Saturday, 16 September 2017

Greg Nyquist on The Legacy of Leonard Peikoff

In his article, “Future of Objectivism 8,” Greg Nyquist says that Leonard Peikoff’s legacy is in tatters due to his heavy handed, narrow-minded, and sometimes philosophically-unsound and even hypocritical methods of dealing with the issues concerning Ayn Rand’s life and philosophy.

Nyquist's article opens with these lines:
"How will Leonard Peikoff be remembered by future Objectivists? Will even the orthodox remember him all that fondly? Will he continue to be influential? Rand's most steadfast and controversial protege casts a long shadow over orthodox followers of Ayn Rand. His legacy is definitely of the questionable, perhaps even dubious, variety. While he exhibited some skills as a teacher, lecturer, and expositor of Objectivist orthodoxy, whenever he attempted to stray from the Randian straight and narrow, and take flight on his own intellectual steam, the consequences were often deeply embarrassing. The man simply has very little in the way of independent judgment. Couple this with an over-sensitivity to criticism and a deep-seated distrust of anyone who refuses to defer to even his most outlandish ideas, and you have the perfect recipe for the paranoid ideologue, separated from the world by his own political and moral delusions. His apologists describe him as a man who does not well suffer fools; which is an overly kind way of saying that Peikoff is not a nice man.
I will not pass an opinion on what Nyquist has to say about Peikoff’s legacy. But I think Nyquist’s articles offer some kind of an explanation for why the world is full of people who are inspired by Ayn Rand’s literature but feel alienated by her philosophy of Objectivism.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Because of the nature of the revolution Ayn Rand initiated, it was bound to be impossible for any heir to her intellectual legacy not to have a love-hate relationship with her readers. Strangely, this is a fact of reality many don’t seem to grasp.