Monday, January 21, 2008

"I break for Randians"

Have you ever wondered about the Objectivist tendency to make a mountain out of a molehill of...everything? Objectivist are constantly posting tl;dr (too long, didn't read) rants about their very public and embarassing feuds that often started over something extremely trivial?

Chris Wolf wrote an article called "The Dishonesty of Stephen Speicher" because Speicher "claimed that [Wolf] attended an elegant banquet, dressed in rags and smelling like a pig" on the Objectivist usenet. This is apparently important enough to devote two pages denouncing Speicher to entire world as though they care.

And what about Objectivists' silly habit of publicly "breaking" with people? Stephan Kinsella of Lew Rockwell blog, admittedly a libertarian frother himself (I tried to find a link that said the same thing that wasn't from a libertarian frother, but couldn't), posts this amusing article I Break for Randians. To make the Randians' lives easier and save them some time so they can get on with more important things, like steam cleaning their personal Rand shrine, he proposes a form letter "Why I Am Hereby and Henceforth Breaking with _____ (And Why You Should Care (And Why I Should Care That You Should Care)--And If You Don't I'll Break With You Too"

When I was in middle school, after an argument with my sister Marie I told everyone "I'm excommunicating her!" Victor then told me, "I think only the Pope can excommunicate people."

Most people are aware that interests, personalities, and life situations change, and friendship may not be forever. The normal reaction is to take this as a part of life, move on, and form new friendships with other people you have more in common with, with little pomp and circumstance. Alternatively, you could get your mom to e-threaten the apostate jerk.


Stephan Kinsella said...

What's a "libertarian frother"? Maybe I'm just a nice Jewish boy?

Moony said...

It sounds like a drink. It actually sounds like it might be delicious. I think I want one.

Meg's Marginalia said...

Hi Stephan,

Webster's 1913 dictionary defines froth as:

1. The bubbles caused in fluids or liquors by fermentation or
agitation; spume; foam; esp., a spume of saliva caused by
disease or nervous excitement.

2. Any empty, senseless show of wit or eloquence; rhetoric
without thought. --Johnson.

It was a long speech, but all froth. --L'Estrange.

3. Light, unsubstantial matter. --Tusser.

I called you a libertarian frother mostly because you wrote an article saying we should legalize sale of tobacco to minors. Other than that, you're cool. I'm not one of those anti-smoking fascists (although I don't smoke..or very occasionally smoke), and I can definitely resonate with the libertarian idea everyone should be free to do what they want (including destroying their own health), and bear the consequences (ie cigarette companies should not be liable for lung cancer and McDonalds shouldn't be liable for making people fat).

But although I'm generally supportive of more personal freedoms, I think there are times where a case can be made for restricting certain freedoms, so I guess I'm not crazy enough to be totally libertarian, since I don't have a problem with controlled substance legislation, and think it's ok to ban neo Nazis from protesting at a Holocaust memorial.

Thanks for stopping by the blog!

Stephan Kinsella said...

Why would you need to ban nazis from protesting at a Holocaust memorial? Presumably the memorial is owned by someone, and if you respect their property rights, they can simply refuse to permit the protestors.

That is, if you respect property rights--which, apparently, you don't, given your views on outlawing some drugs, which view amounts to not respecting people's ownership of their own bodies. If you don't respect that, how can you respect ownership of a memorial?

Kelly said...

I'm pretty sure most holocaust memorials are publicly owned. But in our glorious private future I'm sure they'll all be private! I'm off to take my kids to buy some smokes.