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Ayn Rand on Organized Objectivism

The following two extracts from The Objectivist were written by Ayn Rand in 1968. The issue months are nominal because at the time the journal was several months behind.  The first article quoted has September 15, 1968 printed at the end.

From  “To Whom It May Concern” (The Objectivist, May 1968)  about her break with N. Brandon and NBI:

“I never wanted and do not now want to be the leader of a ‘movement’.  I do approve of a philosophical or intellectual movement, in the sense of a growing trend among a number of independent individuals sharing the same ideas.  But an organized movement is a different matter.”

From “A Statement of Policy” (The Objectivist, June 1968):

“I regard the spread of Objectivism through today’s culture as an intellectual movement – i.e. a trend among independent individuals who share the same ideas – but not as an organized movement. … Objectivism is not an organized movement and is not to be regarded as such by anyone. … I shall not establish or endorse any type of school or organization purporting to represent or be a spokesman for Objectivism.  I shall repudiate and take appropriate action against any attempt to use my name or my philosophy, explicitly or implicitly, in connection with any project of that kind or any organization not authorized by me.”

Nonetheless these days we have the “Ayn Rand Institute,” created three years after her death.  In 2016 its top officials urged us to vote for Hillary Clinton, in 2020 for Joseph Biden.  They say that were Rand alive today she would hate everything there is about Donald Trump.  Those pronouncements among many others (endorsing government institutionalized torture, promoting the invasion of Iraq, promoting “gay marriage,” etc.) show what can happen with an “Ayn Rand” organization Ayn rand doesn’t control.

When Harry Binswanger began publishing a bimonthly journal The Objectivist Forum in 1980 Rand supported it but took care to write in the inaugural issue that it was not “the official voice of Objectivism ... [or] my representative or my spokesman.”  And neither, we would say, is the misnamed “Ayn Rand Institute.”

Rand made Leonard Peikoff the heir to her estate but she did not, and could not, make him the heir to her intellect.  Unfortunately for the spread of her ideas she chose a man with sporadic common sense.  Mr. Peikoff worries, for example, that a Christian theocracy will soon control the United States – he wrote a whole book about it.  He defers to a Zionist Israeli, Yaron Brook, on the most important issue of our time:  mass Third World immigration (Mr. Brook praises it to the skies, legal and illegal, into the U.S., while rejecting it totally for Israel).  ARI has been a complete disaster for the spread of Objectivism.