a (short) list of Ayn Rand’s most blatant errors
First, she failed to complete a systematic presentation of “her” philosophy even when under contract with a publisher to do so. The Moral Basis of Individualism would have been a single-volume introductory/summary-type text — explicitly targeted at fans of The Fountainhead.
Unfortunately, Rand wasn’t “interested” in the project. Most likely, this would have cut into time used on such things as Writing “The Fountainhead”/enacting the “benevolent rape scene” with Nathaniel Branden on a weekly basis, etc.
As a result of this failure, she can be — and is — routinely dismissed by critics as a mere novelist. Given her own (oft-repeated) statement that the novels themselves were merely a means to project her notion of an “ideal man” it is pretty clear that she herself viewed the novels themselves as a “container” for ideas.
let’s be honest: Atlas Shrugged is merely an elaborate ‘container” the purpose of which is the transmission of ideas — essentially “window-dressing” for the Galt speech.
Given that fact, WHY wouldn’t she have bothered to present the ideas stripped of the window-dressing?
Her second error was driving the Brandens away, and destroying NBI.
Nathaniel and Barbara Branden had actually managed to do what Rand was incapable of doing:
- They created the Basic Principles of Objectivism lecture course
- They created NBI (Nathaniel Branden institute) — an organization dedicated to promoting and disseminating Objectivism — up to and including by way of regional affiliate clubs.
Ayn Rand managed to destroy both, because of petty jealousy.
See, Nathaniel Branden had become disinterested in fucking her. Instead of being rational and accepting the fact that he simply wasn’t “into” her in that way anymore — she threw a tantrum, destroyed NBI, and “excommunicated” the Brandens.
The results were predicta bble:
- The Brandens didn’t just STFU and slink away. Rather, they both engaged in what amounts to a two-pronged response: their respective In Answer to Ayn Rand articles, and subsequent “tell-all” books. In other words, they “outed” Ayn Rand as a petulant, whim-ridden pseudointellectual slut
- Having learned nothing from the Branden fiasco, she specifically designated Leonard Peikoff as “legal and intellectual heir” (because, as we all know, a philosophical movement predicated on being “first-handed” and having respect for the “Facts of reality” really, really needs its own equivalent of apostolic succession and papal infallibility.)
- Peikoff then proceeded to create David Kelley’s faction of Objectivists, by alienating those unwilling to kiss Pope Lenny’s ass. The really cute part is: post-Kelley, those “excommunicated” by ARI didn’t just slink away into the shadows/abandon Objectivism outright. Instead, they either explicitly affiliated with David Kelley, or circulated out into the wider Libertarian movement, itself.
I personally count every action notionally taken by Peikoff as actually having been done by Rand (even after her death) for one simple reason: The primary reason Ayn Rand designated him as “legal and intellectual heir” because he was basically the last one left over from the NBI days — an indication of his status as a total boot-lick.
Ayn Rand tended to “break” with anyone who failed to uncritically kiss her ass — John Hospers, Murray Rothbard, Isabel Patterson, etc. The fact that Rand didn’t “break” with Peikoff — and then frantically denounce him as a “traitor to Objectivism” — is pretty solid evidence that he was the perfect sycophant.
In other words, Peikoff is basically the real-world equivalent of Peter Keating from the Fountainhead — uncritically playing out the will of his puppet-master. (In the novel, Elsworth Toohey — in real life, Ayn Rand).
Peikoff has specifically stated that “Objectivism” consists solely of AYN RAND’S “pbulic” statements — which are presumably to be parroted uncritically.
So yeah: Peikoff is a sub-mediocre puppet whose strings are still being pulled by Ayn Rand — even though she’s been dead since 1982.