I don’t see Randianism as a cult, but the inspirational leader for American libertarianism. Even though Ayn Rand wasn’t an official Libertarian. Just like John F. Kennedy is the inspirational leader for Liberals such as myself and Ronald Reagan is the inspirational leader of Conservatives. And Franklin Roosevelt in an inspirational Leader for Progressives. Now, some of the followers of Ayn Rand at times do seem like cult followers with some of their conspiracy theories that government is out to get them and that type of thing. But the movement by itself I don’t see as some type of cult.
Ayn Rand objectivism, is that the individual should always be that. “That the individual is always first. And when people start concerning themselves with the affairs and worries of others, than somehow collectivism would sink in.” Again, Ayn Rand, is not a Libertarian. Even Libertarians believe in private charity. And some Conservative Libertarians, even though they wouldn’t have created the New Deal, or Great Society, aren’t looking to eliminate it. For practical reasons mostly, but would like to see it run a lot better with private options for people who receive social services.
So when you talk about Ayn Rand and objectivism, you shouldn’t try to link it with libertarianism, or conservatism. Even though so-called Progressives and Socialists will aways do that. Because libertarianism and objectivism are two different things. Libertarians, believe in a minimal government, at least classical Libertarians. And that the safety net and charity should only be run by the private sector and with no government involvement. Objectivists, aren’t even fans of private charity. And that individuals should always be left to solve their own problems.