The ARI: No One Can Speak For Rand Or Objectivism

Neil Parille's picture
Submitted by Neil Parille on Sat, 2022-03-12 13:18

Or that's what the ARI seems to think, according to a new essay in the New Ideal magazine:

Some quotes:

"First, ARI does not regard itself as the leader of an organized Objectivist movement. Rand herself was wary of any attempt to create an organized Objectivist movement."

"In 1968, when she repudiated the Brandens and the Nathaniel Branden Institute (NBI), she clarified her position. She was no longer there to police the use or misuse of her name or philosophy, to declare who is an authorized representative and who is not. And no one could reasonably regard any existing individual or organization as a spokesman for a person now deceased."

"Contrary to some of the public caricatures, ARI has always rejected any notion of baptizing individuals and organizations into, or excommunicating them from, some organized movement."

Does the ARI have a problem with Leonard Peikoff claiming to be Rand's "intellectual heir"?

Here is the back cover of The Ominous Parallels in 1993:

"Ayn Rand chose Leonard Peikoff to be her successor as the spokesman for Objectivism."

Here is Peikoff c. 1990:

"Now I wish to make a request to any unadmitted anti-Objectivists reading this piece, a request that I make as Ayn Rand’s intellectual and legal heir. If you reject the concept of “objectivity” and the necessity of moral judgment, if you sunder fact and value, mind and body, concepts and percepts, if you agree with the Branden or Kelley viewpoint or anything resembling it — please drop out of our movement: drop Ayn Rand, leave Objectivism alone. We do not want you and Ayn Rand would not have wanted you — just as you, in fact, do not want us or her. As a matter of dignity and honor, tell yourself and the world the exact truth: that you agree with certain ideas of Ayn Rand, but reject Objectivism."

Here is Peikoff on the back cover of The Ominous Paralles in 1986:

Here is Peikoff in 2010:

"When a great book sponsored by the Institute and championed by me—I hope you still know who I am and what my intellectual status is in Objectivism—is denounced by a member of the Board of the Institute, which I founded, someone has to go, and someone will go. It is your prerogative to decide whom."

Here is the ARI in 2017:

"No one can speak for the dead. But as an expert on Ayn Rand’s philosophy, I’m often asked what Rand would have thought of President Trump, especially now, on the one-year anniversary of his election and in light of stories in the Washington Post and elsewhere trying to link Trump to Rand."

"My wager is that were Ayn Rand alive today, she would condemn the whole Trump phenomenon. Far from seeing him or his administration’s actions as even partially influenced by her ideas, she would see Donald Trump as the kind of political figure whose rise she had foreseen and warned us against."

In the immortal words of John McEnroe, "you cannot be serious!"