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Linz's Mario Book—Updated!
It is morally defensible to establish a nation-state built around maintaining a specific and exclusive ethnic population
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The Harry Potter Syndrome in Objectivism
Submitted by Chanakya on Tue, 2017-04-04 01:49
Soon after I became active in the FB Objectivist circles about 3-years ago, I realized that Ayn Rand’s philosophy of reason has transmogrified into a system of revelation. Many Objectivists believe that Rand is their first God, her intellectual heir Dr. Leonard Peikoff is their second God, and the intellectuals endorsed by Dr. Peikoff are their myriad demigods.
They waste their time in squabbling with those who do not repose enough faith in the Gods and demigods, whose writ, as per the Objectivist canon, cannot be questioned by any mortal. The Objectivist tribe will descend like a hyena pack on anyone who dares to ask difficult questions.
Very few people in the Objectivist community seem to care that Rand is not an advocate of conformity, cultism, or blind worship of authority figures. There is no issue that is unthinkable, unmentionable or unchallengeable in Objectivism.
My first experience with the “constrained” Objectivist mind was in a thread on good literature that someone had initiated in a FB group. Here people were commenting on the books that they claimed they had enjoyed—most of these books were the ones that have been praised by Ayn Rand and other Objectivist scholars.
When someone mentioned the name of Harry Potter, I decided to join the discussion. I posted a one liner: “I haven't read any Harry Potter book—I have no taste for wizard stories.” To my surprise, someone who is a stickler for Objectivist dogma immediately pounced on my comment.
“I suppose there is something wrong with your mind?” he wrote.
“Why do you say that?”
“You don’t like Harry Potter.”
“I like Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead.”
“If you knew more, you would like Harry Potter too. You need to improve your knowledge. Do you know that [this] Objectivist scholar has praised Harry Potter.”
The discussion took place 3-years ago—I don’t remember the name of the Objectivist scholar that he provided. But it dawned on me that there was no benefit to be accrued from arguing with this man and I wriggled out of the discussion by saying that I will try to read the Harry Potter books.
Since then I have experienced several instances of certain Objectivists blindly following the views articulated by some supreme authority figure in Objectivism. When these Objectivists are confronted with a new problem, instead of discovering a solution by an application of their own mind, they try to find out what any authority figure has to say on that particular problem.
Wisdom to these Objectivists comes not from the application of their own mind, but from a revelation from the authority figures.
I think that the “inheritors of Rand’s literary and philosophical empire” have done a disservice to her by letting Objectivism deteriorate into some kind of a school of magic. The Objectivists trained in this school of magic behave like the boy wizard Harry Potter. Just as Harry Potter conjures magical spells, the Objectivists conjure the quotes from Ayn Rand and other authority figures to demolish any intellectual problem that they are confronting.
If you dare to use your own mind—if you develop your own opinion on an issue, you are branded as a heretic who poses an existential thread to Objectivism. Heretic! Traitor! Conspirator! Excommunicate him from the collective! Unfriend! Denounce! Lynch him! Assassinate his character! Question his psychology! Make fun of his intellect!
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The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand