Objectivism Schism Form Letter

I’ve noted before Randians’ bizarre practice of “officially” “breaking” with one another (other comments on this).

Now some Objectivists who actually have a sense of humor have made up an “Official Solo Schism Form Letter”. Funny stuff. The letter is lampooning Objectivist nobody Diana Mertz Hsieh, who felt compelled to Officially, Publicly Break with a former Objectivist friend, the brilliant Chris Sciabarra (who is a decent, sincere, honest person who did not deserve to be treated like this), and to justify it by printing his private correspondence to her and a set of charges to any normal person would appear very bizarre (strange for a Randian, eh?). One of many critiques of Hsieh’s dishonorable actions is found here; another.

Correction: I have been informed that the letter was originally a spoof on Objectivist Lindsay Perigo and his site Solo; but that it works just as well with Hsieh, as Kelly’s filling in the blanks for a letter to Chris shows (later in the thread linked). Update: Just came across the latest Official Objectivist Denunciation: Andrew Bernstein of the Ayn Rand Institute has apparently been pestered into apologizing for having =gasp= published a short piece in the “Journal of Ayn Rand Studies”. Bernstein’s apology states “I deeply regret my thoughtless decision to contribute to this journal, and hereby irrevocably repudiate any and all association with it.”

Well, then, Dr. Bernstein–it’s official–and more than that, irrevocable! Thanks for letting us know!

He goes on: “To all who are sincerely concerned with Objectivism, I apologize, and recommend a complete repudiation and boycott of this journal and of any and all of Mr. Sciabarra’s work.”

Okay! I hereby repudiate and boycott Sciabarra.

And now I take it back! ha ha, I forgot to make it irrevocable!


A former Objectivist wrote me with this theory:

The only other thing I can say about the Club’s obsession with excommunicating people is that it strikes me as an initiation ritual of sorts–like how the Cosa Nostra makes you whack a guy to “make your bones.” It’s also an obvious way of generating false self-esteem, which is something I see a lot of in O’s. After all, most of their lives
revolve around taking credit for the work of a dead philosopher who in turn borrowed heavily without attribution.


4:25 pm on June 18, 2006