Culty Objectivism

    I think I've finally figured out what makes me uneasy about many Objectivist environments. They're culty.

    Objectivism is an integrated set of ideas. Existence is what it is; we can grasp it with our senses and actively integrate the information we acquire; we can only think and act for ourselves, so we should be free to do so; we're pretty awesome, and art should remind us of that.

    Ayn Rand formulated those ideas in a way that makes people absolutely certain of them, as they should be. Certainty, however, is at the root of the "cult" problem - it's highly addictive.

    Being certain of fundamental principles does not mean you can be certain about every specific application of those principles. Many people, however, get addicted to the feeling of being certain, and refuse to think about anything that goes beyond fundamental principles, essentially turning them into dogmas.

    In other words, they know A, but refuse to think about B or C for fear of contradicting A. That's evasion - oddly enough, the very behaviour Objectivism abhors. Nearly everyone knows what a cult looks like, and they avoid the hell out of it, for good reason. Cults destroy one's individuality.

    Turning Rand's ideas into the object of a cult is the equivalent of posing as a Capitalist while arguing for social security. It makes the lives of those who are actually interested in the ideas of reason and freedom a lot harder. Not only do we have to argue against bad ideas, we have to argue against bad ideas disguised as the very principles we defend.

  -  February 14th, 2020