I was just wondering if there is what one would term "healthy debate" within major Objectivist organizations like the ARI. I know there is a huge conflict between the camp called "open Objectivism" and the ARI but my question has more to do with the ARI itself. I almost never hear major Objectivists disagree with, say, Leonard Piekoff or other senior ranking people such as Yaron Brook. Does this disagreement ever happen openly ? Is there any documented case where there has been a position, a logical argument and a significant change in position? I have not seen this kind of dialogue and would appreciate it if those more informed than me would inform me as to the facts. Stated otherwise: have the leaders of Objectivism always been right or are there cases where they have espoused a position, later to learn more, reconsider and change their position?
There's a mistaken premise somewhat implicit in the question: that regarding any particular issue there are only two options: "healthy disagreement" or "slavish alignment".
I can assure you that ARI staff have lots of healthy discussion about how to proceed in promoting the philosophy. One thing is for sure, though: airing, in public, internal disagreement at ARI would not be beneficial for the institute. I believe their goal is to decide what ARI's official stand is, and to present that in public.
You don't hear of their disagreements because their disagreements are their private business.
I have certainly been privy to discussions where even an Objectivist leader says he disagrees with Ayn Rand herself on a particular technical point.
But on fundamental principles, there is no disagreement, not because of intellectual dependence (which is actually a vice in Objectivism), but because both of the agreeing parties are being rational.
The idea that two people can agree without the necessity of one of them being slavish is essential to Objectivism. It's almost a direct implication of existence exists.