The Destroyers

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture
Submitted by Kyrel Zantonavitch on Sat, 2018-06-02 04:46

It's remarkable to think how much damage Leonard Peikoff, Harry Binswanger, Peter Schwartz, and the like have done to the world in general, and myself in particular. Whatever are their virtues, and contributions to the advance of human knowledge, the fact is they took the ready-made philosophy of Objectivism and presented it to the planet in a truly vile and poisonous form. This probably retarded and perverted the ascent of man immensely. And it severely damaged the lives of countless innocents, including me.

Somehow someway somewhy, Peikoff, Binswanger, Schwartz and others had the intellectual, moral, and spiritual strength to seize the reins of Objectivist leadership, while such genuinely superior but gentle souls as David Kelley, George Walsh, Robert Bidinotto, and Stephen Hicks did not. And so the pro-reason and pro-individualism thought-system of Objectivism was offered to the world mostly as a religion and cult. Naturally, the people of the Earth righteously and ferociously rejected such a contradiction and abomination.

Maybe in some sense this whole situation was semi-normal. After all, the overwhelmingly dominant philosophies of the 1950s, '60s, and '70s, when Objectivism first emerged, were conservatism and progressivism. Both pretty much involved the worship of a cult-leader -- some Jesus or Marx type. And Ayn Rand, the conservo-progressive alternative, generally conducted and presented herself as such too.

Still, the inconsistencies, short-comings, and errors of explaining and promoting the philosophy this way were obvious. Peikoff and company should have known better. And they almost certainly did know better. But they willingly chose to argue for Objectivism as an authority-based faith anyway.

And thus the Randroid cult continued long after Rand died in 1982. The Objectivist clerisy had a terrific opportunity to do the right thing in 1986 when Barbara Branden's shocking and revelatory biography of Rand came out. And again in 1989, when Nathaniel Branden's similar memoirs appeared.

Ayn Rand was shown to be not a perfect person. And a great deal of the remaining cult leaders's intellectual failures and moral turpitude was also exposed. The still-living religiosos could easily have learned a few obvious lessons and corrected most of their cultist errors. Instead, they doubled down. They freely and emphatically chose the path of Objectivism the Religion, and of personal depravity and social destruction.

And when David Kelley created his alternative group, movement, and school of Objectivist thought, most strong Objectivist thinkers again chose the wrong side. How sad and outrageous! And what an utter crime against mankind, and everyone good, sweet, vulnerable, and innocent. There are really no words to describe the horror and monstrosity of what Peikoff, Binswanger, Schwartz, and their kind did.

Since the 1980s, however, the epistemology of reason, the ethics of individualism, and the sociology and politics of liberty has independently risen worldwide. Mankind has liberalized and improved significantly.

And so has the Objectivist community. This includes the evil Ayn Rand Institute and the Leonard Peikoff school of Objectivist "thought". Things are considerably more philosophical and rational now thruout the Objectivist universe. Considerably less religious and cultist.

But a terrible level of this evil still persists. And it's likely to continue to do immense damage to the planet, and to everyone good, for generations to come. Peikoff, Binswanger, Schwartz, and their supporters can't be condemned, reviled, and hated strongly enough.


Rand Created Randroidism -- Not Peikoff, Schwartz, Binswanger...

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture

Greg -- I'm not saying anything special here. Nor anything I haven't stated repeatedly. Religiosity, cultism, and "guruism" has plagued philosophy since time immemorial. At least since Pythagoras.

At some point a philosopher can become so superior and powerful that he starts to seem likes an Oracle Of Truth who has been magically lifted far above all others, and even above reality. This is a dangerous state to be in. Before you know it, the followers of him start to become very sycophantic and the deep thinker himself starts to demand personal loyalty above personal integrity from his disciples. Discussion and debate of important issues becomes very limited. You can no longer truly question the thinker or his theories. Even truly good people with honest questions and sincere doubts risk being viciously attacked and personally abused. Excommunication looms.

Rand fell into that, as David Kelley and many others observed. Such guruism intellectually weakens the philosopher and his group significantly. The followers all start to act weird. Barbara Branden once said (from memory) that "Those who hadn't met Rand before 1959 (or so) didn't really know her." At the end, sadly, Rand became a partial cult leader.

Kyrel

gregster's picture

You say

Rand was maybe half a philosophical innovator and half a religious guru.

I disagree with the religious guru. Can you let me know why you thing that is?

More on The Destroyers

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture

The Objectivist philosophy needs and deserves better leaders and champions. Rand was maybe half a philosophical innovator and half a religious guru. But the philosophy part was far the most important and powerful. The Objectivist community uplifted itself fairly radically after Rand died in 1982 -- just as most people (including me) kind of expected. The proof can be seen in the forgotten, but important, journal The Objectivist Forum, published bimonthly from 1980 to 1987. It was mostly philosophical in substance and attitude.

But things went wrong in 1986 with Barbara Branden's biography of Rand. People had to decide which direction to go. Almost everyone big committed to religion. What a disaster for everybody! And for me. Things got worse with Nathaniel Branden's memoirs in 1989. The cultism grew. Life on earth could easily have been very much different. Very much better. Thank the stunning depravity of Peikoff, Binswanger, and Schwartz for what happened. And for where we are now.

A great tool to uplift humankind -- the philosophy of Objectivism -- is hardly being used. A great tool to hack to bits post-modernism is going virtually unexploited.

But the Brandens still began the liberation of the planet. Nathaniel was intellectually powerful. Barbara was morally so. They made a formidable team. They deserve our immense thanks. Historically, they're sure to get it.

But they weren't strong enough to defeat Peikoff and company. Neither were David Kelley, George Walsh, Robert Bidinotto, and Stephen Hicks. Not yet. Still, the bad guy, pseudo-Objectivist zombie-types are in decline. They'll almost certainly fall eventually. The tradition for mankind is to rise. Good generally defeats evil.

Kyrel

Lindsay Perigo's picture

It's remarkable to think how much damage Leonard Peikoff, Harry Binswanger, Peter Schwartz, and the like have done to the world in general, and myself in particular.

Au contraire, it's reassuring to think how little damage they've done, since, thank Galt, no one knows who they are. And you shouldn't whine that they've damaged you—you are responsible for you. Making it about you is the kind of Narcissism the Brandens promoted. Fake individualism. Guess what: the universe will still be here when you're not. Solipsistic infantilism, aka the "victim" mentality is rife. Objectivists of all people should not be adding to it.

Somehow someway somewhy, Peikoff, Binswanger, Schwartz and others had the intellectual, moral, and spiritual strength to seize the reins of Objectivist leadership, while such genuinely superior but gentle souls as David Kelley, George Walsh, Robert Bidinotto, and Stephen Hicks did not. And so the pro-reason and pro-individualism thought-system of Objectivism was offered to the world mostly as a religion and cult. Naturally, the people of the Earth righteously and ferociously rejected such a contradiction and abomination.

The people of the Earth still haven't heard of any of it. Kelley et al are definitely superior-souled, but have not prevailed because of their lack of KASS. That's down to them and their primary influence ... the Brandens.


Maybe in some sense this whole situation was semi-normal. After all, the overwhelmingly dominant philosophies of the 1950s, '60s, and '70s, when Objectivism first emerged, were conservatism and progressivism. Both pretty much involved the worship of a cult-leader -- some Jesus or Marx type. And Ayn Rand, the conservo-progressive alternative, generally conducted and presented herself as such too.

You too have been deceived by Brandroid propaganda. She did not. But feel free to give examples.


Since the 1980s, however, the epistemology of reason, the ethics of individualism, and the sociology and politics of liberty has independently risen worldwide. Mankind has liberalized and improved significantly.

Heck, you could have fooled me. Much of mankind has shown an enduring and persistent decency via Trump, not via Objectivism.


But a terrible level of this evil still persists. And it's likely to continue to do immense damage to the planet, and to everyone good, for generations to come. Peikoff, Binswanger, Schwartz, and their supporters can't be condemned, reviled, and hated strongly enough.

That's true. They're the Anti-Rand Institute, the Animal Rights Institute and ARISIS—Obleftivists Extraodinaire. But why not take them on philosophically also—their intrinsicist view of rights, their moral equivalency, their Islamo-Marxism, etc. And not in the name of the Brandens, who were both evil. I knew them both, and they were part of the hatred of the good for being the good, I can assure you. You've been blind and deaf to this ever since I've known you, and I don't expect anything to change now. But heck, you had an epiphany about Music of the Gods ...

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