This article is about adherents to the philosophy of Ayn Rand. For modernist literary movement, see Objectivist poets.
The Objectivist movement is a movement of individuals who seek to study and advance Objectivism, the philosophy expounded by novelist–philosopher Ayn Rand. The movement began informally in the 1950s and consisted of students who were brought together by their mutual interest in Rand's novel, The Fountainhead. The group, ironically named "the Collective" due to their actual advocacy of individualism, in part consisted of Leonard Peikoff, Nathaniel Branden, Barbara Branden, Alan Greenspan, and Murray Rothbard. Nathaniel Branden, a young Canadian student who had been greatly inspired by Rand's work, became a close confidant and encouraged Rand to expand her philosophy into a formal movement. From this informal beginning in Rand's living room, the movement expanded into a collection of think tanks, academic organizations, and periodicals.
"The Collective" was Rand's private name for a group of close confidants, students, and proponents of Rand and Objectivism during the 1950s and 1960s. The founding members of the group were Nathaniel Branden, Barbara Branden, Leonard Peikoff, Alan Greenspan, Joan Kennedy Taylor, Allan Blumenthal, Harry Kalberman, Elayne Kalberman, Joan Mitchell, and Mary Ann Sures (formerly Rukavina). This group became the nucleus of a growing movement of Rand admirers whose name was chosen by Rand as a joke based on Objectivism's staunch commitment to individualism.
The Collective originally started out as an informal gathering of friends (many of them related to one another) who met with Rand on weekends at her apartment on East 36th Street in New York City to discuss philosophy. Barbara Branden said the group met "because of a common interest in ideas". Greenspan recalled being drawn to Rand because of a shared belief in "the importance of mathematics and intellectual rigor". The group met at Rand's apartment at least once a week, and would often discuss and debate into the early morning hours. About these discussions, Greenspan said, "Talking to Ayn Rand was like starting a game of chess thinking I was good, and suddenly finding myself in checkmate." Eventually, Rand also allowed them to begin reading the manuscript of Atlas Shrugged (1957) as she completed it. As the years went on, the Collective would proceed to play a larger, more formal role, promoting Rand's philosophy through the Nathaniel Branden Institute (NBI). Some Collective members gave lectures at the NBI in cities across the United States and wrote articles for its newsletters, The Objectivist Newsletter (1962–1965) and The Objectivist (1966–1971).
In 1968, after a complex series of events, Rand expelled Nathaniel and Barbara Branden from the Collective. In the subsequent years, the Collective slowly broke apart for numerous reasons. (Peikoff, Greenspan and Sures remained associated with Rand until her death. Rand expelled Kay Nolte Smith, while Allan and Joan Mitchell Blumenthal and Robert Hessen left on their own.) Peikoff eventually became Rand's legal heir and the person she described as the best teacher of her ideas, and has been called[by whom?] Rand's "intellectual heir". Following Rand's death in 1982, Peikoff founded (1985) the Ayn Rand Institute to promote Objectivist philosophy.
Nathaniel Branden Institute
Main article: Nathaniel Branden Institute
The first formal presentation of Objectivism began with the Nathaniel Branden Lectures (NBL), shortly after the publication of Rand's final novel, Atlas Shrugged. Nathaniel Branden was the first member of The Collective, and later, Rand's "intellectual heir." In time, Branden and Rand became romantically involved. After the publication of Atlas Shrugged, Rand was inundated with requests for more information about her philosophy. Not wanting to be a teacher or leader of an organized movement, she allowed Branden to lecture on her behalf.
|Timeline of the Objectivist movement|
The Fountainhead published
The success of NBL prompted Branden to expand his lecture organization into the Nathaniel Branden Institute (NBI). Rand and Branden also co-founded the first publication devoted to the study and application of Objectivism. The Objectivist Newsletter began publication in 1962 and was later expanded into The Objectivist.
The 1960s saw a rapid expansion of the Objectivist movement. Rand was a frequent lecturer at universities across the country. Rand hosted a radio program on Objectivism on the Columbia University station, WKCR-FM. The Nathaniel Branden Institute (NBI) hosted lectures on Objectivism, the history of philosophy, art, and psychology in cities across the country. Campus clubs devoted to studying Rand's philosophy formed throughout the country, though operated independently of NBI. Rand was a frequent guest on radio and television, as well as an annual lecturer at the Ford Hall Forum. At the peak of its popularity, NBI was delivering taped lectures in over 80 cities. By 1967 NBI had leased an entire floor in the Empire State Building (with The Objectivist as a sub-tenant).
In 1968, Rand publicly broke with Nathaniel and Barbara Branden. She accused Nathaniel Branden of a "gradual departure from the principles of Objectivism," financial exploitation of her related to business loans, and "deliberate deception of several persons." In a response sent to the mailing list of The Objectivist in 1968, the Brandens denied many of Rand's charges against them. The result of their conflicting claims was a "schism", as some participants in the Objectivist movement supported the Brandens, while others supported Rand's repudiation of them.Robert L. Bradley, Jr. has called the dissolution of NBI an "organizational failure" in the Objectivist movement "as stunning as the collapse of Enron in a different context"; he charges Rand with "resorting to half-truths" and concludes that she "would never own up to the circumstances leading to the split, personally or publicly."
NBI was closed and its offices vacated, in an environment that Barbara Branden described as "total hysteria" as its former students learned about the matter. The Brandens continued for a time to sell some of NBI's recorded lectures through a new company, but otherwise had little involvement with the Objectivist movement until their biographical books about Rand were released.The Objectivist continued publishing with Rand as editor and Leonard Peikoff as associate editor. Peikoff also took over Nathaniel Branden's role as the primary lecturer on Objectivism. Peikoff later described the Brandens' expulsion as the first "of the many schisms that have plagued the Objectivist movement."
In the 1970s, Rand gave fewer public speeches. She concentrated instead on nonfiction writing and on helping the work of her students and associates, through efforts such as a series of private workshops on epistemology that she conducted from 1969 through 1971 for about a dozen students and professionals in philosophy, math and physics.The Objectivist was replaced by The Ayn Rand Letter in 1971. While The Objectivist had published articles by many authors, The Ayn Rand Letter, marketed as a personal newsletter from Rand, published only her work (plus occasionally Leonard Peikoff's).
Throughout the decade, Peikoff continued to offer a number of lecture series on various topics related to Objectivism to large audiences, often incorporating new philosophic material. Rand worked closely with Peikoff, helping edit his book, The Ominous Parallels, for which she wrote the introduction. In mid-1979, Rand's associate Peter Schwartz began editing and publishing The Intellectual Activist, a publication which Rand recommended to her audience. Another associate of hers during this period was Harry Binswanger, whom she advised on his mini-encyclopedia of Objectivism, The Ayn Rand Lexicon: Objectivism from A to Z (1986). After the close of The Objectivist Calendar, a short publication listing upcoming events within the Objectivist movement, Binswanger began editing and publishing The Objectivist Forum, a bimonthly journal on Objectivism which had Rand's support and for which she served as "philosophic consultant."
Upon Rand's death on March 6, 1982, Peikoff inherited her estate, including the control of the copyrights to her books and writing (barring Anthem, in the public domain). Shortly after Rand's death, Peikoff's first book, The Ominous Parallels, was published. In 1983, Peikoff gave a series of lectures titled Understanding Objectivism, for the purpose of improving the methodology used in studying Objectivism, as a corrective to what he describes as the "Rationalist" and the "Empiricist" methods of thought.
In 1985, Leonard Peikoff and Ed Snider founded the Ayn Rand Institute (ARI), the first organization devoted to the study and advocacy of Objectivism since the closure of NBI in 1968. The institute began by sponsoring essay contests on Rand's novels and distributing op-eds analyzing world events from an Objectivist perspective. In 1987, the institute began teaching aspiring Objectivist academics.
In 1989, another major split occurred within the Objectivist movement. As Brian Doherty describes it, David Kelley, a philosopher and lecturer then affiliated with ARI, was "booted from the official Objectivist world" for disagreeing "about the inherent evils of Barbara Branden's Rand biography [The Passion of Ayn Rand]" and "publicly defend[ing] on principle the notion of Objectivists talking to libertarians."
Kelley was criticized by Peter Schwartz for giving a speech under the auspices of Laissez Faire Books (LFB), a libertarian bookseller. Schwartz argued that this activity violated the Objectivist moral principle of sanction. In other words, Kelley was implicitly conferring moral approval on the organization by appearing at an event that it sponsored. LFB, in turn, was morally objectionable because it promoted books, such as The Passion of Ayn Rand (1986), that Schwartz maintained were hostile and defamatory towards Rand and Objectivism. (Although Schwartz made no mention of it, Leonard Peikoff had signed copies of his book The Ominous Parallels at three LFB events in 1982. According to Peikoff, he later broke off relations with LFB after being told that LFB offered anarchist literature.)
Kelley responded, in a paper titled "A Question of Sanction", by disputing Schwartz's interpretation of the sanction principle in particular and his interpretation of moral principles in general. Subsequently, in an essay appearing in The Intellectual Activist, Peikoff endorsed Schwartz's view and claimed that Kelley's arguments contradicted the fundamental principles of Objectivism. Peikoff maintained that many non-Objectivist systems of thought, such as Marxism, are based on "inherently dishonest ideas" whose advocacy must never be sanctioned. He attributed the fall of NBI and subsequent schisms not to "differences in regard to love affairs or political strategy or proselytizing techniques or anybody's personality," but to a "fundamental and philosophical" cause: "if you grasp and accept the concept of 'objectivity,' in all its implications, then you accept Objectivism, you live by it and you revere Ayn Rand for defining it. If you fail fully to grasp and accept the concept, whether your failure is deliberate or otherwise, you eventually drift away from Ayn Rand's orbit, or rewrite her viewpoint or turn openly into her enemy." Those who criticized his position were to make their exit: "if you agree with the Branden or Kelley viewpoint or anything resembling it—please drop out of our movement: drop Ayn Rand, leave Objectivism alone. We do not want you and Ayn Rand would not have wanted you [...]"
Kelley responded to the Peikoff–Schwartz critique in his monograph, "Truth and Toleration", later updated as The Contested Legacy of Ayn Rand. He responded to his ostracism by founding the Institute for Objectivist Studies (IOS), later renamed The Objectivist Center (TOC) and then The Atlas Society (TAS), with the help of Ed Snider, one of the founders of the Ayn Rand Institute. Kelley was joined by Objectivist scholars George Walsh and Jim Lennox, as well as former Collective members Joan and Allan Blumenthal.
Kelley's Institute for Objectivist Studies began to publish material on Objectivism and host conferences for Rand scholars in 1990. IOS held a symposium on Chris Matthew Sciabarra's book, Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical (1995). IOS invited Nathaniel and Barbara Branden to participate in the institute's activities, effectively bringing them back into the Objectivist movement, and they continued to appear at events for the organization until their deaths in 2014 and 2013, respectively. In 1999, IOS renamed itself to The Objectivist Center.
In 1991, Peikoff's book Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand was published. It was the first comprehensive presentation of Rand's philosophy to appear in print. In 1994, the Ayn Rand Institute expanded its educational programs into the Objectivist Graduate Center (OGC), which held classes led by Leonard Peikoff and Harry Binswanger. 1996 saw a series of lectures on Objectivism by ARI intellectuals at Harvard. ARI increased its notoriety by staging a protest against President Clinton's volunteerism initiative in 1997. ARI gathered more attention for its activism on behalf of the family of Elian Gonzalez. 1996 saw the release of the Academy Award-nominated documentary Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life, directed by Michael Paxton. In 1999, the United States Postal Service released an Ayn Rand stamp.
In 2000, Yaron Brook succeeded Michael Berliner as head of ARI, and ARI expanded its OGC into the Objectivist Academic Center (OAC), offering undergraduate and graduate courses on Objectivism, writing, history, the history of philosophy, and the history of science. Several OAC classes are now accredited. Throughout the 2000s, ARI increased its media presence, publishing op-eds and providing intellectuals for live interviews. In 2005, ARI helped establish the Ayn Rand Institute Canada, which distributes free books to Canadian schools. In 2006, ARI sponsored a conference on the War on Terror. In addition to Objectivist speakers, mid-east scholars Daniel Pipes, Robert Spencer, and Danish newspaper editor Flemming Rose gave lectures. By 2007, ARI had donated 700,000 copies of Rand's novels to high schools around the United States.
The Objectivist Center also went through a number of changes in the 2000s. In 2005, founder David Kelley stepped aside as executive director in favor of former Cato Institute scholar Ed Hudgins, while Kelley stayed on as Chief Intellectual Officer, and the institute relocated to Washington, D.C. In 2006, the organization rebranded itself again, changing its name to The Atlas Society.
In 2009, Domingo García founded Objetivismo Internacional (OI) in Spain to help spread Objectivism in the Spanish-speaking world. OI is not officially affiliated with any other Objectivist organization; however, they closely collaborate with the Ayn Rand Institute. OI is based in Murcia, Spain, and García is its CEO.
A central goal for ARI throughout the 2010s has been to spread Objectivism globally. ARI helped establish the Ayn Rand Center Israel in October 2012, the Ayn Rand Institute Europe in April 2015, and the Ayn Rand Center Japan in February 2017. Each of these institutions are affiliated with ARI but are separate legal entities. In 2017, Jim Brown replaced Yaron Brook as the operational executive of ARI, while Brook continues as its chairman of the board.
In 2014, Carl Barney launched the Objectivist Venture Fund (originally the Anthem Venture Fund), which has helped fund a number of Objectivist initiatives, including The Undercurrent and the Ayn Rand Center Israel.
In 2016, the Ayn Rand Center Israel launched the Atlas Award for the Best Israeli Start-up, presented annually at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. Judges for the award include Yaron Brook and Shlomo Kalish.Moovit was the first recipient of the award in 2016, and Zebra Medical Vision won the award in 2017.
In 2016, Objetivismo USA was established as a 501(c)3nonprofit organization in New York, New York as a sister organization of Objetivismo Internacional. Its CEO is Edwin Thompson.
The Atlas Society has also undergone a change in leadership in the 2010s. In 2011, Aaron Day replaced Ed Hudgins as the operational executive of The Atlas Society, and on March 1, 2016, The Atlas Society announced Jennifer Grossman as its new CEO.
Objectivism in academia
Despite the fact that several members of the Collective were philosophy graduate students at NYU, Objectivism did not begin to make serious inroads into academic philosophy until the 1980s. Rand herself had much disdain for modern academia, citing the poor state of American universities, particularly the humanities, as the source of much of the country's problems, and Peikoff expressed similar sentiments in the early 1990s, declaring that his book on Objectivism was "written not for academics, but for human beings (including any academics who qualify)." The Ayn Rand Institute initially concentrated on promoting Objectivism independently of academia, supplying free books to high schools and universities, sponsoring essay contests for students and support programs for teachers and professors interested in studying and teaching Rand's ideas.
Some limited academic attention was given to Objectivism in the 1970s. In 1971, William F. O'Neill published With Charity toward None: An Analysis of Ayn Rand's Philosophy, in which he provides an academic discussion of Objectivism. Although he alleges flaws in Rand's thinking, he expresses admiration for her efforts, and particularly her ability to motivate readers to think about philosophical issues. There was occasional discussion of Rand in scholarly journals throughout the rest of the decade.
Thirteen years later, the second book-length academic study of Objectivism appeared. It was a collection of essays called The Philosophic Thought of Ayn Rand (1984), edited by Douglas Den Uyl and Douglas Rasmussen. It was also the first book about Rand's thought to be published after her death. Den Uyl and Rasmussen made a specific effort to bring more serious scholarly attention to Objectivism by maintaining high scholarly standards for the essays in their book.
In 1987, noted Aristotle scholar and Rand student Allan Gotthelf co-founded the Ayn Rand Society with George Walsh and David Kelley, which is affiliated with the American Philosophical Association. Non-Objectivist participants have included Jaegwon Kim and Susan Haack.
In 1995, Chris Matthew Sciabarra published Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical, an academic study of Rand's ideas and intellectual history. Rand bibliographer Mimi Reisel Gladstein called Sciabarra's work "a significant milestone in Rand studies." Three years later, Sciabarra declared a "renaissance" in the scholarship about Rand, noting that his book was only "one of fifteen book titles dealing with Rand that have been published since 1995, along with countless articles and other references to her work." However, he also noted that not all of the material carried "deep scholarly interest."
In 2001, John P. McCaskey founded the Anthem Foundation for Objectivist Scholarship, which sponsors the work of professors affiliated with the Ayn Rand Institute. As of 2007 there were 13 such fellowships for the study of Objectivism in universities in the U.S., including at the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Texas at Austin. In 2006, the Anthem Foundation in conjunction with the University of Pittsburgh hosted a conference on the philosophy of science called "Concepts and Objectivity: Knowledge, Science, and Values." Participants included Objectivists Onkar Ghate, Allan Gotthelf, James G. Lennox, Harry Binswanger, and Tara Smith, as well as noted analytic philosophers David Sosa, A. P. Martinich, and Peter Railton. Other Objectivists, not all of whom are affiliated with ARI, have received support from the BB&T Charitable Foundation's program to support the study of capitalism. In 2010 McCaskey was forced to resign from the Ayn Rand Institute and subsequently resigned from the Anthem Foundation.
In 2006, Cambridge University Press published Tara Smith's book, Ayn Rand’s Normative Ethics: The Virtuous Egoist.
Since 1999, The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies, edited by Stephen D. Cox, Chris Matthew Sciabarra, and R. W. Bradford (until his death in 2005), has been published semi-annually as a "nonpartisan," scholarly forum for the discussion of Rand's work and its application to many fields. The Journal is published by the Pennsylvania University Press and archived at Stanford University's CLOCKSS. None of its editors have been aligned with the Ayn Rand Institute, and no one affiliated with ARI has participated in its exchanges since 2002.
Objectivism has remained popular on college campuses, with dozens of student groups dedicated to promoting and studying the philosophy of Objectivism spread across the U.S., Australia, Canada, Guatemala, Israel, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and Norway. These clubs often present speakers on controversial topics such as abortion, religion, and foreign policy, often allying with conservative (and sometimes liberal) organizations to organize their events. For example, the New York University Objectivism Club hosted a joint panel on the Muhammad cartoons that received nationwide coverage for NYU's censorship of the cartoons. There are several dozen speakers sponsored by the Ayn Rand Institute and other organizations who give nationwide tours each year speaking about Objectivism.
The Ayn Rand Institute has spent $5 million on educational programs advancing Objectivism, including scholarships and clubs. These clubs often obtain educational materials and speakers from ARI. There are also several conferences organized by various organizations, which draw several hundred attendees each summer and feature philosophy courses and presentations of new publications and research. A student-run magazine, The Undercurrent, is published for colleges around the United States.
There are a number of writers who cannot be classified as Objectivist but who still exhibit a significant influence of Objectivism in their own work. Prominent among these is John Hospers, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, University of Southern California, who credited Rand's political ideas as helping to shape his own, while in other areas sharp differences remained. Another is Murray Rothbard, who, like Rand, advocated volition, Aristotle and natural rights, but who also advocated anarchism, which was anathema to Rand. Also in this category are journalist Edith Efron, scientist Petr Beckmann, and author Charles Murray.
Criticisms and responses
Over the years, some critics have accused the Objectivist movement of being a cult or cult-like, and Rand of being a cult figure. The term 'Randroid' (a portmanteau of 'Rand' and 'android') has been used to evoke the image of "the Galt-imitating robots produced by the cult."
Suggestions of cult-like behavior by Objectivists began during the NBI days. With growing media coverage, articles began appearing that referred to the "Cult of Ayn Rand" and compared her to various religious leaders.Terry Teachout described NBI as "a quasi-cult which revolved around the adoration of Ayn Rand and her fictional heroes," one that "disintegrated" when Rand split with Nathaniel Branden. In 1968, psychologist Albert Ellis, in the wake of a public debate with Nathaniel Branden, published a book arguing that Objectivism was a religion, whose practices included "sexual Puritanism," "absolutism," "damning and condemning," and "deification" of Ayn Rand and her fictional heroes. In his memoirs, Nathaniel Branden said of the Collective and NBI that "there was a cultish aspect to our world [...] We were a group organized around a charismatic leader, whose members judged one another's character chiefly by loyalty to that leader and her ideas."
In 1972, libertarian author Murray Rothbard began privately circulating an essay on "The Sociology of the Ayn Rand Cult", in which he wrote:
If the glaring inner contradictions of the Leninist cults make them intriguing objects of study, still more so is the Ayn Rand cult ... [f]or not only was the Rand cult explicitly atheist, anti-religious, and an extoller of Reason; it also promoted slavish dependence on the guru in the name of independence; adoration and obedience to the leader in the name of every person's individuality; and blind emotion and faith in the guru in the name of Reason.
Rothbard also wrote that "the guiding spirit of the Randian movement was not individual liberty ... but rather personal power for Ayn Rand and her leading disciples."
In the 1990s, Michael Shermer argued that the Objectivist movement displayed characteristics of religious cults such as the veneration and inerrancy of the leader; hidden agendas; financial and/or sexual exploitation; and the beliefs that the movement provides absolute truth and absolute morality. Shermer maintained that certain aspects of Objectivist epistemology and ethics promoted cult-like behavior:
[A]s soon as a group sets itself up to be the final moral arbiter of other people's actions, especially when its members believe they have discovered absolute standards of right and wrong, it is the beginning of the end of tolerance, and thus reason and rationality. It is this characteristic more than any other that makes a cult, a religion, a nation, or any other group, dangerous to individual freedom. Its absolutism was the biggest flaw in Ayn Rand's Objectivism, the unlikeliest cult in history.
In 1999, Jeff Walker published The Ayn Rand Cult. In one passage, Walker compared Objectivism to the Dianetics practices of Scientology, which is considered by many to be a cult. Both, argues Walker, are totalist sets of beliefs that advocate "an ethics for the masses based on survival as a rational being." Walker continues, "Dianetics used reasoning somewhat similar to Rand's about the brain as a machine. ... Both have a higher mind reprogramming the rest of the mind." Walker further notes that both philosophies claim to be based on science and logic. Walker's book has drawn criticism from Rand scholars. Chris Matthew Sciabarra criticized Walker's objectivity and scholarship.Mimi Reisel Gladstein wrote that Walker's thesis is "questionable and often depends on innuendo, rather than logic."R. W. Bradford called it "merely annoying" for scholars.
The claims of cultism have continued in more recent years. In 2004, Thomas Szasz wrote in support of Rothbard's 1972 essay, and in 2006, Albert Ellis published an updated edition of his 1968 book that included favorable references to Walker's. Similarly, Walter Block, while expressing admiration for some of Rand's ideas and noting her strong influence on libertarianism, described the Objectivist movement as "a tiny imploding cult."
Rand stated that "I am not a cult", and said in 1961 that she did not want "blind followers." In the wake of NBI's collapse, she declared that she did not even want an organized movement.
Jim Peron responded to Shermer, Rothbard and others with an argument that similarities to cults are superficial at best and charges of cultism directed at Objectivists are ad hominem attacks. Objectivism, he said, lacks layers of initiation, a hierarchy, obligation, cost or physical coercion:
I cannot see how a disembodied philosophy can be a cult. I say Objectivism was disembodied because there was no Objectivist organization to join. The Nathaniel Branden Institute gave lectures, but had no membership. You could subscribe to a newsletter but you couldn't join. Objectivism was, and is, structureless. And without a structure there cannot be cult. [...] The vast majority of self-proclaimed Objectivists are people who read Rand's works and agreed with her. Most have never attended an Objectivist meeting nor subscribed to any Objectivist newsletter.
In 2001, Rand's long-time associate Mary Ann Sures remarked:
Some critics have tried to turn her certainty into a desire on her part to be an authority in the bad sense, and they accuse her of being dogmatic, of demanding unquestioning agreement and blind loyalty. They have tried, but none successfully, to make her into the leader of a cult, and followers of her philosophy into cultists who accept without thinking everything she says. This is a most unjust accusation; it's really perverse. Unquestioning agreement is precisely what Ayn Rand did not want. She wanted you to think and act independently, not to accept conclusions because she said so, but because you reached them by using your mind in an independent and firsthand manner.
Meanwhile, Shermer, who considers himself an admirer of Rand, has tempered his judgment. Contrasting Leonard Peikoff's "heavy-hammer approach" with the "big-tent approach" of The Atlas Society, Shermer told Ed Hudgins: "If we're close enough on the same page about many things, I think it's more useful to cut people some slack, rather than going after them on some smaller points. I don't see the advantage of saying, 'You shouldn't have liked that movie because ultimately, if you were an Objectivist, you wouldn't have.' I guess it was those sorts of judgments made by some Objectiv[ists] that I objected to."
- ^Branden 1986, p. 254. In public she referred to them as "the class of '43", after the year The Fountainhead was published. cf. Baker 1987, p. 18 and Gladstein 1999, p. 15.
- ^Britting 2004, p. 88; Branden 1986, p. 254.
- ^Paxton 1998, p. 156; Greenspan 2007, p. 40
- ^Branden 1986, p. 254.
- ^Greenspan 2007, p. 51
- ^Greenspan 2007, p. 40; Paxton 1998, p. 156.
- ^Greenspan 2007, pp. 40–41.
- ^Branden 1986, pp. 254–255; Paxton 1998, p. 156.
- ^Britting 2004, p. 95; Baker 1987, p. 18; Branden 1999, p. 255; Branden 1986, pp. 307, 312–313.
- ^Paxton 1998, p. 142; Britting 2004, p. 101; Rand 1968.
- ^See Branden 1986, pp. 363–422, esp. "Denouement" and "Epilogue," and Doherty 2007, pp. 537–538.
- ^Heller 2009, p. 387; Doherty 2007, p. 661n16; Gladstein 2009, p. 86
- ^Gladstein 1999, p. 18
- ^ abBranden 1986
- ^Branden 1999
- ^Hessen 1999, pp. 351–352.
- ^Heller 2009, p. 320
- ^The Objectivist Newsletter vol. 4 no. 12
- ^Heller 2009, pp. 350, 373
- ^ abRand 1968, p. 449.
- ^Rand 1968, pp. 452–453; cf. Doherty 2007, p. 334.
- ^Branden 1986, pp. 354–355; Doherty 2007, pp. 334–335.
- ^Doherty 2007, pp. 334–336; Baker 1987, pp. 24–25; Branden 1986, pp. 355–356; Gladstein 1999, p. 18; Walker 1999, pp. 43–46. Baker and Walker both use the term "schism," as does Peikoff 1989, pp. 1, 5.
- ^Bradley Jr. 2009, pp. 320, 327 Bradley devotes Appendix A in his book (pp. 320–331) to "The Ayn Rand Problem."
- ^Branden 1986, pp. 351–352; cf. Rand 1968, p. 455.
- ^Holzer, Henry Mark (May 1969). "Legal Notice". The Objectivist. 8 (5): 656.
- ^Branden 1986 and Branden 1999, which was originally released in 1989 under the title Judgment Day: My Years with Ayn Rand.
- ^ abHessen 1999, p. 353.
- ^Peikoff 1989, p. 5.
- ^Burns 2009, p. 250
- ^"Founders of Western Philosophy" (1972) and "The Philosophy of Objectivism" (1976)
- ^ abPeikoff, Leonard. Leonard Peikoff in His Own Words (DVD). Northern River Productions.
- ^Peikoff, Leonard (1982). The Ominous Parallels. Plume. ISBN 0-452-01117-5.
- ^New American Library, 1986; online at www.aynrandlexicon.com
- ^"To the Readers of the Objectivist Forum," The Objectivist Forum, vol. 1, no. 1 (Feb. 1980)
- ^"Announcements". The Objectivist Forum. 3 (3): 16. June 1983.
- ^"Announcements". The Objectivist Forum. 5 (6): 13–15. December 1984.
- ^Berliner, Michael S. (October 1985). "Report from the Ayn Rand Institute". The Objectivist Forum. 6 (5): 14–15.
- ^Impact (newsletter of the Ayn Rand Institute), June 2003
- ^Doherty 2007, pp. 538–539; the italics are Doherty's.
- ^Kelley 2000, p. 13.
- ^Schwartz, Peter (February 27, 1989). "On Sanctioning the Sanctioners". The Intellectual Activist. 4 (20): 1.
- ^Ramsey, Bruce (January–February 2008). "Laissez-Faire: R.I.P.?". Liberty. 22 (1).
- ^Kelley's paper was at first circulated privately, but is reproduced as an appendix in Kelley 2000, pp. 113–117.
- ^ abPeikoff, Leonard (May 18, 1989). "Fact and Value". The Intellectual Activist. 5 (1).
- ^Kelley, David (1990). Truth and Toleration. Verbank, New York: Institute for Objectivist Studies. Revised as Kelley 2000.
- ^Walsh, George (November 17, 1989). "A Statement". The Intellectual Activist. 5 (3): 5.
- ^IOS Summer Seminar (1995). Faculty Biographies. http://www.objectivistcenter.org/events/oldsems/seminars-sem95.asp#fac Accessed July 28, 2009.
- ^ abSciabarra 1995
- ^IOS Summer Seminar (1996). http://www.objectivistcenter.org/events/oldsems/seminars-sem96.asp#pers Accessed July 28, 2009.
- ^IOS Summer Seminar (1999). http://www.objectivistcenter.org/events/sem99/seminars-sem99.asp Accessed July 28, 2009.
- ^Impact December 2006
- ^ARI website
- ^Impact April 1999
- ^Impact March 2000
- ^Impact September 2000
- ^OAC website
- ^The Jihad Against the West
- ^Impact February 2007
- ^"The Objectivist Center to Move to DC". December 15, 2004. Archived from the original on November 19, 2005.
- ^"The Atlas Society and The Objectivist Center Names". The Atlas Society. June 5, 2006. Archived from the original on March 12, 2007. Retrieved June 16, 2006.
- ^"Objetivismo Internacional". AtlasNetwork.com. Retrieved October 27, 2017.
- ^ ab"About Us". Objetivismo.org. Retrieved October 27, 2017.
- ^Holleran, Scott. "Jim Brown, new Ayn Rand Institute CEO: 'Culture and society out there can look pretty irrational. Just look at the last election'". LATimes.com. Retrieved July 14, 2017.
- ^ abShapira, Ariel. "Tech Talk: Israel's Fortune 500 companies". JPost.com. Retrieved November 9, 2017.
- ^"In spirit of Ayn Rand, Israeli entrepreneurship to get a boost". TimesofIsrael.com. Retrieved November 15, 2017.
- ^"The Atlas Society Announces Aaron Day as New CEO and Appoints New Board of Advisors" (Press release). PRWeb. October 19, 2012.
- ^"The Atlas Society welcomes Jennifer Anju Grossman as its new CEO". The Atlas Society. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
The Ayn Rand Institute: The Center for the Advancement of Objectivism, commonly known as the Ayn Rand Institute (ARI), is a 501(c)(3)nonprofitthink tank in Irvine, California that promotes Objectivism, the philosophy developed by Ayn Rand. Its stated goal is to "spearhead a cultural renaissance that will reverse the anti-reason, anti-individualism, anti-freedom, anti-capitalist trends in today's culture". The organization was established in 1985, three years after Rand's death, by Ed Snider and Leonard Peikoff, Rand's legal heir. Jim Brown is the CEO of ARI, succeeding Yaron Brook as its operational executive in January 2017.
ARI has several educational and outreach programs, which include providing intellectuals for public appearances, supporting Objectivist campus clubs, supplying Rand's writings to schools and professors, assisting overseas Objectivist institutions, organizing annual conferences, and running the Objectivist Academic Center.
During her lifetime, Rand helped establish The Foundation for the New Intellectual to promote Objectivist ideas. The Foundation was dissolved some 15 years after her death, having been made redundant by the Ayn Rand Institute. Although Rand objected to Objectivism becoming an organized movement, she supported like-minded individuals working toward a common goal. Peikoff, her legal heir, was convinced to start the organization after businessman Ed Snider organized a meeting of possible financial supporters in New York in the fall of 1983. Peikoff also agreed to be the first chairman of the organization's board of directors.
In 1983, a group of Objectivists, including George Reisman, organized the Jefferson School of Philosophy, Economics, and Politics. The Jefferson School held a two week-long conference at the University of California, San Diego later that year, a conference which continued to occur every two years and is the predecessor of ARI's current annual Objectivist Conference.
ARI began operations on February 1, 1985, three years after Rand's death, in Marina del Rey, California. The first board of directors included Snider and psychologist Edith Packer. Snider was also one of the founding donors for the organization, along with educational entrepreneur Carl Barney. Its first executive director was Michael Berliner, who was previously the chairman of the Department of Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education at California State University, Northridge. ARI also established a board of governors, which initially included Harry Binswanger, Robert Hessen, Edwin Locke, Arthur Mode, George Reisman, Jay Snider, and Mary Ann Sures, with Peter Schwartz as its chairman. M. Northrup Buechner and George Walsh joined the board of advisors shortly thereafter.
ARI's first two projects were aimed at students. One was developing a network of college clubs to study Objectivism. The other was a college scholarship contest for high-school students based on writing an essay about Rand's novel The Fountainhead. Later, additional essay contests were added based on Anthem, We the Living, and Atlas Shrugged. In 1988, ARI began publishing Impact, a newsletter for contributors.
In 1989, a philosophical dispute resulted in ARI ending its association with philosopher David Kelley. Some members of the board of advisors agreed with Kelley and also left, including George Walsh. Kelley subsequently founded his own competing institute now known as The Atlas Society, which remains critical of ARI's stance on loyalty.
In 1994, ARI launched the Objectivist Graduate Center, which offered both distance-learning and in-person courses.
In January 2000, Berliner retired as executive director, replaced by Yaron Brook, then an assistant professor of finance at Santa Clara University. Onkar Ghate began working for ARI later that year, and ARI launched the Objectivist Academic Center.
In 2002, ARI moved from Marina del Rey to larger offices in Irvine, California.
In 2003, ARI launched the Anthem Fellowship for the Study of Objectivism, a fellowship that financially supports universities who have Objectivist professors.
Charity Navigator, which rates charitable and educational organizations to inform potential donors, gives ARI three out of four stars. According to the latest data from Charity Navigator, ARI spends 85.1% of its expenses on programs, 9.5% on fundraising, and 5.3% on administration. As of September 2016[update], ARI's board of directors consists of Brook; Berliner (co-chair); Arline Mann (co-chair), retired attorney, formerly of Goldman, Sachs & Co.; Carl Barney, CEO of several private colleges; Harry Binswanger, long-time associate of Ayn Rand; Peter LePort, a surgeon in private practice; Tara Smith, professor of philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin; and John Allison, CEO of the Cato Institute and former CEO of BB&T.
Peikoff retains a cooperative and influential relationship with ARI. In 2006, he remarked that he approved of the work ARI has done and in November 2010 that the executive director "has done a splendid job." Peikoff was a featured speaker at the 2007 and 2010 Objectivist Conferences. In August 2010, he demanded a change to ARI's board of directors, resulting in the resignation of John McCaskey.
In 2008, ARI established the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights in Washington, D.C.; however, the center is no longer in operation.
A central goal for ARI throughout the 2010s has been to spread Objectivism globally. ARI helped establish the Ayn Rand Center Israel in 2012, the Ayn Rand Institute Europe in 2015, and the Ayn Rand Center Japan in 2017. Each of these organizations are separate legal entities from the U.S.-based ARI but are affiliated with ARI.
In January 2017, ARI announced Jim Brown as its CEO, succeeding Yaron Brook as its operational executive.
ARI runs a variety of programs, many of which are aimed at students. It sends free books to schools, sponsors student essay contests and campus clubs, and offers financial assistance to students applying to graduate school. It also has an online bookstore, offers internships for current and recently graduated college students, and provides speakers for public lectures and media appearances.
ARI organizes a week-long Objectivist Conference (OCON) each summer in a different city throughout the United States. OCON primarily consists of lectures, social events, and professional mentoring. Speakers have included ARI-affiliated Objectivists as well as like-minded intellectuals, such as Flemming Rose and Dave Rubin.
ARI also hosts a three-day Ayn Rand Student Conference (AynRandCon) each fall, aimed at college and graduate school students.
Objectivist Academic Center
The Objectivist Academic Center (OAC) is an educational program that conducts online classes on Objectivism and related fields. Entry to the program requires admission after application, which requires college transcripts and admission essays. OAC does not offer college credits and is rather intended as a supplement to a college education.
In recent years, the Ayn Rand Institute has made a concerted effort to promote Objectivism globally. Institutions affiliated with ARI in countries outside the United States are separate legal entities.
In October 2012, ARI helped establish the Ayn Rand Center Israel (ARCI) to promote Objectivism in Israel and the Middle East. Its current director is Boaz Arad. In 2016, ARCI launched the Atlas Award for the Best Israeli Start-up, presented annually at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. Judges for the award include Yaron Brook and Shlomo Kalish.Moovit was the first recipient of the award in 2016, and Zebra Medical Vision won the award in 2017.
In April 2015, ARI helped establish the Ayn Rand Institute Europe to promote Objectivism in Europe. The current chairman of ARI Europe is Lars Seir Christensen, CEO and co-founder of Saxo Bank. In February 2017, ARI helped establish the Ayn Rand Center Japan. ARI has also helped establish Objectivist clubs at schools throughout the world, including in Mexico, Argentina, the United Kingdom, Bulgaria, India, and China.
ARI has also helped guide the independent Spain-based Objetivismo Internacional, which seeks to spread Objectivism in the Spanish-speaking world.
ARI promotes Objectivism, the philosophy developed by Ayn Rand. ARI sponsors writers and speakers who apply Objectivism to contemporary issues, including religion, politics, and art.
Since Objectivism advocates atheism, ARI promotes the separation of church and state, and its writers argue that the religious right poses a threat to individual rights. They have argued against displaying religious symbols, such as the Ten Commandments, in government facilities and against faith-based initiatives. ARI intellectuals argue that religion is incompatible with American ideals and opposes the teaching of "intelligent design" in public schools.
ARI is strongly supportive of free speech and opposes all forms of censorship, including laws that ban obscenity and hate speech. In response to the Muhammad cartoons controversy, ARI started a Free Speech Campaign in 2006. Steve Simpson, director of legal studies at ARI, has argued that campaign finance is a free speech issue and that laws that limit it are thus a violation of the First Amendment. Accordingly, Simpson and ARI strongly supports Citizens United.
ARI has taken many controversial positions with respect to the Muslim world. They hold that the motivation for Islamic terrorism comes from their religiosity, not poverty or a reaction to Western policies. They have urged that the U.S. use overwhelming, retaliatory force to "end states who sponsor terrorism", using whatever means are necessary to end the threat. In his article "End States Who Sponsor Terrorism", which was published as a full page ad in The New York Times, Peikoff wrote, "The choice today is mass death in the United States or mass death in the terrorist nations. Our Commander-In-Chief must decide whether it is his duty to save Americans or the governments who conspire to kill them." Although some at ARI initially supported the invasion of Iraq, it has criticized how the Iraq War was handled. Since October 2, 2001, ARI has held that Iran should be the primary target in the war against "Islamic totalitarianism".
ARI is generally supportive of Israel. Of Zionism, Yaron Brook writes, "Zionism fused a valid concern – self-preservation amid a storm of hostility – with a toxic premise – ethnically based collectivism and religion."
ARI is highly critical of environmentalism and animal rights, arguing that they are destructive to human well-being. ARI is also highly critical of diversity and affirmative action programs, as well as multiculturalism, arguing that they are based on racist premises that ignore the commonality of a shared humanity.
ARI supports women's right to choose abortion, voluntary euthanasia, and assisted suicide.
ARI denounces neoconservatism in general. For example, C. Bradley Thompson wrote an article entitled "The Decline and Fall of American Conservatism", which was later turned into the book, with Yaron Brook, Neoconservatism: An Obituary for an Idea.
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