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Author Topic: The Sociology of the Ayn Rand Cult  (Read 3072 times)

socalserf

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The Sociology of the Ayn Rand Cult
« on: November 03, 2009, 12:11:29 am »

I read this the other day at LRC.
I had heard stories about Rand being a control freak but I had no idea she lead a cult.
This was very enlightening to me, both about Rand, and cults in general.
Quote
There seems to be only one way to resolve the contradiction in the Randian strategic outlook of extreme sectarianism within the libertarian movement, coupled with extreme opportunism, and willingness to coalesce with slightly more conservative heads of State, in the outside world. That resolution, confirmed by the remainder of our analysis of the cult, holds that the guiding spirit of the Randian movement was not individual liberty – as it seemed to many young members – but rather personal power for Ayn Rand and her leading disciples. For power within the movement could be secured by totalitarian isolation and control of the minds and lives of every member; but such tactics could scarcely work outside the movement, where power could only hopefully be achieved by cozying up the President and his inner circles of dominion.

Thus, power not liberty or reason, was the central thrust of the Randian movement. The major lesson of the history of the movement to libertarians is that It Can Happen Here, that libertarians, despite explicit devotion to reason and individuality, are not exempt from the mystical and totalitarian cultism that pervades other ideological as well as religious movements. Hopefully, libertarians, once bitten by the virus, may now prove immune.
http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard23.html

Rothbard is great!
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"Freedom's the answer. What's the question?"
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Radio Flyer

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Re: The Sociology of the Ayn Rand Cult
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2009, 12:40:20 am »

I read this the other day at LRC.
I had heard stories about Rand being a control freak but I had no idea she lead a cult.
This was very enlightening to me, both about Rand, and cults in general.
Quote
There seems to be only one way to resolve the contradiction in the Randian strategic outlook of extreme sectarianism within the libertarian movement, coupled with extreme opportunism, and willingness to coalesce with slightly more conservative heads of State, in the outside world. That resolution, confirmed by the remainder of our analysis of the cult, holds that the guiding spirit of the Randian movement was not individual liberty – as it seemed to many young members – but rather personal power for Ayn Rand and her leading disciples. For power within the movement could be secured by totalitarian isolation and control of the minds and lives of every member; but such tactics could scarcely work outside the movement, where power could only hopefully be achieved by cozying up the President and his inner circles of dominion.

Thus, power not liberty or reason, was the central thrust of the Randian movement. The major lesson of the history of the movement to libertarians is that It Can Happen Here, that libertarians, despite explicit devotion to reason and individuality, are not exempt from the mystical and totalitarian cultism that pervades other ideological as well as religious movements. Hopefully, libertarians, once bitten by the virus, may now prove immune.
http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard23.html

Rothbard is great!

Great.

I have noted my objections to Objectivism on the boards and my Blog, it is nice to see some of the thoughts so well written by Mr. Rothbard.

There are many good articles about the rift with libertarians and Objectivists, Rand despised libertarians and in particular had a large disgust with anarchists that I always thought was misplaced - but it looks as if it was very well placed and deliberate, as I look now I see a closer relationship with Rand and the neocons.

I think it interesting that she would rail against racism and yet clearly in several interviews (one on youtube) she was clearly racist on many counts. In many of my contacts with Objectivists I have noted a similarity in many Objectivists and Scientologists - strange.
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Dana

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Re: The Sociology of the Ayn Rand Cult
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2009, 12:39:55 pm »

To quote another thread...


Well, I've noticed a bit of a subtext in a couple of threads that involve Religion one way or another, as well as two camps forming that include A)Religion enslaves or B) Anti Religious Screed


To me the two go hand in hand, a Creator endows Individuals Rights far more than any sort of enumerated ones, and whether the Individual chooses to recognize a Creator or not.

Which sort of dovetails nicely into a question about why Atheists make their views known far more than the most fervent Evangelical ever would...

A digression, however what makes Faith and Freedom either hostile to one another, or indeed, partners?

I think the piece by Rothbard goes a long way toward answering this question.  The parallels between the actual practice of Objectivism by many of its closest followers (as described by Rothbard) and the antics of some adherents of other religions (e.g. Christianity, etc.) are to me, at least, quite striking.



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Radio Flyer

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Re: The Sociology of the Ayn Rand Cult
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2009, 01:29:55 pm »

To quote another thread...


Well, I've noticed a bit of a subtext in a couple of threads that involve Religion one way or another, as well as two camps forming that include A)Religion enslaves or B) Anti Religious Screed


To me the two go hand in hand, a Creator endows Individuals Rights far more than any sort of enumerated ones, and whether the Individual chooses to recognize a Creator or not.

Which sort of dovetails nicely into a question about why Atheists make their views known far more than the most fervent Evangelical ever would...

A digression, however what makes Faith and Freedom either hostile to one another, or indeed, partners?

I think the piece by Rothbard goes a long way toward answering this question.  The parallels between the actual practice of Objectivism by many of its closest followers (as described by Rothbard) and the antics of some adherents of other religions (e.g. Christianity, etc.) are to me, at least, quite striking.

The formula for "control" as used by religions is well known and was successfully copied with political movements such as communism, obviously the Rand movements and even in other groups that find the formula works well...

Some interesting outlooks and studies on this phenomenon ...

A long video of Diane Benscoter on cults rewiring the brain (well not so long -6 min.- as a video format that takes time to download).

http://www.ted.com/talks/ex_moonie_diane_benscoter_how_cults_think.html

From "How cults work" - "The modern definition of a mind control cult is any group which employs mind control and deceptive recruiting techniques. In other words cults trick people into joining and coerce them into staying." - note no religion is necessary.

http://www.howcultswork.com/

Fascinating... the study of cults and even groups and religions that use some or all of the controlling systems.

Just because a religion or political thought is big does not exempt it from cult status...
« Last Edit: November 04, 2009, 02:46:19 pm by Radio Flyer »
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Radio Flyer

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Re: The Sociology of the Ayn Rand Cult
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2009, 03:16:09 pm »

Some links of intrest.

Video of cult methods in an almost funny video format.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxJyfqeaKU8

They also press the now proven fallacy about low protein diets, it is not the specific diet but the change in diet taking the body nutrition out of balance and often adding the lack of caloric intake (like fasting).  Example http://www.meatprocess.com/Industry-markets/High-fat-diets-linked-to-poor-mental-function

I have also noticed a trend in some Christian groups that try and identify "the others" that they call cults often they attack the Mormons, Seventh Day, and the old favorite the Catholics. Often they are simply talking about theistic variations and attempting to cast "blame" away from themselves "we are not a cult - we are too big and to established to be a cult" - I call BS on that one.


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gaurdduck

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Re: The Sociology of the Ayn Rand Cult
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2009, 10:07:49 pm »

This has all been very informative.
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ZooT_aLLures

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Re: The Sociology of the Ayn Rand Cult
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2009, 10:34:02 pm »

Quote
employs mind control and deceptive recruiting techniques.

Any time people, for whatever reason.............forego principle for the sake of expediency or convenience, to attain some goal, they've lost that goal to expedience or convenience...........

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Even some cowboy and indian outlaws in the 1800's eventually stopped sleeping under buffalo skins, and came to town to entertain paying customers. For some I imagine the bruising of their ego never healed.

We all have some scar tissue that never lets us completely forget the intent of the adventure.

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Re: The Sociology of the Ayn Rand Cult
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2009, 05:48:47 pm »


Far be it for me to defend Obbies, but if the Rand group was a cult it was more of a cult-of-personality type than the agressive brainwashing type. I'm pretty sure most of the brainwashing was self induced follow-the-leader enthusiasm, and they did more screwing around with each other than sacrificing of babies and small animals.

A shallow, elitist circle attention fest. Not much different than most 'modern relationships' when you think about it. ;)
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socalserf

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Re: The Sociology of the Ayn Rand Cult
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2009, 07:20:16 pm »


Far be it for me to defend Obbies, but if the Rand group was a cult it was more of a cult-of-personality type than the agressive brainwashing type. I'm pretty sure most of the brainwashing was self induced follow-the-leader enthusiasm, and they did more screwing around with each other than sacrificing of babies and small animals.

A shallow, elitist circle attention fest. Not much different than most 'modern relationships' when you think about it. ;)

Yep, from the outside it looks like a bunch of brainiacs with a low level of emotional intelligence.
I speculate that once the Rand cult faded they joined Chess Clubs.

By the way, does anyone else play?
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"Freedom's the answer. What's the question?"
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