Objectivist Humor–No, Really

This being my one and only day off, I thought I’d take a break from the serious subject of the brewing John Allison-Cato Institute-Ayn Rand Institute scandal to marvel at the jaw-droppingly awesome podcasts of Ayn Rand Institute founder Leonard Peikoff.

The man will answer practically any question readers put to him. That openness may be commendable, but it also invites mischief makers and trolls. To see what I mean, here are a few of the questions that he answers:

Ayn Rand said that Objectivism is a philosophy for living on earth. If moon or Martian colonies are created what happens to her description?

[Read more...]

New News on Catogate

Slate‘s Dave Weigel (my friend, etc., etc.) has scooped me on two points on the John Allison-Cato Institute-Ayn Rand Institute story — one minor, one major. We’ll start with the major one first, his conclusion.

One of the big sticking points between Cato libertarians and Objectivists has to do with foreign policy. Cato’s foreign policy shop wants peace if possible and wars with sharply defined missions if necessary. Many Objectivists have more of a scorched Earth foreign policy.

After 9/11, Ayn Rand Institute founder Leonard Peikoff took out a pro-war advertorial in newspapers titled “End States Who Sponsor Terrorism.” He called for “mass death in the terrorist nations” and lamented, “the greatest obstacle to U.S. victory is not Iran and its allies, but our own intellectuals,” who weren’t so comfortable with sanctioning that mass death.

ARI board member and Cato president-to-be John Allison has publicly represented his views on foreign policy as being sympathetic to Cato’s. That may now be the case, but what did Allison think of Peikoff’s kill-them-all initiative at the time? Take it away Dave Weigel:

In 2001, after Peikoff published newspaper ads making the “end states” argument, he posted in a Randian message board about how it came together.

“I had a lot of help which I want to acknowledge,” wrote Peikoff. “John Allison was my primary inspiration and unfailing morale-booster; he suggested the ads in the first place, and then, with another donor, financed them.”

How about that?

[Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X