Sunday, June 02, 2024

Objectivist Roundup, June 2024

1.  The Ayn Rand Fan Club’s Scott Schiff has a way of getting under Yaron Brook’s skin.  I thought it was standard Objectivism that philosophers rule the future, but I guess it’s just one guy with a YouTube channel.

2.  The Ayn Rand Institute Press just published a collection of essays by Leonard Peikoff entitled Why Act on Principle?  Among other works, it contains Peikoff’s October 2001 editorial in the New York Times called “End States Who Sponsor Terrorism” where Peikoff all but calls for the use of nuclear weapons against Saudi Arabia and Iran.  He demands a full-scale invasion and years-long occupation of Iran to “de-Nazify” the nation.  It also includes 1989’s “Fact and Value,” Peikoff’s excommunication of David Kelley for his advocacy of “Open Objectivism.”  Left unmentioned, of course, is that Peikoff’s split with Kelley started when Kelley refused to denounce Barbara Branden’s 1986 biography of Rand.  Peikoff insisted at the time that Branden’s report of Rand’s affair with Nathaniel Branden was an arbitrary assertion.  I do find it interesting that so much Peikoff material (such as transcripts of his courses) has been published near the end of his life.

3.  Frederick Cookinham will be publishing the first volume of a commentary on Atlas Shrugged entitled The Journey of Dagny Taggert.  At 476 pages the commentary might well be longer than Atlas.

4. Kirkus Reviews has a brief review of the upcoming biography of Rand.  It’s been a while since I read The Fountainhead, but it never occurred to me that Roark was a “new Jew” strengthening the Diaspora.