Re: META: What did I do wrong?

Jocelyn Brown (
Wed, 19 May 1999 19:34:58 -0500

>I have re-read everything I have written on this list for the past month,
>and I honestly don't understand why so many of you are so upset by what I
>have written. I noticed two or three things I wrote that were meant to
>be mildly offensive, but that was in response to what I viewed as extreme
>and unfounded hostility towards me. I would appreciate it if those who
>have been offended by me would read over what I have written and let me
>know what I did to upset them so much. I have no wish to be offensive,
>and I am quite surprised by the reaction I am getting from many of you.
>I feel that I have been unjustly accused by many on this list, and I
>would appreciate a detailed explanation, based on what I have posted to
>the list, of why so many are so upset at me. I honestly don't know what
>I am writing that has offended so many.

FWIW, you haven't offended me a bit. I don't respond to your statements because you don't respond to counterpoints. Based on that, debate is impossible. Besides, all the points you raised are answered in complete eloquence in both "The Fountainhead" and "Atlas Shrugged." If you haven't read these books, I suggest you do. If you have, and you still feel the way you do, then once again debate is pointless.

As to why you have offended so many, I can only proffer my opinion. You espouse ideas such as negation of private property and the importance of society over the individual. To many of us who are on this list, those concepts are immoral and ultimately evil. It is the same thing as a Jew getting offended at someone advocating the Holocaust. The ideas of objectivism, enlightened self-interest, and the importance of private ownership of poverty are the foundation upon which we live our lives and seek to influence the future. If you seek to influence the future in other directions, you cannot expect anything other than for us to combat you at every turn.

A few sample quotes of yours:

>Is it absolutely essential that people

believe in the fictional concept of "property rights" in order to interact productively and peacefully?

This is diametrically opposed to libertarian politics and objectivist philosophy.

>I am deeply angry at those who have no respect for others

>I'm actually not intending to be offensive by the things I am posting on
the list. I come off that way sometimes because I like to push peoples' buttons especially if there really is no reason for them to be upset except for their own psychological insecurities.

Intentially pushing people's buttons is not an act of respect. These two quotes are contradictions.

>Because you are so full of hostility, you do not realize that we actually
agree on pretty much everything.

Your "I am angry" diatribe was full of hostility, yet you use that concept to dismiss others.

>Because I am

intelligent, I would use your own deepest desires to change whatever behaviors I wanted to.

I don't know what to say other than this statement is about as condescending as one can get.

I don't that this feedback will help, but please don't respond unless it's a point-by-point response that directly addresses my comments.

Jocelyn Brown

"I am a part of all that I have met." -- Lord Alfred Tennyson "A man is only as good as what he loves."-- Saul Bellow