Came across a Charles Tew video where Yaron Brook negatively comments on Tew and Tew responds. Around the 12 minute mark, Tew says that the Ayn Rand Institute has a negative attitude towards idealistic young people who want to be independent intellectuals. Their attitude is "Who are you? You're not Ayn Rand." Tew says he knew someone who wanted to be an independent intellectual and talked to ARI about it and they discouraged her and encouraged her to do academia instead. I think that's interesting. Academia has a lot of serious problems, especially these days, especially if you've got non-standard views on philosophical issues and are a fan of Ayn Rand. It's heavily geared against letting independent thinkers achieve greatness. I haven't carefully investigated, but offhand, I don't know of any Objectivist intellectuals who weren't personal associates of Rand who have done notable stuff in the philosophy field, despite lots of Objectivists having PhDs. Is there any Objectivist intellectual who didn't personally know Rand, followed the academia path that ARI encourages, and is even a worthy footnote to Rand? ARI is a non-profit which gets a bunch of donor money and part of what they do is basically send young people down a wrong path. They're acting as a destroyer. So that seems really screwed up.
The notion of some idealistic young person being great at philosophy seems implausible to people at ARI because the ARI people are not very good at philosophy themselves. Take Yaron Brook. He's said horrible things. I'm not some great philosopher but even I pointed out Yaron making horrible and inappropriate statements regarding aid to Israel years ago. Sunny Lohmann, an Objectivist podcaster/YouTuber, pointed out that Yaron's views on immigration were bad and ever-changing. Elliot Temple pointed out that Yaron argued that fighting WWII to help European Jews would not have been in our interest. Yaron was the Executive Director of ARI for many years and is the chairman of the board, and has been a "representative" of Objectivism for a long time, doing lectures and podcasts and videos. And yet he makes major errors and topics he cares about and repeatedly brings up (he's big on politics, so it's not as if his errors are confined to some topic that's minor for him, which would be bad enough).
I wonder if at some level the very notion of an idealistic young person who might be good at philosophy threatens the people at ARI. If they think they can't be as good as Ayn Rand (and they do seem to act consistently with such a belief), then someone who does think they can be that good threatens to blast away their premises and the value of their whole enterprise. You can't, at the same time, take seriously the possibility of achieving greatness, and also be content with mediocrity.