Loyalty Oaths

The Harry Binswanger List (HBL) is an email list for Objectivists, moderated by Dr. Binswanger, for discussing philosophic and cultural issues. The HBL is $10 per month or $100 per year. However, that is not the only requirement...

6. Philosophic issues:

The HBL is primarily for Objectivists. Full agreement with Objectivism is not required, but certain people are excluded--see the Loyalty Oath below. You need not sign or return it. If you join the list, or accept the free-trial offer, that indicates your agreement with its provisions.

The HBL Loyalty Oath

I have created this list for those who are deeply and sincerely interested in Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism and its application to cultural-political issues.

It is understood that Objectivism is limited to the philosophic principles expounded by Ayn Rand in the writings published during her lifetime plus those articles by other authors that she published in her own periodicals (e.g., The Objectivist) or included in her anthologies. Applications, implications, developments, and extensions of Objectivism--though they are to be encouraged and will be discussed on my list--are not, even if entirely valid, part of Objectivism. (Objectivism does not exhaust the field of rational philosophic identifications.)

I do not make full agreement with Objectivism a condition of joining my list. However, I do exclude anyone who is sanctioning or supporting the enemies of Ayn Rand and Objectivism. "Enemies" include: "libertarians," moral agnostics or "tolerationists," anarchists, and those whom Ayn Rand condemned morally or who have written books or articles attacking Ayn Rand. I do not wish to publicize the myriad of anti-Objectivist individuals and organizations by giving names, so if you have questions about any such, email me privately and I will be glad to discuss it with you.

If you bristle at the very idea of a "loyalty oath" and declaring certain ideological movements and individuals as "enemies," then my list is probably not for you. To join my list while concealing your sanction or support of these enemies, would be to commit a fraud. Again, if you have any questions on this policy, please let me know.

Now, I can understand why a group with shared values and assumptions might want to keep its private email-list focused solely on particular topics of interest to that group, while excluding external criticism. And while I understand their reasoning for it, I don't think this is the best way to go about group discussions -- especially when discussing philosophy -- as the dialectics of argument have a better chance of leading to truth and understanding than a monolithic echo-chamber. But did Binswanger really need to label this requirement, with no intended irony, a "Loyalty Oath"?

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Isn't 10$ a month * 12

Isn't 10$ a month * 12 120$/yr. or do they offer a special cut-rate :behead: deal :twisted:

Objectivism is a cult. A

Objectivism is a cult. A secular cult built by people who need a religion to give their lives meaning without calling this religion a "religion". A perusal of the various Objectivist blogs will reveal this. This cult has done major damage to the growth of libertarian ideas. Libertarians need to move beyond Objectivism and disown it as soon as possible.

I'm with Binswanger in

I'm with Binswanger in spirit here.

The more I have conversed with Objectivists, the more it is clear to me that Objectivism is strikingly similar in function to many of the organized religions that Objectivists claim to abhor. It comes complete with its own feeling of group adherence, inerrent holy writ, and perils of groupthink. Unlike other religions, it is especially ironic that these perils exist for Objectivists. For obvious reasons.

So I agree with Binswanger in the notion that I (politically a libertarian) am indeed an "enemy" of Objectivism. Though I tend to vote for the candidates from the Libertarian Party, I still attend a conservative Baptist church and morally agree with the vast majority of its tenets. Though this doesn't make me Binswanger's enemy in the libertarian sense, it certainly must in the way that Objectivists employ the word. By attending my church, I am blaspheming his.

I would add that I think that Objectivism is yet another of man's futile, modern attempts to fill a God-shaped hole in his heart, but that's a personal view, and I don't expect it to find overwhelming support on a libertarian-minded blog. But I can at least expect its tolerance! :smile:

But did Binswanger really

But did Binswanger really need to label this requirement, with no intended irony, a â??Loyalty Oathâ???

To get what he wanted? I guess so, it's his call.

You do not have to be an

You do not have to be an Objectivist to agree with much of what Rand wrote. If Hitler or Begin or Trudeau says 2 plus 2 equals 4 , that does not make it incorrect. I find none of it even mildly offensive, and if the followers want to go militant, well its just like religion, and we can ignore it out of hand as pure idiocy. But you can certainly see which direction they're trying to pull the thing.

Many of the objectivists I

Many of the objectivists I have met resemble bleary eyed happy-clappy loons. A "loyalty oath" doesnt strike me as they slightest bit odd for the hard-core objectivist types.