The Latest Objectivism Schism: Peikoff vs. McCaskey

Every few years we get to witness another entertaining Objectivist purge or publicly announced “breaking” (see my previous LRC posts Breaking, Broken, Broke: Silly Objectivist Tendencies; I break for Randians; Re: I Break for Randians; More Randian than Thou).

The apparently declining numbers of the true believers might make one fear these antics will soon fade out. But not yet. The latest is the resignation from the Ayn Rand Institute‘s Board of Directors of John McCaskey, preempting a purge that was being threatened by Peikoff. Despite being on the Board and being an ardent Objectivist and supporter of ARI, McCaskey committed the unforgivable sin of disagreeing (in private) with a book Peikoff liked–David Harriman’s The Logical Leap: Induction in Physics. Pope Peikoff generously acknowledges McCaskey’s previous fundraising for ARI might “raise[] him one rung in Hell,” but it doesn’t stop damnation. Since his resignation, McCaskey has posted a review of Harriman’s book explaining his disagreements.

The Objectisphere is naturally abuzz with these latest hijinks: see Does A Leonard Ever Change Its Spots? and New Developments re Harriman Induction book. Expect to see previous positive references to McCaskey by True Believers go down the Memory Hole soon–such as this one by Peikoffian Diana Hsieh and his inclusion on the faculty of Objectivist Conferences.


12:13 am on September 8, 2010