Sunday, December 15, 2013

Stay Classy, Harry.


Anonymous said...

Classless. One might expect that sort of remark from a kid who wasn't taught any manners, but this is coming from one of Objectivism's leading lights. Heck if it weren't for Yaron Brook, Binswanger could have been the next Objecti-Pope.

There is an old saying, "if you can't say something nice ...". Any reasonable observer would probably think (1) this is in poor taste, (2) it's odd that a decades-old schism still matters to this old crank. I am certain -- because I have seen it posted elsewhere -- that some Objectivists find the remark quite proper and justified. It's that sort of odd response to ancient fueds over slights that most of us neither remember nor care about that will repulse normal people and keep Objectivism thoroughly marginalized, thankfully.

gregnyquist said...

One curious aspect of Binswanger's classlessness and bad manners is that it raises the inevitable question: is Binswanger classless because he is an Objectivist, or is it his classlessness that attracted him to Objectivism? Either way, not good for the Objectivism movement: for they have too many people in their midst who have serious mean streaks and can't be trusted to keep to the straight and narrow of common decency.

Lloyd Flack said...

Probably a bit of both but mostly the first. Objectivism encourages, in fact demands judgmentalism. Rand herself said to never stop judging people. And common decency is based on empathy but empathy is not anywhere in the basis of Objectivism. It is seen as a thing of secondary importance in ethics as is anything to do with other people. There is no barrier to meanness in Objectivism.

Also Objectivism encourages self righteousness. It encourages people to see disagreement with them as the result of moral flaws. It claims that a moral person must agree with them since they have conclusively demonstrated what is right.

Anonymous said...

Translation: "I hope you still know who I am. As an Objectivist I will honor the ancient schisms at the root of our common calling and all schisms yet-to-come. I trust that you will remember my devotion to our shared beliefs when in the not-too-distant future, you will judge who is most fit to lead our movement, who can rightfully claim that place within Objectivism. Thank you."

Mark Plus said...

And yet Barbara wrote a major piece of Rand-sympathetic propaganda, namely, the biography from her privileged position of having known Rand well during the high point of Rand's life, and during the formation of organized Rand cultism. From hindsight, Barbara might have played a key role in giving Rand cultism its second wind in the late 1980's by renewing interest in Rand's writings among younger generations.

Bingswanger should show more appreciation for Barbara's efforts. She might have saved him from the indignity of having to get a real job outside of the Objectiverse over the past quarter century.

Echo Chamber Escapee said...

@Mark Plus, it's my understanding that Binswanger is independently wealthy (by inheritance). He would not have needed "a real job outside of the Objectiverse" in any event.

In my Objectivist days, we used to speculate that Binswanger's wealth had a lot to do with why he's never actually finished any of the various book projects he was purportedly working on over the years.

Of course, his wealth has not stopped him from charging $145 per year for subscriptions to his email list -- which last I heard had roughly 700 subscribers, making for a pretty tidy income.

Gordon Burkowski said...

I have a lot of regard for Barbara Branden. The sexual relation between her husband and Ayn Rand was a toxic situation which she never wanted and which caused her years of pain. In spite of this, she stayed silent about the affair for 20 years after its end. When she finally told the story, she was subjected to decades of hysterical abuse for telling a truth that a lot of people didn't want to hear. Through all this, she stuck to her convictions and maintained her dignity. Unlike Mr. Binswanger, she did stay classy.

Neil Parille said...

For as long as I've been following the Objectivist movement, it's been said that Binswagner is working on a book about consciousness.

According to his HBL List site he has finished the book.

I can understand that while Rand was alive it was risky to publish a book on Objectivism, but things haven't got all that better.

I heard that Milgram Knapp is the final stages of her editing the authorized bio up to 57.

Neil Parille said...

This is from Objectivist Conference 2006:

PhD, Philosophy, 1973, Columbia University

Dr. Binswanger is [***] currently working on a book on the nature of consciousness.

Neil Parille said...

I was reminded of this old post:

Binswanger:"The Universe Is All About Me" [***]

Since the theme here is anti-selfishness, I'll close in my own, selfish voice. Ayn Rand showed me that it *is* all about me. "When I die," she said, quoting an Ancient Greek philosopher, "the universe goes out of existence." And though that is false, "from the outside,"it is absolutely true "from the inside." When my life ends, there's nothing *for me*. The universe is all about me. So you'll forgive me if I'm not only addicted to oil, but to money, values, life, and, at root, addicted to existence.

Fortunately for Binswanger he apparently had a rich relative or two who decided that the universe wasn't all about him or her.