ATLAS SHRUGGED, REDUX…

17Apr11

Well, redux for me, at least. I have not really thought about Ayn Rand since my late high school days when myself and a couple of friends formed an attachment to her philosophy, her writings, and an Ayn Rand Society. We subscribed to her newsletter – The Objectivist Newsletter, and even attended forums and meeting of  likeminded individuals. And, of course, “individual” was the word. Her philosophy was blantantly anti-religious,  anti-collectivist, and pro capitalist. It appealed to staunch political conservatives, even if the the anti-religious components were embarassing, as they were for me.  But the economic and social aspects coincided well with my then and current political and economic outlooks.   I even think I was a member of the Nathaniel Brandon Institute in NY which was run by Barbara and Nathaniel Brandon, two disciples of Ayn. In fact, Rand had a long term love affair with Mr Brandon (and not of the intellectual kind, alone).  

I discuss this now as there’s  a new film just out about her life. I have not seen it, but it won’t be a comedy. There will be sex as she personally looked upon sexuality as an important component of humanity. She wrote –

Sex is a physical capacity, but its exercise is determined by man’s mind—by his choice of values, held consciously or subconsciously. To a rational man, sex is an expression of self-esteem—a celebration of himself and of existence. To the man who lacks self-esteem, sex is an attempt to fake it, to acquire its momentary illusion.

Romantic love, in the full sense of the term, is an emotion possible only to the man (or woman) of unbreached self-esteem: it is his response to his own highest values in the person of another—an integrated response of mind and body, of love and sexual desire. Such a man (or woman) is incapable of experiencing a sexual desire divorced from spiritual values.

 As you can see from the above,  Miss Rand was a hard task-mistress…and a little goes a long way…

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