Did Rand believe in Romantic Loyalty?

Posted by FlashGordon 6 years, 1 month ago to Culture
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If you read Rand's novels her female heroine's always seem to just move on to a better man if one appears. In fact I thought of renaming Atlas Shrugged to "Who's Hank Rearden" because she just seems to forget about Hank when she meets John Galt. So did Rand believe if you meet someone "better" and they're interested in you, you just move on? I know she got upset with N. Branden when he picked someone else (we're all human). So those that study Rand more seriously than me, did she believe in marriage (ignore the question of children for the moment) or other forms of romantic committment?


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  • Posted by MaxCasey 6 years ago
    The question of loyalty is interesting. Because Dominque Francone was very complex, not dropping one for another, but very purposeful in who she chose and why. Taggart's choices seem less prominent to the story line than those in the Fountainhead, but when she drops Rearden for Galt its because she understands she needn't settle. Your question of Romantic Loyalty is interesting because you phrase it as "meeting someone better". It wasn't about just meeting someone better, it was about being with the ideal man as opposed to a man that was willing to allow others to sacrifice his efforts for their sake. One man stood against Altruism, the other was trying to co-exist with it. So it wasn't a matter of just "interesting" her, but a matter of being true to her values. She couldn't stay with Hank, knowing that she loved John, love being the highest value, or she would have been a hypocrite.

    Rand's non-fiction books provide a great supplement to her novels when it comes to things such as this. If you have time you can also check out the Ayn Rand Lexicon online and look up what she has to say about Romantic Love.

    But really, when you think about it, don't we all move on when we find someone else that better represents our ideal values? How many significant others did you date before you married? In Francone's case, she married to punish herself for not being brave enough to be with Roark which is different than that of Dagny. In "We the Living" Kira didn't really "hop" around so much.

    The issues with Branden, well aside from their "personal" relationship, I believe there was a disagreement about certain aspects of the philosophy as it pertained to psychology (don't quote me on that) that pertained to the split too. Consider that one's arguments, or their philosophy is not invalidated by one's actions necessarily. To suggest that would be a logical fallacy. Moreover, Rand seemed to include in her writings examples of the personal shortcomings of certain characters in this regard. There is some anecdotal evidence that supports the notion that Rand would advocate that if one married another, and after some years the spouse took up a derivative of Altruism or some other repugnant ideology, one would right in parting ways.

    So I guess, yes and no. You don't trade up the "homely" version of John Galt for the "holywood sexy" version of John Galt, but you don't continue to stay with a person that sacrifices themselves or their values to the undeserving, when there is another relationship with a virtuous individual that could flourish.
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  • Posted by Vegasrenie 6 years ago
    Dagny was always loyal to Hank, but only in friendship. It was Hank who read more into the relationship - Dagny was *always* pining after John. She just didn't know it until she met him face to face.

    By the way, *heroine's* isn't possessive. It should be written *heroines.* I just have this thing about apostrophe abuse.
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  • Posted by Amapola 6 years ago
    What an interesting question.Yes she did ditch Hank as soon as she met John - it was like an epiphany - and when I first read it I thought it was a bit shallow.But I can't recall Dagny and Hank talking about "love and commitment" to one another. My feeling was that their relationship was predicated on strength, intellect and the need to consummate a physical union of these. Personally I would have stuck with Hank! Especially as Grant Bowler! And I think that Rands thinking was simply a precursor to the Feminist movement of latter years when women did become empowered to make their own decisions, run their own lives and not be beholden to a 'husband'.
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  • Posted by gblaze47 6 years ago in reply to this comment.
    Another issue I have is if life evolves from simple to more complex life, why do we still have single celled prokaryotes in existence? They should have died off for the more complex and thus the 'stronger' life forms that arose after it. Another oddity of 'evolution' why is it some species of animals show no signs of evolution?

    Look here for seven species that have not changed for millions of years, (Exclaimer, I do not endorse pop-sci or anything they say, but this information is factual)
    http://www.popsci.com/science/article/20...
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    • Posted by khalling 6 years ago
      there is no fundamental tenet of evolution that says life evolves from simple to more complex. The less complex can many times thrive and the more complex go away.
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      • Posted by gblaze47 6 years ago
        Well it's 'complicated', no pun intended. A basic way of putting evolution is an arms race. Where an animal out survives it's competition. Of course this can mean anything, from ability to run or hide or out reproduce from the species that prey on them to having the best teeth, or strongest arms or etc. to out compete other species they prey on. Typically this means more complex features, but it's not always true, I agree. There is even a theory now that multicell life (eukaryote) did not 'evolve' from single cell life (prokaryote). The way things are going soon we will have a theory that nothing evolves except for those things we say do. (joke...somewhat)
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  • Posted by Wonky 6 years ago
    I'd say that above all else, Rand believed in the pursuit of a fully integrated philosophy of life. Any relationship not fully supporting such a pursuit would put "feelings" above "rationality", and therefore be less than ideal - something to be traded up, to be blunt.
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  • Posted by ratonis 6 years ago
    I think taking perspectives on romantic relationship from a person who drove her own husband into alcoholism while romancing another man 25 years younger, then telling readers that said husband was the living incarnation of the heroes in her books is, well, a bit weird.
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    • Posted by patricking 6 years ago
      It depends on whether you have an outmoded concept of Romance or a modern concept of Romance. Frank persevered. He held on to the fortune she made for him and he lived by the values they both adhered to. If you can't understand that the problem is yours, not Frank O'Connor's and certainly not Ayn Rand's.
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      • Posted by ratonis 6 years ago
        Yeah, he persevered by drinking himself to death while lamenting his lost life. Frank O'Conner is a guy who sacrificed his own loves in life for Rand's agenda. This is clear in the biographical literature about Rand. What Rand stated publicly about Frank O'Conner was a lie, an evasion of truth, perhaps the greatest "sin" in the Objectivist scheme of things.
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  • Posted by jarvisc 6 years ago
    Personally I see two sides to this. On one hand, if you meet someone "better" as you put it and your heart calls out to that person instead of the one you are currently with, if your heart has suddenly or "irresistibly" moved, then it might even be an insult if you stay with the one you are with at the moment. No one wants to be sacrified for, and no one wants love and commitment out of pity. On the other hand I believe one can make oneself immune to such movements of the heart: there is a selfish interest to be gained from commitment. It is a powerful thing to take one's life in one's hands in the deciding moment of committing to another person, but doing so can have its rewards and one among them is not needing to worry about "what-ifs" even if you meet someone else whom you like. I even see a legitimate path in between these two, where you are in a relationship and you meet someone new, but you can't be sure because you don't fully know the new person yet; in that case I think it's okay to take some time and stay with the person you are with even though you are having doubts, you may even owe it to the person you are with to stay until the doubts clear or else coalesce on the decision to leave, one way or another. In summary I think the intensity of commitment is something left to the individual. It is also possible to have a sense of how committed your partner is to you even if you don't discuss it explicitly, and if your partner is less committed than you are then you willfully pursue the relationship at your own risk. I think Hank knew Dagny was a bird he couldn't keep, but the time they did have meant everything to him.

    The heart is a powerful thing, and even though it can place us in difficult situations, it also inspires us to the integrity that honors both ourselves and the others we care for.
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    • Posted by  $  Tap2Golf 6 years ago
      "if you meet someone "better" as you put it and your heart calls out to that person instead of the one you are currently with, if your heart has suddenly or "irresistibly" moved, then it might even be an insult if you stay with the one you are with at the moment. No one wants to be sacrified for, and no one wants love and commitment out of pity."
      This is a plausible explaination for the storyline in one of AR's early works, "The Husband I Bought" circa 1920's. Irene marries her great love, Henry. They are very happy for a number of years, then Henry takes a fancy to another women, but his commitment ot Irene is strong. Pity? I don't know. Irene creates a lie and tells Henry she, is in love with someone else and they divorce. She sets him free to be with his new infatuation/love. Irene leaves town and lives a secluded life alone loving Henry until she dies.

      AR's literary skills grow tremendously over the years along with the development of her philosophy. Her views on romantic love and its connection with marriage had roots very early in her life.
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  • Posted by sydney 6 years ago
    The significance of the romantic interests in Atlas Shrugged are that at on time did Dagny tell Francisco she loved him - in fact when he would disappear for long periods, she wasn't pining after him. When Dagny met Hank, even Hank said to himself that he knew he would not be her final choice.
    Here is the underlying significance:
    Francisco - copper from the ground - produced raw materials
    Hank - took the copper and raw materials and produced valuable man made objects
    John - discoverer of harnessing static electricity - energy - which makes everything else possible

    All through the book, we are talking about being able to shape the world in the image of the heroic within ourselves - the best within ourselves, and that would mean being able to take raw materials, shape them so we can use them, and all life, all purposeful activity requires energy. Without energy all would be lost. And it is in Atlas Shrugged when the lights finally go out. Does that help to explain why Dagny's character moves on? That is how I see it.
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  • Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 6 years, 1 month ago
    You are asking the wrong question. First, you have to understand what you mean by loyalty. Under what circumstances is your relationship with another person (organization; institution) more important than your relationship with yourself?
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  • Posted by patricking 6 years ago
    Rand makes it clear in all her books, she does NOT believe in sexual fidelity. If a man really loves her he will understand WHY she wants and needs to be with a different man.

    I find it amusing that so many modern "Christians" have glommed on to Rand's philosophy. Rand was ardently anti-Christian. You cannot USE these ideas and also adhere to the fundamental Christian principle of altruism to the poor and unfortunate.

    Rand had at least one abortion and believe that abortion was a RIGHT for women. She was sexually promiscuous into her old age. She was unfaithful to her compliant husband and summarily dismissed her lovers when she was tired of them. She banished Nathaniel Brandon from her "Collective" when he was no longer able to function sexually with her. She publicly rejected the idea of "God" and intelligent creation. I say this because this is who she was and what she thought and espoused. Objectivism is a COMMITMENT. You cannot pick and choose what you'll follow and what you won't. All these ideas are reliant on each other. The values of Christ are diametrically opposed to the values of Ayn Rand. If you're not 100% in you are holding the movement back.
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    • Posted by DragonLady 6 years ago
      I disagree, Patrick, that "if you're not 100% in you are holding the movement back". Rand was, above all else, an independent thinker. Do I agree with everything she wrote? Of course not, I've always done my own thinking, and I won't give that up for anyone or anything. I don't believe that independent thinking will hold anything worthwhile back. Guess that's the reason my favorite Rand book is "Anthem".
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      • Posted by patricking 6 years ago
        You prefer Anthem because it was her first work and Rand had not fully formed her ideas. One CANNOT be a Christian and ALSO hold the virtues of selfishness as man's highest value. Give up the delusion of 'heaven' and build heaven on earth.
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        • Posted by DragonLady 6 years ago
          I'm not a Christian, but neither do I agree with absolutely every word Rand spoke and wrote. If that's blasphemy, so be it.
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          • Posted by patricking 6 years ago
            I don't call it "blasphemy," but we can only discuss it if you'll express specifically what you disagree about.
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            • Posted by DragonLady 6 years ago
              Her stand supporting abortion, for one. I hold life in high regard, and I believe a life begins at conception. Hence I would never consider abortion for myself, but on the other hand, I do not have the right to impose my beliefs on someone else. Also her sanction of infidelity in marriage. Seems to me if you make a promise to someone, you should keep that promise. If you cannot, the promise should be terminated, openly and honestly, so all involved can move on. I'm not a huge supporter of marriage, but I support even less what used to be called "open marriage".
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    • Posted by  $  ObjectiveAnalyst 6 years ago
      Greetings patricking,
      Not so! Rand had respect for Christian ethics. It was the mysticism, and martyrdom that she objected to.
      http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/religi...

      Objectivism, like many other philosophies cover various topics. Her philosophy of Capitalism is as useful to Christians as it is to any other faction. You can pick and choose any portion of any philosophy you choose. It just means you are not an "Objectivist"... you are not doctrinaire. It does not mean you can not appreciate the other facets of the philosophy.

      Respectfully,
      O.A.
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      • Posted by Wonky 6 years ago
        As near as I can tell, Rand believed that a philosophy should be fully integrated from the ground up and free of any contradictions. I would think it would be very difficult to pick and choose bits and pieces from many differing philosophies and call it a single philosophy as Rand would define it.
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        • Posted by  $  ObjectiveAnalyst 6 years ago
          Hello Wonky,
          Quite right. That was my understanding of Rand's position. However she was not the only philosopher worth study. She was brilliant but not omniscient. Each of us have our own philosophy, i.e. understanding of the world. I am a student of Objectivism. I am not an Objectivist.
          Regards,
          O.A.
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          • Posted by Wonky 6 years ago
            Hey O.A.,
            You make a good point. Rand, herself, studied many philosophies that she never would have claimed to have lived by. The primacy of existence was not her idea, nor were the basic axioms, but they certainly became the foundation of her philosophy.

            I hadn't really considered whether I am a student of Objectivism, an Objectivist, or, if possible, both. I'm fairly certain that "omniscience" cannot exist without contradicting Objectivist principles - hope I didn't imply that I thought her to be omniscient.

            I do agree with Rand, however, that "a philosophy should be fully integrated from the ground up and free of any contradictions".

            Thanks for your comments!
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            • Posted by  $  ObjectiveAnalyst 6 years ago
              Hello Wonky,
              We are on the same page. You may be interested in her perspective on who could be an "objectivist." If my recollection is correct she claimed that we are all students except of course for herself... :)
              A is A. Contradictions can not exist!
              Thank you!
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    • Posted by khalling 6 years ago
      Yes, Rand built a logical system. That does not mean SHE was correct in her logic in every case. There is room for disagreement, at the edges and in the frontiers, just as there would be among mathematicians building a logical system such as geometry. As well, she did not solve every problem in Philosophy. One doesn't have to accept every tenet from the first exposure to the philosophy. Your last statement referring to "holding the movement back" is exactly what holds the movement back. This cult-like position of card carrying Objectivists that only certain people can understand everything she said or wrote and are therefore the only ones fit to comment or discuss.
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      • Posted by patricking 6 years ago
        Well, khalling, would you like to explain specifically where you think Rand got it wrong? I'll tell you who got it wrong: Jesus Christ got it wrong! "Turn the other cheek"? Render unto Caesar"? "Sell all you have and give the money to the poor and follow me"? Dump this nonsense and move the human race forward or get out of the road!
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        • Posted by Rozar 6 years ago
          Haha Patrick I like your attitude, but you shouldn't hold anyone so highly. I have all the respect for Rand and follow the philosophy to a T, it doesn't matter how she lived her life or the type of person she was, she had a good idea and I think she laid the foundation for something great. The best part about it is you can use her basics and the logic she proposed to find an answer to any moral issue, whether she herself agreed with the logic or not.
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        • Posted by Wonky 6 years ago
          Very interesting... Jesus (the man) martyred himself to create a long-lasting, powerful reminder to accept forgiveness - or put another way, to relinquish guilt. However that reminder has been twisted over the years, I don't find it at odds with Objectivism. Interestingly, Hank betrayed his principles by handing over his patents because of the guilt he felt over their relationship and his feelings about how it reflected on their character. By doing so, he, effectively betrayed Dagny.

          I'd wager that Ayn and Jesus would have an interesting discussion about the destructive power of guilt over tea... I wonder if she'd offer him a cigarette?
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          • Posted by patricking 6 years ago
            The problem with Jesus (the man) is that there is no actual evidence he existed. The mythology around him is common to "man gods" from nearly every culture: Krishna, Siddartha, Tamuz, Odin, Osiris, Hiawatha on and on. His miracles are absurd. His remarks, some of which are worth considering, are all attributed to earlier rabbis. Although Pontius Pilate certainly existed, there is no record anywhere of the execution of Jesu Ben Joseph or any similar name while most other records of that era exist. One of the starkest divisions between Rand (who certainly existed) and Jesus comes in Matthew 19 21-24 which concludes with Jesus saying, "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven."

            I'm not sure how a conversation between Jesus and Rand would go. She would not be easy on him if her interview with Mike Wallace is any indication: http://youtu.be/1ooKsv_SX4Y
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            • Posted by Wonky 6 years ago
              Hate to veer too far off the topic (romantic loyalty / relationships), but I do find the effort to integrate some of the philosophical products of various religions into the Objectivist framework stimulating... Thanks for your reply.

              I'm a sort of odd atheist with a great respect for what I can glean about what/who Jesus was. I happen to be married to a true Christian. We've bridged many gaps by applying some very simple translations, and even read from the bible periodically.

              I replace the word "God" with "the essence of man", "the essential man", "every man", or "the spirit of man" - essentially all those attributes which make a man a man (naturally with their measurements omitted).

              I often replace the word "create" with "conceptualize".

              "Heaven" is simply a state of mind.

              And so on...

              It's quite interesting to read, say, Genesis, and realize that the beginning can easily serve as a description of what every man goes through during birth and the first few years of life.

              While our approaches to interpreting a given religious concept are often dramatically different, we often arrive at the same conclusions... It's a quite lively and entertaining way to affirm each other's values.
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              • Posted by DragonLady 6 years ago
                Any chance of the two of you writing a book? I need some serious assistance dealing with my Christian friends. I've never been known for my great tact....
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                • Posted by Wonky 6 years ago
                  It's tough at times... Often it feels intellectually dishonest to use words like God, Heaven, Faith, Prayer, Eternal, Spirit, etc, and know that they are translations designed to make the conversation less intimidating. In the end though, if the value is expressed, affirmed and integrated, it doesn't really matter which route individual minds took to get there.

                  What I love most about my wife is that we can share all of our translations and doubly support our values knowing there are 2 different paths to them.
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                  • Posted by DragonLady 6 years ago
                    How fortunate you two are to have each other. As Dave Allen used to say, may your God go with you.
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                    • Posted by Wonky 6 years ago
                      This may be a little hard to follow, but I think it could be relevant...

                      The Parable of Parables

                      One mother told her daughter this:
                      -------

                      "If you do not send a "Thank You" note to every person who gives you a gift, no one will like you, God will frown upon you, and you may be stung by 1,000 bees."

                      -------

                      Another mother told her daughter this:
                      -------

                      A mother once told her two daughters that If they did not send a Thank You note to every person who gave them gifts, no one would like them, God would frown upon them, and they may be stung by 1,000 bees.

                      Yet another told her two daughter that if they sent a Thank You note to some people that gave them gifts, that they might enjoy the experience of gratitude and the feeling of being special for several more moments, and that as they grew older, they would be happier at remembering how wonderful the world was and how generous it's inhabitants were.

                      The first daughter of the first mother ignored her and refused to send Thank You notes to anyone who had given her gifts because she felt that it would satisfy her lying mother. She lived a life in which she always felt betrayed and always suspected people of trying to manipulate her.

                      The second daughter of the first mother believed her mother because she felt that was what a good daughter ought to do. She lived her life resenting the thousands of Thank You notes she was obliged to write, never felt gratitude upon receiving gifts, and feared the wrath of God when she failed to send a note or sent one late.

                      The first daughter of the second mother ignored her and did not send any Thank You notes. She did not feel particularly happy or special, but nor did she fear deception.

                      The second daughter of the second mother believed her and sent out some Thank You notes to specific people for special gifts she had received or for special things they had done. She did, in fact, feel enriched for the experience, and led a generally happy life.

                      -----

                      The first daughter laughed at her mother and said "that's the God of the old testament. Jesus taught that it is good to give thanks, and so I will do so in the way that I choose". She learned nothing from her mother that day, and went on to live an interesting life that was not particularly fulfilling.

                      The second daughter learned to speak in parables like her mother before her, and spent her life spreading health, wealth, happiness and good will.
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        • Posted by khalling 6 years ago
          well, patrick, first of all, I am not a christian.
          Rand on Evolution. I disagree. Her non commitment to well established and powerful scientific theory was wrong.
          Rand's ethical system is based in the understanding of evolution!
          let's turn it around as long as you're worried about false Objectivists holding the movement back? Where do you stand on patents?
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          • Posted by patricking 6 years ago
            Not all that enlightening, khalling. What about Rand's understanding of Evolution do you disagree with? As far as patents go, I think a person has a right to make money from their own ideas. I oppose, however, people who use their wealth to hold back others with better newer ideas. That said, no genius is ever lost. The harder you hold them back, the more explosive their effect when it hits the market.
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            • Posted by khalling 6 years ago
              are you telling me that if Newton had grown up in India, he still would have developed all of his ideas? what about if Einstein grew up in sub-saharan africa?
              "the harder you hold them back, the more explosive their effect when they ht the market."
              Love the optimism, but it just isn't true. It is no coincidence that a Jobs or a Edison or a Gates grew up in a country fundamentally founded on reason and natural rights (which includes intellectual property rights). It is no mistake that the rights of inventors and authors are the ONLY rights enumerated in the original Constitution.
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              • Posted by patricking 6 years ago
                How do you figure I said Newton would have developed the same ideas if born in India, khalling? Is this a "straw man argument"? Obviously anyone who thought that would be wrong. It is nothing like anything I have stated.
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                • Posted by Rozar 6 years ago
                  She's following your logic to its conclusions. If your premise "a genius is never lost" is true than people we know to be geniuses would have risen to the occasion even in India etc... However if Einstein was born in the Sahara or what not he probably would have been a genius relative to his surroundings, just not what we think of him today.
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                • Posted by khalling 6 years ago
                  I am testing your argument regarding genius. "that said, no genius is ever lost. The harder you hold them back, the more explosive their effect when it hits the market. "
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              • Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 6 years ago
                "are you telling me that if Newton had grown up in India, he still would have developed all of his ideas..."
                Srinivas Ramanujan shows that genius appears anywhere. To be RECOGNIZED and REWARDED requires a special society. He came to the attention of mathematician G. H. Hardy at Cambridge, who nearly set the letters aside as being just from another crank because Ramanujan did not use standard notation.

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Srinivasa_R...

                Also, read about the life of Newton. The Principia came from the Royal Society with its "imprimatur" but with no royal copyright. Also, Newton was not interested in publishing at all only Sir Edmund Halley's efforts upon him made that possible at all. Newton was certainly the most brilliant man of his time, and perhaps the greatest scientist of all time. However, he could have been born anywhere. By comparision, about 100 years later, Joseph Priestley FLED England for America because copyrights and patents strong as they were held no barrier to a mob of ignorant royalists.

                Moreover, Newton HID many of his RELIGIOUS works for the same fear of persecution. He was a Unitarian, perhaps even an Arian. No copyright laws help with that.
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                • Posted by khalling 6 years ago
                  I am in no way stating that genius cannot be BORN anywhere. I am making the argument that the freer the society the MORE geniuses can thrive. Newtonian principles are not covered by patents and copyrights are tangential. My overall point about scientific genius is that it mainly appears in societies tolerant of reason, exploration, promotion of investigation of nature opposed to a society that is stuck in dogma that the answer rests in for example one book.
                  As far as Priestly goes, I don't know enough. Many inventors did come to the US because it was easier to get patent protection and therefore funding.
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            • Posted by khalling 6 years ago
              on patents: well then you disagreed with Rand. You must be holding the Movement back.
              and your analysis regarding patents, their protection and scope is wrong.
              "What about Rand's understanding of Evolution do you disagree with?" Her lack of it.
              On Evolution: secondhand, Nathaniel Branden in "The Benefits and Hazards of the Philosophy of Ayn Rand" :
              "I remember being astonished to hear her say one day, "After all, the theory of evolution is only a hypothesis." I asked her, "You mean you seriously doubt that more complex life forms — including humans — evolved from less complex life forms?" She shrugged and responded, "I'm really not prepared to say," or words to that effect. I do not mean to imply that she wanted to substitute for the theory of evolution the religious belief that we are all God's creation; but there was definitely something about the concept of evolution that made her uncomfortable." (Neil Parrile, Rebirth of Reason, "Ayn Rand and Evolution.")
              A scientific theory is not a hypothesis. Evolution is one of THE most well documented, most explanatory scientific theories Man has.
              How about the interview in which she stated very few of us were deserving of love?

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              • Posted by patricking 6 years ago
                Wait a minute, khalling, are you suggesting there is PROOF of evolution? Rand is perfectly right. We have SOME evidence of evolution and evolution is a neat theory that CURRENTLY explains some natural observed phenomenon. But it is NOT a fact. If a better, simpler theory than evolution becomes available tomorrow science would drop it like a banana peel. Scientifically no one has ever seen any species 'evolve.' On the contrary, breeds devolve.

                I completely understand Rand's point of view on this. Evolution is not a religious concept which we must wholeheartedly accept or accept "intelligent creation." There are things we still don't know. Much about evolution falls into that category.

                What she said was that those who do not love themselves first do not deserve love and here too, she was perfectly correct. Here's that interview: http://youtu.be/1ooKsv_SX4Y
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                • Posted by khalling 6 years ago
                  Then we should not accept Newtonian Mechanics because it does not explain chemistry or optics?
                  Relativity does not explain what happens in an atom, and quantum mechanics does not explain gravitational fields. They are incomplete. We do not have a theory that explains, and we do not need such. Most scientists would find it depressing if had theories that explained everything. Let's use the language correctly. First of all a "fact" is a specific instance, a theory explains many facts and has predictive as well as explanatory powers. If you are asking for a list of every "fact" that Evolution explains or predicted, we'd fill up the Encyclopedia Brittani ca and more.
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                • Posted by Wonky 6 years ago
                  Is there a way to break this evolution chain off into a new thread? I'm very curious, and have no idea what Rand did or didn't have to say about evolution/adaptation. I do wonder what she'd have to say about "the central dogma", or about some of Bruce Lipton's ideas.
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                  • Posted by Rozar 6 years ago
                    I don't know what the Central dogma is, so I'd like to hear about that. If you want to start a post on evolution feel free to although Mike already started one. I don't want to discuss it to much though, and s for Rands view on it I'm not concerned as she is a philosopher not a biologist.
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                    • Posted by Wonky 6 years ago
                      Sorry, the central dogma is that DNA controls destiny. This has been proven to be absolutely untrue. Organisms utilize DNA as a blueprint for creating proteins in response to environmental stimuli. Under stress, cells can intentionally cause errors in the DNA replication process until they die or manage to produce a mutation that eliminates the stress. I'm pretty sure it's all called Epigenetics now. Evolution as random mutations over many generations has definitely been disproved.
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                      • Posted by khalling 6 years ago
                        ugh. I have a friend who subscribes to this nonsense. He continually brings out reams of "documentation" until I'm overwhelmed and unimpressed. Alot of the material I have been "fed" is Brit or Australian in origin. not to implicate a nation, just it's of interest
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                        • Posted by Wonky 6 years ago
                          I apologize khalling. I think I'm too eager for a paradigm shift. Looks like Mike has the right of it:
                          "It is not the ONLY mechanism for genetic change, however. We now know of EPIGENETICS."

                          Odd, I still have issues with relativity and quantum physics, but for some reason I want to believe in willful evolution... Doesn't bode well for my status as an Objectivist.
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                • Posted by Rozar 6 years ago
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                  • Posted by gblaze47 6 years ago
                    is it adaptation to ones environment or evolution though?
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                    • Posted by Rozar 6 years ago
                      Can we equate a genetic adaptation to the environment through natural selection to evolution?
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                      • Posted by gblaze47 6 years ago
                        Depends on the cause, is it actually a genetic change, ie. base pair changing or is it epigenetics which is due to the methylation of DNA? Epigenetics can take place from one generation to another. It is a response to rapid changes in ones environment. ie. a set of parents starve, and so give birth to weaker, smaller children. When the children grow up, and eat healthy diets and proper medical care, their children should once again be their original size and health as to what their genes are coded for. The issue is they never do go back to their normal 'genetic' potential they remain very often weak and small. This just shows that there is much more than genetics that play a crucial role in adaptation.
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                        • Posted by Rozar 6 years ago
                          Ah ha I see your point although I don't have an answer for you. I'm not very big on speculation and I don't have the time to invest in a sure answer, it could be either or though. In the case of the moths, you can see that a certain mutation increases survivability of that strain, and I wouldn't say that they would change color very quickly considering it took 50 years. Also once the moth was that color it wouldn't change back during its life time. With that limited knowledge and in that specific category I feel safe in judging in favor of actual evolution. How's that?
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                        • Posted by khalling 6 years ago
                          agreed. Did I suggest otherwise? The "soil" is hugely important. gb, can you make a further statement of clarification here?
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                          • Posted by gblaze47 6 years ago
                            Sorry? I'm trying to understand what I'm to clarify. I was replying to Rozar's link about evolutionary traits that appear to be happening. I wasn't making a comment on what you had said, but I can if you would like me too. :)

                            Edit: To be honest I agree on almost all accounts of what you have said, I remember being told by a prof. years ago was what the difference between a 'fact' and the truth was , "It was a fact that the sun revolved around the earth, the truth is the earth revolves around the sun."
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                            • Posted by khalling 6 years ago
                              sorry. I am interested in this. adaptation vs evolution. The concepts converge. I want to frame the some questions that address the convergence and thought you might be a couple steps ahead in the argument.
                              On facts. hmmm. you and I are going to disagree. I feel it coming...;)
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                              • Posted by gblaze47 6 years ago
                                "On facts. hmmm. you and I are going to disagree. I feel it coming...;) "

                                On that I can agree on...

                                From what we understand up to now, evolution is purely based on genetics, in other words the best genetic codes get passed on because they provide the give the life-form the best chance at survival. It's often based on reproduction and passing on of traits but can also be by environmental changes, chemicals like teratogens, or radiations that cause pyridine cross-links etc. Adaptations usually fall under things such as epigenetics and chromosomal changes but can also be genetic, depending on the circumstance. I can tell you this, and most don't like it, but there really is no theory of 'evolution' sure their is some context that things change but truly evolve, from simply lifeforms to more complex lifeforms there has been no evidence of from a genetic point of view. For example the Daphnia pulex, or the water flea has the most genes, about 31,000. We humans have only about 23, 000 genes. Does it mean it is a more complex life form or more advanced? Also there is no sound mechanism of adding genetic material to an organism that could actually be used 'constructively' by that organism. There are many, many holes yet to fill in about 'evolution'. I can go on for a long time discussing this as well as 'confirmation bias' in the sciences. But I'll stop for now.
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                                • Posted by Rocky_Road 6 years ago
                                  My knowledge of Darwin's theories amounts to about two days of a drive-by introduction in one of my college courses.

                                  But one example mentioned has always 'stuck' in my memory:

                                  Darwin concluded that there were once sighted fish living in the absolute darkness of cave pools.

                                  Every so often, a fish would be born sightless (a mutation?), and that fish would have his other senses sharpened by comparison. This fish had a better chance of finding food, etc. He would mate, and eventually even more 'blind' fish would be born. Same thing...the 'blind' fish had the greatest chance of survival.

                                  At some point, all you will find are sightless fish living in dark caves.

                                  Survival of the fittest.

                                  Made sense sitting in the classroom.

                                  (Try not to beat me to death with what I just posted, although that could make me the best survivor!)
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            • Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 6 years ago
              Just to jump in... I prefer that NEW topics address these two points and I can start the discussions elsewhere under other rubrics.

              Evolution may be "explanatory" but so is astrology. A science must meet a standard of falsifiability and Darwinian Evolution does not. Known facts about fertile hybrids show that the theory is incomplete, at best.

              As for patents, protecting the intellectual property of the inventor is one thing, but whether present law does it right is a different question.

              More on those later.
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              • Posted by khalling 6 years ago
                Your first statements are outrageous. To state that Evolution is not falsifiable is to show profound scientific ignorance. Your statement that evolution is incomplete at best- Relativity is "incomplete" at best, Newtonian Mechanics, Quantum Mechanics, on and on. This does not mean they are not profound scientific theories, with great explanatory and predictive powers.
                I agree with your last statement.
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  • Posted by trico827 6 years ago
    Ayn Rand was conflicted in matters of sexual identity possibly because she felt she did not live up to her own standards for female attractiveness expressed through her heroines. Judging from the lifestyles of her romantic couples, one would have to conclude that the "sanctity" of marriage did not exist for her. It was (and is) a difficult question that she never resolved in her lifetime.

    But she was a great woman who asked the right questions about life on earth and brought philosophy to new heights of rationality. She should not be discounted because she didn't have all the answers. Why would a fish happy in water want to seek dry land?
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    • Posted by patricking 6 years ago
      Actually, Ayn Rand DID have all the answers. Clinging to your own middle class morality is slowing you down. You cannot 'sell all your property, give the money to the poor and follow Christ,' and also be an Objectivist. CHOOSE!
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      • Posted by ratonis 6 years ago
        The rightness and sanctity of property is clearly stated in the Mosaic Law, which came along a bit before Ayn Rand. So, that is not a new idea at all. From what we know of Ayn Rand's broken relationships with just about all her friends and colleagues (with the pathetic exception of Leonard P.), as reported by Barbara Branden, one may conclude that Rand's view of love, and her understanding of love, was seriously lacking. And, I have in my letters file something from Elaine Kalberman that clearly reveals that Rand had no real patience with critical thinking. She was, in her own way, a totalitarian herself and yes, she destroyed Frank O'Conner and lied about him on the dedication page of Atlas Shrugged. This is not to say that she did not possess a mesmerizing brilliance, or that "Atlas Shrugged" is not a downright prophetic novel. I acknowledge all of that, although I am one of a small minority, I think, who thinks that as far as literature is concerned, "We the Living" is her best work.

        By the way, if I sold all my property and gave the money to the poor to free myself up to pursue something I valued more highly, that would be an action quite consonant with Objectivism.
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        • Posted by patricking 6 years ago
          "By the way, if I sold all my property and gave the money to the poor to free myself up to pursue something I valued more highly, that would be an action quite consonant with Objectivism."

          Only if it was to to improve his own lot and his own ideas. Jesus is demanding self-sacrifice. Self-sacrifice is at complete odds with Objectivism: http://youtu.be/1ooKsv_SX4Y
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          • Posted by Wonky 6 years ago
            Funny, I always thought Jesus just went around telling parables, bashing Jewish traditions, and getting credit for a few miracles, and that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John took it from there. Did Jesus really demand some kind of self-sacrifice from anyone other than his disciples?
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          • Posted by ratonis 6 years ago
            One must assess the issue of Jesus' "sacrifice" within the framework of the Christian worldview, on its own terms, not from the worldview of Objectivism. Gaining eternal life is not exactly self-sacrifice. Yes, it is predicated on the assumption of a life beyond this one, and one gets there on the coattails of a savior figure. But that is not all that different than the Objectivist scenario where weaker people enjoy prosperity on the basis of what greater individuals make available to them based on their achievements. Galt is a savior figure, and Rand herself claims that the great individual is the Fountainhead of human progress, fulfillment, etc. and that the Great Individual is the Great Benefactor. As for "sacrifice," the crucifixion (in the Christian worldview) is undertaken voluntarily by Christ as a tactic serving the greater strategy of victory in the ultimate spiritual warfare. (It is hard to understand the crucifixion as a "sacrifice" in the wake of the Resurrection, at least as Rand defines "sacrifice" as a setting aside of a higher value for a lower value or something worthless. That does not fit the Christian story.

            As far as Dagny's romantic experiences are concerned, I can see her in love with Francisco or Rearden, but Galt is (in my estimate anyway) not even a character. He is much too abstract. Eddie Willers is a more interesting character than John Galt. In fact, he may be the most interesting and intriguing character in the whole story.

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        • Posted by Wonky 6 years ago
          "By the way, if I sold all my property and gave the money to the poor to free myself up to pursue something I valued more highly, that would be an action quite consonant with Objectivism."

          Amen, brother!
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  • Posted by gblaze47 6 years ago in reply to this comment.
    Here's the problem with that, not very often is it one factor, (ie. blindness, a pattern on a moth's wings) that gives a species a 'survivability' boost. Most animals are made up of several factors, it may not have been blindness that gave a better chance for survival but what if it was due to a better metabolic system that gave the fish more energy to swim faster and get away from it's prey, usually it takes many factors to give an animal better chances of survival, not just one. What gives a species traits that provide it better survival chances and how much more does it give it? Does spots that make a moth blend in with it's background give a better chance at survival than lets say it's speed it can travel?
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  • Posted by suehimel 6 years ago
    Romantic loyalty? If you know her biography she subjected her husband and the wife of her principal follower to their adultery. While I agree with her philosophy for the most part, her principle of selfishness, when extended to her personal life, was decadent.
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  • Posted by Hiraghm 6 years ago
    I don't think Rand even really knew what love is.
    I think Dagney was just a typical alpha female, searching for the most alpha male. Rand seems to have instinctively known about this before the terms "alpha male" and "alpha female" came into popular use.

    I was totally dissatisfied with Rearden's confrontation with Lillian in ASp2. I would have immediately asked her why she cared, since she didn't want to sleep with him anyway. He'd done nothing to threaten what *did* matter to her, after all.
    But, I was amused when he apologized to Dagney for dragging *his wife* into "our world". Uh... no, you dragged Dagney into your and your wife's world.

    Either he didn't say traditional wedding vows, or his word means nothing to him.
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  • Posted by davidlaibow 6 years ago
    Kira in "We The Living" believed in romantic loyalty; Dagny Taggart believed in romatic loyalty to Frisco D'Anconia, then to Hank Rearden, and finally to John Galt. She didn't cheat on any of her lovers while she was attracted to them. As she matured, so did her affections. What's wrong with that?
    I think that Ayn Rand believed in romantic loyalty, just as I do.
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  • Posted by rightjungle 6 years ago
    Her heroines already have an "ideal man" defined for themselves - so they "know 'em when they see 'em." It isn't a question of comparison - who is better? Francisco or Galt? These novels are novels - fiction; and the plot lines, including the romance, work logically and dramatically. Since Ayn Rand was married, I'd have to say she "believed in" marriage - how do you not believe in something that exists - that is - how do you not believe in marriage? Dagny did not forget about Hank Rearden - remember how she ran out to stand on the ledge and watch his tortured search for her plane? She even asked Galt if they could send a message to an outsider - namely Hank Rearden.
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  • Posted by theodoremccoy 6 years ago
    I think Rand believed in the value of a long relationship. I look to her relatioship with her husband, Frank Connor, and how long that lasted. I believe she wrote on relationships and that there was an exchange of value. I do not think she was even opposed to the notion of a stay at home mom. again the exchange of value between a husband and wife and the value placed on raising children. If one were to look at her writings ther are many cases where she romaticized these relationships. I agree in life she made a choice to not have children. This choice was again an exchange of value. I think Rand knew she could not devote the required time to her writings and have a family. Life is full of choices this was one of Rands choices.
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  • Posted by 6 years ago
    Good comments. Thank you. People reminded me that there was adult romantic interest in Francisco and then there was Hank. I just checked and Ayn Rand did get married. It even said she was buried next to her husband, but obviously was involved with a lot of other people during her life. So my take? If you're talking children (and Rand rarely does) her "move on" philosophy is definitely wrong. I am pro choice so anyone who has children in my opinion is in a contract to raise them to the best of their ability until they can care for themselves. Half the marriages end in divorce so we aren't doing too well in this department. Now if it's just two consenting adults that's what my topic was asking about. Some of the comments implied Rand might have believed in having > 1 sexual partners in concurrent relationships. Atlas Shrugged never really depicted that. Hank and John were never proximitous so we never really get a chance to find out. But I kind of liked Hank. He spent a lot of his personal time and energy trying to find her after her plane disappeared. I think he at least deserved a phone call. So I guess now the question is, if Rand married off one of her characters what does that mean? Does that mean that you're promising each other no one better will/could (that's high praise) come along?
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    • Posted by theodoremccoy 6 years ago
      Flash I to am pro choice. Once you make the choice to have sex you are contracted t the consequences of that choice. If conception is the result, you own that decision. with todays technology we know we are killing human beings with abortion. Just puting a label of fetus on them is like relabeling an apple an orange for the sake of argument. it is still an apple.
      A is A. Stop kidding yourselves and take responibility for your choices and start thinking with your big head instead of the little one. Sorry for that last comment, I could not resist.
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  • Posted by Ardenlouise 6 years ago
    From reading her books, I agree that she believed in moving on to the "better" man, if he was interested. I was also surprised she dumped Hank for John. John's previous actions: inventing the motor, orchestrating the producers of the world to drop out of society, impressed Dagny. I do not remember John doing much on a personal level to "win her over. " Rand's heroine was better off being "queen" of the Gulch, than just a member.
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  • Posted by Rocky_Road 6 years ago
    I suspect that the answer would be in how Rand portrays marriage in her entire body of works?

    Favorably? Or just an obstacle in the way of a possibly better relationship...?

    I'm not the one here to answer that question.

    All the mystery of Hank was gone, by the time Dagny finally meets John Galt. Galt was 'new', and far more mysterious to her.

    She never had a chance...!
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    • Posted by  $  Tap2Golf 6 years ago
      In her early works, "The Husband I Bought" she was very much a romantic. As the title implies, the heroine married, was crazy in love and school girl happy. Then she made the ultimate sacrafice and dumped the hubby so he could pursue another who caught his eye. She always loved him but lived a secluded live alone the rest of her life. A wonderful romantic read from AR's 1920 writings.
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      • Posted by Rocky_Road 6 years ago
        It sounds like Rand's opinion on love and marriage evolves, along with her philosophy.

        Thanks for the reading suggestion!
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        • Posted by lmarrott 6 years ago
          I could definitely see this happening. As I read recently that she didn't really clarify her philosophy until she wrote the John Galt speech. Her characters were living it, but her putting it into words for the speech was the first time she had really defined much of it.

          So I could see her growing and thinking, and changing her mind as she went.
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  • Posted by Zivah 6 years ago
    "Loyalty" becomes an interesting concept here. I really don't think a question of loyalty should be asked, and agree with MikeMarotta. In Atlas, Dagny's loyalty was inextricable to her person, and therefore her sexuality, as highest celebration of human values, a physical response to intellectual and spiritual values that gives concrete expression....As the 'thinkers of the world' were growing & responding to the changing paradigm of the times, their affection-system was a tribute to those they highly respected/admired. Remember Francisco's defining sex?? Ayn Rand (in fact) had a very intense affair with Nathanial Branden while they both were married. Read The Passion of Ayn Rand. And, btw, Dagny didn't 'abandon' Hank; they both understood exactly where they each stood: with respect for each other & with tribute to shared values.
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    • Posted by Zivah 6 years ago
      To me, your entire 3 paragraphs are more than slightly bizarre. Don't know why you bother to read Ayn Rand; clearly many of the values of ... so much, are lost to you. I suppose we must all be running around like "instinctive" animals (and that's giving animals a bad name) seeking predatory and pathological conquests.... wow. If you're very young in today's culture, that may be sadly semi-understandable. If you're much older, from my perspective, a great deal of deep and authentic living has been missed. For me, this is not an area of debate; it's clearly a philosophical and experiential journey we've each taken, with widely divergent experiences (and expectations) from that journey.... I wish you well.
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    • Posted by Hiraghm 6 years ago
      excuse you, but 'sexuality' is nothing more than a response to a drug addiction. The first addiction, and the one making all other addictions possible.
      How anyone can imagine grunting and sweating to get "high" is a celebration of human values escapes me. Don't get me wrong; I appreciate the pleasure of sex as much as the next guy, but I don't confuse it with love or real intimacy.

      Dagney's attraction to D'Anconia, Rearden and Galt was a result of her (instinctively, not rationally) finding them increasingly preferable mating prospects. Each one emitted a stronger perception of power, and women are attracted to power (a more powerful male will be able to provide for and protect her and her offspring better).
      Rearden's attraction to her was understandable in terms of deprivation; he found a woman who actually *wanted* to screw him. And who made no demands of him, even in that regard.

      Galt's attraction to her is simple to explain; pathological. He was a stalker, in today's parlance.
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