<< ARI vs. George Reisman

Opening Statement by George Reisman and Edith Packer in a conference call with Peikoff, Schwartz, Binswanger, Berliner

9/19/94

In thinking about how to define the problem as you asked us to do, we realized that the problem today is different than it was at the time we wrote our memos.

Then we were under the mistaken impression that having been committed to Objectivism and having worked for it and helped to advance it all our lives, we had a right to criticize and have an input to the policies and actions of ARI if we believed that they were wrong or harmful to the Institute.

What we found is that not only is that right not recognized, but even you, Leonard, acted in the fantastic belief that we would betray our own lives and somehow report ARI or the Graduate Center to the police or to the government.

Even after we were thrown off the Board of Advisors, we promised you that we would contain the problem, and we did. They did not--and there is no point in listing how they did not.

Today the problem is quite different. We want you to know that we understand that our input or possible criticisms of any policies of ARI is forbidden. We accept that and intend to abide by it. At the same time, since we believe that ARI is more important than our differences with the individuals who run it, we are willing to speak and work under the auspices of ARI.

All we want is for the attacks to stop. We would like the latest policy to be rescinded, so that we can get on with our work.

As for myself, I am not willing to accept that the subject of economics is worthless, nor do I want to claim to be a philosopher. I want people to learn economics from me. I want to leave the teaching of philosophy to philosophers. If ARI does not want to promote my work, so be it. I will promote it as best I can myself.

So again, we promise not to criticize ARI or give any input to it. We just want to be left alone and not have pressure put on people not to speak for us, or to come to dinner with us if they want to, or not to promote our writings.