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.