|Despite what Lindsay Perigo and James Heaps-Nelson have plausibly recently written, when considering the character and personality of James Valliant and Casey Fahy, the terms "cultist" and "Randroid" come immediately to mind. So too "evader," "second-hander," and "social metaphysician." So too "collectivist" and "self-sacrificer" -- as in religious and joiner types of an odd and malevolent Randian sect who defer exclusively to her divine authority and slavishly take her word on faith.
I think people here are badly underestimating the quiet but immense power of Ayn Rand. Ideas really do matter. So too idealism. They rule people's lives. In this regard, Rand's intellectual and ideological seductiveness and charisma is simply overwhelming. Unfortunately for the planet, human history, and the ascent of man -- there is moralizing, psychologizing, emotional repression, and intellectual bullying on practically every page of her non-fiction and latter fiction. It is a stunning contradiction of rational liberal culture and her literal philosophy.
Valliant and Fahy are like natural scholars of the Talmud or Hadith who accidently wandered upon Objectivism and, bizarrely, became converted to this belief-system. But they maintain their old attitude, approach, and personal nature. They diligently pour over every word and half-thought of Rand, and then use their high intelligence to gain a kind of ersatz understanding of the material. This makes them very strange people -- but it doesn't make them Objectivists. Or if it does -- then Objectivism is an evil thing.
It's dangerous to read Nietzsche, especially when you're young. Rand is far, far worse. The power of ideas and idealism is almost limitless. Those created by Ayn Rand, and their ability to impact people -- for good and ill -- should not be underestimated.
(Edited by Andre Zantonavitch on 11/30, 4:03am)