Categories
Narcissism Objectivism

Fighting Shame with Shame

For the longest time, I hesitated to use shame against shamers. It’s *entrenched* in society that this is morally wrong. The conversation goes like this, over and over,

“Women are lazy parasites!”

“You’re an abusive misogynist!”

“Oh are you JUDGING me? Hypocrite!”

I argue elsewhere that this system inherently allows abusers to stay in power. They get to wield punishment and shame, but the response to them is considered “immoral,” “going to their level,” “the low road,” etc. And, so. You have truly evil people who are allowed to go unaccountable, never reined in. They are allowed to use and shame and punishment. But we’re not allowed to respond. As much as people like to think some kind of karma eventually fixes this, it doesn’t. It lets abusers be in power. We are run by narcissists, abusers, and psychopaths. And we’re ordered to put on a smile about it and be grateful about it.

Whenever you’re in a rock and hard place like this, there is ALWAYS some weird trick about life that doesn’t allow the unhappy state to go on. It seems like you can never get out of this problem. The shamers shame. To stop them, you need to use shame. But shame is what you are trying to stop. It seems like an impossible problem to solve. But it’s not. If you study human nature and hard, you’ll always find some answer, showing life is more complicated than anyone ever grants.

I learned from watching Sam Vaknin’s Youtube channel that narcissists actually crave mortification. A narcissist feels absolutely nothing inside. So if he is mortified, he at least feels something. It’s better than nothing. They apparently live their whole life chasing excitement, wanting a sense of feeling alive, perhaps feeling genuinely loved by an admirable person. But they just constantly come up short. Have you ever met a person with serious Narcissistic Personality Disorder? Underneath all that charm is an utter dead zombie. They can’t keep it up 24/7, especially not as they age. They can snap into place to pose for a photo. But their mask slips more and more and more as their energy wanes. If you see them, you’ll see them checking out every so often, sinking into their chair or the couch, their eyes glazed over, with a look of total vacancy. They just plain aren’t home.

When I learned that they actually CRAVE mortification (read: shame), it was a total game changer in how I handle them. I’ve been gripped by the question, “How do we heal narcissism?” They run the world. I had previously thought we either defeat them (somehow) or heal them. I thought some new, weird way of healing them just hadn’t been discovered yet. In large part, I have quite conceded that they indeed cannot be healed. They must be defeated. And, in the weird twist of life, going full on combat with them is the only way to make any marginal change with them (to heal them).

Don’t hesitate to put a narcissist in their place. I’ve had MANY “successful” encounters with them since adopting this view. When they mock or belittle me, I utterly throw it back at them. If they actually crave shame, I give it to them. If they post something insulting towards me, I make sure to blast it to the world: entirely to shame them. One, for instance, accused me of something. He had no proof whatsoever. First of all, I threw THAT at him. His own philosophy said you come to conclusions with proof. And he had none. I kept demanding not an apology to me, but a recognition of his own bad trait, his lack of reason, a deviation from his own purported moral system. I took a screen shot of his statement and posted it. He backtracked BIG time. He sent me an email apologizing to me; his accusation was indeed unfounded. They are awed by strength. To them, it’s a matter of who is more confident, who throws around the insults harder and better. Do it.

Sure, deep down, a narcissist has a LOT of pain. They feel utterly unworthy. They constantly must hear from others what they think of the narcissist, because they have no idea where they stand. Although this part of them is ever present, they guard it like a 3-headed dog. In a healthy state of affairs, life events, including and especially negative ones, penetrates a person as to change them. If you get dumped by a boyfriend or girlfriend, it might cause some introspection to change somehow. For a narcissist, this doesn’t happen. They can’t and won’t let pain touch them. Because of their own pain. It stands as a buffer between the outer world and their inner world. The only way to penetrate them is right through this layer. It sounds crazy, but I promise you: it DOES work.

Narcissists run the world. When a pastor gets up and says “hurt people hurt,” this is to engender compassion for those doing the hurting, i.e., him. He’s manipulating you. Although they preach to never “play victim,” the narcissist will play the biggest victim around and evoke as much pity, for him, as possible. Adopt a position of dominance around them. Use shame. Wipe your floor with them. I promise you. It is BOTH the only way to (marginally) heal them AND, ultimately, defeat them.

Categories
Objectivism

The Moral Bias of Objectivism: The Tool (“Reason”) is Also the Conclusion

The Moral Bias of Objectivism: The Tool (“Reason”) is Also the Conclusion

Rand evaluates the world using “reason,” but it’s not “reason” at all. The very tool she uses to evaluate the world also ends up being her conclusions.

Here is the tool Rand says to use to evaluate the world and in which she develops her ethics:

Is ethics the province of whims: of personal emotions, social edicts and mystic revelations—or is it the province of reason?”

Now here are some of her conclusions.

“Since reason is man’s basic means of survival, that which is proper to the life of a rational being is the good; that which negates, opposes or destroys it is the evil.”

“If you achieve that which is the good by a rational standard of value, it will necessarily make you happy …”

“Every man will stand or fall, live or die, by his rational judgment.”

The tool Rand advocate to use to understand the world—which is explicitly putting away “whims” and “personal emotions”—also ends up being the conclusion. Her explicit definition of reason is “without emotion.” And then her conclusion of how man is to act, in all of “one’s waking hours,” for “all choices,” is with “reason.” Do a word study in her article “The Objectivist Ethics” for how many times she derides “whim,” “intuition,” or “emotions,” in and of themselves, to further see what I mean.

Reading through Rand’s proof for her ethics is a dizzying experience that is difficult to dissect or refute. It’s some really fantastic word salad. Ultimately, however, if you recognize one thing, it all comes crashing down: it was all developed rationally, not with any scientific study. It all rests on the premise of “tabula rasa.” Again, dismantle tabula rasa, and all of this dizzying rhetoric comes crashing down.

Rand’s system also engenders a lot of “shoulds.” Pushing the argument to “logic” and claiming morality for oneself allows one to decide who “should” be held up morally higher, who “should” be politically protected, who “should” even be allowed to live or die. It’s best summed up by Rand’s statement, from Galt’s speech itself,

“Every man will stand or fall, live or die, by his rational judgment.”

It’s fun to be the person deciding who gets to live or die, isn’t it?

This is social engineering.

The Charge

I, again, accuse Ayn Rand’s Objectivism of Moral Bias. There is no serious study of human nature itself. She then unforgivably goes on to codify this weak understanding into an entire moral-political system—a powerful thing to have for oneself, indeed.

Categories
Objectivism

Check Your Intellectual Tools

This is a sub-section of the Introduction of The Moral Bias of Objectivism

Check Your Intellectual Tools

In the next sections, I am going to dissect Objectivism, followed by alternative views on many issues relating to human nature: emotions, education, sex, and more.

Before I do, I am asking you to check the tools you use to understand the world. Yes, your metaphysics and epistemology.

The biggest issue I run into with Objectivists, constantly, is they believe, to the depths of their being, that they have the right tools for understanding reality—reason—and therefore no challenge to Objectivism itself is warranted, ever.

But their very definition of “reason” is suspect. Here is my challenge to check the very tools you use to understand the world.

In Objectivism, Reason Isn’t Just a Tool; It’s a Way to Be

Objectivists consistently think reason is just a way to understand the world. If new information were presented, they would gladly update their thinking, they tell me. They can’t understand my challenge, because, to their core, they think Objectivism means “reason.”

But I find they are always using two different definitions of “reason,” constantly conflating the two. If we needle out the two definitions of “reason,” which are used interchangeably, it becomes much clearer as to what is actually going on.

Definition of Reason #1: Studying Draws Conclusions

The first definition of reason is what everyone think it is and is meant: you study to come to a conclusion. If you study to learn Calculus or Physics, you’ve done this. If you sat down to study child development, poring through thousands of pictures of children and comparing stories at age-related times, you’ve done this. If you’ve got a map out to plan a trip, you’ve done this. Study, coming to a conclusion, totally loyal to the facts before you. As Objectivists always admonish, “A is A!”

Definition of Reason #2: Using Reason in All Waking Hours, for All Decisions

The second definition of reason is as a way to be. It’s what Rand directly intends. She writes:

The virtue of Rationality means the recognition and acceptance of reason as one’s only source of knowledge; one’s only judge of values and one’s only guide to action. It means one’s total commitment to a state of full, conscious awareness, to the maintenance of a full mental focus in all issues, in all choices, in all of one’s waking hours. (28, emphasis mine)

 With this definition, you use your thinking—not any emotion or gut feeling—to make all decisions in life. Reason is “one’s only guide to action.” You don’t just use reason to plan a trip or build a lunar lander. You also use it when deciding if you want to marry someone, break up with someone, or quit your job. You do a rational analysis for all—Rand’s word—choices that you make. You use it all waking hours—Rand’s description. Relying on gut feels, intuition, or instincts is blasted by Rand and her followers as “mysticism.” In Objectivism, your heart’s desires (your inner core) are trumped by your mind’s desires (your ego), always.

As quoted previously, this issue of the mind versus the heart is core to Objectivism and intricately tied to Rand’s view of reason itself. Nathaniel Branden writes that this was one of his biggest regrets when promoting Objectivism: the dismissal of what emotions might be trying to tell us. He writes,

No one pointed out that feelings or emotions might sometimes reflect a more accurate assessment of reality than conscious beliefs. In other words, nobody asserted that the subconscious mind might be right while the conscious mind was mistaken. (My Years with Ayn Rand, ch. 9)

This is what Objectivism is. “Reason” is not just a way to learn something at certain times, but as a way to live.

If you really insist on it, we can call this Objectivist view, which is the formal Objectivist view, “rationality,” instead of “reason,” as Rand describes it above. I would argue against this too, as it suggests any other way to be is “irrational,” and that’s not the case. (And core to my argument against Rand: she claims “rationality” for herself, thus demoting others as “irrational,” i.e., crazy.)

And I don’t think this is “reason” at all. “Driving” the inner mechanism, “programming” your emotions, using your “mind” in all waking hours of the day—this is not reason. It is something else entirely. After explaining it more thoroughly in this book, I will give it a name.

But consistently I find this is the source of confusion among Objectivists: what “reason” is or means. They don’t realize that Rand pushes “reason” as a way to be “in all of one’s waking hours,” as “one’s only guide” in “all choices.” They conflate both 1) the tool to understand the world and 2) her conclusion, which is her ethics: an all-encompassing guide for all human behavior. I am challenging the second thing.

This causes a massive amount of confusion. I think it’s the very reason Objectivists seem to get stuck inside the vortex of Objectivism, spinning from one Objectivist idea to another, never feeling they can truly understand Objectivism. But if you dismantle tabula rasa—which is the exact argument Rand uses to justify the need for this “rationality”—you get out of this vortex with its never ending circular logic.

Your “Logic” is Just Your Intuition

If you got upset over the sub-chapter listed because you intuitively don’t like “logic” being challenged, you lose.

People love to see themselves as “logical.” If something is based on “logic,” it’s given a stamp and an air of authority. But a “logical” approach is actually not necessarily an observational approach, nor one that gets verification from the successful implementation of an idea. It is a leap in conclusion, based on some amount of evidence.

I long wondered what “logic” meant. This is because I’ve never had an example given to me that proved satisfactory. I thought math might eloquently show what “logic” is, as you balance each side of an equation. But mathematics is considered a separate branch of study from logic.

Logic is a leap in conclusion. “If A, then B.” If your car is covered in snow in the morning, it probably snowed last night. There is some amount of evidence leading to a conclusion—which is better than no evidence. It can also be a theory put forward that has, as of yet, no contradicting evidence. But there is still a leap of faith in all “logic.” It’s a lot of, “It stands to reason that…”

The problem is there is no way you have all evidence to make any of these leaps in conclusions. Sure, it provides a paradigm to help humans think about things. And if we get it remotely right, it helps us live. But it’s still a bit hit or miss. It should not be seen as authoritative—which is how we routinely see it.

For instance, Bernoulli’s Principle of flight was given as a reason for why airplanes fly. But it has since been proven wrong. The principle is that flowing air over the top and bottom of an airplane wing creates different pressures, with more pressure on the bottom pushing the wing up. But this was proven wrong. Colorized smoke under slow motion cameras did not cause this theory to hold up. And yet. Airplanes still fly. It was a “logical enough” explanation. It, apparently, gave enough of an explanation to let people trust that airplanes fly—and be willing to sit, in a pressurized cabin with some wings, that flies literally on nothing except air. Somehow.

But my point remains: these are, at all times, thought models. These “stands to reasons,” where we fill in the holes, are always apt to be wrong. Can you be utterly sure aliens didn’t come to earth last night and cover your car with snow? I mean. Really.

This is not mere philosophical discussion. It profoundly impacts how we think and understand the world. “Logic” is a concept invented by the Greeks, and, no, it’s not an observational method. The Greeks, who again invented “logic,” came up with the idea that the universe was made up of spheres. This was the only way they could explain the weird behavior of stars versus planets. Stars spin around predictably at night, a bit like a merry-go-round going around. Planets, however—they’re a bit different, aren’t they? So, through a bunch of “it stands to reasons,” they invented a complex system of spheres that just must have been out there in outer space governing these objects. It took centuries to challenge the thought of these spheres. People could not go against the mighty Aristotle, who came up with them. These spheres are an eloquent visual of what logic itself is. It helps connects all the dots in a way that makes sense—wrongly.

Ancient educational models were entirely designed around this type of “what if” thinking: the trivium. It had a Grammar-Discussion-Rhetoric model. Grammar is when you learn something, the “grammar” of a topic, the alleged nuts and bolts. Discussion: you work it out…through discussion. Rhetoric: get up and defend yourself.

And I propose this paradigm is abysmal for finding deeper or meaningful truths. There is a minimal evidence gathering in the “grammar” stage–learning…what? How? How other people did things? Aristotle’s view of spheres? Are you getting hands-on experience to see what works? Discussion…with whom? Peers? The “experts”? Did you make anything at all successfully work? And the rhetoric stage kills me. They get up and defend their position. They are right. They are now the expert. They have every reason to dig in and stay entrenched. It is combat, not curiosity.

This system encourages mind games, manipulativeness, being a good speaker and persuader, not any humble pursuit of the truth. The word “rhetoric” deserves every bit the negative connotation the word itself today has. This system creates “knowledge” that is now stamped with “logic,” “reason,” and “experts.” And this is the tyranny we’ve been living under for thousands of years.

An observational approach of understanding the world came during the Enlightenment. It was kicked off by Copernicus who wrote the book The Little Book on the Revolutions on the Celestial Orbs. The little book. His humble little thing. Because there’s no way he could state it out in the open–he would be persecuted by the Church. The urban legend is his book was published and placed in his hands on his death bed. He wasn’t learning the “grammar” (from Aristotle?) of celestial orbs, discussing with others what they thought, or making speeches explaining himself. He did his work, in private, using detailed notes to come to conclusions. Yes, that is reason.

As noted, I do child development work. My work shows it is utterly natural for humans to make logical inferences. At Toddler Milestone 8: Inference, around 2 years and 6 months, children start to do this, naturally. They hear the garage door is opening, and they conclude, from the sound alone, that their dad must be home. They see their brother’s door is still closed in the morning and conclude he must still be sleeping. This is how we humans live. We are constantly gathering data and information, and this information allows us to make conclusions. Life is “predictable enough” to let us make such “logical” conclusions and use them to successfully live. But it’s something already by design: you are designed to make connections in causal relationships.

And you can safely call this intuition. That’s what intuition is. It’s a tremendous amount of life experience that lets you make an on-the-spot guess as to what is going on or about to go on. It lets me, as a woman, cross the street when I feel scared. Carl Jung argues we have not just our own personal experience but all the experience of our ancestors, etched somewhere in our unconsciousness, as well. (And if you dismiss his theory outright, at face value—sorry, but you lose again.)

But this is what it is. Your “logic,” your guess as to seeing what is there even when you can’t see it or directly predict it, is actually your intuition.

The Burden of Proof Anyone Who Want to Know the Truth

This model of “logic” creates a system in which truth comes down to combat. It is very common for Objectivists to tell me that if I want to challenge tabula rasa, then the burden of proof is on me. No, it’s not. First of all, you made the assertion. You said humans are tabula rasa. You should have pressure on you, night and day, to prove this. You don’t get to make an assertion and then tell any challenger “the burden of proof is on you.” Cool power tactic, bro.

This is an issue core to human nature. If you have no curiosity about it, I’m not going to drag you kicking and screaming. I personally think understanding and respecting the inner world—not programming it—is a far superior way to live. If you aren’t interested, I am not going to go out of my way to sell it to you for you, especially as you berate me as irrational and a mystic all the while.

The “burden of proof” argument applies, at best, to a court of law (and even there this is not without its issues). It certainly does not apply to scientific inquiry. The burden of proof is on anyone who wants to know the truth: to help heal and solve issues for humanity. If you can’t pursue truth about human nature itself in a spirit of curiosity … what can I say? You want me to kick down your defensive stance… for you? I challenge the Objectivist view of tabula rasa entirely as a self-defense move. I think this view causes damage. It leads to abuse, of the inner core and inevitably in intrapersonal issues. People inevitably dish out abuse to others to fix their “wrong” emotions.

Where is Rand’s proof that we are born “tabula rasa”? Objectivists have given me some arguments. Here are some of them.

Weak Arguments from Objectivists Defending Tabula Rasa

The arguments I get from Objectivists pertaining to my challenge to their philosophy are pretty weak. This is if I can even get them to discuss it at all. I am usually dismissed immediately. A very typical situation is I make one post in which I challenge Objectivism, perhaps doing absolutely nothing but pointing people to my website, “Ex Objectivist” where I have the tagline, “We are not born tabula rasa.” Or, in a post, I might simply reference the name of this book, The Moral Bias of Objectivism. I get told, instantly, “You must have never read Rand.” Ok, not true. I press them, always: “Did you even read my argument?” The answer is always no. For being such great creatures of reason, they come up with the conclusion that I “must never have read Rand” with almost no proof whatsoever (except that I challenge Rand.) Set to a hair trigger, they are quick with the “Nuh uh!”s. They are instantly judgmental; instantly dismissive. Welcome to the problems of moral bias.

If Objectivists do check out my website, I often get told I am “rambling.” Or they tell me they won’t refute me because that would “sanction” my argument. So, we’re getting absolutely nowhere in them defending tabula rasa. Or they grossly misrepresent me. They say I say Rand said we are emotionless, which is not what I say or said. I have even been accused of making up fake conversations—that these previously described conversations must not have ever happened—because the Objectivist conversing with me cannot personally see them for himself right then and there.

If I do get them anywhere near the argument, they might tell me, “No Objectivist cares about tabula rasa anyway.” Oh. We’re not taking Objectivism seriously now? The Philosophy of Ayn Rand™?

Or I get told “Leonard Peikoff cleared all this up already.” In a podcast. Somewhere. The entire underpinning of Objectivism—the entire emotional repression problem built right into Objectivism. It’s been cleared up, somewhere. The person can never say how. But they are sure of it.

I did finally pin down one Objectivist to actually defend tabula rasa. 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? About human nature itself? 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.

Objectivists get this from Rand herself. I’ve been told Rand already disproved any “mystic” who says we use anything but “reason” to guide us in the world. Really? How did she do that? Because in my reading, she just states the argument of “tabula rasa” as plain, simple, obvious fact. O, some Objectivists have told me that this idea that internal drivers still play a role in life is an old idea that Rand has finally disproven, hence my argument is stale. Ok. This is how she dismantles it. In Galt’s speech, she says to “sweep aside” anyone brings up the “animalistic” side of humans (Atlas Shrugged, 928). Just … sweep them aside! Powerful.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Does Not Prove Objectivism

Many Objectivists sweep over my argument about emotions, as if it’s just barely worth discussing in any meaningful way whatsoever. I might discuss how the mind should not override a person’s emotions. In response, one told me that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy proves Rand’s view of the mind and emotions.

So. No, Cognitive Behavior Therapy does NOT prove Objectivism. There is lively debate about this therapy and all others. Not everyone thinks CBT is wonderful. Here is Dr. Aron describing it in The Highly Sensitive Person:

This approach is “cognitive” because it works on how you think, and it is “behavioral” because it works on how you behave. It tends to ignore feelings and unconscious motive. Everything is meant to be practical, rational, and clear. (ch. 8)

Dr. Aron’s description of it is hardly flattering. And her criticisms of it are very much like my criticisms of Objectivism: ignores (authentic) feelings, unconscious motive, and focuses way too much on trying to “fix” how a person thinks and behaves. If you want to know what good and bad there is to Objectivism, you could probably do a study of CBT and get a fairly accurate idea.

But that is not what matters most here. What I want to point out is that the default, in the Objectivist mind, is the Objectivist view. After this, they go to seek proof that that Rand was right. It’s not evidence first, conclusion second for them. It’s conclusion first, evidence second.

Which is what happens with all ideologies, er, I mean, “integrated views of existence.” They create moral bias. They cannot accurately assess their own ideology.

Objectivism Needs to be “Better than Communism”

When I challenge Objectivism, people often sniff, “And what about all the GOOD that Objectivism does? Why can’t you focus on that?” They typically point to Rand’s devastating arguments against socialism and religion.

Ok. One can readily agree that just about anything is better than slavery, communism, or religion. What is being compared makes a big difference. If you compare a tennis ball, which is yellow-green, to green, it will look yellow. If you compare it to yellow, it will look green. Comparing Objectivism to slavery or communism makes it come out looking like shining gold. But Objectivism is still flawed.

I find this kind of argument nefarious. It is like Dracula opening up the door to howling wolves when Jonathan tries to escape: it’s Dracula’s potentially murderous mansion or the dangerous night. Why are you using fear to sell me? It’s the same reason nearly everyone (in America) keeps voting Democrat or Republican: they are always voting for the lesser of two evils. They constantly vote based on fear—which is what politicians want. It’s way easier to say, “Hey that thing over there sucks. I’m not that thing. So you should vote for me.” Meanwhile, they otherwise don’t have to do anything. And Rand, as previously quoted, utterly encourages this kind of thinking when she says,

“It’s Objectivism or communism.”—Ayn Rand

Yeah—no.

Objectivism (might be) better than communism or religion (I mean—it doesn’t even have weekly sermons to help its followers). But this is not the issue. The issue here is Objectivism itself. It needs to stand, on its own, as it sells itself, as a philosophy for living life. It needs to be better than something that is “a philosophy that is better than communism and slavery.” I am going to be looking at Objectivism, as is. I ask that you do the same.

Objectivism is a Psychology; Treat it as Such

I would actually also ask that you see Objectivism as a psychology, because that’s how it attempts to operate.

Rand has elaborate views on how the mind, subconscious, and happiness works—and pushes it to be a morality that thus penetrates your every single choice. By claiming it as a “philosophy,” it is given a stamp of authority and is kept safely away from any critical review when it comes to application to real, live humans. Stop comparing Objectivism to communism, religion, Kant, or Nietzsche. Start comparing it to Carl Jung, Dr. Tsabary, Dr. Ginott, Dr. Aron, etc.

Yes, there are more options out there than Objectivism or communism.

The Dangers of Moralizing

So, those are some of the bizarre ways that Objectivists dissect the world. They make claims, then tell others it’s on them to prove them wrong. They are caught in a vortex of fear—against nihilism, religion, or socialism. They handily dismiss extremely important issues. There are more bizarre ways that they dissect the world. One told me that I had “had to” give two countering ideologies valid weight at all time, otherwise I was “not objective.” I cannot comprehensively cover all the weird ways they use to understand the world or their many errors, which cloud objectivity. But: this isn’t reason. And, to add insult, in Objectivism, all actions are hued with morality. I mean. What could go wrong?

Rand ties “rationality” to “morality” and in doing this, she thus moralizes literally all human actions. There is a danger in doing this. People tell me it’s ok to not value “reason” but to instead to value “emotions” as I allegedly do. (I do not reject “reason” and resent being told I “just value mysticism.”) But, at any rate, that’s the thing. You can’t make that argument. If you’ve identified “rational” men as moral—by which Rand means men who “use reason” for “all choices”—you’ve labeled other men and women—who see value in trusting one’s authentic emotions—as “irrational” and “immoral.” There is no agreeing to disagree with Rand—or anyone who has put their otherwise subjective values explicitly into a moral system. She has drawn the line. She has said this way of being and this sort of person is morally superior. Anyone else is immoral, irrational, lesser. And this is the ground on which abuse is formed: supposedly more rational people have the right to judge and denigrate other immoral, irrational, possibly destructive others. Moral zeal has an inherent danger in it.

Just as bad or worse, it shuts down intellectual curiosity into any other way to be or any insight into human nature. Other ways of being or systems of thought, such as “Progressive” education or certain types of music, are considered irrational in Objectivism, and, worse, immoral. People are not going to do something they see as irrational or immoral. And these things—new ideas on education, even new music (which has a role in trauma therapy)—are the very things can get a person out of Objectivist thinking. The disease prevents the cure.

See Outside the Objectivist Binoculars

Rand gives you a pair of really powerful binoculars and focuses you on particular aspects of reality. I’m asking you to check the very tool she gave you. It seems so crystal clear to you, but all you are seeing is out of one lens.

Here is my challenge to you: when you read Rand try to see the unseen.

Rand is really good at taking your mind and throwing it where she wants. She has a very hypnotic way of writing. Take when she writes,

Man has no choice to feel that something is good for him or evil, but what he will consider good or evil, what will give him joy or pain, what he will love or hate, desire or fear, depends on his standard of value. (31, emphasis original)

Humans are pattern finders. As they are reading her list, “what [that start of the pattern is given emphasis and draws you to it] will give him joy or pain, what he will love or hate, desire or fear…” their mind is taken and thrown in one direction. You get inside that pattern and don’t see the bigger picture. I’m asking you to take two steps back and see the bigger picture, not getting too caught in her vortex. (BTW, it is known that psychopaths use hypnotic language to seduce their victims.)

Rand is also often presenting issues with only two options and demands you pick one or the other, as if your life depends on it. Take again when she asks, “Is ethics the province of whims: of personal emotions, social edicts and mystic revelations—or is it the province of reason?” And she goes on to tie this question to be a matter of life or death. Take also when Rand says she is here to develop a “scientific” morality. I mean who doesn’t want to be scientific?

One way or another, I am asking you to be on guard for Rand’s rhetoric.

A Case for Liberalism: For Wonder and Curiosity

Morality itself, a labeling of good and evil, is potent. When you describe someone as evil, you’ve put a hell of a label on them. Evil people are to be shunned, rejected, discarded, fought. If there is evil in you, it creates shame. Morality is potent. It is so incredibly potent. We are all but playing with fire here. Rand herself says morality is the most powerful intellectual force on earth. It should be handled with an incredible amount of care. Morality is too potent to use except in the most careful of cases.

I will be arguing that as few actions as possible should be labeled as moral or immoral—and that this is a distinctly liberal position. Morality itself causes the potential to pass around blame, shame, and pain. And it creates for what I accuse Rand: moral bias. It clouds our lens as we study reality, most notably human nature itself.

The Charge: Moral Bias

I, again, accuse Ayn Rand’s Objectivism of moral bias. She performs no serious study of human nature itself. She then unforgivably goes on to codify this weak understanding into an entire moral-political system—a powerful thing to have for oneself, indeed.

Amber lived as an Objectivist for 10 years. She has since found much better models for living. She is most known for her age-related child development work as “The Observant Mom.” See her book The Moral Bias of Objectivism.

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Objectivism

The Challenge: Rand’s Faulty View of Human Nature

This is the first chapter, offered for free, of The Moral Bias of Objectivism

Chapter 1: The Challenge: Rand’s Faulty View of Human Nature

Ayn Rand has a faulty view of human nature itself, and then builds an elaborate morality and philosophy around it.

Ayn Rand’s Objectivism is proudly hierarchal in nature. Rand’s politics are based on her view on morality. Her view on morality is based on her view of man. Her view on man is based on her metaphysics: the unalterable nature of who man is qua man. She develops a vision of what the ideal man ought to be, based on the “objective” nature in which he must survive. Certain behaviors are held up as morally superior to others. The problem? Her view of man is based on a faulty view of human nature itself: tabula rasa.

Rand writes in “The Objectivist Ethics” in The Virtue of Selfishness:

Man is born with an emotional mechanism, just as he is born with a cognitive mechanism; but, at birth, both are “tabula rasa.” (30)

There are two things in this quote that Rand says are “tabula rasa”: a person’s cognitive mechanism and emotional mechanism. It’s the second thing I take especial issue with: that a person’s emotional mechanism is “tabula rasa.” I do child development work and it does seem like some children are born with natural, intuitive skills, such as counting at very early ages, such that a person’s “cognitive mechanism” is not entirely “tabula rasa.” However, that aside, it is a person’s emotional mechanism being “tabula rasa” that I take issue with. Finishing the quote above, Rand elaborates on what this means:

Man is born with an emotional mechanism, just as he is born with a cognitive mechanism; but, at birth, both are “tabula rasa.” It is man’s cognitive faculty, his mind, that determines the content of both. Man’s emotional mechanism is like an electronic computer, which his mind has to program—and the programming consists of the values his mind chooses. (30)

This is what I take issue. According to Rand, you can program—her word—your emotions. You can tell your emotions how you want them to behave. You can program your emotions such as to control what life events make you happy and what ones infuriate you. She writes:

Man has no choice to feel that something is good for him or evil, but what he will consider good or evil, what will give him joy or pain, what he will love or hate, desire or fear, depends on his standard of value. (31, emphasis original)

Rand says you will, indeed, feel something. But what you feel—her word and emphasis—is up to you. You can control what will give you “joy or pain,” what you will “love or hate,” and “desire or fear,” based on your “standard of value.” The best metaphor I can give for the Objectivist view on emotions is that emotions are seen as like a wild horse that bucks around that you have to go in and tame. It is perhaps best summed up by what an Objectivist wrote to me once,

“Rand doesn’t argue that people are born emotionless …”

Yes, I know that.

“…but that emotions don’t exist outside of (prior to) values and that therefore you can change your emotions by changing your values.”

Yes, that’s what I challenge. I do not think a person can—at least shouldn’t—“change their emotions by changing their values.”

This is heavy stuff. Whether or not we can go in and program our emotions—our inner core—is huge. The implications are enormous.

Rand preaches objectivity, but her study of human nature itself—what her entire system is predicated upon—is not objective. She came up with this idea of “tabula rasa” without studying humans in any disciplined way—certainly not in a successful way, as Carl Jung did in his successful psychology practice (and Jungian analysts reject blank slate theory, i.e., “tabula rasa”). It was, at best, the predominant view at the time. But she goes on to build her entire Objectivism around it. Since man “has no” reliable instincts, as she argues, he needs her philosophy of Objectivism, a “philosophy for living life.” It has an entire ethics, meant to be applied “in all of one’s waking hours,” for all decisions, guiding a person towards productivity (a “standard of value”), and in which productive success itself makes one happy. There is a certain hyper vigilance brought to all of one’s thoughts and actions that in and of itself has detrimental effects—of which I will discuss.

But my main challenge is this: I accuse Ayn Rand of Moral Bias. It is when one’s moral “ideal” clouds the objective study of human nature itself. And Rand’s system does exactly this. She develops the “ideal” man—and it shuts down further inquiry into human nature itself. The impact is profound.

Rand’s system is very hierarchical. Her morality is based on her metaphysics. Her politics are based on her morality. The many, many judgments she makes are deeply rooted in her view of the ideal man. And her view of human nature itself is wrong. Challenge tabula rasa, and Objectivism comes tumbling down like a house of cards.

Amber was an Objectivist for 10 years until she had had it with the narcissistic abuse routinely dished out in Objectivist circles. She has since found much better thoughts on how to have a good life. See her book The Moral Bias of Objectivism.

Categories
Objectivism

Your “Logic” is Actually Just Your Intuition

If you dismiss this post outright, without reading it, intuitively, because I said logic is intuition, you lose.

I’ve long wondered what “logic” meant. It made no sense to me. What is being said? I thought math was an example of logic. I’m really good–like really good–at math by the way. I won a state championship for a science and math challenge in high school. I aced a “make or break” Calculus test in college and was held up in class, as I got a 100 on this, which had several difficult equations (I was the first to do this. I ran circles around the men.). I went on to work in modeling and simulation and dealt with many coordinate systems, etc., as I modeled airplanes flying through the air. So. I thought math might be a good explanation of logic, as you balance each side of the equation. But it’s not. Math is considered a separate field from logic.

So what the F is “logic”?

These are largely my notes for something I want to work on later. But logic seems to be a leap in conclusions. “If A, then B.” If your car is covered in snow in the morning, it probably snowed last night. There is some amount of evidence leading to a conclusion. Which is better than no evidence, I guess. But there is still a leap of faith in all “logic.” It’s a lot of, “It stands to reason that…,” “It stands to reason that…., “It stands to reason that…”

The problem is there is literally no way you have ALL evidence to make ANY of these leaps of faith. Sure, it provides a model and a paradigm to help humans think about things and deal. And if we get it remotely right, it helps us live. But it’s still a bit hit or miss.

For instance, Bernoulli’s Principle of flight was proven wrong. The principle is that flowing air over the top and bottom of a wing creates different pressures, with more pressure on the bottom pushing the wing up. But this was proven wrong. Colorized smoke under slow motion cameras did not cause this theory to hold up. And yet. Airplanes still fly. It was a “logical enough” explanation. It apparently, gave enough of an explanation to let people trust that airplanes fly–and sit, in a cabin with some wings that flies literally on nothing except air. Somehow.

But my point remains: these are, at all times, thought models. These “stands to reasons,” where we fill in the holes, are always apt to be wrong. Can you be utterly sure aliens didn’t come to earth last night and cover your car with snow? I mean. Really.

This is not mere philosophical discussion–though I quite think philosophical discussion should be demoted as mere philosophical discussion. “Logic” is a concept invented by the Greeks. Their entire educational system was designed around it: the trivium. It had a Grammar-Discussion-Rhetoric model. Grammar is when you learned something. Discussion: work it out…through discussion (not observation or results!?). Rhetoric: get up and defend yourself.

And I propose this paradigm is abysmal for finding deeper or meaningful truths. There is a minimal evidence gathering in the “grammar” stage–learning…what? How? How other people did things? Are you getting hands-on experience to see what works? Discussion…with whom? Peers? The experts? Did you make anything at all successfully work? And the rhetoric stage kills me. They get up and defend their position. They are right. They are now the expert. They have every reason to dig in and stay entrenched. It’s combat, not curiosity.

And this is the tyranny we’ve been living under for thousands of years.

I do child development work. It’s very popular. I have hundreds–thousands at this point–of notes from all over the world about how much I help people as parents. My work is described as “so bloody accurate it’s scary.” The most recent note to me was, “She’s a super hero … of the woman kind.” These aren’t people I know. We have no bond over “common values.” They are people, literally from all over the world, and their politics and outlook on life are often complete opposite of mine. They find my work and come to me.

When I do my work, I am humble. I know I can be wrong. I am painfully aware of it. I don’t get up behind a podium and ‘splain myself. I am constantly listening, humble, learning, and re-theorizing. In fact, my entire personality is the exact opposite of boastful or oratory. Everyone who knows me describes me with one word: quiet.

The Greeks invented “logic,” and, no, it’s not an observational method. That came during the Enlightenment. It was kicked off by Copernicus who wrote the book The Little Book on the Revolutions on the Celestial Orbs. The little book. His humble little thing. Because there’s no way he could state it out in the open–he would be, and was, persecuted by the Church. He kept it quiet until his death. The urban legend is his book was published and placed in his hands on his death bed. He wasn’t learning the “grammar,” discussing with others what they thought, or making speeches explaining himself. They tried to make him learn the logic of Aristotle–he didn’t want to. He did his work, in private, using detailed notes–indeed, using quite a bit of math to figure out what he figured out.

The Greeks, who invented “logic,” came up with the idea that the universe was made up of spheres. This was the only way they could explain the weird behavior of stars versus planets. Stars spin around predictably at night, a bit like a merry-go-round going around. Planets–they’re a bit different, aren’t they? So, through a bunch of “it stands to reasons,” they invented a complex system of spheres that just must have been out there in outer space governing these objects. These spheres are an eloquent visual of what logic itself is. It helps connects all the dots in a way that makes sense–and is wrong.

As noted, I do child development work. My work shows it is utterly natural for humans to make these logical inferences. At Toddler Milestone 8: Inference, around 2 years and 6 months, children start to do this, naturally. They hear the garage door is opening, and they conclude their dad must be home. They see their brother’s door is still closed in the morning, and conclude he must still be sleeping. This is how we humans live. We are constantly gathering data and information, and this information allows us to make conclusions. Life is “predictable enough” to let us make such conclusions and use them to successfully live. But it’s something already by design: you are designed to make connections in causal relationships.

And you can safely call this intuition. That’s what intuition is. It’s a tremendous amount of life experience that lets you make an on-the-spot guess as to what is going on or about to go on. It lets me, as a woman, cross the street when I feel scared. Carl Jung argues we have not just our own personal experience but all the experience of our ancestors, etched somewhere in our unconsciousness, as well. But this is what it is. Your “logic” is actually your intuition. You just feel it should be stamped as “logic” because it’s your intuition.

You won’t find me defending my child development work. I don’t get defensive about it. I just do the work. If people start judging me, I take it, always, as a catalyst to invest yet more in the quality of the work–and it always takes me to the next level. I’m not going to go to the town square and prove to everyone walking by that my notes and theories are right. I put them out there. And that’s it. People can verify them with their own eyes.

I had someone recently ask me for my credentials. I explained my methods to her, all observational in nature. I spend an enormous time looking through photos of my children, comparing side by side stories of them around the same age in development, and putting things into patterns. I can’t begin to tell you the amount of hours I’ve clocked in this work. But after hearing about what I did, this woman, who was giving a dissertation, informed me she would not be referencing me. For reasons. This person who has helped no one, who has nowhere near the notes I have, who has no results–is now giving a dissertation with her thoughts. Awesome.

I’ve learned no longer to explain my methods. People love my results. They rarely understand my methods. My methods are purely observational in nature, and in all of my work, I punctuate it implicitly with “to the best of my knowledge.” And yet, in modern “science,” it’s discredited. I had to have someone say to someone else who was questioning me, “Observational methods are valid in science.” Wow. Validation. Thanks. (That same thread was filled with people showing their gratitude to me, saying they don’t care about my credentials, and they’ve verify what I saw with their own eyes. As it should be.)

The “logic” model is very future oriented. We make a leap in logic, based on some amount of evidence–but it’s still faith. It forces us to think in the future or in the abstract, dwelling there, not the now. We’ve decided that this leap in logic is valid knowledge. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve dealt with people who won’t deal with the now or the actual evidence. I am always in “what if” conversations with people. This “logic” has utterly bastardized actual science. It creates a class of “experts,” whose “logic” is valid, and a class of pleabs, not allowed to trust their own eyes and ears.

You know modern science and all philosophy is one gigantic gaslighting of people, right?

Amber is intuitively logical and logically intuitive. She is prolifically quiet and an expert who knows there is no such thing. See her child development work at The Observant Mom and send people who truly want a new way of thinking and authentic freedom and happiness to The Ex Objectivist.

Categories
Objectivism

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Does Not Prove Objectivism

When I gave my challenge to Objectivism, I originally asked for beta readers for my book Towards Liberalism. This was, on the whole with but a few notable exceptions, an otherwise utterly *awful* experience. Although asking for beta readers is a normal step in a book publishing process, the majority of people responding to me (Objectivists) just could not wrap their minds around why I would ask for beta readers in the first place or how to treat me with any shred of respect (*with some notable exceptions).

For the most part, I was accused of laziness. I was told I must be asking people to write my book for me or explain Objectivism to me. Ok. No. That’s not what I was doing. It’s a normal step in the book publishing process to get feedback: to see if your message resonated; to get constructive criticism; to see where confusion still exists, etc. But you can’t even ask Objectivists for feedback without them twisting it all around. They immediately started arguing with me in the place I asked for beta readers. They relentlessly attacked me, with condescending gifs, attacks that I “couldn’t form a concept,” etc.

Some did say they appreciated I opened up my book to critical feedback. Objectivists are a mixed bag. And some took to my book–and REALLY liked it. But yet others made sure to sign up and send me a note, “I got to page 12 and just couldn’t get past it.” Because that’s what they do. Or they made sure to tell me “I like Ayn Rand so much better. She is just so logical.” Ok. Anyway.

One of the comments I got, in a detailed email to me, from a man who I think liked having one-on-one attention with a female who was “obliged” to answer him (I wasn’t and stopped corresponding after he took his abuse too far), was that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy proved Rand’s views on emotions. I was explaining in the book that thinking should not override emotions. He brushed right over it, did not consider my statement in the least, and declared me wrong because “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy proves Rand right.”

He was also otherwise utterly insistent that “man as a rational animal” was the full and right definition of human and that the notorious caustic abuse Objectivists dish out “did not indict the philosophy!” Like he was the guardian of right and wrong or what knowledge and conclusions were valid. He wasn’t there to read a book. He was there to make sure I used all of his methods for understanding the world and admonishing me when I didn’t. Unfortunately, I wrote the book originally to ward off attacks from men such like him. I regret it. There is no penetrating him. He’s not my audience. People such as this have since gone dead to me.

So–no, Cognitive Behavior Therapy does NOT prove Objectivism. There is lively debate about this therapy and all others. Not everyone thinks it’s the bee’s knees. Here is Dr. Aron describing it:

This approach is “cognitive” because it works on how you think, and it is “behavioral” because it works on how you behave. It tends to ignore feelings and unconscious motive. Everything is meant to be practical, rational, and clear. (ch. 8)

Her description of it is hardly flattering. And her criticisms of it are very much like my criticisms of Objectivism: ignores (authentic) feelings and unconscious motive.

But that is not even what matters most here. What I want to point out is that the default, in the Objectivist mind, is the Objectivist view. AFTER this, they go to seek proof that that Rand was right. It’s not evidence first, conclusion second. It’s conclusion first, evidence second.

Objectivism is not an objective philosophy. Rand’s view of human nature and how emotions work are weak. They are a priori–designed by a fiction author. Rand’s application of this, Objectivist psychotherpay, was an abysmal failure. See the book Therapist about an Objectivist psycho-analyst who used his position to sexually exploit a patient. Think it’s an isolated incident? Objectivism, at core, is narcissistic abuse. See Murray Rothbard’s article on Ayn Rand and how this therapy was one of the main tools to maintain compliance among her following. Yes. The behavior of the adherents indicts the philosophy. Especially when the philosophy advocates behaviorism.

I am probably going to work on a re-write of Towards Liberalism. I am tentatively going to name it “The Moral Bias of Objectivism.” It’s when a person’s moral “ideal” for humans gets in the way of studying human nature itself objectively.

Please otherwise send your friends to this site to understand why this philosophy is so atrocious and toxic.

Amber lived as an Objectivist for about 10 years until she realized it was failing her–and got tired of the narcissistic abuse they routinely dish out. She is now most known for her very popular child development work at www.theobservantmom.com. Send people looking to become more disciplined thinkers to www.exobjectivist.com. More to come. And, yes. She likes things a ‘lil wild.

Categories
Objectivism

I Never Said Rand Said We Are Emotionless

After (seemingly) reading through this website, in which I challenge Ayn Rand’s view of tabula rasa, someone said this to me:

Rand doesn’t argue that people are born emotionless ….

I know that. I never said Rand said we are emotionless. Here is what she said,

Man has no choice to feel that something is good for him or evil, but what he will consider good or evil, what will give him joy or pain, what he will love or hate, desire or fear, depends on his standard of value. (31, emphasis original)

Rand says, “Man has no choice to feel…” Ok. Stop. Right there. I get it. She said we will feel something. But what we feel–her word and her emphasis–depends on our “standard of value.” Rand’s view on emotions is that they are, by default, like a wild horse–bound to buck around somehow–but we have to go in and tame them. The person who said the above to me finished the thought with this,

…but that emotions don’t exist outside of (prior to) values and that therefore you can change your emotions by changing your values. 

Mmhmm, yes. That’s what I challenge. I do not think you can “change your emotions by changing your values.” Thanks for summing up Rand’s view so eloquently, by the way. I normally can’t get Objectivists to admit that this is Rand’s view. And, bruhs. Ayn Rand was no psychologist. Her statement is overreaching–and false.

Objectivists are always accusing me of not understanding Rand. But it is they who consistently misunderstand me.

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Uncategorized

Ayn Rand is Guilty of Moral Bias

In my just released book, Misbehavior is Growth: An Observant Parent’s Guide to Three Year Olds, I describe weeding out Moral Bias so we can study human nature objectively. Moral Bias is when our idea of what “ideal” human behavior clouds our objectivity as we study human nature itself. I document the age-related stages children go through; when they act up (becoming aggressive, stay up late at night, etc.) but which are then followed by a burst in mental ability. Our moral bias prevents us from studying such behavior as is, for what it is, because we have an “ideal” in mind–typically calm, quiet children. I’ve been told my book MIG: 3 Year Olds gives one of the best refutations to blank slate theory out there, which is my main charge against Objectivism, an entire #philosophy with an ethics of which is based on tabula rasa (blank slate theory). MIG: 3 Year Olds is now available at The Observant Mom. Send anyone who wants to see a solid refutation to Objectivism to The Ex Objectivist.

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Objectivism

Ayn Rand challenged in Misbehavior is Growth

My new book, Misbehavior is Growth: An Observant Parent’s Guide to Three Year Olds, is set to release January 8, 2021. I challenge Rand in this book. Here are the two relevant sections.


Why Traditional Education Won’t Just Go Away

A thinker like Ayn Rand, who formalized a philosophy that she called “Objectivism,” i.e. “objective truth,” also advocated that a person is born “tabula rasa”—blank. She did not have the conclusions Skinner had, who said that society should push a person to be more giving, social, etc. Instead, she advocated you set your own values, and she steered those values towards being a “rational” person who shapes reality to fit your human needs, as is in “objective” alignment with your survival as a human. But she still adopted the view that a person is born blank. Leonard Peikoff, her student, writes almost shockingly about what the idea of a child being born as a blank canvas leads to in education:

The idea of education is to take a tabula rasa (someone born blank) and transform him, through a systematic process across years, into a being with the skills and aptitudes necessary to fit him for adult life. (2)

Take someone born blank and transform him. It could not be written more plainly. In this book, Teaching Johnny to Think, he blatantly says children should be seen and not heard (21). He also says that any child who isn’t capable of sitting in a class, listening to a lecture, should be sent away for therapy. It seems benevolent and wise, but in reality it’s quite painfully humiliating. When students are struggling, fix the approach, not the kid.

This view of a blank child engenders this approach of traditional education. In this, a child’s blank brain has knowledge poured down it, based on an adult’s sense of what is the proper content and hierarchy. No attention is given to actively monitoring the child to see how the approach is working. Those monitors, when applied correctly, would be emotional in nature. Is what we are doing with children a joy for them or is it frustrating? This is what should guide us as we parent and educate. We assume the responsibility.

In the old view, it’s built right into the philosophy that the child is blank anyway, and none of these emotional responses even matter. The emotions are seen, at best, as whim and, at worst, as manipulation. We do not let children’s emotions guide us. We steer, control, and program those emotions.

The Role of the Mind

Us humans have a reasoning mind, and that’s a wonderful thing. We use it to build things and create things. We can build houses, go to the moon, and make plans for Saturday night. We can mold and shape the outer world. The main problem comes when we think we can mold and shape the inner world. It means we think we can alter ourselves or others—that we can alter human nature itself.

Ayn Rand is again illustrative of the old view of the mind. From Rand, “The mind leads, the emotions follow” (The Romantic Manifesto 30). In this philosophy, thinking controls your emotions. Not just that you are conscious of your emotions and make reasonable decisions. The mind tells the emotions what to do: what makes you happy or sad. She writes:

Man has no choice to feel that something is good for him or evil, but what he will consider good or evil, what will give him joy or pain, what he will love or hate, desire or fear, depends on his standard of value. (The Virtue of Selfishness 31, emphasis original)

What will give you “joy or pain,” what you will “love or hate,” “desire or fear,” is dependent on your “standard of value.” You can control it. This is highly indicative of most modern, Western thought. Who needs the authentic, prewired, uncontrollable emotions that bubble up in a person—or a child? What good are these unreliable things?

Categories
Objectivism

Abusers Can’t Abuse People Familiar with Abuse

It’s funny to me that people who know me and know I am very well versed in the area of abuse, try to abuse me. In fact, the more versed I am on abuse, the more abusive they get. It’s almost as if I am a natural threat to them.

But, you see. You can’t abuse me. You might exasperate me–though less and less anymore. You can waste my time. But you can’t abuse me.

Well, I mean, you can. But you cannot psychologically abuse me. You can try. You can try to shame, mock, and humiliate me. But it has no effect. I’m onto it. You can roll up your sleeves and punch me in the eye. But at least we made what is going on far more out in the open.

I’ve had countless try to abuse me–over my writings on abuse itself. For instance I write about abuse strongly here at Ex Objectivist. And I write that Ayn Rand’s Objectivism is abusive. I had someone “thank” me for bringing Objectivism to light for them. After all of my writing about Objectivism, they were now interested in Ayn Rand. You see, I know this person is abusive. Because I’ve seen them in action. They were telling me, “You are passionately against Objectivism. But in your writing, I am going to go check out Objectivism.” They were triangulating me. And I could give many more examples of abuse from this person, but this would identify them too well. So, in their interest, for anonymity, I won’t.

Triangulation

I think the biggest abusive tactic you can be aware of to protect your inner soul from damage is triangulation. Triangulation is when someone brings a third party to the table to abuse you. The classic example is a man (1) who uses a new woman (2) to make his ex (3) jealous. The new woman is brought into the relationship entirely to hurt the ex. It has nothing to do with his joy. As soon as you’re onto it, it can’t penetrate you. People look weak and pathetic to me when they do this. And don’t get jealous of the new woman, either. He will soon do this to her. She’s a dish rag to him.

This can play out in a million ways. The person who said they were going to trot off and learn about Objectivism was triangulating me with Ayn Rand. I’ve had many Objectivists triangulate me with Ayn Rand. And, bros. I’m not jealous of Ayn Rand. Nor the fact that I can’t break you from her vortex.

Another one that is otherwise extremely psychologically abusive is triangulating the fear of death. In this, a person says to someone dependent on another, “What would you do if THEY die?” They (1) threatened you (2) with the threat of someone you are dependent on (3) dying. People who do this are the scum of the universe.

There are other forms of abuse. I outline them in Towards Liberalism: A Challenge to Objectivist Ethics. I call for a moral paradigm in which we see these things, such as triangulation, as morally wrong. And people do follow their own moral guide. Make these abusive tactics immoral and watch massive cultural change.

The Paradox of the Abusive

I have to wonder why abusive people can watch me write so strongly about abuse and then think their abuse will have any effect. Why, for instance, when they have read my book or an article of mine explaining the abuse of triangulation, do they even think to try to triangulate me? And yet they do. Over and over.

You see, abuse is a memory disorder. Sam Vaknin spoke about it in a speech once (of which would take me forever to find but it was on his youtube channel). They live in their own world. The world out there was likely so traumatic for them as children that they learned to filter out 80-90% of reality. Vaknin says it can get so bad that they can watch a ball go into the hole but not remember they swung the golf club. I think this is why Rand appeals to the potentially abusive so well. They lived in such a fog growing up, being holed up in their own world, because of a toxic environment. They have no real good experience in the real world, successfully making anything happen or feeling any joy. Rand’s very forceful writing can go in and grab a person like this. But. You now have people who, by nature, filter out 80-90% of reality, who are now flattered that they are the purveyors of truth itself.

So, anyway, this is why me writing about abuse has no effect on them. They aren’t hearing anything I say. They hear “bla, bla, bla.” They are constantly judging (belittling, more like) everything around them. Objectivists constantly accuse me of “rambling.” I’m not. I do very popular child development research and people tell me “it’s so bloody accurate it’s scary.” I am capable of writing cogently. Their accusations of rambling are, of course, abuse. I am convinced that when it comes to emotions, narcissists and psychopaths hear ‘bla, bla, bla.’ It’s on you, dudes. Not me.

So, there is no penetrating the abusive mindset. I propose that something has to be at stake for them to change. Even then, they might just go into darkness and figure out, not how to be a better person, but how to be yet more conniving next time. But, there is little changing them. You can explain and explain abuse, and they’ll never get it. They will, like a shark chasing blood, always tend towards abuse. At some point, you start to see them as a bit dumb.

But what I can do is get to victims. I can train them to be on to the predator’s (the abuser’s) tactics. I can strengthen them and help them see through the BS. Don’t fall for their guilt trips, attempt to evoke pity, flattering you for your “expertise.” And definitely don’t be intimidated by their insults, belittling, or triangulation.

I now also point out when abusers can’t stop themselves from abusing. If I point out they are belittling me and they belittle further, I point out that I just pointed out that this was abuse and they can’t stop themselves, like a shark seeing blood. Send people this article, too.

If you read the story of evolution, it reads as one species becoming more predatory than the last. It starts as cells just dividing and moves on to animals that eat others, to animals that are really good at eating others, etc. Humans themselves won out as a hominid because we scared other hominids at eating sources. We eliminated an entire species.

Abusers are predators. They are an entirely different type of human–I argue changing the very core brain functions of people that end up winning in the race of evolution. Currently, they are winning. Our world is run by narcissists and psychopaths. They are charming and adept at working with current cultural norms to advance themselves and smear others. And we, naive, usually playful non-psychopathic humans, are totally vulnerable to it.

I am proposing we adapt, too. Like an octopus that can throw ink at a predator or a poison dart frog that kills whoever handles it, we develop strong defense mechanisms. Understand abuse–and you can’t be abused. Go cold to these predators. They quite need us. Make their tactics ineffective and their existence not desired.

Please share this article with anyone dealing with abuse!