Peikoff Might Get Kind of Lonely
In any event, regardless of whether my prediction that Republicans will lose turns out to be correct, I won't be either celebrating or get depressed. Because either way, liberty will lose.
One argument against the Republicans that are invalid are the ones offered by Ayn Rand's official "intellectual heir" Leonard Peikoff.
In it, he argued that the Democrats stand for socialism and that the Republicans stand for theocracy, both of which are of course unacceptable for an Objectivist. But since socialism is more or less dying according to Peikoff while theocracy is rising, it would be immoral not to support a socialist (Democrat) over a theocrat (Republican).
Anyone who doesn't understand this doesn't understand the philosophy of Objectivism,according to Peikoff.
But Peikoff's argument rests on a extremely ambigous and misleading use of the terms "socialism" and "theocracy". He never defines them, which I would have thought someone claiming to be dedicated to reason and objectivity would do since it is highly relevant. First, what does "socialism" mean? Socialism comes in 3 basic varities (there are of course further sud-divisions within each, but in this context they aren't relevant): Communism, Anarcho-Socialism/Left-Anarchism and Social Democracy.
Since Anarcho-Socialism/Left-Anarchism have never really been a powerful force, so they can for this context be disregarded. Which leaves us with two relevant varities: Communism and Social Democracy.
Peikoff's description of socialism as a dying force is only true with regards to communism. Communism in its traditional form now really exist only in Cuba and North Korea and it probably won't last very long even there. And they are not likely to be a significant force elsewhere ever again given the failed track racord of communism.
However, Social Democracy is anything but dying. It have become the established social system in just about every Western country, and that looks unlikely to change as even the "right-wing" parties have adopted it. And the socialism that the Democrats stand for is not communism but social democracy. And even more of it than today.
What about the "theocracy" of the Republicans? By invoking the "theocracy" he tries to imply that the Republicans are like the Taliban. But just what kind of theocratic measures are Republicans proposing? Of this, Peikoff says nothing, absolutely nothing. Sure, the Republicans are the party of the Christian Right. But first of all, even their agenda, while being deplorable, are far preferable to the one offered by the jihadists. Having moral equivalance between the Christian Coalition and the Taliban is like having moral equivalance between the Swedish Social Democrats and Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge movement . And secondly, while most Christian fundamentalists are Republicans, it is not the case that the most Republicans are Christian fundamentalists or that they control the Republican party. The Republicans have after all controlled all three branches of the American government for years now, and have America become a theocracy or even moved more closely to it? No.
As I've now shown, Peikoff's arguments make no sense at all, yet he claims that anyone who don't agree with them don't understand a philosophy that supposedly is based on reason.
Which takes us to another interesting aspect of this. As Stephan Kinsella pointed out on the LRC blog, there are at least two leading Ayn Rand Institute associates which have advocated support of the Republicans-Harry Binswanger and Robert Tracinski.
Indeed, Tracinski in his recent column about the election seemed almost as passionate about his rejection of the Democrats as Peikoff was about his support of them.
So, is the ARI going to keep as leading fellows two persons who according to Peikoff
don't understand Objectivism? Or are they to be added to an ever growing list of "ex-communicated" people (people thus offically classified as "anti-life, anti-reason etc. ) including David Kelley, George Reisman, Per-Olof Samuelsson and others?