Ayn Rand

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Ayn Rand

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1cwflatt
Jan 13, 2011, 10:09pm

Ok, I have been wanting to read her books for a long time. I'm not sure where to start. Are they a series or are they each a stand alone book? The size of some of them freak me out I won't lie. Are all her books about capitalism?

2Toolroomtrustee
Editado: Jan 14, 2011, 1:12am

I had a look at your library, and you seem to be more of a fiction reader, so I recommend her novels first. They are all stand-alones. If their size intimidates you, try Anthem first, which can be read in one evening. We the Living is about Soviet Russia in the 1920s and is moderate length.

The heroes of The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged are businessmen, but for her explicit views on capitalism, your best bet is her collection of non-fiction essays, Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal. They were written in the 1960s, and they make references to topical issues of the time, including some anti-trust cases, the 1964 US election, some of JFK's broadcasting regulations, etc. In other words, you need to know a bit about US politics from the late 50s and early 60s.

All her books imply her support for capitalism, but it's CUI, The New Left: The Anti-Industrial Revolution and The Virtue of Selfishness that address political issues.

3cwflatt
Jan 14, 2011, 6:26pm

Thanks for the help.

4labwriter
Jan 15, 2011, 1:10pm

You might also enjoy a biography by Anne C. Heller: Ayn Rand and the World She Made, published in 2009.

5Arctic-Stranger
Mar 15, 2011, 4:53pm

Warning, whether you find her ideas intriguing or not, she is clumsy novelist. If only she wrote with the same ability she attributes to her characters.

6Carnophile
Mar 15, 2011, 6:04pm

She's quite adept as a novelist, in fact, the main exception being the speechifying, which sometimes comes in big infodumps.

Sometimes it doesn't come in big infodumps, but people don't remember that as much because it's not annoying.

It's especially impressive that English was her second language.

I don't know why pople on the left have this Total War approach to politics. I'm prfectly comfortable admitting that liberal Jon Stewart is a funny guy, for example. (Or was a few years ago; I haven't checked in in a while.)

7Jesse_wiedinmyer
Mar 15, 2011, 6:07pm

Total war?

Don't know about that. I do know that I read quite a few of Rand's books in my early twenties and found them rather trite and poorly written then.

8Jesse_wiedinmyer
Mar 15, 2011, 6:07pm

I found her about as interesting as I found Richard Wright.

9krolik
Mar 15, 2011, 6:45pm

>8 Jesse_wiedinmyer: Ouch, ouch man. Wright can do narrative drive.

>6 Carnophile: "exception being speechifying" (Let me set you up for a blind date, Carno...she has a great personality...that's all you want, right?)

>6 Carnophile: "impressive that English was her second language" Is this aesthetic affirmative action here? Or why not look to the non-native speaker real heavy hitters like Nabokov and Conrad?

Rand is about ideas, like them or not, that's a certain kind of conversation. But art? That's another kind of conversation.

10Jesse_wiedinmyer
Mar 15, 2011, 6:50pm

Ouch, ouch man. Wright can do narrative drive.


Too didactic, nonetheless, for my taste. And when a narrative drives inexorably to a certain end, especially when that end is the point of the narrative, I tend to feel it a bit too manipulative for my taste.

11Carnophile
Mar 15, 2011, 7:00pm

Let me set you up for a blind date, Carno...she has a great personality...that's all you want, right?

Let me get her out on the dance floor and see how she grinds her ass into my crotch. The motion has to be good.

Rand is about ideas, like them or not, that's a certain kind of conversation. But art? That's another kind of conversation.

Yes, in general. As a rule of thumb, people who put politics into art should be flogged. To every rule an exception though.

12Arctic-Stranger
Mar 15, 2011, 7:39pm

Ms. Rand, the flogging will commence.

I was totally enthralled by The Fountainhead, not because of the writing, but because of the ideas. I tried Atlas Shrugged, but got bogged down in the lack of narrative. And Rand never, never, never, never, never should have tried to write about romance or relationships in her book. (Nathaniel Brandon can probably attest to that personally.)

Had I read those at an earlier, more impressionable age, and had they been better written, I am sure I would have found her ideas very enticing.

13Jesse_wiedinmyer
Mar 15, 2011, 8:15pm

Had I read those at an earlier, more impressionable age,

It seems to be something of a recurring refrain with respect to her work. I read it at 19 and thought it brilliant. I reread it at 30 and wanted to smack the 19 year old me upside the head.

14Carnophile
Mar 15, 2011, 8:41pm

Rand never, never, never, never, never should have tried to write about romance or relationships

Agreed. Her romantic and sexual stuff is very false to life.
One exception: Her male protagonists are all extremely alpha; it is quite realistic that women would be attracted to them. But everything else about her treatment of matters sexual departs too much from reality.

15Arctic-Stranger
Mar 15, 2011, 8:54pm

You don't get out much, do you?

16Carnophile
Editado: Mar 16, 2011, 9:13am

>15 Arctic-Stranger:

I'm not sure what you're talking about here, but it must be the only thing I disagreed with you on, which is, I suppose, this: Her male protagonists are all extremely alpha; it is quite realistic that women would be attracted to them.

Consider:

• Francisco D'Anconia (pardon the spelling) owns a multi-billion dollar business. It is possible to be both a billionaire and a dork, but: He randomly blows up his own factories just to prove a point: Bad boy cred. Plus billionaire.

• Dagnar Janeskold (spelling) is a bandit, which gives him bad-boy cred, and apparently the most successful bandit in the history of the world, which gives him top-of-his-area cred to boot.

• John Galt is so brilliant that he invents an engine that runs on air (suspend your disbelief here; if you don't you're cheating): Top-of-area cred. Furthermore, his abscond-with-all-the-competent-people caper is royally fucking up the world: Bad boy cred. Additionally, his name has become a national buzz-phrase: Fame cred.

• Howard Roark is the best architect in the world (top of area cred) and blows up his own building to prove a point (a pattern here?), which produces bad boy cred.

I don't know what you'd put up against this, except for the tendency to speechify. But women will forgive an immense amount of stuff like that if a man is sufficiently alpha.

Arctic, I don't want to mean here, but if you don't instantly get that these men would be pure pussy bait, one of us doesn't get out much, dude, and it isn't me.

Jesus, dude. Galt is a
○ brilliant
○ famous
○ bad boy
and you're telling me "Bah, that guy couldn't attract women." Oh, man, Arctic, you're embarrassing yourself here.

Edited to remove circularity problem regarding Roark.

17Arctic-Stranger
Mar 15, 2011, 10:19pm

Well, just try your Alpha Male routine out the next time you are in a bar.

Yeah, some women go for super rich dudes. But having been on the dating scene recently, I can report from the front that what gets said by a table full of women when the average Alpha male breezes past is along the lines of, "What an asshole."

18Carnophile
Mar 15, 2011, 10:36pm

Just came back to add an erratum to my earlier post, but first...

On the "asshole" thing: You must NEVER listen to what women say attracts them. Just watch what they do.

Now, the erratum: It occurred to me that my point about Roark is logically circular. I.e., he could attract women because he's pronging Dominique Francon, but how did he get her in the first place? However, it hardly matters, because he's the best architect in the world (top of area cred) and blows up his own building to prove a point (a pattern here?), which produces bad boy cred. So remove Dominique from the picture; wouldn't matter.

19Arctic-Stranger
Editado: Mar 16, 2011, 1:45pm

I don't want to turn this into an "I said/she said" thread, but I spent three years working in an office where I was the only male of the 38 people on my floor, and the only male in my department. After a while the women pretty ignored my presence, and would speak pretty freely in front of me. Among the things I learned:

1) A cute dog is a chick magnet than a hot car.
2) Not all hair straighteners are created equally.
3) Women talk about sex more than guys, but they aren't usually bragging.
4) They do look.
5) The sight of a guy bending over a kitchen sink doing dishes was generally agreed to be one of the most erotic things a wife would see her husband do.
6) When they say, "Asshole" they usually mean it. And once someone gets hit with the "asshole" designation, it sticks.

ETA: I used what I learned there to my advantage, and I am now in the relationship of my dreams. And the Redhead Of My Dreams would say the same thing.

20Carnophile
Mar 16, 2011, 5:59pm

This speaks for itself:

The sight of a guy bending over a kitchen sink doing dishes was generally agreed to be one of the most erotic things a wife would see her husband do.

Lol.

21Arctic-Stranger
Mar 16, 2011, 6:06pm

See the Green Dragon cross post with responses by actual women.

22Jesse_wiedinmyer
Mar 16, 2011, 6:08pm

#20

Might I ask why that is amusing to you?

#21

Care to provide a link?

23Arctic-Stranger
Mar 16, 2011, 6:11pm

hmmmm....i have been away so long, I forgot how to do that...it is under the topic Reality Check.

24Mr.Durick
Mar 16, 2011, 6:30pm

25Jesse_wiedinmyer
Mar 16, 2011, 6:32pm

#23

Come now, Arctic. Everyone knows that women can't be trusted. They're sneaky and devious. Of course they're going to tell you that they like those things, but they're dishonest by nature.

26Arctic-Stranger
Mar 16, 2011, 6:57pm

Women. Can't live with 'em, can't kill 'em.

27Carnophile
Mar 16, 2011, 7:31pm

>22 Jesse_wiedinmyer:

#20
Might I ask why that is amusing to you?


No!

Damn it, you two, I'm laughing so hard my cheeks are fucking hurting.

My favorite bit from the other thread:

5) The sight of a guy bending over a kitchen sink doing dishes was generally agreed to be one of the most erotic things a wife would see her husband do.

Clamairy’s response to that:
5) Maybe not 'the most' but close to the top of the list, along with changing a loaded diaper.

Both threads are truly awesome in their own little way and I’ve starred them both. I’m totally a convert. I’d hang around and discuss this more, but I want to record my feelings in my journal. I might also write something about this bulldozer I saw running over some flowers. I hope I don’t get too many teardrops on my journal pages. The last time, the paper was so soaked it was hard to read.

28Jesse_wiedinmyer
Mar 16, 2011, 7:33pm

It's all right to cry, Carny. It might take all the sad out of you.

29Arctic-Stranger
Mar 16, 2011, 7:36pm

All I can say is that when it comes to women, right now I am TOTALLY satisfied.

30Carnophile
Mar 16, 2011, 9:36pm

Good; the more happiness in the world, the better.

31codyed
Mar 17, 2011, 12:31am

If you need a wing, Arctic, call me. But I ain't doin' no dishes.

32Doug1943
Mar 17, 2011, 6:10am

What a wonderful thread. Pulled me out of my depression caused by seeing the democracies abandon the Libyans. A far-away people of whom we know nothing, and look what war got us last time.

Here's a hypothesis: modern, politically-correct, middle-class women SAY they want men who do the dishes, change diapers etc. They say this to each other, and they sort-of believe it. The same way the Soviet population sort-of believed in glorious socialism, that American liberals sort-of believe that the problems of Blacks are caused by white racism, that American conservatives sort-of believe that our boys in uniform never mistreat their prisoners, the way Christians sort-of believe that if they pray for cancer victims God may change his mind, etc. The human mind is a very flexible thing.

And they don't like working-class "alpha" males who are uneducated and too obviously low earners who have no conversation. At least they wouldn't want them as permanent partners. Ditto for those middle class semi-educated males who are too obviously in love with themselves and with no one else.

And, since every natural population is a distribution, there are some women who actually do, not just sort-of, want dish-washing diaper-changing males, with all the other characteristics for which those behaviors are proxies.

But ... there are some -- let's say, a not insignificant number (sorry, Mr Orwell), so that I have a non-falsifiable hypothesis -- who want to be "taken in hand".(Don't assume that the desire to be taken in hand means that the woman in question is not capable of solving a differential equation or running a business.)

The EvoDevo people have a ready explanation for this, and perhaps they are right.

If we don't nit-pick about the size of this group, we all ought to be able to agree on that.

And: don't confuse "should" with "is".

And:

33Jesse_wiedinmyer
Mar 17, 2011, 6:57am

But ... there are some -- let's say, a not insignificant number (sorry, Mr Orwell), so that I have a non-falsifiable hypothesi\

Why would anyone want a non-falsifiable hypthesis, if one were not full of sht?

34Arctic-Stranger
Mar 17, 2011, 1:09pm

Actually, there are woman would want a man who could both do the dishes, and throw her on a bed and make passionate love. Kind of like a Sensitive Alpha Male.

I speak from experience on this one.

35Doug1943
Mar 17, 2011, 2:20pm

Whoa!!!!!! Te salud!!!!

36krolik
Mar 17, 2011, 5:36pm

But no pictures, please...

37Carnophile
Mar 17, 2011, 6:49pm

>35 Doug1943:
Why so impressed, Doug? With lots of exclamation points, too.

38AsYouKnow_Bob
Mar 17, 2011, 7:16pm

#34: Sounds like Heinlein's Competent {Human}:

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.


To address the OP, I'd say the only Rand worth reading is Atlas Shrugged. (And yes, they're all pretty much about her idealized vision of capitalism.)

IF one can get through Atlas Shrugged, one might want to read the rest of Rand. But if you can't read that one, the others
a) wouldn't even be as interesting as that one; and
b) would only be prelude to attacking Atlas Shrugged anyway;

so, either way, you might as well start at the top.

39Doug1943
Mar 17, 2011, 7:34pm

#37: Actually, I was trying to flatter him so that he would favorably consider my request to be assigned the rights to his story ... I've already got a TV series in mind. (Liberals don't know how to make a dollar out of these things ... but I reckon a series around a politically-correct dishwashing diaper-changing male who -- perhaps in the middle of giving, or receiving, a lecture about the importance of opposing racism, or turning down the thermostat -- suddenly snaps and throws his woman on the bed and ... and from then on ...... man, that would have appeal, to all sorts of people. Randian dollar signs are dancing before my eyes....)

40Carnophile
Mar 17, 2011, 9:15pm

Heh. I'd offer to take an equity stake in that venture, but my funds are tied up in backing the X-rated movie version of Atlas Shrugged.

41Arctic-Stranger
Mar 17, 2011, 9:34pm

well, if it is x-rated, you really can't call it Atlas SHRUGGED. More like, Atlas Shagged.

42Doug1943
Mar 18, 2011, 6:18am

Tsk, tsk. And you a man of the cloth.

By the way, I thought someone would catch my grossly contradictory assertion about liberals not knowing how to make money out of sexy stories, since, as we conservatives know, Hollywood is totally dominated by liberals who are destroying our culture by commercializing sex.

Just shows our hawk-eyed ones are gone and all we've got left on this site are the equivalent of the 1913 reunion of Confederates and Federals at Gettysburg.

C'mon guys, where's the anger?

43Carnophile
Mar 18, 2011, 9:51am

>41 Arctic-Stranger:
Hey!!! How did you know our title? Have you seen a copy of our script?! It's supposed to be secret!

44Doug1943
Mar 18, 2011, 11:36am

DAMN IT!!! The dog!!! He dropped in a couple of days ago for a surprise visit while he was in London ... I was not home ... but my wife was ... I never do the dishes by the way ... I did notice she had a peculiar glow -- which I now see was an after-glow -- about her, when she told me about his visit ... but I never thought ... he being a clergyman and all ... and I had told her about our plan and the title ... just goes to show, you can't trust anyone nowadays, but conservatives should already know that.

45Arctic-Stranger
Mar 18, 2011, 11:38am

You can trust me. I'm from the government!

46Carnophile
Mar 18, 2011, 12:55pm

47Doug1943
Editado: Mar 18, 2011, 5:07pm

Whoa... I remember puzzling, as a young radical, over Marx's concept of 'commodity fetishism'. If only I had known ...

48Carnophile
Mar 18, 2011, 4:11pm

Lol!

49Doug1943
Mar 18, 2011, 5:16pm

One of the reasons I love LibraryThing is that you so often learn new things on it.

For example, the site referenced in #46 will sell you something called a 'scavenger's daughter', knowledge about which was an addition to my admittedly meagre knowledge of Henry VIII's England, and something I will certainly bring up during the next appropriate dinner party conversation. Maybe I'll even use it when compiling questions for the village Quiz Night. I know there are sites which sell replica Roman armor ... who knew that the artifacts of Tudor England were so popular in the USA today?

50lawecon
Editado: Mar 20, 2011, 12:17pm

If we might get off of the "Rand at your local date scene" theme and the "let's have another war and Marx as a philosopher" theme, and back to the assessments of Rand's writings and their worth: I am curious about what the poster who believes that "Rand is about ideas" means by "ideas"?

Rand, as some of us who were subjected to her disciples for many years know, believed that she, and perhaps Aristotle, were the greatest philosophers of all time. She was a self imagined expert regarding ethics, economics, aesthetics and just, well everything else that might matter to a "rational being" such as herself.

She was in fact, as Mises once characterized her when they got in a fight at Henry Hazlitt's home , "a silly Jewish girL" or, put better, a self-important asshole.

So, I'm rather curious regarding what "ideas" she was "about." She certainly had pretentions about being all "about ideas," but those with any credentials who might temporarily be attracted to her because of her politics or her free love orientation were at best "second raters" (to use one of her favorite expressions) and most professionals in the intellectual areas in which she claimed expertise believe that she was a poor joke.

51krolik
Mar 20, 2011, 5:27pm

>50 lawecon:

If I understand correctly, I'm the poster who should respond to your "Rand is about ideas" question.

When I used that formulation, it was intended as descriptive. I wasn't asserting that Rand was about good or worthy ideas. That's another kind of question which I wasn't trying to address, then.

(For whatever it's worth, I'm not a conservative and am an interloper on this thread. I sometimes indulge myself in this way.)

Basically, I was trying to say that she's an ideologue--i.e., her art is conspicuously in service of ideas. (In her case, "objectivism" or "egotism" and all that.)

In my opinion--to cut to the chase--these are crap ideas. It's just my opinion. But Rand's ideas, broadly speaking, are in that ballpark, right?

Now, I don't doubt that other people are delighted by them. Fine. But I can't share that shiver.

To situate myself ideologically, and aesthetically, I'm one of those guys who thinks ambiguity is a virtue in art. Not everyone agrees. (Certainly not Rand.). Still, mine is not a particularly marginal position. We could have a long and probably tedious thread about that.

Your reference to "a silly Jewish girl" perplexes me (talk about a crude and limited idea), and, as for "credentials"--I couldn't give a flying fuck. I'm just trying engage and make sense and, when it comes to fiction, defend certain tried and true aesthetic techniques. Nothing new here. Actually, depending on how you spin it, I think conservatives (or some of them, at least) could be quite comfortable with this....

52lawecon
Editado: Mar 20, 2011, 7:30pm

Basically, I was trying to say that she's an ideologue--i.e., her art is conspicuously in service of ideas. (In her case, "objectivism" or "egotism" and all that.)

In my opinion--to cut to the chase--these are crap ideas. It's just my opinion. But Rand's ideas, broadly speaking, are in that ballpark, right?

Now, I don't doubt that other people are delighted by them. Fine. But I can't share that shiver.
================================

Rand's writings were about "Objectivism" since that was her label for her ideas. They are ambiguous about "egotism." Rand and her disciples used the terms "egotism" and "egoism" (which are not the same thing at all) in equivocal ways. They also did this with the related terms "selfish" and "self-directed". The nicest thing that can be said about Rand was that she was confused philosophically and an asshole personally.

=========================

Your reference to "a silly Jewish girl" perplexes me (talk about a crude and limited idea)

=========================

Mises, who is (mistakenly) a hero in many of the same circles that worship Rand, although himself secular, came from a long line of Chief Rabbis of Vienna. I rather suspect that he was familiar with a number of self-important but largely vacuous "silly Jewish girls," and thus was informed about what he was addressing.

=======================
...as for "credentials"--I couldn't give a flying fuck. I'm just trying engage and make sense and, when it comes to fiction, defend certain tried and true aesthetic techniques.
============================

Well, there you and I differ in both goals and evaluative standards. Rand thought of herself as not only a Very Great Author, but also as one of the Greatest Philosophers, Greatest Economists, etc. of all time. Her disciples believed, and those remaining ones still largely believe, that self-glorifying crap about her capacities and achievements. As a former professional economist with a B.A. in Philosophy, I think she is a joke on a somewhat informed basis. That opinion is not based on aesthetics or the literary merits of her writings, it is based on the falseness of her claims about her importance in philosophy and economics. (Most economists, for instance, have never been able to write a concise English sentence, but that doesn't make them bad economists.)



53rolandperkins
Mar 20, 2011, 7:39pm

"Most economists , , , have never been able to write a concise English sentence, , ," (52)

I can think of one, which Iʻve always admired, by John Kenneth galbraith. athough maybe strictly speaking, it isnʻt a complete sentence, and it isnʻt on a strictly economic topic::
His response to the faddish theory that, in the era of assassinations (1963-1972), "We are ALL
really guilty!" (of those tragedies).
Galbraith said, "Well, the HELL we are!"

54Carnophile
Mar 20, 2011, 10:20pm

Most economists, for instance, have never been able to write a concise English sentence.

Me objecting that! I write much better good Englash than youse!

Seriously, can we lay this "economists can't write" canard to rest? It's one of those things that everybody just repeats because everybody else repeats it.

55rolandperkins
Mar 20, 2011, 11:32pm

"...economists canʻt write: (a) canard.)

Yes, lay it to rest. The same has been said about classicists, and, for all I know, about most academic specialists.

Besides the conciseness which Galbraith was capable of (53), Iʻve read and heard some commendations of Karl Marx just for his writing skills, apart from his economics and politics; I havenʻt read any Marx in the original German, and canʻt corroborate this.

56lawecon
Mar 21, 2011, 5:10am

~54 & 55

Since you seem to have transfixed on a completely tangential comment, I presume that you fully agree with all the nasty things I've said about Rand?

57Carnophile
Mar 21, 2011, 9:09am

"Every philosopher strives to prove that every other philosopher is an ass, and they all succeed."
- H. L. Mencken

While it's been a while since I read it, I don't remember Rand's epistemology or moral philosophy being any worse than those of the hordes of academics - credentialed professionals! - who slam her.

58Arctic-Stranger
Mar 21, 2011, 2:12pm

Well for someone who was sure she was brilliant she did not hold a candle to Kant. Or Popper. Or Locke. Or Anscombe. Or Ryle. Or Wittgentstein. Or Russell. Or Nozick. Or Rawls. Or MacIntyre. Or Bentham. Or Mills. Or...well you get the picture.

59lawecon
Editado: Mar 21, 2011, 10:00pm

Actually, her claim was that she was so brilliant that all she had to do in preparation for becoming history's greatest philosopher was read several of Aristotle's essays and one simplistic one volume history of philosophy. The rest she made up for herself (and it shows). No, Descartes, Spinoza, Locke, Leibnitz, Berkeley, Hume, Kant. Mill, Bentham, Quine, Popper, Anscombe, Ryle, Wittgenstein. Whitehead, Rawls or Nozick. Just bibbity bobbity boo. Incidentally, did you know that Kant was both totally wrong and the root of all evil?

60Arctic-Stranger
Mar 21, 2011, 10:13pm

Well, Kant was wrong on something (although as I get older and more involved in the political process I appreciate his categorical imperative more and more.)

But Kant at his least brilliant was brighter than most other people on their best days. He shines best in German, while English just makes him sound pedantic.

61lawecon
Editado: Mar 22, 2011, 12:50am

I can't believe that you, or anyone, would deny the Absolute Truth embodied in the Word of She Who Is All. Hark! Hear HER Thoughts as embodied in the summary of her Disciple Paul, errrr, Leonard

http://thecriticalthinker.wordpress.com/critical-thinking/plato-kant-aristotle-r...

62codyed
Mar 22, 2011, 12:20pm

At least he's not going on about the inherent badness of nominalism!

63Carnophile
Mar 22, 2011, 10:03pm

(Rand's) claim was that she was so brilliant that all she had to do in preparation for becoming history's greatest philosopher was read several of Aristotle's essays and one simplistic one volume history of philosophy.

Where did she say that?

64lawecon
Editado: Mar 23, 2011, 12:43am

Perhaps you have misinterpreted what I said. Rand unquestionably claims to be the greatest philosopher in all of history, acknowledging only a debt to Aristotle, on whose shoulders she stood. She also only acknowledged reading two books on philosophy: Randall's brief compilation of certain of Aristotle's essays and a history of philosophy by Windelband. (I believe that she also admitted reading Ruby's elementary text on Logic, but that isn't exactly in the same sense.) One of her intellectual biographers Ayn Rand:The Russian Radical has argued, and proven to his own satisfaction, that she in fact read a number of philosophers while being educated in the early Soviet Union, and has subsequently argued that she was strongly influenced by Nietzsche, but, if so, she never publically acknowledged those facts.

http://rebirthofreason.com/Articles/Younkins/Aristotle_Ayn_Rands_Acknowledged_Te...

http://www.aynrandbookstore2.com/prodinfo.asp?number=AR84M

http://www.newintellectual.org/aristotle.htm

65codyed
Mar 23, 2011, 12:55pm

Sciabarra is a heretic.

66Arctic-Stranger
Mar 23, 2011, 1:03pm

Maybe it is me, but isn't a libertarian heretic an oxymoron?

67codyed
Mar 23, 2011, 1:21pm

It's certainly possible to be a Randian heretic.

68Arctic-Stranger
Mar 23, 2011, 1:37pm

As I understand it, that category encompasses 99.991 percent of the world.

69rolandperkins
Mar 23, 2011, 2:41pm

"...isnʻt libertarian heretic an oxymoron?"

I wrote in another thread* that "Liberal Republican" wasnʻt always an oxymoron, but it is now. (I knew of several GOP politicians, in past decades, who were commonly called "Liberal". Even President Dwight Eisenhower called himself a "Liberal Conservative". Can you imagine a mainstream politican of either party, today, attaching "Liberal" to his olitical stance?!

I suppose a "libertarian heretic" would be someone basically libertarian, who, however has serious issues with some parts of the Libertarian "party line". But then, you donʻt become a conservative to follow a party line. (Although I remember V.P. Spiro T. Agnew once mused to an interviewer that itʻs strange that Conservatives canʻt seem to get together. )
So, if the phrase means someone heretical WITHIN Libertarianism, I can accept it as meaningful, not just an oxymoron.


*In the game- thread on "..Oxymorons",of all places! - where we try to invent an oxymoronic phrase.

70lawecon
Mar 23, 2011, 10:23pm

It's certainly possible to be a Randian heretic.

===============================

Yes it is. One could, for instance, describe oneself as an "Objectivist" rather than a "Student of Objectivism." One would then get a threatening letter from the lawyer for Ayn Rand, presuming he is still around after all these years and appropriately senile.

71barney67
Mar 26, 2011, 1:32pm

Rand is still a powerful voice in the libertarian movement. I don't see why any libertarian would have a problem with her. Her ideas seem to have outlived her death, assuming they were really her ideas to begin with (there's a lot of Nietzsche for example).

72Carnophile
Mar 26, 2011, 3:31pm

>64 lawecon:
Perhaps you have misinterpreted what I said.

You can't support that, since in 63 I didn't re-word what you said, I just quoted it.

Rand unquestionably claims to be the greatest philosopher in all of history...

I'll be very much surprised if you can substantiate this.

She also only acknowledged reading two books on philosophy: Randall's brief compilation of certain of Aristotle's essays and a history of philosophy by Windelband.

Now that's just silly. In her various non-fiction works she rips into any number of philosophers. She obviously read them.

she in fact read a number of philosophers while being educated in the early Soviet Union

Well there ya go.

...and has subsequently argued that she was strongly influenced by Nietzsche, but, if so, she never publically acknowledged those facts.

Puh-lease. I just flipped through the 25th anniversary Intro to the Fountainhead. She discusses Nietzsche, pro and con, in that Intro.

73Carnophile
Mar 26, 2011, 3:39pm

>70 lawecon:
One could, for instance, describe oneself as an "Objectivist" rather than a "Student of Objectivism." One would then get a threatening letter from the lawyer for Ayn Rand

Rand's lawyers threatened people with legal action when they started various enterprises that used Rand's name and her literary works. They never sued anyone for using the word "Objectivist" as far as I know.

74Arctic-Stranger
Mar 26, 2011, 3:45pm

I was re-reading the beginning of the thread.

I don't think rejecting Rand as a novelist is an example of total war. I was thinking of other conservative novelists who I do respect as novelists. Some names that came to mind were Evelyn Waugh, Walker Percy, Flannery O'Connor, George Orwell, and, if you want to count him in that camp, Graham Greene. I am sure there are others, and I would appreciate a more exhaustive list.

75Carnophile
Editado: Mar 26, 2011, 4:47pm

It just seems like, e.g., when the average dispenser of writing advice says "Show don't tell" it's great advice, but when Rand says it in the Romantic Manifesto (though she doesn't say it in that way) it doesn't dissuade lefties from "Ah, there's nothing whatsoever of value in her stuff."

Plenty of her writing really is quite good as writing. But almost everyone on the left seems to fear that if they acknowledge that, suddenly everyone will read her stuff and then instantly start voting Libertarian and then the minimum wage will be set to negative 40 million dollars per microsecond.

An aspect of her writing in which she was quite capable was characterization. We're never told "Roark is self-confident" or "Keating desperately needs others' approval." We are simply shown those things in their words and actions.

If I were a lefty I'd just say, "There is some good stuff in her fiction, though I don't agree with her politics."

I recall a thread early in my LT career in which you (Arctic), Oakes, deniro and I talked about Rand. You had some good things to say, IIRC, though I could be wrong as it was years ago.

------------

EDIT: Found the thread. Everyone on it has some admiring and not-so-admiring things to say about ol' Ayn. Oddly, deniro has edited out all his comments, for some reason.
http://www.librarything.com/topic/33262

A random thank-you to Tim, if you're reading this, for setting things up so it's relatively easy for us to find old posts. I found this one in less than two minutes, though it's three years old.

76Carnophile
Editado: Mar 26, 2011, 4:54pm

Thomas Wolfe is a good conservative writer of both fiction and non-fiction.

Some people adore Helprin, though I couldn't finish Winter's Tale. Too much "imagery," not enough story. I get it, Helprin, you really like New York City. No, I get it, really, you've made your point. NO MORE FUCKING DESCRIPTION!!! Aargh!

77Arctic-Stranger
Mar 26, 2011, 5:44pm

When I read the Fountainhead, it had a pretty strong impact on me. Truth be told, I probably still carry some of that with me today. I admire her sense of what a person can be, and I will admit that certain parts of the Fountainhead are well written.

I still like the part where Toohey gets his comeuppance.

But too much of her writing is clumsy and pedantic, and contains about all the subtlety of other soviet writers. (Philosophically different, but stylistic alike.) For reasons I cannot explain, Roark's style of architecture as portrayed by her reminds me of the soviet war memorials. (I think I read he was based on FL Wright, but still....

78Jesse_wiedinmyer
Mar 26, 2011, 5:49pm

Actually, Wolfe and Helprin are two of my favorite authors. Though I feel that Wolfe's NF trumps a lot of his fiction and Helprin can be a bit too Horatio Alger at times. I've read Winter's Tale and A Soldier of the Great War multiple times.

Rand still sucks as a writer of fiction, though.

79lawecon
Mar 26, 2011, 5:50pm

Carnophile, I can only conclude that you have no well developed knowledge of Ayn Rand, her antics and the craziness of her "inner collective." Unfortunately, most of the source material is pre-internet and is thus available only in dead tree form, but, here are some of the remnants of the true believer Randroids that are still running about cyberspace:

http://fvdb.wordpress.com/2010/02/16/ayn-rand-the-greatest-philosopher-on-earth/

http://www.starways.net/lisa/essays/objectivism.html

And, yes, Rand's lawyer was always well grounded in every threatening letter he wrote to anyone who would dare describe themselves as "an Objectivist." And he has since gone on to even more worthy causes, such as: http://henrymarkholzer.blogspot.com/2008/12/questions-about-obamas-citizenship-p...

80Carnophile
Editado: Mar 26, 2011, 7:07pm

The first two links have other people calling Rand the greatest philosopher.

The second seems to be an Obama citizenship skeptic blog post.

81Jesse_wiedinmyer
Mar 26, 2011, 7:16pm

Obama citizenship skeptic

That's one hell of a euphemism you've got there.

82Carnophile
Editado: Mar 26, 2011, 7:29pm

Birther wacko, if that makes you happier. I am not one of those people and have no sympathy, overt or covert, with them. In the "Tucson congresswoman shot" thread I called them "bizarre."

83lawecon
Mar 26, 2011, 10:40pm

The first two links have other people calling Rand the greatest philosopher.
======================

Right, and they just came to that conclusion completely on their own......

======================

The second seems to be an Obama citizenship skeptic blog post.

===================

Yes, by, ah, Ayn Rand's former lawyer of the notable nasty notes. As I said, lack of detailed knowledge of this topic.

85Carnophile
Mar 27, 2011, 9:29pm

>83 lawecon:
The first two links have other people calling Rand the greatest philosopher.
======================

Right, and they just came to that conclusion completely on their own......


Well, you have evidence that she put them up to it, present it.

The rest of 83 and 84 are just changing the subject.

86Toolroomtrustee
Abr 1, 2011, 5:03pm

I'm curious what people think are some novels that do portrary left-leaning characters realistically.

87HectorSwell
Abr 1, 2011, 5:33pm

I'm curious if it is possible to portray a partisan character in a novel that doesn't stink. I've been drinking just now, but are there any good novels with characters defined by their politics?

88Toolroomtrustee
Editado: Abr 1, 2011, 6:25pm

Well, is anyone a fan of mystery novelist Sara Paretsky? John Grisham? Amy Tan? I'm not about to debate the merits of these authors because I haven't read enough of their works. I mention them because from what I have read by them, they convey their stands on issues pretty explicitly, and they do not appear to have reputations as ideological novelists. Just "best-selling" novelists.

Or are they unpopular with or unappealing to people on this forum? Do any others come to mind?

I'm just curious whether anyone thinks a novelist can credibly depict a character with strong or fairly strong political views.

89lawecon
Abr 9, 2011, 12:18pm

On the issue of Ayn Rand's own reading, I ran across the following site that might be of interest: http://www.noblesoul.com/orc/misc/read.html

90lawecon
Abr 9, 2011, 12:22pm

>83 lawecon:
The first two links have other people calling Rand the greatest philosopher.
======================

Right, and they just came to that conclusion completely on their own......

Well, you have evidence that she put them up to it, present it.

The rest of 83 and 84 are just changing the subject.

=====================

Let me just make certain I understand what you want. You want a quotation from Ayn Rand, while posed with her 1920s cigarette holder and her black supergirl cape, declaring that she is "the greatest philosopher in history." It won't do at all that she routinely insisted that the members of "inner collective" were required to believe just that, or that those who fell from the faith were excommunicated after being examined for heresy.

Is that correct?

91Carnophile
Abr 9, 2011, 2:02pm

You want a quotation from Ayn Rand... declaring that she is "the greatest philosopher in history." It won't do at all that she routinely insisted that the members of "inner collective" were required to believe just that...

Of course that would do it. If you have evidence that she said that, present it. I'm skeptical but open-minded.

But if you do present it, I'll have to make this remark: I sure wish you'd have presented it earlier instead of wasting my time!

But let's see you present it first.

92Arctic-Stranger
Abr 9, 2011, 4:59pm

re: 86

For Whom the Bell Tolls

93Toolroomtrustee
Abr 9, 2011, 7:57pm

>92 Arctic-Stranger:

Thank you. I was starting to wonder if everyone had ignored my question and moved on.

You've given me a reason to read *For Whom the Bell Tolls*, and at some point I will.

For what it is worth, Rand gives her views on that and *A Farewell to Arms* in Ayn Rand Answers.

94Toolroomtrustee
Abr 15, 2011, 1:49pm

Robert Tracinski has published a review of the Atlas film adaptation, available to subscribers of TIA Daily. This excerpt addresses both the general disappointment most Rand fans have with the film - and the allegedly poor characterization in her novels:

"The movie does not adulterate or rewrite the ideological content of the novel. Rather, the script has a tendency to take Ayn Rand's complex and original characters and reduce them to Hollywood clichés. Yes, you read that right.

"Contrary to the usual literary smears against Rand, it is her characters who are fresh and complex, while it is Hollywood's stock heroes and villains who are two-dimensional cardboard cutouts.

"The novel's version of Lillian Rearden, for example, is a fascinating study in how the left uses its pose of moral and intellectual superiority to keep the people who do the actual thinking and the actual work—the world's innovators and wealth-creators—intimidated and suppressed. Lillian's goal is to prevent these men from expressing pride in their achievement and to make them eager to demonstrate their subservience to their "progressive" overlords. She does this in high society by using her husband's money and position to support a salon of leftist artists and intellectuals.

"Much more memorably, she does it at home by subjecting her husband—an innovative, self-made steel tycoon—to a constant drumbeat of emotional abuse intended to make him feel that business, like sex, is not a subject to be mentioned in polite company. (He eventually learns to question both of those assumptions.) Lillian Rearden is a totally original yet instantly recognizable archetype of manipulative power-lust—yet in the film, she is reduced to not much more than a catty trophy wife of the type we've seen many times before. So Hollywood found a way back to its comfort zone, after all.

"Unfortunately, this persistent flaw takes a good deal of the ideological and dramatic punch out of the story and may leave some new viewers of the film wondering what all of the fuss is about. I hope they take the time to find out by picking up the original novel, because there is a lot there that will justify the enthusiasm of Ayn Rand's fans and of the Tea Partiers who have picked up her novel in recent years.

"The film covers just the first part of the novel. The producers wisely chose to divide Ayn Rand's densely plotted thousand-page epic into three segments, with the plan of presenting them in a trilogy of films. The main story line in Part 1 is the struggle of the protagonist, railroad executive Dagny Taggart, to hold her railroad together and save an American economy dying from suffocating taxes and government regulations. Sound familiar?"

95Arctic-Stranger
Abr 15, 2011, 2:17pm

I would hate to have to review this movie. It may be a good movie (I have not seen it) but the politics will probably trump the aesthetics.

Many moons ago, The Last Temptation of Christ got glowing reviews, not because it was a good movie (it most certainly was not) but because the evangelical right was so vocally against it.

Three parts? I have not seen it, but I am betting that Lord of the Rings it is not.

96Mr.Durick
Abr 15, 2011, 4:56pm

I think I'm going to have to see Atlas Shrugged just cuz. I wish I could work up the strength to read the novel.

Robert

97krolik
Abr 15, 2011, 5:21pm

If we venture into movies...there's a late 40s Fountainhead with Patricia Neal which unfortunately preserves the cartoonish psychology of its source but, hey, it has Patricia Neal.

98lawecon
Editado: Abr 16, 2011, 10:38am

And there was an early film version of We The Living, about which there appears to be the usual contradictory accounts surrounding any religious idol. http://ameslevinelist.com/mussolini-also-loved-ayn-rand-s-we-the-living-rand-sig... http://www.wethelivingmovie.com/history.php Apparently the second link has some feet. See http://books.google.com/books?id=Ryy1DxZzi-0C&pg=PA170&lpg=PA169&ots... , p. 169 ff.

100Carnophile
Jun 19, 2011, 6:00pm

The best thing about Ayn Rand is the hysterical reaction she elicits from those who disagree with her, mostly lefties but the occasional conservative as well.

Here we are treated to the following, as one David Bentley Hart reacts to the news that Atlas Shrugged is being made into a series of movies:
Then I knew, just as Charlton Heston knew on that beach, that Western civilization was at its end.
He adds:
Suddenly she (Rand) is everywhere. In the stock television footage of Tea Party rallies, there she always is on at least one upraised poster, her grim gray features looming over the crowd like the granitic countenance of some cruel heathen deity glutted on human blood.

101HectorSwell
Jun 19, 2011, 8:14pm

and the worst thing about Ayn Rand was that she had little understanding of history, philosophy or political economy, and left legions of devotees who took her self-righteousness as a kind of wisdom.

102barney67
Editado: Jun 19, 2011, 9:11pm

I admit I've been one on this group who has posted articles against Rand. In fact, I think I posted a link to the article by David Bentley Hart, a man of fine intelligence whom I respect.

I can't go along with, among other things, Rand's atheism, extreme individualism, blind faith in the business world, hero worship, and above all the worship of the dollar sign which appears at the end of Atlas Shrugged. Most of Rand's faults I believe stem from her atheism. In her work there is little evidence of the social, the moral, the religious, the community, the charitable, and so on.

Her admirers tend to be nonreligious libertarians. I'm sorry to see them try to wedge themselves into the Republican Party and into conservatism.

Nevertheless, despite Hart's fear, I don't see her ever becoming more than a cult interest. Her followers are loud but not many.

I hope this is not considered a "hysterical" response.

103lawecon
Jun 20, 2011, 12:18am

Interesting.

One poster sees any really serious criticisms of Ayn Rand as "hysterical."

A second comes close to the mark by pointing out at least some of her psychological "issues," and the fact that those who worship her are often grossly ignorant of the fields concerning which she claimed expertise.

While a third poster finds her principal problem to be her "atheism" and her "extreme individualism." A curious way to describe an author who analyzed most things in terms of "Man qua man," and remarkably similar in insight to the diagnosis that Hitler's principal problem was his vegetarianism.

Frankly, I'm afraid that the most accurate thing that can be said about Rand is that she never really had much influence among those who shaped the world of her day and ours and her memory is mainly kept alive by people who, in a somewhat earlier generation, would have been avid phrenologists or Georgists.

She is, of course, dearly beloved by those who otherwise would have been advocates of some all encompassing religion as "the ultimate insight into the really real" and those who need a "hero" since the clay idols are no longer with us. In other words, intellectual laziness and self aggrandizement take many forms.

104Carnophile
Editado: Jun 20, 2011, 5:00pm

>101 HectorSwell: Say she's glutted on human blood, colukben. C'mon, you know you want to.

>102 barney67: I can't go along with... the worship of the dollar sign which appears at the end of Atlas Shrugged.

deniro, she was plainly trying to make a point there, by kicking reflexively business-hating people right in their... emotional preconceptions. She wasn't advocating a life spent in pursuit of money (unless you happened to have that goal anyway). To see this, just recall The Fountainhead, in which Roark for years refuses commissions that would have increased his wealth and advanced his career. He's the hero, and Rand presents this path as a difficult path but the best path.

105HectorSwell
Jun 20, 2011, 4:45pm

Nah, I just think she's full of sh*t.

106Toolroomtrustee
Editado: Jun 20, 2011, 6:45pm

>101 HectorSwell: colukben, who in your opinion *does* have a good "understanding of history, philosophy or political economy"?

I'm not saying you're wrong; I just want to know what your standard is.

You wrote a very good review of Peter Gay's The Enlightenment, so I'm curious whether you see Rand as following in the tradition of Enlightenment thinkers. If not, why not?

>104 Carnophile:
I agree with Carnophile. I would add that, although the various claims about personal life are always raised to denounce her philosophy and her novels, none of those biographies have ever accused her of engaging in irresponsible spending or vapid use of her wealth. The woman worked hard, and appears to have lived quite modestly.

As for some of these other complaints about her devotees' behaviour, and how some of them have gotten involved with the Republicans, that's what happens when a philosopher has influence. She wouldn't have liked most of those people, either, and that's where a lot of the anti-Rand tracts originated from: people she had shown the door to. There are several articles on her policy in the back issues of The Objectivist Newsletter and The Objectivist. Many of the people she parted company with ended up forming the modern libertarian movement.

deniro, if you're bothered by the presence of Objectivists at Republican functions, just refer them to "Conservatism: An Obituary" in Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal. Maybe these people have a right to be Republicans, maybe they don't, but it's pretty clear Rand thought they were wasting their time. Don't blame her for them.

Check out any of the websites associated with the Ayn Rand Institute and you'll soon see that they draw the line at Tea Party involvement and nothing more, precisely because they don't see the GOP rank-and-file as supportive of liberty.

One of the reasons she became difficult to deal with is that she didn't want people spouting off crude summaries of her work, and didn't expect to have much of an influence in her lifetime. After Goldwater's defeat, she repeatedly discouraged her supporters from active involvement in the Republicans, and she was totally against the Libertarian Party.

"extreme individualism, blind faith in the business world"

Huh? In what work did she advocate such things? If you can't be bothered to read her works, at least get a hold of The Ayn Rand Lexicon and check out the entries for "extremism", "egoism" and "faith".

107barney67
Editado: Jun 20, 2011, 6:49pm

106 -- I've read some of her works, not all. But enough to know her views. Two novels, criticism for and against, and one biography.

104 -- I haven't read The Fountainhead. As for the ending of Atlas Shrugged, I think more is going on than cheerleading for business. The scene struck me as being emblematic of the whole point of the novel—that is, that the acquisition of wealth is the number one good, and the dollar sign is its ruling symbol. That is not a moral view, or a practical one, or a conservative one or a Republican one or even an American one.

The posts above suggest some disagreement about Rand's influence. Rand has had an influence in certain circles. Greenspan was a fan, so is Ron Paul and (probably) Rand Paul. I think you will find other advocates not only in government but among commentators who try to influence government. It is this influence that I will fear will grow wider and offer people superficial solutions to complex problems.

I'm reading an excellent book right now written by conservative David Brooks called The Social Animal. It is an argument, based on a variety of fields' research, including neurobiology, that human behavior is rooted in the emotional and social over the rational and individual.

108Toolroomtrustee
Editado: Jun 20, 2011, 7:12pm

>107 barney67:
"But enough to know her views."
"that the acquisition of wealth is the number one good"

Nope. You don't know her views. As Carnophile implied, if the acquisition of wealth is the number one good, there are lots of ways to do it, and writing philosophy doesn't come close.

Even if the Paul family cite Rand as an influence, they are both religious men, opposed to abortion, and want the US out of Middle Eastern affairs. As such, they are closer to the paleoconservative movement than to Objectivists. They are a good example of people Rand wanted to have nothing to do with for exactly those reasons. She was a strong supporter of Israel and refused to vote for Reagan for his stance on abortion.

I thank you for letting me know about Brooks's book.

FYI, here's a response to David Brooks's criticism of Journals of Ayn Rand: http://www.capitalismmagazine.com/culture/books-non-fiction/5438-ayn-rand-is-not...

109HectorSwell
Editado: Jun 20, 2011, 8:54pm

106

I just want to know what your standard is.

There is no Standard. I don’t have a hero who gets it all right and proper. I believe in skepticism (irony, noted). I think anyone who claims to have the One Truth is full of sh*t.

I am not primarily an advocate of capitalism, but of egoism; and I am not primarily an advocate of egoism, but of reason. If one recognizes the supremacy of reason and applies it consistently, all the rest follows. —Ayn Rand, “Brief Summary,” The Objectivist, Sept. 1971

Rand may have been able to make a communist cry, but she seems not to have concerned herself with the history, trajectories and patterns of philosophical thought. She put a lot of faith in ideas, and I’ve only read Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, but there she misunderstood Kant and his contributions and ignored Bergson and Husserl on logic and cognition, for instance.

She decried mysticism, but she was unable to see that her metaphysics (man’s ‘essence,’ the ‘laws of nature’) floated on hot (subjective) air. She wrote: The moral justification of capitalism lies in the fact that it is the only system consonant with man’s rational nature. Robert Anton Wilson’s Natural Law punctures that kind of thinking, and he’s way funnier than Rand.

Rand did share with many Enlightenment thinkers the quasi-religious faith in Reason and Progress—but so do ideologists across the spectrum. Would that she had had a copy of Isaiah Berlin’s Against the Current close at hand. Berlin’s collection of essays makes for the best treatment of the Counter-Enlightenment and the Anti-Rationalists that I’ve read.

110barney67
Editado: Jun 20, 2011, 9:12pm

108 -- Ron Paul as a paleoconservative? That one's pretty far out.

Okay, even if you posit that Rand's job as a philosopher/novelist rules her out as a wealth-seeker, that doesn't rule it out of her philosophy. In other words, she saw herself as a philosopher, and that philosophy was the worship of individualism and wealth, rooted in reason. I can't say how well she did financially, because I don't know. But she did give a pass, to say the least, to those who were wealthy, her assumption being that they were the heroes, the producers, in society, while the rest were parasites. Atlas Shrugged, written 14 years after The Fountainhead, is about business leaders going on strike and disappearing to a countercultural capitalist utopia.

One of the biggest cures I can think of to Rand's philosophy, if such a coherent thing exists, is to read a copy of the Wall Street Journal, particular in recent years when the scandalous corruption and greed of the corporate world have been revealed.

I come back again to Rand's atheism as the foundation. Whether atheism is rational is another question.

111barney67
Jun 20, 2011, 9:10pm

I read the link. Pretty thin stuff.

112lawecon
Jun 20, 2011, 10:01pm

~104

I am curious, Caronphile, in your view is it possible to advance a legitimate criticism of Ayn Rand or was she "without sin," and perhaps the most brilliant being of all time?

It would appear, in any case, that anyone who does criticize her is "hysterical" or wants to really "Say she's glutted on human blood....." but somehow just can't get it out. Pretty thin and ludicrous mischaracterization of Rand's critics, wouldn't you say? But then, if there is little specific to be said in her defense.......

113Toolroomtrustee
Editado: Jun 21, 2011, 1:49am

>109 HectorSwell:
I just want to know what your standard is.

There is no Standard. I don’t have a hero who gets it all right and proper. I believe in skepticism (irony, noted). I think anyone who claims to have the One Truth is full of sh*t.
++++

I wrote "standard" (of selection for a good understanding of history, philosophy or political economy), not "Standard", and asked neither for your "hero" nor what you "believe" in. And if you have read Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, you must be aware that Rand subscribes to a contextual theory of truth, not a notion of truth as revelation. There is no "final truth" in her philosophy.
+++++++++++++++

Rand may have been able to make a communist cry, but she seems not to have concerned herself with the history, trajectories and patterns of philosophical thought. She put a lot of faith in ideas, and I’ve only read Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, but there she misunderstood Kant and his contributions and ignored Bergson and Husserl on logic and cognition, for instance.

She decried mysticism, but she was unable to see that her metaphysics (man’s ‘essence,’ the ‘laws of nature’) floated on hot (subjective) air. She wrote: The moral justification of capitalism lies in the fact that it is the only system consonant with man’s rational nature. Robert Anton Wilson’s Natural Law punctures that kind of thinking, and he’s way funnier than Rand.
++++++++++++++++++++++

Well, at least I have gotten both you and deniro to admit that each of you hasn't read very much of her work. If you had, you'd know there is substantial discussion in the Objectivist literature about metaphysics, and no adherence to "the laws of nature". Or does concerning oneself with the history, trajectories and patterns of philosophical thought allow for deriding someone based on one sampling of his work? Perhaps being funny is more important.
++++++++++++++++++

Rand did share with many Enlightenment thinkers the quasi-religious faith in Reason and Progress—but so do ideologists across the spectrum. Would that she had had a copy of Isaiah Berlin’s Against the Current close at hand. Berlin’s collection of essays makes for the best treatment of the Counter-Enlightenment and the Anti-Rationalists that I’ve read.
++++++++++++

Ok, fine. You're impressed with Isiah Berlin. Not that you could have known this, but one of Rand's main acolytes used to assign Berlin's work in his class.

Quite a lot of work in the literature has been done since the 60s, but I'll leave it at that. I have no reason to think you're interested.

114Toolroomtrustee
Editado: Jun 21, 2011, 2:22am

>110 barney67:
108 -- Ron Paul as a paleoconservative? That one's pretty far out.

Okay, even if you posit that Rand's job as a philosopher/novelist rules her out as a wealth-seeker, that doesn't rule it out of her philosophy. In other words, she saw herself as a philosopher, and that philosophy was the worship of individualism and wealth, rooted in reason. I can't say how well she did financially, because I don't know. But she did give a pass, to say the least, to those who were wealthy, her assumption being that they were the heroes, the producers, in society, while the rest were parasites. Atlas Shrugged, written 14 years after The Fountainhead, is about business leaders going on strike and disappearing to a countercultural capitalist utopia.

One of the biggest cures I can think of to Rand's philosophy, if such a coherent thing exists, is to read a copy of the Wall Street Journal, particular in recent years when the scandalous corruption and greed of the corporate world have been revealed.

I come back again to Rand's atheism as the foundation. Whether atheism is rational is another question.
++++++++++++++++++

I didn't write that Ron Paul *was* a paleoconservative; I wrote that he is closer to the paleoconservative movement than to Objectivists.

Also, *Chronicles* and the Ludwig von Mises Institute praise him in ways they praise no other politician, and both major Objectivist organizations condemn Dr. Paul. So perhaps if that one's pretty far out, you ought to get in touch with Lew Rockwell at Mises and alert him to his error.

I realize that online correspondence is often written on the fly, but I am still puzzled as to your reminding me of the gap of time between the publication of The Fountainhead and Atlas.

The question marks continue as I read your reiteration of Atlas's theme.

Actually, I did go to the trouble of reading her books before I went about calling others on their misinterpretation of them.

I'm really glad that you have accused the corporate world of greed, because that is exactly what they are. And please tell George Gilder, who is under the impression businessmen are altruistic.

Objectivist analysis on the causes of the financial crisis, and of the unjust accusations of culpability, abound on the web. You don't need me to provide links to them.

If memory serves, you were debating Russell Kirk with someone a while ago. I've read little of him; how would you have responded if that ignorance hadn't prevented me from making assertions about his work?

115lawecon
Editado: Jun 21, 2011, 9:20am

~113
"I wrote "standard" (of selection for a good understanding of history, philosophy or political economy), not "Standard", and asked neither for your "hero" nor what you "believe" in. And if you have read Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, you must be aware that Rand subscribes to a contextual theory of truth, not a notion of truth as revelation. There is no "final truth" in her philosophy. "

You need to speak to a Randian. You are deriving things from your idiosyncratic reading of texts that simply are not there. It has been a couple of decades since I read "Introduction To Objectivist Epistemology," so I may not recall every particular, but the last thing it should be described as is "contextual."

In brief, Rand started out with a view much like that of the British Associationists. The British Associationist, starting with people like John Locke and going down through James Mill and his Phenomenology of the Human Mind, postulated that the mind began as a "blank slate," but the world impresses itself on this blank slate through sensation and association of sensations. This is, of course, the root of Rand's pervasive dogmatism. To deny her conclusions is to "deny reality."

But Rand does layer on to this traditional British psychologistic account of epistemology a German element. The Will - or, in her terminology, the "decision to think" becomes, at a more advanced stage of mental development, all important. She never, of course, explains how (according to what criteria) a developing mind decides to think or not to think, but we know that some people (her followers) have made the decision one way and others (those who reject her views) have made it another way.

It is difficult to imagine a less "contextual" view of epistemology. You can choose between Truth/Reality or Deny Reality. To deny Reality is, of course, dishonest, since we all know what is really real, since the really real has impressed itself upon us and continues to be available through our senses for a refresher course. You can chose Reason and Thinking or Whims and Force. About as absolutist as it is possible to imagine.

Further, it is particularly peculiar that you do not see the absolutist nature of Rand's views, since, further on in your post #113 you acknowledge that: "She decried mysticism, but she was unable to see that her metaphysics (man’s ‘essence,’ the ‘laws of nature’) floated on hot (subjective) air. She wrote: The moral justification of capitalism lies in the fact that it is the only system consonant with man’s rational nature." Do you then think she was inconsistent?

116lawecon
Jun 21, 2011, 9:17am

~110
"Ron Paul as a paleoconservative? That one's pretty far out."

I am also puzzled by why one would find a classification of Ron Paul as a paleo as "pretty far out." Other than his apparent lack of recent racism, it seems to be "right on." Paul is certainly not a libertarian, but he does share the paleos support of small government, decentralization, the importance of Culture, a hatred of "foreign involvement," etc. It all seems to be there other than the dismissal of "other Peoples" as inferior.

117HectorSwell
Editado: Jun 21, 2011, 9:53am

113 Toolroomtrustee

I see that you give her more credit as an insightful, creative thinker than I ever could.

Are you in a universe which is ruled by natural laws and, therefore, is stable, firm, absolute—and knowable? Or are you in an incomprehensible chaos, a realm of inexplicable miracles, an unpredictable, unknowable flux, which your mind is impotent to grasp? Are the things you see around you real—or are they only an illusion? Do they exist independent of any observer—or are they created by the observer? Are they the object or the subject of man’s consciousness? Are they what they are—or can they be changed by a mere act of your consciousness, such as a wish? —Ayn Rand, “Philosophy: Who Needs It”

Maybe when she writes “natural laws” and “absolute,” she doesn’t mean “natural laws” and “absolute”?

118HectorSwell
Editado: Jun 21, 2011, 10:38am

115 lawecon

I’m the one who said that Rand is inconsistent. Trustee misunderstood: I was giving an example of Rand’s metaphysiscs (“the moral justification of capitalism lies in the fact that it is the only system consonant with man’s rational nature”), not denying it. And, yes, saying "only" is a form of Absolutism.

Another example (from the Ayn Rand Lexicon) would be “every living species has to follow a certain course of action required by its nature.” What she doesn’t seem to realize is that claims in favor of ‘man’s rational nature’ and ‘a course of action required by its nature’ are a form of the mysticism that she decries.

From Metaphysics to Mysticism

119barney67
Editado: Jun 21, 2011, 11:41am

So am I to assume that I am not allowed to draw conclusions about her philosophy based on her most popular fiction? Not even John Galt's rather long manifesto? That I must read the whole of her epistemology even to have an opinion on her perspective?

120Toolroomtrustee
Editado: Jun 21, 2011, 12:02pm

119> Of course you're "allowed". Just be prepared to be corrected if and when you make demonstrably false statements.

What you have read is a start on her philosophy, but there is a lot more to it than just Galt's speech. That's why she ended up writing lots of non-fiction.

My impression of what you have written is that you know enough to say that her work is incompatible with the Judaeo-Christian tradition (correct) and not enough to know her views on the virtue of productivity. Maybe she is wrong. Just read more of her and of other Objectivists and decide for yourself.

>>That I must read the whole of her epistemology even to have an opinion on her perspective?

No, I'm just arguing for an *informed* opinion, which is why I have been referring you to concise (and reliable) sources, like the Ayn Rand Lexicon, for more information.

Most of what you have written against her was about her views on wealth and morality, and for those views you really need to read The Fountainhead or Why Businessmen Need Philosophy.

121barney67
Jun 21, 2011, 12:28pm

Well, just out of curiosity then, just what are Anthem and Atlas Shrugged about, since I haven't read them since I was 16, many years ago?

122Toolroomtrustee
Jun 21, 2011, 1:12pm

I'm not sure how much of an explanation you want, so I'll stick to concision: Anthem is about a man whose discovery of his own ego allows him to escape from a collectivist society. It differs from other dystopian fiction in that it shows sophisticated technology cannot exist when reason and freedom are stifled.

Atlas Shrugged is about a group of people who refuse to sanction their own destruction. It draws from philosophy to explain why people in similiar circumstances have not revolted in that way before.

123Arctic-Stranger
Jun 21, 2011, 1:28pm

Deniro,

You might actually like Fountainhead. I found it much, much better than Atlas.

124Toolroomtrustee
Jun 21, 2011, 1:33pm

>117 HectorSwell:
Maybe when she writes “natural laws” and “absolute,” she doesn’t mean “natural laws” and “absolute”?
++++++++++

In many cases, yes. She very often does revise many terms, particularly if they had denotations lifted from religious contexts. That technique is why the Lexicon was edited, and why she began many essays by defining her terms. She redefined many terms in a secular context, such as "selfishness", "morality", "Romanticism", and above all, "absolute".

You can see evidence of this process in her journals, which is why Gotthelf criticizes Brooks for his dismissal of their importance (the link in >108 Toolroomtrustee:).

A lot of the criticism of Rand from sceptics stems from failing to recognize that she is talking about contextual absolutes. New knowledge does not shatter established truth; it enriches established truth.

One of the points of Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology is that consciousness is a metaphysically active process, and that this does not mean support for subjectivism.

>118 HectorSwell:
I've gone over the first section of the article you sent, but before I resume , can you tell me whether you would read something of short length I referred you to?

125BTRIPP
Jun 21, 2011, 2:01pm

Some folks are still true believers ... like Wayne Allyn Root.

 

126Toolroomtrustee
Editado: Jun 21, 2011, 2:14pm

>125 BTRIPP:

From Root's website: "I am just one small businessman, a third-party Libertarian political leader."

His books is entitled: *The Conscience of a Libertarian: Empowering the Citizen Revolution with God, Guns, Gold and Tax Cuts*

See my >106 Toolroomtrustee:.

You can't have it both ways.

127HectorSwell
Jun 21, 2011, 3:53pm

124

Sounds to me like she's just making stuff up as she goes along. My initial impression has pretty much been confirmed. But thanks for your time.

128Toolroomtrustee
Jun 21, 2011, 3:59pm

My initial impression of you has also been confirmed, hence my last sentence in >113 Toolroomtrustee:.

deniro, do you really want to throw yourself in with this lot?

Try reading a little more of Rand.

129barney67
Jun 21, 2011, 8:01pm

Not sure what "lot" you are referring to, but I think I know enough about Rand already. I'll leave the epistemological debates to the college students. Other books and duties call.

130lawecon
Jun 21, 2011, 8:36pm

I'll leave the epistemological debates to the college students. Other books and duties call.

============================

Yes, of course. Can't get involved in those nasty technical discussions regarding such silly questions like "what is truth and how does one distinguish it from error." After all, no need for such waste of time. We have the absolute irrefutable (truly "irrefutable" in a strong sense of that term) truths given to us in religion and traditions. (We also need not discuss which religions or which traditions, since it is intuitively obvious which are true and which are heretical.)

131lawecon
Jun 21, 2011, 8:37pm

~127

My goodness, truly accurate intuitions and impressions - unlike Rand's.

132Toolroomtrustee
Jun 22, 2011, 9:21am

The standard for involvement in this thread appears to a defiant unwillingness to know more about the subject.

Epistemology for college kids? Sad.

133Arctic-Stranger
Jun 22, 2011, 2:06pm

Whatever you say about Rand, it seems her life was a contradiction of her writing. She extolled excellence, but wrote mediocre literature. She praised individualism, but squelched dissent. She advocated free love, but did not want any of her lovers to practice it with anyone but her.

134Toolroomtrustee
Jun 22, 2011, 2:25pm

>133 Arctic-Stranger:
She advocated free love

Where did she advocate this? Read "Apollo and Dionysius" for her views on hippies and the Woodstock Generation. It's in Return of the Primitive.

Here's an audio link: http://www.aynrand.org/site/PageServer?pagename=reg_ar_apollo

I realize her support for individualism seems inconsistent. But a lot of that was a response to the Wayne Allyn Roots of the day selectively applying her philosophy to conservatism, anarchism, and the drug-and-hippie counterculture in general. The comment made in >67 codyed: about a "Randian heretic" misses the point; what she was saying is that you can't be an Objecitivst Libertarian or an Objectivist Conservative or an Objectivist hippie.

I don't know if you're familiar with the Libertarian Murray Rothbard, but he and his fellow anarchists were among the first to leave her company acrimoniously. He ended up aligning with all sorts of people, from the New Left to the Libertarian Party to the Paleocon Right. The experience with him, including his unwillingness to credit her in a paper, coloured the way she treated fellow intellectuals.

135Arctic-Stranger
Jun 22, 2011, 3:09pm

Ok, free love was probably the wrong term. What she said was, "I think the question of an affair or a marriage depends on the knowledge and the position of the two persons involved and should be left up to them. Either is moral, provided only that both parties take the relationship seriously and that it is based on values."

However she did a number on Brandon, and while they had "consent" for their affair, at least one spouse said it was an incredibly painful event for Brandon's and Rand's spouses.

And yes, she hated hippies, along with draft dodgers, homosexuals and had little regard for indigenous peoples.

136Toolroomtrustee
Jun 22, 2011, 5:08pm

What's going on here? A Rand critic who actually bothered to check what she said?

Nobody, including the very protective Ayn Rand Institute, is going to deny most of what you have written, although some of the details of her relationship with Branden is difficult to substantiate - like with any other affair.

But none of these things have much to do her philosophy per se. Many of them came in the form of offhand comments at public forums. Case in point is that none of the Objectivist groups today are peddling hatred against any of these groups. There even is an Objectivist gay group called the Rattigan Club.

As a grad student, I had to endure seminars in which the professors and students droned on and on about Michel Foucault's theories. If I had once so much as mentioned the kind of life he led as a way of invalidating his claims, his admirers would have gone berserk. I know, becauses it did happen a few times in informal discussions outside the classroom.

Do you think mentioning Rand's personal life is some kind of trump card against her philosophy? I think it is worthwhile in the context of why she behaved the way she did, and probably explains some of the behaviour of her acolytes. But do you really think her reference to Indians as "savages" refutes her philosophical views?

137Arctic-Stranger
Jun 22, 2011, 5:50pm

I think the difference between Foucault's life and Rand's is that some of Rands actually went against the grain of what she taught. "Do as I say, not as I do." Foucault's personal life was...um....interesting, to say the least, but not necessarily in opposition to what he taught. (Although a little searching would probably yield an example or two.)

138Toolroomtrustee
Jun 22, 2011, 6:12pm

I realize that Foucault was a very different kind of thinker, and therefore probably didn't make official statements in advance about contributing to the spread of epidemics, or assuring people that Iranian Revolution would be peaceful and civil. So, no, you can't really accuse him of being a hypocrite.

But I raise this question not to engage in tu quoque table-turning, but to ask why and when are intellectual's private lives relevant to debunking their ideas.

You use the term, "do as I say". Perhaps you are aware of a recent book Do As I Say, Not As I Do. I think the books have some value in understanding the sociology of intellectuals and activists, but I wouldn't use it to say Chomsky's linguistic or anarchistic views are therefore wrong.

Would you?

If I want to refute Foucault or Chomsky, do I just refer people to their biographers?

139Arctic-Stranger
Editado: Jun 22, 2011, 6:23pm

It is a tricky question. Jefferson owned slaves and Engels was supported by his father, who ran pretty oppressive factories. Skewering people on their private lives is like shooting fish in a barrel. On the other hand, if I am calling people to live a certain lifestyle, I should be able to do it myself. I say that as a person who preached in a church for 17 years. The reason I was not a damnation and brimstone preacher is that my own life would not withstand the scrutiny I might have demanded from others. I tried to be very care to only preach what I could live. Of course there are some who would say that I watered down the Gospel, and those very people ended up working to get me booted out.

I would do it the same way again, if I had the chance.

ETA: I in no way approve of certain aspects of Foucault's life, and will not defend anything he actually did. All I am saying is that it didn't contradict what he said. Chomsky is an interesting example. He swears his linguistic work has nothing to do with his political work, and keeps those two things very separate.

140Toolroomtrustee
Jun 22, 2011, 6:45pm

Skewering people on their private lives is like shooting fish in a barrel.

++
Ok, then.

141lawecon
Editado: Jun 22, 2011, 7:34pm

~134

Yes, poor thing, eveerrrry one picked on her. From her sister, from whom she borrowed money upon elaborate promises, and then never paid it back, to her former best friend Isabel Patterson, to the nasty Mr. Rothbard, her lover Nat Branden, Mr. von Mises, Mr. Chambers, etc. etc. Nothing to do with her own sweet loving nature, of course. They just all hated her because they were irrational and inferior.

142lawecon
Jun 22, 2011, 7:30pm

~136

What's going on here? A Rand critic who actually bothered to check what she said?

================================

This is getting a little ridiculous. I understand that you have your own peculiar view of what you would have liked Rand to have believed, but the fact is that your interpretation is often as wrong as that of many others in this thread.

Rand was not "an individualist," she believed in categorial thinking with all that implies.

Rand was not an advocate of "laissez-faire capitalism," at least as that term would have been defined by the leading advocates of such a position that knew what they were talking about.

She was definitely not a contextualist.

Yes, she said a lot of things about herself and her positions, but since she clearly wasn't a master of self-criticism and didn't have the background to know what terms in Economics or Philosophy meant, to believe what she said about herself would be, at best, naive.

143HectorSwell
Jun 22, 2011, 7:48pm

Yes.

144Toolroomtrustee
Jun 22, 2011, 8:25pm

>143 HectorSwell:

If your "yes" is in relation to anything I've posted and to >141 lawecon: and 142, I won't be able to comment, because I blocked him a long time ago (for reasons that had nothing to do with the content of his messages, which I had agreed with more often than I had disagreed with).

If this doesn't concern me, please ignore.

145Carnophile
Jun 22, 2011, 9:17pm

>134 Toolroomtrustee:
what she was saying is that you can't be an Objecitivst Libertarian

This always struck me as a strange element of Objectivist thought. In my taxonomy, Objectivists are a subset of libertarians.

Arctic's posts 133 - 139:
All that stuff is ad hominem, irrelevant.

146rolandperkins
Jun 22, 2011, 10:44pm

"... ...ʻyou canʻt be an objectivist libertarian.ʻ "--
--a paraphrase (?) of Ayn Rand

I remember Ayn Randʻs saying at Bostonʻs Ford Hall Forum in 1972 that she would vote for "...the Marx Brothers, if they are still living, or Bob Hope, or the Three Stooges before she would vote for the Libertarian party candidate" of that year (whom whom didnʻt deign to name.)

This may be the only time she said, even sarcastically, anything good about anyone named Marx.

She also disdained to name the real "bad guy" of her presentation George McGovern (D, SD), who was running
against Pres. Richard Nixon, but she said, "Donʻt get me wrong: Nixon is NOT a Capitalist, but you have to consider the alternative."
And she said it would be "criminal to deprive Nixon of even one vote". -evidently feeling much the same way about the Libertarianʻs candidacy that many Democrats felt about Ralph Naderʻs* candidacy in 2000.

*I voted for Gore, not Nader, but I didnʻt have any feeling that he had caused Bush to win thelection.

147lawecon
Jun 22, 2011, 11:02pm

Observations from some who have been called "libertarian":

"Reason: Why do you think you had more initial success as a public proselytizer--you had a regular column in Newsweek--than other prominent libertarians?

Friedman: I really don't know how to answer that. I was basically trained in economic science. I was interested in the history of thought and where it came from. I thought I was going back to some fundamentals rather than creating anything new. Ayn Rand had no use for the past. She was going to invent the world anew. She was an utterly intolerant and dogmatic person who did a great deal of good. But I could never feel comfortable with her. I don't mean with her personally--I never met her personally. I'm only talking about her writings.

Rothbard was a very different character. I had some contact with Murray early on, but very little contact with him overall. That's primarily because I deliberately kept from getting involved in the Libertarian Party affairs; partly because I always thought Murray, like Rand, was a cult builder, and a dogmatist. Partly because whenever he's had the chance he's been nasty to me and my work. I don't mind that but I didn't have to mix with him. And so there is no ideological reason why I kept separate from him, really a personal reason.

Reason: In seeing yourself as harkening back to 19th-century liberalism, you never became a system-builder like Rand or Rothbard....

Friedman: Exactly. I'd rather use the term liberal than libertarian."

http://reason.com/archives/1995/06/01/best-of-both-worlds

"If the glaring inner contradictions of the Leninist cults make them intriguing objects of study, still more so is the Ayn Rand cult, which, while in some sense is still faintly alive, flourished for just ten years in the 1960s; more specifically, from the founding of the Nathaniel Branden lecture series in early 1958 to the Rand-Branden split ten years later. For not only was the Rand cult explicitly atheist, anti-religious, and an extoller of Reason; it also promoted slavish dependence on the guru in the name of independence; adoration and obedience to the leader in the name of every person’s individuality; and blind emotion and faith in the guru in the name of Reason."

http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard23.html

148bdsm-stores.com
Jan 11, 2012, 3:14pm

This user has been removed as spam.

149Jesse_wiedinmyer
Jan 11, 2012, 3:52pm

Best spam ever.

150lawecon
Maio 12, 2012, 9:27pm

~150

I think that this thread might be worth resurrecting, although Toolroom will never know of the fact. The reason is the "recent" biographies on Rand, the best of which appears to be: Ayn Rand And The World She Made which should surely earn a nihil obstat.

151Carnophile
Editado: Maio 15, 2012, 12:24pm

>14 Carnophile: - 27

“Eighty-six percent of women polled say they want a sensitive man who calls his mom regularly and cries during movies.”

LOL!!! Hey ladies, I'm looking for a girl who can bring out the sensitive Carnophile underneath this gruff exterior. A girl who can earn the trust of this wild beast, and persuade him to let down the emotional barriers created by cruelly unrealistic social conventions.

PS: Tight ass a must.

152Carnophile
Maio 15, 2012, 12:16pm

PPS: Ability to hold the "inverse lotus" position for at least an hour also a must.

153Carnophile
Maio 15, 2012, 12:24pm

PPPS: Actual line from a Susan Sarandon movie: "You are the Earth Mother."

Jesus Christ!

(No, I didn't go to a Susan Sarandon movie. I have a Y chromosome.
My wife was watching something on TV and I wandered into the room. There was Sarandon, with some other chick saying that absurd line to her.
"For God's sake!" I blurted, and got my ass out of there.)

Somewhere in Hollywood, 18 months earlier...
Irene: Hey, Jen. I bet I can write a more trite line than you and get it into the final version of the script.
Jen: No fuckin' way! I can be more trite than you! I've been writing romcoms for years!
Irene: Forget it, Jen. I'm the one who had the bad boy change his mind and fly to another city to track down the girl in The Tao of Steve.
Jen: Pretty good, Irene. But I'm the one who thought of having the bad boy actually cry at the end of Reality Bites.
Irene: My king-fu is stronger than your kung-fu!
Jen: My king-fu is stronger than your kung-fu!
(Hours later.)
Irene: I can see that we are evenly matched.
Jen: I agree. Let us combine our efforts, and see if we can write a line so trite that it will cause earthquakes in Jakarta...

154Carnophile
Maio 15, 2012, 12:32pm

Google reveals that the movie was something called Stepmom. Now you know to avoid it.

155ainsleytewce
Maio 17, 2012, 6:34pm

I don't know what nihil obstat is, but it is a good book. I had read the Barbara Branden book, which is quite good, but this one goes more into her early life, and some of the inherent contradictions in her life.

156ainsleytewce
Maio 17, 2012, 6:36pm

Roger McBride.