Thursday, October 7, 2010

Objectivism in Trouble? Of Course Not!

I've seen a number of eulogies for the ARI and the Objectivist movement on discussion boards around the web (in relation to the McCaskey controversy), and it's given me a happy new perspective on things.

The Objectivist movement is stronger than ever, as is the ARI. Consider how much money they get every year now, how often Objectivism is represented in the media, and how many more Oist professors there are in academia these days. Things are looking up. We now have professional level CEOs and PR guys representing Objectivism to the world. The Peikoff/Schwartz/Ridpath Era is not on the rise -- it's coming to an end. These are that era's last gasps, and everyone knows it. Including the folks at ARI.

You think the people working there don't know, don't acknowledge that some of Peikoff's statements are nuts/rude/poorly stated? Most of them acknowledge this, and will admit such privately. But would it really be to the benefit of Objectivism for half of the ARI staff to unite in a formal public denunciation of its founder for what amounts to a personality issue? Yeah, that'll happen right after the boards of Microsoft and Apple morally condemn Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. The fact is, Peikoff has meant as much or more to the Objectivist movement as either of those CEOs meant to their organizations. And he continues to make contributions in the form of his podcasts, among other things.

It's funny, before I read all these eulogies for the ARI and the Objectivist movement, I was a lot more concerned. Now that I see how ridiculous it sounds to anticipate a death knell for the ARI, I'm not worried at all. Peikoff too shall pass. And I'm certain he will be remembered primarily for his many great and noble deeds, not for things like this.

--Dan Edge