Courtesy of occasional contributor Neil Parille, here's a handy roundup of Objectivism-related doings.
1. Ayn Rand biographer Anne Heller will shortly be publishing a small biography of Hanna Arendt.
2. Ayn Rand’s novel Ideal was recently published. Here is Heller’s review (note: paywall)
3. Harry Binswanger recently published his “conversion” story
4. Objectivist philosopher Greg Salmieri was interviewed about Rand’s ethical theory.
5. Peter Schwartz published In Defense of Selfishness. Ex-Objectivist philosopher Bryan Register critiques it on his new blog here and here and here.
Heller's review of Ideal, without charge, is available on her own website:
Rand cultists haven't kept up with the times if they still think that progressives promote "altruism" as their moral philosophy. Instead progressives have gone out of their way to promote sexual freedom and hedonism for women and gay men, and to make their sex lives more convenient. These don't sound like policies of sacrifice and abnegation of the self to me.
I'm no Rand fan, but Heller in her review says racist mass-murderer Dylann Roof is a spiritual brother of Roark. Yuck.
No wonder the faithful remain confirmed in their sad faith. Every mainstream critic they have is more or less a caricature of the villains in her novels, who are already caricatures raised to the power of ten. A Randroid is like a paranoid who really is followed every time he leaves his house. He won't get well.
I was surprised by the vehemence of Heller's comparison, and the paucity of argument it was backed by. It kind of reminded me of Ayn Rand, actually.
I mean, it's possible, but you'd have to work a lot harder than Heller - and most mainstream critics - did and do to make that case fly.
I like Anne Heller, but it's a little unfair.
As anon said, this plays into the hands of Rand's hyper-supporters. They love to find someone who says something crazy - such as Rand was anti-Semitic - and imply that Objectivism must be true if its critics are so bad.
Here's some fun. An oldie but goodie.
ATLAS SHRUGGED UPDATED FOR THE CURRENT FINANCIAL CRISIS.
It's interesting, and says something about America, that it was Harper Lee's posthumously published early novel that stormed the bestseller chart's, not Ayn Rand's.
1) Harper Lee's novel was not posthumously published. She is still alive.
2) Neither novel should have seen the light of day. They are both early efforts and in both cases it shows. However, Lee's features characters that millions of readers already think they know. Rand's is for people who are willing to spend time reading her marginalia.
3) If the publication of these works "says something about American", it is that mediocre stuff by popular authors often gets published so someone can make a buck.
Returning to the comments on Anne Heller's review of Rand's early novel Ideal: I'm surprised that no one has mentioned Michael Prescott's devastating 2005 article "Romancing the Stone Cold Killer." The article details the young Ayn Rand's enthusiastic response to William Hickman, a man who mutilated and dismembered a 12-year old girl after sending taunting notes to her parents demanding ransom money. The young Rand describes him as a "genuinely beautiful soul" made degenerate by our irrational society. These gushings were in her Journal a few short years before Ideal was being written.
So Heller's reference to Dylann Roof in her review of Ideal is not as over the top as it looks.
Incidentally, I doubt that the young Rand would have been a fan of Dylann Roof - but not because he is a vicious killer. After all, so was Hickman. Rather, I think that she simply wouldn't have liked his face.
Interesting article revealing what one randroid T-1000 thinks of trump:
Another faded photocopy of Rand's ancient talking points, ritually emitted by one of her dimmest automatons.
Notice the complete lack of any actual cites of the words "Donald Trump"and "egoist".
When I googled them the number one hit was...this article.
A true believer - and true bore - Schwarz finds any excuse to recite scripture.
"This is why Trump is so thin-skinned, so threatened by criticism, that he responds not with refutations, but with the most sophomoric and boorish insults."
I don't know much about the guy (Trump) but I assume he has some substance if he's accomplished what he has.
What "sophomoric and boorish insults"? I'd like to see a link or two.
"What 'sophomoric and boorish insults'? I'd like to see a link or two."
Do a google search: "Megyn Kelly Donald Trump".
"I don't know much about the guy (Trump) but I assume he has some substance if he's accomplished what he has."
Well, don't give him too much credit - he was born into money, it's not like he started with a few bucks and worked himself up from poverty into being a multi-millionaire.
Plus he was notable in the late 80s for his business going through bankruptcy (though he himself wasn't in any danger of ever becoming destitute). So his track record as far as managing organizations goes is mixed.
I was going to dismiss Trump but think he deserves a second (or first) look now that the Randroids seem to be mounting a smear campaign against him.
Why do I say "smear"? Well, Schwartz in his article linked above seems to be dropping the full context (hmmm…). Anyone can be made to look like a blowhard if he is running for public office in America and his most bombastic sound-bites are the only evidence offered.
Didn't Rand herself (or Edith Efron in The Objectivist Newsletter, I believe) have an article in the early '60s, condemning as "psychologizing" someone's critique of Barry Goldwater's alleged deep dark psychological deficiencies, based on watching Goldwater on TV? Rand called it an outrageous smear or something like that.
How is Schwartz's critique substantially different? He too takes some quotes, he uses some instances of Trump's persona in a show-biz context (and politics is largely show-biz, don't kid yourself) and he builds a psychological profile of someone he never met, dropping the context of that person's life and history outside of those sound-bites. Trump may be a helpless, irrational, drooling bully and mentally retarded narcissist/borderline/anal-fixated/paranoid psychotic schizoid manic-depressive Attention Deficit Disorder Asperger's case on the spectrum (or whatever the terms are for somebody you don't like), but Schwartz hasn't proved it. I would argue that Schwartz hasn't even given any evidence for it.
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