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Ayn Rand

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DaRk Penguin

Ayn Rand

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Many people here are fans of Ayn Rand. Hunter S Thompson and other literary figures have been influenced by her. Her novels are more widely read today then when they were published in the 40s and 50s. ALl this has lead me to wonder what people have been getting out of her stories. I'd be interested to hear how people's lives (or at least personal philosophies) have been changed by her.
Kostya

Re: Ayn Rand

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When I've encountered her works I had a couple of "Wow!" type of thoughts. First was "Wow! It seems as if someone had taken all the disjoint ideas and thoughts that were floating in my head for years without any rhyme or reason and put them together into one more or less consistent worldview."Second was "Wow! There are other people in the world who thinks like me."I know it sounds very na
wmmurrah

Re: Ayn Rand

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I also found that when reading Rand's books I felt that someone was saying what I believed. Her description and defense of selfishness and her criticism of altruism were particularly enlightening. Plus she did not just critique other's beliefs, she presented what she was convinced was a better way to live.
Timothy Schoonover

Re: Ayn Rand

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Ayn Rand's moral theory is based upon Nietzsche's Uberman--an individual possessing the infatiguable will-to-power by means of which he or she shatters the crystalized forms 'truth' and construsts his own. In Fountainhead and presumably in Atlas Shrugged, which I have not read, she portrays her vision of this Uberman.I would be interested in learning the extent to which Rand conforms to Nietzsche. If there is a close correlation, I am uncertain if I could advocate her theories. For instance, in Fountainhead the protagonist and hero Howard rapes another protagonist, Dominique, who among other things, falls in love with him for it. This is a classic depiction of will-to-power--the domination of one individual by another for purposes of self-realization. For Nietzsche and possibly for Rand, the distinction between creation and destruction is imperceptible.
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LanDroid

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Re: Ayn Rand

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I read "The Virtue of Selfishness" and was quite influenced by it, trouncing altruism and advocating selfishness. This isn't quite as bad as it sounds, because IIRC they define altruism as helping others through the power of the state. However, after some time I figured out Objectivism was a lot like The John Birch Society, which I had also encourntered, in that "we have 12 principles and if you disagree with any of them, yer a pinko commie!" Another problem was the proud proclaimation that everything was INDEED black & white with no shades of gray.Rand's moral life was rather repulsive for one who extolled moral virtues so frequently - openly cheating on her husband with another married man. Her paramour Nathaniel Brandon cheated both on his wife and Ayn Rand by screwing one of his psychology patients. Rand's husband basically drank himself to death, she seemed oblivious to his problems. Catch the movie "The Passion of Ayn Rand" if you can find it - Peter Fonda is Mr. Rand, Eric Stoltz is Branden...I outgrew it rather quickly...
DaRk Penguin

Atlas shrugged: the movie

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Script Sales: ATLAS SHRUGGED Crusader Entertainment has acquired the rights to Ayn Rand's 1957 novel "Atlas Shrugged" and has hired writer James V. Hart to adapt. Rated in a recent Library of Congress survey as the "second most influential book for Americans today" after the Bible...the rest of the article from screenwritersutopia doesn't say much else, except hart has previously adapted, Tuck Everlasting, Contact, and Hook
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Re: Atlas shrugged: the movie

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Since I am reading Atlas Shrugged at the time, I wanted this up top.I like Rand, but think her 'uberman' take is way to simplistic. There is room for altruism in the world, and it is necessary. Mr. P. The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.I came to get down, I came to get down. So get out ya seat and jump around - House of PainHEY! Is that a ball in your court? - Mr. P
Sakis Totlis

Re: Ayn Rand

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I read Rand's books back in 1970, when I was 20, and I was shocked to discover a clean-cut world of intense light and shadows like Caravaggio's chiaro-scuro paintings. I love Caravaggio's work and so did Ayn Rand's. Sooner or later, however, I realized that the (verbal) world she builds is nothing more than an ideal crystal castle for the ego. It is a world the ego would wish to be, if only this world existed. Neither the ego exists by itself. Even Ayn Rand's boosted ego would sooner or later collapse if she would be kept isolated from others (altros), closed in a white cell. Te ego is doomed to get along with other egos, because it cannot exist alone (in a void). Altruism is the recognition of this simple truth. It is a homage paid to itReality is far more rich and complicated than simplistic schemes like Rand's. The mind feels familiar with clean cut black and white squares but in nature there are all kinds of shapes and hues. The same man may be an egotist in some cases and an altruist in others. Multiplicity and diversity is the secret of nature. My best definition of Democracy is "respect of the diversity." I deeply respect Democracy; therefore, I must respect diversity, too. So, I respect Rand's work as a rare diversity. I still admire it a lot because it expresses the ideal utopia for the ego. It is the best personal philosophy an ego could have. Philosophy is a very personal thing. Both the egotist and the altruist have their own definitive philosophy and they are happy with it. So it goes, as Kurt Vonnegut would say. Edited by: Sakis Totlis at: 10/11/04 4:56 am
Doc Tiessen

Re: Ayn Rand

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Hi Saki,I agree with you... diversity is the secret of life... I also like the colours and the nouances of gray... not only blank and white as other see it...There can be good diversity and bad diversity... but overall, all diversity is very important and necesary... Diversity is Good!
Sakis Totlis

Re: Ayn Rand

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Hi, docFunny thing is that the mind can exist only in rationally tight mental schemes. Intellect would not understand and will not compromise with an incomplete meaning. That' s why we all sound so certain though we can never be. A broader understanding inside us knows that though absolute certainty is a dire mental need, it is practically infeasible. I guess, this is an internal (and integral) contradiction we have to solve somehow.
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