30 Years Ago in Reason

May 1978

“The luckiest beneficiaries of [Ayn Rand’s] work are the people who read her and never see her, never meet her, never have any reason to deal with her in person. Then they get the best of what she was.”
—Nathaniel Branden, “Thank You Ayn Rand, and Goodbye”

“How many businessmen have you heard in the past 10 years who have been willing to stand up on some public rostrum and take issue with governmental policies? Many a businessman gets up and expresses general sentiments in favor of free enterprise and of competition, but very few get up and criticize particular measures taken by government. And I don’t blame them. They would be fools to do it!”
—Milton Friedman, “Which Way for Capitalism?”

“Ten years ago, all the libertarians in the country could fit comfortably into a medium-sized living room; now we are a large, growing, and multifaceted movement, making an increasingly vivid impact on American thinking, attitudes, and institutions.”
—Murray N. Rothbard, “Out of the Living Room”


Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ed||

    never see her [Rand], never meet her, never have any reason to deal with her in person

    In other words, it's ideas that really matter, not personalities.

  • Naga Sadow||

    Christ! Was she that bad?

  • Pendulum||


    In other words, it's ideas that really matter, not personalities.


    Well, no, that's not what he's saying.

    What he's saying is, in other words, personalities really matter, and her personality was that of a psychotic raving bitch.

    Ideas matter, but be skeptical of ideas that can't be lived up to, even (especially!) by their progenitor.

  • Pendulum||

    Christ! Was she that bad?

    If anything Branden says in "My Years With Ayn Rand" is to be trusted (and parts are certainly corroborated), yes she was.

  • Mark||

    If anything Branden says in "My Years With Ayn Rand" is to be trusted (and parts are certainly corroborated), yes she was.

    According to James Valliant's (excellent) book, not much that either Branden says is to be trusted.

  • ||

    Now, after 30 years of progress, all of the REAL libertarians could still fit in a living room.

    (I keed. Is it a drinking rules violation if it's in jest?)

  • ||

    Ayn Rand would be spit on by today's Republicans (much like they attack George Soros and Open Society which Ayn would approve of and support) - and her media image would not assist her in the least bit.

    If there ever was an "elitist" - it was Rand. And she damn well deserved the label as well as all the accolades that go with it.

  • Elemenope||

    Well, if Ayn Rand was and was not simultaneously a cold-hearted psycho bitch, then she was wrong about non-contradiction in reality.

    Also, her metaphysics is mereologically insipid.

  • ed||

    "The luckiest beneficiaries of [Ayn Rand's] work are the people who read her and never see her, never meet her, never have any reason to deal with her in person. Then they get the best of what she was."

    It's obvious that he's referring to her works when he says, "the best of what she was." I don't judge artists by what they eat or how may lovers they've had or whether they beat their children. All those things are irrelevant to me, especially since I didn't know the woman, never met her and anything I read about her is hearsay. It's only the ideas and concepts that matter to me, the validity of which are independent of their author.

  • The Democratic Republican||

    Why would Rand have supported the Open Society Institute?

  • shecky||

    The stuff about Rand reminds me of Jill Sobule's wonderful little ditty, Heroes.

  • Regis Carnifex||

    Ho hum. If Reason is going to bother posting short quotes from 30 years ago, couldn't they at least post the original articles, too?

    When I see the quotes in the print edition, I always want to RTFA for context. Why not do it online?

  • ||

    When I see the quotes in the print edition, I always want to RTFA for context. Why not do it online?

    They want you to buy the print edition?

  • ||

    "Why would Rand have supported the Open Society Institute?" - the DR

    OS provides the framework for heroism and individualism and is the enemy of totalitarianism, religion, monarchy, and fascism (which today's GOP is aligned with).

    Rand and Soros escaped a closed society. This is why Soros hates Bush so much -he sees totalitarianism coming to the US via the GOP.

  • The Democratic Republican||

    shrike: hmmmm...sweet...I'll look into that more.

  • ce||

    I don't get the remarks about Rand and OSI either. Soros is a major supporter of gun control and government intervention in the economy.

  • economist||

    Given that George Soros is practically a socialist in his sympathies, I doubt Rand would be particularly supportive of his agenda. I actually don't see a totalitarian society coming so much from the GOP as the Democrats. People have just forgotten about leftist totalitarianism because Democrats haven't held power for eight years.

  • Jim Lesczynski||

    They want you to buy the print edition?

    The April 1978 issue is no longer at newsstands, AFAIK.

  • ||

    "Given that George Soros is practically a socialist in his sympathies" - economist.

    Since Soros is a uber-capitalist you designate that he is a "socialist in sympathy"? And you don't see GOP fascism as "totalitarianism"?

    Damn, these Bushpigs crawl out from under Pat Robertson's ballsack every second.

  • Elemenope||

    I actually don't see a totalitarian society coming so much from the GOP

    Dude, get your eyes checked.

  • ||

    Soros is a flashpoint for the real Fox-News nutcases because he (gasp!) supports -

    Open borders
    Drug legalization
    Humanism/science/atheism
    Democracy
    Micro-Capitalism

    and he hates Bush.

    Thus, he is a "socialist" to the wingnuts.

    Yes - Ayn Rand would be proud - might even model a character on him.... like Roarke - the guy who took down the Federal Reserve!

  • economist||

    Um, name one way in which George Soros is an "uber-capitalist". I could name several ways the man is a socialist, including his calls for national health care. What exactly is "micro-capitalism"?

  • ce||

    Instead of the US economy being centrally managed, he wants the entire world's economy centrally managed. And he's spent millions on supporting gun control.

    I am partially with economist (I can't speak for him/her, but I'm no Fox News wingnut) on left vs. right totalitarianism. People think anything is better than Bush now, perhaps rightly so, but they will remember what economist is talking about when we have Democrats in control of the legislative and executive branches.

  • economist||

    I also said that I don't see totalitarianism coming "so much" from the GOP as from the Democrats. That doesn't mean I don't see threats of it from the right. Whenever I heard "compassionate conservative" I always translated to "nice fascist". However, I think that GOPers are more likely to recognize aspects of life, such as private organizations, businesses, and family, as being primarily outside the proper realm of government, whereas almost all Dems are of the position that anything not prohibited by government must be mandatory. Hence why I see more threat of totalitarianism from the left than the right.

  • ||

    What exactly is "micro-capitalism"?

    It is an organization that loans money to the impoverished to "seed" capitalism - such as loaning a woman from Bangladesh $50 to start a bakery. The object is more to teach reform rather than to profit.

    And I use the term "nice fascism" myself, economist.

    We have a bit of mutual ground. Peace, my man....

  • ||

    oh, micro-capitalism uses private funds..... Soros' own money.

    He is in no way, shape or form a socialist. That is Sean Hannity hysteria for 'atheist/open borders/drug legalization/euthanasia etc.

    What I call "rationalism".. - but fuck - I hate Bush and the GOP too.

  • Peter||

    As a change of subject ...

    1. Didn't Nathaniel Branden bang Ayn Rand?

    2. In terms of Uncle Miltie's quote, didn't Howard Hughes give the Fed the What For when they tried to ream him.

  • ||

    Also, her metaphysics is mereologically insipid.

    Coming from someone who clearly didn't understand a damn word of it. Perhaps you'd care to expand on that statement a little?

    Christ! Was she that bad?

    She got worse as the years went on...this one out of context quote from Branden doesn't really do their relationship justice. I recommend reading his writings at nathanielbranden.com.

    1. Didn't Nathaniel Branden bang Ayn Rand?

    Yes, lots...and they browbeat (ooo, excuse me, "intellectually convinced") their weaker and more submissive spouses into being "OK" with it.

    This, more than anything, provides good context as to why Branden might have a small axe to grind. I'd also note that for all of his talk about "empathy and self-esteem", he's on (IIRC) his third divorce, so TTFWYW.

    FWIW, I think Branden's a smart guy and has a lot of good things to say. But I hate when people latch onto the bitter ending of a relationship as proof that Ayn Rand was a castrating monster-bitch. Please.

  • ||

    I actually don't see a totalitarian society coming so much from the GOP as the Democrats.

    Leonard Peikoff would disagree with you...he (basically) says that the fact that the GOP latches onto mysticism is far more dangerous than the social humanism emanating from the Democrats. He endorsed Kerry in 2004.

  • Steve Verdon||

    I actually don't see a totalitarian society coming so much from the GOP as the Democrats.



    I see it from both. The GOP has done a great deal to expand government and its role in the economy. Bush and the GOP are responsible for the hideous Medicare drug program, the odious transport bill, the switch the ethanol, and expanding our budget deficit so that someday future taxes will have to be higher.*

    Democrats on the othe hand want to nationalize health care, increase taxes right now, and implement a more invasive nanny state.

    Both are pretty much the same in my view...opposite sides of the same coin. And of course since Soros is very socialistic in his world view he aligns with the Democrats.

    *I suppose government spending could be lowered, but this just is not going to happen with the imminent growth in Medicare and Social Security.

  • economist||

    shrike,
    I'm sure we've got plenty of common ground, from other posts of yours that I've read. I think the difference is in what we choose to emphasize. You're more worried about fundie warmongers while I'm more worried about nanny socialists. However, I don't think either of us sees either of those as not being a threat. However, given Soros's calls for massive increases in the size of the welfare state, I'm not sure how you can say he isn't a socialist.

  • Yahoo Answerer: Now with Spell||

    "He (Leonard Peikoff) endorsed Kerry in 2004"

    I find this odd considering that he was so strongly in support of the War in Iraq (though he would have preferred war with Iran.

  • ce||

    I have always considered the Democrats more of a threat for one big reason. The things they want to take away from us, like money, weapons, a big chunk of our national defense, are necessary to our survival.

    The Republicans want to take away the personal freedoms that are essential to our happiness but not necessarily our survival.

    Of course I am speaking of the traditional trappings of each party, which are changing now with Republicans wanting to take our money too.

  • ||

    economist- you say,

    "I'm sure we've got plenty of common ground, from other posts of yours that I've read. I think the difference is in what we choose to emphasize. You're more worried about fundie warmongers while I'm more worried about nanny socialists."

    YES! I agree.



    "However, given Soros's calls for massive increases in the size of the welfare state, I'm not sure how you can say he isn't a socialist."

    Please show me some proof of this.

    I doubt it - I have read one of his books and saw nothing like this claim.

    BUT - you might be right. I would be surprised though. I have followed his investment career for the last eight years.

    Now - I can see him PERHAPS supporting National Healthcare to keep the US competitive with EADS or Daimler-Benz.

    You might be right - I am going out for dinner and will research later.

  • economist||

    "Leonard Peikoff... strongly supported the war with Iraq"
    So he likes expensive wars and an expensive welfare state? Boys, looks like we got ourselves a neocon.

  • Steve Verdon||

    Please show me some proof of this.

    Now - I can see him PERHAPS supporting National Healthcare to keep the US competitive with EADS or Daimler-Benz.



    Why should anybody else show you proof when you've done and adequate job yourself?

    As for the idea of national healthcare improving competitiveness I say: Show me the proof.

    Sure any corporation can get an edge on its competitors via a subsidy. Big deal. Why nationalize health care and just subsidize whatever company you prefer. Not that that isn't socialistic either.[/sarcasm]

  • Elemenope||

    Coming from someone who clearly didn't understand a damn word of it. Perhaps you'd care to expand on that statement a little?

    A_R, mereology (the study of the relationship of parts to wholes, esp. in context of the concept of identity) is a subject on which I have done the lion's share of my philosophical studies.

    Ayn Rand's metaphysics includes an explication of the law of identity that goes beyond the simple reflexive axiom to assert an extreme form of nominalism (namely that all objects severally as such are necessarily distinct from the set of all other objects).

    I called it insipid because it denies what are even the most readily available experiences that human beings have with mereological concerns. Specifically, it ignores the effects of emergent and submergent phenomena via the attendant parts of any given whole. She then coupled this unnecessary extension of the identity principle with a naive endorsement of the law of non-contradiction as it applies to whole objects (which admit of a number of parts), she argues that a thing only ever admits to one binary state at a time, whereas our experience is that parts of objects may occupy contradictory states (e.g. a person stands in the doorway of a room. The person is thus both in the room AND not in the room.) She cannot escape from this absurdity precisely because of the extension of identity into her radical nominalism (i.e. she cannot claim that the entity should be considered by parts, precisely because she claims that wholes are unique distinguishable entities apart from all other entities, which must necessarily include that entity's own parts).

    A_R, in the course of my studies, I have read many philosophers, many of whom in turn I strongly disagree with. This does not mean that I would make fun of them or call their ideas insipid. I call Ayn Rand's metaphysics (specifically this portion of it) insipid not because I disagree with it (although I do), but because it *is* insipid. That is, roughly, that it is in parts sloppy or naive, and ignores problems that stood and were explicated long before she expounded her metaphysics. That she seems insistent upon falling into well-studied pitfalls while either ignoring them or claiming they don't matter makes her at best a sloppy philosopher.

    Also, as a rule, it's generally a bad idea to claim that a person who has spent a great deal of time studying a subject "clearly [doesn't] understand a damn word of [some statement in that subject]".

  • ||

    ...calls for massive increases in the size of the welfare state, I'm not sure how you can say he isn't a socialist.

    Well, for starters, that's not what socialism means. A real economist would know that.

  • Yahoo Answerer: Now with Spell||

    "So he likes expensive wars and an expensive welfare state? Boys, looks like we got ourselves a neocon."

    As a former Objectivist I can tell you (unless his views have changed radically since the mid 1990s that Leonard Peikoff does not like an expensive welfare state. He is, an ARI-type Objectivist. This means that he is a libertarian who hates to use the word libertarian to describe himself. This is one of the reasons I was surprised to read he supported Kerry in 2004.

  • Steve Verdon||

    "Leonard Peikoff... strongly supported the war with Iraq"
    So he likes expensive wars and an expensive welfare state? Boys, looks like we got ourselves a neocon.



    Not necessarily, I think he may have seen as a choice between the lesser of two evils.

  • Steve Verdon||

    Well, for starters, that's not what socialism means. A real economist would know that.



    Welll...no.

    As an economist I'd say that socialism is state control of the means of production and distribution. As such the state is responsible for the welfare of its populace and hence is also a welfare state.

    Of course, one can use the term "welfare state" to refer to the government providing welfare (i.e. income transfers, and transfers of goos and services) to either the entire population or a subset of the population.

    So it sort of depends on what the meaning of is is.

  • ||

    "Why should anybody else show you proof when you've done and adequate job yourself?" - Steve Verdon

    Because my conjecture turned out to have no basis in truth. It will remain conjecture that allowed the person time to find evidence - which there is none.

    You, on the other hand, said "Soros is very socialistic", which is a blatant lie.

    Notice - I led with "perhaps"..... you did not.

  • Famous Mortimer||

    "I actually don't see a totalitarian society coming so much from the GOP as the Democrats. People have just forgotten about leftist totalitarianism because Democrats haven't held power for eight years."

    So says the poster with the handle "economist."

    Coincidence?

    Libertarians: "Taxes, blah, blah, blah. Taxes, blah, blah, blah."

    Apparently, a party that is only really given life from its dealings with a totalitarian group is much less of a threat than, what? A Democratic party that in recent years has differed very little on economic issues?

    Yeah, makes perfect sense.

    The GOP is ten times more terrifying than anything the Democrats have to offer. Of course, the Democrats are all "leftists."

    Sounds like typical, ass backwards, Libertarian logic to me.

    Further evidence that being a Libertarian is merely adopting an extremist philosophy.

    Luckily, with Welch at the helm, Reason is slowly becoming more of an all around skeptics magazine, and less of a shill for some archaic Libertarian cult.

  • Yahoo Answerer: Now with Spell||

    Shrike, can you please tell us H&R posters what exactly Soros's views on economics are?

    Note: I am NOT asking for his views on war, gay rights, immigration or anything else but strictly economics.

  • ||

    Soros is a capitalist who backs grass-roots (micro) free-enterprise - in a nutshell.

    Soros does have some criticism for speculative monetarists at the reserve level (kind of like Ron Paul) and the dangerous game of derivatives, credit default swaps, CDO's, hedge funds, and the like - which only a couple of dozen insiders really understand. He is, at root, a currency trader and speculator. He knows how a broken currency can crush a country since he profited from such.

    He predicts disaster for the US dollar and the US in general due to debt and dollar devaluation.

    This brings him great criticism. He also predicts that, right now, there is a huge commodities bubble about to bust - due to MONETARY policy - not demand.

    That is for starters. Call in my middle school ECON tutor for more......

  • ||

    a person stands in the doorway of a room. The person is thus both in the room AND not in the room

    no...the doorway is just that: an separate entity that is neither room, but a gateway of it. I don't see where "standing in the doorway" leads you to say that one is simultaneously "present and not-present" in the room.

    I would assert that, rather than claiming that Ayn Rand is absurd, it is absurd to claim that objects occupy contradictory states.

    she cannot claim that the entity should be considered by parts, precisely because she claims that wholes are unique distinguishable entities apart from all other entities, which must necessarily include that entity's own parts

    This statement has NOTHING to do with metaphysics. The proper way to distinguish entities is via epistemology.

    She's not claiming that the "wholes" exist apart from their own "parts", just that it's proper to subsume the "parts" into the whole for concept-formation, which is, again, an epistemological concern, not a metaphysical one. Distinguishing concepts from their precepts is a function of human thought, not of metaphysical essentials.

    It's understandable, though, because a lot of people are uncomfortable drawing lines. That is, if a branch of a tree is on fire, but the trunk is not, can we say the tree is on fire and NOT on fire at the same time? I would say the fact that we've identified the branch as a "part" of the tree (the whole) means that it's not contradictory to say that "part of the tree is on fire, and part of it is not."

    it's generally a bad idea to claim that a person who has spent a great deal of time studying a subject "clearly [doesn't] understand a damn word of [some statement in that subject]".

    Forgive me for being so acerbic. But I don't consider your criticisms of Rand's metaphysics valid, given that I think you've made the error of confusing metaphysical essentials with human concept-formation.

  • Mark||

    [Rand] argues that a thing only ever admits to one binary state at a time, whereas our experience is that parts of objects may occupy contradictory states (e.g. a person stands in the doorway of a room. The person is thus both in the room AND not in the room.)

    If you think Rand believed -- or that her metaphysics implies -- that a person cannot not be half-way in a room, then I think Ayn_Randian was on to something. Objectivist metaphysics says that if a person is partly in and partly out of a room, then it is impossible for him to be, at the same time, completely in or out of it.

    Also, AR was not a radical nominalist in the sense of that term I'm familiar with. She did not hold that a concept is merely a label with no basis in reality. She held that proper concepts are based on observable, objective similarities. Her theory of measurement omission explained what "similarity" means objectively.

  • NoStar||

    I first began to doubt Rand while sucking on a Certs (TM). Is it a breath mint or is it a candy mint?

    Seriously, it was light. A wave and a particle are two separate states of existence that by all understanding and definitions are not the same, and are contradictory. A is A, only when it is not being B.

  • ||

    Nostar -

    Look, pal.

    Me and 'ayn randian' are the supporters here - and I have been called a "socialist" for supporting the anti-fascist Soros.

    These fuckers don't care about Ayn Rand. They care about their pet ideology.

  • Elemenope||

    This statement has NOTHING to do with metaphysics. The proper way to distinguish entities is via epistemology.

    The proper way to distinguish entities is epistemology, but that was not what the concern addressed; rather, the question of whether wholes can be considered to have proper parts that are also themselves wholes as distinct from that which they are a part *is* metaphysics. I wasn't criticizing the epistemological consequences of her metaphysics (i.e. can we know the state of the whole apart from the state of its parts?) but rather can contrary states coexist in the same whole due to different parts participating in those states whole being a part of the same whole. This is not merely an epistemological concern precisely because Ayn Rand demands we adopt the axioms of identity and non-contradiction as metaphysical axioms, i.e. according to her this is how the world works, and not merely how we perceive or conceptualize it.

    (Incidentally, I personally don't consider the questions to be apart because I endorse an information-ontology, i.e. that the fundamental substance is information. In consequence, all metaphysical questions are ultimately epistemological in nature. However, the questions are traditionally considered separately, and AR screws herself by insisting upon metaphysical axioms that lead to direct metaphysical contradictions.)

    To clarify my "doorway" example, think not of a person standing in a doorway such than none of his parts rests clearly in or out of the room. Think rather of a person standing upon the threshold of a room such that one arm or leg is extended into the room proper while another arm or leg is extended out of the room proper.

    Ayn Rand's problem with addressing such situations (which are far from the realm of the hypothetical; they happen literally all the time) is tied tightly with measurement omission. Measurement omission is a bait-and-switch to avoid the most obvious problem with producing qualitative concepts from percepts, that Plato identified as the problem of the compresence of opposites. (e.g. any object that is large by some measure is also small by some other measure). Rand's "solution" to the problem is the very definition of nominalism: scope of context absolutely delimits the legitimacy of any conceptual label. In other words, concepts (including labels) are quite literally arbitrary, tied only to the scope of the percept that initiated its formation.

    More basically, Ayn Rand's problem is that she seeks to delimit objects literally by their qualities; certainly a quality rigorously defined includes any number of binary relations. (e.g. on fire/not on fire. In room/not in room. etc., ad infinitum.) So, if a tree is an object, then it is partially defined by its either being on fire or not on fire. If a tree's branch is on fire, is it proper to say that the tree is on fire despite many of its parts clearly not being on fire? You dodge the problem by stating:

    I would say the fact that we've identified the branch as a "part" of the tree (the whole) means that it's not contradictory to say that "part of the tree is on fire, and part of it is not."

    ...because it does not address what state the *tree* is in, only its disparate parts. One would take your answer and be forced to answer the specific question "is the tree on fire, or not?" with a confused shrug. That is, Ayn Rand's metaphysics cannot answer even simple metaphysical questions about the state of a whole object in regard to its parts.

    A metaphysics that cannot satisfactorily address simple questions about mereology is a poor metaphysics indeed.

  • Yahoo Answerer: Now with Spell||

    Shrike, are you saying Soros is sort of a left-libertarian? Or are you saying he is some sort of Mengerian?

  • ||

    NoStar - didn't Einstein say that all particles have wave properties or natures? Regardless, if the concept of "light" means that light can manifest itself as waves or particles, I don't see that as a contradiction.

    shrike - I'm not a fan of Soros's gun control stuff at all, but other than that I don't see him as too much of bad dude.

  • Elemenope||

    p.s. Rand attempts to relegate the consequences of her metaphysics to epistemology in order to avoid the (quite accurate) charge that her solution is basically nominalism warmed over. This is silly on its face, since the nominalist position on the problem of universals is literally that concepts are created only for the convenience of human minds to coordinate percepts.

  • ||

    "shrike - I'm not a fan of Soros's gun control stuff at all, but other than that I don't see him as too much of bad dude." - Ayn Randian

    I keep my .357 magnum loaded!

    Just in case Sean Hannity shows up!

    If I took that cocksucker out and gained a NRA citation at the same time! _ LaWD!

    oh, and throw in some Ginger Lynn bj.....

    YESSAH!!!!!

  • ||

    since the nominalist position on the problem of universals is literally that concepts are created only for the convenience of human minds to coordinate percepts.

    I'm having a hard time determining why concepts created for human use (given that humans are the only ones who conceptualize) is "silly".

    You state that there is a "problem of universals" like there is one.

  • Yahoo Answerer: Now with Spell||

    Shrike, now I see how you would like to deal with people you disagree with.

  • ||

    because it does not address what state the *tree* is in, only its disparate parts. One would take your answer and be forced to answer the specific question "is the tree on fire, or not?"...

    the tree is in multiple states (which is not a contradiction in the form of "states" you're using)...it is possible for humans to be simultaneously "living" and "angry".

    As atomistic as you're willing to take it, you'd be unable to answer, "Is a thing 'on fire' ever, at all?, or are its atoms just superheated?"

    You seem to think that arbitrary = human-formed and discovered. That's just not the case.

  • Travis||

    "Christ! Was she that bad?"

    Yes.

  • Travis||

    I like most of Ayn Rand's political views, but she was a total cunt otherwise.

  • ||

    I like most of Ayn Rand's political views, but she was a total cunt otherwise.

    I assume you know this because of all the quality time you spent with her? Or is it OK if I say "Travis is a fuckhead" sans actually knowing you?

  • Guy Montag||

    Funny (to me) Rayndoid thing, you can spot the really raving nutty ones by pronouncing her name "Ann". The sane ones don't seem to care about that much.

    A local bartender seems to be trying to be the ultimate Rand impersonator, of the worst aspects ever implied about Ms. Rand. The funny wears off after a while.

  • Travis||

    "I assume you know this because of all the quality time you spent with her? Or is it OK if I say "Travis is a fuckhead" sans actually knowing you?"

    Ayn Randian,

    You can call me anything you want, I unlike Ayn Rand can take an insult.

    Rand was a famous author, philosipher, & celebrity. I've based my opinion of Ayn Rand on her own writings & what has been written about her by people that knew her. There are a lot of famous people that I have never personally met, but you & I still know & have opinions about them because they are famous. I think John McCain is an asshole, but I guess I can't say that because John & me haven't spent quality time together.

    Also, I know this is blasphemous to say on a site like this, but Ayn Rand was a poor philospher, novelist, screen writer, & from what I've read person.

  • economist||

    Famous Mortimer,
    Are you saying that Democrats differ "very little" from libertarians on economic issues? If you are, I beg to differ.
    shrike,
    Maybe you're right about George Soros. However, I still think Democrats are more dangerous than Republicans. case in point (quotation not perfect, but gets the gist): "Barack Obama will make you give up your cynicism...you will never be able to go back to your old lives, uninvolved, uninformed...blah,blah,blah."-Michelle Obama.
    A hundred years in Iraq or an eternity of being forced by the government to be "involved" and "not cynical", whatever the hell that means. Horrible choices anyway, but the former seems less onerous than the latter.

  • economist||

    While Ayn Rand had a lot of problems, and wasn't always coherent with her own philosophy, I give her credit for attacking communism/socialism/fascism/etc.ism not just on their most visible effects but on the monstrous ideas at the heart of all of these philosophies. But yeah, from what I've heard of her, she could be a huge bitch.

  • Sam Grove||

    I actually don't see a totalitarian society coming so much from the GOP as the Democrats. People have just forgotten about leftist totalitarianism because Democrats haven't held power for eight years.

    They are both factions of the oligarchy. They get to take turns playing good cop/bad cop with their respective bases.

    GOP = powerful government
    Dems = big government

    Dems + GOP = big, powerful, government

  • ||

    Also, I know this is blasphemous to say on a site like this, but Ayn Rand was a poor philospher, novelist, screen writer, & from what I've read person.



    Aw geez, another "critic."

  • d||

    >Well, if Ayn Rand was and was not simultaneously a cold-hearted psycho bitch,
    >then she was wrong about non-contradiction in reality.
    >
    >Also, her metaphysics is mereologically insipid.
    >
    Your reply is not very coherent, if only as one might understand it as a
    mereological whole, mereologically speaking. [Geez. Did somebody learn a new
    word?]

  • ||

    Geez. Did somebody learn a new
    word?


    Ha!

    Ayn Rand was a poor philospher, novelist, screen writer, & from what I've read person.

    Wow, how *inventive* and *radical* of you. Haven't heard that one before.

    Come back when you have something new or substantiative.

    you can spot the really raving nutty ones by pronouncing her name "Ann". The sane ones don't seem to care about that much.

    Oh dear...IT RHYMES WITH "MINE" GODDAMMIT!

    :-D

  • dhex||

    she also had a shitty haircut.

    but i did enjoy her appearance on donohue (via youtube).

    eternal life is in one's grasp after all, it seems.

  • ||

    something new or substantiative.

    Ayn Randian, I hate to be a frigging pedant, but I looked in the Yahoo online dictionary and there was no entry for "substantiative". Judging from the way you used it, could "substantive" be the word you meant to use? Its meaning fits.

  • NoStar||

    NoStar - didn't Einstein say that all particles have wave properties or natures? Regardless, if the concept of "light" means that light can manifest itself as waves or particles, I don't see that as a contradiction.

    Ayn_Randian, it maybe easy for you to accept the contridiction, but if a what a thing is, is dependant on how we choose to percieve it (or how we choose to measure it) epistemology becomes nothing but an article of faith and discussions about it an intellectual circle jerk.

    Geometry (the mathematical science of measuring space) is based on a known falsehood: Between any two points there is always another point. Space and time are not infinitely divisible. The universe is not analog. It is digital. While a thing that is as plain as the nose on your face appears to be situated in a clearly defined location, the bits of information that make up the universe are stored holographically. The locality of your nose is an illusion. What we percieve as reality is a digital simulation.

    Superstring theory suggests that the "real" reality exists on the other side of the foam that throws off the strings and bubbles what we perceive as particles, waves, and forces. This makes Plato with his transcendental "perfect forms" more relevant than Aristotle. Rand bet on the wrong horse, just as Aristotle deduced from logic the number of teeth in a horse's mouth rather than counting for himself.

    When Rand or a Randroid asserts that "A is A", She doesn't mean that a thing is what it is. She means that a thing is what she says it is. If she observes a particle, then anyone observing a wave must be a reality denying second hander.

    I'll finish with one more example showing the world is not what we think it is: The ancient Greeks thought of sight as coming from rays that left the eye to reach out and touch the thing perceived. Most modern people would say that is backwards, light travels from the object to the eye of the beholder. However, the mathematics that describe the travels of photons shows that light is "timeless". It is just as logical to say that photons travel backwards through time as it is to describe their motion as forward through time. The math cannot be used to prove the superior validity of one description over the other. If the photon could experience itself AND describe its experience to us, it would say it is not traveling at all. It simply exists at all points along its path simultaneously. Remember, at the speed of light, there is no measuring any change in time.

    As a practical matter, we must choose a reality. Unlike Rand, I find it best not to be dogmatic in the defense of my choice.

    PS: Why is it that the complexity of my comments corresponds to the increased probability that the comment will be lost in the ether of the internets (or are they snacked upon by the Hit&Run Server Squirrels?)

    I am never as happy with my effort to recreate a posting as a was with the original.

  • NoStar||

    Sorry All, I dropped a backslash.

    NoStar - didn't Einstein say that all particles have wave properties or natures? Regardless, if the concept of "light" means that light can manifest itself as waves or particles, I don't see that as a contradiction.

    Ayn_Randian, it maybe easy for you to accept the contridiction, but if a what a thing is, is dependant on how we choose to percieve it (or how we choose to measure it) epistemology becomes nothing but an article of faith and discussions about it an intellectual circle jerk.

    Geometry (the mathematical science of measuring space) is based on a known falsehood: Between any two points there is always another point. Space and time are not infinitely divisible. The universe is not analog. It is digital. While a thing that is as plain as the nose on your face appears to be situated in a clearly defined location, the bits of information that make up the universe are stored holographically. The locality of your nose is an illusion. What we percieve as reality is a digital simulation.

    Superstring theory suggests that the "real" reality exists on the other side of the foam that throws off the strings and bubbles what we perceive as particles, waves, and forces. This makes Plato with his transcendental "perfect forms" more relevant than Aristotle. Rand bet on the wrong horse, just as Aristotle deduced from logic the number of teeth in a horse's mouth rather than counting for himself.

    When Rand or a Randroid asserts that "A is A", She doesn't mean that a thing is what it is. She means that a thing is what she says it is. If she observes a particle, then anyone observing a wave must be a reality denying second hander.

    I'll finish with one more example showing the world is not what we think it is: The ancient Greeks thought of sight as coming from rays that left the eye to reach out and touch the thing perceived. Most modern people would say that is backwards, light travels from the object to the eye of the beholder. However, the mathematics that describe the travels of photons shows that light is "timeless". It is just as logical to say that photons travel backwards through time as it is to describe their motion as forward through time. The math cannot be used to prove the superior validity of one description over the other. If the photon could experience itself AND describe its experience to us, it would say it is not traveling at all. It simply exists at all points along its path simultaneously. Remember, at the speed of light, there is no measuring any change in time.

    As a practical matter, we must choose a reality. Unlike Rand, I find it best not to be dogmatic in the defense of my choice.

    PS: Why is it that the complexity of my comments corresponds to the increased probability that the comment will be lost in the ether of the internets (or are they snacked upon by the Hit&Run Server Squirrels?)

    I am never as happy with my effort to recreate a posting as a was with the original.

  • lower case j||

    Ayn Rand was a poor philospher, novelist, screen writer, & from what I've read person.

    The www.aynrandlexicon.com is available for free.

    From the editor's preface (Harry Binswanger):

    "As she quipped to me, "People will be able to look up BREAKFAST and see that I did not advocate eating babies for breakfast.""

  • ||

    Ideas matter, but be skeptical of ideas that can't be lived up to, even (especially!) by their progenitor.

    See, also, carbon footprints of global warming activists.

  • nfl jerseys||

    myh

  • Nike Dunk SB High||

    is good

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement