I challenge Ayn Rand’s Objectivism, specifically her view on emotions. Consistently, Objectivists tell me I am “rambling.” I lay out what could not be a more crystal clear argument and I get the treatment, “What is she talking about?” I say things that I know would have penetrated me deeply when I was younger–such as pointing out that Rand treats emotions as man-made not metaphysical–and I get utter cross eyes from Objectivists. Nothing penetrates them. And I get accused of being nonsensical, rambling, or “mysticism.”
Part of me wants to say it is gaslighting. And it is. They won’t recognize my existence or argument. This is what gaslighting is. It denies the victim’s reality. I am saying, “I see this! Don’t you see?” And they refuse to see it, explicitly telling me they will not even repeat back my argument because “that would sanction it.” Gaslighting was a term invented by an older movie in which a man kept putting out candles to confuse and make crazy his victim. “The candles! They’re blown out!” And Objectivists just coolly look at me, saying nothing, pretending I am crazy.
However, I have also come to the conclusion that some of them sincerely can’t understand emotions. There are people in this world, by biological design or through childhood trauma, who have no emotional landscape whatsoever. When I say something like, “Rand says you can control your emotions and I disagree,” they have absolutely no mental hook on which to relate to what I am saying. Imagine a dog who can hear high frequency sounds that humans cannot. I am like that dog. I’m saying, “Can’t you see? These emotions. They’re there. They do work for us. They can’t be controlled.” And they, the human in his metaphor, just look at me like I’m utterly crazy.
It is known that psychopaths have little to no emotions. Robert Hare did the original pioneering work on psychopaths. The most notable thing he found is that psychopaths did not respond with fear to the threat of electrical shock. He hooked them up to a machine, told them it was about to happen, and monitored their biofeedback. Non-psychopathic individuals showed great fear before the shock. Psychopaths showed little. They have greatly muted emotions. They don’t feel fear, empathy–or joy–like other people do.
And this was Ayn Rand. See Ayn Rand Glorified a Child Murderer. Rand glorified William Hickman, a young man who murdered a twelve year old girl. Her name–and I always go out of my way to name victims–was Marian Parker. Hickman lied to her teacher, convincing her that the child’s father was in the hospital and he needed to take her immediately. He demanded ransom, which was paid. When he handed the girl over, she was already dead. Her legs had been cut off and her eyes were wired open. He had also cut open her internal organs and strewed them about the Los Angeles area.
Rand, in 1928, was going to base one of her plays on him. Yes, fully knowing his crimes. She said he had the psychology of a “real man” and a “light, free consciousness.” I’ll say it. Ayn Rand, you are a sick bitch.
But don’t tell Objectivists that. In the light of this horrifying truth, they start the smear campaigns early. If you can’t see that she went on to change her mind, you are “intellectual scum” or you are just taking the whole silly the thing out of context or the like. Objectivists are mean. And conniving and manipulative.
Ok. Sure. She went on to eschew violence of all kinds. Well, sort of. She doesn’t let you be armed to ward off men like Hickman. Ayn Rand’s Views on Self-Defense Were Clear. Maybe because we would also ward off against predators like her? But this is the emotional make up of Ayn Rand. Psychopaths defend their way as allowing them to be “like a cat in the world of mice.” They aren’t inhibited by guilt or empathy, e.g., “a man without guilt or pain or fear.” They can get what they want done.
But look also at how she described Hickman. She gushes, “He does not understand, because he has no organ for understanding, the necessity, meaning, or importance of other people.” Yeah. Like Marian Parker.
No even “organ” for understanding the importance of other people. A total lack of empathy; a total lack of regard for others; as if others are dish rags to use. Something, an entire organ, is missing entirely from his brain. This is, verbatim, psychopathy. It’s not narcissism. Narcissism is a product of childhood trauma and is marked by a need for constant adoration. This is psychopathy. Psychopathy is known to be a biological disorder. One is born with psychopathy. It’s at a genetic level. The parts of the brain that regulate fear and empathy are smaller in their brain and don’t connect to the rational mind as well.
And certainly I can see that this has evolutionary advantage. In fact, in a world that relies on shame and coercion to pressure people to behave, I think psychopaths are, frankly, what you get. It’s wrong to shame and coerce people into behaving well. And, after centuries of it, you are getting what you are getting: people totally impervious to shame. Cultures thick in shame are far more likely to produce psychopaths.
But, one way or another, this might explain why so many hear “bla, bla, bla” when I talk about emotions. I have come to the conclusion that they are not like me. Like. Not even a little bit. I can give stories and examples of how to handle emotions–and they think I am utterly stupid and weak. Why would I get down on one knee and talk sensitively to a young child? Why would you ever do that? Dumb bitch. (<—a verbatim insult thrown at me by Objectivists). You get to places by heroically getting things done. You mold reality. You do what your mind knows to be true. That’s how it works. I will never get through to them.
See my book for more destroying this atrocious philosophy. Ayn Rand was not who you think she was. Certainly you shouldn’t be taking psychological advice from her. And her adherents are just as bad. I’m convinced some will always stay with Objectivism, as it validates their own psychopathy. My loose experience with them is that if a woman is still an Objectivist by age 30 and a man by age 40, they are probably psychopathic or highly narcissistic. I’m not kidding. I’ve been stared down by them before, with the classic psychopathic stare.
Know what you are getting into before you go down the Objectivist path.
Run. Run away.