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Ten Years After

On this date, ten years ago, Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical was published. It was actually not "officially" released until the fall, but its arrival on my doorstep in 1995 was a moment of celebration for me. Russian Radical was actually my second book, but it arrived from the printer four days before the release of my first book, Marx, Hayek, and Utopia (which was published on 18 August 1995).

This week, I'm celebrating "Ten Years After" the publication of the first two books of my "Dialectics and Liberty Trilogy" (which culminated in 2000, with the publication of Total Freedom: Toward a Dialectical Libertarianism). There will be articles, interviews, and discussions here and at various host sites.

Today, to kick it all off, SOLO HQ publishes an article that first made its appearance in print in the July-August 2005 issue of The Free Radical. (Subscription information for Free Radical is available here.) The article is entitled:

"Ten Years After"

Discussion is archived here.

Links to all of my previous Free Radical-SOLO HQ writings are available here, along with PDFs for many of my Free Radical essays, including the current one here.

Comments welcome here at Notablog, and at SOLO HQ, and at Liberty & Power Group Blog too (with L&P comments here).


Chris Matthew Sciabarra,

(Or as I am going to call it now, AYN RAND: THE.)

I first read THE in 97, I believe it was, not quite 10 years ago, but I can't remember time before it. If Rand shook my foundations, you built them up again. Not only did I learn about Rand, I learned about history, psychology, dialectics, and much more. You've been a brave, dedicated and seemingly tireless champion of so many things, Randian and otherwise, and carried yourself with the grace of a saint. And you've provided a good soundtrack to go with it with your Songs of the Day.

You've dragged Objectivism kicking and screaming out of the academia closet, and even took your queer eye to the homophobia and gave it a fabulous makeover.

You've shared the strength of New York in her most trying time. You've kept your reason and your humanity above your anger and fear. You've called for retribution and vengeance without sacrificing justice and understanding. I stand by you and defend you from the slurs of Saddamy.
You've been my inspiration, my mentor, my hero.

And even through all you've been through, physically and mentally, you've kept your sense of life intact and found time to enjoy life. While others are desperately seeking to extend it, you've embodied the Objectivist virtue of "selection, not accumulation."

You guide us through the tearjearking songs of Lanza, bebop us through jazz, you even tackled the perils of prog, and still got Lindsay Perigo to shake his booty to some BeeGees.

Shine On, Chris. May there be many more footnotes.

Congratulations Chris. On a personal note, I had studied Ayn Rand as a kid, but gave up on her when I started studying philosophy in college. Your book gave me a new appreciation for her work.

Chris, you have mightily rocked a boat that seriously needed rocking, as Rand would put it. You have suffered some pretty outrageous slings and arrows in the process of bringing your vision of dialectics to life and sharing it with a sometimes fearful and angry audience, and I hope it has lessened some of the sting to know that there are others out there who share and applaud your vision. Bravo, I say, for your intellect, your diplomatic skill, your courage, and above all, your decency -- and, I will add here, your enormous integrity, energy, and moral ambition --in respect of all of which you stand head and shoulders above your critics. And the best is yet to come -- and considering your trilogy, Feminist Interpretations, JARS, cyberseminars, etc., that means that truly fabulous things lie ahead! But even though you are the last person I would expect to rest on his laurels, you have already achieved more than many would-be scholars and intellectuals have achieved in a lifetime. (Plus, you share my enthusiasm for Bill Watrous, one of the all-time greats of the trombone. :-) I salute you.

Your admirer and friend,
Roger Bissell

Congratulations Chris! And here you are celebrating by giving us more of yourself for which I, for one, am very grateful.

By example you are teaching us how to be angry without venom, how to be studious without pedantry, how to be cheerful without any rowdiness. Not all triads fit us all but you can claim an apex in polemics and patience -- then tantalize us with newer acmes of perfection.

Your context matters a great deal. You got the A+ in writing rejection letters bu set me to work thereby and made me love it.

So celebrate on -- we all just love the Sciabarrean analysis.


Joe, thanks for that touching tribute.

Neil, I'm so glad my work influenced you toward a new appreciation for Rand's work.

Roger... as I said at SOLO HQ, thank you so much for your unfailing support of my work. Your friendship is invaluable.

And Jane, thank you for your kind words of tribute. But you'll need to come visit me in Brooklyn; there is still a Brooklyn rowdiness deep in my heart. :)

All my best, always,

Since you named your article TEN YEARS AFTER, I think tomorrow's song of the day should be "I'd Love to Change the World." Or "Joy to the World." But not "One." Because One is the loneliest number, and two can be as bad as one; it's the loneliest number since the number one...three, on the other hand...

And here I thought you were going to refer to the group Ten Years After.


Anyway, today, I posted two songs: one by Louis Prima, the other by the Beatles (to mark yet another anniversary).

Hmmm...I'm mixing bands, aren't I? I was referring to 10 Years after, and the first song is theirs...but the other two are Three Dog Night...hey, they both start with T, both are three word names...I see an accidental dialectic here...or maybe not.

Funny story, though. I woke up and couldn't get my favorite internet radio station to stream, and my backup station was not working, either. So I said, "Ah, I'll just play the Beatles station."
Then I go to your song of the day.

Synchronicity? Or something more insidious? You ARE trying to change the world! ;)