Marcus

Objectivist Heroes Are Almost Indistinguishable from "Bad Boys"

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- The hero blows up a building because it doesn't conform to his standards.

- Hero brazenly enters the room of a woman, has passionate sex and leaves. Then barely remembers it the next day.

- Hero calls a strike, gathers only his closest friends and waits out total disaster. Not a single f*ck is given as the world burns.

- The hero is being tortured, during the process gives the torturer instructions on how to do his job. Not shedding a single tear.

Stunning examples? They are all scenes of either Howard Roark or John Galt in their respective novels taking action. A clear pattern is set: A total refusal to bow down or even compromise. A defiant, rebellious character. Some would call them rascals, rapscallions and rogues. Wild men. In America we call them "bad boys". Men who, as the stereotypical depiction goes, ride Harley's, get tattoo's and cause trouble. They are "rebels without a cause" so the saying goes. You could call O'ist heroes "rebels with a cause", they are profoundly purpose driven, but this is just the stereotypical depiction. I've seen bad boy's with a productive purpose (i.e. rockstars) so that is not an essential difference.

Why this connection has not yet been made is interesting in and of itself. But the connection is there. It's a fun connection to explore. The author herself gave clues to her love affair with bad boy's throughout her writings, personal or otherwise. (Rand had a raging boner for men on the extreme ends of independent thinking, she even once penned a journal entry admiring the traits of a particular serial killer).

What's also interesting to note is they O'ist heroes and bad boy's share the almost total disregard for the concept of status or prestige (they also tend to come from lower-class backgrounds). A person's bearing, stock, class or pedigree holds little of interest to them, except as a vehicle for mocking or a show of defiance, and (correctly assumed) is not metaphysically important. Ironically through mocking status ("traditional power" as I call it), they gain a kind of status of their own.

Are Objectivist heroes the epitome of "bad boy" archetype? Is this accidental or deliberate? Thoughts?

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The part about Hickman is exaggerated, mis-information repeated all over the internet. On the subject of Ayn Rand and Hickman, you should believe nothing except Ayn Rand's own verbatim and in context statements.

 

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15 minutes ago, jts said:

The part about Hickman is exaggerated, mis-information repeated all over the internet. On the subject of Ayn Rand and Hickman, you should believe nothing except Ayn Rand's own verbatim and in context statements.

 

It's kind of beside the point, but yeah, it wasn't a "love letter" but she was intrigued enough by him that she wrote him a letter. The point was'nt to smear Rand, but to highlight the facts of what she did as it related to my original post.

 

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7 hours ago, Marcus said:

They are "devils without a cause" so the saying goes. You could call O'ist heroes "devils with a cause", they are profoundly purpose driven, but this is just the stereotypical depiction.

I think "rebels with a cause" fits much better.

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10 hours ago, Marcus said:

- The hero blows up a building because it doesn't conform to his standards.

- Hero brazenly enters the room of a woman, has passionate sex and leaves. Then barely remembers it the next day.

- Hero calls a strike, gathers only his closest friends and waits out total disaster. Not a single f*ck is given as the world burns.

- The hero is being tortured, during the process gives the torturer instructions on how to do his job. Not shedding a single tear.

Stunning examples? They are all scenes of either Howard Roark or John Galt in their respective novels taking action. A clear pattern is set: A total refusal to bow down or even compromise. A defiant, rebellious character. Some would call them rascals, rapscallions and rogues. Wild men. In America we call them "bad boys". Men who, as the stereotypical depiction goes, ride Harley's, get tattoo's and cause trouble. They are "devils without a cause" so the saying goes. You could call O'ist heroes "devils with a cause", they are profoundly purpose driven, but this is just the stereotypical depiction. I've seen bad boy's with a productive purpose (i.e. rockstars) so that is not an essential difference.

Why this connection has not yet been made is interesting in and of itself. But the connection is there. It's a fun connection to explore. The author herself gave clues to her love affair with bad boy's throughout her writings, personal or otherwise. (Rand, had a raging boner for men on the extreme ends of independent thinking, she even once wrote a letter to a serial killer).

What's also interesting to note is they O'ist heroes and bad boy's share the almost total disregard for the concept of status or prestige (they also tend to come from lower-class backgrounds). A person's bearing, stock, class or pedigree holds little of interest to them, except as a vehicle for mocking or a show of defiance, and (correctly assumed) is not metaphysically important. Ironically through mocking status ("traditional power" as I call it), they gain a kind of status of their own.

Are Objectivist heroes the epitome of "bad boy" archetype? Is this accidental or deliberate? Thoughts?

What serial killer did she write a letter to?

If you read the novel closely Rand softens Roark up a little when the situation calls for it, but his standard default is anti-social rough/tough enough for all that gets thrown at him.

Her heroes are fighting the collective known as "society," which is an abstraction. They seem purblind to individuals save from their own grouping to whom they don't behave like sociopaths. Take the United States of, say, 230,000,000 people back in the Atlas Shrugged publication day. In the novel they really no longer exist. Rending them out is standard artistic simplification for intensity of focus. I do have the impression, however, that they were never rendered out for, in the mind of the novelist, they weren't there in the first place.

A lot of things are jokey and wrong in The Fountainhead, most notably in the famous "rape" scene. It was set up by the parties to it--consensual--but afterwards Dominique behaved like a rape victim and Roark like a rapist in that he just left after the sex and hardly thought of her when getting on the train back to his true love--his work. In that sense his entire relationship with Dominique was an adulterous fling.

Yeah, work. Work, work, work. That's what Dagny and Hank do until they finally get it through their heads they're fools and should retire--like the rest of the AS heroes. Heroic retirement. Galt being tortured. ("Get [back] to work!") Maybe all that was a subconscious acknowledgement by Rand that she had gone too wrong with the prior emphasis so she went too wrong the other way.

Your question, my answer: yes and no.

--Brant

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15 minutes ago, Brant Gaede said:

What serial killer did she write a letter too?

She modeled a character after a convicted murderer.

See http://michaelprescott.freeservers.com/romancing-the-stone-cold.html

 

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1 hour ago, BaalChatzaf said:

She modeled a character after a convicted murderer.

See http://michaelprescott.freeservers.com/romancing-the-stone-cold.html

Why do you think you answered my question?

--Brant

good link--thanks: she didn't write any such letter (no evidence or claim on evidence [Marcus made a mistake])

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5 hours ago, Brant Gaede said:

Why do you think you answered my question?

--Brant

good link--thanks: she didn't write any such letter (no evidence or claim on evidence [Marcus made a mistake])

She apparently found the murderer interesting because he looked like a Viking.  Rand had a thing about Vikings.

Ragnar, one of her heroes,  has a last name that means  the extortion money the Danes charged villages and towns  for not looting them.

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21 hours ago, Marcus said:

... she even once wrote a letter to a serial killer...

Marcus,

Rand wrote a letter to Hickman?

This is the first I have heard of it.

I've read her journal entries about him, but I have not heard anything about a letter she wrote to him.

Could you please give us your source?

Thanks.

Michael

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Actually, Michael Prescott, who is pretty hostile about Rand after having been a follower, talks about women who write love letters to serial killers when discussing Hickman. Here are a couple of entries from his article, Romancing the Stone-Cold Killer: Ayn Rand and William Hickman.

Quote

Ayn Rand never mentions the victim at all in any of her journal entries. The closest she comes is a sneering reference to another girl, "who wrote a letter to Hickman [in jail], asking him 'to get religion so that little girls everywhere would stop being afraid of him.'"

. . .

"The fact that he looks like 'a bad boy with a very winning grin,' that he makes you like him the whole time you're in his presence..."

You can practically hear the young aspiring author's heart fluttering. I have always been puzzled by the psychology of women who write love letters to serial killers in prison. Somehow I suspect Ayn Rand would have understood them better than I do.

That's a far cry from Rand herself writing to Hickman. btw - Is this where the "bad boy" theme in the OP came from?

:) 

If anyone is interested in Michael's follow-up discussion, go here: Hickman postmortem.

Apropos, as I skimmed over the Hickman postmortem, I got the uneasy feeling this was a bit too familiar. He kept quoting someone. So I Googled a phrase or two and one of the people he kept quoting was me.

:) 

(You can see a couple of the quotes here.)

Another apropos, this time dealing with nothing at all about this issue, Michael is currently a bit hostile to me because I support Trump and he started out supporting Trump but turned against him... I stopped bantering with him on Facebook about this because he got nasty for real. But time cures this... :) 

(Do I detect a pattern in Michael? He starts out as a follower, then becomes a true-believing enemy. This is the second one, so now we have Rand and Trump where he did that. I bet if we scratch his life, there are others. :) -- Here is where a devil icon would be useful... I am going to try to find one and see how to get it into OL.)

Michael

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2 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Marcus,

Rand wrote a letter to Hickman?

This is the first I have heard of it.

I've read her journal entries about him, but I have not heard anything about a letter she wrote to him.

Could you please give us your source?

Thanks.

Michael

My mistake, she never wrote it. I've since corrected it in the OP. 

Quote

.

That's a far cry from Rand herself writing to Hickman. btw - Is this where the "bad boy" theme in the OP came from?

The "theme" came from a spontaneous connection I made a few days ago. The hickman thing is just part of the puzzle. 

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I suspect "defiant, rebellious" although I see the point. Still, to defy and to rebel, is mostly to defy and rebel against -something- or somebody - therefore to accept, grant credibility to and subsequently act against, borrowed premises. As I see Roark, he was in another realm, entirely. He shows few signs of being remotely aware of principles and conventions not his own and opposing him - 'an original', in his own right. Blithe independence appears the hallmark of his character, he applied himself directly and primarily to real things and answered primarily to reality, above other people. Isn't it evident that a semblance of this first-handedness is what Rand first superficially saw in Hickman? It was only an 'image' of a consciousness untouched by the hatred of a judgmental-collectivist society: but, of course an utterly fake pretence of egoism as revealed in his vile acts, as she came to realize. Perhaps(?) a living symbol of a truly independent mind is what Rand desperately looked for then. Before she got it off her chest by creating one in her literature.

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She didn't see Hickman at all, which is the best thing that can be said about this.

I don't think Rand was desperately looking either. She was desperate in Russia.

--Brant

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1 hour ago, Brant Gaede said:

She didn't see Hickman at all, which is the best thing that can be said about this.

I don't think Rand was desperately looking either. She was desperate in Russia.

--Brant

Yes, I suppose so, looking at it again. He personally(Hickman) plays no role in any of her fiction.  Shifting emphasis to the outrage (albeit, justified) of his public decriers, what I think stayed with Rand (dating from her youth, too) and does come into her writing was the moral righteousness of a town-square mob-mentality that fears and damns the individual who goes his own way and pays them no mind.

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Ayn Rand was clued in.

I've had the thought that it makes total sense that only a woman could portray the ideal man.

You should read the part in the Journals of Ayn Rand where she is describing Roark's character. It's pretty fucked up. She says he could essentially rape Dominique and feel justified about it. He wants her but it wouldn't bother him if he didn't get her. Just the most hardcore badboy who doesn't give af you can imagine.

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