Nathaniel Branden's novel _Layers_


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Has anyone here read NB's novel Layers? It was published in July 2020.  I had heard he had written and completed at least one novel and that it had been submitted to publishers about 15 years ago.  But for some reason, it was never published.  I bought the Kindle version of Layers a couple of months ago and am in the middle of reading it for the second time.  I didn't know it had been published until I did a search on Nathaniel Branden books on Amazon.  The book has not been mentioned on any of NB's Facebook pages. It's not even listed in the store on nathanielbranden.com  I really like the book, and I think many others who are familiar with Nathaniel Branden and his work will also like it.  

Here's a link to the Kindle edition of the book on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Layers-Nathaniel-Branden-ebook/dp/B08DTH71H1/

John V. 

 

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Not I but the book may be worth the effort. Welcome John V.  Peter

notes.

Question: Well then, Dr. Branden, how would you answer the argument of these anarchists that, since government necessarily entails a monopoly on the use of force, such a monopoly can be maintained only by force and, hence, government always involves some violation of individual rights?

Branden: This, of course, is their favorite argument and their stock argument. In briefest essentials, I would answer as follows. Let's imagine, to make it very simple, that we--this group in this room tonight-- form a society and agree on the principles to be operative in the society in a political sense. We agree upon a constitution and a government is created for the purpose of carrying out the principles laid down in this constitution. Now, let us say that somebody new is born into the society or enters it from some other country, and he says: ‘Look. I wasn't consulted, I wasn't asked my opinion about this system of government. I want to set up a competing system of government. How can you justify forbidding me from doing so and threatening me with jail if I don't go along with the present political order of things?’

And my answer is the following. And remember we are talking here about a free system, about a government which is limited in its function to the protection of individual rights. Suppose that I am the spokesman for this hypothetical government. Then I would say to this person as follows: In this society, nobody is forbidding you anything so long as you do not violate the rights of anybody else in this society. That means, more specifically, if you want to form private arbitration agencies to settle disputes among people who will become your clients, you may do so. That happens even in our present society. You can form a private club or a private organization and lay down any kind of rules you want for your members. You will not be stopped until and unless you attempt to use physical force or fraud or some derivative against some fellow member of this society. That you have no right to do.

If you ever attempt to use force, let us say, in retaliation against a criminal, which you may have to do if the police are not available, you will be obliged to justify later your use of force and to demonstrate that it was, in fact, necessary. If you can justify it, you're in no trouble, any more than any other citizen of a free country is in trouble. So that so long as you don't infringe somebody else's rights, you can form any kind of organization you want. You can have your own arbitration committee, you can have your own system of penalties and fines and so long as the people who go along with your organization voluntarily agree to pay them, you have no problem. Your problem begins when you attempt to use force to get your way.

Therefore, in conclusion, I argue that in the system we are advocating, the individual is not having his rights violated because he is not allowed to set up a competing government.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 4/10/2021 at 12:54 PM, John V. said:

Has anyone here read NB's novel Layers? It was published in July 2020.  I had heard he had written and completed at least one novel and that it had been submitted to publishers about 15 years ago.  But for some reason, it was never published.  I bought the Kindle version of Layers a couple of months ago and am in the middle of reading it for the second time.  I didn't know it had been published until I did a search on Nathaniel Branden books on Amazon.  The book has not been mentioned on any of NB's Facebook pages. It's not even listed in the store on nathanielbranden.com  I really like the book, and I think many others who are familiar with Nathaniel Branden and his work will also like it.  

Here's a link to the Kindle edition of the book on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Layers-Nathaniel-Branden-ebook/dp/B08DTH71H1/

John V. 

 

Thanks for sharing. I'm enjoying reading it on many layers. eh

 

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Its an interesting story that I think reflects on the single biggest aspect of his love lives (3 at once) and the turmoil they caused. Yes, of loving more than one woman, of carrying on simultaneous relationships with them and why and how he felt doing it, in fiction (?). He explores this, and perhaps the seemingly greatest emotional contradiction held by Ayn Rand too.

Though now I see from his writing and can imagine as one becomes a different person over time how it is possible to hang on to a sentimental attachment and move towards another romantic partner while loving both.

Its a powerful inside look at the complexities of Branden and what he considered worthy of retelling. About the stinging rebuke and the sorting that needed doing.

What else could he write than something he perhaps knew more painfully and better than anyone could articulate?  

"But in any event the worst of it for me was not the breach of my responsibilities as a psychotherapist; it was the betrayal of my marriage." 

"I knew that I was taking the biggest gamble of my life.”

“Look,” she said, “apart from the guilt, which I don’t feel, we’re in the same situation. I’m in love with XXX—want to spend my life with him. But here I am—and you know what I feel for you. Both feelings are real. And how it’s all supposed to fit together, I don’t know. You’re not the only one who’s confused. Maybe things are possible that most people don’t think are possible.” “Like being in love with two people at the same time.”

Branden, Nathaniel . Layers. Kindle Edition. 

 

 

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17 hours ago, turkeyfoot said:

But here I am—and you know what I feel for you. Both feelings are real.

Aaah. Those teenagers should never get married or promise anything ever.

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