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What happen with Mr. Branden and Objectivism?

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I'm sure this question has been answered before but I would have like to konw what happen with Mr Brandon and the Objectivist philosophy ?

As for what happened to Nathaniel Branden, ask HIM -- treating what he has to say about anyone other than himself with a lot of skepticism.

Objectivism, on the other hand, is doing just fine.

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I'm sure this question has been answered before but I would have like to konw what happen with Mr Brandon and the Objectivist philosophy ?

Ayn Rand kicked Mr. Branden out of her Objectivist movement. For the juicy details, visit your local library.

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I'm not sure exactly what happened to start their disagreement, but I just read this essay by Branden in which he explains his problems with Rand and her philosophy:

Branden Essay

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I'm not sure exactly what happened to start their disagreement, but I just read this essay by Branden in which he explains his problems with Rand and her philosophy:

Branden Essay

What he presents in that article is a straw man of what Objectivism is and slanderous allegations about Ayn Rand and other Objectivists.

Why would he do that? What does he have to gain by doing it? As Ayn Rand wrote: "don't bother to examine a folly—ask yourself only what it accomplishes."

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I know there is a certain amount of curiousity out there about Mr. Brandon and others, but I really do get tired of it all. Mr. Brandon will be nothing but a footnote in the history of Objectivism, and that for curiosity's sake. Brandon's done nothing since 1968 but attempt to justify himself by smearing Miss Rand. It seems to be a minor cottage industry among the petty-souled ex-Objectivists and wannabe intellectuals who, since they are incapable of (or unwilling to) producing an original thought, spend their time criticizing their betters.

Forgive my being presumptuous, but I would suggest that your time would be better spent studying ideas instead of personalities. What happened, or didn't happen, in Miss Rand's personal life is just that -- personal. It could, by definition, only matter to her. That Brandon and his followers continue to parasite off of Miss Rand's reputation is despicable and shows an utter lack of character or virtue (or is that a redundancy?).

I say none of this because I think there's something to hide. I say it because I have spent time -- that I'll never get back -- reading about this only to find a septic tank full of filth and the bacteria who live in it. I don't wish that experience on anyone.

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Just for the record, I don't advocate Branden, I just offered that as an insight into the conflict itself, not as a justification of Branden or anything of that sort.

I fully agree with Betsy and oldsalt. Everything that one needs to know about Objectivism is in Rand's books, not in her personal life.

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All said and done, I can't help imagine the degree of evasion(s) that Mr. Brandon must have gone through to finally present his twisted resoning of events (the break-up with Miss Rand)

And his current advocacy as "pioneer of the self-esteem movement"...i wonder how much of it is he left himself with, considering the amount of guilt he must be carrying within himself. :)

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I knew Nathaniel Brandon having gone to him as a therapist in 1970 and again in 1989. To make it short, I screwed up my own life and as a therapist Brandon left a LOT to be desired.

He seemed extremely bored with us all and fought to stay awake at times. I think he wanted to be a big deal in the psychology field, but didn't have that much new to add to it. To be brutally frank, Dr. Laura Schlessinger can make you drop bad habits faster and for free.

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Sharon, thanks for the confirmation of what I figured it would be like to take therapy from him. In the article linked to above, Brandon makes the obscene admission that he smiles to himself when he hears an Objectivist discuss their problems. He enjoys it.

As Miss Rand asks us about James Taggart, "Does he want to live?"

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I have to agree with him on one point: where he says that Objectivism is too dogmatic. People need to realize that it's okay to not take every word Ayn Rand wrote as though it were the word of God.

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I have to agree with him on one point: where he says that Objectivism is too dogmatic.  People need to realize that it's okay to not take every word Ayn Rand wrote as though it were the word of God.

How in the world are you going to blame a philosophy, i.e., a set of principles that attempts to describe reality, for the way in which people accept and apply those principles? Especially when that philosophy explicitly rejects any form of faith or unreason? Objectivism can't be dogmatic. Only people can be dogmatic, and the truth is, outside of the Internet, I have met VERY few "dogmatic Objectivists."

To put it another way, you say, "People need to realize that it's okay to not take every word Ayn Rand wrote as though it were the word of God." Guess who said the same thing? Ayn Rand. What the hell more do you want from us?

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I have to agree with him on one point: where he says that Objectivism is too dogmatic.

The actions of individual Objectivists (or even groups of Objectivists for that matter) should reflect only upon the individuals involved, rather than upon the philosophy as a whole. Even if you wanted to claim that Rand's writing style and mode of presentation somewhat encouraged these attitudes, I don't think it would be correct to claim that even this makes Objectivism qua Objectivism 'dogmatic'.

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Most Objectivists I've met are extremely dogmatic.  I went to a speech by Andrew Bernstein and he talked about it as though it were a religion.

No, Andy Bernstein talks about Objectivism with admiration for what it can do for man's life. The idea that he, of all people, has an ounce of dogmatism is absurd. Perhaps you should consider that you're talking about people who some of us know or have met before you try to get away with such nonsense.

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The actions of individual Objectivists (or even groups of Objectivists for that matter) should reflect only upon the individuals involved, rather than upon the philosophy as a whole. Even if you wanted to claim that Rand's writing style and mode of presentation somewhat encouraged these attitudes, I don't think it would be correct to claim that even this makes Objectivism qua Objectivism 'dogmatic'.

This is precisely the point I tried to make, but the thing is, some people are dogmatically commited to the claim that Objectivism is dogmatic.

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I have to agree with him on one point: where he says that Objectivism is too dogmatic.

Why are you here if you think Objectivism is dogmatic? It would be of no use to you.

When DPW shows your wrong about the philosophy, you change your argument while ignoring his post. From "Objectivism is dogmatic" to "most Objectivists I've met are extremely dogmatic."

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I hope you realize that you're all proving my point. One element of dogmatism is getting up in arms whenever someone attacks your belief system. It's the equivalent of a southern Baptist yelling "Blasphemy!" when you ask him to prove that God exists. I have met Dr. Bernstein. And I'm here partially because GreedyCapitalist asked me to start posting on his boards but partially because I'm very interested in Objectivism. I am not an Objectivist but I am sympathetic to many of its principles. I disagree with a lot of it, such as the way it encourages dogmatism. I also have some issues with its epistemology.

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The actions of individual Objectivists (or even groups of Objectivists for that matter) should reflect only upon the individuals involved, rather than upon the philosophy as a whole. Even if you wanted to claim that Rand's writing style and mode of presentation somewhat encouraged these attitudes, I don't think it would be correct to claim that even this makes Objectivism qua Objectivism 'dogmatic'.

I'll agree with this. The philosophy itself may not be dogmatic but most Objectivists treat it that way and the writings seem to encourage it.

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What do you call the person who labels everyone that disagrees with him "dogmatist?" It seems that person himself would be a dogmatist.

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Hannibal, I'm curious to know exactly what you mean by dogmatism. Are you saying that if I know I'm right about something in particular, that I've done the work and validated or proved my position, that I ought to ignore that fact. Are you saying that sticking to a validated position is somehow wrong? What would be the alternative?

As for the "constant" referring to Ayn Rand: I'd like to know how, when discussing Objectivism -- the philosophy defined by Ayn Rand -- one is supposed to ignore what she wrote or said about it. It is her philosophy.

Perhaps it is the idea that certainty is possible that you don't care for. Do you think that certainty is possible? Do you think that those who claim certainty can do so only because of their faith that such and such is so? Are the statements "God exists" and "Existence Exists" epistemologically the same for you. Do you understand what context means?

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Hannibal isnt even an Objectivist. He is just getting to know Objectivism and its principles. There is no need to condescending. Give him a break and let him learn through Rand works and our HELP!!!! Not scorn him because he still holds some illogical views. He will get over that eventually.

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I hope you realize that you're all proving my point.  One element of dogmatism is getting up in arms whenever someone attacks your belief system.

Oh, that's clever. If you call us and our philosophy dogmatic and we agree, we're dogmatists. If we deny it, we're dogmatists.

It's the equivalent of a southern Baptist yelling "Blasphemy!" when you ask him to prove that God exists.
Actually it's the opposite, because I already proved to you that Objectivism can't be dogmatic, but you chose to ignore that point.

I have met Dr. Bernstein.  And I'm here partially because GreedyCapitalist asked me to start posting on his boards but partially because I'm very interested in Objectivism.  I am not an Objectivist but I am sympathetic to many of its principles.  I disagree with a lot of it, such as the way it encourages dogmatism.  I also have some issues with its epistemology.

If you want anyone to take you seriously, then you need to offer evidence for your assertions. Merely saying, "Objectivism encourages dogmatism, which I know because I've met dogmatic Objectivists" won't cut it. Where does Objectivism endorse dogmatism? Where does Rand endorse it? I'm looking for specific quotes.

As for the Objectivist epistemology, I'm curious as to what issues you have with it. I mean this seriously: epistemology, and the Objectivist epistemology in particular, is my primary philosophical interest.

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Hannibal isnt even an Objectivist. He is just getting to know Objectivism and its principles. There is no need to condescending. Give him a break and let him learn through Rand works and our HELP!!!! Not scorn him because he still holds some illogical views. He will get over that eventually.

If someone insults me, his ignorance is no excuse.

EDIT: I don't mean to imply that Hannibal insulted me specifically.

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nimble: I wasn't being condescending. I asked legitimate questions. I asked the questions because I am genuinely interested in his answers.

There are Objectivists who are dogmatic. That's their problem and has nothing to do with Objectivism, which NEVER advocated adherence to any idea because it was handed down from on high. That is a second-handers approach which is proscribed by very nature of Objectivist epistemology. If Hannibal would learn about Objectivism, he needs to understand that the philosophy doesn't allow for assertions of fact without any proof or validation other than someone said so, even Ayn Rand. When an Objectivist cites Miss Rand, it is with the understanding that that individual fully grasps and accepts the validation or proof of the citation and is arguing FROM that point. Anyone who does otherwise will quickly find himself lost in any reasoned philosophical discussion.

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