|In post 7, Casey Fahey wrote:|
What PARC does prove is that Rand was innocent, and the Brandens were guilty (Rand's journals prove that the extent of her innocence and their guilt was far worse than the Brandens ever "confessed"), and PARC also proves that the Brandens have no reliable proof for their claims, and that the Brandens' claims are self-contradictory, self-serving and omit vital information (much revealed in the journals) to such an extent that they are worthless as a basis for any conclusions about Rand's character.I'll be the judge of that. Or, I should say, my wife and I will be the judges of that. Setting Rand's innocence or guilt aside, the issue of whether or not the Brandens "came clean" in their 80s books is important enough to warrant an analysis of Valliant's 10 claims of "oversights" in conjunction with a careful re-reading of Rand's journal entries and the relevant portions of the Brandens' books. My wife and I have begun this task, and we already have dismissed 5 of the 10 claims, and will delve into the evidence regarding the other 5 as time permits.
In our minds, regarding the dismissed claims, the issue is not: did the Brandens repeatedly and outrageously lie to Rand during the 60s (of course they did, especially Nathaniel)? But: did the Brandens lie to us in their books in the 80s? Did they deliberately mis-state or understate or omit crucial points?
In several cases, it is clear to us that Nathaniel and perhaps also Barbara made psychological judgments about Rand (e.g., jealousy, insecurity about her age, the likelihood of her totally breaking with Nathaniel if he rejected her) that, judging by her journal entries, were inaccurate, but on which they based their fear-driven actions of deceit. And it is also apparent that they still held these judgments in their books in the 80s. If so, and it is reasonable to suppose this is true, then what they said in their books about these judgments (as against Rand's true attitudes and feelings) was not a case of further dishonesty on their parts. It is another matter whether now, reading the Rand journal entries, Nathaniel or Barbara would revise their opinions -- or instead maintain them, on the belief that Rand was either not reporting or not experiencing or not reflecting on her true feelings at the particular moments she made the journal entries. They may well be chagrined at the disparity between Rand's apparent psychology in the journal entries and their own (inaccurate?) understanding of it from the 50s and 60s. But even if they are not, what is relevant to Valliant's claims on at least 2 or 3 of the "oversights" is whether the Brandens believed differently about Rand's psychology than her journal entries supposedly attest. And I see no reason to suppose or suspect that they are lying about that. There would have been no motive for them to lie to Rand in the 60s, if they did not honestly think/fear, based on their understanding of her psychology, that she was going to pull the rug out from under them once the truth about Nathaniel's affair with Patrecia came out. (The lies were morally indefensible, but that is not the issue. The issue is that the motive, the basis for the lies provides no rationale for the Brandens to have lied about it in their books in the 80s.
I have no comment at this time about the remaining "oversights." I may (or may not) share my conclusions on SOLO, when my research and analysis is finished, but I think the important thing is for everyone who cares about this matter to carefully look for themselves, which means digging through the Valliant book and the Brandens' books, rather than ruminating about second- and third-hand opining on this website.
...You suffer from the sickening Brandenian brain-rot that seems to assume that everyone is a shade of gray, everyone commits evil, there is no "perfection" and it is somehow unrealistic that Rand could have been morally above reproach. Such a view leads to the foul notion that everyone is rotten sometimes, and the notion that Rand was not is somehow tantamount to making some kind of mystical claim that is impossible for humans to attain on Earth. The Brandens would love everyone to believe that. And as long as you do, I'm sure they'll behave like perfect saints to you and Roger and anyone else who believes that, too.Well, distasteful as the process is, I am now on my second reading of Valliant's book, and I have no "desperate" desire to "continue believing in the Brandens," just a wish to put this all in accurate perspective. I find that it is quite difficult, given the basic approach Valliant took in laying out all the material, to get to the truth. (Just a minor point, but I, for one, am irritated and suspicious over all the brackets he uses in referring to various people. In particular, I would love to know the real material that Valliant replaced with [Patrecia]. Wouldn't it be revealing (in relation to the claim of Rand's jealousy) if at least one of them contained some derogatory remark such as, "that two-bit whore." :-) But, as so often happens with ARI-approved publishing of Rand's private writings, we get a "processed" version, rather than the raw data. <sigh>)
To all of those who have audited this ongoing debate, please read PARC. You will understand, only then, why Linz and others who were formerly friendly to the Brandens are now ANGRY at them. There's no magical whiffle dust in the pages that wafts out and possesses people's brains. There are just facts and the words of the Brandens and the words of Rand. All of these protestations of needing evidence are just a cover for people who don't want to read the book and want desperately to continue believing in the Brandens. Anyone who would rather cash in their rational faculty and evade the evidence than renounce their faith and loyalty in the Brandens should never open the cover.To all of those who have audited this ongoing debate, please read PARC. You will understand, only then, why Linz and others who were formerly friendly to the Brandens are now ANGRY at them. There's no magical whiffle dust in the pages that wafts out and possesses people's brains. There are just facts and the words of the Brandens and the words of Rand. All of these protestations of needing evidence are just a cover for people who don't want to read the book and want desperately to continue believing in the Brandens. Anyone who would rather cash in their rational faculty and evade the evidence than renounce their faith and loyalty in the Brandens should never open the cover.
As for my feelings toward the Brandens, they are mixed. In one respect, I am at peace with them, for I long ago heard and accepted their amends for dishonesty in the 60s, and I have forgiven them for all of that. Now, however, I am in some amount of agitation over this re-reading project, trying to discern whether there is any merit in Valliant's claims that either of the Brandens were dishonest in their 80s books. I'd much rather be re-reading Atlas Shrugged or The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem. I am grateful for all that Rand and the Brandens have given us, and I am very admiring of and excited by Nathaniel's and Barbara's continued achievements and plans for more. I am sad about all the anguish and pain they and Rand went through, and I am angry at how they all treated each other and all that was lost because of their lapses in realism and honesty. Their story is a painful lesson to all of us, but one from which we should move on. Thirty-seven years is long enough.