In order to guide the reader in considering the evidence we link to, we offer two extensive quotes from Dr. Leonard Peikoff's essay, "Fact and Value," (a link to the entire essay is on the "Resources" page on this website).
“Objectivism” is the name of Ayn Rand’s achievement. Anyone else’s interpretation or development of her ideas, my own work emphatically included, is precisely that: an interpretation or development, which may or may not be logically consistent with what she wrote. In regard to the consistency of any such derivative work, each man must reach his own verdict, by weighing all the relevant evidence. The “official, authorized doctrine,” however, remains unchanged and untouched in Ayn Rand’s books; it is not affected by any interpreters. . . .
This, I finally see, is the cause of all the schisms which have plagued the Objectivist movement through the years, from the Brandens in 1968 on through David Kelley, and which will continue to do so for many years to come. The cause is not concrete-bound details—not differences in regard to love affairs or political strategy or proselytizing techniques or anybody’s personality. The cause is fundamental and philosophical: if you grasp and accept the concept of “objectivity,” in all its implications, then you accept Objectivism, you live by it and you revere Ayn Rand for defining it. If you fail fully to grasp and accept the concept, whether your failure is deliberate or otherwise, you eventually drift away from Ayn Rand’s orbit, or rewrite her viewpoint or turn openly into her enemy.
The most eloquent badge of the authentic Objectivist, who does understand Ayn Rand’s philosophy, is his attitude toward values (which follows from his acceptance of reason). An Objectivist is not primarily an academician or a political activist (though he may well devote his professional life to either or both pursuits). In his soul, he is essentially a moralist—or, in broader terms, what Ayn Rand herself called “a valuer.”
A valuer, in her sense, is a man who evaluates extensively and intensively. That is: he judges every fact within his sphere of action—and he does it passionately, because his value-judgments, being objective, are integrated in his mind into a consistent whole, which to him has the feel, the power and the absolutism of a direct perception of reality. Any other approach to life comes from and pertains to another philosophy, not to Objectivism.
Now I wish to make a request to any unadmitted anti-Objectivists reading this piece, a request that I make as Ayn Rand’s intellectual and legal heir. If you reject the concept of “objectivity” and the necessity of moral judgment, if you sunder fact and value, mind and body, concepts and percepts, if you agree with the Branden or Kelley viewpoint or anything resembling it—please drop out of our movement: drop Ayn Rand, leave Objectivism alone. We do not want you and Ayn Rand would not have wanted you—just as you, in fact, do not want us or her. As a matter of dignity and honor, tell yourself and the world the exact truth: that you agree with certain ideas of Ayn Rand, but reject Objectivism.
It is perhaps too early for there to be a mass movement of Objectivists. But let those of us who are Objectivists at least make sure that what we are spreading is Ayn Rand’s actual ideas, not some distorted hash of them. Let us make sure that in the quest for a national following we are not subverting the integrity of the philosophy to which we are dedicated. If we who understand the issues speak out, our number, whether large or small, is irrelevant; in the long run, we will prevail.
If we engage in quality-control now, refusing to sanction the rewriters of Objectivism whatever the short-term cost and schisms, the long-range result will be a new lease on life for mankind. If we don’t, we are frauds in the short-term and monsters long-range.
Let us not cohabit with or become alchemists in reverse, i.e., men who turn the gold of Ayn Rand into lead.
Paraphrasing Marx: in demanding intellectual consistency, we have nothing to lose but our deluders—and we have the world to win.