Monday, May 7, 2007

Get a Clue

Ayn Rand Contra Human Nature has given RandZapper another nice plug, prompting this infantile whine from a Randkissing commenter:
Get a life. Who dedicates their lives to misrepresenting a person's philosophy? This site is pathetic and clearly doesn't understand Objectivism.
Daniel Barnes, who runs ARCHN, has a sweet comeback, pithily responding to the rhetorical question "Who dedicates their lives ...?":
Ummm...Ayn Rand? Leonard Peikoff? They've misrepresented just about every major philosopher in history!
Good point. But we at RandZapper would also like to reply to the commenter, who posts under the revealing screen name "Anonymous." We feel we should treat Anon's criticism with all the seriousness it deserves. Thusly:


More to the point, RandZapper does clearly understand Objectivism. But as we have said before, and will repeat for the benefit of the literacy-challenged, we are not interested in analyzing Ayn Rand's "philosophy," such as it is. Other sites do this, notably ARCHN itself. No, what the good folks at RandZapper are up to is quite different. We scour the Web looking for the dumbest, most outrageous, most bizarre, most inflammatory pronouncements made by people who have been (by their own admission) influenced by Ayn Rand, or who consider themselves (by their own admission) sympathetic to her views. We call them Randians - or Randists, AynRandians, Randkissers, Randlovers, Randworshippers, Randsuckers, Randolators, etc. We do this to distinguish them from Objectivists in the formal sense.

All quotes are documented, with active links to the source pages. No one can deny that these statements have been posted on the Web by people who at least claim to be fans or followers of the sainted Ayn.

We are not saying that these people are interpreting Objectivism in a way that Ayn Rand would approve of. In some cases they undoubtedly are (Rand had no problem with the extermination of the Amercan Indian population, for instance), and in other cases they undoubtedly are not (Rand would not have said that torturing babies and animals is okay, or that it's wrong solely because it's a "waste of time"). Endlessly parsing who is and is not a true Objectivist is a job for the deep thinkers at the Ayn Rand Institute and other cultic clearinghouses. It's not our concern. We do contend that many of these views are logical extensions of Objectivist dogma, but this does not mean that Rand herself, or her "official" acolytes, would agree.

All RandZapper is saying is: Here are the views of professed Rand fans, in their own words. And if "official" Objectivism (however this is defined) wants to disown these statements and excommunicate those who have issued them, that's fine by us. In fact, we strongly recommend this policy. People have been banished from Objectivism on far more trivial grounds than advocating genocide.

Surely Anonymous has no problem with that?