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Posted by: Bear
03:57pm / Sep 29, 2013
I'm enjoying your work, but may I ask what your sources are for this? Are you adapting another biographical work?
Posted by: Darryl Cunningham
04:56pm / Sep 29, 2013
The two books I've referenced the most are Anne C. Heller's Ayn Rand And The World She Made, and Jennifer Burn's Goddess OF The Market: Ayn Rand And The American Right. Both are excellent. Heller's biography is better on Rand's early life, while Burn's cover's Rand's huge influence on libertarian politics.
Posted by: Bear
05:00pm / Sep 29, 2013
I appreciate the reply, man. Thank you for the though-provoking comics.
Posted by: gnarg
10:01pm / Sep 29, 2013
Disagreeing that these bios were excellent.

http://www.theobjectivestandard.com/issues/2009-winter/ayn-rand-jennifer-burns.asp
Posted by: Bear
11:43am / Sep 30, 2013
Because Burns asserts that Rand's was the product of her upbringing, environment, and interactions? Are you saying that Rand is the first human being to develop completely independently of these factors and that her ideas were formed in some kind of vacuum?
Posted by: Bear
11:43am / Sep 30, 2013
*Rand
Posted by: John Donohue
11:55am / Sep 30, 2013
Agreeing with gnarg that those two bios are full of speculation, spin, opinion and psychologizing.

Meanwhile, no one is free from the impact of influences of one's upbringing and culture. However, we are all responsible for examining these deeply, then accepting or rejecting the influences based on chosen values. That process is know as "an examined life" and also "growing up" as an individual.

Burns and Heller throw around a lot of psychologizing. One must ask, how did they chose the particular details with which to impute Ayn Rand's character? Did they omit any? Did they somehow measure the impact, as a doctor would? Did they have inside knowledge of Ayn Rand's examination of her own life?


Posted by: Nancy McClernan
10:09pm / Sep 30, 2013
Let's have you give just ONE example of any inaccuracies in those biographies.

And in fact they both go out of their way to be fair to Rand, even siding against the many negative reviews of Atlas Shrugged.

But it's never enough, is it? You want us to join you in your Rand worship.
Posted by: John Donohue
11:17pm / Sep 30, 2013
Worship requires adoration of someone residing in the supernatural realm and no one is sure if Ayn Rand is in heaven or not. So, no on the worship.

Second, although they can all be considered "inaccuracies," I cited 'speculation, spin, opinion and psychologizing' which are much worse than errors of small facts, etc.


Third, here is a prime example (one of scores) of a Jennifer Burns massive error: Ayn Rand's condemnation of altruism is not only absolutely critical to her moral philosophy, but also pivots significantly around Burn's purported thesis: Ayn Rand's influence on the "American Right." Not only does Burns not sufficiently paint a fair representation of Rand's position, she opines that it is insipid, not likely to provoke dissent and unoriginal!

So that is a sin of omission, failure of mission, unwarranted opinion and laziness. Slightly more egregious than an "inaccuracy."
Posted by: John Donohue
11:18pm / Sep 30, 2013
small note: my motive is not to have you 'join' anything. I am merely the agent of correcting smears.
Posted by: Andy
01:32pm / Oct 1, 2013
Is it a "smear" to point to videos of Yaron Brook and other "Objectivists" calling for the genocide of a billion Muslims?
Posted by: John Donohue
12:26am / Oct 2, 2013
1) please link to a video with the "billions" in it, I have not seen it.

2) I have seen comments where he theoretically stated that perhaps the only way of deterring Muslim state-sponsored attacks on our country was to kill a hundred thousand believers. It was a thought experiment calculated to blow up the seriousness of the problem, not a driven policy target.

3) I do not agree with Mr. Brook on this. The only way to end religion is to figure out how to shatter the practice of adults indoctrinating children.

Posted by: Headless Unicorn Guy
01:53pm / Oct 3, 2013
"Because Burns asserts that Rand's was the product of her upbringing, environment, and interactions? Are you saying that Rand is the first human being to develop completely independently of these factors and that her ideas were formed in some kind of vacuum?" -- Bear

GODS are not like us Mere Moocher Mortals, remember.
Posted by: ant
08:32am / Oct 11, 2013
Worship: 1) To honour or love as a deity

2) To regard with ardent or adoring esteem or devotion.
Posted by: Daniel
10:18am / Oct 11, 2013
"The only way to end religion is to figure out how to shatter the practice of adults indoctrinating children."

Well, one way that seems to work is having a large, active government, public education, healthcare and a strong welfare state - providing the kind of security for which people might otherwise turn to a deity and/or their church community.

I don't know much about you, John Donohue, but my gut says you'd get right behind that.
Posted by: John Donohue
08:47am / Oct 30, 2013
What is accurate?
Posted by: John Donohue
01:35pm / Oct 3, 2014
@Daniel
Why didn't you just ask me, instead of asking your gut?

Meanwhile, this is an interesting point, not pertinent to this blog, however. How can humanity shatter the practice of adults indoctrinating children into religion, and I might add, all other irrational beliefs. The answer is not political collectivism, as per your hypothetical, both because two wrongs do not make a right, and because children's belief systems are NOT stamped by school; they are imbued by parents.
Posted by: Ev
04:38pm / Apr 13, 2017
"Third, here is a prime example (one of scores) of a Jennifer Burns massive error: Ayn Rand's condemnation of altruism is not only absolutely critical to her moral philosophy, but also pivots significantly around Burn's purported thesis: Ayn Rand's influence on the 'American Right.' Not only does Burns not sufficiently paint a fair representation of Rand's position, she opines that it is insipid, not likely to provoke dissent and unoriginal!

So that is a sin of omission, failure of mission, unwarranted opinion and laziness. Slightly more egregious than an 'inaccuracy.'"

John Donohue, literally all of that is YOUR OPINION on what she wrote. You don't actually cite any quotes from her book, nor do you point out exactly how she got those things wrong. You just assert that she got it wrong without evidence. In other words, you've constructed a poor argument. Until you provide some actual evidence to back up your opinion, I have no reason to believe that what you said is any way, shape, or form accurate.

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