There is a discussion I often want to engage in that is very difficult to have. Often the only people who desire to engage in these discussions are the wrong people to have the discussion with.
I’ll use a person I admire as an introduction. Why is/was Ayn Rand popular?
To most fans of Ayn Rand the answer is simple, she was brilliant and had a keen understanding of reality and truth. To me, this is radically over-simplistic. Even if we assume she is the prime mover of truth bombs, it is assuming her audience is not an egoist public, it is assuming her audience are primarily seekers of truth. It is assuming her marketing, presentation, and how that interacts within people’s minds is negligible. I find this not just wrong, but delusional.
As an egoist, I don’t believe people are seekers of truth. We are seekers of gain, or profit. Many times we accept truths that hurt us, but it is with the belief that the short term pain will ultimately be profitable. What I desire to often discuss is why did/do people find Rand’s work psychological profitable? How did the tones, narratives, timbre, etc clock in a person’s mind?
Very few fans of Rand desire to ever engage in this discussion. The people who love this discussion are people who hate Rand and people who appreciate her work. Those people love to avoid discussion of her points and say she was an empty shell of marketing to broken people. However, that wasn’t my point, nor my desire.
Truth and profitability can often go hand in hand. However, truth devoid of profitability is always discarded. When I desire to discuss the profitability people has on a thinker, the people who most desire to engage in that debate are malicious critics. Due to this, anytime I bring up the subject, I often get perceived as a malicious critic.
I started observing this phenomenon a decade ago as I strayed from objectivist narratives, slightly later as I challenged Molyneuvians. Since then, I often consider the profitability people have in pundits and thinkers.
This eventually gave me a distaste for certain types of intellectual marketing. The one place I often find quite a bit of agreement on is when I have discussed my distaste with the psychological marketing of “profundity” within TED Talks. This eventually lead me to find Glenn Beck hard to listen to since everything is presented with such importance, grandiosity, and emotional weight.
I often find a messianic intent and reception when people insert pauses for dramatic effect. When people present “Truth” rather than thoughts. When people seek platforms to lecture or debate rather than platforms of discussion. When lectures are emotionally heavy and people project the sins of man … I find these rough to listen to. Anyone who has followed Stephan Molyneux has seen no theatrical device left out.
Recently I was trying to figure out my distaste for Jordan Peterson considering I find almost nothing he says highly objectionable. I think it is that he is marketing his thoughts in such a way that I find theatrical and inspiring relationships that I find distasteful. People have often commented that it does seem some fans of Jordan Peterson are looking at him as some ultimate wise guru or messianic figure … I can’t believe that has nothing to do with his marketing and that he isn’t inspiring that reaction.
None of this post is commenting on the truth value of any of these people. I think everyone I mentioned is a smart person who has good arguments worth discussing. I was just rambling on about other stuff.