At bottom, Objectivist epistemology is based on a fundamental fallacy which leads at first to verbalism and then to an authoritarian turn. This fallacy, often difficult to unpack, is clearly expressed here (my italics):
"And, lastly, I suggest that you try to project what would have happened if, instead of Annie Sullivan, a sadist had taken charge of Helen Keller’s education. A sadist would spell “water” into Helen’s palm, while making her touch water, stones, flowers and dogs interchangeably; he would teach her that water is called “water” today, but “milk” tomorrow; he would endeavor to convey to her that there is no necessary connection between names and things, that the signals in her palm are a game of arbitrary conventions and that she’d better obey him without trying to understand."
- Ayn Rand, “Kant Versus Sullivan,” Philosophy: Who Needs It p90.A truly remarkable thing to write, and to think.