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Furthermore, Burns generally takes her subject seriously and provides a great deal of information not previously available about Rand.On the other hand, Burns frequently misinterprets Rand the person and does not seem to care very much about the details of Rand the thinker’s ideas.In the provinces of Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island (PEI) and Saskatchewan, it is observed on the third Monday of February; in the provinces of Manitoba, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, the holiday is instead termed Louis Riel Day, Nova Scotia Heritage Day and Islander Day respectively.British Columbia (BC) observes Family Day on the second Monday of February.
This problem is ameliorated to a large extent by Rand leaving a wide trail of writing and interviews, but we still don’t know very much about her first love(s) or her Nietzschean phase, and (to my knowledge) we know only the Brandens’ side of the story about the early days of her love affair with Nathaniel.Nowhere does Burns tell us what the idea was, whether it was an established idea, whether Rothbard most likely did get the idea from Rand (even if she did not have priority), etc.This story is presented as a part of a pattern of Rand’s contentious manner; but without knowing whether Rand was justified in demanding that Rothbard give her credit, we cannot say whether Rand’s anger was rational or irrational.This is a common misinterpretation of Rand, a clear case of : Rand saw how bad communism was and she became an anti-altruist, therefore that’s why she became an anti-altruist. Many people who lived under communism did not oppose altruism; some even became communists as did many who did not live under it.And many people who didn’t live under communism opposed its philosophy, as did many who did.Take for example Burns’s summary of Rand’s pivotal essay “The Objectivist Ethics” (p. First she complains about the “heavy slogging” through Rand’s definitions of “percept,” “concept” and “abstraction.” Then she quotes the trader principle of human relations.Nowhere does Burns discuss man’s life as the source and standard of value; nowhere does she mention reason, purpose and self-esteem as cardinal values; nowhere does she give Rand’s list of the virtues.One example of this is where she discusses Rand’s break with libertarian economist Murray Rothbard (pp. Rand had accused Rothbard of plagiarizing one of her ideas.Burns tells us that Rothbard replied that the idea in question had been in circulation for hundreds of years.Living under communism is neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for opposing the morality that underwrites communism.To know why Rand opposed altruism it would probably be more fruitful to look at her hero-worship, which predated the Bolshevik Revolution, and of course at her arguments.