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Ayn Rand Cult (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 30. Dezember 1998

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Ayn Rand and her philosophical school, Objectivism, have had considerable influence on American popular culture. This is the story of her life. The author aims to show what she was like and how she manipulated her followers. He seeks to answer why she continues to be influential. He argues that the ideas Rand and her followers claimed as her own are not original, but a pastich of those of philosophers Friedrich Nietzsche and Herbert Spencer, economists Harriet Martineau and Friedrich Hayek, and 1920s business propaganda.


'Ayn Rand Cult' receives raves from 3 distinguished figures
The back cover of 'The Ayn Rand Cult' displays blurbs of rave reviews from Michael Shermer (editor of SKEPTIC magazine & author of the best-selling 'Why People Believe Weird Things', Martin Gardner (Skeptical Inquirer columnist & author of 'Fads & Fallacies in the Name of Science', 'Science: Good, Bad & Bogus' & numerous other classics) and Dr. Albert Ellis (legendary, best-selling, world-renowned psychologist, originator of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy).



Format: Taschenbuch
I wonder whether 'Objectivists' are aware of the idolatrous nature of the Ayn Rand cult. Readers of Jeff Walker's helpful book may find the following remarks helpful as well. (See also my reviews of CAPITALISM: THE UNKNOWN IDEAL, THE VIRTUE OF SELFISHNESS, and PHILOSOPHY: WHO NEEDS IT.)
Alyssa Rosenbaum, like so many other would-be secular Messiahs, was connected to but alienated from the Jewish faith: her father was a Russian Jew, her mother was not, and she was raised in a strictly secular environment. Her hostility to G-d is evident throughout her work - her 'man-worship' and her belief in the so-called 'benevolent universe' are so evidently idolatrous that I need not comment further on this point. Also, her presentation of herself as the embodiment of her philosophy helped to generate an atmosphere of idolatrous worship of Rand herself.
(And like her predecessor the false Messiah Shabbatai Zvi, she felt free to alter the Law at will - in her case, to permit an adulterous relationship with her young protege and populariser, Nathan Blumenthal/Nathaniel Branden. Incidentally, Shabbatai Zvi was publicly promoted as the Messiah by a different Nathan: Nathan of Gaza.)
However, in her philosophy she seems to have borrowed certain isolated *elements* of Judaism and attempted to place them, quite inconsistently, on a highly unstable secular (approximately Marxist/Leninist) foundation. Moreover, as indicated by a remark she once made to Isabel Paterson, she seems to have considered herself a 'Jewish intellectual' even though, by strictly Halakhic standards, she would not be regarded as a Jew.
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Format: Taschenbuch
This is the sort of book that would really rankle those hardcore objectivists who might read it. But those with cultist inclinations aren't likely to do so. The book is filled with examples of seemingly absurd behaviour on the part of Randians -- most of it documented by sources that appear to be plausible. Walker addresses some issues that haunt objectivists. One of the major ones is the lack of children. Like smoking, this is one of those areas that makes little sense. To those who are so intent on pursuing their own ends selfishly, having children is just an obstacle to self- fullfillment. Of course, most of the those who do this, do so more because they are cold, stiff individuals, who don't want to be bothered by unpredictable children. In reality, children are real values -- but this is something that seems to elude the Randian cultist. Walker wonders if being a one dimensional adherent to someone elses philosophy represents individuality? I wonder also. Is smoking, merely because your cult leader does it and intellectually can justify it, a good idea? I guess not. This is just ONE example of the parroting of Rand values by cultists that is so reprehensible. I kind of wonder about the only objectivist publication that Walker praises: In Full Context. This very readable montly (albeit not read by many) was once the griping grounds of as missanthropic an ogre as could be found amongst the Objectivists -- David Overly, who haunted it's pages with bitter denuciations of Nathaniel Branden in much the same fashion as does Walker. Ok, so maybe that's the attraction: both of these dudes hate Branden. Seemingly, for reasons that go above and beyond the call of sensibility.Lesen Sie weiter... ›
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Format: Taschenbuch
I've had a long-term relationship destroyed by my then-girlfriend's involvement with Objectivism. From the time she decided to join an Objectivist study group at our college, to the final disintegration of our involvement three years later, her personality progressively changed from shy, warm, loving and idealistic to ideological, cold, bitter and alienated. Her Objectivist friends constantly encouraged her to end our relationship because I was not an Objectivist and had no plans to become one. Small difficulties that we used to deal with easily became huge problems that to her typified my moral debasement. By the time she decided she would have no further contact with me I was depressed and confused as to how a love that had been so intense and fulfilling could so quickly disintegrate into a sustained attack against my deepest held values of autonomy, rationality and self-respect -- values which Objectivism claims to advocate.
Reading this book was like having a veil of ignorance lifted concerning the pain and confusion of that relationship. I am now able to see, thanks to Walker's detailed and well-written compilation of data, how my ex-girlfriend's change in personality fits into a larger pattern of control which Objectivism exercises over its followers, whether they belong to Peikoff's sect, David Kelley's, or any number of smaller splinter groups. Even many of those who claim to be free-lance Objectivists, devotees of Rand herself and not one of her interpreters, tend to manifest many of these characteristics.
Though Rand and Objectivism tout reason, self-esteem and autonomy, they rely on their followers' *lack* of these virtues. The Ayn Rand Cult explains this in detail. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has had or does have respect for Rand as a philosopher or political theorist. She was neither. A huckster of false beliefs, yes; an enlightened thinker, definitely not.
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