Disinvited equals excommunicated or has anyone ever been readmitted?

4 posts in this topic

Times change.

I attended the SFL conference yesterday at which David Kelley gave a talk to an intelligent and attentive group of young college students.

He spoke eloquently about how critics of Objectivism, who undoubtedly never read Ayn Rand's works, nevertheless saw fit to characterize Miss Rand's advocacy of capitalism as of the worst order, e.g. dog eat dog competition. Professor Kelley detailed how Objectivism respects the rights of all people not just those who are gifted with superior talent or achievement.

During the Q & A the subject of his break with ARI came up and he mentioned that it happened because he had given a lecture to a group of libertarians. The thinking was that to do so gave undeserved support or recognition to a group who had taken something from the Objectivist position, the non initiation of force policy, while not giving credit to the underlying philosophical ethical ideas and concepts which had been identified by Ayn Rand.

I wonder if that attitude has changed.

I once observed that there were around 20,000 subscribers to The Objectivist Newsletter, which I still recommend to this day. I wondered whether Objectivism would grow exponentially from that core of twenty thousand. Even with doubling every year, in ten years that would yield ten million. It has been a disappointment that although the numbers have certainly grown to some extent that the movement remains virtually invisible publicly. I hasten to add that I do believe that if the human race still hasn't destroyed itself one way or another in the years to come that Objectivism will one day prevail.

In the meantime it appears that the college student groups which began just a few years ago, Students For Liberty and Young Americans For Liberty, do have the potential to grow exponentially . In fact the founder of SFL told me that his organization has already been growing exponentially and it is his expectation and intention for it to continue to grow exponentially. I believe so as well.

It turns out that many pro individual freedom organizations have made their expertise available to SFL and YAL. The Atlas Society has allied itself with them both as well and new recruits are encouraged to read the works of Ayn Rand and those of many others including Ludwig von Mises which Ayn Rand recommended too.

SFL began in 2008 on twelve campuses and now is approaching one thousand campuses. It has a presence on every continent too and a growing number of regional conferences worldwide as well as in the states.

YAL is on over 500 campuses and numbers over 167,000 student activists.

Neither is political but their focus is on liberty for individuals on every issue consequently their influence will be felt from now on and will be stronger in time.

So my original question is David Kelley invited back into the fold, meaning by the powers that be at ARI, or does he remain persona non grata?


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
So my original question is David Kelley invited back into the fold, meaning by the powers that be at ARI, ...

What for? What does Kelley have to offer ARI?

I guess if he wanted to donate money they would take it, but what else could he do for them that they are not already doing very successfully without him? If Kelley wants to speak out and promote Objectivism, he can do so without ARI as many Objectivists,like me have done.

If he wants to change Objectivism or move it in a direction the principals at ARI or their contributors don't agree with, it is not in the latter's self-interest to support him, but there's nothing stopping Kelley from starting his own organization and/or cooperating with groups that agree with him -- and he has.

So what's the problem?

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I just wondered if ARI was still operating the same way as they did when they objected to his talking to a libertarian group?

That wasn't the real reason ARI stopped promoting Kelley as their spokesman. In fact, they paid for and promoted his speaking engagements for quite some time AFTER he spoke to the Laissez Faire Supper Club and despite the fact that leading Objectivists had broken with Kelley years earlier. What really happened was that Kelley managed to alienate individual Objectivists over a period of YEARS, one-by-one, and ARI was one of the last to break with him.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites