Thursday, June 23, 2005

Insulting an Objectivist

Well over at SoloHQ I started this thread--Wendy McElroy on Nate, Babs, and Ayn. Predictably, the seriosos went batshit about the nicknames. So I posted this reply, not sure if it will be posted there:

This post may be redundant--not sure if my previous reply worked. Ms. Branden--I meant no offense. I was just pasting the short title used on today for McElroy's article. No offense intended, and I'd be happy to call you Ms. Branden or Barbara instead.

BTW my name is Stephan (sounds like Stefan), not Stephen (sounds like Steven). No one ever mispronounces Stephanie. The mind boggles.

To Brant: "Those prissy sissy's at ARI can't take these principal actors' word for what happened--they had to literally bring in a prosecutor--because they refuse to grant either Nathaniel or Barbara recognition or any kind of sanction for their own lives and the contributions they made to the spread of Objectivism and the well being of Ayn Rand."

I am sorry, but I can't follow this... whenever I see the word "sanction" in an Objectivist site my eyes just involuntarily glaze over, as they also do at terms like "whim-worshipper" or "psycho-epistemology." :)
My later reply:

Hi Michael! :)

Just a couple of questions. The premise of Valliant's book is that both of the Branden's autobiographical biographies are nothing but lies. So he drums up exactly the same kind of lies he accuses them of (attributing ill motives to every act, insinuating that Nathaniel was a rapist, etc.). If you do not believe me or think I am overly-biased, look at the "objective" review you just posted the link to from

I would not have purchased it, but someone sent it to me. I read the first couple chapters. I found it to be a hit piece. But I have not read the latter journal stuff. But when Valliant started, in the Preface, his excruciating defense of Peikoff's denunciation of B. Branden's account without having read it, and his defense of the need for non-Peikoffians to have this defense, it becames obvious it was more of the orthodoxy stuff. At least that part. Then I recall later on, there was some passage allegedly showing B. Branden's inconsistency when she at one point said Rand was not maternal at all, then later said Rand would help and guide her. Like that was an aha! moment. As if people could not themselves act inconsistently.

So do you think that the best way for ARI (meaning the heir who authorized this travesty of scholarship) to fight what it deems to be a pack of lies with another pack of lies (or extremely overly-biased insinuations at the very least), but sprucing it up with Ayn Rand's unpublished works?

Dunno, I have not gotten yet round to forming an opinion on this weighty matter.

The present signs point to someone laying a gigantic egg in public here - in Ayn Rand's name. I hold that it is Valliant's approach that is burying this newly released unpublished work of Ayn Rand. There are oodles of people who want to read her unpublished words without having to wade through Valliant's ranting and partisan fighting. So, in doubt, they simply buy other books by other authors.

Do you have another explanation?

Er... no, not at hand. An explanation for exactly ... what, sorry?

(There. No "sanction," no "whim-worshipper" and no "psycho-epistemology.")

Just a little capitalistic common sense.

And who said Objectivists have no sense of humor.

... but... I fail to see what your reply has to do with, umm, capitalism...

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