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Re: [LeftLibertarian2] Dan Clore Shrugs

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  • Dan Ust
    This is hilarious! You make public statements and then, it seems, don t want any to disagree. If you can t take disagreement, why make the statements to begin
    Message 1 of 17 , Aug 1, 2010
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      This is hilarious! You make public statements and
      then, it seems, don't want any to disagree.

      If you can't take disagreement, why make the
      statements to begin with?

      Regards,

      Dan

      On Aug 1, 2010, at 12:26 AM, Dan Clore <clore@...> wrote:

       


      Hi All:

      Just to let you all know, I probably won't be contributing much, if
      anything, more to the debates on Ayn Rand and Atlas Shrugged. I tried to
      politely beg off this fruitless discussion more than once before, and
      I'm convinced that it's a waste of time for everyone involved, and
      probably uninteresting to anyone else. Be assured that I will at least
      read all of the posts and try to take the points made into account in my
      thinking in the future.

      But for now, anyway, I would rather concentrate on more fruitful activities.

      --
      Dan Clore

      New book: _Weird Words: A Lovecraftian Lexicon_:
      http://tinyurl.com/yd3bxkw
      My collected fiction, _The Unspeakable and Others_:
      http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0035LTS0O
      Lord Weÿrdgliffe & Necronomicon Page:
      http://tinyurl.com/292yz9
      News & Views for Anarchists & Activists:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smygo

      Strange pleasures are known to him who flaunts the
      immarcescible purple of poetry before the color-blind.
      -- Clark Ashton Smith, "Epigrams and Apothegms"

    • Dan Clore
      ... I don t see how the fact that I consider one particular debate fruitless implies that I don t want any to disagree and can t take disagreement . The
      Message 2 of 17 , Aug 2, 2010
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        Dan Ust wrote:
        >
        > This is hilarious! You make public statements and then, it seems,
        > don't want any to disagree.
        >
        > If you can't take disagreement, why make the statements to begin
        > with?

        I don't see how the fact that I consider one particular debate fruitless
        implies that I "don't want any to disagree" and "can't take
        disagreement". The main problem here has been that my interlocutors show
        such egregious inability to understand the points I've made that I've
        just ended up trying to explain the same things over and over and over
        again -- with such minimal success that it's clearly a waste of my time,
        and probably everyone else's. All this has done is convince me more and
        more that Rand's admirers are so enamored of Atlas Shrugged due to the
        grotesquely and ludicrously false-to-facts, ideology-warped worldview
        that it pushes rather than due to any virtues it may have.

        > On Aug 1, 2010, at 12:26 AM, Dan Clore <clore@...
        > <mailto:clore@...>> wrote:

        >> Just to let you all know, I probably won't be contributing much, if
        >> anything, more to the debates on Ayn Rand and Atlas Shrugged. I
        >> tried to politely beg off this fruitless discussion more than once
        >> before, and I'm convinced that it's a waste of time for everyone
        >> involved, and probably uninteresting to anyone else. Be assured
        >> that I will at least read all of the posts and try to take the
        >> points made into account in my thinking in the future.
        >>
        >> But for now, anyway, I would rather concentrate on more fruitful
        >> activities.

        --
        Dan Clore

        New book: _Weird Words: A Lovecraftian Lexicon_:
        http://tinyurl.com/yd3bxkw
        My collected fiction, _The Unspeakable and Others_:
        http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0035LTS0O
        Lord Weÿrdgliffe & Necronomicon Page:
        http://tinyurl.com/292yz9
        News & Views for Anarchists & Activists:
        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smygo

        Strange pleasures are known to him who flaunts the
        immarcescible purple of poetry before the color-blind.
        -- Clark Ashton Smith, "Epigrams and Apothegms"
      • Dan
        No, you made points you couldn t defend. This is clear enough. And Jeff Riggenbach summed this up in a recent post, where he pointed out: What can I say
        Message 3 of 17 , Aug 3, 2010
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          No, you made points you couldn't defend. This is clear enough. And Jeff Riggenbach summed this up in a recent post, where he pointed out:
           
          "What can I say except that it would never occur to me to try to look up a name I had just run into in a novel in a general reference work about the real world? What can I say except that the very idea strikes me as utterly ridiculous and almost unspeakably asinine?
           
          "One does not turn to novels for information about the real world. Not if one has the slightest understanding of what a "novel" is. Not if one grasps the difference between fiction and nonfiction. The complaint that a work of fiction does not accurately depict the real world is not an explanation of why the work of fiction in question is "poorly written" or an inferior work of art. In some works of fiction, characters travel through time. In others, animals wear clothing and talk. In still others, members of labor unions behave in a way seldom or never seen among union members in the real world.
           
          "So what? This is, remember, FICTION. It is a made-up story about the events in the lives of people who don't really exist."
          I'm not sure how this doesn't consicely respond to both your seemingly key criticisms of Rand's novel -- her use of "John Galt" (where it seems only you actually have this problem; I can just imagine someone writing a story and you looking up the character's names in some reference work and, lo and behold!, should they be in there, the work is taken down a peg in your judgment) and her depiction of unions. To drive this point home, do you reject any work dealing with time travel (e.g., _Time and Again_ and _Empire Star_), talking animals (e.g., _Animal Farm_ and the Narnia series), or depictions of other things rarely seen in the real world (think of just about any novel here, but think of how most novels you'd think of as libertarian deal with the state or authority -- in a way most people would find completely at odds with how they view real world states or authorities*) as "poorly written" or "shit"?
           
          Again, too, it seems like your ideology is warping your judgment here. You've strongly reacted to the way Rand depicts unions and you're very pro-union. This is almost like the pro-business guy watching a TV show depicting the greedy businessman and rejecting it as "another one of those stories." Well, expect that such people are usually admitting an ideological bias and centering their criticism on an ideological difference -- and not couching it as based on literary theory.
           
          Finally, there are criticisms to be made about Rand's fiction and specifically about _Atlas Shrugged_. I don't believe Jeff or I have given any hint that Rand is above reproach or is the ideal writer. However, if one wants to criticize based on literary or esthetic merits, then one must set aside personal reactions of the kind you seem obsessed with -- whether there was someone else named "John Galt" or whether a novel portrays an institution you happen to like in an unfavorable light. (Yes, you brought up a reading list of literary critics you admire, but failed to show how they have either anything relevant to add here or how whatever criticisms they leveled against Rand's fat novel couldn't be leveled against many of the novels in your list and probably even most novels, including ones I bet you'd think of as well written.)
           
          Regards,
           
          Dan
           
          * I can just imagine the statist literary critic schooled in your version of criticism trashing most of your essential reading list for how the authors listed depict government and political authorities.
          From: Dan Clore <clore@...>
          To: LeftLibertarian2@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Mon, August 2, 2010 9:56:42 PM
          Subject: Re: [LeftLibertarian2] Dan Clore Shrugs
           

          Dan Ust wrote:

          >
          > This is hilarious! You make public statements and then, it seems,
          > don't want any to disagree.
          >
          > If you can't take disagreement, why make the statements to begin
          > with?

          I don't see how the fact that I consider one particular debate fruitless
          implies that I "don't want any to disagree" and "can't take
          disagreement". The main problem here has been that my interlocutors show
          such egregious inability to understand the points I've made that I've
          just ended up trying to explain the same things over and over and over
          again -- with such minimal success that it's clearly a waste of my time,
          and probably everyone else's. All this has done is convince me more and
          more that Rand's admirers are so enamored of Atlas Shrugged due to the
          grotesquely and ludicrously false-to-facts, ideology-warped worldview
          that it pushes rather than due to any virtues it may have.

          > On Aug 1, 2010, at 12:26 AM, Dan Clore <clore@...
          > <mailto:clore@...>> wrote:

          >> Just to let you all know, I probably won't be contributing much, if
          >> anything, more to the debates on Ayn Rand and Atlas Shrugged. I
          >> tried to politely beg off this fruitless discussion more than once
          >> before, and I'm convinced that it's a waste of time for everyone
          >> involved, and probably uninteresting to anyone else. Be assured
          >> that I will at least read all of the posts and try to take the
          >> points made into account in my thinking in the future.
          >>
          >> But for now,
          anyway, I would rather concentrate on more fruitful
          >> activities.

          --
          Dan Clore


        • Kevin Carson
          ... In fairness to Dan Clore, I think it s mainly a frustration at seeing a debate turn into a Vietnam-style quagmire where everyone is repeating the same
          Message 4 of 17 , Aug 5, 2010
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            On 8/1/10, Dan Ust <dan_ust@...> wrote:

            > This is hilarious! You make public statements and
            > then, it seems, don't want any to disagree.
            >
            >
            > If you can't take disagreement, why make the
            > statements to begin with?

            In fairness to Dan Clore, I think it's mainly a frustration at seeing
            a debate turn into a Vietnam-style quagmire where everyone is
            repeating the same arguments over, and over, and over again, a hundred
            posts down the road. That's why I muted all the many separate
            renamed email threads that the original Ayn Rand discussion
            fissionated (?) into.

            I stopped responding to anything Tim Starr said, in part, because I
            knew that unless I gave him the last word I'd still be discussing the
            same issue a fucking year later. I don't like participating in an
            email list to turn into a job that I dread punching into.

            --
            Kevin Carson
            Center for a Stateless Society http://c4ss.org
            Mutualist Blog:  Free Market Anti-Capitalism
            http://mutualist.blogspot.com
            The Homebrew Industrial Revolution:  A Low-Overhead Manifesto
            http://homebrewindustrialrevolution.wordpress.com
            Organization Theory:  A Libertarian Perspective
            http://mutualist.blogspot.com/2005/12/studies-in-anarchist-theory-of.html
          • Dan
            In fairness to everyone else, though, why, again, make statements and then complain when people respond to them? Surely, if I made a claim about your book or
            Message 5 of 17 , Aug 5, 2010
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              In fairness to everyone else, though, why, again, make statements and then complain when people respond to them?
               
              Surely, if I made a claim about your book or other writers -- let's say I wrote, "That Kevin Carsons is a third rate writer, a fourth rate intellect, and, worse, wants to pretend he's somehow above all the squabbles on the list" -- wouldn't be strange if, after you'd responded to the claim -- and let's say you and I just disagree, that I continue to maintain you're "third rate writer, a fourth rate intellect," etc. and you (and your defenders) disagree and both sides seem unable to get beyond that -- that I just kept chucking out the claim and then complained when you (and your defenders) responded? Wouldn't something seem wrong here about my complaint -- regardless of the merits of your and my respective arguments regarding what quality of writer, intellect, or pretender you are?
               
              Regards,
               
              Dan

              From: Kevin Carson <free.market.anticapitalist@...>
              To: LeftLibertarian2@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Thu, August 5, 2010 2:43:06 PM
              Subject: Re: [LeftLibertarian2] Dan Clore Shrugs
               

              On 8/1/10, Dan Ust <dan_ust@...> wrote:

              > This is hilarious! You make public statements and
              > then, it seems, don't want any to disagree.
              >
              >
              > If you can't take disagreement, why make the
              > statements to begin with?

              In fairness to Dan Clore, I think it's mainly a frustration at seeing
              a debate turn into a Vietnam-style quagmire where everyone is
              repeating the same arguments over, and over, and over again, a hundred
              posts down the road. That's why I muted all the many separate
              renamed email threads that the original Ayn Rand discussion
              fissionated (?) into.

              I stopped responding to anything Tim Starr said, in part, because I
              knew that unless I gave him the last word I'd still be discussing the
              same issue a fucking year later. I don't like participating in an
              email list to turn into a job that I dread punching into.

              --
              Kevin Carson
              Center for a Stateless Society http://c4ss.org
              Mutualist Blog:  Free Market Anti-Capitalism
              http://mutualist.blogspot.com
              The Homebrew Industrial Revolution:  A Low-Overhead Manifesto
              http://homebrewindustrialrevolution.wordpress.com
              Organization Theory:  A Libertarian Perspective
              http://mutualist.blogspot.com/2005/12/studies-in-anarchist-theory-of.html


            • Kevin Carson
              ... For me this isn t about the personal qualities of anyone in the debate. I commented, in fact, because I disagreed with making this about Dan Clore s
              Message 6 of 17 , Aug 5, 2010
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                On 8/5/10, Dan <dan_ust@...> wrote:

                > In fairness to everyone else, though, why, again, make statements and then complain when people respond to them?
                >
                > Surely, if I made a claim about your book or other writers -- let's say I wrote, "That Kevin Carsons is a third rate writer, a fourth rate intellect, and, worse, wants to pretend he's somehow above all the squabbles on the list" -- wouldn't be strange if, after you'd responded to the claim -- and let's say you and I just disagree, that I continue to maintain you're "third rate writer, a fourth rate intellect," etc. and you (and your defenders) disagree and both sides seem unable to get beyond that -- that I just kept chucking out the claim and then complained when you (and your defenders) responded? Wouldn't something seem wrong here about my complaint -- regardless of the merits of your and my respective arguments regarding what quality of writer, intellect, or pretender you are?
                >

                For me this isn't about the personal qualities of anyone in the
                debate. I commented, in fact, because I disagreed with making this
                about Dan Clore's personal qualities. At some point, when all the
                arguments in a debate have been rehashed repeatedly, it's natural to
                question the point of continuing it -- and it's not necessarily either
                a tacit admission of defeat, *or* a judgment on the other
                participants. I just don't see any obligation to continue making
                arguments over and over again, until everyone who disagrees with you
                finally considers their own arguments have been met to their
                satisfaction; in that case, arguments would continue until the end of
                time.

                --
                Kevin Carson
                Center for a Stateless Society http://c4ss.org
                Mutualist Blog:  Free Market Anti-Capitalism
                http://mutualist.blogspot.com
                The Homebrew Industrial Revolution:  A Low-Overhead Manifesto
                http://homebrewindustrialrevolution.wordpress.com
                Organization Theory:  A Libertarian Perspective
                http://mutualist.blogspot.com/2005/12/studies-in-anarchist-theory-of.html
              • Jesse Walker
                ... What Kevin said. At the rate things were going, the argument about the literary merits of ATLAS SHRUGGED were starting to remind me of the list s
                Message 7 of 17 , Aug 5, 2010
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                  Kevin Carson wrote:

                  > For me this isn't about the personal qualities of anyone in the
                  > debate. I commented, in fact, because I disagreed with making this
                  > about Dan Clore's personal qualities. At some point, when all the
                  > arguments in a debate have been rehashed repeatedly, it's natural to
                  > question the point of continuing it -- and it's not necessarily either
                  > a tacit admission of defeat, *or* a judgment on the other
                  > participants. I just don't see any obligation to continue making
                  > arguments over and over again, until everyone who disagrees with you
                  > finally considers their own arguments have been met to their
                  > satisfaction; in that case, arguments would continue until the end of
                  > time.

                  What Kevin said. At the rate things were going, the argument about the
                  literary merits of ATLAS SHRUGGED were starting to remind me of the
                  list's interminable arguments about Georgism.
                • Dan
                  Who said there was any obligation to respond? No obligations here, I m guessing. Also, your statement was: In fairness to Dan Clore, I think it s mainly a
                  Message 8 of 17 , Aug 5, 2010
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                    Who said there was any obligation to respond? No obligations here, I'm guessing.
                     
                    Also, your statement was:
                     
                    "In fairness to Dan Clore, I think it's mainly a frustration at seeing a debate turn into a Vietnam-style quagmire where everyone is repeating the same arguments over, and over, and over again, a hundred posts down the road."
                     
                    That might indeed be Dan's feeling, but I'd answer as before: Why make such statements, over and over, here, if you don't want a response? It's not like he stated this once and everyone else -- meaning Jeff Riggenbach and me -- kept going on and on about it for ten months. He made a statement, got a reaction, responded to that, and that went back and forth -- mainly, from my perspective, with him calling Jeff and me ignoramuses, unresponsive (not his exact words, mind you), and, even, saying "Rand's admirers [obviously, meaning his two critics here -- or did he mean someone else? Who?] are so enamored of Atlas Shrugged due to the grotesquely and ludicrously false-to-facts, ideology-warped worldview that it pushes rather than due to any virtues it may have" -- and then made the same statement again. (That said, I hardly think, in terms of fairness, in this discussion, that Dan's a model of it. Of course, being on one side of the discussion might color my view here.)
                     
                    And, regarding admission or judgment -- though it's hard to say since it's not like everyone chimes in to every post or there's some kind of poll taken to see who agrees, etc. -- a problem here is new people do pop in and others participate on and off. So, it might be the case that someone states X long ago, someone else responds to that around that time, and then the first person repeats X again months later.
                     
                    Regards,
                     
                    Dan

                    From: Kevin Carson <free.market.anticapitalist@...>
                    To: LeftLibertarian2@yahoogroups.com
                    Sent: Thu, August 5, 2010 3:10:52 PM
                    Subject: Re: [LeftLibertarian2] Dan Clore Shrugs
                     

                    On 8/5/10, Dan <dan_ust@...> wrote:

                    > In fairness to everyone else, though, why, again, make statements and then complain when people respond to them?
                    >
                    > Surely, if I made a claim about your book or other writers -- let's say I wrote, "That Kevin Carsons is a third rate writer, a fourth rate intellect, and, worse, wants to pretend he's somehow above all the squabbles on the list" -- wouldn't be strange if, after you'd responded to the claim -- and let's say you and I just disagree, that I continue to maintain you're "third rate writer, a fourth rate intellect," etc. and you (and your defenders) disagree and both sides seem unable to get beyond that -- that I just kept chucking out the claim and then complained when you (and your defenders) responded? Wouldn't something seem wrong here about my complaint -- regardless of the merits of your and my respective arguments regarding what quality of writer, intellect, or pretender you are?
                    >

                    For me this isn't about the personal qualities of anyone in the
                    debate. I commented, in fact, because I disagreed with making this
                    about Dan Clore's personal qualities. At some point, when all the
                    arguments in a debate have been rehashed repeatedly, it's natural to
                    question the point of continuing it -- and it's not necessarily either
                    a tacit admission of defeat, *or* a judgment on the other
                    participants. I just don't see any obligation to continue making
                    arguments over and over again, until everyone who disagrees with you
                    finally considers their own arguments have been met to their
                    satisfaction; in that case, arguments would continue until the end of
                    time.

                    --
                    Kevin Carson


                  • Dan Clore
                    ... That s right. Dan and Jeff think that they destroyed my criticisms of Atlas Shrugged, whereas I think that their counterarguments show that they haven t
                    Message 9 of 17 , Aug 5, 2010
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                      Kevin Carson wrote:
                      > On 8/1/10, Dan Ust <dan_ust@...> wrote:
                      >
                      >> This is hilarious! You make public statements and then, it seems,
                      >> don't want any to disagree.
                      >>
                      >> If you can't take disagreement, why make the statements to begin
                      >> with?
                      >
                      > In fairness to Dan Clore, I think it's mainly a frustration at seeing
                      > a debate turn into a Vietnam-style quagmire where everyone is
                      > repeating the same arguments over, and over, and over again, a
                      > hundred posts down the road.

                      That's right. Dan and Jeff think that they destroyed my criticisms of
                      Atlas Shrugged, whereas I think that their counterarguments show that
                      they haven't understood them. We're both just repeating the same stuff.

                      There is one thing that probably deserves a response, though. Jeff
                      argued, and Dan quoted his argument in agreement, that "One does not
                      turn to novels for information about the real world. Not if one has the
                      slightest understanding of what a 'novel' is. Not if one grasps the
                      difference between fiction and nonfiction. The complaint that a work of
                      fiction does not accurately depict the real world is not an explanation
                      of why the work of fiction in question is 'poorly written' or an
                      inferior work of art. In some works of fiction, characters travel
                      through time. In others, animals wear clothing and talk. In still
                      others, members of labor unions behave in a way seldom or never seen
                      among union members in the real world."

                      Now, the fact that Atlas Shrugged hammers the reader over the head with
                      Rand's ideology, that countless readers have responded to it with a sort
                      of religious conversion experience, and that many of these have become
                      hopelessly robotized Randroids -- devoutly believing, among other
                      things, in the portrayal of labor unions in the novel as unquestionably
                      realistic, even though it contradicts both itself and empirical facts*
                      -- might lead one to think that the novel's ideological import does have
                      some importance. And this whole debate over the novel began with a
                      controversy over whether I should have recommended it in my column
                      "Essential Science Fiction and Fantasy for Libertarians"
                      (http://www.nolanchart.com/article4700.html ), where the ideological
                      import of the works is obviously a consideration for inclusion. J. Neil
                      Schulman specifically argued for its inclusion because it supposedly
                      creates "libertarian converts" (never mind that my column was aimed at
                      individuals who are already libertarians, not potential converts). But
                      now Jeff and Dan apparently want to argue that all these libertarian
                      converts lack "the slightest understanding of what a 'novel' is". It's
                      as if they don't realize that fiction can be used to indirectly make
                      (nonfiction) statements about the world. It's especially ridiculous in a
                      case like Atlas Shrugged, where the infamously lengthy speeches are
                      really just the author pushing her ideology.

                      *The analogy between this portrayal and fantasy elements like time
                      travel and talking animals is, in a way, probably much more accurate
                      than Jeff or Dan realize. But I don't know of any work of fiction
                      written to hammer the reader over the head with an ideology in which
                      time travel or talking animals really exist.

                      --
                      Dan Clore

                      New book: _Weird Words: A Lovecraftian Lexicon_:
                      http://tinyurl.com/yd3bxkw
                      My collected fiction, _The Unspeakable and Others_:
                      http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0035LTS0O
                      Lord Weÿrdgliffe & Necronomicon Page:
                      http://tinyurl.com/292yz9
                      News & Views for Anarchists & Activists:
                      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smygo

                      Strange pleasures are known to him who flaunts the
                      immarcescible purple of poetry before the color-blind.
                      -- Clark Ashton Smith, "Epigrams and Apothegms"
                    • Dan
                      My view is the  this whole debate DID NOT START over the novel began with a controversy over whether [you] should have recommended it in [your] column
                      Message 10 of 17 , Aug 6, 2010
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                        My view is the "this whole debate" DID NOT START "over the novel began with a
                        controversy over whether [you] should have recommended it in [your] column "Essential Science Fiction and Fantasy for Libertarians" (http://www.nolanchart.com/article4700.html..." Rather, for me, it began around you're bringing up:
                         
                         
                        and
                         
                         
                        And the more recent incarnation of this debate with you posting a link to another list to which I responded with:
                         
                         
                        My issue here has not been whether you include Rand's fat novel in your column, but on just why you believe that novel is an "abominably awful product" and "absolutely worthless from an æsthetic standpoint." You didn't just present us with a list of "Essential" titles, after all. You gave some "reasons" why you didn't include that novel -- and these were not presented as ideological reasons, but attacks on quality of the novel as a work of art -- namely that it's, again, an "abominably awful product" and "absolutely worthless from an æsthetic standpoint."
                         
                        Of course, you're free to make up what you believe my reasons are here, but I think I've been painfully clear about this. (I don't know Jeff Riggenbach's reasons either. You'll have to ask him.)
                         
                        I'll try to respond to the rest of your post later today.
                         
                        Regards,
                         
                        Dan

                        From: Dan Clore <clore@...>
                        To: LeftLibertarian2@yahoogroups.com
                        Sent: Thu, August 5, 2010 8:57:05 PM
                        Subject: Re: [LeftLibertarian2] Dan Clore Shrugs

                         

                        Kevin Carson wrote:

                        > On 8/1/10, Dan Ust <dan_ust@...> wrote:
                        >
                        >> This is hilarious! You make public statements and then, it seems,
                        >> don't want any to disagree.
                        >>
                        >> If you can't take disagreement, why make the statements to begin
                        >> with?
                        >
                        > In fairness to Dan Clore, I think it's mainly a frustration at seeing
                        > a debate turn into a Vietnam-style quagmire where everyone is
                        > repeating the same arguments over, and over, and over again, a
                        > hundred posts down the road.

                        That's right. Dan and Jeff think that they destroyed my criticisms of
                        Atlas Shrugged, whereas I think that their counterarguments show that
                        they haven't understood them. We're both just repeating the same stuff.

                        There is one thing that probably deserves a response, though. Jeff
                        argued, and Dan quoted his argument in agreement, that "One does not
                        turn to novels for information about the real world. Not if one has the
                        slightest understanding of what a 'novel' is. Not if one grasps the
                        difference between fiction and nonfiction. The complaint that a work of
                        fiction does not accurately depict the real world is not an explanation
                        of why the work of fiction in question is 'poorly written' or an
                        inferior work of art. In some works of fiction, characters travel
                        through time. In others, animals wear clothing and talk. In still
                        others, members of labor unions behave in a way seldom or never seen
                        among union members in the real world."

                        Now, the fact that Atlas Shrugged hammers the reader over the head with
                        Rand's ideology, that countless readers have responded to it with a sort
                        of religious conversion experience, and that many of these have become
                        hopelessly robotized Randroids -- devoutly believing, among other
                        things, in the portrayal of labor unions in the novel as unquestionably
                        realistic, even though it contradicts both itself and empirical facts*
                        -- might lead one to think that the novel's ideological import does have
                        some importance. And this whole debate over the novel began with a
                        controversy over whether I should have recommended it in my column
                        "Essential Science Fiction and Fantasy for Libertarians"
                        (http://www.nolanchart.com/article4700.html ), where the ideological
                        import of the works is obviously a consideration for inclusion. J. Neil
                        Schulman specifically argued for its inclusion because it supposedly
                        creates "libertarian converts" (never mind that my column was aimed at
                        individuals who are already libertarians, not potential converts). But
                        now Jeff and Dan apparently want to argue that all these libertarian
                        converts lack "the slightest understanding of what a 'novel' is". It's
                        as if they don't realize that fiction can be used to indirectly make
                        (nonfiction) statements about the world. It's especially ridiculous in a
                        case like Atlas Shrugged, where the infamously lengthy speeches are
                        really just the author pushing her ideology.

                        *The analogy between this portrayal and fantasy elements like time
                        travel and talking animals is, in a way, probably much more accurate
                        than Jeff or Dan realize. But I don't know of any work of fiction
                        written to hammer the reader over the head with an ideology in which
                        time travel or talking animals really exist.

                        --
                        Dan Clore


                      • Joshua Katz
                        I have no particular feelings on this issue. I do, though, think the John Galt claims are quite odd. Has Dickens been brought down as a writer by the magic
                        Message 11 of 17 , Aug 6, 2010
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                          I have no particular feelings on this issue.  I do, though, think the John Galt claims are quite odd.  Has Dickens been brought down as a writer by the magic shows performed by David Copperfield?

                          On Thu, Aug 5, 2010 at 8:57 PM, Dan Clore <clore@...> wrote:
                           

                          Kevin Carson wrote:
                          > On 8/1/10, Dan Ust <dan_ust@...> wrote:
                          >
                          >> This is hilarious! You make public statements and then, it seems,
                          >> don't want any to disagree.
                          >>
                          >> If you can't take disagreement, why make the statements to begin
                          >> with?
                          >
                          > In fairness to Dan Clore, I think it's mainly a frustration at seeing
                          > a debate turn into a Vietnam-style quagmire where everyone is
                          > repeating the same arguments over, and over, and over again, a
                          > hundred posts down the road.

                          That's right. Dan and Jeff think that they destroyed my criticisms of
                          Atlas Shrugged, whereas I think that their counterarguments show that
                          they haven't understood them. We're both just repeating the same stuff.

                          There is one thing that probably deserves a response, though. Jeff
                          argued, and Dan quoted his argument in agreement, that "One does not
                          turn to novels for information about the real world. Not if one has the
                          slightest understanding of what a 'novel' is. Not if one grasps the
                          difference between fiction and nonfiction. The complaint that a work of
                          fiction does not accurately depict the real world is not an explanation
                          of why the work of fiction in question is 'poorly written' or an
                          inferior work of art. In some works of fiction, characters travel
                          through time. In others, animals wear clothing and talk. In still
                          others, members of labor unions behave in a way seldom or never seen
                          among union members in the real world."

                          Now, the fact that Atlas Shrugged hammers the reader over the head with
                          Rand's ideology, that countless readers have responded to it with a sort
                          of religious conversion experience, and that many of these have become
                          hopelessly robotized Randroids -- devoutly believing, among other
                          things, in the portrayal of labor unions in the novel as unquestionably
                          realistic, even though it contradicts both itself and empirical facts*
                          -- might lead one to think that the novel's ideological import does have
                          some importance. And this whole debate over the novel began with a
                          controversy over whether I should have recommended it in my column
                          "Essential Science Fiction and Fantasy for Libertarians"
                          (http://www.nolanchart.com/article4700.html ), where the ideological
                          import of the works is obviously a consideration for inclusion. J. Neil
                          Schulman specifically argued for its inclusion because it supposedly
                          creates "libertarian converts" (never mind that my column was aimed at
                          individuals who are already libertarians, not potential converts). But
                          now Jeff and Dan apparently want to argue that all these libertarian
                          converts lack "the slightest understanding of what a 'novel' is". It's
                          as if they don't realize that fiction can be used to indirectly make
                          (nonfiction) statements about the world. It's especially ridiculous in a
                          case like Atlas Shrugged, where the infamously lengthy speeches are
                          really just the author pushing her ideology.

                          *The analogy between this portrayal and fantasy elements like time
                          travel and talking animals is, in a way, probably much more accurate
                          than Jeff or Dan realize. But I don't know of any work of fiction
                          written to hammer the reader over the head with an ideology in which
                          time travel or talking animals really exist.


                          --
                          Dan Clore

                          New book: _Weird Words: A Lovecraftian Lexicon_:
                          http://tinyurl.com/yd3bxkw
                          My collected fiction, _The Unspeakable and Others_:
                          http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0035LTS0O
                          Lord Weÿrdgliffe & Necronomicon Page:
                          http://tinyurl.com/292yz9
                          News & Views for Anarchists & Activists:
                          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smygo

                          Strange pleasures are known to him who flaunts the
                          immarcescible purple of poetry before the color-blind.
                          -- Clark Ashton Smith, "Epigrams and Apothegms"


                        • Dan
                          I reckon that would only matter to Dan Clore if Charles Dickens were writing a century from now -- when, presumably, only scholars of prestidigitation and
                          Message 12 of 17 , Aug 6, 2010
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                            I reckon that would only matter to Dan Clore if Charles Dickens were writing a century from now -- when, presumably, only scholars of prestidigitation and anti-Dickens types would know about "David Copperfield." :)
                             
                            Regards,
                             
                            Dan

                            From: Joshua Katz <jalankatz@...>
                            To: LeftLibertarian2@yahoogroups.com
                            Sent: Fri, August 6, 2010 9:51:22 AM
                            Subject: Re: [LeftLibertarian2] Dan Clore Shrugs
                             

                            I have no particular feelings on this issue.  I do, though, think the John Galt claims are quite odd.  Has Dickens been brought down as a writer by the magic shows performed by David Copperfield?

                            On Thu, Aug 5, 2010 at 8:57 PM, Dan Clore <clore@columbia- center.org> wrote:
                             

                            Kevin Carson wrote:
                            > On 8/1/10, Dan Ust <dan_ust@yahoo. com> wrote:
                            >
                            >> This is hilarious! You make public statements and then, it seems,
                            >> don't want any to disagree.
                            >>
                            >> If you can't take disagreement, why make the statements to begin
                            >> with?
                            >
                            > In fairness to Dan Clore, I think it's mainly a frustration at seeing
                            > a debate turn into a Vietnam-style quagmire where everyone is
                            > repeating the same arguments over, and over, and over again, a
                            > hundred posts down the road.

                            That's right. Dan and Jeff think that they destroyed my criticisms of
                            Atlas Shrugged, whereas I think that their counterarguments show that
                            they haven't understood them. We're both just repeating the same stuff.

                            There is one thing that probably deserves a response, though. Jeff
                            argued, and Dan quoted his argument in agreement, that "One does not
                            turn to novels for information about the real world. Not if one has the
                            slightest understanding of what a 'novel' is. Not if one grasps the
                            difference between fiction and nonfiction. The complaint that a work of
                            fiction does not accurately depict the real world is not an explanation
                            of why the work of fiction in question is 'poorly written' or an
                            inferior work of art. In some works of fiction, characters travel
                            through time. In others, animals wear clothing and talk. In still
                            others, members of labor unions behave in a way seldom or never seen
                            among union members in the real world."

                            Now, the fact that Atlas Shrugged hammers the reader over the head with
                            Rand's ideology, that countless readers have responded to it with a sort
                            of religious conversion experience, and that many of these have become
                            hopelessly robotized Randroids -- devoutly believing, among other
                            things, in the portrayal of labor unions in the novel as unquestionably
                            realistic, even though it contradicts both itself and empirical facts*
                            -- might lead one to think that the novel's ideological import does have
                            some importance. And this whole debate over the novel began with a
                            controversy over whether I should have recommended it in my column
                            "Essential Science Fiction and Fantasy for Libertarians"
                            (http://www.nolanchart.com/article4700.html ), where the ideological
                            import of the works is obviously a consideration for inclusion. J. Neil
                            Schulman specifically argued for its inclusion because it supposedly
                            creates "libertarian converts" (never mind that my column was aimed at
                            individuals who are already libertarians, not potential converts). But
                            now Jeff and Dan apparently want to argue that all these libertarian
                            converts lack "the slightest understanding of what a 'novel' is". It's
                            as if they don't realize that fiction can be used to indirectly make
                            (nonfiction) statements about the world. It's especially ridiculous in a
                            case like Atlas Shrugged, where the infamously lengthy speeches are
                            really just the author pushing her ideology.

                            *The analogy between this portrayal and fantasy elements like time
                            travel and talking animals is, in a way, probably much more accurate
                            than Jeff or Dan realize. But I don't know of any work of fiction
                            written to hammer the reader over the head with an ideology in which
                            time travel or talking animals really exist.

                            --
                            Dan Clore

                          • Dan Clore
                            ... No, that s just another false analogy. I ve explained this point at excruciating length more than once before-- -- Dan Clore New book: _Weird Words: A
                            Message 13 of 17 , Aug 7, 2010
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                              Joshua Katz wrote:
                              >
                              > I have no particular feelings on this issue. I do, though, think the
                              > John Galt claims are quite odd. Has Dickens been brought down as a
                              > writer by the magic shows performed by David Copperfield?

                              No, that's just another false analogy. I've explained this point at
                              excruciating length more than once before--

                              --
                              Dan Clore

                              New book: _Weird Words: A Lovecraftian Lexicon_:
                              http://tinyurl.com/yd3bxkw
                              My collected fiction, _The Unspeakable and Others_:
                              http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0035LTS0O
                              Lord Weÿrdgliffe & Necronomicon Page:
                              http://tinyurl.com/292yz9
                              News & Views for Anarchists & Activists:
                              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smygo

                              Strange pleasures are known to him who flaunts the
                              immarcescible purple of poetry before the color-blind.
                              -- Clark Ashton Smith, "Epigrams and Apothegms"
                            • Joshua Katz
                              I agree. ... I agree. On Sat, Aug 7, 2010 at 11:43 PM, Dan Clore wrote: ... No, that s just another false analogy. I ve explained
                              Message 14 of 17 , Aug 7, 2010
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                                I agree.

                                On Sat, Aug 7, 2010 at 11:43 PM, Dan Clore <clore@...> wrote:
                                Joshua Katz wrote:
                                >
                                > I have no particular feelings on this issue.  I do, though, think the
                                >  John Galt claims are quite odd.  Has Dickens been brought down as a
                                >  writer by the magic shows performed by David Copperfield?ee

                                No, that's just another false analogy. I've explained this point at
                                excruciating length more than once before--

                                --
                                Dan Clore

                                New book: _Weird Words: A Lovecraftian Lexicon_:
                                http://tinyurl.com/yd3bxkw
                                My collected fiction, _The Unspeakable and Others_:
                                http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0035LTS0O
                                Lord Weÿrdgliffe & Necronomicon Page:
                                http://tinyurl.com/292yz9
                                News & Views for Anarchists & Activists:
                                http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smygo

                                Strange pleasures are known to him who flaunts the
                                immarcescible purple of poetry before the color-blind.
                                -- Clark Ashton Smith, "Epigrams and Apothegms"



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                              • jeo1@verizon.net
                                ... I agree. On Sat, Aug 7, 2010 at 11:43 PM, Dan Clore wrote: Joshua Katz wrote: I have no particular feelings on
                                Message 15 of 17 , Aug 7, 2010
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                                  You mean you agree about the "excruciating length" part, don't you?


                                  Aug 7, 2010 10:58:18 PM, LeftLibertarian2@yahoogroups.com wrote:
                                  >
                                  >

                                  I agree.
                                  >
                                  >

                                  On Sat, Aug 7, 2010 at 11:43 PM, Dan Clore <clore@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  >
                                  Joshua Katz wrote:
                                  > >
                                  > > I have no particular feelings on this issue.  I do, though, think the
                                  > >  John Galt claims are quite odd.  Has Dickens been brought down as a
                                  > >  writer by the magic shows performed by David Copperfield?ee
                                  >
                                  > No, that's just another false analogy. I've explained this point at
                                  > excruciating length more than once before--
                                  >------------------------------------
                                  >
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                                • Joshua Katz
                                  Yes. ... Yes. On Sun, Aug 8, 2010 at 2:05 AM, wrote:   ... I agree. On Sat, Aug 7, 2010 at 11:43 PM, Dan Clore
                                  Message 16 of 17 , Aug 8, 2010
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                                    Yes.

                                    On Sun, Aug 8, 2010 at 2:05 AM, <jeo1@...> wrote:
                                     

                                    You mean you agree about the "excruciating length" part, don't you?


                                    Aug 7, 2010 10:58:18 PM, LeftLibertarian2@yahoogroups.com wrote:

                                    >
                                    >

                                    I agree.
                                    >
                                    >

                                    On Sat, Aug 7, 2010 at 11:43 PM, Dan Clore <clore@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    >
                                    Joshua Katz wrote:
                                    > >
                                    > > I have no particular feelings on this issue.  I do, though, think the
                                    > >  John Galt claims are quite odd.  Has Dickens been brought down as a
                                    > >  writer by the magic shows performed by David Copperfield?ee
                                    >
                                    > No, that's just another false analogy. I've explained this point at
                                    > excruciating length more than once before--
                                    >------------------------------------
                                    >
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