The problem was compounded, I suspect, by Ayn Rand’s unique role. As the creator of Objectivism, she had a legitimate authority to say what was in it and what wasn’t, and so the original structure of the Objectivist movement did—by necessity—revolve around a single philosopher who held a unique authority.
Bullshit — on EVERY count:
As the bitch-goddess herself put the point:
What is a theory? It is a set of abstract principles purporting to be either a correct description of reality or a set of guidelines for man’s actions. Correspondence to reality is the standard of value by which one estimates a theory. If a theory is inapplicable to reality, by what standard can it be estimated as “good”? If one were to accept that notion, it would mean: a. that the activity of man’s mind is unrelated to reality; b. that the purpose of thinking is neither to acquire knowledge nor to guide man’s actions. (The purpose of that catch phrase is to invalidate man’s conceptual faculty.)
The above point applies to PHILOSOPHIES, as well.
What is a philosophy? Consider the 5 “primary” branches mentioned by Objectivists:
Fundamentally, ANY philosophical system HAS TO BE “a set of abstract principles purporting to be either a correct description of reality or a set of guidelines for man’s actions.” Thus, “Correspondence to reality is the standard of value by which one estimates a theory.”
In other words: IF any of Objectivism is “true” – then it has nothing to do with Ayn Rand except inasmuch as she managed NOT TO BE WRONG about something.
IF, however Objectivsim = “whatever Ayn Rand pulled out of her ass, the ‘facts of reality’ notwithstanding’, then “Objectivism” is worse than a bad joke.
So yeah: Ayn Rand was a shitty, schlock novelist with a pseudo-intellectual streak, a penchant for chainsmoking, and a desperate desire to be power-fucked by her notion of an “ideal man”. Jacqueline Susann was ininitely superior to Ayn Rand, in that SHE didn’t pretend to be leading a “Second renaiisance” of “new intellectuals”.