Sunday, October 16, 2022

Objectivist Roundup, October 2022

Not much happening in the world of Objectivism in the last month or two.

The only thing of note is Carl Barney’s response the ARI’s strange piece on schisms.  Barney makes several good points and it’s also interesting to see his version of the events that led to his break with the ARI.  Some money quotes:

My break with Yaron (and it was fundamentally with Yaron rather than with ARI) came about when I was giving him about $4 million a year and he wanted more. I said I would give him more, but I wanted to know his strategy for ARI and Objectivism. After painfully frustrating and failed strategic planning meetings, Yaron, in order to persuade me to continue funding ARI, agreed to promote and deliver Leonard’s courses. This was really important to me. But he didn’t keep his word....

My efforts regarding the dispute resolution process go back to 2015. I said to Yaron and some ARI Board members, “I have a lot of money invested in the success of ARI. Another disruptive conflict, such as the McCaskey affair, could severely damage ARI and my investment as the McCaskey affair did. So, would you agree to a dispute resolution process to head off any further disputes?"

Yaron agreed and said he would make it happen. (This was a condition of my giving him more money.) Over the next few years, I met with two lawyers who were also involved with ARI, Steve Simpson and Larry Salzman (Larry was on ARI’s Board). We met for many hours, attempting to draft a process that would be approved by Yaron. The lawyers and I met, discussed details, drafted versions, critiqued them, and edited them over and over. But ultimately, Yaron and Onkar would not approve them. I tried and tried, for about four years, working with Steve, Larry, Yaron, and others to establish a dispute resolution process. I spent probably between 100 and 200 hours. But nothing came of it.

One might cynically point out that the most rational people on earth shouldn’t need a highfalutin conflict resolution process, but $4 million a year is a lot of money.  And if Brook is half as arrogant and condescending in private as he is in public, I can’t blame Barney.