But the affair with the writer I met at that Antioch conference created deep pain in my family, and in hers, and led to the breakup of both marriages. It could not be otherwise when their entire “philosophy” is based upon the works of a sociopath.” Patrick O’Connor did not think that Ayn Rand was a sociopath—to him she was just a loveable little old Jewish lady from Leningrad– although apparently his bosses at New American Library thought otherwise. I’ve often wondered whether Patrick O’Connor believed that publishers decrying Ayn Rand as a fascist while enjoying the benefits of her labor should undergo a legitimation crisis or shut up.
In time, I came to understand the wisdom of that saying, “All love affairs are special cases, and yet at the same time each is the same case” — but in my case, it was too late. Here are Ayn Rand’s own words, in Until and unless you discover that money is the root of all good, you ask for your own destruction. My encounter with Patrick O’Connor went to the heart of my struggles in those days: Was I a serious person?
I was already deeply conflicted about my appearance, and felt frequently that my life was a fraud, a series of performances at home and at work. Although I had chosen a substantive discipline, social and political philosophy, I often wondered whether this was to mask my insecurities. Writing a book on the French philosopher Jacques Derrida had done nothing to dissuade me from this view, as Derrida himself was regarded as a lightweight, a “deconstructionist” more in vogue with language and literature departments than with “serious” philosophy departments in academe.
I steered the conversation to safer topics: Antioch, and Ayn Rand’s books.
Paul Ryan and his followers have solidified the connection between Ayn Rand, the Tea Party, and the Grand Old Party, with nary an outcry from the “religious right,” Karl Rove’s “base” that put George W. No one that I am aware of in the religious right has called attention to the words of the Hebrew prophet Isaiah in the Bible: Doom to you who legislate evil, who make laws that make victims — laws that make misery for the poor, that rob my destitute people of dignity, exploiting defenseless widows, taking advantage of homeless children. In lecture tours around America, Ayn Rand defended “the virtue of selfishness.” She had a long term love affair with Nathaniel Brandon, a young psychologist, who later established the Nathaniel Brandon Institute to promote Rand’s philosophy.
Critical Thinking In Daily Life - Ayn Rand Atlas Shrugged Essay 2011
What will you have to say on Judgment Day, when Doomsday arrives out of the blue? Though it was reported that she did so with her husband’s full knowledge, it is generally acknowledged that Frank O’Connor (no relation to Patrick) found the experience to be “difficult.” I don’t know if Patrick O’Connor got himself laid in Yellow Springs, Ohio. On the day that opened in theatres, someone tweeted, “Republicanism is crumbling of its own avarice, lust for power, excesses, and hypocrisy. O’Connor challenged their hypocrisy: You’ve been living off this woman for years. The philosopher Jurgen Habermas spoke often of the “legitimation crisis” that plagues late capitalism, as core communication functions in society become disabled or “colonized” by money and power.
Ayn Rand took herself seriously and produced dreck—really dangerous stuff. The year before I met Patrick O’Connor, Mary Gaitskill published a novel called , which featured a thinly disguised Rand character, Anna Granite, and her philosophy of “Definitism.” Like the character Justine in her novel, Gaitskill had actually interviewed followers of Ayn Rand.
I asked Mary Gaitskill: what I was inspired in part by realizing how important Ayn Rand’s ideas still were, and how deep they got into the American psyche.
We met at a writer’s conference at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio.
At sixty-six, Patrick O’Connor had a roving eye and a drinking problem.