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Ayn Rand, Homosexuality, and Human Liberation

REVIEWS

ILANA MERCER,WORLD NET DAILY (9 JULY 2004)

Return to Reason:  Ayn Rand, Homosexuality, and Human Liberation


Mercer writes that Lindsay Perigo, author of the foreword to this monograph, "is a man on a mission" to challenge Rand's views of homosexuality.  "Perigo has chosen the right man for the job. Sciabarra characteristically proves more than able. His book gets high marks from me. It is an elegantly written and riveting read. Sciabarra is eloquent in his description of the emotional damage suffered by gay objectivists as a result of the cruelty of their objectivist brothers and sisters. A chapter titled, 'The Horror File,' is given over to personal accounts that document this unkindness."

Still, Mercer argues that the discussion of homosexuality is not a part of Objectivism.  She believes that sexual orientation is innate, "but how one lives one's sexuality is a legitimate object for ethical judgment."  Sex, she believes, is not "a function of personal liberation," but "an elevated union between two outsized personalities, who are united in values and life force; a savage yet spiritual act of conquest. Sex to Rand had little to do with sexual expression and affirmation per se. Both are concepts that belong in the collectivist arena of gender and identity politics."

Mercer thinks that many of the personal testimonies that Sciabarra documents lend themselves to "a liberal and permissive narrative about sexuality that serves to denude sex of its Randian majesty and meaning."  She "prefer[s] Sciabarra's perceptive emphasis on the paramountcy of the 'private' to 'Rand's moral and cultural vision.'"  She points to the late Nobel Prize-winning novelist Patrick White as exemplifying "the heroic and creative inner struggle of an older generation of Gay Greats," whose attitude "was Randian at its best: silent and stoic, principled yet private. White was a hero in the Greek tradition."


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