Monday, November 27, 2023

Objectivist Roundup, December 2023

1.    Just when you thought the last vein of unpublished Ayn Rand material had been tapped, along comes Ayn Rand Institute supporter Jonathan Hoenig with Can You Really Love a Dog?:  Leonard Peikoff and Ayn Rand on Pets.  As the Amazon description says:

Featuring previously unpublished pictures of Ayn Rand with her cats, this absorbing book makes an amusing and thought-provoking compendium on pets from the world’s foremost Objectivists. In this collection of essays, stories, and photos, Peikoff delves with insight, humor, and philosophy into the meaning of loving a pet.

From Ayn Rand’s lighter side as a cat owner to Leonard Peikoff’s advice on how to cope with the loss of a beloved canine friend, Can You Really Love a Dog? promises to add value to every moment of your life with a cat or dog. The perfect gift for the pet lover who thinks.

Because I have Kindle unlimited, I was able to rent the book for free.  A few things I noted.  Edwin Locke is quoted as saying that he saw Rand get angry only once - when her husband Frank O'Connor left the window open.  Rand got upset because a cat might fall out.  She later apologized.  Speaking of O'Connor, Harry Binswanger says he had a "quick wit."  Someone confirms that she didn't get her cats neutered since she thought sex was good.  (Her biographers report that her apartment smelled of cat urine. Male cats who are not neutered tend to aggressively spray their territory.)  The book is billed at 78 pages, but there is a fair amount of padding (some pages contain at most two quotes or one picture).

2.   Leonard Peikoff's letter to National Review criticizing Whittaker Chambers' review of Atlas Shrugged was recently found and published.  Granted Chambers' review was a little over the top, but one could say the same thing about Atlas Shrugged.

3.  Recently, Somali-Dutch free speech advocate and critic of Islamic extremism Ayaan Hirsi Ali announced her conversion from atheism to Christianity.  Many Objectivists admired Ali and seem to take her conversion personally.  For example, Yaron Brook unleashed an hour long tirade and was particularly outraged at Ali's appeal to what he called "the Judo Christian tradition."   Brook said there are moral Christians, but they are the ones who don't take their Christianity seriously.  How Brook knows this is curious because not too long ago he admitted that he doesn't know what Christianity teaches.

Here is the video where at 31:30 Brook mentions "the Judo Christian tradition: