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The Effect

Arguing with people who oppose Ayn Randís philosophy is more difficult now that the ďAyn Rand InstituteĒ has become the official representative of that philosophy. According to ARI  Objectivism means uttering patriotic bromides while placing halos above the heads of bold fearless leaders, reveling in war, torturing perceived enemies of the state, and selflessly opening our borders to the Third World Ė all twisted into promoting your self-interest.

The coil of verbiage thrown out by the Ayn Rand Institute to ensnare the young and ignorant no more represents Ayn Randís philosophy than a con manís spiel is an honest business proposition. Greed for the unearned motivates the con man; apparently what motivates ARI much of the time is blind passion for Jewish causes.

What a disgusting spectacle the official Objectivists make, now, when we need real insight the most.

Ayn Randís lifework and savings pay for the humbug generated by ARI, and for its advertisement. When Leonard Peikoff, the man behind ARI and the executor of her estate, issued a new paperback printing of Atlas Shrugged, printed on the back cover was ARIís website address. Bound among its pages was a  request-for-information  card which on mailing got you an advertisement for ARIís newsletter. People will read this literature expecting to find Ayn Randís ideas applied to current events, and instead find a caricature, like biting into a mock apple pie and gagging on a mouthful of sawdust.

Decent people will respond: ďIf this is what Ayn Randís philosophy means, I want nothing to do with it !Ē ARI hinders the spread of Ayn Randís philosophy more than all her forthright enemies combined.

ARI is like Janus of legend, the man with two faces: a face on the front of his head and, hideous to imagine, a face symmetrically opposite on the back. One face of this monster works its jaws praising the pursuit of happiness and the virtue of benevolent self-interest. Then he turns around and presents to you his hind face. As animated as the first, this face praises dying for ďfreedomĒ everywhere on earth, and remains silent about the systematic destruction of authentic freedom here at home. This twofaced monster bumbles about showing each of its faces in turn, promoting human rights, honesty, and Ancient Greece with one face; and the expedient violation of human rights (or twisting human rights into self-destruction), the noble lie, and torture with the other.

Ayn Rand once observed that her philosophy is its own avenger. The intellectual vandals at ARI wonít get away with aping her language while corrupting her ideas. The sincere and intelligent in their audience will be repelled once they see the true colors of ARI.

ARI must be fought continually, though, because every time someone looks at a paperback edition they see what appears to be Ayn Randís endorsement of ARI on the cover. When Ayn Rand chose Mr. Peikoff as her heir she ended up posthumously promoting the perversion of her own philosophy. But again, there is good reason to believe that her real philosophy will win in the end. When men say A is A and act like Up is Down, most people wonít conclude A is not A, they will conclude the men are hypocrites.