Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Because It Really Can't Be Said Often Enough.

"The doctrinal structure of Randism is bluff, buttressed by abuse of all critics."
- David Ramsay Steele.


Michael R. Brown said...

I don't agree, but I'm curious: what do you think the purpose of this huge bluff was/is?

Daniel Barnes said...

Obviously these things evolve, so I doubt there was any kind of master plan or conscious purpose. One thing lead to another, and before you knew it you had a movement.

I do think that Objectivism has an obvious underlying appeal in that it offers power - you too can master the philosophical secrets of the universe, be the intellectual Commander In Chief - at a relatively low entry price. All you need do is read a couple of pot-boiler novels, and you have the "essentials". It reminds me a little bit of those ads you used to see in comic books selling X-ray specs. They promised a lot but didn't actually work when you got them, relying on a cheap optical illusion instead.

A lot of people got very invested in Rand's philosophy as a result of reading the novels, which promise all kinds of things to the adherent. Ramsay Steele speaks of this exact experience:
"I was also inspired by its hints of a fully-worked out theoretical system, a metaphysical. epistemological, and ethical structure which somehow supported the author's political conclusion. It was a great disappointment to found later that this system did not exist. "

Like investors who've sunk their dough into a company that is basically bankrupt, there's a lot of incentive to pretend to others, and even yourself, that you've invested wisely.

Heisenberg said...

Objectivism is a great example of the great peril of deductive reasoning: GIGO.