The Silence of Ayn Rand’s Critics

Casey's picture
Submitted by Casey on Sat, 2005-12-03 07:17

EXCLUSIVE to SOLO and The Free Radical. (Subscribe to the print edition and receive a whole lot more.)


"It is clear to me that Ayn Rand was a woman of remarkable integrity, who largely embodied the virtues she espoused. But it is also clear that she had certain other traits often found in great minds who have waged a lonely battle for their ideas: a tendency to surround herself with acolytes from whom she demanded declarations of agreement and loyalty; a growing sense of bitter isolation from the world; a quickness to anger at criticism; a tendency to judge people harshly and in haste. These faults did not outweigh her virtues; I consider them of minor significance in themselves. But they were real, and I thought [Barbara] Branden's book, whatever its other shortcomings, gave a reasonably fair and perceptive account of them.

"All of this is arguable, of course. But it should have been argued, and it wasn't. When the book appeared, I was shocked by the refusal of many prominent Objectivists to discuss the issues it raised, and their tendency to condemn anyone who did."

--David Kelley, PhD, Truth and Toleration (1990, I.O.S.), p. 75

Fifteen years have passed since David Kelley wrote this fateful passage about Barbara Branden’s book, The Passion of Ayn Rand, in an infamous paper that would, after Ayn Rand’s official intellectual heir Leonard Peikoff responded with his paper “Fact and Value,” open a rancorous schism in Objectivist scholarship. Kelley and the Ayn Rand Institute would part ways over this divisive issue and its philosophical implications, with Kelley going on to create The Objectivist Center. The TOC side argued that the biographical portrait of Ayn Rand written by Barbara Branden (eventually extending to the memoir about Rand written by Nathaniel Branden) should be regarded as an objective source of information, while the other side rejected the Brandens’ testimony outright as arbitrary assertions made without regard for the truth.

Recent Comments:
PARC — by Wayne Simmons on Thu, 2006-02-16 06:10
And — by eg on Tue, 2006-02-07 03:40
Well — by eg on Tue, 2006-02-07 03:29

Staff

administrator's picture
Submitted by administrator on Fri, 2005-12-02 05:20

Lindsay Perigo Lindsay Perigo - Founder & Principal (King of KASS)


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FAQ

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Submitted by administrator on Thu, 2005-12-01 21:31

Here are the questions most frequently asked of the site administrators. If you have a suggestion for a new entry please post a comment & we'll look into it.


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Today's Reprise—A poem for the New SOLO

Casey's picture
Submitted by Casey on Thu, 2005-12-01 21:07

The Mirror

O, this world that turns and ages with us,
Sprouting green and stretching tall.
We see its seeds elongate and divide:
Unrepeatable things,
That come to flower and fruition,
And go to seed and pass away,

Recent Comments:
Casey, just so you know I — by Lanza Morio on Mon, 2005-12-05 15:48
Carlos, my little cookie — by Ashley on Mon, 2005-12-05 13:18
Damn! I wish you guys — by Ross Elliot on Mon, 2005-12-05 06:49

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State of the Union

administrator's picture
Submitted by administrator on Thu, 2005-12-01 07:57

[This post is brought to you today by Julian Pistorius and Duncan Bayne, the SOLOPassion webmasters]

Greetings, and welcome to the new home of SOLO - Sense of Life Objectivists!

The first thing you'll need to do is sign up for a new account so you can log in to the site.

Once you've done that, you'll see that SOLOPassion already provides much of the functionality of the old site, but with 25% fewer calories (noticeable if you're trying to fit into that slinky summer dialup pipe). You can create yourself an account, submit stories, post comments, chew the fat in the Forums, and vote on (and create) polls. For those with a technological bent, there is an RSS feed available, so you can keep up to date with the very latest on the site.


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Woman in Blue (Michael Newberry, 1981)

Newberry's picture
Submitted by Newberry on Wed, 2005-11-30 11:35
Woman in Blue (Michael Newberry, 1981)
Recent Comments:
Thanks Olivia! Yes, I was — by Newberry on Fri, 2008-10-24 00:14
Mark: "I remain suspicious — by Newberry on Thu, 2008-10-23 23:33
Michael... — by Olivia on Thu, 2008-10-23 22:49

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Objectivism

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Wed, 2005-11-30 10:47

What is Objectivism?

Let its founder speak first. Asked to specify Objectivism's essentials standing on one foot, Ayn Rand, standing on one foot, said:

Recent Comments:
I would have — by Brant Gaede on Thu, 2010-02-04 17:25
Ah well Brant... — by Olivia on Thu, 2010-02-04 08:28
Solved! — by Brant Gaede on Thu, 2010-02-04 02:32

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Free Radical Issue 69 - Table of Contents

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Submitted by administrator on Wed, 2005-11-30 08:57

This is the complete table of contents for the 69th Free Radical. Some of the content will be made available online, but to read most of it you'll have to subscribe to the print edition.

Recent Comments:
It's here! — by Derek McGovern on Wed, 2005-12-21 11:56

Once More with Feeling!

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Fri, 2005-11-18 07:50

“He who fights for the future lives in it today.”

—Ayn Rand

[Listen to this announcement] When I founded SOLO™ it was with a view to finding kindred spirits who had eluded me thus far in the Objectivist world.

Recent Comments:
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! — by Ed Hudgins on Sat, 2005-12-31 18:07
Congratulations — by nevin on Sun, 2005-12-11 18:28
Congratulations Linz! — by Marcus on Fri, 2005-12-09 20:40

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SOLO Pilot Podcast #4

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Submitted by SOLO Podcasts on Tue, 2007-09-18 20:01
Recent Comments:
Update is that the civic — by Rick Giles on Tue, 2007-11-06 23:00
Hilarious — by Lance on Wed, 2007-09-19 22:46
Many thanks. Callum and I — by Rick Giles on Wed, 2007-09-19 14:26

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