<< ARI Watch

The Effect

Arguing with people who oppose Ayn Randís philosophy is more difficult with the ďAyn Rand InstituteĒ as its official representative. 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, selflessly opening our borders to the Third World Ė all presented as in your self-interest.

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

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

Randís lifework and savings pay for the humbug generated by ARI. It also pays for its advertisement. When Leonard Peikoff, the man behind ARI and the executor of Randís estate, issued a new paperback edition 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 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 Randís philosophy means, I want nothing to do with it !Ē ARI hinders the spread of 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 front, 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, with one face promoting human rights, honesty, and Ancient Greece; and with the other the expedient violation of human rights, twisting human rights into self-destruction, the noble lie, and government institutionalized torture.

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 of a book of Randís they see what appears to be her endorsement of ARI on the cover. When 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 that A is not A, they will conclude that the men are hypocrites.