Ayn Rand and Homosexuality


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Why do you believe Rand opposed homosexuality? I think it's because of a lack of understanding of the nature of same-sex attraction.

I think you're right. And her ideas on opposite-sex attraction had some unusual features also.

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She believed that men were supposed to be heroes, and that women were supposed to be submissive to heroes. Therefore, sex between two women wouldn't be appropriate because there would be no man in the equation to worship and submit to, and sex between two men wouldn't be appropriate because it would require one of the men involved to play a submissive/unheroic role.

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Why do you believe Rand opposed homosexuality? I think it's because of a lack of understanding of the nature of same-sex attraction.

I think there are a number of reasons.

1) She found dude-on-dude to be "disgusting" (her words). I'm thinking it might be because she falsely equated gay male sex with anal sex, and many people do find anal sex quite unpleasant. However, it is an error to equate "gay sex" with anal sex, obviously, since straights can do it and quite a few gays and bis do not.

2) I think she had her share of gender issues (read "Ayn Rand; The Woman Who Would Not Be President" in Feminist Interpretations of Ayn Rand). She was a genius in a social environment which regarded intelligence as male (these days it seems to have been reversed; intelligence is socially emasculated, at least amongst men). Thus she needed some sort of way to claim femininity for herself. Note that Dagny Taggart (a character Rand openly conceded was an escapist character for her) has a certain level of androgyny (by typical standards) to her, both in personality and appearance.

3) She loved the golden age of Hollywood. These films were pretty traditional in their understanding of sex and sexuality. The Passion of Ayn Rand makes it pretty clear that her childhood concept of joy was basically built on these films and via certain pieces of music. I wouldn't be surprised if she internalized everything in those films.

4) She seemed to understand sex entirely as an act of conquest (typical of not only her time but also pretty much all of Christianity-influenced civilization; male sexuality is portrayed as brutal and violent almost without exception... the Radical Feminists believe this too). Sex between peers without a power differential just doesn't 'compute' to this kind of vision of sex (of course, most gay sex seems to be conquest-oriented, but to Rand this wouldn't make sense). I think Rand had a few contradictions in her own psyche with this... she kept the idea of sex-as-conquest, but tried to preserve dignity and worthiness for both participants. Thus she kind of settled on the "noble hunter and worthy prey" view of things, a "Red Sonja Complex" you could call it.

I consider myself an Objectivist, but it seems pretty clear to me that Objectivists need to stop trying to justify Ayn Rand's sexual psychology (I would like to make it clear that I am not accusing anyone in particular of doing this!). She, unfortunately, was not nearly as iconoclastic and free-thinking about sex as she was about ethics.

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Sixty nine.

Paritas inter pares. Equality among equals. And it works for either or both genders.

Heh. Heh.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Why do you believe Rand opposed homosexuality? I think it's because of a lack of understanding of the nature of same-sex attraction.

I think there are a number of reasons.

1) She found dude-on-dude to be "disgusting" (her words). I'm thinking it might be because she falsely equated gay male sex with anal sex, and many people do find anal sex quite unpleasant. However, it is an error to equate "gay sex" with anal sex, obviously, since straights can do it and quite a few gays and bis do not.

2) I think she had her share of gender issues (read "Ayn Rand; The Woman Who Would Not Be President" in Feminist Interpretations of Ayn Rand). She was a genius in a social environment which regarded intelligence as male (these days it seems to have been reversed; intelligence is socially emasculated, at least amongst men). Thus she needed some sort of way to claim femininity for herself. Note that Dagny Taggart (a character Rand openly conceded was an escapist character for her) has a certain level of androgyny (by typical standards) to her, both in personality and appearance.

3) She loved the golden age of Hollywood. These films were pretty traditional in their understanding of sex and sexuality. The Passion of Ayn Rand makes it pretty clear that her childhood concept of joy was basically built on these films and via certain pieces of music. I wouldn't be surprised if she internalized everything in those films.

4) She seemed to understand sex entirely as an act of conquest (typical of not only her time but also pretty much all of Christianity-influenced civilization; male sexuality is portrayed as brutal and violent almost without exception... the Radical Feminists believe this too). Sex between peers without a power differential just doesn't 'compute' to this kind of vision of sex (of course, most gay sex seems to be conquest-oriented, but to Rand this wouldn't make sense). I think Rand had a few contradictions in her own psyche with this... she kept the idea of sex-as-conquest, but tried to preserve dignity and worthiness for both participants. Thus she kind of settled on the "noble hunter and worthy prey" view of things, a "Red Sonja Complex" you could call it.

I consider myself an Objectivist, but it seems pretty clear to me that Objectivists need to stop trying to justify Ayn Rand's sexual psychology (I would like to make it clear that I am not accusing anyone in particular of doing this!). She, unfortunately, was not nearly as iconoclastic and free-thinking about sex as she was about ethics.

Good Answer! I really like to see this kind of easy going, but well thought out analysis.

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In a quite perceptive post, this especially stood out:

[...] I think Rand had a few contradictions in her own psyche with this ... she kept the idea of sex-as-conquest, but tried to preserve dignity and worthiness for both participants. Thus she kind of settled on the "noble hunter and worthy prey" view of things, a "Red Sonja Complex" you could call it.

Fictional characters can, indeed, crystallize and clarify a complex issue. Anyone who knows this pulp-fiction / comic-book character can see how perfectly appropriate this is. I'd been trying to get a handle on Rand's gestalt of human sexuality for years.

Dagny Taggart really is a Red Sonja in a business suit. If you don't believe me, find one of the graphic novels of current stories in the bookstore and scan a couple chapters.

Or rent the film by that name from 1985. It isn't really that bad for a stereotypical swordplay epic, actually well done for the genre, and stars Brigitte Nielsen, Sandahl Bergman, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. (A new version is in production that stars Rose McGowan, who's quite well cast in the lead role.)

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Studiodekadent, let me add my kudos on your stellar commentary.

Have you read any Mary Renault? Her fictional re-creations of classical and mythological times in Greece are unsurpassable, and her literary skill is, in my opinion, greater than Rand's. In The King Must Die, the love between Theseus and Hippolyta depicts the kind of sexual equality Rand was struggling towards visualizing. Throughout her novels the casual acceptance of homosexuality that characterized the classical age is portrayed. Mary Renault was herself a lesbian. Obviously, I recommend any and all her novels of Greece (I have not read the contemporary ones) to anyone who loves a good story, beautifully written.

And oh yes! Plato, Socrates and Aristotle are significant characters in her books, and the beauty of pure philosophy is one of her themes.

The reader also gets to attend the original Olympic Games, fight Sparta for Athens, and so on.

Edited by daunce lynam
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Psychological Flaws, Corruptions, Errors, and Wrong Premises

1/30/11

In the previous article, "My Friend, Ayn Rand," I ended by saying, "Unfortunately, almost all that goes by the name Objectivism today embraces, in some form or another, both hedonism and subjectivism." As an example of the hedonism and subjectivism being promoted by almost all so-called Objectivists today, is that particular form of subjective hedonism I characterized in the title of this piece, a paraphrase of Ayn Rand's own characterization of homosexuality:

"[Homosexuality] is a manifestation of psychological 'flaws, corruptions, errors, [and] unfortunate premises' that are both 'immoral' and 'disgusting.'" ["The Moratorium on Brains," Ford Hall Forum Lecture, Boston, 1971]

Every major so-called Objectivist site generally supports the normalization of homosexuality as benevolent and moral, and as far as I know there is not a single on-line site or blog that denies this view.

The following all call themselves "Objectivist" something-or-other, and most disagree that the other sites are truly Objectivist, whatever that is intended to mean. They certainly do not understand Rand's philosophy.

First, a couple of forums:

Objectivist Living "Human homosexuality is neither moral or immoral. It simply is. It's a form of human behavior. What people do when they face it (in themselves and in others) is moral or immoral." [This is from the founder of the sight.]

Rebirth of Reason—"Finding Happiness in Lesbos" [You do not need to read this. Why would you?]

From the, "OjectivismOnline Forum," is this: A person who is homosexual, just as with heterosexuals, presumably cannot choose whether or not upon seeing "suitable stimuli" they experience physical attraction. Thus, the attraction is not a choice, and thus, it cannot be considered an aspect of morality. [since when are moral principles based on "presumptions?"] This whole thread is more of the same.

And some "Objectivist" Writers:

First, Ari Armstrong, "I suspect that homosexuality usually results from a confluence of genetics, environmental factors, and conscious choice. Yet, regardless of which of these three factors is most at play in any given case, I hold that homosexuality can be a healthy, moral path that leads to quality romance."

There is Damien Moskovitz of The Atlas Society who writes: "While sexual orientations may not be chosen, in many cases, what behaviors people exhibit in response to their orientations are chosen, and such behaviors can be evaluated morally. A person who by nature, rather than by choice, is more attracted to members of the same sex than the opposite sex still has the choice to recognize and act in accordance with this fact or to repress or act against it. If a person wishes to achieve happiness and promote his life, then he must, in a realm as morally important as sex, act in accordance with his nature." [Err..., he's trying to say it would be morally wrong for someone with "homosexual desires" to not practice homosexuality. Really!]

Finally, we have Edwin Locke, senior writer for the Ayn Rand Institute (ARI) who wrote: "Objectivism holds that sexual orientation is not, properly, a moral issue.... Every adult has the right to seek romantic, including sexual, satisfaction with an adult partner of their choice, assuming mutual consent, and it is really no one else's business (including the government's) but their own."

Before I discuss what is so very wrong with the views of these so-called Objectivists let me say, I am in total agreement with Ayn Rand's view of homosexuality—it is an immoral practice, but so long as it is only adults who are freely engaging in those practices, what they do is nobody else's business and there must be no laws that govern what individual's choose to do privately among themselves.

The issue of morality has nothing to do with politics—the purpose of moral values is to provide individuals with the principles by which they make the choices in thought and action to achieve their own success and happiness in this world.

Why Objectivism Holds that Homosexuality Is Immoral

According to ARI's Edwin Locke, "Objectivism holds that sexual orientation is not, properly, a moral issue." I have no idea what Edwin Locke thinks, "sexual orientation," means, but Objectivism certainly holds that sexual practices are a moral issue. Are not rape, pedophilia, promiscuity, and any sexual practices that are self-harmful or produce long-term problems moral issues? Locke is probably trying to imply what another writer I quoted wrote, "a person who is homosexual, just as with heterosexuals, presumably cannot choose whether or not upon seeing "suitable stimuli" they experience physical attraction. Thus, the attraction is not a choice, and thus, it cannot be considered an aspect of morality."

You will notice that all these "arguments" are always presented in terms that are both unusual and obscure—what is an "orientation?" and what is a "physical attraction?"

The words are used to hide the true meaning, which everyone actually understands but intentionally obfuscates, because it would be that much harder to put over if stated clearly and explicitly. What these words really mean and are attempts to cover up are, "feelings," and, "desires." [if that isn't what they mean, someone needs to explain what in the world they do mean.]

Feelings and Desires

I have written two separate articles on "Feelings" and "Desires" which go into the psychology of both subjects to a greater depth than Rand's own work addresses, but here I am only concerned with the Objectivist view presented in Rand's own words.

So, according to Ayn Rand, where do our desires come from?

"His [man's] first desires are given to him by nature; they are the ones that he needs directly for his body, such as food, warmth, etc. Only these desires are provided by nature and they teach him the concept of desire. Everything else from then on proceeds from his mind, from the standards and conclusions accepted by his mind and it goes to satisfy his mind—for example, his first toys. (Perhaps sex is the one field that unites the needs of mind and body, with the mind determining the desire and the body providing the means of expressing it. But the sex act itself is only that—an expression. The essence is mental, or spiritual.)" [
The Journals of Ayn Rand
, "13-Notes While Writing: 1947-1952."]

Rand correctly uses the term "emotions" to cover all "feelings," both those which are responses to the content of consciousness like joy or anxiety, as well as the desires and passions, as they are felt, such as affection and sexual desire. All emotions and desires must be developed—none are given—none are provided by evolution, genetics, pre-natal experiences, or environmental influences.

"Man is born with an emotional mechanism, just as he is born with cognitive mechanism; but, at birth, both are "tabula rasa." It is man's cognitive faculty, his mind, that determines the content of both." [
The Virtue of Selfishness
, "The Objectivist Ethics."]

According Rand's Objectivism, all our desires and feelings, including our sexual desires, are all developed by how we use our minds, by the principles and values we hold and in terms or our understanding of the nature of the world and our own natures. [And note Rand calls "sexual desire," the "sex emotions."]

"I believe that our mind controls everything—yes, even our sex emotions. Perhaps the sex emotions more than anything else. Although that's the opposite of what most people believe. Everything we do and are proceeds from our mind. Our mind can be made to control everything. The trouble is only that most of us don't want our minds to control us—because it is not an easy job.

"So they drift and let chance and other people and their own subconscious decide for them. I believe firmly that everything in a man's life is subject to his mind's control—and that his greatest tragedies are from the fact that he willfully suspends that control." [
The Letters of Ayn Rand
, "Return To Hollywood (1944)". To Gerald Loab, August 5, 1944.]

This idea, expressed in an earlier quote, "just as with heterosexuals, presumably cannot choose whether or not upon seeing "suitable stimuli" they experience physical attraction," which I must assume by, "seeing 'suitable stimuli,'" means seeing someone of the opposite sex, implying the "attraction" (sexual desire) just happens is absurd. Human beings are not born knowing what their opposite sex is, or even what that means, or even what sex is. It all has to be learned. This idea that our sexual desires are automatic, like an animals, that somehow our bodies are responsible for our desires, and not our minds was addressed by Rand too.

"They think that your body creates a desire and makes a choice for you.... Love is blind, they say; sex is impervious to reason and mocks the power of all philosophers. But, in fact, a man's sexual choice is the result and the sum of his fundamental convictions. Tell me what a mind finds sexually attractive and I will tell you his entire philosophy of life." [
Atlas Shrugged
, Part Two--"Chapter IV, The Sanction Of The Victim."]

It is not a man's body, but his mind that determines what he will find sexually attractive, and because most minds consist of a hodge-podge of eclectic non-concepts (like "sexual attraction and inborn orientation," their sex lives are equally disastrous.

"Observe the ugly mess which most men make of their sex lives—and observe the mess of contradictions which they hold as their moral philosophy. One proceeds from the other." [
Atlas Shrugged
, Part Two--Chapter IV, "The Sanction Of The Victim."]

It is exactly this view of sex that virtually all self-styled Objectivists are promoting today, and all those who succumb to this perversion of the truth will be the sufferers, and what they will suffer is all the consequences that result from surrendering one's rational control of their life to their irrational desires and passions—depriving themselves of the real joy and pleasure their sexual capacity is capable of providing.

Of all people, it is those who regard themselves as Objectivists and proponents of the philosophy of Ayn Rand who would deprive men of the very moral basis for sex. In reference to the religious view that sex is evil, Rand wrote:

"The twisted element of truth here is that sex has to have a high spiritual base and source, and that without this it is an evil perversion." [
The Journals of Ayn Rand
, "13-Notes While Writing: 1947-1952."]

It is not religion, but an objective system of ethical principles that is the moral basis of sex.

"The cheap little schools of "free love" attempt to glorify sex on a silly sort of materialistic basis—simply glorifying physical joy, considering themselves 'vital as animals.' They are unable to discover a moral, spiritual premise to justify sex—so they try to enjoy it without any morality, and, of course, it doesn't work, it doesn't bring them any sort of spiritual happiness, and not even much satisfaction." [
The Journals of Ayn Rand
, "13-Notes While Writing: 1947-1952."]

Perhaps in Edwin Locke's version of Objectivism sex is not a moral issue, but in Ayn Rand's version of Objectivism it is a profoundly moral issue, and outside of the moral principles a sound and rational sexuality is based on, sex will be a source of profound unhappiness and trouble and not the reinforcing pleasure and joy it ought to be.

Psychological Flaws, Corruptions, Errors, and Wrong Premises

Those who reject Rand's view of sex, particularly her view of homosexuality attempt to dismiss her views as some kind of personal aversion rather than a reasoned objective opinion. That dismissal has been put over because most people do not understand the objective basis for Rand's view, though she expressed it specifically.

It is obvious she regarded the view that human desires have any other source other than the mind as a "psychological flaw." To view sex as merely an animal desire produced by the body, and the gratification of that desire without moral significance is a, "corruption." To believe sexual desire just exists without reason or purpose, is a profound, "error." The premise that any human desires are preprogrammed or inborn is a, "wrong premise."

I've only provided what Rand herself believed is the Objectivist view of sex and sexual desire. Those who call themselves Objectivists do not have to agree with Rand, of course, but there is something immoral about promoting themselves and what they teach as Rand's Objectivism while contradicting the very foundations of her philosophy of ethics.

The issue is not homosexuality, which is just one example of the many different mistaken choices people make about how to live their lives. Promoting homosexuality as normal and moral is also not the issue, though it is immoral and flies in the face of everything Rand's Objectivism teaches.

The issue is for individuals who have been mislead by the obfuscation of objective principles that no one needs to be the slave of their feelings, driven be desires they neither know the cause of or reason for; no one needs to be robbed of the choice to determine what their life will be, both long-term and short-term, determined by their own objective choice.

That is the real issue. It is a matter of individual choice and liberty. An individual's life is either under the control of their own mind and rational choice or they are the slave of their subjective desires. Whether one thinks, as one quoted writer does; "I suspect that homosexuality usually results from a confluence of genetics, environmental factors, and conscious choice;" anyone who bases their choices on what they only "suspect" might be the cause of the desires and feeling, has surrendered their rational will to irrational desires. It does not matter whether the issue is sex, or any other aspect of one's life, to the extent they act on desires they do not know the source or cause of, their life will be out of control, and the consequences disastrous.

"A rational man knows—or makes it a point to discover—the source of his emotions, the basic premises from which they come; if his premises are wrong, he corrects them. He never acts on emotions for which he cannot account, the meaning of which he does not understand. In appraising a situation, he knows why he reacts as he does and whether he is right. ... If a man takes his emotions as the cause and his mind as their passive effect, if he is guided by his emotions and uses his mind only to rationalize or justify them somehow—then he is acting immorally, he is condemning himself to misery, failure, defeat, and he will achieve nothing but destruction—his own and that of others." ["
Playboy
's interview with Ayn Rand," pamphlet, page 6.]

"Sexual attraction," and "sexual orientation," are nothing but "desires whose source, nature and meaning one does not know. One whose life is guided by such desires, rather than reason, Rand describes as a mindless robot:

"Emotions are not tools of cognition; to be guided by whims—by desires whose source, nature and meaning one does not know—is to turn oneself into a blind robot, operated by unknowable demons (by one's stale evasions), a robot knocking its stagnant brains out against the walls of reality which it refuses to see." [
The Virtue of Selfishness
, "1. The Objectivist Ethics"]

Objectivism is a philosophy of individual liberty, but those who call themselves Objectivists today are propagators of a philosophy of enslavement, not of men enslaved by other men, but of individuals enslaved by their own irrational desires and mindless passions.

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I didn't actually see anything in there against homosexuality. I saw some patter about feelings and your gender confusion but nothing about why Natalie Portman making out with Scarlett Johansson would be a bad thing.

I mean they are both Jewesses, but that is my hang up, not yours.

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Well presented, I think, but palpable nonsense.

Ayn Rand didn't get this one right - and nor do you.

This is conservative Objectivism that ignores a lot of recent brain research; it reintroduces the mind/body dichotomy, and, btw, would set O'ism back by decades.

Ayn Rand could not have known the evidence which came after her, while you don't have that excuse, Regi.

Tony

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I didn't actually see anything in there against homosexuality. I saw some patter about feelings and your gender confusion but nothing about why Natalie Portman making out with Scarlett Johansson would be a bad thing.

I mean they are both Jewesses, but that is my hang up, not yours.

Natalie Portman is Jewish?!?

Bound is a 1996 neo-noir crime thriller film directed by the Wachowski brothers. Violet (Jennifer Tilly), who longs to escape her relationship with her mafioso boyfriend Caesar (Joe Pantoliano), enters into a clandestine affair with alluring ex-con Corky (Gina Gershon), and the two women hatch a scheme to steal $2 million of mafia money.

!220px-Bound_movie_poster.jpg

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Natalie Portman is Jewish?!?

Very. And born in Jerusalem, too.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Reggie Firehammer's creepy obsession with Homosexuals and their Disgusting Ways has been a fixture of the outer Objectivish fringes for almost seven years, and he has been tireless in promoting his obsession in any venue that will have him. His ugly attacks on endless harrying of Chris Sciabarra pretty much left him with a constituency comprised of his mother, his creepy boyfriend, and his former wife -- who is a notable Objectivish crank in her own right.

I am always impressed by a person who can express his ignorance in such confident terms: I have no idea what Edwin Locke thinks, "sexual orientation," means

Yes, we know, Reggie! As a scholar, you make a nice fry cook. As an Objectivish thinker, you rank just just slightly above Monart Pon. If you had a heart, I figure it would be about the size and empathetic potential of a raisin.

Why don't you flip over to your other obsession, I Am An Expert On Science And My Endless Snarky Tirades Prove It?

Let us know if you even manage to get published outside of the Objectivish equivalent of Jack Chick Presents.

[i misremembered Firehammer's engagement with Sciabarra. Rather than an ugly attack, it was simply endless and obtuse. He actually bid Sciabarra goodbye with a pleasant adieu]

Edited by william.scherk
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WSS,

Not everybody is as knowledgeable about the Randian Lollercaust as you, mind filling the rest of us in on who those other people are? And links to this guy's tirades?

Reggie still maintains his moribund website, dead links and all, at The Autonomist. He has a newerish website, which appears to be the poor mans's WND, called the Independent Individualist, on the same server, with such lovely articles as "Islamic Maggots" and "Islamic Maggots II." I tested his online empire in my Alexa rankings of Objectivish forums, and came up with a ranking somewhere around five million. One of his favourite targets are the mean old Objectivists (in name only) who don't accept Christianity. He has also 'corrected' David Harriman in an Ultimate Crank crank-on-crank opus whose stupidity burns to the bone.

Monart Pon was a nice, if ranting, Rand follower at the old SOLO. He segued from being a fairly standard autistic teenager evangelist objectivish bore into an adherent of the wackaloon Objectivish Star People cult, an offshoot of the already loony Singularity nuts, who believe in a mush of Star Trek, Rand, AI and We Can Be Immortal.

Reggie must have heard it was Crank Month at OL.

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WSS,

Not everybody is as knowledgeable about the Randian Lollercaust as you, mind filling the rest of us in on who those other people are? And links to this guy's tirades?

Reggie still maintains his moribund website, dead links and all, at The Autonomist. He has a newerish website, which appears to be the poor mans's WND, called the Independent Individualist, on the same server, with such lovely articles as "Islamic Maggots" and "Islamic Maggots II." I tested his online empire in my Alexa rankings of Objectivish forums, and came up with a ranking somewhere around five million. One of his favourite targets are the mean old Objectivists (in name only) who don't accept Christianity. He has also 'corrected' David Harriman in an Ultimate Crank crank-on-crank opus whose stupidity burns to the bone.

Monart Pon was a nice, if ranting, Rand follower at the old SOLO. He segued from being a fairly standard autistic teenager evangelist objectivish bore into an adherent of the wackaloon Objectivish Star People cult, an offshoot of the already loony Singularity nuts, who believe in a mush of Star Trek, Rand, AI and We Can Be Immortal.

Reggie must have heard it was Crank Month at OL.

Singularity...wait...does C. Cathcart the Ultimate Philosopher with the new unfollowable rules for Rand criticism belong to that? He seems crazy enough.He worships Stanley Kubrick next to Ayn Rand, is that part of it?

Edited by daunce lynam
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Singularity...wait...does C. Cathcart the Ultimate Philosopher with the new unfollowable rules for Rand criticism belong to that? He seems crazy enough.He worships Stanley Kubrick next to Ayn Rand, is that part of it?

I can't follow Cathcart when he skips his meds and turns into the Linda Blair of SOLO. I do know that the non-Objectivist Libertarian Goode does swallow the Singularity whoopup, but he doesn't pretend to be other than an individual loon, not a stand-in for One True Truthy Cathcartian Truthburger.

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Singularity...wait...does C. Cathcart the Ultimate Philosopher with the new unfollowable rules for Rand criticism belong to that? He seems crazy enough.He worships Stanley Kubrick next to Ayn Rand, is that part of it?

I can't follow Cathcart when he skips his meds and turns into the Linda Blair of SOLO. I do know that the non-Objectivist Libertarian Goode does swallow the Singularity whoopup, but he doesn't pretend to be other than an individual loon, not a stand-in for One True Truthy Cathcartian Truthburger.

On a related note, Henrik the Spanking Swede now has a blog (in English unfortunately) in which among other delights he explains how Harry Binswanger persuaded him that his predilection was not innate but only a biological variation of some Randian principle thingy. Henrik handsomely admitted that Binswanger was right, though Henrik is always right and had expected to demonstrate that and embarrass Binswanger, but HB was just too smart for him.

Henrik has decided that Binswanger is immoral, however, for other reasons, and has Crossed the Rubicon and said so and now fully expects "to be thrown out of the Objectivist Movement" but he is unafraid.

No cheese on that Truthburger, please.

Edited by daunce lynam
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I am curious what Regi thinks Roark and Wynand were doing while sailing from Providence to Key West. Using their lips for eating?

I'll back up Ted on this.

I honestly believe that if Ayn Rand were born today, and had a modern understanding of sex and gender etc, she'd likely have a huge fetish for dude on dude. This is only a speculation but I believe its psychologically plausible. Sciabarra's Ayn Rand, Homosexuality and Human Liberation includes a chapter on "Male Bonding in the Randian Novel." It certainly raises some not-necessarily-sexual speculation, but there's clearly a level of emotional intimacy involved between, say, Roark and Wynand (Wynand's feelings for Roark were actually described as "Romantic" in Rand's own journals) and Hank and Francisco ("Greatest conquest" indeed, and the scene with Hank ravishing Dagny after learning about Francisco does have a certain "sex by proxy" feel to it). At the very least, these relationships are "Romantic Friendships."

As for Reginald Firehammer's "scholarship," his work so far is more or less the Westboro Baptist Church of Objectivism. He reduces an entire philosophy down to "Rand Hates Fags."

Finally I want to extent my sincere thanks to Mary Lee Harsha, Greybird and Daunce Lynam for their support.

Daunce,

I have not read any of Mary Renault, I'm afraid, but I appreciate the recommendation!

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As for Reginald Firehammer's "scholarship," his work so far is more or less the Westboro Baptist Church of Objectivism. He reduces an entire philosophy down to "Rand Hates Fags."

Great line -- The Westboro Baptist Church of Objectivism! I used to think that Objectivist schisms were much like (Canadian) Marxist schisms. At one time, pre-1990, there were six or seven groups who hated each other more than they hated the rest of us. Now I think the schisms are no more and no less than any other interdenominational wrangles that emerge like mutants in all religions. Given enough time, Objectivish folk could have a thousand warring factions and a hundred ecumenical councils. Odd, but not that odd. Until a right-thinking vanguard actually gets mitts on power, the purges and exterminations are all performed bloodlessly.

Another apparently more perplexing oddity is that this Reggie, More Pontifical Than A Pope, does not call himself an Objectivist. This turns out to be a rather unclever dodge, however, because although he claims not to be an Objectivist, this is because he thinks the only true Objectivist is Ayn Rand, and he is defending her against the Perversions of Scripture.

Truly a loss for the Church, that Reggie did not take Holy Orders.

Edited by william.scherk
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