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Are Capitalism, Objectivism, and Libertarianism Religions? Yes! Paperback – January 10, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
What happened? First, IMHO Ellis has some good things to say as a psychologist and sometime social analyst. Next, he raises some valid questions in the book (though doesn't realize they've been addressed because--cardinal sin for a scholar--he didn't know the literature or do field research). Result: The book would be great if it actually addressed the topics. It addresses caricatures (as do many of the naïve commenters below). How did this happen? The problem is Ellis was questioned for some of his techniques by an Objectivist who was one of his students back in the '50's, Ellis took it personally (though he was not mentioned by name) when his business dropped off, started accusing psychologists related to Objectivism of ripping off his ideas which was basically laughed away by the local ethics board when he tried to bring an action (he never did formally), and since that time Ellis became increasingly unhinged on all things even vaguely related to Objectivism, according to people there at the time. I'm no expert on what happened, but clearly at some point Ellis, the founder of rational-emotive therapy, got emotional and reason flew out the window, and this seems to be reflected in the tone of the book.
Some basics on how this book fails from the get-go:
>Objectivism is secular Aristotelianism, and is not a faith or cult but focuses on reason and not harming others.Read more ›
Ayn Rand is very important. . She is one of the architects of today's America. She created a secular religion with its own cult and her disciples today are in Congress, the big corporations and on Wall Street. One of them, for example, was Alan Greenspan, former head of the Federal Reserve. Being head of the Fed gives you more power over the country's economy than has the president of the United States. The Fed decides how much money is released to the country, which has an effect on inflation, it sets the interest rates and to a large extent controls credit. That's where the bank bailouts came from. As a good Randian, Greenspan successfully torpedoed any attempt to put any restraints on Wall Street's poisonous derivatives. He now has the honor of being among the four or five primary movers and shakers in America who pushed its economy over a cliff.Another big fan of Rand was Chris Cox, head of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Ayn Rand has mostly gotten a free ride from any serious criticism for almost half a century for two reasons: people who dealt with novels of high literary quality or were expert in in philosophy and economics considered her ideology and statements ignorant, naïve and simply irrational. But they made a big mistake in ignoring her.Read more ›
Dr. Ellis brilliantly shows that Objectivism "is a clear-cut religious system, in the classical use of this term, involving the kind of beliefs, practices, and ethical values that at least imply (even if they overtly deny) a divine or superhuman power in the universe and that particularly comprise a faith unfounded on fact. I contend that any dogmatic, fanatical, absolutist, anti-empirical, people-condemning creed is religious because there is no factual evidence on which it is based, and its adherents, in zealously sticking to it, strongly state or imply that some higher power or order of the universe demands that their views are right--and that all serious dissenters to their views are for all time wrong...
"Most capitalists are also included here as religious in nature in that they are true believers in the 'invisible hand' of the market, a clearly religious concept, to solve all of the world's problems if the world will just set all the markets free!"
Criticisms that Dr. Ellis had in some way insulted Ayn Rand through this book or treated her views unfairly are completely off-base. In fact, he goes out of his way to give credit where credit is due. But for a self-proclaimed rational person, Ayn Rand created a philosophy that contains a great deal of irrationality and unsupported dogma that needs to be exposed.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Besides being a badly written book, this book is something of an unintentional confessional: Ellis the wannabe philosopher of science (he was a Logical Positivist) or Ellis the... Read morePublished on May 25, 2013 by S. Greenhouse
I have been a rational emotive therapist as well as an Objectivist for some time. I find it actually odd that Ellis would find Rand so objectionable (no pun intended) as they both... Read morePublished on March 18, 2013 by Alchie2013
But, pardon the pun, the author is not objective.
For someone who claims they are an academic he seems incapable of stepping back from his own biases and considering the... Read more
Funny thing about the "free market" Randites/Paulites: At any hint of a criticism of their personal deities, they pile in here with their one-star reviews, in spite of the fact... Read morePublished on December 2, 2011 by Paucious Unirat
This book is filled with fallacies. Ron Paul is not a "disciple" of Ayn Rand. Ayn Rand was a statist, she simply wanted people of HER choice holding the guns on us. Read morePublished on October 22, 2011 by Burned
Recent biographies of Ayn Rand have revealed the depths of her hostility, depression, anxiety and unrealistic expectations about life. Read morePublished on August 7, 2010 by M. A. Plus
I downloaded this book on a whim after hearing it provided a decent critique of Objectivism and Capitalism (I should have known better, in fact I did know better, but as someone... Read morePublished on April 14, 2010 by Leonard Schulwitz
I read this book on line - [...]. - and, in my opinion, Ellis is too easy on Rand and her cult. I am not a psychologist or psychiatrist but, in layman's terms, objectivists are... Read morePublished on February 1, 2010 by James G. Lee
Albert Ellis worked with Nathaniel Branden and learned firsthand of how pernicious Ayn Rand's influence was on people trying to be rational - and more importantly, rational enough... Read morePublished on July 20, 2009 by Marion Delgado