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Ayn Rand, Homosexuality, and Human Liberation

REVIEWS

KURT KEEFNER, THE ATLASPHERE (29 JULY 2004)

Sciabarra on Ayn Rand and Homosexuality


Keefner writes:  "The full monograph stands at sixty-two pages long.  Although very interesting on its own terms, the book inadvertently serves mostly to support a principle we may express as an epigram: 'The mere touch of a giant raises welts on an ordinary person.' The giant is Ayn Rand (and to a lesser extent, Nathaniel Branden). The ordinary people are the gay and lesbian Objectivists they touched with their wrong-headed remarks about homosexuality being 'immoral' and 'disgusting.'  Sciabarra's book is a chronicle of gigantic misbehavior and ordinary injuries, but it also holds out some hope for a new generation."

Keefner describes the monograph in detail, but wishes Sciabarra had dealt more with the issue of "twin responsibilities:  first, on giants to be careful how they touch others and second, on ordinary people to stop cringing."  He finds especially fascinating a chapter on "homophilic relations between Rand's male characters."

In the end, however, Keefner sees the book as "sociology, not philosophy or psychology.  It alludes to some arguments but does not make them, much less flesh them out." Keefner thinks that with genetic engineering on the horizon, a "positive defense" of homosexuality might be required. "None of this, however, is within Sciabarra's scope.  But maybe it should be."


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