting slugs in the gutter. On to Orange, the city with a peel. :-)

REB

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Roger: "You see, since you and Chris Sciabarra have already been Brandened -- I mean, branded -- as LIARS by the Hsiehster Brigade, it doesn't matter what form your claims are presented in.

"I mean, an email or SnailMail document can be forged or (more simply, for online display) faked. How could a good, moral Objectivist have a bit of trust that you were providing bona fide documents?"

As evidence that this is correct, consider that someone on Solo -- I think it was Fred Weiss -- mentioned that Rand attended Patrecia's wedding to Larry Scott, but he added that that, of course, assumes that the photo of Rand with Larry, Patrecia, Frank, Nathaniel, and me at the wedding, included in PASSION, is real. Apparently, I may have created the photo -- airbrushing IN, so to speak.

Barbara

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Dragonfly: "Barbara, I can't find that photo in PAR, do you mean the photo in MYWAR?"

Oops! Yes, I do. The idea of creating a photograph out of nothing temporarily unhinged me. Now the people who talk about "the Brandens" as if we were one person who wrote one book will consider themselves justified.

Barbara

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Dragonfly, you must know that you have committed a capital offense. Some things are too evasively, dishonestly, maliciously, contemptibly, irrationally, unjustly, meanly, fundamentally, willfully, deceitfully, and inherently evil ever to be forgiven. Begone!

Barbara

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I imagine Dyin' O'Shayme is, "even as we speak," feverishly composing a disclaimer for her website, paraphrasing Penniless Beetch (in re Phil):

I didn't think I'd ever have to say this, but I did not have sex with Nathaniel!

As if!

REB

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That.........hee, hee, hee......

That may be the funniest thing I have seen in a long, long time!!!!!!!

My hat is off to you Senor Dragonfly! Very well done!!!

Dragonfly, you must know that you have committed a capital offense. Some things are too evasively, dishonestly, maliciously, contemptibly, irrationally, unjustly, meanly, fundamentally, willfully, deceitfully, and inherently evil ever to be forgiven. Begone!

Does that mean he is the new proprietor of SOLO? He fills the qualifications!

That was just too good!

gw

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Barbara,

I finally found it. The quote casting doubt on the authenticity of the photo is in PARC, p. 224, not on a forum (so it is not by Weiss):

Of course, Rand never thought it was immoral for someone to love Patrecia. Branden himself reports that, at first, Rand seemed to like both Patrecia and her husband, Larry. They both seemed to be 'good Objectivists.' If the photographs in Branden's memoir are to be believed, Rand attended their wedding.

(My emphasis.)

Michael

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That has got to be a fake quote. Shame on you, MSK.

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I'm confused now. Does that mean Phil had sex with Diana Hsieh, too?

And here I was thinking that the original Affair thing was kinda weird...

finally found it. The quote casting doubt on the authenticity of the photo is in PARC, p. 224, not on a forum (so it is not by Weiss):

As much as it would've be great for it to have been Weiss, having it come from Valliant is oh-so-much-sweeter.

Let's plug in the required Fahy response, since he thankfully does not join us here:

Mr. Engle, clearly, this shows that you haven't read PARC. I suggest you read PARC. I suggest the entire effing planet read PARC. I am building a rocket ship and sending a titanium version of PARC deep into the galaxy- even if the SETI project never came up with anything, just in case- aliens need to read PARC. I have airdropped thousands of copies of PARC into 3rd world countries; they don't need food, they need to read PARC.

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