There are currently 0 users and 23 guests online.
Linz's Mario Book—Updated!
It is morally defensible to establish a nation-state built around maintaining a specific and exclusive ethnic population
Total votes: 11
Can't Ya Just Feel the Love?
Submitted by James S. Valliant on Tue, 2008-06-10 01:48
ObjectivistLiving.com, where smearing Ayn Rand is a full-time job, and where Big Opinions don't require a shred of evidence to support them... Here’s some ripe cherries of Rand-love plucked chronologically out of the latest PARC thread, at least up to Page 8 of 22, which, of course, is still way beyond the recommended dosage limit:
“…[Ayn Rand was] simply using Objectivism as a weapon. This is an example of Rand putting more on her philosophy than is really there... It wasn't Objectivism that damaged her, her husband and the Brandens, it was the private adultery, an adultery steeped in dishonesty and moral relativism.” -- Brant Gaede
The dishonesty and relativism of whom, you might ask.
If the combined speculation and moralism there doesn't grab you, try this one:
“PARC has made Ayn Rand look a lot worse than she did already.” -- Robert Campbell
If you want specifics for the "a lot worse" -- don't hold your breath -- but it sounds like it was pretty bad to start.
Just how evil was Rand, Professor?
And weren't you just saying how "minor" her flaws were the other day...?
And how did PARC "make it worse"? Are they not "minor" anymore?
"Leonard Peikoff's purported defense of Ayn Rand has badly hurt her reputation… [in part because he set out to] emulate most of her worst traits and encourage others to do the same.” -- Robert Campbell
“Morally, as with AR, things have to appear okay on the surface no matter what insanity there is below decks. Thus when one looks in the mirror an image of perfect integrity looks back.” -- Brant Gaede
Right, "below decks"... where they can't even be seen...
“I have no reason to think that Dr. Peikoff has consciously tried to hurt Ayn Rand's reputation… But he's achieved the same results as he would have if he'd set out to discredit her.” -- Robert Campbell
Discredit her? What negative tidbit has been added to the Brandens' portrait of an "Inquisitor using fire and the rack" that wasn't already there?
“They surely know that Rand was not perfect and that PARC is quite far from perfect, but when one is fixated on what one WANTS to see, and when one is desperate to feel admiration…” [We’re left to fill in the blank] -- Jon Letendre
“’Branden apologists,’ blech. Talk about the presumption, endemic amongst Objectivists -- and, yes, it started with Ayn Rand -- that anyone who doesn't see it the way you do must be irrationally motivated.” -- Ellen Stuttle
”Why is [Valliant] assuming that others' disagreements or criticisms of [Ayn Rand] are efforts to prove that his hero has feet of clay? It sounds to me as if he's very emotionally invested in smearing anyone who dares to question some of the actions of his hero, or to point out the shoddiness of some of her defenders.
“I think a more important question is why does Jim get so upset that others simply recognize that Rand had faults? Why is he so disturbed by the fact that some of Rand's fans openly talk about her mistakes, instead of having to be backed into a corner and act like reality-denying fools until finally admitting that Rand was sometimes irrational, self-contradictory, harshly judgmental or dishonest?” -- "Jonathan"
Who told this fair-minded chap, Jonathan, that he could call me "Jim"? (That's for my friends, or at least someone who knows me, "Jon-Jon.")
Is that what I said or even implied -- that all criticism of Rand is an effort to "find feet of clay," and not just certain critics -- and certain specific criticisms? Naming the actual criticisms and the responses involved seems to be forbidden at OL.
And readers can see the "corner-backing" around here and who's been involved.
”I think we all know that Rand had integrity. Some of us have enough honesty and integrity to freely admit that she was sometimes irrational, self-contradictory, harshly judgmental and dishonest.” -- "Jonathan"
Again, don't hold your breath for any specific contradictions or the like, of course.
“…can anyone find any direct reference to Rand actually making a 'mistake' in PARC? To making a blunder or simple human error that Valliant does not try provide some justification for? I cannot recall one. Likewise, other than one passing reference to her occasional anger, can anyone find an actual reference to Rand having a normal human psychology, 'with all that this implies'? Quite the opposite: there are plenty of instances where Valliant claims she has a superhuman psychology, such as an immunity to female jealousy?” -- noted Rand admirer, Daniel Barnes
"Immune" -- now, how did I miss using that word?
“Dan, On page 30, Valliant says: ‘She was at times depressed, angry and harsh. Presumably, she was, at times, tense, irritable and demanding--as, I fear, most of us are.’ Of course, with respect to her anger, Valliant manages to turn it into a virtue. I don't think he discusses Rand's depression, etc. in his book.” -- Neil Parille
How'd I turn it into a "virtue" exactly?
And, don't I discuss depression? Ellen seems to recall...
“He acknowledges someplace, in connection with a reference in her journal entries, that she did go through a depression post-Atlas.” -- Ellen Stuttle
“I'd like to see the quote. After all, the whole weirdo premise underlying PARC is that a super-ultra-uber-genius like Rand could only be fooled - even temporarily - by two super-ultra-uber-evil-geniuses!..;-)” -- Daniel Barnes
Well, before the first "weirdo" remise can be refuted, Neil chimes in:
“The second ‘weirdo premise’ in [PARC] is that Rand's willingness to stay with Branden for months after diagnosing him as a ‘social metaphysician,’ ‘evil’ and other things is a sign of Rand's ‘benevolence.’” -- Neil Parille
Again, Elllen, with the correction:
“Less than 2 months. The diagnosis was in her July 4 paper; the break was...from memory, August 22 or 23? (I'll have to check now.) [*] 'Course if the truth hadn't been what it was and hadn't meanwhile come out, the working relationship at least might have gone on longer.” -- Ellen Stuttle
Ah, so the personal torment and negative psychological assessment of Branden might have been overlooked by that moralist and moralizer, Rand, if the Brandens' lies hadn't been revealed -- so, what a "weirdo premise," right? (BTW his immorality was still just a working hypothesis at that point, Neil.)
Okay, back to "depression":
“I did a search and depression as applied to Rand in the book occur on pages 30 (already discussed), 139, 160 & 161. On page 139, Valliant reports NB's claim that Rand was depressed post-AS. On page 160-61, there is discussion of Rand being depressed "at the state of the world." There's nothing wrong with being depressed, but from what I can tell, Valliant doesn't seem to consider that Rand's depression was related to poor decisions she made. (Of course, I don't know the details.)” -- Neil Parille (emphasis added)
Why should "knowing details" matter, Neil, you know enough already to judge these things, right?
“Another argument that Valliant uses is that unless 'the Brandens' can produce a transcript of Rand's (or Frank's) thought [?] their judgments about what they were thinking aren't to be trusted. Of course, motivation and the like are often inferred by conduct, body language and what not.” -- Neil Parille
I never cease to be amazed at all that I argued in PARC -- I learn new things about it all the time! This time, I required transcripts, no less.
“Notice especially Valliant's iteration of Leonard Peikoff's description of Rand as ‘indeed, the person she had to be in order to have written Atlas Shrugged.’ Now that, in a sentence, states the primary myth about Ayn Rand, the myth she promulgated (and I think genuinely believed about herself): that she herself was a representative of the heroic characters of her novel.” -- Ellen Stuttle
Not satisfied, she added:
“One further point concerning my own view: I agree with the letter of the statement that Rand was ‘the person she had to be in order to have written Atlas Shrugged,’ but I have a different opinion from Leonard Peikoff's as to the requirements involved. I think that what she had to be was a person who saw life, and saw herself, mythologically -- with a resultant power of grand vision, but with blindnesses to aspects of the reality of actual humans, including herself.” -- Ellen Stuttle
So, Ellen agrees with the "letter of the statement" in PARC -- but somehow knows what Rand "needed" and what PARC was "really" trying to say.
And I’ll leave us with an even funnier one:
“So why all the acrimony over this? I suggest anyone interested go back to the beginning and see where all the hostility started. When people's attempts at identifying are attacked and misconstrued and they are imputed to have malicious intent as a premise, they naturally dig in and get hostile.” -- Ayn Rand Lover MSK
Indeed, MSK, indeed.
Amazing. I could go on and on –- it is just an endless parade of Rand raspberries, snickers, jabs, jibes, suspicions, contempt, etc., etc. -- and none of it given the slightest factual basis.
My adumbration of all this will be seen, no doubt, as my being bothered by the slightest flaw alleged in Rand -- and the very discussion of her mistakes -- but is it unreasonable to ask for the tiniest factual basis for just one of these assertions?
More SOLO Store
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand