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Ayn Rand and the World She Made

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I think I'll skip this. I'm already starting to seethe just from the first paragraph...

  • "well-meaning sense of duty" - as if the ends justify the means
  • "the gifted individual - Ayn Rand" - notice the misuse of the abstract "individual" to apply to a specific individual (in order to diminish), and throwing in "gifted" to help frame the inevitable strawman of "the productive vs. the non-productive"
  • "live according to her own high wattage lights" - materialism straw man, anyone?
  • And obviously, her life under communism will be used to explain the source the philosophy... and "thus" invalidate it.

... or am I reading too much into this? :D

Edited by brian0918
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I'll read the book I'm certain but I take deep offense to describing those who were in Rand's inner circle and those who choose Objectivism now as a "cult" by the author on the amazon page link.

I think the Branden era had attributes in common with cults of personality (not religious cults) because of the Brandens. The three appearances of the word cult on the amazon page all reference the past not the present.

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

From the London professor's review:

"Rand's principal work is Atlas Shrugged, which tells the story of John Galt, a businessman who, irritated by regulations that impede getting rich, goes off in a huff to a secret valley, taking many of the business community with him"

Um.... homeboy never even READ THE BOOK.

I would love to see someone who actually READ THE BOOK try to come up with an intelligent arguement against it.

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  • 4 months later...

I am currently reading this book. Has anyone else who is actually reading or has read this book want to discuss it? I have a largely positive impression of it so far but I am just now coming up on some "fireworks" (Atlas Shrugged has just been published and I think Rand's relationship with Branden is about to get problematic).

Positive or negative, I am mostly interested in the opinions of people who have read this book.

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I love aesthetic experiences written by the detractors. "The World She Made", as if she succeeded in changing the way we think.

I attempted to convert some libertarians to Objectivism, or at least, to understanding that reason and egoism are virtues. I do believe I explained quite clearly why altruism is evil, the difference between altruism and "helping people", that philanthropy is not bad as long as it's not the moral standard, and why most things that altruism is falsely attributed to (serve the military, obey the Hippocratic Oath, put off decisions for the benefit of your wife and kids, etc.) are actually you working in your rational self-interest. I explicitly stated that altruism is not the same as "helping people". I still received resposnes like "But... wait, what's so bad about helping people?"

Even people who mostly agreed with me saw me as having a pessimistic view of human nature.

Edited by Black Wolf
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