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Post 180

Monday, September 12, 2005 - 5:22pmSanction this postReply
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Brant,

I do care if a growing mythology starts to replace the real Ayn Rand, like a pod-person from another planet. And, if we take the time to clear this stuff up now, there will be fewer distractions to deal with in the future--like the cited quote that started this thread.



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Post 181

Monday, September 12, 2005 - 5:39pmSanction this postReply
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"Barbara Branden explicitly drew parallels between Frank O'Connor and Rand's father. She was the one insisting there was some kind of psychological syndrome going on there, as evidenced from her flight of fancy based on a single family snapshot, you will remember."

I don't think anyone could live on this Earth very many years (for me it's nearly 60 at this point) without noticing that a great many women, often unconsciously, seem to seek out and establish relationships with men who have qualities like those they admired in their fathers -- and that a great many men, often unconsciously, seem to seek out and establish relationships with women who have qualities like those they admired in their mothers.

JR




Post 182

Monday, September 12, 2005 - 5:52pmSanction this postReply
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I think Freud beat you to it.

---Landon




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Post 183

Monday, September 12, 2005 - 5:54pmSanction this postReply
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Casey,

You write, "No one ELSE has ever called him Fronz in any public record or testimony of any kind -- unless you know of a source?"

The archives of the Jewish community of Saint Petersburg mention the couple Fronz Zakharovich Rosenbaum and Anna Borisovna Rosenbaum (see http://kobieta.gazeta.pl/wysokie-obcasy/1,53662,2806632.html (in Polish) - presumably Alyssa Rosenbaum's parents.



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Post 184

Monday, September 12, 2005 - 5:59pmSanction this postReply
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The public record is very thin with regard to Rand's father's "psychology." Significant comparisons to O'Connor still thinner. When more of Rand's correspondence with her Russian family becomes available, we will be able to say a lot more about this. One can agree with all that you've said, Jeff, and still stand in awe of Ms. Branden's powers of inference.



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Post 185

Monday, September 12, 2005 - 6:04pmSanction this postReply
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Adam,

Thank you very much for that. It is sincerely appreciated. Believe me. Ms. Branden's unique use of the name is still fascinating, and my previous comments stand. If Ms. Branden reports a mere ignorance of the name "Zinovy," I concede, it will cease to have even that fascination.
(Edited by James S. Valliant
on 9/12, 6:13pm)




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Post 186

Monday, September 12, 2005 - 6:08pmSanction this postReply
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Sometimes a single family snapshot is just a single family snapshot.



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Post 187

Monday, September 12, 2005 - 6:09pmSanction this postReply
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Andy Postema addressed the following to me:

You let your erstwhile friends deliver the worst blow they could to you, yet gave them the same benefit of the doubt to come back and let bygones be bygones that they had denied to you.  You also gave all of us your confidence that we would see this article for what it was.  Even an objective newbie to the forum, like myself, could see the injustice of "The Drooling Beast" without knowing the personalities involved. You may have lost the camraderie of two friends, Linz, but benevolence, rough-edged or otherwise, has shined here.  You let them make the choice to stay or move on, and as snakes in the grass are wont to do, they moved on to darker places.

Thank you, Andy, for the sheer decency of your observations. As I remarked in a previous post, this episode has been a hell of an eye-opener, & it has been hell, not just losing hitherto very special friends but losing my previous sky-high regard for them. However, seeing the unpleasant reality has illuminated much.

Linz





Post 188

Monday, September 12, 2005 - 5:51pmSanction this postReply
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I agree James. Let's get back to the real Ayn Rand:

   The young immigrant girl who landed in New York had never ceased to love her new country, with a passionate, near-painful devotion that perhaps only the foreign-born fully understand, and had never ceased to be aware that America had given her life, and hope, and freedom, and the possibility of achieving everything denied to her in Soviet Russia. But Ayn Rand was a trader. She would write that "... the moral symbol of respect for human beings, is the trader. We, who live by our values, not by loot, are traders, both in matter and in spirit. A trader is a man who earns what he gets and does not give or take the undeserved." She was to repay her adopted country for the gifts it offered her. She was to repay it by giveing America its voice.
   In Atlas Shrugged,  Dagny Taggart would ask John Galt what he had told the inventors, the artists, the industrailists, the scientists, the men of the mind in every field of activity who had joined his strike, leaving behind their work and their lives--what he had told them to convince them to abandon everything and to join him. Galt answers, "I told them they were right....I gave them the pride they did not know they had. I gave them the words to identify it. I gave them that priceless possession which they had missed, had longed for, yet had not known they needed: a moral sanction."
  This was to be Ayn's gift to America. A moral sanction. The philosophical demonstration that to live for one's own rational self-interest, to pursue one's own selfish, personal goals, to use one's mind in the service of one's own life and happiness, is the noblest, the most moral of human activities. Speaking of his strikers, Galt would say: "I have given them the weapon they had lacked: the knowledge of their own moral value. They, the great victims who had produced all the wonders of humanity's brief summer...had not discovered the nature of their right. They had known that theirs was the power. I taught them that theirs was the glory."   Speaking of the unnamed, unchampioned, beating heart of her new land, Ayn was to say: "Yours is the glory."
 
--Barbara Branden, THE PASSION OF AYN RAND, pps. 230-231.
 
 




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Post 189

Monday, September 12, 2005 - 5:51pmSanction this postReply
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Adam, James is right to raise a question on BB's use of Fronz. In Parallel Lives (chapter 2 of Mayhew's "Essays on Ayn Rand's We The Living") McConnell has a lot of quotes of Ayn talking about her father with the footnotes to the biographical interviews Barbara conducted and also used for her book. Footnote 38:Biographical interviews(Ayn Rand Archives). Judging by the letters between AR and her family, they called her father "ZZ," the initials of his name and patronymic.



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Post 190

Monday, September 12, 2005 - 6:16pmSanction this postReply
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Glenn,

I was aware of that, but, it must be acknowledged that Ms. Branden's sources for this may have been limited. It may be innocent ignorance.



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Post 191

Monday, September 12, 2005 - 6:28pmSanction this postReply
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James,

You have access to the Ayn Rand Archives. According to "The Letters of Ayn Rand," "AR kept hundreds of letters from her family" (p.2). I'd bet that Ayn Rand's father is called Fronz in at least some of those letters - but you can actually check (it is not difficult to find people who read Russian if you don't read it yourself.)

(Edited by Adam Reed
on 9/12, 6:36pm)




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Post 192

Monday, September 12, 2005 - 6:37pmSanction this postReply
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I don't read Russian, but I have a good friend who does. Since my own topic barely touched this subject, I did not examine these letters. The public use of those letters, as you know, is controlled by her Estate, so, I'm afraid I might not be able to tell you here, even if they were to let me in to look. My understanding is that they will/may used in one of the forthcoming biographies of Ayn Rand. I'm with you in a great desire to see them all released.
(Edited by James S. Valliant
on 9/12, 6:39pm)




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Post 193

Monday, September 12, 2005 - 6:48pmSanction this postReply
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James,

Leonard Peikoff only acquired the legal rights of ownership to the 38 hours of Ayn Rand interviews in 1988. 




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Post 194

Monday, September 12, 2005 - 7:03pmSanction this postReply
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James Valliant just wrote:
I was aware of that, but, it must be acknowledged that Ms. Branden's sources for this may have been limited. It may be innocent ignorance.
Does God exist?

Are we to start believing in miracles?

Michael




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Post 195

Monday, September 12, 2005 - 7:04pmSanction this postReply
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Andy,

You know nothing at all about alcoholism except what you can rationalize.

Count your blessings.

May you continue in your ignorance - even if it is loud-mouthed poorly reasoned ignorance.

Michael




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Post 196

Monday, September 12, 2005 - 7:07pmSanction this postReply
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James,

David Hayes wrote in 1988, "Barbara Branden has remarked that the tapes are in secure storage, that she made copies of them so that the originals would not risk the damage that might occur in transcribing those used in the current book."




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Post 197

Monday, September 12, 2005 - 7:33pmSanction this postReply
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Kevin,

Thank you for that story. But it does no good with certain people. They blink their eyes, listen, say something about Oprah and go back to their prejudices. This is not a discussion, it is an attempt at propaganda and doublethink.

Casey, for instance, shortly will be claiming again that the booze bottles (that Peikoff himself acknowledged) were not booze at all, and go back to the painting by bottle issue, etc., etc., etc. bla bla bla.

Casey pays lip service by stating that he is sorry you went through what you did, but that's just to seem unbiased. He is biased as all get out, though, and he does not give two hoots for why you mentioned that story (to show that it is reasonable to assume a drinking problem from an accumulation of bottles). To him, it is completely inconceivable that Frank could have had a drinking problem at all, ever, and that Barbara held compassion for him (Good God - never that! This woman is evil evasion and social metaphysician incarnate!). His eagerness to jump at the malicious when speculating betrays his objectivity and undermines his arguments.

Another now states that alcoholism is merely bad behavior - that essentially it does not exist.

There are people who know better, however. And as I said in other places, may all these lesser souls never feel the sting of that particular disease on their own hides. When such a person falls, the crash is terrible. (I was one - and I also blared out to the world all kinds of crap that I did not know based on speculations and rationalizations - much in the same tone of voice and choice of words - and so reality knocked on my door without mercy and I learned. If I didn't learn I would have died.)

Keep your head up, buddy. I appreciate what you went through and if "sense of life" is to mean anything at all, it means rejecting the malevolence of what your mother brought into your life through her disease and the malevolence of the ignorance of those who claim that she did it by choice.

Your mother lost her ability to choose (an article coming soon on that) and she never healed, so she never recovered it. You have the ability to choose - and by being here on Solo and speaking out as you did, in my view you have chosen wisely. May you continue to grow, reject falsehoods/rationalizations, embrace truth and pursue the good.

I wish you well.

Michael


PS to Linz - Kevin did not simply engage in an Oprah style "sharing experience" and I do not think Solo will be leaning in that direction. He gave the only evidence he knew how to give to rebut the ABSURD notion that an accumulation of booze bottles is not a reasonable indication of a drinking problem, but an indication of painting technique instead.



Post 198

Monday, September 12, 2005 - 7:53pmSanction this postReply
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" Calling someone a "rationalist" is criticizing their thinking error, but calling them an "evader" is an unfair insult?" [Andrew, #148]

Exactly.

The difference is that "rationalism" is saying someone made a thinking mistake or an erroneous process (allowing abstractions to float...which we all do from time to time). That is not an accusation of immorality or the refusal to think: It's simply a mistake. "Evasion" is dishonesty, an intentional, willful attempt to deny facts that are already quite clear and evident to you.

Phil

PS, Rationalism is a major, major problem among people who live on a highly abstract level and fail to sufficiently concretize. I will continue to point it out whenever I see it - in fact I am likely to *escalate* my pointing it out, since it is apparently so poorly understood and is probably the most common error among Objectivists, as Peikoff pointed out. It is just as legitimate to criticize it as to point out when someone commits one of the common Aristotelian logical fallacies.
(Edited by Philip Coates
on 9/12, 7:57pm)




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Post 199

Monday, September 12, 2005 - 7:25pmSanction this postReply
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James,

You mentioned in post 73, "already in the works next edition." Have you talked to Barbara Branden's former and uncredited research associate for "Passion", Terry Diamond?




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