Tuesday, February 10, 2004

When I first envisioned this blog, I envisioned a team blog of 5 or 6 Objectivist intellectual activists and the content to match. That has not happened. I envisioned that our general commitment to Objectivism would make it clear what animated us, so if the public saw intellectual differences, it would understand that our pursuit of the truth and respect for reason would always lead us back home, even if we needed some 'prodding.' That has not happened. I envisioned that as a growing force in the advancement of capitalism, we would enjoy acclaim and appreciation commensurate with our efforts. That has not happened.

Instead, what I've seen is a lot of work for a marginal return at best, both financial and spiritual. I've seen us attacked by those who purport to be our friends and yet in their disagreements with us, would publicly brand this organization and its leaders as immoral; not as a last step, but as the first.

That's not to say that I don't value the relationships that have been established with the friends I've made over the Internet. I do. But given the amount of work we put in here, it takes more than a few friends to sustain us.

I think bloging is a powerful and compelling tool for commenting on the questions of the day. It is a real-time medium that provides instant analyses from those who would otherwise be left voiceless. But absent my ability to consider every opinion and edit every word so I can protect Rule of Reason's authors (and fairly, myself) from charges made by others that would damage the organization as a whole, it just does not work.

No one should take any part of this statement as meaning anything negative regarding Skip Oliva's decision to stop blogging for Rule of Reason. On, the contrary, I completely sympathize with Skip's decision. Not that I always agree with every thing he says or every parse of his phrasing, but that I consider him, after knowing him for many years, to be intellectually honest and personally committed to the protection of individual rights in a way that leaves me in awe of his effort and determination. If only the people who criticized and attacked Skip with effortless ease worked as hard as Skip, well, we would be living in a different world.

There will be a short break in public commentary at CAC, so I can reflect upon ways for us to be effective (and profitable) intellectual activists and a useful force in the advance of Objectivism. The old formula is not working. It is time to rethink the brand, its purpose, and the means of achieving that purpose.

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