RANDIAN DIALECTICS, CRITICAL REVIEW 12, no. 3 (SUMMER 1998) and additional comments by Ari Armstrong, "Friedman Rules," LIBERTY 17, no. 12 (December 2003): 38-40
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"REJOINDER TO SCIABARRA" - DAVID MACGREGOR (301-3)
"Chris Sciabarra's discussion of the dialectic and its uses in modern social science is most welcome. However, his account of Hegel, and his, and Ayn Rand's, vision of an ideal society, are groundlessly antistatist. . . . Rand's three-tiered methodological approach, as expounded by Sciabarra, may help account for the apparent failure of unregulated capitalism in the former Soviet Union. Russia's economic and political realities are conditioned by cultural and individual factors, so that market disruption and the rise of the Russian Mafia may be traced, in Rand's schema, to cultural and personal aspects of the Russian people. The market experiment has faltered, not because of any problem inherent to it, but because residues of mysticism, collectivism, and altruism are a miserable heritage of Soviet power. . . . Libertarian thinkers such as Rand and Sciabarra, [however,] have concentrated on the state as an immoral actor, overlooking tendencies that promise to restore humanity to the process of governance. . . . Rand's and Sciabarra's [ideal] . . . must be anchored in a strong, democratic state capable of disciplining the pulse of evil in human affairs."
"THE LIBERTARIAN STRADDLE: REJOINDER TO PALMER AND SCIABARRA" - JEFFREY FRIEDMAN (359-88)
Friedman considers "Chris Matthew Sciabarra's more civilized response to my article ["What's Wrong with Libertarianism," Critical Review 11 (3): 407-67] . . . Sciabarra's defense of Ayn Rand's libertarianism is . . . problematic, because in addition to the usual defects of libertarianism, Rand adds a commitment to ethical egoism that contradicts both her concern for the consequences of capitalism and her commitment to the rights of everyone, not just herself. . . . Sciabarra has fundamentally misunderstood postlibertarianism, [which] is not a fancy term for a new strategy . . . for achieving [the libertarian ideal, but] an abandonment of that aspiration, necessitated by one's recognition . . . of the philosophical incoherence of treating freedom as an intrinsic value. . . . I concede that methodologically, Rand's emphasis on the cultural underpinnings of politics is an improvement over, say, dogmatic rational- and public-choice theory. But merely noticing that politics is connected to culture--the Randian form of 'dialectics,' which David MacGregor characterizes as 'trivial'--is no substitute for breaking free from the anticonsequentialist fealty to freedom-cum-capitalism, which makes culture and politics but colorful backdrops to one's philosophy."
"FRIEDMAN RULES" - ARI ARMSTRONG, LIBERTY (December 2003): 38-40
Armstrong writes: "While reading J.C. Lester's recent article, 'The Trouble with Friedman,' I glanced at the cover of the magazine to verify the publication date ... because Lester addresses a 1997 article by Jeffrey Friedman. ... This is especially odd considering that two prominent libertarian scholars---Chris Matthew Sciabarra and Tom Palmer---responded to Friedman's essay in the pages of Critical Review dated (a mere) five years ago, in the Summer 1998 issue (Vol. 12, No. 3). In response, Friedman recapitulated his earlier criticisms and expanded them. ... But his impatience leads to overly curt rhetoric, which in turn leads to hostile defenses. And sometimes Friedman is too quick to dismiss theorists he disagrees with---like Ayn Rand, Sciabarra, and the public-choice economists---without giving them a fair hearing or trying to pick up their useful insights."
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