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 Date: Sun, 24 Oct 93 21:35:10 -0400
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Subject: 10/24/93 - The National Midnight Star #795  *** Special Edition ***

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----------------------------------------------------------------------


          The National Midnight Star, Number 795

                 Sunday, 24 October 1993
Today's Topics:
                     Administrivia
                 Ayn Rand Was A Rushian!
                   Response to Simpson
----------------------------------------------------------

From: rush-mgr@syrinx.umd.edu (The RUSH Fans Digest Manager)
Date: Sun Oct 24 16:53:01 EDT 1993
Subject: Administrivia

This is a special digest, and contains two messages about the philosophical
debate between Gregg & Dr. Strangiato, so if you're not interested in reading
about it, you can just stop reading here. For those of you still curious, read
on!

- rush-mgr

----------------------------------------------------------

From: Eric Simpson 
Subject: Ayn Rand Was A Rushian!
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 93 20:08:20 EDT

> From: Gregg Jaeger 
> Subject: Rand, Dos Passos, etc.

                                 Dos Passos
                                 ----------
     You have a talent for squeezing out of tight spots!  I had
challenged you to name one person who had more, or as much, influence
on Neil than Ayn Rand.  You said Dos Passos.
    I then quoted Neil himself as saying that he was only a fan of Passos'
STYLE and PROSE, but not his ideas.  What could be more clear-cut than
that?  Well, you managed to slip out of it - by saying I was employing a 
"double standard" and not including such trivialities as style and
prose in judging what influenced Neil.
     Jesus wept!  How can anyone who is reading this discussion think
we were speaking of anything else besides *ideas* - important, 
philosophical ideas that have shaped Neil's thought - not how he 
constructs his rhyming schemes.  I KNOW you knew it.  Why else would
you say:
 
> >> And guess what? Dos Passos refused to buy into the capitalism vs.
> >> socialism game. He was more or less a "left-wing libertarian."

     And then you continued in a rambling paragraph giving me a 
virtual BIOGRAPHY of Dos Passos:
 
> The fact of the matter is that Dos had
> a long career and exemplified a broad range of opinions, becoming
> progressively more conservative with time, though he began as a
> leftist, ending as more or less a left-wing libertarian (meaning:
> someone who believes in maximizing personal liberties without
> resorting to laissez-faire economics). This Neil has in common
> with Dos Passos.

     Seems to me we are now talking about ideas again, eh?  So who
is it that is employing a double standard?  I reitirated the fact
that we were talking about "idealogical influence" so you couldn't
squirm out of it by saying "See! Dos IS an influence! (in style)",
but you did it anyway.  That's a clever debating trick, but the 
argument is unsound.
     O.k. - for the sake of argument I'll allow what Neil has said
concerning how he likes Dos' style.  O.k., so maybe Neil gets a little
phrase now and then, or a certain rhyme from Passos.  Now compare this
with the fact Neil has called Ayn Rand a GENIUS, and that he has used
her IDEAS many time in lyrics.  I think this settles it.  Imagine if Neil
were available for chat, and we asked him, "Who influenced you more:
Rand or Dos Passos?"  Who has to wonder what he'd say?  
     So I ask yet again: Who has had more or as much influence on Neil?
(And you know I mean ideas-wise)

                                 Jung
                                 ----
     I explained in depth in my last post why the fact that Neil is
reading Jung does not mean a)Neil is Jungian, b) Neil is heavily 
influenced by Jung, or c) Neil is not Randian.  Instead of criticizing
my analysis, you only derisively refer to it as "typical Objectivist
b.s. about rationality"
     When I say I doubt Neil would take Jung too seriously, I mean 
just that - TOO seriously.  Obviously he learns something from it. 
In fact, the only way your argument would work is if I held the
position that Neil must not read anything else but Rand if he is to
be Randian.  Or that anytime he reads a book by author X,he is "X-ian".
That would be absurd - like saying he is now heavily influenced by
Pynchon, Smith, Faulkner, etc.  It is good Neil reads lots of stuff.
But as I explained, if your purpose is to show that Jung's "influence"
on Neil is bad news for his Randianism, it doesn't work.  He has read
MANY people.  It doesn't necessarily mean anything.  This is how I
look at it:
     Neil has said he was doing "research" for Animate by reading from
people like Jung and Camille Paglia.  Well, Paglia criticizes Jung -
she thinks he was wrong regarding aspects of his sexual theory.  Well,
we now have a situation where Neil is "influenced" by two opposing 
viewpoints.  What gives?  Two possibilities- either:
A) Neil is confused; OR
B) The way he fishes out ideas from the authors is as he has always done:
bits and pieces and nothing too fundamental (read, "too seriously").
     I'm inclined to think it is NOT "A".

                        Hemispheres and Adam Smith
                        --------------------------
     As I mentioned above, I offered my reasons as to why just because
Neil read a book, or included some of it's ideas in a song, doesn't
mean he takes the author too seriously nor that he is influenced to
any significant extent.  I used the book "Powers of Mind" by Adam
Smith to make this point, saying what Neil actually wrote was different
from what Smith was trying to say.
   You say:
> The book is considered largely trash, but the independence of the
> hemispheres of the brain is *not* trash...
     It IS.  We learn in psychology that there are certain functions
in each side of the brain, true, but it is nowhere near the level
Smith was trying to prove.  He was trying to argue there are HUGE
personality differences between the two hemispheres, and his extra-
ordinary claims are just not scientifically grounded.  We know there
is a dense patch of nerves between the two hemispheres that involves
some sort of transfer of info.  They are not independent.  (and,please,
don't start arguing over this - I can hear it coming, but it's just
not important).
     More importantly, you go on to say:
> ...and [this] is what in fact Neil took away from the Smith book.

     Not really.  Here's Neil in _Visions_:
     "The basic idea came from a book I was reading called "Powers of
Mind, and it was just an INCIDENTAL thing that was mentioned in the
book, but it was something I'd read before, so I TIED it into a WHOLE
LOT OF THINGS and it's the basic constant conflict between THOUGHTS
and EMOTIONS, between your feelings and your sort of rational ideas."
    [emphasis added]
     You said MY interpretation was not correct.  Well, here's what
*I* said last time:
     "Neil used it to express the idea of a'well-rounded' person, or
to express his views concerning how reason and emotion interact in
a person."
    Not too different from what Neil said, I think.

                         Objectivism (and untruths of)
                         -----------------------------
     You made many misleading (and sometimes false) statements about
Objectivism,  and though I won't try to correct them all, I will touch on
the ones relevant to this dicussion (you should try to do the same).

> There are plenty of influences in regard to Neil's rationalism as well:
> note Neil has been willingly photographed holding a book one by Aristotle
> but *not* one by Rand.
     Oh sure - since Neil hasn't been seen reading Rand, he has not 
been influenced by her.  I don't buy it.  Anyway, about Aristotle - that
is truly ironic!  It goes against your argument!  Anybody who has studied
Objectivism (as you claim to have) knows that Rand felt there were only two
philosophers in all of history whom she considered great: Thomas Aquinas
and ARISTOTLE.  And guess what?  Aristotle was probably the most
secular philosopher in ancient Greece.  He was the one who stressed
logic and reason heavily - more than the Platonists.  He believed that
pride was the crown of all virtues.

     Regarding our debate over what you were trying to show by quoting
"the space between fiction and fact", you said exactly what I thought.
You denied my claim that you were showing Neil to be a "flaming 
subjectivist".  So I jokingly asked if you meant he was a "glowing
subjectivist", knowing you would turn it into a semantic issue just
because it's not *exactly* what you say.  But I think your response
(below) shows I was right: 
 
> I guess I was presuming that you could recognize the obvious, namely
> that this lyric sanctions a degree of fantasizing (though clearly
> not much in practice: see "Cold Fire") that Rand wold find repulsive,
> as she would any fantasizing whatsoever.

     How can fantasizing conflict with Rand?  It is somewhat less than
honest, I think, for someone who claims to have read "virtually every-
thing Rand wrote" to say she was against fantasizing.  I have to either
believe this, or believe that when you read Rand you must have been dozing.
     Rand has said imagination is a good thing.  It can be used as a
creative tool for any number of artists (including architects!).  That
is on the record.  How can you say what you did?  

                      The Big Money and Capitalism
                      ----------------------------
     Well, let's recap.  You originally used the example of TBM to
show how it is, to a certain extent, anti-capitalistic.  I quoted Neil
himself where he explained that the song was written out of a reaction
to a feeling among some people who feel anything that has dollar signs
is necessarily bad.  Pretty clear it's not about capitalism, I think.
I said, because of Neil's statement, it has no bearing on capitalism as such.
Keep this in mind:  I was only POINTING OUT IT WASN'T ABOUT CAPITALISM,
NOT WHAT IT *WAS* ABOUT.  You responded:

> >> Capitalism is what it is, and some of what is done by those who follow
> >> it is evil.  The song is about capitalism, not Rand's view of it's
> >> philosophical basis.
     That was it.  You simply evaded what I quoted Neil as saying and
simply ASSERTED it was about capitalism.  You also said I was trying
to say it was about Rand's philosophical basis of capitalism, which is
something I never claimed (see caps above).  In my next message I
simply asked you to re-read the quote (in which you cleverly deleted 
out the relevant sentence.)  That was the sentence about him not 
liking the feeling some people have that anything with dollar signs is
bad. I once again added "This is certainly not criticizing capitalism."
You simply dodged the issue again and wrote:

> It's not sanctioning it either. Look, it's clear you didn't understand
> what I typed -- I meant capitalism is what capitalism is and not some
> theoretical construct of Objectivism.
     I NEVER SAID IT WAS SANCTIONING IT.  And I don't think I'm the
one not understanding what is typed.  Neil is NOT criticizing capitalism
in this song!  Please don't dodge what he said this time.

To make my point even clearer, here are some quotes:
NP: "For me it [The Fountainhead] was a confirmation of all the things
I'd felt as a teen-ager.  I had thought I was a socialist like every-
one else seemed to- you know, why should anyone have more than anyone
else?- but now I think socialism is entirely wrong by virtue of man
himself.  It cannot work.  It is simply impossible to say all men are
brothers or that all men are created equal- they are not.  Your basic
responsibility is to yourself."

Ged: "For us, capitalism is a way of life.  It's an economic system 
built on those who can, do, and succeed at it.  For us it's a very 
material way of life.  Your material things should give you pleasure."

NP: "Humanitarians are just the same as dictators."

Neil, regarding the often heard smears and misrepresentations about him
being a Fascist: 
     "I'm not a Fascist.  I'm not some extremist.  Yes, I'M A
CAPITALIST and I believe in self-reliance - but not without caring for
other people.  Actually I'm getting tired of talking about this."

And I am too.

Dr. Strangiato
Department of Rushology
Olympus State University
(I got promoted)

----------------------------------------------------------

Date: Sat, 23 Oct 93 13:22:40 -0400
From: Gregg Jaeger 
Subject: Response to Simpson

In response to Eric's last barrage:

>> From: Gregg Jaeger 
>> Subject: Rand, Dos Passos, etc.

>                                 Dos Passos
>                                 ----------
>     You have a talent for squeezing out of tight spots!  I had
>challenged you to name one person who had more, or as much, influence
>on Neil than Ayn Rand.  You said Dos Passos.

You have a bigger talent for avoiding the central issue, namely
that the Counterparts cannot in any significant way be considered
Randian. You chose to avoid the issue, presumably because there
is no case for this assertion.

I objected to your claim that *current* Rush is Randian (which you 
later defined as "heavily influenced by Rand"). Instead of addressing
this issue, you challenged me to name one person who *has had* more 
or as much influence on Neil as Rand. This is not relevant unless
you can show a *continuing* influence, which you *haven't.* Go back to 
the beginning of our thread and you'll see my initial response to your 
claim that the Rush of Counterparts is a "Randian Rush." This you have 
not substantiated in any significant way, which is what I tried to make 
clear at the end of my last post. 

Since it was you who made the first claim, the claim that Cp is Randian,
it is you who bear the burden of proof for this claim. You have not come
through on this, nor do expect that you will. The best you could do was 
say, well Neil *used* to be *heavily* into Rand so he has been 
irreversibly changed into a Randian Peart. 

Peart's thinking is as changeable as Rush's music. Instead of facing
this fact, you shifted the discussion away from its central ground
of current Rush lyrics and into the less pleasant grounds of Objectivism
and ideology. 

Here we go off to digression-land:

>    I then quoted Neil himself as saying that he was only a fan of Passos'
>STYLE and PROSE, but not his ideas.  What could be more clear-cut than
>that?  Well, you managed to slip out of it - by saying I was employing a 
>"double standard" and not including such trivialities as style and
>prose in judging what influenced Neil.
>     Jesus wept!  How can anyone who is reading this discussion think
>we were speaking of anything else besides *ideas* - important, 
>philosophical ideas that have shaped Neil's thought - not how he 
>constructs his rhyming schemes.  I KNOW you knew it.  

The above is not a fully accurate presentation of my move or Neil's
remark. I responded directly and fully to the content of the quotation
which you provided, which does not precisely say that Neil is not
a fan of Dos' ideas, rather it that Neil does not stand by the ideas 
that Dos EXEMPLIFIES. Dos is known to *history* as a socialist writer, 
which he was in his *youth*, but which he certainly was not in the 
latter portion of his life. Because of the image of Dos that most have, 
Neil of course distances himself from Dos, just as he has distanced 
himself from Rand (beginning around 1982 in a lengthy feature interview 
with _Kerrrang_ magazine (UK)) when he said "I am not as big a fan
of Rand as I am made out to be."). This of course I have also
already said in TNMS and seems to have passed by you (charitable
interpretation that).

Again, this does not in any way substantiate your claim that the
Rush Cp is "a Randian Rush."

>Why else would you say:
 
>> >> And guess what? Dos Passos refused to buy into the capitalism vs.
>> >> socialism game. He was more or less a "left-wing libertarian."
>
>     And then you continued in a rambling paragraph giving me a 
>virtual BIOGRAPHY of Dos Passos:
 
Yes, which Neil avoided by simply distancing himself from Dos
rather than explaining all the subtleties involved in being
influenced by someone like Dos Passos:

>> The fact of the matter is that Dos had
>> a long career and exemplified a broad range of opinions, becoming
>> progressively more conservative with time, though he began as a
>> leftist, ending as more or less a left-wing libertarian (meaning:
>> someone who believes in maximizing personal liberties without
>> resorting to laissez-faire economics). This Neil has in common
>> with Dos Passos.

>     Seems to me we are now talking about ideas again, eh?  So who
>is it that is employing a double standard?  I reitirated the fact
>that we were talking about "idealogical influence" so you couldn't
>squirm out of it by saying "See! Dos IS an influence! (in style)",
>but you did it anyway.  That's a clever debating trick, but the 
>argument is unsound.

Again, my last post seems to have escaped you, as I clearly stated
that it is impossible to write substantial literature without 
transmitting ideas. Thus I do not hold a double standard. Recall
it was *you* who were trying to restrict the discussion by the
introduction of your "standard," and then introducing your caveat 
effectively eliminating from consideration as possible influences 
all fiction writers but Rand from consideration as possible influences, 
as if Rand were the only writer with ideas! Please.

>     O.k. - for the sake of argument I'll allow what Neil has said
>concerning how he likes Dos' style.  

You'll allow, eh?

>O.k., so maybe Neil gets a little
>phrase now and then, or a certain rhyme from Passos.  Now compare this
>with the fact Neil has called Ayn Rand a GENIUS, and that he has used
>her IDEAS many time in lyrics.  I think this settles it.  Imagine if Neil
>were available for chat, and we asked him, "Who influenced you more:
>Rand or Dos Passos?"  Who has to wonder what he'd say?  

I wager that he'd say that Rand *used* to have a substantial influence
on his thinking and writing, but now it is minimal. He (indirectly)
called Rand a genius *writer*, (as he was in the process of avoiding
being accused of plagiaring her *story* _Anthem_ for 2112). He would
no doubt consider T.S. Eliot a genius and Dos as well. Sorry, but you
have taking Neil's acknowledgment out of context and attempted to
use it for a purpose it was not intended for. 

This is a remark from 1976, not 1993. It in no way substantiates
your claim that the *Rush of Cp* is "a Randian Rush."

>     So I ask yet again: Who has had more or as much influence on Neil?

>                                 Jung
>                                 ----
>     I explained in depth in my last post why the fact that Neil is
>reading Jung does not mean a)Neil is Jungian, b) Neil is heavily 
>influenced by Jung, or c) Neil is not Randian.  Instead of criticizing
>my analysis, you only derisively refer to it as "typical Objectivist
>b.s. about rationality"

I because you *resorted* to typical O'ist b.s. *within it*. Bad
theories make bad analyses. Actually, I hesitate to call it an
_analysis_, because all you said regarding Neil is that he is
rational, with the implication that only irrational people would
take Jungs seriously. What is done in "Animate" with Jung's ideas 
is fundamentally the same thing that is done with Rand's in "2112."

Neil is not simply READING Jung, he is APPLYING Jung, thus, he is 
(b) influenced by Jung. However, there is no significant application 
of Rand's ideas in _Counterparts_. Thus it is clear that Jung is a 
LARGER influence on Counterparts, the CURRENT Rush album, than Rand is. 

>     Neil has said he was doing "research" for Animate by reading from
>people like Jung and Camille Paglia.  Well, Paglia criticizes Jung -
>she thinks he was wrong regarding aspects of his sexual theory.  Well,
>we now have a situation where Neil is "influenced" by two opposing 
>viewpoints.  What gives?  Two possibilities- either:
>A) Neil is confused; OR
>B) The way he fishes out ideas from the authors is as he has always done:
>bits and pieces and nothing too fundamental (read, "too seriously").
>     I'm inclined to think it is NOT "A".

Of course it is B) Neil is capable of being influenced by people who
hold contradictory views. This has not much to do with whether or not
the influence is substantial unless you believe the only sort of
substantial influence is putting YOUR MIND up FOR RENT. Peart can 
easily have been influenced by Rand in the past without, as you have 
him, not accepting the validity of Jung's ideas (which he clearly does 
since in the song he has *applied* them, rather than using them as
simple metaphors as in the case of Smith and "Hempispheres").


>                         Objectivism (and untruths of)
>                         -----------------------------
>     You made many misleading (and sometimes false) statements about
>Objectivism,  and though I won't try to correct them all, I will touch on
>the ones relevant to this dicussion (you should try to do the same).

Pardon me if I blaspheme :) Sorry, but I made no false statements
regarding Objectivism. As we'll see below this is just *another smear* 
-- there are no false statements about O'ism in what follows:

>> There are plenty of influences in regard to Neil's rationalism as well:
>> note Neil has been willingly photographed holding a book one by Aristotle
>> but *not* one by Rand.

>     Oh sure - since Neil hasn't been seen reading Rand, he has not 
>been influenced by her.  I don't buy it. 

What has this to do with "false statements about Objectivism"?

Neil, as someone in the "Limelight", is acutely aware that any
photograph taken of him and published will have an impact. That
he chooses to allow a photo of him reading a given author means
that he is willing to a certain extent to be identified with 
that author's ideas. This is my point which, again in your 
zealousness to show me to be a misinformed liar, escaped you. 

> Anyway, about Aristotle - that
>is truly ironic!  It goes against your argument!  

Gee, sure got you excited there. Unfortunately the enthusiasm is
unwarranted:

>Anybody who has studied Objectivism (as you claim to have) knows that 
>Rand felt there were only two philosophers in all of history whom she 
>considered great: Thomas Aquinas and ARISTOTLE.  And guess what?  
>Aristotle was probably the most secular philosopher in ancient Greece.
>He was the one who stressed logic and reason heavily - more than the 
>Platonists.  He believed that pride was the crown of all virtues.

You are just adding support to my contention that Rand is not the only 
source of rationalism or individualism. Again Neil was shot reading 
ARISTOTLE (no an Objectivist, he) and not Rand. Thanks for the 
mini-lecture, but I already have my philosophy degree.

Still not one "false statement" about Objectivism.

>>     Regarding our debate over what you were trying to show by quoting
>>"the space between fiction and fact", you said exactly what I thought.
>>You denied my claim that you were showing Neil to be a "flaming 
>>subjectivist".  So I jokingly asked if you meant he was a "glowing
>>subjectivist", knowing you would turn it into a semantic issue just
>>because it's not *exactly* what you say.  But I think your response
>>(below) shows I was right: 
 
>> I guess I was presuming that you could recognize the obvious, namely
>> that this lyric sanctions a degree of fantasizing (though clearly
>> not much in practice: see "Cold Fire") that Rand wold find repulsive,
>> as she would any fantasizing whatsoever.

>     How can fantasizing conflict with Rand?  It is somewhat less than
>honest, I think, for someone who claims to have read "virtually every-
>thing Rand wrote" to say she was against fantasizing.  I have to either
>believe this, or believe that when you read Rand you must have been dozing.
>     Rand has said imagination is a good thing.  It can be used as a
>creative tool for any number of artists (including architects!).  That
>is on the record.  How can you say what you did?  

There is a difference between the creative use of imagination and
fantasy. The sort of fantasizing that is relevant to "Between Sun
and Moon" is not the creative use of imagination, it is simple rapturous
fantasy. Can you imagine Rand portraying the Architect's vision
with the phrase "ah yes to yes, ah to yes"? I think not! 

Note that in all of the above there is no falsehood about Objectivism
and no "correction" of such falsehoods. Thus you claim that I lied
about Objectivism is another simple (and typical) smear.

BTW, Rand has been quoted as saying that rock and roll is trash. This
is an amusing little point you failed to include in your "truths about
objectivism."

>                      The Big Money and Capitalism
>                      ----------------------------
>     Well, let's recap.  You originally used the example of TBM to
>show how it is, to a certain extent, anti-capitalistic.  I quoted Neil
>himself where he explained that the song was written out of a reaction
>to a feeling among some people who feel anything that has dollar signs
>is necessarily bad.  Pretty clear it's not about capitalism, I think.

Pretty clear, nothing. And since I never said the song was about 
capitalism _per se_ your quote does not bear on my claims.

>I said, because of Neil's statement, it has no bearing on capitalism as such.
>Keep this in mind:  I was only POINTING OUT IT WASN'T ABOUT CAPITALISM,
>NOT WHAT IT *WAS* ABOUT.  You responded:

>> >> Capitalism is what it is, and some of what is done by those who follow
>> >> it is evil.  The song is about capitalism, not Rand's view of it's
>> >> philosophical basis.

>     That was it.  You simply evaded what I quoted Neil as saying and
>simply ASSERTED it was about capitalism.  

The statement is taken somewhat out of context. My intention was to say
that the song is not about capitalism _per se_, capitalism _only_, but that
it is to a certain extent it *is* about capitalism as a reality and not
as a simple theoretical construct. For crying out loud, money is *capital* and
the songs called "The Big Money,'' that is, lots of capital, and how
lots of capital influences human behavior. If capitalism is the pursuit
of capital (economics based on the profit motive) then clearly "The Big 
Money" is relevant to, and thus to some extent *about*, capitalism. This 
was my point.

>Neil is NOT criticizing capitalism in this song!  

>To make my point even clearer, here are some quotes:

(Quotes without attribution or date). I venture that these quotes
are from the period BEFORE to Moving Pictures (when, incidentally
the Dos Passos and Eliot influences began emerging). It was
undoubtedly *after* these quotations that Neil said "I'm not
as big a fan of Ayn Rand as I'm made out to be" _Kerrrang_ c.1982).
This should be borne in mind.

>NP: "For me it [The Fountainhead] was a confirmation of all the things
>I'd felt as a teen-ager.  I had thought I was a socialist like every-
>one else seemed to- you know, why should anyone have more than anyone
>else?- but now I think socialism is entirely wrong by virtue of man
>himself.  It cannot work.  It is simply impossible to say all men are
>brothers or that all men are created equal- they are not.  Your basic
>responsibility is to yourself."
>
>Ged: "For us, capitalism is a way of life.  It's an economic system 
>built on those who can, do, and succeed at it.  For us it's a very 
>material way of life.  Your material things should give you pleasure."
>
>NP: "Humanitarians are just the same as dictators."

I venture to say that Neil Peart would NOT NOW say "humanitarians
are the same as dictators." Neil's current lyrics are blatantly
humanitarian -- would he call himself a dictator? I think not.

Look, during this entire discussion you did not once face up to the
central issue, which is whether or not the CURRENT Rush is Randian.
Instead you pulled out volumes of OLD quotations and the little
acknowldgement from "2112" (written in 1976!!). This is all irrelevant.
One could have taken a quotation from Neil when he was yet younger 
saying that he was a socialist (as he says he was in the above quote),
which would have been *fewer* than twenty years before the above quotation,
and claimed that Peart is a Marxist. That would prove little about
Peart then as the above quotations prove little about Peart now,
other than he has a history of changing his views. He may still be
a capitalist but that does not make him *Randian*. 

>Neil, regarding the often heard smears and misrepresentations about him
>being a Fascist: 
>     "I'm not a Fascist.  I'm not some extremist.  Yes, I'M A
>CAPITALIST and I believe in self-reliance - but not without caring for
>other people.  Actually I'm getting tired of talking about this."

I'm a capitalist, for crying out loud, and I think I deserve the
money that I earn and I enjoy it. That does not make me Randian,
it makes me like most Americans, nor does it make *me* a fascist.
Neil got the fascist label from his acknowledgement of Rand in
2112, since the British press called her fascist. Being a capitalist
does not prevent me from seeing the bad things that can arise from
capitalism. Neil seems similarly unwilling to bury his head in the 
sand like a good Randian.

My claim has NOT been addressed by any of the above diversions
into your happy world of Objectivism and ancient quotations. I must
say it is disappointing, as I was hoping to discover something about 
the new album that might have escaped me. What was most disappointing 
was to have abused heaped upon me, in typical Objectivist fashion:
I was called ignorant, slippery, irrational, ranting, and several other 
Oist faves. This is a tactic used by Rand and her imitators to in order
to discredit philosophical opponents as she and they are generally 
philosophically untrained by comparison with their opponents.
When you don't have anything truly intelligent to say, you smear your 
opponent. We are all well aware of the effectiveness of this tactic in 
power politics -- it's too bad to see people who pride themselves on 
"rationality" resorting to such methods in such a congenial forum as TNMS.

Neil has called himself a left-wing libertarian, just three
years ago. Here's what Rand says about libertarians:
"`libertarians'... plagiarize the Objectivist theory of politics, 
while rejecting [its philosophy]" (from _Philosophy Who Needs It?_)
And who would call Rand "left-wing"? No one. 

My claim is that Neil now identifies himself as a libertarian and 
NOT as a Randian. This is just the most recent change in his 
philosophical evolution. He's rejected the extremist Objectivist 
ethic that would have one allow a child to drown before one's very 
eyes as there is nothing to be gained personally from such an attempt 
that could compensate for the risk to one's own life, just as he
earlier rejected the simplistic Marxist ethic that says everyone
should have the same amount of material wealth. Neil calls a 
HERO someone who "saves a drowning child" in "Nobody's Hero." 
This is NOW.

Since it was you who made the first claim, the claim that Cp is Randian,
it is you who bear the burden of proof for the claim. You still have not
come through on this, nor do expect that you will. The best you could do
was say, well Neil used to be *heavily* into Rand in the 70's, so he 
must have been irreversibly changed into a Randian Peart. Peart's
thinking is as changeable and evolutionary as Rush's music. Instead of 
facing this fact, you shifted the discussion away from its central
point. The Rush train left the Objectivist station fifteen years ago, 
and many still haven't realized this. Why? Their minds *still* are
not for rent to any theology or politics.

Gregg

ORQ "Lefts and rights of passage
     Blacks and whites of youth
     Who can face the knowledge
     That the truth is not the truth?
     Obsolete
     Absolute" -- Neil Peart 1984 "Distant Early Warning"

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End of The National Midnight Star Number 795
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