About
Content
Store
Forum

Rebirth of Reason
War
People
Archives
Objectivism

Post to this threadMark all messages in this thread as readMark all messages in this thread as unreadBack one pagePage 0Page 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Forward one pageLast Page


Sanction: 8, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 8, No Sanction: 0
Post 40

Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - 10:24amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Joe,

Your Post 32 was extremely interesting. (Bonk.) I was especially pleased to see that you have not bought into the idea that Barbara wrote her biography out of spite, as accused (nor Nathaniel).

The idea of Ayn Rand having some form of Aspergers is very intriguing - including the reaction to it by others. I am not claiming that she did or did not, but that the idea of categorizing her behavior non-morally - just to look at it without all the shouting - is a very good thing.

I have not reread the full PAR yet, as it only arrived the other day. Is there anywhere within it that Barbara claims that Ayn Rand was mentally ill? I certainly do not remember that. If Szaz criticized the statement, then it must be out there somewhere. (I need to read this guy, but at the outset, I have a few doubts about some quotes on addiction that were posted here on Solo.)

You accurately describe Rand's behavior based on the accounts of several people I have read. I especially liked this paragraph:
Yes, Barbara does point out to the many achievements of Rand's life. She also reacts negatively to many parts as well. Most of those criticisms are similar to criticisms of people with Aspergers, including anti-social behavior, lack of warmth, rigid, black and white thinking, and authoritarianism. Even some of the more benign traits like overcarefullness with cooking, awkwardness with physical reality, and the tendency to talk on and on without realizing the other party may have lost interest. The disdain for small talk is a common trait, and most tellingly, the gazing stare, as if one is being looked through. Rand's stare, which goes beyond the Branden's account as being a hallmark of anyone who met her, is a classic trait.
I believe that this warrants a longer more in-depth work by you and it is EXTREMELY important. I strongly urge you to do something along these lines.

A work like that would go a long ways towards diffusing the excessive finger-pointing that has characterized the Objectivist and Libertarian movement.

But why not use that same critical thinking in looking at the Brandens? Or is the charge, "social metaphysics," or "morally corrupt" or even "misunderstanding psychology" and so forth easier?

You wrote:
If Rand had "Aspergers's Syndrome," then the Branden's had "social metaphysics" syndrome.
How about "master-disciple cult-like worship" syndrome? How about "being too young and brought up as mini-gods" syndrome? How about a reaction to a sort of "reverse Pygmalion" syndrome? There are several possibilities.

Then again, we all can simply point a finger and claim that the Brandens are self-servingly dishonest and were never sincere in their entire lives. That sure is a whole lot easier.

Michael


Edit - I still maintain that PAR is a magnificent tribute to Rand from one of her former disciples.

(Edited by Michael Stuart Kelly on 11/23, 10:29am)




Sanction: 3, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 3, No Sanction: 0
Post 41

Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - 10:30amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Thank you, Casey. Like I said, it is armchair psychologizing, but my point is that it is based on the Branden's accounts of Rand.





Sanction: 15, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 15, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 15, No Sanction: 0
Post 42

Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - 10:50amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
The fact that she was fooled by them shows she trusted too much; she wanted to believe the best and could not conceive of the worst. They knew that about her, and they played her.
 
Mr Fahy,  many people  played this kind of game with me before, and I guess, you must have had  an experience similar to this, at least once in your own life.? who hasn't.?  

My loss, from such experiences have never been disastrous; how about yours?

If I find out that a person whom I respect and value  is a  motherfucker, do you think I will sit in the corner crying  my heart out?  Nhaaaaaa! I will go after him and try to fuck him as hard as possible.
What was Ayn Rand's reaction when she found out that the Brandens were exploiters? Did she sit in the corner and cry her heart out for the rest of her life? Or  Had she escogitated a plan to destroy NB, and BB.? 

I could't  find about her revenge written anywhere except in Mr Valliant's book , which is, that she felt a sense of disgust  if she had to shake NB's hand again. Now; If your suggestion is not to consider  what the Brandens wrote  about Rand    because they are liars, it boils down to the fact that  Ayn Rand  after she finds out about  the Brandens to be exploiters, she didn't do anything!!!! wow!!
Did she turn  the other cheek.?
Ciro.



Nathaniel Branden first thought (when he finds His wife dead in the pool ) is; Did Ayn Killed her?
How can a person arrive at such conclusion?If he doesn't feel hunted?
(Edited by Ciro D'Agostino on 11/23, 12:20pm)




Sanction: 8, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 8, No Sanction: 0
Post 43

Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - 10:58amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Ciro:

"What do you think about me, Mr. Roark?"

"I don't."




Post 44

Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - 11:20amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

(Edited by Ciro D'Agostino on 11/23, 12:36pm)




Sanction: 12, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 12, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 12, No Sanction: 0
Post 45

Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - 11:30amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Aw, c'mon, Casey!  Roark never fell in love with Toohey, never had an affair with Toohey, never was sexually betrayed by Toohey, etc., etc., et cetera.  Drop context much?  There was never any evidence that Roark thought about Toohey, so the statement is perfectly believable, and stunning, and KASS and, you know, all those things.  Rand re: Brandon?  Not so much.  It's exactly this kind of snide, dismissive, non-argument which you keep bringing to the table that makes me doubt your intellectual sincerity, man (on this issue, specifically).  Maybe you just didn't think that one through, but thinking things through should be the bare minimum around here, don't you think?

Don't you do my man, Ciro, like that--I'll eff you up! C'mone! *raises fists, thumbs nose, displays fancy footwork*

-Kevin




Sanction: 5, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 5, No Sanction: 0
Post 46

Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - 11:30amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Michael, I don't know if I'm qualified enough for such an undertaking...even if I am right, I am not a psychologist or neurologist, haven't done the proper studies. At best, like you mentioned before, I'm tangential, good at juxtaposition, but I haven't don't have the proper scientific studies. Too much of my information is second hand. In the case of Rand, I may be projecting too much of my own mindset onto her.
Having said that, I would love to see a proper study on this also, with a strong condition: though I offered this theory to suggest that the biases of psychology are the real problem concerning the Branden's accounts, the real worth of such a study would be to explain the brain/mind connection and how it affects an individual's philosophy and choices. (And that is where I think Szasz falls short, he fails to explain adequately the origin of mind and discounts the neurological affects on behavior, which put both Rand and Branden at odds with him.)

Ashley, it is not so much that people with Asperger's perceive a different reality as much as how they perceive it.
Regarding the stare: it's not that people with Asperger's can't look you in the eye, it's a matter of a lack of modulation. When they talk on and on, there will be less eye contact. But when they do look you in the eye, the lack of natural modulation results in a stare, which unnerves many people. And without that modulation, people with Aspergers come off as very intense.

And the problem of sensory integration involves a lack of habituation; normally the brain will filter out background sounds in order to concentrate, in Asperger's it doesn't, making it hard to concentrate in a crowd of people, causing disorientation and even outbursts of frustration. Clothing has to be a certain fabric to be tolerable, otherwise the feeling will be too much. (This is a blessing and a curse at times: as a musician, I can hear all sorts of overtones, as a curse, every appliance gives off a torturous hum.) Whether or not Rand had issues like that, I don't know.
(Edited by Joe Maurone
on 11/23, 11:39am)




Sanction: 17, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 17, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 17, No Sanction: 0
Post 47

Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - 11:32amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Ciro, Ayn most certainly did *not* turn the other cheek. Not in actuality, not metaphorically, not in any way. She was hurt, and betrayed for 4 years. She severed her ties with them. This is not inaction. It is a dignified and firm response to a protracted disrespect. I dont know many people who would have reacted appropriately. Turning the other cheek would have meant she gave them an opportunity to screw her over again.

John



Sanction: 15, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 15, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 15, No Sanction: 0
Post 48

Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - 11:54amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

Mr. Fahy,

In response to your post #8:

You took issue with my reading of some of Rand's journal entries, as reproduced on pp. 350-353 of The Passion of Ayn Rand's Critics.
Does anyone else really think Rand is contending for NB's soul here? That she is jealous and wants him?

The fact is, if Branden wasn't lying to Patrecia, than Rand was right -- Patrecia WAS dishonest. And remember that BRANDEN HIMSELF told Rand his low opinion of Patrecia -- while he was conducting a secret affair with her!

I think at some point people were accusing Valliant of cherry-picking. This paper is an excellent specimen of what cherry-picking really looks like.



There is no need to pick cherries, when they fall ripe at your feet.

I cited a bunch of passages in Rand's journals leading up to these entries, as well as some that follow them.  See, for instance, the Cyrano vs. Christian passage on p. 291, and the Galt vs. the folks next door passage on pp. 377-378.  Overall, a strong subtheme in the journal entries is Ayn Rand vs. Patrecia Scott (or some other "inferior woman," of the Patrecia type) as contenders for Nathaniel Branden's soul. 

Beyond referring you to other things that Rand wrote, I wiil simply make a plausible suggestion--that AR was neither the first nor the last human being to exhibit ambivalence toward a lover during the breakdown of a love affair.

Meanwhile, if you think that Rand merely suspected Patrecia of hiding something from her, you need to go back and read all of her comments about PS.  Then you can tell me whether you really think NB shared all of those low opinions of Patrecia.

Robert Campbell







(Edited by Robert Campbell on 11/23, 12:12pm)

(Edited by Robert Campbell on 11/23, 1:49pm)




Sanction: 8, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 8, No Sanction: 0
Post 49

Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - 12:19pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Robert,

Rand did make her own inferences, but Branden's expressed fear of falling for an "inferior," how he said that if he found the right woman it would be a "prison," his low opinion of Patrecia's intellect, etc., were Branden's assertions. Add to these things the perception of her "phoniness" and "acts" due to her own deception of Rand and Rand's opinion looks to be the product of whole lot more than jealousy -- something, it seems, that was not characteristic of Rand.


(Edited by James S. Valliant
on 11/23, 12:34pm)




Sanction: 10, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 10, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 10, No Sanction: 0
Post 50

Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - 11:25amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
The subject of jealousy has philosophical dimensions. Rand's integrity or hypocrisy on this matter is philosophically interesting and, possibly, instructive -- even if is not relevant to the truth of Rand's philosophical position on the subject.

Of course, we've hardly touched on the fact that Rand, at one point, suggested a new affair for Mr. Branden with someone else should this prove to be the solution to his "problems." Even if his and/or her contexts later disallowed this, the suggestion is remarkable for any contemporary lover to make at any time under any circumstances.

One can certainly question Rand's judgment with respect to the Brandens, but this can hardly be compared to systematic deception.




Sanction: 6, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 6, No Sanction: 0
Post 51

Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - 12:33pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
John : She was hurt, and betrayed for 4 years. She severed her ties with them. This is not inaction. It is a dignified and firm response to a protracted disrespect.

Dear John, if you don't have  direct knowledge about the facts
but got it from books, my opinion   is  as valid as anyone else's.   

(Edited by Ciro D'Agostino on 11/23, 3:01pm)




Post 52

Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - 12:35pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
"What do you think about me, Mr. Roark?"

No! I think you are Mr Fahy!
Am I wrong?




Sanction: 15, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 15, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 15, No Sanction: 0
Post 53

Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - 1:04pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Robert,

I remain curious as to how you integrate other passages from the notes into your thinking here. For example, even before Rand knew of Branden's affair with Patrecia, it was Branden who had been seeking second chances from Rand -- who had already tried to end it. Equally telling, just days after Branden had -- finally -- said that a continued affair for him was impossible due to the "age issue" (which Rand herself had long suggested might be a problem), Rand was suggesting that he might go for the "Emma Peel" type (!) There are more, but...

I've known some sexually jealous women in my time -- but this ain't it.

Believe me, I did not start out with the idea that Rand, for the most part, lacked jealousy -- I was forced into this position by a study of her notes.



Sanction: 13, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 13, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 13, No Sanction: 0
Post 54

Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - 1:24pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Kevin,

With respect to your Post 22, I would like to make a comment or two.

You express incredulity at the lack of comprehension of an obvious conclusion by otherwise seemingly intelligent people. I almost saw your jaw drop open.

I know exactly what you felt. I went through this earlier. But it is real. One of the reasons I started musing on the cognitive blank-out for normative evaluations was this. I cannot speculate on the cause yet, except to say that whatever causes it is very strong. But I do know the symptoms and the process. It goes something like this:

1. Complete denial of a conclusion or fact - either stated or strongly implied (like Ayn Rand must have been a world class putz to have been fooled for so long). The counter-claim would be that the Brandens are evil and excellent actors.

2. Then you point out that given Rand's level of perception into human motivation, there is no plausible reason that she could have been fooled for so long. Thus there must be something defective in her perception somewhere. There will be grudging admission that something like that might be true, but it is unimportant. This usually is accompanied by "given the enormity of the deception" or some other way to point the finger back at the Brandens. Or even more blank-outs.

3. Then you start to think about why Rand could have been fooled so long. The response to this will always be that YOUR motivation for thinking about such things is to denigrate Rand's image, thus you have no place for heroes in your life, yada yada yada.

4. Then some kind of a pissing contest starts, or the discussion ends.

5. Then when these people start to talk again about the same issue, they go back to zero. There is complete denial of the conclusion or fact - sometimes even with a new slant.

It goes round and round and round and round and round.

I have seen this cycle not just with an observation like you made of Rand's perception either. (btw - That one has been gone through several times.) The present thread on jealousy is a prime example. (1) Denial - (2) Grudging admission, but declared unimportant - (3) Accusation of observer - (4) Acrimony - (5) Back to denial.

If you check out the list in my own Post 8 on this thread, you will see several weird and just plain silly things defended this way.

As I stated before, I don't need to fill my head with crap to see something obvious like the Brandens deceived Rand about Nathaniel's love life, nor evaluate it as bad.

These people need to play this game for some reason, though. I have a lot of thinking to do about this.

Self-imposed cognitive blindness like what they do is not what I seek in Objectivism. I intend to do my share in shedding light on such poor quality thinking and fighting it.

Michael




Sanction: 10, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 10, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 10, No Sanction: 0
Post 55

Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - 1:31pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Mr. Valliant,

The material that you were commenting on gave you ample opportunities, in Part II of The Passion of Ayn Rand's Critics, to say that Ayn Rand was jealous of Patrecia Scott.

There were lots of ways you could have qualified such an assessment, or put it in context.  For instance: 

--  It was perfectly OK for AR to be jealous in that situation
--  It wasn't perfectly OK, but it was understandable and forgivable
--  It was neither--her expressions of jealousy were a moral lapse-but it didn't amount to a hill of beans next to Nathaniel Branden's lies to her (and the auxiliary deception being practiced by Barbara Branden and Patrecia herself)

Instead, you insisted that AR wasn't jealous of PS.  You even impugned the motives of readers who might disagree with you on the matter.

In your post #18, you say:

The context that you ignore in the case of Patrecia is bad enough, but if you are claiming Rand to have been a jealous person generally (something else relevant to your position that you seem to ignore), you are on still shakier ground. It's not just Peikoff -- even Ms. Branden (for what it's worth) says that Rand's "open delight" in the beauty of others had "not the slightest tinge of jealousy." Nor had Rand been jealous when it came to Ms. Branden's relationship with Branden.  
I haven't claimed that AR was a jealous person generally. 

Why was AR jealous of Patrecia Scott, but not of Barbara Branden?

Patrecia Scott was, in AR's view, an inferior woman--the sort that a smart, high-achieving man must never have a sexual relationsip with.  That's clear from the journal entries themselves--and consistent with much that Rand had written in the past.

In BB's case, I can only speculate.  My hypothesis is that AR saw BB as (1) another creator/ genius/ giant/ woman of the mind; and (2) as a disciple.  The first meant that BB was worthy of NB's love; the second, that she would defer to AR.   Of course, these estimates would be revised, after AR discovered that NB and BB had been lying to her, but they were still operative when she wrote the entries.

Finally, the attitudes and perspectives of Objectivism did not just happen to fall from the sky one day: they were the product of Rand's own soul and thinking. If Objectivism views jealousy negatively, then, one might suppose, this may actually reflect something that Rand sincerely believed herself.

And practiced without a breach, every minute of every day?

You say that I am misrepresenting you, when I attribute to you the presupposition that Ayn Rand was morally perfect...

Robert Campbell




Sanction: 18, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 18, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 18, No Sanction: 0
Post 56

Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - 1:56pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Robert,

Remember that when these notes were written Rand did not yet know about Branden's affair with Patrecia. Despite his denials, Rand is convinced that he has feelings for her. When you say "in that situation" -- this is the important context to keep in mind. It is also crucial that we bear in mind that these were notes from Rand's private journals. It seems from these notes that it was Ms. Branden who verbally attacked Patrecia, or at least that was Branden's complaint, not Rand.

On the specific question that was raised: I do not think that Rand's opinion of Patrecia was based on jealousy. She had a factual basis (although some may have been the product of Mr. Branden's deceptions or distortions) to support each and every one of those opinions independent of jealousy. We cannot drop the context of Rand's opinions, her previous behavior, her behavior toward Branden after his "break" with her, etc.

One must integrate every fact into a coherent picture, Robert.

Did I really need to say this? If Rand experienced jealousy about Patrecia, it would have been:
1. Morally neutral -- emotions are outside of the realm of moral judgment;
2. Certainly understandable, psychologically, even if it might reflect less than perfect self-esteem;
3. Wouldn't amount to a hill of beans compared to a multi-year deception.

Now Rand did make mistakes in her life, but I cannot see any moral breach. Without evidence, to which I remain open, your suggestion is an arbitrary one.





Sanction: 5, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 5, No Sanction: 0
Post 57

Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - 2:06pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Why was AR jealous of Patrecia Scott, but not of Barbara Branden?
 
 
NB says that he should  have not married Barbara
Barbara never wanted to marry NB ither.
Who could have been the artificer of this wedding?
 
In Italy we say that if you don't understand this much
sei un stronzo completo.
 



(Edited by Ciro D'Agostino on 11/23, 2:07pm)




Sanction: 5, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 5, No Sanction: 0
Post 58

Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - 2:06pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Kevin,

Notice James's Post 56 within the context of my last post.

That would be Item 2 - grudging admission, but declaring the issue to be unimportant.

I could not have made a better example.

Michael

(Edited by Michael Stuart Kelly on 11/23, 2:07pm)




Sanction: 11, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 11, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 11, No Sanction: 0
Post 59

Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - 2:14pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Mr. Valliant,

Rand did make her own inferences, but Branden's expressed fear of falling for an "inferior," how he said that if he found the right woman it would be a "prison," his low opinion of Patrecia's intellect, etc., were Branden's assertions.
Nathaniel Branden was vociferously defending Ayn Rand's sexual psychology in public during 1967 and 1968--even though it's obvious that it wasn't working for him personally.  (See also the passage on p. 343 of your book on "proper masculine superiority" and how NB claimed he'd never felt it in his relationship with AR).

Even if we discount AR's filtering of NB's statements during his "therapy" sessions with her, I see two obvious explanations for NB's negative remarks about PS and/or his attraction to her:

1. He was genuinely torn between his actual love for PS and his internalized model of AR's sexual psychology.

2. He was sucking up outrageously and bullshitting without bound, telling AR more of what he thought she wanted to hear.  (He already knew all about AR's notions of creator/geniuses and inferior women.)

I don't know which was the case.  Maybe some of both?

But I am surprised that you haven't suggested explanation #2... 

Robert Campbell




Post to this threadBack one pagePage 0Page 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Forward one pageLast Page
User ID Password reminder or create a free account.