They really should make some kind of objectivist repellant

Since starting this blog, I’ve posted a link to this ridiculous article every year around this time: Leonard Peikoff’s essay, Why Christmas Should Be More Commerical.

I’m wearing mistletoe on my back belt loop, Leonard. Start kissin’.

8 replies on “They really should make some kind of objectivist repellant”

*rubs hands together gleefully* I know just who to use this in an online debate with. Whee!

Objectivist repellent…mmmmm….

Liss, you’ll tell us where we can find this debate, won’t you? My curiosity has been piqued.

I read the whole Peikoff article and rather liked it. Which part of it is so offensive to you guys?

I guess this means I’m a closet Objectivist, since I didn’t see anything objectionable about it.

Well, that’s not entirely true. On reconsideration, I noticed some defensive sneering about the notion of being nice or charitable. I didn’t like that bit. But it didn’t seem like the most prominent part to me. Maybe this means I’m accustomed to Objectivists and don’t notice those bits so much anymore.


Part of it is simply culutural: I’m Filipino by descent, and the Christmas/New Year’s holiday span is a bigger deal there than it is here in North America. About two-thirds of the country gets two weeks off around that time (making traffic a nightmare), and the season is punctuated by visits to just about every relative you have for a large festive meal. To me, it’s not about the Benjamins, but about getting together with Cousin Benjamin and the rest of the clan. Family, not filthy lucre.

The other part — the-non-religious-non-cultural everybody-can-get-behind-me-on-this-one objection (hah!) that I have to Peikoff’s essay is that sneering towards geniality and being charitable that really gets my goat. It’s mean-spirited, selfish toddler thinking: mine, mine, MINE!. Once again, it’s a personal thing, but it really grates against my sensibilties — whenever possible, I do try to share.

I’ll probably write a little more on this in a later blog entry.

And there, in a nutshell, is most of my problem with Objectivism and Neo-Objectivism – too many of their practitioners have never managed to climb out of the sand box.

Here is the very same message, but with a cheery painting at the end.

I’m not sure what your objection to Mr. Peikoff’s message is. He speaks in favor of celebrating accomplishments and pleasure, and speaks against assumed guilt. Giving to individuals and causes you value is a joy. Giving of yourself because some sacrificial obligation is demanded or assumed is horrible.

Given the choice, I’ll take the religionist or the nihilist repellant over the Objectivist repellant.

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