Rand Shuts Down Intellectual Curiosity by Describing Opposing Views as Possible Enemy Territory

Rand utterly shuts down intellectual curiosity. Objectivists will fight this tooth and nail. They’ll say they are open to new systems of thought–if they can be persuaded. They are insistent they are purveyors of truth and they update their thinking in the face of hard evidence.

Ok. Except Rand weights the very method in which you think as naturally biased against opposing ideas. It’s known that Rand had a list of books that Objectivists were forbidden to read in the name of “not sanctioning” them. This philosophy of reason is so fragile–its students can’t even hear opposing views?

But even if you doubt the history of this (of which gets sent down the memory hole and hard by Objectivists), you can read her own writing, out in plain view, to see that she shuts down intellectual curiosity. In her speech to West Point cadets, she encourages them to see investigating philosophy as similar to investigating an enemy in war. She said, “In your own profession, in military science, you know the importance of keeping track of the enemy’s weapons, strategy and tactics–and of being prepared to counter them. The same is true in philosophy: you have to understand the enemy’s ideas and be prepared to refute them, you have to know his basic arguments and be able to blast them” (8).

She places suspicion in her adherent’s hearts. In the face of new ideas, they are there, by default, to judge. Not to absorb, ponder, and possibly learn. Is it a “great intellectual achievement” or an “intellectual crime”?

Ultimately, the practical effect of this is that Objectivists judge everything, immediately. They are on guard especially against anything that challenges Objectivism.

In “Philosophical Detection,” Rand elaborates on this view; again that the best way to approach philosophy is “like a detective story.” She says again that we are here to find truth versus falsehood. But in the same paragraph, encouraging a detective-like approach, she vouches for her very philosophy and way of thinking in approaching other systems of thought. She writes,

“A philosophical detective must remember that all human knowledge has a hierarchal structure….”

This is a hell of a statement. A lot of people, especially in education, would disagree. It weights a person’s “detective” skills towards Rand’s system itself, which is hierarchical in nature. She continues that one must find the “fundamentals” and that “In philosophy, the fundamentals are metaphysics and epistemology.” This weights it towards Rand’s way of thinking. Her “metaphysics and epistemology”–foundational tools of reason, the very tools to discover truth and falsehood–say directly that “reason is man’s only method of attaining knowledge.” This explicitly means that intuition is worth nothing. She shuts down entire areas of psychology by doing this.

The main issue I run into with Objectivists constantly is that they are convinced that “reason” is just the tool to discover truth versus falsehood. But Rand doesn’t just use “reason” this way. Reason overrides emotions in Objectivism. Rand defines reason as both the tool to discover truth and as a way to be as a human, in all waking hours of one’s life. If I could detangle these two things, the tool from the way to be, I would actually get somewhere with Objectivists.

For now I’ll ask you: are you sure your very tools to gather knowledge are the right ones?


Yes, I Get to Judge You as Abusive. No, I’m Not a Hypocrite

I’ve been in this conversation countless times now. I’ve had it both with Objectivists and the religious. I call them out on their abuse. Against the religious, I called out the church once for their beheadings, witch hunts, domestic violence, pedophilia, etc. I was told by a man that I was merely “virtue signaling.” He laughed at “morally righteous atheists,” as if it was impossible. I told him he was engaged in narcissistic abuse, with the way he belittled me, gave “haha” faces, etc. And he responded, “Oh and what about YOU? YOU’RE calling me an abuser. Hypocrite.”

No I’m not. It is the emotional equivalent of self-defense. If someone is about to murder me, it doesn’t make me a murderer if I fight back. (Although, funnily enough, in Rand’s system, it would. See: Rand Did Not Support Your Right to Self-Defense). But most people readily agree that you have a right to self-defense–that you get to fight back (Rand does not say you get to fight back. She says you must delegate it to government so it can be rational, clear, legally correct, etc.)

You don’t get to turn me into a pacifist. You don’t get to punch all day long and then if I punch back, declare I am a “hypocrite.” This system of thought guarantees the abusive gain power and stay in power. It is, of course, the Christian position, verbatim (“turn the other cheek”).

Yes. I will call out your narcissistic abuse, abuse, misogyny, etc. I’ll even do it in a rough and pointed way. I am not stopped by your accusations of hypocrisy. I will call those out too.

This is what abusers do. They make such a scene as to deflect attention off of themselves. They aren’t abusive; you are. YOU called them abusive. That makes YOU the abuser. Blame shifting is what they do. It is moral inversion.

Or, if anything, it makes the victim so crazy that nothing gets solved or fixed. They want to keep it at a level of dirt throwing, accusations and counteraccusations, and word salad. If anything, it wastes everyone’s time–which is in their interest.. See through it. Keep pushing. Assume the posture of being moral superior. Because you are.


Objectivism’s Abuse Problem

If you are here because Objectivists have abused you, my argument is that this domineering view of the mind that they have, in which the mind overwrites natural emotions, naturally leads to narcissistic abuse. Why would a person’s authentic feelings be given respect when those feely feelings can be all wrong and the ever-so-rational person who knows life better than you has determined that your emotions are wrong?

Abuse counselors describe that abuse is a product of a person’s moral framework, not their past trauma. Please, please see the work of abuse counselor Lundy Bancroft. And Objectivism most definitely is a moral framework. So understanding the Objectivist view on emotions is in your interest too, if you want to dismantle their toxic abuse and all others, as all abuse follows the same general pattern.


One Question for Objectivists

One Question for Objectivists

When I bring up my challenge to Objectivism, I am always simply buried by them. I get told I am a mystic, a “Kantian epistemologist” (a true insult in Objectivst circles); I get called “sweetie,” “honey,” etc. Or I get told “no Objectivist cares about tabula rasa anyway.” Oh. We’re not taking Rand’s explicit statements seriously now? The philosophy of Ayn Rand? Ok.

Ok. Objectivists. It’s clear all the arguments in the world don’t matter with you. So I will focus on one thing: pinning you down on YOUR philosophy. I have a simple question below: Does Rand say we can program our emotions? It’s a yes or no question. Fine. Say I’m rambling. Ignore my argument. Ignore that massive amount of thought out there refuting blank slate theory. Answer me ONE question: Does Ayn Rand say we can program our emotions or not? Yes. Or No.

Maybe you want to know what your own philosopher says before adopting it as an entire morality to guide your behaviors, emotions, and thoughts? Just saying.


Common Arguments from Objectivists Defending Tabula Rasa

I give a formal Refutation to Rand with direct quotes from her at my home page at Ex Objectivist. I challenge a core, fundamental view held in Objectivism: tabula rasa. These are some of the responses I’ve got from them.

Of course, I often get told I am “rambling.” I get told my site is “pure mysticism.” No real details as to why. I just get told this.

Or I get told “no Objectivist cares about tabula rasa anyway.” Oh. We’re not taking Rand’s explicit statements seriously now? The philosophy of Ayn Rand? Ok.

They also constantly accuse me of misrepresenting Rand–yet they constantly misrepresent my challenge. One told me, “Rand never said people are born emotionless.” Ok. I know that. I Never Said Rand Said We Are Born Emotionless.

Or, when I point out the weak arguments from Objectivists, they accuse me of making up false conversations. They claim since they don’t see the conversations I am describing here on whatever platform they happened to find me on, the conversations must have never happened. Ok. Dudes. I post on various social media outlet and the one you happened to find me on might not have the conversations I am referencing. I also can’t reference some, as, as if famously known now, entire social media platforms and pages are being de-platformed. I screen shot one above, link to some in this very post, and I also maintain an Objectivist Hall of Shame to record their behavior, arguments, and usual despicable behavior. Soooo, stop accusing me of lying, k? It’s right…it’s right here. In this post even.

If I get them anywhere close to discussing the issue and in a fair way where people actually understand all variables involved, I might get told “the burden of proof” is on me. Ok, dudes. This is an issue of human nature itself. If you have no intellectual curiosity, I’m not going to drag you kicking and screaming over it. The burden of proof argument applies in a court of law, not to science. The Burden of Proof is on The Person Making a Claim Anyone Who Wants to Know the Truth.

I finally pinned down ONE Objectivist to actually address the issue, without telling me it “doesn’t matter.” He did at first accuse me of rambling and that I “had no studies” to prove myself. I told him Rand was a god damn fiction writer and had no studies. (And I do. I just can’t put them out all at once. Giving time to totally explain oneself is not a courtesy Objectivists give. And, yes, I swear now. It’s the only way to penetrate them.) After he was finally on the defensive about Objectivism itself, he said, “Well in the absence of hard evidence, an emotional blank slate is the default.” He defended this in terms of “Occam’s Razor.” Oh really. This is what counts for valid knowledge now? Just a bunch of “logical” arguments? This is a puff of hot air. That’s it. We’re using Occam’s Razor to identify human nature itself. Behold, your philosophy of reason and objectivity.

Blank slate theory, “tabula rasa,” has been thoroughly disproven by modern science. It is the issue of our time. See, as but one source, The Blank Slate Theory: The Modern Denial of Human Nature by Steven Pinker. Even conservatives and libertarians now challenge it. My child development work challenges it big time. I’ve been told my book Misbehavior is Growth: An Observant Parent’s Guide to Three Year Olds gives one of the best refutations to blank slate theory. And yet Rand takes this view of man–a supreme rationalist in all situations–and exports it to art, politics, parenting, education, and more.

I accuse Ayn Rand of Moral Bias. It’s when a moral “ideal” clouds our objectivity when studying human nature itself.

Objectivists, answer me this: how do you maintain a philosophy that is now known to be based on a faulty view of human nature itself? No, your bossy, authoritarian explanations of Rand’s position with your usual word salad has no effect on me. One defended it, “babies are born…” Oh really. Have you studied that thoroughly? Because I do extremely popular child development work. I document when children act up at age-related time, but is followed by a massive growth in mental ability. I argue their emotions are pre-wired, entirely healthy, and ravenously work to get their emotional, mental, and physical needs met. I’ve studied this way more than you. Rand Challenged in Misbehavior is Growth.

I can’t get them to discuss the actual issue of tabula rasa. They spin, evade, and attack, attack, attack. I record their attacks at my Objectivist Hall of Shame. At some point, I have to think they have no actual refutation.

Refute tabula rasa, and Objectivism comes crashing down like a house of cards.


My Goal isn’t to Sell You. It’s to Stop You.

Consistently, when I show up in Objectivist circles, they tell me how to go about myself. They tell me I have to “sell” them on my way of being rather than theirs. By default, they are right. To penetrate it, I have to disprove them. Do you see the dumb in this?

Anyway. I find it’s pointless, anyway. They immediately tell me I’m angry, a bitch, etc., etc. There is no persuading Objectivists. It is a fight to the death with them. Ayn Rand advises them to get in the ring and punch. But, you. You have to play nice. Dealing with Objectivist: They Punch, You Must Play Nice.

Tell me: why would I persuade YOU to have a better life? Just as is? Why is your good life on ME? No. The burden of proof is on YOU if YOU want a better way to be. The Burden of Proof is on Anyone Making a Claim Anyone Who Wants to Know the Truth.

And my way IS better. I’m happier internally now than when I was an Objectivist, and I think my philosophy defends freedom better. But that’s not why I’m here.

My goal isn’t to sell you. My goal is to stop you You routinely dish out narcissistic abuse to people. I would have as much success “selling” a slave owner on giving up his slaves. My approach is combative. Deal with it.


When Reason is Tied to Morality, It Becomes Moralizing

Reason = Moralizing

I challenge Ayn Rand’s Objectivism. I am the victim of many hysterical accusations: I am a mystic, I have “no studies,” I “can’t use words right,” and I must have been dumped by an Objectivist male.

When it becomes clear that my argument is airtight; that the obfuscations of my argument don’t work, I simply get told I am “rambling.” A person “means no insult,” but I am a rambling mess that they “will not refute because that would condone it.” They aren’t insulting me–they are just holding up my work plugging their nose as it’s such a heaping pile of garbage. This is the moral equivalent of a child putting his finger in front of your nose saying, “I’m not touching you!!!” And when the tormented child punches back, they cry, “See! See! He hit ME!”

It’s gaslighting: they won’t even recognize my argument. This is what you deal with with Objectivists, which perhaps is 90% of my argument against them right there. It’s what happens when you tie reason to morality as Rand does. They are quick to judge, not linger and think. It says far more about them than me.


I do VERY popular child development work. My work does well and helps people. But I’m lousy–just so lousy. Rambling. They can’t even make sense of me. Ok. Maybe because you aren’t even trying? Or lack the capability of understanding things related to emotions or education? Beyond what you think is so obvious? I’m not a dumb woman, peeps.


Accusations of “Mysticism” are Hauntingly Similar to Accusations of “Witchcraft”

I challenge Ayn Rand’s Objectivism. My main challenge revolves around Objectivism’s treatment of emotions. Rand says your emotional mechanism is like a computer you have to program. I say it is not. I say your emotional mechanism is prewired and you cannot overwrite this programming.

This is about the extent of what I say. I don’t believe in God. I don’t believe in astrology. Intuition plays a role in life and emotions are hardwired. That’s about all I say. I could dive into Jungian psychology, my own child development work, trauma therapies, etc., etc., but I can’t even get past this issue of emotional programming with Objectivists–so why bother? They cannot understand the argument. I get hysterically and condescendingly accused of “mysticism.”

I had an epiphany about this. Their accusations against me of “mysticism” are not unlike the religious accusations against women of “witchcraft.” Make no mistake about it: it was centuries worth of terror aimed at women. See The 17 Signs That You’d Qualify as a Witch in 1692. If you were financially independent, had several female friends, practiced alternative medicine, had an affair, or broke any Biblical rule you could be accused of witchcraft–and sentenced to death. Gee. So much for the idea that Christ redeemed anyone. While Christians command us to think of Jesus’s birth every Christmas and his death every Easter, no one was with these women who were sent to be burned at the stake–their crucifixion. If I wore a guillotine or a burning stake around my neck, in the same way they wear a cross to remember Christ’s totally unfair death over tiny rules, Christians no doubt would tsk tsk me and tell me to “get over it.” And yet they make an entire religion around it.

There is a haunting realization in witchcraft trials. It is that men truly don’t understand female intuition and fear it. It is as if we women are a like a dog that can hear high frequency sounds and men can’t–and therefore deem us as witches. Women are really good at identifying life cycles or sizing up men who might be predators. It’s that intuition I sometimes write about and which Carl Jung could tell you a LOT about. Clearly: I am a total mystic.

And I realized this connection between the Objectivist hysterical accusation against me as being a “mystic” and the Christian accusation against women as being witches. It’s very similar. And it’s just as terrifying. While the Objectivist won’t burn me at the stake, they do arguably worse: in the name of reason, they bury me, smear me, insult me, and tell me the most feminine look of all is when I am chained. It’s more subtle, more insidious, and thus arguably worse.

Rand says man is born with no reliable instincts or intuition. It’s not true. We are born with lots of reliable instincts. But to the Objectivist mind, it is “science” to reject instinct. If you bring up any other psychology, by definition, you are a mystic. They can’t even understand your argument. As most are men, they need this intuition about life far less than women. And as they don’t understand it, they just attack, attack, attack. This is why this is truly horrifying and haunting.


The Burden of Proof is on Anyone Who Wants to Know the Truth

I challenge Rand’s view that we are born blank. I have been told I “offer no studies.” Actually I have lots of studies, different perspective, and examples from everyday life refuting blank slate theory if you browse the site and read my book, Towards Liberalism: A Challenge to Objectivist Ethics. Start with Thoughts Superior to Objectivism at my Blog for other book recommendations. My own child development work refutes blank slate theory big time. I’ve been told my book Misbehavior is Growth: An Observant Parent’s Guide to Three Year Olds, on child development, gives one of the best arguments against blank slate theory out there. I focused on what Ayn Rand said in the refutation below, as I was always accused of “not understanding Objectivism.” And because I can’t put such an enormous scientific topic all in one place.

So, tell me, where are Ayn Rand’s or Objectivist studies proving blank slate theory? Where are the case studies proving Objectivist views on psychology–and it does act as a psychology. Rand was a fiction writer. Not a psychologist, though she tried to be with her incredibly failed Objectivist Psychotherapy. (Never heard of it? Exactly.) She has no studies and no psychotherapy success. Saying we can and must program our emotions through a proper “standard of value” is an enormous thing to say about how the mind and emotions work. But it’s taken as plain, simple fact by Objectivists–you have to disprove it to them.

And, no the “burden of proof” is not on me. Rand makes a huge claim about human nature itself: that emotions must be programmed to do what we want. That’s huge. YOU prove it. I was told that in the absence of hard evidence, it’s the default position due to “Occam’s Razor.” Oh. Ok. Just a bunch of “logical” arguments work now–for a topic as enormous as human nature itself? You know, the Greeks did that and it resulted in a view that the universe was made up of spheres and other thoughts on motion without actual evidence that people couldn’t shake for centuries because of “science.” You are giving an argument with all but a puff of air. And where is our reason-bound, reality-bound philosopher extraordinaire to give us the good advice to study human nature itself, intently, with objectivity?

No, the burden of proof is on YOU with YOUR own research for YOUR own thinking. I can point you in a few directions, but the topic of emotions, happiness, and the subconscious are huge. It could fill up volumes of books. Any serious thinker would give it due diligence. I expect YOU to do the research FOR YOUR OWN THINKING.

The answers to this issue have enormous implication. Rand takes this view of human nature and exports it to art, morality, politics, education, parenting, and more.

You know Objectivism collapses like a house of cards when tabula rasa is challenged, right?


Refuting Objectivism is a Bit Like Refuting Communism

If I were to ask you how communism was defeated as an ideology, what would you say? I bet it has less to do with any of its pros or cons, merits, writings, or sales pitches. I bet it has to do with how dense the followers were: communism would work, darn it, if people would just do it right. This is widely held with disdain. Not the pros or cons of communism–in fact, to this day, people agree communism sounds good in theory. (I don’t think this; I’m saying others think this.) It’s that it never worked and its followers wouldn’t give up on it.

I’m not sure most people opposed to communism could even outline the major points from Marx’s Manifesto of the Communist Party. Intuitively, they see the encroachment of government; the unfairness of taking from one to give to another. But the nuts and bolts of the ideology? Probably not. You actually might read it. While I am opposed to all government force, Marx wasn’t wrong in his accusations. The natural tendency is for wealth to end up in the hands of a few. Wealth begets wealth. And, no, not all wealth needs produced.

I’ve been challenging Objectivism for almost two years now. It’s been a lot of anger, insults, and malice thrown my way. I got totally chewed out by a rather famous one who writes various books from an Objectivist perspective. Immediately, nearly all Objectivist “friends” left me. As I’ve taken my argument to social media, I get “put in my place” by hot head, muscle-ripped types. I get told “PFFFFFFBBBBBLLLLT.” Or I get called sweetie, honey, etc. They post memes with a person look dumb asking “why?” Why would I read your book? Why would I listen to a dumb woman like you? This is my experience 98% of the time.

I finally cornered one. He actually read my argument at the main page of this site. He declared I was “rambling.” He would not refute me, because that would condone my argument, which he told me was not “formal” because I had “no studies.” I said–ok. Rand had no studies. And I called her a god damn fiction writer–because swearing, being tough, etc. DOES have sway with these hot heads, who know no other language. He told me the burden of proof was on me for my claims. I told him, no it’s not. “I expect YOU to do YOUR reading for YOUR own thinking.” I totally turned it around and threw it at him. Not the merits or sales pitches of Objectivism. But the actual style of debate and nature of truth itself. He was cornered. He finally had to address my challenge to Objectivism: Rand says we we are born with an emotional blank slate and should “program” our emotions, and I say you cannot. He said there was no hard evidence to prove otherwise and “Occam’s razor” dictated that we assume the default of blank. I think, maybe, even he realized how weak this argument was. Who knows though? I definitely took this weak argument and added it at my main page, however.

This is what I propose. You give a full caricature of them. Describe fully their insults, attacks, and instant moral judgment. Show them how they are like Ego from Ratatouille. Show them how claiming “the burden of proof is on you” is a totally weak argument when we are talking about scientific inquiry into human nature itself.

You see, Objectivists can’t help themselves. They are wound up from Rand to be highly morally judgmental. She puts in them to have an “active” mind not an “open” mind. She describes any investigation into another’s idea as being like a military spy gathering intel about the enemy. They are weighted to see you as suspicious. They think it’s the very essence of reason.

You have to dismantle this. You have to show when they go to do the only thing they know–which is attack, insult, bury, and smear–that they are a god damn fool.

These are some general thoughts:

Don’t do anything to set off their “trigger.” If you call it “Randianism,” they jump all over you for not using “Objectivism.” They will never read such a “disrespectful” thing.

Hit them preattentively. People who know how to present data know the power of catching people preattentively. If you see a chart, something will hit you intuitively before digesting it intellectually. The goal is for that thing to be catchy. With Objectivists, I propose you hit them with something that they won’t acknowledge immediately but will get in their brain and simmer. In other words, throw them off balance. I have “We need a ‘scientifically developed’ morality as much as the Soviets needed a ‘scientifically planned’ economy” at the top of my website. I also have “We are not an emotional blank slate.” They can’t help but to read these things before all their defenses kick in. And it’s not what they are used to hearing nor have any defensive arguments against yet. And so it will stay with them. I expect my arguments to take about three years to work.

Use quotes and the language of the ideology targeted in your sites. I found this had to be the first step. I’ve read so much Rand and read so many countering thoughts that I intuitively have arguments against Rand. But before I can jump to those, I have to fully show I understand Rand. Then I start dissecting it piece by piece. While Objectivists still tell me I’m “rambling” and are sure to give me some generic insult, their hysterical insults are substantially less when I quote Rand directly. In fact, when I put together itself, the silence became deafening. Before, I was just some lady on an internet forum or Instagram. They piled on me easily, wondering things like, “Did an Objectivist male dump you?” When I put everything in one place and defined myself–an Ex Objectivist–all these wild accusations subsided. So two principles here: 1) show you understand them 2) define yourself.

Put them on the defensive and give them homework assignments. Objectivists love to do this to others: “the burden of proof is on you!” Make them define their own positions. What is Rand’s view on emotions? Do you know? The fact is they don’t–and they know it. It will creep in their head. They’ll pay more attention the next time they re-read Rand.

Be as quick and direct as possible. Get in and out. Catch them preattentively, throw them off balance, disarm them, define yourself, show you understand them, and get out. It’s a 1-2-3 punch. 1) State something totally new to them 2) Show an intolerance of their bullshit 3) Show a full understanding of their argument.

There is a fourth step but it’s impossible: fully describe your counter ideology or vision. This always takes some amount of explaining–and ideologues won’t give you the courtesy. At this point in time, I recommend giving some recommendations for things for them to read. But otherwise don’t let them make you do the impossible, which is explain an entire field of science in one discussion thread, one instagram post, one article, or even one book. Demand time of them. Of course this is the whole issue. They demand YOU constantly read THEIR gurus, not the other way around. In which case, slam them on how big of ideologues they are.

There you go. How to dismantle ideologues in a 1-2-3 punch. Easy.

Amber was an Objectivist for 10 years before realizing it was failing her. She was not dumped by an Objectivist male. See her book Towards Liberalism: A Challenge to Objectivist Ethics