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Ayn Rand (does not) describe herself and other thoughts regarding Rand
Posted: 09 June 2013 07:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 46 ]
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Please notice in my original post I did provide four links to articles that examine Rand’s philosophy.

I received that picture with that quote, and just tossed it up there in a fit of enthusiasm to see
if it might stir some interesting discussion - I then supported the basic contention with those four links,
from folks who have spent more time studying her than me - outlining what they find bizarre and counterproductive in Ayn’s philosophy.

So this was an exploratory mission, started with a provocation quote.

I’m curious is this another case where that image/quote is all you want to focus on while ignoring all this…
============

citizenschallenge.pm - 05 April 2013 06:08 PM

I bring it (the image/quote) up because it’s about the first time I’ve read anything she’s written that has made sense to me.

Further reading for the curious:

Ayn Rand, Just Go Away
By Victoria Bekiempis, Guardian UK
11 June 12
http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/11863-focus-ayn-rand-just-go-away

Ayn Rand: Sociopath Who Admired a Serial Killer?
By Austin Cline, About.com GuideMay 11, 2011

http://atheism.about.com/b/2011/05/11/ayn-rand-sociopath-who-admired-a-serial-killer.htm

Ayn Rand And The Sociopathic Society or ‘How I Learned To Stop Loving My Neighbor And Despise Them Instead’
2013/03/24
By Justin “Filthy Liberal Scum” Rosario

http://www.addictinginfo.org/2013/03/24/sociopathic/

“This is a simple fact that can be verified by anyone with even minimal Google skills. She was the Albert Schweitzer of Selfishness and the Mother Theresa of Greed all rolled into one. This, naturally, makes her a hero to the Right and qualifies her for sainthood. Too bad she was an Atheist. . .”

Voices from the Flats – I Me Mine: The Unholy Trinity Of Ayn Rand
By Don Millard
http://www.themudflats.net/?p=20458

Oh for the record I don’t agree with everything written within the above four article - but they are interesting food for thought.

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Posted: 09 June 2013 03:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 47 ]
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I think I found the original source for the quote.  It was written on Barack Obama’s Kenyan Birth Certificate.  LOL

It makes sense.  Both are fake.  Yet both are believed by people for political/ideological reasons.

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Posted: 09 June 2013 04:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 48 ]
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Perhaps, maybe yes, maybe no - but there is this, with sources

Ayn Rand: Sociopath Who Admired a Serial Killer?
By Austin Cline, About.com GuideMay 11, 2011

http://atheism.about.com/b/2011/05/11/ayn-rand-sociopath-who-admired-a-serial-killer.htm

If you’ve ever had the feeling that there was something fundamentally sociopathic about Ayn Rand’s philosophy, you may have been on to something. Apparently one of Ayn Rand’s early “heroes” was a serial killer named William Edward Hickman. When he was arrested Hickman became quite famous—the talk of the town, so to speak, but for the entire country. Rand took things a bit further than most, though, and modeled at least one of her literary characters on Hickman.

The best way to get to the bottom of Ayn Rand’s beliefs is to take a look at how she developed the superhero of her novel, Atlas Shrugged, John Galt. Back in the late 1920s, as Ayn Rand was working out her philosophy, she became enthralled by a real-life American serial killer, William Edward Hickman, whose gruesome, sadistic dismemberment of 12-year-old girl named Marion Parker in 1927 shocked the nation.

Rand filled her early notebooks with worshipful praise of Hickman. According to biographer Jennifer Burns, author of Goddess of the Market, Rand was so smitten with Hickman that she modeled her first literary creation—Danny Renahan, the protagonist of her unfinished first novel, The Little Street—on him.

Ayn Rand And The Sociopathic Society or ‘How I Learned To Stop Loving My Neighbor And Despise Them Instead’
2013/03/24
By Justin “Filthy Liberal Scum” Rosario

http://www.addictinginfo.org/2013/03/24/sociopathic/

I thought about that for a while. I suppose its simplicity struck me as being a little too easy, a little too sound bitey. So I sat down and made a list of conservative ideas and what they really mean:

No gay marriage – Homosexuality makes me uncomfortable (due to misguided religious influence or poor upbringing or both) so gay people should be punished because of my beliefs. Stoopid homos…
No welfare, food stamps or Medicaid – I’m not poor enough to qualify for these programs so my tax dollars shouldn’t pay for it. Stoopid poor people and by poor I really mean black…
No health care reform – Why should I help pay for other people who are sick when I’m not? Stoopid sick people…
No environmental protection – Environmental laws makes things more expensive for me and that’s bad. I also don’t understand the concept of long term impact; I want cheap gas and gadgets now! Stoopid…ah, you get the idea…
Don’t raise my taxes – EVER. The government can find its own money to pay for stuff I want.
Medicare – Young conservatives: Why should I help pay for old people and the disabled?  Older conservatives: Keep your government hands off my Medicare!
Social Security – Young conservatives: Sacrifices need to be made, people should take care of themselves, not depend on handouts from people like me. Older conservatives: Sacrifices need to be made BUT DON’T YOU TOUCH MY SOCIAL SECURITY!
No abortion – The government should tell women what to do with their bodies because I don’t like abortion.
No prayer in school? – GOVERNMENT OVERREACH!! I like The Jesus™ so everyone should have to listen to my prayers. No Muslim prayers, though. That’s indoctrination.
{...}

Well, that’s kind of easy. Who is the guiding light of conservatives (and Libertarians) all the way from corrupt CEOs down to easily manipulated Tea Party fanatics?

The answer? Ayn Rand.

Ayn Rand’s specific worldview was that “The pursuit of his (man’s) own rational self-interest and of his own happiness is the highest moral purpose of his life.” This is in direct opposition to a functional humane society where the whole must be cohesive in order to provide for its weakest and most vulnerable. You’ll notice my inclusion of the word “humane.” You can have a perfectly functional society without a shred of humanity in it. Take, for example, the Industrial Age societies. They literally built the foundations for the world we know and yet they allowed or even encouraged child labor; essentially the slavery of children. Speaking of slavery, they had THAT, too, and no matter what Haley Barbour, Pat Buchanan and the other apologists revisionists would have you think, it was horrible and inhumane.

Read more: http://www.addictinginfo.org/2013/03/24/sociopathic/#ixzz2VlSNGWW9

“This is a simple fact that can be verified by anyone with even minimal Google skills. She was the Albert Schweitzer of Selfishness and the Mother Theresa of Greed all rolled into one. This, naturally, makes her a hero to the Right and qualifies her for sainthood. Too bad she was an Atheist. . .”

Voices from the Flats – I Me Mine: The Unholy Trinity Of Ayn Rand
By Don Millard
http://www.themudflats.net/?p=20458

Ayn Rand, Just Go Away
By Victoria Bekiempis, Guardian UK
11 June 12
http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/11863-focus-ayn-rand-just-go-away

For a time, I was a devotee of Ayn Rand’s ideas. Now I see what a pernicious philosophy rational egoism is - and how dumb!

Ayn Rand is one of those people whom you just want to go away, but won’t.

I say this not with hate or ignorance, but with deep familiarity.

When, as a self-absorbed college freshman, I first came across the Russian emigre author of The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, she seemed like the coolest thinker ever - what selfish person doesn’t want to hear that being selfish doesn’t just feel good, but actually is good, too?

I quickly devoured nearly all of her atrocious tomes with a sort of blind hunger - that ferocious pseudo-intellectual reading you do only to confirm your beliefs, if you will. Indeed, I devotedly hung on her every word, even becoming an officer of my university’s Objectivist club. At one point, I may even have been president.

Much to the lament of my philosophy classmates, I was that girl who frequently (and loudly!) argued in favor of Rand’s illogical claims that altruism doesn’t exist; that selfishness is a virtue; and that “rational egoism” is the only right way to live.

{...}

What’s scary is that so many Americans have not grown out of that mentally puerile phase. Instead, this contingent - now largely comprised of Tea Party radicals - remains mired in her pop philosophy.

Oh for the record I don’t agree with everything written within the above four article - but they are interesting food for thought.  Maybe that’s why I keep probing for why so many love her… or her ideas.

It actually doesn’t make a bit of difference what she may have said in an off-hand comment, or in some late age lucidity or in someone’s apocryphal fib - what matters is what people have done with her words and contrived fiction nickel novels.

And if the couple thoughts shared earlier are the best fans can come up with, call me unimpressed   oh oh

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Posted: 09 June 2013 04:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 49 ]
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citizenschallenge.pm - 09 June 2013 04:36 PM

Perhaps, maybe yes, maybe no…

No perhaps.  No maybe.  The quote is fake.  You fell for it just as the “Birthers” fell for the idea that Obama is not a natural born American. 

All the opinions of Rand and her writings are just that—opinions.  The entire basis for this thread—what started it all off, was a fake quote.

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Posted: 10 June 2013 04:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 50 ]
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Rocinante - 09 June 2013 04:45 PM
citizenschallenge.pm - 09 June 2013 04:36 PM

Perhaps, maybe yes, maybe no…

No perhaps.  No maybe.  The quote is fake.  You fell for it just as the “Birthers” fell for the idea that Obama is not a natural born American. 

All the opinions of Rand and her writings are just that—opinions.  The entire basis for this thread—what started it all off, was a fake quote.

No I gave you the information, given technology you can track down that image and investigate further.
I further admit perhaps it could be a fake, but considering it is an off hand remark anyways,
it is quite possible that she actually said it at one of those drinking talking socialite parties she loved attending.
Doesn’t actually mean a freak’n think, you know - other than being a provocative conversation starter . . .
you can even flog me for bait and switch in the provocation.

Well, I was curious to see where this conversation might lead. 
I was hoping someone might actually try defending what she believed and why she believed it and why the hell her novel’s cartoon message dressed up as philosophy has turned into such a powerful political force.


Let’s see at one point Lois make some interesting thoughtful observations, that was nice.
Then some stuff on “Rational self interest” that went no where… Then a couple featherweight quotes, and that’s about it for that discussion. 
AH BUT THEN the ever reliable derailer of dialogue “false equivalence” reared it head.

Turns out the provenance of the image that way-laided me and inspired this Thread is in question.
I did my best to offer what I knew and made the admission that perhaps it is a fake and should be taken with a grain of salt.
But, that was not enough - how I’ve been branded a “Birther at heart”.
(Check out the previous few post for details.)

“One should care because it goes to the heart of the very discussion.”

That’s a dang lie, since my discussion wasn’t about what she thought of herself !
I wanted to know something about why other people adored her so - and why they used her (to my eyes) very naive thinking to justify and force through, greed based and ultimately very counterproductive policies.
~ ~ ~


But instead I find myself in the middle of an interesting study in false equivalence.

Using a snappy provocative poster, that upon further pressing I freely admit it might be fake - while attempting to make clear that what Ayn thought of herself was actually the last thing I was interested in and that all those other links and thoughts and evidence were the actual backbone of my attempt at dialogue here.

That goes ignored

And suddenly I am every bit as guilty of dishonesty as the “Birthers” with their multiple coordinated campaigns of deception and
all told, I bet a, million of dollars worth of expenditures for PR, including collusion with major media outlets all calculated to dishonestly destroy a Presidential candidate.

Great fuk’n smoke screen for once again hiding from the real questions and conversation.

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Posted: 10 June 2013 07:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 51 ]
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citizenschallenge.pm - 10 June 2013 04:29 PM

That’s a dang lie, since my discussion wasn’t about what she thought of herself !

Umm, the very title of your thread was/is: “Ayn Rand describes herself and other thoughts regarding Rand.” [Emphasis added.] 

Also, please note, I never called you a liar for posting the fake quote.  I realize you were simply duped by it, blinded by your political ideology.  But you don’t extend me the same courtesy and claim I lie because I point out the truthful fact that the discussion is based on the concept of what Rand thought of herself as it sprang from a fake quote.  If the conversation morphs and evolves from there, so be it.  But its basis, the very thing you started the thread with, was a fake quote about what she allegedly thought of herself.  You are not a liar, despite posting a fake quote.  And I am not a liar for pointing out your quote—the very one you posted and started the whole conversation with —is no such thing. 

citizenschallenge.pm - 10 June 2013 04:29 PM

And suddenly I am every bit as guilty of dishonesty as the “Birthers”

Not dishonesty.  Willful partisan blindness.  Since you still say of the fake quote, “I further admit perhaps it could be a fake…” “Perhaps?”  If someone said, “Perhaps Obama was born in the U.S.,” how would that be any different than your position?  You also say, “...it is quite possible that she actually said it...” [Emphasis added], then, yes, I put you in the same camp as the Birthers who won’t accept the facts due to their being blinded by their political ideology. 

At least the idiot Birthers can actually point to people around Obama who have stated he was born in Kenya.  They hang on to that shred of nonsense just as you hang on to the remote possibility that Rand, somewhere, sometime, said the quote but we just weren’t around to hear her say it.

[ Edited: 10 June 2013 07:46 PM by Rocinante ]
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Posted: 11 June 2013 11:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 52 ]
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Rocinante - 10 June 2013 07:42 PM

Not dishonesty.  Willful partisan blindness.

yea, yea, blah, blah, ducking the essence of the conversation with tickie tackie once again.


And when I think of the liberties the Randian-types allow themselves without a blush it’s amazing.

SO - Back to the actual Question:

What has Ayn Rand said that is of any actual real world value???
Particularly, in regards to the real world of 2013 + +  ?

dare ya….

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Posted: 12 June 2013 06:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 53 ]
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SO - Back to the actual Question:

Distraction ill suits you, and you’re missing the point which Rocinante is trying to get across. The point being that the quote your hanging so much on is a fake!!!! It’s a fraud!!!

There may be a thousand perfectly legitimate reasons to love OR hate Ms. Rand, but a bogus (i.e…fraudulent!) quotation isn’t one of them and it ill suits a skeptic to resort to such tactics. Doing so is not thinking. It’s toeing a line.

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Posted: 12 June 2013 07:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 54 ]
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I’m a philosophy professor who is an Objectivist (and was an associate of Ayn Rand).

Re quotes from her actual writings (as opposed to the fake one), I created, with her
personal cooperation, The Ayn Rand Lexicon, which culls her best passages on
some 400 topics in philosophy and cognate fields. (The greatest number of topics are in
epistemology, but they cover a wide range, from “Abortion” to “Zero, Reification of.”)

It came out in 1986, and having sold about 60,000 copies, I thought I’d made
enough in royalties, so I donated it to an online site, and you can browse by
entry, or do a global search, here:


aynrandlexicon.com

Take a gander.

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Posted: 12 June 2013 08:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 55 ]
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HBinswanger - 12 June 2013 07:03 AM

I’m a philosophy professor who is an Objectivist (and was an associate of Ayn Rand).

Re quotes from her actual writings (as opposed to the fake one), I created, with her
personal cooperation, The Ayn Rand Lexicon, which culls her best passages on
some 400 topics in philosophy and cognate fields. (The greatest number of topics are in
epistemology, but they cover a wide range, from “Abortion” to “Zero, Reification of.”)

It came out in 1986, and having sold about 60,000 copies, I thought I’d made
enough in royalties, so I donated it to an online site, and you can browse by
entry, or do a global search, here:


aynrandlexicon.com

Take a gander.

Thanks, HB.  Is this statement correct?: “A central tenet of Objectivism is that reality is independent of consciousness.”  If so does that mean that consciousness is viewed by Objectivists as a phenomenon that somehow exists separately from reality, and i.e., is not an outgrowth of processes that have occurred in the unfolding of the natural universe?

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 12 June 2013 08:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 56 ]
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Welcome to the CFI forums, and thank you for posting the link to Rand’s writings. I looked under “altruism” because I remember from the video I linked previously that Rand said some pretty bizarre things on the topic.

What is the moral code of altruism? The basic principle of altruism is that man has no right to exist for his own sake, that service to others is the only justification of his existence, and that self-sacrifice is his highest moral duty, virtue and value.

Do not confuse altruism with kindness, good will or respect for the rights of others. These are not primaries, but consequences, which, in fact, altruism makes impossible. The irreducible primary of altruism, the basic absolute, is self-sacrifice—which means; self-immolation, self-abnegation, self-denial, self-destruction—which means: the self as a standard of evil, the selfless as a standard of the good.

Charitably, what Rand did was create a straw man argument then take it to radical extremes. If you are curious about Rand’s writings click the link in the previous post and look for yourself. There are many more quotes about altruism on this page. Rand comes across not as a serious philosopher, but as an intelligent sociopath trying to justify her own selfishness and prejudices.

Since nature does not provide man with an automatic form of survival, since he has to support his life by his own effort, the doctrine that concern with one’s own interests is evil means that man’s desire to live is evil—that man’s life, as such, is evil. No doctrine could be more evil than that.

Yet that is the meaning of altruism.

Man cannot support his “life by his own effort.” No matter how often and loudly Libertarians rail against government, we are all in this together. Rand did not understand this. There is no doctrine that states being concerned with your own interests is evil. Of course we are all concerned with our own interests. Further, altruism does not mean the desire to live is evil. I looked it up and found altruistic means “showing a disinterested and selfless concern for the well being of others: unselfish.” I checked the thesaurus and found a few synonyms for altruistic; “compassionate, kind, charitable, benevolent, beneficent, philanthropic, humanitarian.” Altruism is the practice of being altruistic, not a doctrine that states watching our for oneself is evil, especially since the vast majority of us do just fine watching our for ourselves while being altruistic toward others.

I’ve given this example in another thread, but it is relevant here too. Texas is a very large state, and when you get west of I-10 there are vast areas with few roads and little traffic. A few times in my decades on this planet I’ve been driving in West Texas and found someone on the side of the road with a flat tire or empty gas tank. I stopped to help. That’s what we do in West Texas. Helping change a tire takes only a few minutes, and there is no sense of urgency in West Texas anyway. One time I drove a man 10 miles to the nearest gas station and back to his truck, and turned down the money he offered for my help. That is altruism. I still get to live my life as I choose, drive the vehicle I choose, wear the hat I choose, and live where I want.

Rand has it wrong.

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Posted: 12 June 2013 02:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 57 ]
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Equal Opportunity Curmudgeon - 12 June 2013 06:35 AM

SO - Back to the actual Question:

Distraction ill suits you, and you’re missing the point which Rocinante is trying to get across. The point being that the quote your hanging so much on is a fake!!!! It’s a fraud!!!

There may be a thousand perfectly legitimate reasons to love OR hate Ms. Rand, but a bogus (i.e…fraudulent!) quotation isn’t one of them and it ill suits a skeptic to resort to such tactics. Doing so is not thinking. It’s toeing a line.

And the point you’re missing is that I’m not actually hanging anything on That quote.
As I made obvious by the links and quotes I included in my opening post immediately below that provocative poster - that I was sharing other’s thoughts of her work.
And was curious about what people saw in her transparent tripe {my assessment NOT HER’s blank stare }... etc., etc.
You conveniently ignore that… don’t you.

{again the false equivalence is amusing   hmmm }

Do you see me insisting here that Ayn Rand had self loathing issues and didn’t believe anything she wrote?
Have I argued that?  Have I defended such a notion?
I shared a poster that both shock and amused me… and yes I figured it might provoke some into actually sharing something of substance about her magnetic appeal.  At the time it sure sounded like it could be authentic, after all, Ayn was no fool.
But, everything else in the thread has been about what others and myself think of her… and my bafflement that so many buy into her self-destructive nonsense.

nor have I tried to trump up that poster as absolute fact ...
Although the original of that image ought to be trackable to the source where a conclusive answer lies to that Trivia Question: did she actually say those words.  smirk

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Posted: 12 June 2013 02:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 58 ]
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citizenschallenge.pm - 05 April 2013 06:08 PM

I bring it up because it’s about the first time I’ve read anything she’s written that has made sense to me.

Further reading for the curious:

Ayn Rand, Just Go Away
By Victoria Bekiempis, Guardian UK
11 June 12
http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/11863-focus-ayn-rand-just-go-away

Ayn Rand: Sociopath Who Admired a Serial Killer?
By Austin Cline, About.com GuideMay 11, 2011

http://atheism.about.com/b/2011/05/11/ayn-rand-sociopath-who-admired-a-serial-killer.htm

Ayn Rand And The Sociopathic Society or ‘How I Learned To Stop Loving My Neighbor And Despise Them Instead’
2013/03/24
By Justin “Filthy Liberal Scum” Rosario

http://www.addictinginfo.org/2013/03/24/sociopathic/

“This is a simple fact that can be verified by anyone with even minimal Google skills. She was the Albert Schweitzer of Selfishness and the Mother Theresa of Greed all rolled into one. This, naturally, makes her a hero to the Right and qualifies her for sainthood. Too bad she was an Atheist. . .”

Voices from the Flats – I Me Mine: The Unholy Trinity Of Ayn Rand
By Don Millard
http://www.themudflats.net/?p=20458

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Posted: 12 June 2013 03:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 59 ]
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HBinswanger - 12 June 2013 07:03 AM

I’m a philosophy professor who is an Objectivist (and was an associate of Ayn Rand).

Re quotes from her actual writings (as opposed to the fake one), I created, with her
personal cooperation, The Ayn Rand Lexicon, which culls her best passages on
some 400 topics in philosophy and cognate fields. (The greatest number of topics are in
epistemology, but they cover a wide range, from “Abortion” to “Zero, Reification of.”)

It came out in 1986, and having sold about 60,000 copies, I thought I’d made
enough in royalties, so I donated it to an online site, and you can browse by
entry, or do a global search, here:


aynrandlexicon.com

Take a gander.

Now that’s what I call a constructive reply.

Thank you,
looks impressive,
it promises to be interesting, though it’s set up more for the student that already knows what they are looking for.
Still, it’ll make for some interesting browsing.

Thank you for sharing that.
============================================


Now considering you appear to be an expert HBinswanger -
May I ask your opinion:
are those words in the original image at the start of this post a total fabrication…
or is it one of those things she may have said somewhere, taken out of context and manipulated?
~ ~ ~

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Posted: 12 June 2013 03:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 60 ]
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You mean the one that starts, “I am a mediocre writer?” 100% fabrication
out of whole cloth.

Yes, I know everything she ever wrote, and most of what she said publicly. (I began
reading her in 1962).

Being in philosophy, I got to know her gradually after that. In her final years
(1980 - 1982) I was speaking to her daily on the phone and
visited her frequently. So I can on that basis tell you that such a statement would
have been impossible to her.

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