Tuesday, 21 February 2017

On Anthemgate by Robert Tracinski

Le Penseur
I read “Anthemgate,” Robert Tracinski’s controversial article, yesterday. This article is difficult to digest because it appears to be packed with hard evidence and logic—which is almost impossible to chew and swallow.

The arguments that Tracinski makes are convincing and therefore are mind numbing. And yet it is hard to accept that the state of affairs in the highest echelons of Objectivism can be so dismal.

I am not interested in recounting the laundry list of allegations that Tracinski makes—I will only say that he offers a rather sad critique of Dr. Leonard Peikoff’s awareness of certain political and cultural realities. He praises the great philosophical work that Dr. Peikoff has done, but has a low opinion of the intellectual direction in which he is leading the ARI.

The article is like a shattering explosion for those who were naively hoping that they might, in their lifetime, see Ayn Rand’s Objectivist system develop into a political and cultural force.

What if it is true that there isn't enough objectivity and intellectual integrity in the top intellectuals who are currently the de jure and de facto custodians of Objectivism! What if organized Objectivism has transmogrified into a self-serving and lethargic bureaucracy!

If this is the situation then it is futile to hope for any kind of progress. Indeed, it is such a painful thing to have myriad seeds of doubt suddenly sprouting in your brain.

I continue to hope that the evidence that Tracinski presents in the article is flawed. Perhaps he has his own axe to grind against the intellectuals of the ARI. So where is the evidence to prove that Tracinski is wrong? I tried to do some research but I have not come across any evidence to prove that Tracinski is not being factual in the article.

But it is also true that I don’t have enough information to judge the evidence that Tracinski offers. Therefore I can’t say that his article contains the “truth” and “nothing but the truth.” But he is definitely right about some of the key points like the resignation from ARI of Mr. John McCaskey, McCaskey’s review of Dr. David Harriman’s book, and a few other things.

Towards the end of the article Tracinski says that “I consider myself an Independent Objectivist—with a capital “I,” and a capital “O.” And I believe that Independent Objectivism is what we need.” Well, good luck with that. I am not sure that a lone Objectivist can make a serious dent in the rotten edifice of the egalitarian political culture that is destroying our lives.

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