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Tikkun

What was Objectivism before Branden?

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I haven't done much research on the organisational aspects of Oism (my personal beleif is that such institutionalisation tends to kill a philosophy) but I can't help but notice/read a few things.

1. Everyone here hates Nathaniel Brandon.

2. Brandon was the first to turn Rand's ideas into a kind of church. He led witch hunts, denunciations, and seemed generally incapable of thinking on his own.

3. Brandon was the first to codify Rand's ideas into stone through the NBI.

My question is what did Rand's circle look like before Brandon, was it more open untill Brandon arrived?

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Branden was there from the beginning as far as I know, although I admit to being relatively unfamiliar with the soap opera that surrounds this part of Objectivism.

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Hal is correct that this is essentially a soap opera.  It's not important to the philosophy or to understanding its ideals.

But it may be essential to understanding how the philosophy can affect different people. For example, some turn Objectivism into some sort of religion. Ever read "The Ayn Rand Cult"?

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But it may be essential to understanding how the philosophy can affect different people. For example, some turn Objectivism into some sort of religion. Ever read "The Ayn Rand Cult"?

That is the book I got my information from on the "Church" aspects of Oism.

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You two (studentofobjectivism & Tikkun) seem to be relatively new to studying Objectivism, so I'll let your posts above go with just a public warning. Until and unless you rightly feel confident about your understanding of Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism, please do not make assertions about it (you are free to ask questions about it, however). These include, but are not limited to:

-"But it may be essential to understanding how the philosophy can affect different people."

If applied dogmatically, any philosophy is destructive to one's mind, so don't make it seem as if Objectivism qua Objectivism is a force that can "effect people"--individuals and the choices they make (not the ideas they act, or profess to act, upon) are first-causal agents (we do, after all, have free will). People will apply all sorts of ideas (whether rationally-based or not) dogmatically, this is not some phenomena unique to certain so-called Objectivists.

What this means is that you should not find fault in Objectivism first without you yourself having understood it and second simply because others who profess to be Objectivists act in what seems to be a queer fashion. Not the life-choices made by Miss Rand (or others who profess to be Objectivists) are to be used as the standard by which you judge Objectivism; please use the ideas embodied in the extensive literature written by Miss Rand to judge the merits of her philosophy.

-"That is the book I got my information from on the "Church" aspects of Oism."

Again, both of you are new to the philosophy, yet you make statements about it simply based on the actions of other so-called Objectivists (or on what others claim other Objectivists do). Objectivism does not have "Church" aspects. I will leave this to you to discover through study of the literature, not through reading trash like "The Ayn Rand Cult."

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[...] I admit to being relatively unfamiliar with the soap opera that surrounds this part of Objectivism.

I am bewildered by your statement. What do you mean by "soap opera"? How does a "soap opera" surround a part of a philosophy? (Does "part" here mean "branch," and, if so, which branch of the philosophy has the alleged soap opera "surrounded"?)

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I haven't done much research on the organisational aspects of Oism (my personal beleif is that such institutionalisation tends to kill a philosophy) but I can't help but notice/read a few things.

I'm not sure what you mean by "institutionalisation." Do you mean that Objectivism shouldn't be precisely defined, but should instead be allowed to be edited with the ebb and flow of society? or that Objectivism shouldn't be furthered by large organizations like the Ayn Rand Institute, but should instead remain restricted to the individual advocacy of bloggers and forum members?

My question is what did Rand's circle look like before Brandon, was it more open untill Brandon arrived?

I can't comment from personal experience, but I think James Valliant made some great insights into the effect that the Brandens' had on "Rand's circle" in this Prodos radio show:

http://www.prodos.com/archive073jamesvalliant01.html

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I am bewildered by your statement. What do you mean by "soap opera"? How does a "soap opera" surround a part of a philosophy? (Does "part" here mean "branch," and, if so, which branch of the philosophy has the alleged soap opera "surrounded"?)

Sorry, I should have said 'movement' rather than 'philosophy'.

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