Clarifying My View of TOC

 Posted by on 28 July 2004 at 12:16 pm  Uncategorized
Jul 282004

I thought this comment, written in response to Shannon’s report on possible reforms at TOC, was worth posting as a blog entry. I do have more of substance to say on all of these issues; I will post on them as time permits. This comment is really just a clarification of my basic view of TOC:


Just to make my position clear, I do not regard TOC as capable of anything but superficial, short-term reforms. Thus your news doesn’t change my basic view of or hopes for TOC, both of which are entirely and deeply negative.

As you might know, my unhappiness with TOC began to grow and fester with practical frustrations about the lack of support and training for students, the embarrassingly bad public advocacy, and so on. But I did not depart the organization over such frustrations. After seeing the success of ARI firsthand at last summer’s OCON, I resolved to review the original documents surrounding Kelley’s split, to see if TOC’s failures could be traced back to its founding philosophy. A few months later, when I finally re-read T&T, it quickly became clear to me that TOC’s founding philosophy was wrong, confused, disastrous, and responsible for many of the longstanding and baffling failures of the organization. Since then, as I’ve thought about and discussed the issues further, my perspective has become more informed, more radical, more integrated — and thus more fundamentally opposed to all that TOC is, does, and represents.

Whatever reforms TOC makes, it will continue to be a disaster for Objectivism and Objectivists. The only good news is that it’s too ineffective to do all that much damage.

I know that you don’t agree with all that, but I wanted to make my own position crystal clear. Too many supporters of TOC do not understand my deep philosophic opposition to the organization, but instead regard me as merely unhappy about the way the organization was run. As nothing could be further from the truth, I’m trying to stress my full philosophic opposition whenever the issue arises.

I hope that makes my basic view of TOC a bit more clear.

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