Ayn Rand's Ideal Man Kidnaped, Murdered and Mutilated a Child:

Discussion in 'Politics' started by MikeK, Apr 19, 2011.

  1. MikeK
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    MikeK Gold Member

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    (Excerpt)

    Recently I was rereading Scott Ryan's fascinating, albeit highly technical, critique of Ayn Rand's philosophy, Objectivism and the Corruption of Rationality, and getting a lot more out of it the second time, when I came across a fact culled from a posthumous collection of Rand's journal entries.

    In her journal circa 1928 Rand quoted the statement, "What is good for me is right," a credo attributed to a prominent figure of the day, William Edward Hickman. Her response was enthusiastic. "The best and strongest expression of a real man's psychology I have heard," she exulted. (Quoted in Ryan, citing Journals of Ayn Rand, pp. 21-22.)

    At the time, she was planning a novel that was to be titled The Little Street, the projected hero of which was named Danny Renahan. According to Rand scholar Chris Matthew Sciabarra, she deliberately modeled Renahan - intended to be her first sketch of her ideal man - after this same William Edward Hickman. Renahan, she enthuses in another journal entry, "is born with a wonderful, free, light consciousness -- [resulting from] the absolute lack of social instinct or herd feeling. He does not understand, because he has no organ for understanding, the necessity, meaning, or importance of other people ... Other people do not exist for him and he does not understand why they should." (Journals, pp. 27, 21-22; emphasis hers.)

    "A wonderful, free, light consciousness" born of the utter absence of any understanding of "the necessity, meaning, or importance of other people." Obviously, Ayn Rand was most favorably impressed with Mr. Hickman. He was, at least at that stage of Rand's life, her kind of man.

    So the question is, who exactly was he?

    William Edward Hickman was one of the most famous men in America in 1928. But he came by his fame in a way that perhaps should have given pause to Ayn Rand before she decided that he was a "real man" worthy of enshrinement in her pantheon of fictional heroes.

    You see, Hickman was a forger, an armed robber, a child kidnapper, and a multiple murderer.

    Other than that, he was probably a swell guy.

    In December of 1927, Hickman, nineteen years old, showed up at a Los Angeles public school and managed to get custody of a twelve-year-old girl, Marian (sometimes Marion) Parker. He was able to convince Marian's teacher that the girl's father, a well-known banker, had been seriously injured in a car accident and that the girl had to go to the hospital immediately. The story was a lie. Hickman disappeared with Marian, and over the next few days Mr. and Mrs. Parker received a series of ransom notes. The notes were cruel and taunting and were sometimes signed "Death" or "Fate." The sum of $1,500 was demanded for the child's safe release. (Hickman needed this sum, he later claimed, because he wanted to go to Bible college!) The father raised the payment in gold certificates and delivered it to Hickman. As told by the article "Fate, Death and the Fox" in crimelibrary.com,

    "At the rendezvous, Mr. Parker handed over the money to a young man who was waiting for him in a parked car. When Mr. Parker paid the ransom, he could see his daughter, Marion, sitting in the passenger seat next to the suspect. As soon as the money was exchanged, the suspect drove off with the victim still in the car. At the end of the street, Marion's corpse was dumped onto the pavement. She was dead. Her legs had been chopped off and her eyes had been wired open to appear as if she was still alive. Her internal organs had been cut out and pieces of her body were later found strewn all over the Los Angeles area."

    Quite a hero, eh? One might question whether Hickman had "a wonderful, free, light consciousness," but surely he did have "no organ for understanding ... the necessity, meaning, or importance of other people."



    Read the rest here: Romancing the Stone-Cold Killer
     
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  2. xsited1
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    xsited1 Agent P

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    :lol: Do you not know how to read?

    Rand wanted the hero of her novel to be "A Hickman with a purpose. And without the degeneracy. It is more exact to say that the model is not Hickman, but what Hickman suggested to me."
     
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  3. Ringel05
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    Ringel05 Diamond Member

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    Looks like the OPs take on Rand got caught in one of those southern twisters. :lol:
     
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  4. MikeK
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    MikeK Gold Member

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    Yes, Virginia. There is a Santa Claus.
     
  5. Sallow
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    Sallow The Big Bad Wolf. Supporting Member

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    And that's the problem. When you really take Ayn Rand's ideals into the real world, you find it is the ideals of sociopaths.


     
  6. Ringel05
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    Ringel05 Diamond Member

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    Spin, spin spin. Spin, spin, spin. Spin that message, spin that message!
    (To the tune of Shake Your Booty).
     
  7. MikeK
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    MikeK Gold Member

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    My take on Rand is that her virtually theological presentation of objectivism is in reality an elaborately rationalized expression of the sociopathic personality. In the final analysis Ayn Rand seems to me as analogous to Jim Jones and David Koresh.

    I've noticed there are but two diametrically opposed reactions to Atlas Shrugged, which occurs as a catechism of the mental disorder Rand puts forth as virtue. These opposed reactions are immediate rejection as incomprehensible and/or boring, or enthusiastic assent and acceptance -- as might attend a religious awakening. There is no in between.

    It is no coincidence that this book has become a movie during a time of political upheaval in America. And it is not surprising to me that those who embrace the right-wing ideology are drawn to the philosophy it puts forth, which essentially glorifies unmitigated selfishness and encourages contempt for the less fortunate.
     
  8. Ringel05
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    Ringel05 Diamond Member

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    There are a lot of long words in there, Miss; we're naught but humble pirates. What is it that you want?

    Interesting assessment. My reaction to reading the book (eons past) was I liked the story for it's entertainment value, that would seem to dampen your diametrically opposed "observation" with no "in between". As for any dissection of a writer and or that writers work, the inclination of each individual involved in such an endeavor reads heavily on the apprehension of said writer and or work. As an example your interjection of the final paragraph in your post is presumptuous at best, seemingly predicated upon illiberality.
     
  9. washamericom
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    washamericom Gold Member

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    is this about obama ? Frank O'conner ?.... just kidding... nice post...
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2011
  10. Intense
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    Intense Senior Member

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    How about we try that again in Context, Sparky???? From your Link. ;)

    Ayn Rand's The Little Street

    In 1928, the writer Ayn Rand began planning a novel called The Little Street, whose hero named Danny Renahan, was to be based on "what Hickman suggested to [her]." The novel was never finished, but Rand wrote notes for it which were published after her death in the book Journals of Ayn Rand. Rand wanted the hero of her novel to be "A Hickman with a purpose. And without the degeneracy. It is more exact to say that the model is not Hickman, but what Hickman suggested to me."[3] Rand scholars Chris Matthew Sciabarra and Jennifer Burns both interpret Rand's interest in Hickman as a sign of her early admiration of the ideas of Friedrich Nietzsche, especially since she several times reffered to Hickman as a "Superman" (in the Nietzschean sense).[4][5] Rand also wrote, "The first thing that impresses me about the case is the ferocious rage of a whole society against one man. No matter what the man did, there is always something loathsome in the 'virtuous' indignation and mass-hatred of the 'majority.'... It is repulsive to see all these beings with worse sins and crimes in their own lives, virtuously condemning a criminal..."[6]

    William Edward Hickman - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
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