Ayn Rand's Errors According to Academic Nerds

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Ayn Rand's Errors According to Academic Nerds

It's time for some Rand stuff in the culture.

Over on Quora, they have a thread that was started in 2010, and has been receiving answers all through the years on up to March 2019 (according to the log page):

What was Ayn Rand wrong about?

There are 81 answers as of this post.

If you have nothing to do some day and want to see what the minds of academic nerds look like when they ponder Rand, this question and the answers will do it.

Bring your weed-killer and nit spray.


I only skimmed the answers, but I didn't see anyone who thinks the way I do. I find the question mostly irrelevant. That's not a cop-out. Rand provides a workable philosophical frame on which anyone--not just academics--can build knowledge and approach other thinkers, no matter how complicated the issue. And her philosophical frame is right, meaning it works and works well. That, in itself, is a magnificent achievement. Some details and minor topics in her ideas have errors and many have scope issues, but the strength of her overall ideas and impact on society at large is withstanding the test of time. 

Ayn Rand is a force for good.

From the tone of many of the answers, the academics sense this is some kind of threat to them.

If showing their irrelevance to the ideas involved in living a good life is the standard, they are right. She is far more relevant than any of them are.

One of the best things she accomplished was to wed philosophy to self-help. I mean that, too. There are many high-level achievers in the world (actual top-tier movers and shakers) who gained their inspiration and basic thinking frame from Rand. 

What better social tonic could there be against power-grubbing social engineers--who the academics always support--than a philosophical framework for individuals that eschews violence and prioritizes reason? How are you going to engineer covert compliance in a person who thinks for himself and has a philosophical framework that works to back it up?

Anyway, there it is.

On the other side, going through the answers might give you food for thought if you approach them from that angle. If that happens, that's always a good thing. You have an unrepeatable beautiful mind, so anything that helps you make it stronger through use is good.

But, man, did they have to make the answers so friggin' boring?


Most of all, have fun.


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I agreed with the Quora view that smoking indoors was coercion. Parents who smoke in the car or in a dwelling with their kids is the lowest of the hyperbola-olic low. The following was funny if not terrible insightful or provable. Everybody gets disgusted with arrogant assholes. By the way. I lack an arrogant asshole but my humble one does OK. I closed up the following for brevity. Pfffft. Peter

Paul Denlinger, Studied (and enjoyed) it at university. Answered Oct 30, 2011 · Think that there are a couple things wrong with Ayn Rand's philosophy and their interpretation by objectivists: The belief that it is all a triumph of the will of the brilliant individual against the dumb masses, when it seldom is. Believe it or not, in order to win, there always is an element of persuasion. Leading people to see the light, and sharing that vision. But many seem to think it's just by being an asshole. Nobody wins by being an asshole.

The belief that it is not a team effort. Steve Jobs said that great products are achieved by a team of bright people, not by one single genius. While SJ was the spokesman and showman for Apple products, he was the first to admit that it was a team effort.

I find these weak spots in the whole objectivist model to be so big, and so glaring, that whenever I hear that someone thinks that objectivism is the greatest philosophy in the world, and that all the world's problems would go away if all only just embraced it, I automatically assume that that person is a highly technical programmer and/or loser who lacks social skills. They believe that trying to persuade others is beneath them, and that everyone else is too dumb, or too corrupt, to accept the brilliance of their views. What a terrible attitude!

They may have money, but they are still  losers when it comes to being a human being who cares for others, and is adored and respected by others. This is why objectivists will always exist only on the fringes of society, and never make it into the mainstream. They are their own worst enemies. So far, I have been right.

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