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  • 16
    Posted by LetsShrug 3 years, 9 months ago
    I don't think it was over with Rearden until she met Galt.
    I think Rand was always looking for her intellectual equal and thought she found that in ( ugh... what's his name?! Barbara's husband. Lol Gah! No memory... oh! Branden!!) But he turned out to not be in the end. Here's the point, Rand did love her husband, very much so. She got his permission to have an affair Branden. (From Barbara too.) There was no deceit. They are the only ones who need to understand that arrangement... it's not anybody's business.
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    • 10
      Posted by 3 years, 9 months ago
      I wasn't clear about Dagny and Rearden. I meant that once she fell in love with Galt, she could no longer be Reardens lover.
      And you are right that it's nobody's business in one sense. I'm just trying to understand. The fact that she had the affair does not affect how much
      her writings mean to me and the world.
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      • Posted by LetsShrug 3 years, 9 months ago
        I've wondered about it too. I think she had some complicated sexual issues. In an interview with Barbara she explained that her opinion was that since Rand always had to be so in control all the time that being in the bedroom was where she wanted someone else in control (Roark and Dominique) and it tied in with being with an intellectual equal...which she never found. I can't remember what interview this was with Barbara but it tied up some of my confusion.
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        • 10
          Posted by 3 years, 9 months ago
          That makes a lot of sense. I have often thought that the mechanics of love making are that the man is stronger and in control and that the woman must feel complete trust in him. To me that has meant a man who I admire as well as trust. I remember Rand expresses in Fountainhead the joy of looking up at a superior or equal intellect.
          What you are saying makes sense, and this is what I wanted. Thanks
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      • Posted by johnpe1 3 years, 9 months ago
        oh, now, I seem to remember in the book where
        Dagny and Hank have a conversation where he says,
        "I understand. . I have met him." . I'll look for it. -- j
        .
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    • Posted by  $  MichaelAarethun 3 years, 9 months ago
      You are either an honest democrat or a true objectivist with a keen sense of moral values. Since there is no such thing as the former I vote for the latter.
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    • Posted by  $  MichaelAarethun 3 years, 9 months ago
      this thread reminds me of a cross between the check out line at the supermarket, the morning dumb chicks show with Whoooo Peee and Row see,and a choice of CBS, NBC, or ABC.

      Except for dissecting the book.I'll stick with Let's shrug first comment. Objectively

      I wish I could give you a second thumbs up.
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  • 11
    Posted by kirwintgp 3 years, 9 months ago
    I would say it simply was not one of her finest moments and strongly suspect Ayn Rand regretted the affair in the end -- e.g., listen to some of her last recordings about Frank before she died.
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    • Posted by  $  Temlakos 3 years, 9 months ago
      For that matter, look at how explosively they parted ways. Her "To Whom It May Concern" essay reeked of the "woman scorned" narrative.
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      • Posted by ewv 3 years, 9 months ago
        No it did not. That was the Branden story line. See James Valliant's The Passion of Ayn Rand's Critics based on her own personal journals.
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        • Posted by  $  Temlakos 3 years, 9 months ago
          Are you saying Rand did not say, "Get him down here, get that [blackguard] down here, get him down here, get that [blackguard] down here or I'll drag him down myself"? Nor launch into a diatribe: "You--to whom I offered the world--to whom I gave my love and the name I'd earned through an unspeakable battle--you did this to me...!"?
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  • Posted by  $  blarman 3 years, 9 months ago
    Good question. I wish we could ask her now how she feels about it.
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    • Posted by ewv 3 years, 9 months ago
      You can get some insights into why she thought she had to try it at the time from her personal journals, reported in James Valliant's The Passion of Ayn Rand's Critics.

      Regarding the general question, she later emphatically rejected trying to have two such relationships at the same time. In the late 1970s (or maybe around 1980) at Ford Hall Forum in Boston she was asked about this. (I don't think I have ever seen a transcript of this particular Q&A.)

      A hush fell over the audience because everyone knew what was rumored about her at the time, but she took the question seriously as always and answered it seriously, with characteristic earnestness in wanting her listeners to understand. She took the question literally as it was asked, and did not discuss her personal situation.

      She strongly recommended not to do it, with a brief explanation. "Don't try it!". She gave an example of how it might conceivable come up legitimately as an extremely unusual situation, but definitely opposed it in general. Whatever her full reason for getting into it herself much earlier, multiple relationships were definitely not part of her principles of romantic love and ethics.
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  • Posted by Ellen_L 3 years, 9 months ago
    Atlas is fiction not history even if the characters seem real. Thus, the characters are useful fictional devices used by the author. When I first read the book I was reading for the story and was convinced that Francisco was Galt until I got to that part of the story.

    There is reason to think that Miss Rand lavished much care and effort on Francisco since he was the image of almost every young girl's early fictional crush and possibly every boy's daydream. We don't lose these early loves, only find that they are simplified and don't include the rest of life. They often give us a vision to fuel us for a life time.

    As to her affair with Nathaniel, he was as close to a intellectual companion as she was able to find. There were few men of genius able to follow her ideas let alone add to them who were not older or too different to let her lead. Nathaniel was younger and learned from her before he could add new ideas.

    Reading the Branden's books when they first came out, I was angry because it appeared that they bought out the worst in Miss Rand (my hero). Later, I began to see it was a tragic affair that harmed everyone.

    Yes, Ayn Rand loved her husband but because she had the view of a wife common to the time she could not totally accept him in that role even if she filled the traditional role of the man. Thus, she had to cook and the like. We don't know everything but details show she was quite human and a woman not totally beyond her time. Thus there was something missing for her that the younger intellectual seemed to fill.

    The tragedy is that what should have been a life long friendship, intellectual partnership, and business relationship was sacrificed to a sexual relation that by its nature could not last over a life time. Perhaps, if she had been the younger it would have lasted longer but even then it was too much to crowd onto a single relationship and might well have been even if there had not been other spouses. That and the hiding from the public were final blows. And when the sexual ran out unfortunately he lied and she lost her temper. It is hard to blame either of them for such human reactions to a painful situation. But they and the rest of us paid a terrible price. They each lost their best friend and lover. The world lost NBI and faced the contempt of the public who did not understand. Some of us at the wrong age lost the innocence of believing in romantic notions divorced from the trials of the world. Sad. The best argument against such incestuous affairs. They pile too much on fragile relationships.

    Galt had nothing to do with it other than Branden was more like Galt than Francisco or Rearden where Frank O'Connor was more like Roark.

    Thanks for the chance to put this in words for someone else. I've thought about it for a long while.
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    • Posted by  $  Maritimus 3 years, 9 months ago
      Hello, E,

      Thank you for a very thoughtful and consistent analysis.

      I would like to ask you for help. I could not thoroughly understand the part saying: "Some of us at the wrong age lost the innocence of believing in romantic notions divorced from the trials of the world. Sad. The best argument against such incestuous affairs. They pile too much on fragile relationships."

      Would you kindly elaborate on it a bit?

      Thanks.
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  • Posted by Herb7734 3 years, 9 months ago
    Hi, L.S.
    I think Rand fell in physical love with O'Connor, but not intellectual love. Truth be told, he was a very handsome man and she was no beauty by any stretch of the imagination. He turned out to be a person of low intellectual capacity. But he was an excellent gardener, and a good handyman, which was his limitation. He sacrificed his job(s) for her and devolved into a pleasant dependent. Who knows what actually went on in his mind. Brandon and Barbara came to her just as her star was rising and later explode upon the scene. They were young, fresh and had great intellectual capacity. Branden enhanced A.R.'s fame by spreading her philosophy through the Nathaniel Branden Institute and putting out classes and a newsletter.He never did her any harm as he was entranced certainly not by her looks but by her mind. They had an affair, actually two affairs with each other while both were married to someone else. What's the very worst that he did? He had another affair with someone else and was afraid to tell her and when she found out, her rage was way over the top. Keep in mind, that all of that has nothing to do with the fruit of her mind. The greatness of her novels, the brilliance of her philosophy will live on long after we are but memories.
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    • Posted by LetsShrug 3 years, 9 months ago
      Branden was dishonest, didn't tell her about the other affair, that was the breaking point. Or at least that's how I understand it. She loved Frank, admired him and appreciated him. I don't pretend to be able to relate to any of it or understand it all but I get the honesty and love parts. :)
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      • Posted by Herb7734 3 years, 9 months ago
        I think you're right about Branden, but I think she took advantage of Frank in that he appeared subservient to her and had to acquiesce to her intentions while he took advantage of her as the breadwinner who supported him. But in the long run, this has very little to do with what she accomplished.
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        • Posted by LetsShrug 3 years, 9 months ago
          "Took advantage"... "subservient"... I don't think so, but at this point I'm thinking it's kind of weird that we're dissecting a marriage and it's inner workings when it's not ours to be concerned with. Not our business. It obviously worked for them, whatever the case may be...and I will drink to that fact and let it alone. Cheers!
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    • Posted by tdechaine 3 years, 9 months ago
      Wrong. Frank was not of low intellect and held all the right values. Branden just appeared to be exceedingly strong philosophically.
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      • Posted by Herb7734 3 years, 9 months ago
        You're right about the intellect. I was trying to indicate that his intellect didn't match hers, but I expressed it poorly. As to what values he held, I cannot say as he never spoke about them, or wrote about them. He certainly appeared to be in complete agreement with Rand so all I can do is assume his values matched hers.
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  • Posted by  $  Zero 3 years, 9 months ago
    Personally I never gave it more than a moment’s thought.
    Life is complicated and the heart wants what it wants.

    Just because she was a Genius doesn't mean she was perfect.
    She thought she could avoid the moral sin by doing it openly. But she was wrong. People were hurt. Of course.

    It was not a mutually agreed arraignment. Those on the outside were coerced to agree by their love for their spouse. The bottom line was "accept it or else".
    An open marriage is fine so long as it is entered into knowingly by both sides. Hell, it might even work for some.

    But I've never held it hard against her. Who among us is sinless.
    I'm not saying it's impossible - only that I've never met one.
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  • Posted by LibertyBelle 3 years, 9 months ago
    I have wondered about that myself. But,from what
    I understand, there was no deceit by her, at least.
    Maybe she thought she was in love with Branden,
    but didn't want to send Frank O'Connor out into the
    cold to live. And, maybe, once she was done with Branden, she realized that O'Connor was
    the right man for her after all.--It does not affect
    the truth of the ideas in her philosophical ideas; if they
    can be demonstrated to be true, then they are
    true.---Personally, I wish it had not happened;
    I think it was a bad mistake; I believe in monogamy,
    and lifelong monogamy is what I would want
    for myself.
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    • Posted by khalling 3 years, 9 months ago
      I just do not buy that she was unaware how hurtful acting on her desires were. Branden was in a new marriage with a young wife. No one can convince me that BB was not hugely betrayed
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  • Posted by  $  jlc 3 years, 9 months ago
    When I first read AS, I was in High School - and quite naive. It seemed to me that Dagny used her lovers as stepping stones to reflect the stage of her own character development: Fransisco, Rearden and finally Galt. For each 'step', the prior lover was no longer adequate to be a good match: An equal seeking an equal.

    Insofar as Ayn's real life affairs are concerned, I find nothing reprehensible about her having multiple consensual lovers overtly. It is only the need to be sneaky and deceptive and covert that is demeaning. Certainly, our own culture is developing in the direction indicated in Ayn Rand's novels...having a series of lovers was much more scandalous in the 1950's than it is now.

    Jan
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    • Posted by khalling 3 years, 9 months ago
      I have a hard time with the Francisco love affair. He does betray Dagny in a way-but I do not see young Dagny at the same development as Francisco. and why is it that Hank and Dagny discuss the end of their relationship but the only discussion about Francisco and Dagny ending that is a frank one-is between Galt and Francisco and Rearden and Francisco. Maybe I'm too close because I was a little in love with Francisco when I read AS for the first time.
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      • Posted by LetsShrug 3 years, 9 months ago
        Yeah, he left her hangin', but he couldn't tell her either. They weren't committed so it wasn't a betrayal really. She wasn't ready to know the truth, what else could he do?
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        • Posted by khalling 3 years, 9 months ago
          it was a betrayal to their long standing friendship. It was one of those difficult moral decisions that no one else can stand in your shoes to make. BUt it was definitely a betrayal.
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          • Posted by 3 years, 9 months ago
            I agree. It was clear in the book that Francisco suffered a lot of pain as a result of the strike, and Dagny did as well. If I were Dagny, I would feel very betrayed by Frisco's lack of honesty. I would feel he owed it to me to tell me and then it would be my decision what I did with the information. Except that he was convinced that Dagny would betray the strikers. I think Frisco did the only thing he could do, but it was still a betrayal.
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  • Posted by woodlema 3 years, 9 months ago
    Let's look at Ayn Rand ONLY and not be distracted by the book.

    Based on her Objectivist principals, Ayn Rand and the two men involved apparently had a specific set of pre-defined values, and by value I do not mean morals, but a value for value exchange in how their relationships benefited each other.

    All were consenting, all must have believed there was a value each was receiving that satisfied themselves.

    Did you ever read where the two men openly complained about their "value" in the relationship?

    Also Reardon satisfied Dagny's desire, and she satisfied Reardon's. When she met Galt, Dagny found more value in Galt, than Reardon,and Reardon accepted his value proposition to Dagny was not as much.

    "Failure...when your best just isn't good enough."
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    • Posted by  $  Temlakos 3 years, 9 months ago
      Actually, Henry Rearden knew from the get-go that he was not her final choice, and she was always looking for that man. So supremely comfortable did he finally become in his own skin, that he could accept that without protest, in the time between his hearing it on the radio, and her rushing back home to take a shower after having to deal with Bertram Scudder.
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  • Posted by 3 years, 9 months ago
    I'd love to hear what Gulchers think
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    • Posted by khalling 3 years, 9 months ago
      I agree with the intellectual equal part. and if Frank was not gay, well ...A is A
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      • Posted by 3 years, 9 months ago
        Oh, I hate to admit that I don't get what you're saying about Frank. And I want to! Could you please elaborate?
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        • Posted by khalling 3 years, 9 months ago
          I personally speculate that Frank was into guys sexually. whether he lead a homosexual life in secret- I do not know. I do know that when Rand was in the hospital for an extended time (I'm not sure why) Frank stayed with his best friend instead of at home. As well, he and his friend would shop together for Ayn. The most famous example would be silk lingerie. Frank and his friend would pick out expensive under-garments for Rand. Granted, a romantic gift, but he needed his friend to help him choose? but these are anecdotal
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          • Posted by tdechaine 3 years, 9 months ago
            Such speculation is beneath any Objectivist or anyone who really knew and understood them. So I assume you are not one.
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            • Posted by khalling 3 years, 9 months ago
              Oh brother. Objectivists can certainly hypothesize and speculate about extraordinary circumstances. There are basic facts known . Where there are gaps in a story, people wonder about those gaps. what's with the shaming-unless you want to shame me into being quiet
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              • Posted by tdechaine 3 years, 9 months ago
                But most Obj.s do not speculate without evidence.
                The 'gaps" are merely small segments of her life that should be of little interest to, and are unknown to others.

                No shame intended; just had to object to such bromides as "cult."
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                • Posted by  $  Maritimus 3 years, 9 months ago
                  Hello, T,

                  Speculation by definition is not an evidence based process. Speculation is prompted by some knowledge of fact, but the rest is just that: speculation.
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            • Posted by xthinker88 3 years, 9 months ago
              Yes. Must not question the cult leader. Ever. Must only worship and obey.
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              • Posted by tdechaine 3 years, 9 months ago
                You should know that is not what I implied. Again, you show lack of knowledge of Rand.
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                • Posted by xthinker88 3 years, 9 months ago
                  Of course it is what you implied. And it's what she did in her inner circle.

                  But of course only you have knowledge of AR. Afraid you're in the wrong place for that sort of argument.
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                  • Posted by tdechaine 3 years, 9 months ago
                    Did you know her, or are you just taking the word of bitter past associates? Never a cult, just an intelligent study group.
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                    • Posted by khalling 3 years, 9 months ago
                      that under Objectivism and individualism would not need to give itself a name like "the inner circle." How you are commenting in this thread, is exactly why many are critical of Objectivism. Somehow it is not enough to study the philosophy, but that you need a secret "in" in order to comment on a public persona. It is kind of like protectionism. Brilliant indidivuals and their work should stand up to scrutiny without someone always asking "did you know them? Well, then, if you did not know them, your thoughts on who they were should not be voiced." I am not saying this is your opinion, but it certainly is coming off like that.
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                      • Posted by tdechaine 3 years, 9 months ago
                        No: not knowing them, and not believing what their detractors say, one would not conclude that there was a "cult", nor believe that the so-called "inner circle" was any more than a rationally closed group that met frequently to discuss Rand's ideas. There is nothing that warrants criticism of Obj.ism.
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                        • Posted by khalling 3 years, 9 months ago
                          every philosophical system is fair game for criticism. Rand herself complained to Bennett Cerf that she did not have enough criticism from those she admired. She was clear that she did not touch on many areas in the development of Objectivism. One that springs to mind is the science of economics. She was clear much work needed to happen in that field. She was also clear that there were many unsettled areas of science that would benefit from a Objectivist approach. "closed" implies "dead" to me anyway
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                          • Posted by tdechaine 3 years, 9 months ago
                            I thought we were talking about Objectivist's criticism of the items being discussed....
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                            • Posted by khalling 3 years, 9 months ago
                              I replied to this comment: "There is nothing that warrants criticism of Obj.ism."
                              I can stay on topic, but it seemed to change. I'm ok with that, but others- not so much. you used charged words, such as "closed." Closure in a philosophical system is contraversial and I am curious whether Rand herself referred to Objectivism in such a way.
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                  • Posted by  $  Maritimus 3 years, 9 months ago
                    Hello, X,

                    Would it not be better to ask the author if they are implying something, rather than assert with certainty that you can read their mind? Just asking.
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      • Posted by philosophercat 3 years, 9 months ago
        This remark should be withdrawn. Unless you have empirical evidence to prove your insinuation justice requires that it be withdrawn. Objectivism is based on the recognition of objective reality and a loyalty to properly reducing concepts to their referent in reality. Slurs on Mr. O'Conner require proof or apology for violating justice and Objectivism.
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        • Posted by khalling 3 years, 9 months ago
          I'm curious why you would consider it a slur?
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          • Posted by philosophercat 3 years, 9 months ago
            The sentence is a negative innuendo , "if Frank was not gay" implies then X but you offer no X. the structure by use of if and not is a derogation of all the principles of Objectivism. Why do you think you can make unsubstantiated slurs on Miss Rand husband? Do you have mystical insight? Of course, if you are not gay then how would you know he was?.......
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            • Posted by khalling 3 years, 9 months ago
              1. how is it a slur?
              2." Of course, if you are not gay then how would you know he was?" what??
              3. Rand was heavily influenced by her brother-in-law Nick Carter (who was gay). however, that does not mean Frank was
              4. there is an extraordinary circumstance of a husband seemingly content with being cuckolded for years. That is highly unusual. My speculation goes a long way to explaining it. .
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              • Posted by 3 years, 9 months ago
                I agree with you, khalling... either Frank was miserable or content with the situation. I find it hard to believe she was willing to hurt him.
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                • Posted by ewv 3 years, 9 months ago
                  It's hard to understand how she could not see that it had to hurt him.
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                  • Posted by  $  Maritimus 3 years, 9 months ago
                    I read some years ago that Mountbatten (the last Viceroy and governor general of India) was amused and joked about his wife Edwina's affair with Nehru. Whether the story is true or not, there was no speculation that the jokes were hiding some deeper feelings or pain.

                    It is, indeed, hard to truly understand many, if not most, people. I tend to think that this is because we virtually never know many, much less most of other people's thoughts and feelings. Way too many people are parented in a way that teaches them that hiding one's thoughts and feelings is necessary in life. I think that it causes serious damage.

                    I went off on a tangent, as usual. Sorry!
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              • Posted by xthinker88 3 years, 9 months ago
                Well AR thought homosexuality was disgusting, as somebody above pointed out, And one must not question the cult leader. Therefore, saying that somebody is a homosexual is a slur. In her world.
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                • Posted by khalling 3 years, 9 months ago
                  as I said above, one of her closest confidants before Brandon was Frank's brother, Nick. He was a very close adviser. Obviously it did not keep her from appreciating the individual.
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  • Posted by Zenphamy 3 years, 9 months ago
    I don't find it at all strange that a person with the amount of internal investigation and thought experimentation such as Rand would explore her relationships and would venture beyond cultural moral values. Look at Einstein as a comparison. I think the key to understanding Rand's relationships was her apparent honesty.

    And I've never been convinced that Rand wrote herself into any of the characters of AS.
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  • Posted by  $  hash 3 years, 9 months ago
    Actually, without realizing it, Rand was one of the early polyamorists.

    Now a growing number of people are coming to realize that sexual monogamy is quite irrational and that very often (I would even go as far as to say fundamentally and inherently) it is just a method of emotional control and coercion. Just like God, Fiat Money and Democracy, Monogamy is another one of those things the world has been brainwashed about.

    Also, I believe the word "affair" implies cheating and dishonesty. This wasn't at all the case with Rand's completely ethical and honest polyamorous relationship.

    Rand was a trailblazer in many ways, some which she isn't quite credited for yet even by her fans! She seems to have independently invented ethical polyamory. She was obviously quite immune to brainwashing and was able to see things for what they actually were. To her, and in reality, there's simply nothing wrong with having multiple romantic / sexual relationships at the same time as long as one is honest about it.
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    • Posted by bassboat 3 years, 9 months ago
      There was that scene where Dagney didn't want to tell Hank about Francisco indicating maybe her openness wasn't on a par with Ayn. As for Hank he really wasn't all that happy about Francisco either. He didn't like her not being his so I conclude that the characters weren't as pure as Ayn. I seriously doubt that Ayn's husband wasn't all that open minded about it either.
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  • Posted by Esceptico 3 years, 9 months ago
    The culture, undoubtedly stemming from religious teachings, is sex simply for its own sake is inherently bad in and of itself—something to be allowed only to express love or for procreation. Procreation and love are separate issues from just having a good time. Once we can control pregnancy and disease, what is wrong with an orgasm among friends?

    Rand made many mistakes in her writings, and she was internally inconsistent at times. For example, Rand’s more explicit sex scenes seem to be rape fantasy oriented, including the initiation of the use of force. The theme is clear in both “The Fountainhead” and “Atlas.”

    Wikipedia says ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_fantas... ): “Studies have found rape fantasy is a common sexual fantasy among both men and women. The fantasy may involve the fantasist as either the one being forced into sex or as the perpetrator. Some studies have found that women tend to fantasize about being forced or coerced into sexual activity more commonly than men.”

    Maybe Rand portrayed her rape fantasy in her writing and acted out her animal desire for sexual variety with Branden and others not yet known or whose identities were suppressed to keep the idol from having clay feet. I suppose it depends upon the fantasy of the participants.
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    • Posted by  $  hash 3 years, 9 months ago
      The so-called "rape" scene was nothing of the sort, and it was no "mistake".

      As Rand said of the scene: “If it was rape, it was rape by engraved invitation.”

      Roark already knew for a fact that Dominique wanted him, from the objective evidence of the "crack" she had attempted to manufacture in the stone to serve as an excuse for calling him over. He also then made sure to get double-confirmation as well - from her reaction when he sent someone else over to actually replace the stone.

      Besides, anyone who tries to use this scene as a way to call into question Rand's opposition to the initiation of physical force is also dropping context in a major way. Dominique was no ordinary character. She was clearly a bit psycho - she routinely destroyed art she loved and made major decisions that were in direct contradiction to her actual values (e.g. marrying Peter Keating). It was completely in character for her to act in a way that contradicted her true desires. And for a novel to make any sense, characters need to act in accordance with their nature, which is what she did in her initial expression of her attraction for Roark as well.

      Dagny is very different from Dominique in this regard, and the sex scenes she's involved in are all very clearly and explicitly consensual.

      Another piece of context-dropping is that The Fountainhead was a novel celebrating artistic integrity and individual creativity, which was written before the full development of the Objectivist philosophy. The Fountainhead wasn't supposed to be a novel about Objectivism (which wasn't yet in existence as a philosophical system). That was Atlas Shrugged, and in Atlas Shrugged no character behaves in any way that could even be slightly misinterpreted. When Dagny shoots the guard at the SSI, the reasoning and justice of it is clearly detailed right there.

      In contrast, there are other elements in The Fountainhead which could be considered in violation of Objectivist ethics and principles, for example Roark's blowing up Cortlandt. I'm not sure Rand would have defended that as completely consistent with Objectivist ethics, but it happened before Objectivist ethics were a thing, so it isn't supposed to be a representation of Objectivist ethics, and people who drop context to pretend that it is are simply intellectually dishonest weasels.
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      • Posted by  $  Temlakos 3 years, 9 months ago
        You mean Dominque could never prosecute, even if she wanted to. That, I will accept. But she still wanted it rough, and he gave her what she "asked" for.
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    • Posted by  $  hash 3 years, 9 months ago
      You say: "The theme is clear in both “The Fountainhead” and “Atlas.”"

      No it isn't. There is nothing in Atlas that can be construed to be on this theme as far as I'm aware. If you can provide any specific example from Atlas which can be in any way described as a "rape fantasy" please do.
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      • Posted by Esceptico 3 years, 9 months ago
        http://www.patheos.com/blogs/daylightath...

        Perhaps I unintentially added personal experience from my first wife whose parents were part of Rand's "Inner Circle." She enjoyed playing the fantasy of rape to act out scenes in Rand's writings and never feared pregnancy (these were days before the pill) because nobody in Rand's books got pregnant. To me the theme was clearly rape. But, perhaps not---I always leave that option open.
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        • Posted by  $  hash 3 years, 9 months ago
          Again, the article you linked to drops context big time. It drops context of what Dagny and Frisco's relationship was. They were best friends, partners in crime and to-be lovers. The scenes quoted are meant to illustrate how close their relationship was, and they're also written for dramatic effect, to emphasize how offensive Dagny's suggestion was to Frisco (and how contrary it was to Objectivist principles).

          The fact that Frisco got so mad at her is evidence to Dagny that he cares greatly about her, which is why she treasures the memory. The whole thing is super romantic and not at all what the author of the article is trying to twist it into by dropping context.

          In reality, Frisco slapping Dagny was just "tough love" - perfectly appropriate in that context given their very close relationship and non-contradictory with Objectivism's non-initiation-of-force principle.

          I find it very interesting that Rand's critics always accuse her of being too black-and-white and non-nuanced, while constantly missing all the many nuances of the different characters and contexts or turning around and trying to re-frame them as evidence of contradictions in her work.
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          • -1
            Posted by Esceptico 3 years, 9 months ago
            I find a slap in the face as black and white. Perhaps there is an explanation for "tough love" that I do not understand. To me, it is wrong. Anyhow, my point was, and is, it is not just one of Rand's sex scenes which approvingly depict the initiation of the use of force as part of sex, is appears to be constant premise.
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    • Posted by  $  Temlakos 3 years, 9 months ago
      That's exactly what Rand did. She wanted her sex as rough as the man was willing to make it. She carried it so far as to say no woman should be President of the United States. Why? Because a woman President could never be a true submissive in bed!

      Personally, I could almost accept Aaron Sorkin's line, that he gave to Col. Nathan R. Jessup USMC in "A Few Good Men." I'll never forget hearing Jack Nicholson deliver it: "There is nothing on this earth sexier...than a woman you have to salute in the morning. Promote 'em all, I say, because this is true. If you haven't gotten [f______o] from a superior officer, well, you're just letting the best things in life pass you by....Of course, my problem is, I'm a colonel. So I guess I'll have to keep on taking cold showers until they elect some gal President, heh, heh, heh."
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      • Posted by Esceptico 3 years, 9 months ago
        LOL. Even if Hillary becomes president, I understand she is going to live at the white house with Bill and woman they were both dating when Bill met Hillary. Only a rumor.
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        • Posted by  $  Temlakos 3 years, 9 months ago
          I suspect Jack Nicholson's Colonel Jessup would gag at the thought of getting f______o from President Hillary. If she would even consent to perform such an act on any man, husband or no.
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  • Posted by 1wg 3 years, 9 months ago
    Rand and Brandon were honest. I believe any fault is with their spouses who willingly agreed to the arrangement. Rand did the right thing. The spouses signed on to the arrangement. I wouldn't. Imagine the internal sense of ethics one must have to be that honest and risk everything. She put her value system to use on this. I always felt Brandon took advantage of her and profited off Rand. Barbara's book put her down about not be able to drive and on and on.
    Sorry I am back and I quit. I just thought this was an interesting subject.
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    • Posted by 3 years, 9 months ago
      Good point. I agree that Brandon profited from the association. I speculate that he had some admiration for her as well.
      I like your pointing out that what kind of spouse would agree to this arrangement? My sense of self would not allow me to do so.
      If I were married to one man, even if I loved him, if I wanted to have an ongoing meaningful affair with another man, I would get a divorce.
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  • Posted by dwlievert 3 years, 9 months ago
    I once had a brief conversation with Branden. I started by telling him that I admired his work and thanked him for its influence on me. I then stated that had I found myself in his position at a young age I would likely not have survived it. (My self-esteem early in life was shallow, illusory, and was more representative of one of Rand's villains than her heroes). He nodded but did not smile.

    I then stated that it was truly sad Rand had not seemed to find anyone in life who could influence her to, as she so often admonished others, "check her premises." He asked, "what do you mean?" I then asked him in view of his current knowledge and what subsequently transpired from their initial relationship, would he now choose to respond to her desires differently than he had at the time? He then pointedly asked, "have you read my book!?" I indicated I had. His tone and manner then indicated that the conversation was over........

    It is my judgment that Rand allowed her imagination to create "personal realities" that conflicted with existential reality. She at times acted on, as we all at times do, desires that are in conflict with facts. Her marriage to Frank O'connor is one example. Further, the manner in which her ideas and work were received must have been as crushing a blow as anyone might ever experience. It certainly had its "enduring" effect on her. She was, just as are all of us, subject to error.
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  • Posted by Watcher55 3 years, 9 months ago
    I think it was more like Kira in We the Living, where she had two men each of whom gave her something, than Dagny in Atlas Shrugged, where Galt gave her everything she was after. Rand's husband was most definitely not her intellectual equal - and I can understand how she could need a partner who provided that.
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  • Posted by  $  trogwolf 3 years, 9 months ago
    Don't forget, Ayn Rand's stories are about idealized principles and NOT about true human nature. It shouldn't surprise anybody to discover that there are areas where she fails to practice what she "preaches". She's only human.
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  • Posted by coaldigger 3 years, 9 months ago
    I think Rand overthought sex, otherwise I find her views to be an excellent philosophy. I believe sexual partners need to be responsible for the outcome of their actions but other than that, it is just sex. Religions defined a moral basis because clerics were trying to control the behavior of the illiterate masses and to bind parents to raising their offspring. I do not believe that strict monogamy is natural or a value to be pursued. I don't think Rand ever came to terms with her philosophy and sexuality. It would be helpful to separate it from intellectuality and realize that sex is just sex.
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    • Posted by LetsShrug 3 years, 9 months ago
      You don't think your mind is at all related to who you choose as a sex partner?? There's no logic behind it???
      Wow, this gulch has gone to the dark side.
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      • Posted by coaldigger 3 years, 9 months ago
        My mind has a lot to do with a choice of a partner. I chose her 52 years ago because she was the one that I wanted to be the mother of my children. That was an act of my choosing. Based on a different value, I may have made a different choice. I see nothing dark about it nor do I see a moral principle dictated by someone else.
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        • Posted by LetsShrug 3 years, 9 months ago
          Rand valued sex. Some people put a value on it and some don't.....BUT
          "Love is blind, they say; sex is impervious to reason and mocks the power of all philosophers. But, in fact, a man’s sexual choice is the result and the sum of his fundamental convictions. Tell me what a man finds sexually attractive and I will tell you his entire philosophy on life. Show me the woman he sleeps with and I will tell you his valuation of himself. No matter what corruption he’s taught about the virtue of selflessness, sex is the most profoundly selfish of all acts, an act which he cannot perform for any motive but his own enjoyment–just try to think of performing it in a spirit of selfless charity!–an act which is not possible in self-abasement, only in self-exaltation, only in confidence of being desired and being worthy of desire." AR
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          • Posted by coaldigger 3 years, 9 months ago
            I find this to be inconsistent with her philosophy and reject her premise. I find many women sexually attractive and for entirely different reasons. I would not consider sleeping with just anyone but if it were just my feelings involved, there are more than one partner that I would be happy to be with regardless of the future longevity of the relationship. Perhaps it is a major character flaw but I have never been able to have a "just friends" relationship with a woman. If I like them they become attractive and unless there are barriers a physical relationship develops. I would allow any such person to stand for my character and value judgment.
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  • Posted by JoleneMartens1982 3 years, 9 months ago
    I wonder if she gave it much thought. Perhaps her attraction to him was keeping her preoccupied and she thought that by acting on it, maybe she could get past it. And then she simply lost track of time. Life is funny that way. Lord knows I have a past, but I'll never regret it.
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