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  • Posted by 9 months ago
    Excellor has seen Part I of my article and gone to check my bona fides. He found a talk I gave at an Atlas Society summer seminar on how I managed to make my living in NYC liberal left foundations and keep working for Objectivism.
    Just one summer seminar talk of many. I met David Kelley while we were both students at Brown University in 1967 and have been friends ever since. Later, when he was anathematized by Leonard Peikoff, and responded by starting the Institute of Objectivist Studies, I was one of his first trustees, making one of the first major financial contributions.
    I remained a trustee as IOS became the Objectivist Center and then (a name I suggested to the trustees), "The Atlas Society." I was the founding editor of the first publication, the "IOS Journal." My brother, Roger, was editor of its successor, "Navigator."
    I remained a trustee for 20 years. Including when our chairman, John Aglialoro, was making the "Atlas Shrugged" movie. He called on me particularly to respond to the unfair critics of the movie. As he put it, "Walter, you can poison their wells." And I did.
    Apart from novels, books of poetry, and nonfictoin I have published with Romantic Revolution Books, my publishing imprint, I have been contributing to the online publication, "The Savvy Street." By now, some 135 articles. My article on Objectivism and conservatism was long enough to be published in two parts. Comments here are on Part I. The thesis of the article, meant deliberately to challenge my fellow Objectivists, is that Objectivism, as an ideological uptopian prescriptoin for society, may be vulnerable to the challenge of the great pioneer of conservatism, Edmund Burke. Even given that Objectivism proceeds from reason, and is consistent, does it have the flaws that Burke pointed out in "rationalistic utopians"? That is what I begin to explore in Part II. Having spent some 50 or more years firing back at every attack on Objectivism, I can respond as can most of you. And yet, I am not quite sure on this problem of rationalistic utopian ideology verus what Burke called :the accummulate wisdom of mankind. Stay tuned for Part II.
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  • Posted by PeterSmith 9 months ago
    Everything Rand wrote in her obituary for Conservatism has played out. Today's Conservatives are basically just Democrats, with more Jesus and much, much more confusion about everything. As we can see with the Presidency of Trump.
    Also, if Bourke is responsible for the any fundamental ideas within Conservatism then you've already lost. As the linked article itself points out, Bourke didn't have any coherent ideas. Like the lost Conservative movement, when faced with the collectivist atrocities in France, he didn't advocate the right ideas, instead he advocated for NO ideas.
    Nothing has changed. Today's conservatives still have no ideas.
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  • Posted by freedomforall 9 months ago
    Rand predicted the demise of conservatism in the GOP 4 years before it occurred with the defeat of Goldwater. He lost for some of the reasons that Rand pointed out. In this case mostly the lies of the left (LBJ) destroyed the chances for Goldwater and for conservatism for 50+ years. The GOP still hasn't fought back against the left; they have conceded the field and sacrificed the principles they claim to revere.
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  • Posted by Pecuniology 9 months ago
    "Can Objectivists afford to dismiss entirely a very alive and increasingly politically influential conservatism’s 'wisdom of mankind' counteroffer to Ayn Rand’s ideology?"

    If this alleged "wisdom of mankind" rejects or compromises on the corollaries of the axioms of existence, identity, and consciousness, including individual rights, then yes; otherwise, it is Objectivism, and, therefore, no.

    Is it just me, or does the author of the article seem to imply that Objectivists must engage with the political process, in order to be relevant?

    Much more valuable than the embracing of Objectivism by professional chatterers would be the widespread embracing of Objectivism by entrepreneurs.
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  • Posted by j_IR1776wg 9 months ago
    Humans are born capable of Reason and Emotions. All of the advances we have made in science and technology, especially over the last 500 years, have come from the Reasoning side of our minds coupled with Aristotle's gift of logic. The tool of Reason is logic. The tool of our Emotions is faith. Reason is objective, Emotions are subjective. This is so despite Thomas Aquinas' brilliant but failed attempt to integrate reason and faith.

    In science, if you cannot design an experiment to prove your beliefs are true in this universe, then your beliefs cannot be said to be true period.
    Hence, when the first principle of Evans statement is "That foremost among the transcendent values is the individual’s use of his God-given free will, whence derives his right to be free from the restrictions of arbitrary force;" his use of "God-given" is based on an unproven assertion of the existence of a god. Since no one using Reason, Aristotle's logic and Galileo's experimental method has ever proven whether the universe was created ,or, if the matter, motion, and energy we observe has always existed, it follows that any assertion he (Evans) makes afterward is little more than faith-based emotions - no matter how much one wants to agree with them. The governance of a country built on the shifting sands of emotions and faith is bound to fail. Conservatism cannot work because it is anti-Reason and anti-logic. Rand was right.

    Joseph W Gabriele
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  • Posted by exceller 9 months ago
    When accused of "not looking at the other side," Donway laughs and points out that all his professional positions, as an executive at Brown University, the Commonwealth Fund (the country's earliest major foundation devoted to experimentation with health care programs and medical education), and the Dana Foundation were with "certified East Coast Liberal institutions." He says, "from 1969 until my retirement in 2004, I was a fixture of the Liberal-Left intellectual bureaucracy. Don't tell me I need to be exposed to that viewpoint!"

    “Turning to full-time writing in 2004, when he retired as editor of Cerebrum, he created the publishing imprint, Romantic Revolution Books, recognizing Ayn Rand's powerful case for the nature of art and its importance to man's life."

    And your point is?
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    • Posted by Lucky 9 months ago
      The article by WD has many interesting points. That the author has had a varied career and worked for lefty groups does not infer that the article has facts wrong or is worthless.

      Former widely respected (by many) leader of Australia's labor movement, Kim Beazley, said at a conference-
      'When I joined the party it contained the cream of the working class. Now, looking about, all I see are the dregs of the middle class.'

      He was saying how the people in it changed. As well, individuals change, many on this site have described how their opinions have changed, some due to Atlas Shrugged.

      My 'take' is that WD makes the point that political and philosophical ideas may have a single author but as they flow thru time, emphasis changes according to the issues facing the proponents.

      Suggestion, limit criticism of the article to what is in it.
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  • Posted by CircuitGuy 8 months, 3 weeks ago
    "a visceral, non-ideological conservatism"
    I am interested in what this means. To my understanding, conservatism means wanting to do things as they were done historically, often with the idea that old practices are based on time-tested wisdom. This seems like an ideology. How can there be a non-ideological version of it?
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  • -1
    Posted by CircuitGuy 9 months ago
    "This [reactionary] fringe of conservatism today is rampant in America and much of Europe. Among supporters of President Trump is evident an outspoken, angry reaction to the politically correct, leftist politics, and “anti-Trump syndrome.”
    I think ardent support of President Trump and the angry reactions you describe are just a result of deplorables having access to the press without gatekeepers. I also think there's something going on with reduced participation in local in-persona communities and with an overly-intrusive way we raise children. Parents hover and resolve even those minor childhood disputes/difficulties, and they grow up thinking they have a right to have an authority protect them from disagreements.

    This line caught my attention because I don't see any reactionary movement today. I don't see anyone, including President Trump, calling for going back to specific policies or practices of the past. Instead I see people angry and looking for a lightening rod to discharge to. Some of them are drawn to Trump's anger. Some are drawn to hating Trump. They have a lot in common. I don't think they're really angry about political ideas. Something else isn't right in their world, and modern technology gives them a free printing press to express their anger.
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