DEREK, to take up your post from another aspect, you wrote: “a neutered, or even toned-down Linz is the last thing this forum, or Objectivism, needs.”
I fully agree. But that has nothing to do with what I want. A Linz concerned with justice and reason, however, is exactly what this forum and Objectivism need. He has recently called me “an appeasing hand-wringer,” and people like Chris, principled opponents of the Iraq war, “half-wits and scum.” Is objecting to this a demand that Linz be neutered or toned-down?
You said: “Linz has apologised - and he meant it.”
No, he didn’t mean it, as I’ve already explained. Not when at the same time he warns us that no one is going to “make him over” in his own house. He means he’s sorry for the furor he’s caused, but not for that in him which creates such negative feelings. He calls it passion; if it has anything to do with real passion, which I doubt, it’s a Dionysian, anti-rational passion, which needs to be expunged.
ALEC, I agree with your statement that: “it's a quantum leap from feeling anger (let alone fire, urgency, drive) to expressing it in such dramatically unjust and hurtful ways as to demand masochism of your friends and closest allies.” And I agree that Linz sees these hurtful expressions as, in some way, being true to himself. Not to his better self, of that I am certain.
DAVID, many thanks to you.
LINZ writes, after "apologizing: “Try taking into account that an occasional explosion, for which the exploder apologises, is much less serious than defending a promoter of pedophilia. Try taking into account that your unconscionable questioning of my candour over the Elmore nonsense was something I found less than amusing.”
I know that Linz is furious with me for defending my friend, Jim Peron, against what I consider the unwarranted charge of promoting pedophilia. I do not apologize for this, as I have stated in previous posts. I will always defend a friend against false charges until and unless I have proof to the contrary.
As for Linz’ statement that I questioned his candor over the “Elmore nonsense,” my questioning had nothing whatever to do with Elmore, it had to do with Linz’s recounting of his break with Jennifer. When I said that he was being less than candid, my meaning was that he was not saying everything that should be said, that he was not free from bias. I did not for a moment intend accusing him of dishonesty, although he believed that was my intention. I think those Soloists who have been here for a while know that I do not accuse people of dishonesty. And, as have told Linz, if my wording was insufficiently clear and my meaning could be mistaken, then for that I do apologize.
MARCUS, you wrote: “Do you think you are seeing in Linz the same trend you saw in Rand? Namely both speak their mind and do not mince their words?”
Yes to your first sentence; no to your second. It is true that both Linz and Rand tended to lose their tempers too easily and say things that were unjust. But I don’t call this “not mincing words.” I call it what it is: allowing oneself to forget the crucial importance of justice in human relationships.
You also wrote: “Rand's no-nonsense attitude with regards to speaking her own mind and expressing herself openly is what really made Objectivism what it is today. What would it have been if she had only gone half way and veiled a lot of her ideas in order to make them more palatable and popular to society?”
I have no idea why you think that bad-tempered spewing of range-of-moment emotions has anything to do with stating one’s ideas clearly and fully and without compromise. Is it pandering to society to require that people deal with each other fairly? I have no desire whatever for Linz to like modern music, for instance; I have every desire for him not to call people “scum” who do like some of it.
And yes, there is a negative sense in which Rand’s rush-to-moralizing made Objectivism what it is today. One has only to look at her endless purges and those of Leonard Peikoff to see this.
KAT: “The last thing we need is for people to start dismissing SOLO because they think you [Linz] are posting reckless tirades against one-and-all because you might be drunk or are childish or have some kind of irrational stack-blowing privilege. That is what some people think already from reading all the posts.”
Quite true, Kat. This is one of the reasons why I believe Linz is in danger of destroying the values that Solo has represented. I have read this kind of accusation leveled against Linz, and therefore against Solo, too many times on the Internet not to think it is doing damage to Solo and Soloists. Solo MUST attract the best; that is its reason for being. But it cannot attract them if it earns a reputation for belligerent irrationality.
You also wrote: “Barbara, please, please, please, give it another chance.” I can’t do it, Kat. Not now. Not so long as Linz refuses to change. Should there be a substantial change sometime in the future, then I happily will return.
ROBERT W, when I said that Linz is the voice of Solo, my meaning was that as its founder and principal, that is how he is seen by the outside world, and legitimately so. I don’t know why you think I was saying that we all must follow his lead. You also said that perhaps the reason you don’t understand my perspective on Linz is that you don’t expect perfection of people. Nor do I.
PHILIP: " It is an error of failing to perceive that disagreements and mistakes are not always moral ones but can be honest error or honest misunderstanding.”
Precisely. This is what I have been trying, in personal meetings with Linz and in private correspondence, to communicate to Linz – to no avail.
You also wrote: “If I were Barbara Branden and my effort to write a book about Ayn Rand and the details of my relationship with her resulted in my having been vilified and had my honesty and character constantly called into question for decades, a painful experience, I might first try to correct it, but ultimately I would be very unlikely to be willing to accept such treatment from those I had considered associates or allies.”
Thank you for your understanding, Philip.
ANDREW: “But it bothers me that he [Linz] seems to reserve his greatest fury for allies like Barbara, James, and TOC, where personal differences or disagreements about the best way to spread Objectivism are elevated into trumped up charges of deceit or cowardice.”
I agree, Andrew. And we, as of course you know, are by no means the only objects of his fury.