reply to post by nine-eyed-eel
I have not read anything by Brandon. In fact, it has been years since I have really read anything by Rand. I have a copy of Atlas Shrugged sitting
on my desk, and I have been meaning to re-read it just for kicks. I guess I should give Brandon a shot first.
I agree that the messengers behavior need not, nor should it, affect the message. You use the example of adding correctly a bar tab that impliedly so
could easily be paid by stolen money. I would like to suggest, in terms of separating the messenger from the message, that the myth of Jesus is a
good example of how the converse has obscured the message. For most Christians, Jesus is perfect, and indeed, inhuman.
This deification of Christ, seems to undermine the message of the four myths of the New Testament. It seems, upon my reading and understanding of
those texts, that the message was that we should all, as humans, live in a particular way. Live as Jesus lived is the message. However, when we
ascribe perfection and deification to him, while insisting that any such attainment of perfection and deification of ourselves is sacrilegious, the
how convenient it becomes that we "all fall short of the Glory of God." How easily we can let ourselves off the hook when we fail to "turn the
other cheek". After all, we are only human, and Jesus was...well, not human.
The message gets lost and replaced with idolatry. I suppose to some degree that this is what Annee is getting at with some of her posts, and while I
know of no person who actually deifies Rand, I have heard the tales. Indeed, I read years ago, a letter Rand had written to a fan of hers asking if
rape was okay, because of her creepy simulated rape in The Fountainhead between Howard Roarke and Dominique. It was appalling, and clearly Rand while
responding to this man was appalled as well, that people would take that encounter as an endorsement of rape. That said, the sex scene in the
Fountainhead is odd, and I am not clear on why Rand thought this was a good choice in how to portray their passion for each other.
In truth, it is, in many ways, an obvious choice, as Dominique is hell bent on raping Roarke's position and opportunity, and she is desperate for a
life where she is not surrounded by weak kneed, fearful men who only want to destroy and not create. As I stated earlier, Rand is not famous for her
subtlety. Of course, I do not think philosophy should be subtle either. It is not an easy task to novelize a philosophical ideal, and for the most
part, Rand pulls it off, in my opinion, with panache and entertainingly so.
If there is anything "fraudulent" about Rand's philosophy, it is that there are "followers", which contradicts her assertion and firm belief in
individualism. Indeed, Alan Greenspan is often cited as being a "follower" of Ayn Rand, and objectivism, but how can this possibly be? He was the
Chairman of the Federal Reserve for Christ sakes! He is the physical embodiment of Wesley Mouch. In truth, I am doubtful that he was truly a fan of
Rand's, and was more akin to Ellsworth Toohey of The Fountainhead, and only pretended to be an adherent of objectivism to better destroy its
I will in the next few days look around for a copy of Judgment Day and read it.