Re: Ayn Rand Institute

Vance Geiger (geiger@PEGASUS.CC.UCF.EDU)
Wed, 21 Feb 1996 21:11:19 -0500

Ronald Kephart <> provided the follwing
quote from the Objectivist Institute (Ayn Randians at large):

"Prior to 1492, what is now the United States was sparsely
inhabited, unused, and undeveloped. The inhabitants were
primarily hunter/gatherers, wandering across the land, living
from hand to mouth and from day to day. There was virtually no
change, no growth for thousands of years. With rare exception,
life was nasty, brutish, and short: there was no wheel, no
written language, no division of labor, little agriculture and
scant permanent settlement; but there were endless, bloody wars.
Whatever the problems it brought, the vilified Western culture
also brought enormous, undreamed-of benefits, without which most
of today's Indians would be infinitely poorer or not even alive."

Ronald kephart then asked the question:

My question: Is there an appropriate response to this kind of
stuff, and if so what is it??

Comment: One response is to point out the hypocrisy of the above
quote in light of what Objectivists are supposed to believe. The
folowing is from the same source (the Ayn Randian web page)
regarding Objectivist Epistomology.


"Man's reason is fully competent to know the facts of reality.
Reason, the conceptual faculty, is the faculty that identifies
and integrates the material provided by man's senses. Reason is
man's only means of acquiring knowledge." Thus Objectivism
rejects mysticism (any acceptance of faith or feeling as a means
of knowledge), and it rejects skepticism (the claim that
certainty or knowledge is impossible).

Comment: By their own definition the quote is metaphysical and
lacking in reason since it is not factual. There are many
grounds upon which it is false. One I know of is the result of
research that has been conducted by the Chases from here at UCF.
They have found at Caracol, in Belize, the remains of a major
terracing system, something on the order of Benaue in the
Philippines. Hunter-gatherers do not make terraces. There are
endless other problems with the bogus assertions of Michael

So if it is not Objerctivist, what is it? Selling. These guys
are just another case of using "metaphysics" (their definition)
to sell their services (they have an Insitute that offers a two-
year graduate program in Objectivism).

Personally I have always found the Ayn Randians a bit difficult
to take as I was raised by someone who claimed to believe their
pap and got me to read Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead but
who also believed in Edgar Cayce! Probably the best illustration
of real Objectivist thinking is to be found in the equally bogus
thinking behind editorials in Analog magazine.