bmcgreggor

Opinions of TIA

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I have been a subscriber of The Intellectual Activist for years and I am growing disatisfied with it. First, the monthly addition is over 7 months behind which I find inexcusable. Second, Tracinski is far too pro-Bush in his analysis. I see a marked distinction between him and Yaron Brook and John Lewis. I feel that Tracinski has accepted some neo-con premises in his thinking. For example he thinks that Bush's "Forward Strategy Of Freedom" is basically a correct strategy but that Bush is just not strong enough in its implementation. The lates issue of TIA monthly analyzes three important world elections including America's. Tracinski feels that Bush was given a mandate to continue with his plans for implanting representative government in Iraq. I would interpret it as a mandate (if you could call it that when the election was so hotly contested) to fight the war on terrorism, not to spread "democacy."

So I am wondering if any other TIA readers are experiencing disatisfaction with the quality of TIA. I feel it was better managed under Bob Stubblefield.

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This has been partly discussed in this thread. I have to say I hear you -- particularly when it comes to how late the monthly TIA is -- I still have not received the December 2004 issue. As mentioned in the other thread the reasons given were the launch of TIA Daily and the TIA archive. TIA Daily, on the other hand, is quite nice and arrives just about every day without fail.

As far as Tracinski's leaning toward Bush, I do think at times he's being far too optimistic with respect to Bush. He's toned down some of his enthusiasm since the Schiavo affair, which surprised a lot of us who were somewhat more supportive of Bush.

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I'm disappointed with their inability to get issues out on a regular basis. I'm also not crazy about the politics-only focus. I'd love to see articles on philosophy or psychology or history or other fields in the pages of TIA. Turn the thing into a journal for Objectivist intellectuals to publish articles for an Objectivist audience.

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I'm disappointed with their inability to get issues out on a regular basis.  I'm also not crazy about the politics-only focus.  I'd love to see articles on philosophy or psychology or history or other fields in the pages of TIA.  Turn the thing into a journal for Objectivist intellectuals to publish articles for an Objectivist audience.

I definitely agree.

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First, the monthly addition is over 7 months behind which I find inexcusable.

I wrote to TIA and Sherri Tracinski replied, saying that it will take the rest of the year to fully catch up while keeping the same quality standard.

Second, Tracinski is far too pro-Bush in his analysis. I see a marked distinction between him and Yaron Brook and John Lewis. I feel that Tracinski has accepted some neo-con premises in his thinking.

This is an extremely interesting point. I, too, sometimes am remembered of mainstream neoconservatism when I read both Tracinski and Wakeland (you might remember this OO.net thread in which he participated). I never really acknowledged this explicitly, but now that I think of it, there does seem to be a large contrast (especially as I recall Dr. Brook's "Morality of War" and Dr. Lewis' "The Failure of Homeland Defense").

For example he thinks that Bush's "Forward Strategy Of Freedom" is basically a correct strategy but that Bush is just not strong enough in its implementation. The lates issue of TIA monthly analyzes three important world elections including America's. Tracinski feels that Bush was given a mandate to continue with his plans for implanting representative government in Iraq.

In his defense, Tracinski has never supported spreading "democracy," in fact, the entire theme of his "Three Elections" article was that democracy is an anti-concept, a point he stressed repeatedly.

Also, I've always believed that there is no dichotomy between fighting terrorism and spreading representative government, since part of a strong offensive strategy is occupying the targeted nation(s) and imposing our constitution on it/them. I'm starting to have some doubts, though, especially considering the altruism that I sense in the "Forward Strategy of Freedom" notion. Luckily, I sent a question to Dr. John Lewis regarding this topic a while ago, so I'm anxious to here from him eventually.

I would interpret it as a mandate (if you could call it that when the election was so hotly contested) to fight the war on terrorism, not to spread "democacy."

How could you consider the election hotly contested, when Kerry conceeded the same day Bush's victory was announced?

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Sorry, I split the last two quotes up, but it would make more sense if they were together, since it was the last quote where you mentioned "democracy."

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How could you consider the election hotly contested, when Kerry conceeded the same day Bush's victory was announced?

I didn't mean that Kerry contested the election results. I meant that the polls revealed that the American citizenry was pretty evenly divided on who to vote for. So, in that context, the notion of a "mandate" seems far-fetched.

I also understood that Tracinski considered "democracy" to be an anti-concept. I thought that was one of the better points of the essay. I just have questions about whether representative government can be installed in a culture as hostile to reason and individual rights as is the current middle east.

I'm glad to hear that you wrote Dr. Lewis concerning this. I will be interested to read his response if he posts it on this forum. I don't know if you subscribe to HBL but not four days ago Dr. Lewis posted a comment on Tracinski's article (Three Elections). In the article, Tracinski cites Dr. Lewis regarding Greek democracy. Dr. Lewis responded:

"It [the TIA article] cites a piece of mine with respect to ancient Greek democracy. The citation is accurate, but I strongly disagree with the article."

He then went on to state that Bush's strategy was flawed because it was sacrificial and that he considered Bush more dangerous than Kerry because Bush is considered a symbol of a strong, self interested self-defense when in reality he is not. And if you remember, Dr. Lewis wrote an excellent article on the philosophic foundations of the neo-conservatives. It dealt with Leo Strauss.

http://www.capmag.com/article.asp?ID=3961

So I definitely see a tension between him and both Tracinski and Wakeland.

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Tracinski and Wakeland...large contrast...[to]Dr. Brook's "Morality of War" and Dr. Lewis' "The Failure of Homeland Defense"...

What is that large contrast? I'm concerned because it has lately seemed that Bush, because(?) of his neo-con advisors, recognizes the intellectual part of war more he did in the past. And various high-level Yanks and Brits have recently discussed the importance of ideas in war, as TIA Daily has reported. The NYT recently had an OpEd on this and the author discussed it on The Charlie Rose Show.

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What is that large contrast?

Yaron Brook considers the "forward strategy of freedom" to be a self-sacrificial foreign policy. He showed in his talks "The Morality of War" that Bush's approach to the war is based on "Just War" Theory which is thoroughly altruistic. When I asked Brook during the Q&A what he thought of Tracinski's defense of Bush's strategy as basically sound but "a watered down version of a Colonial Solution", he answered that he thought it was wrong and that he felt that some altuistic premises of the neo-cons has slipped into Tracinski's thinking. He also said that it was not possible to spread Western Civilization into the Middle East via occupation and nation building. Similar sentiments have been expressed by Peikoff and by John Lewis. As I indicated in a post above, on HBL professor Lewis openly disagreed with Tracinski's TIA article the "Three Elections".

In my opinion, Tracinski and Wakeland are far too pro-Bush and pro-Conservative in their commentary. This doesn't mean that they don't have many good insights to offer and that there is no value to their publications. But I am distrustful of the conclusions they reach especially with anything relating to the war.

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You know what is really funny about TIA right now? The current issue out is December 2004. My subscription is up in September 2005. Last month they sent me a renewal form for my subscription! I thought I had signed up for 12 issues. Apperently they meant only 12 months. Please, it is not even half as interesting of a magazine as it was in the mid-nineties anyway.

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You know what is really funny about TIA right now? The current issue out is December 2004. My subscription is up in September 2005. Last month they sent me a renewal form for my subscription! I thought I had signed up for 12 issues. Apperently they meant only 12 months. Please, it is not even half as interesting of a magazine as it was in the mid-nineties anyway.

It would be interesting if you could ask them about their policy and whether they really meant 12 months or 12 issues, as a reasonable person would assume given a monthly format, and post the answer here.

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