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The Actuality of Ayn Rand

Author(s): Slavoj iek


Source: The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies, Vol. 3, No. 2 (Spring 2002), pp. 215-227
Published by: Penn State University Press
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Philosophy and Literature

The

Actuality
Ayn Rand1

of

Slavoj i^ek

Ayn Rand's fascinationfor male figuresdisplayingabsolute,


unswayabledeterminationof theirWill, seems to offerthe best
of SylviaPlath'sfamousline,"everywoman
imaginableconfirmation
adores a Fascist" (Plath 1981, 223). Is, however,such a quick
"politicallycorrect" dismissal of her work reallycorrect? The
properlysubversivedimensionof herideologicalprocedureis not to
be underestimated:Rand fitsinto the line of "overconformist"
authorswho underminethe rulingideologicaledificeby theirvery
was directedat
excessiveidentification
withit. Her over-orthodoxy
: The
books
as
the
tide
of
one
of
her
(Capitalism
capitalismitself,
heretical
Unknown
Ideal;Rand 1967) tellsus; accordingto her,thetruly
is
to
without
its
embrace
the
basic
of
thingtoday
premise capitalism
what
So
etc.
communitarian,
collectivist,welfare,
sugar-coating.
Pascal and Racine were to Jansenism,what Kleist was to German
nationalistmilitarism,
whatBrechtwas to Communism,Rand is to
Americancapitalism.
It was perhapsherRussianoriginsand upbringingthatenabled
herto formulate
kernelofAmericancapitalist
direcdythefantasmatic
The
ideology.
elementary
ideologicalaxisof herworkconsistsin the
between
the
opposition
"primemovers"or "men of themind,"and
"second handers"or "mass men." The Kantianoppositionbetween
ethicalautonomyand heteronomy
is herebroughtto itsextreme:the
"secondhander"is searchingforrecognition
outsidehimself,
hisselfconfidenceand assurancedepend on how he is perceivedby others,
whilethe"primemover"is fullyreconciledwithhimself,relyingon
TheJournal
ofAynRandStudies3, no. 2 (Spring2002): 215-27.

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hiscreativity,
selfishin thesensethathis satisfaction
does notdepend
on gettingrecognitionfromothersor on sacrificinghimself- his
innermostdrives- forthe benefitof others. The primemover is
innocent,deliveredfrom the fear of others,and for that reason
withouthatred even for his worst enemies. Roark, the "prime
mover" in TheFountainhead,
' doesn't activelyhate Toohey, his great
he
care about him. Here is the famous
doesn't
opponent; simply
dialoguebetweenthetwo:
"Mr. Roark,we're alone here. Whydon't you tellme what
you thinkof me? In anywordsyou wish. No one willhear
us."
"But I don't thinkof you." (Rand 1992a, 389)
On the basis of thisopposition,Rand elaboratesher radically
"selfish"ethics: the"primemover"is capable
atheist,life-assertive,
of thelove forothers.This love is even crucialforhimsinceit does
not express his contemptfor himself,his self-denial,but, on the
the highestself-assertion.Love forothersis the highest
contrary,
formof properlyunderstood"selfishness,"i.e., of my capacityto
realizethroughmyrelationship
withothersmyowninnermostdrives.
And also on thebasisof thisopposition,AtlasShrugged
constructs
a purelyfantasmatic
scenario:JohnGait,thenovel'smysterious
hero,
assemblesallprimemoversand organizestheirstrike.Theywithdraw
fromthecollectivist
oppressionof thebureaucratized
publiclife.As
a resultof theirwithdrawal,social life loses its impetus: social
services,fromstoresto railroads,no longerfunction,
global disintesets
and
the
calls
the
gration in,
desperatesociety
primemoversback.
but
on
their
own
terms.
They return,
Whatwe have hereis thefantasyof a man findingtheanswerto
the eternalquestion "What moves the world?"- the prime movers- and then being able to "stop the motor of the world" by
organizingtheprimemovers'retreat.JohnGait succeedsin suspending theverycircuitof the universe,the "run of things,"causingits
symbolicdeathand thesubsequentrebirthof theNew World. The

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TheActuality
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2 17

ideologicalgainof thisoperationresidesin thereversalof roleswith


regardto oureveryday
experienceof strikes:itis notworkersbutthe
capitalistswho go on strike,thus provingthat theyare the truly
productivemembersof societywho do not need othersto survive.2
The hide-outto whichtheprimemoversretreat,
a secretplace in the
midstof the Colorado mountainsaccessible onlyvia a dangerous
narrowpassage,is a kindof negativeversionof Shangri-la,
a "utopia
ofgreed": a smalltownin whichunbridledmarketrelationsreign,in
whichtheveryword 1"is prohibited,
in whicheveryservicehas
to be reimbursed
withtrue(gold-backed)money,inwhichthereis no
need forpityand self-sacrifice
forothers.
TheFountainhead
us
a
clue
as to thematrixofintersubjective
gives
relationsthatsustainsthismythof primemovers. Its fourmainmale
charactersconstitutea kind of Greimasiansemioticsquare: the
architectHoward Roarkis the autonomouscreativehero;Wynand,
thenewspapertycoon,is thefailedhero,a manwho could have been
a "primemover"- deeplyakinto Roark,he got caughtin thetrapof
(he was not awareof how his media manipulacrowd-manipulation
tionof thecrowdactuallymakeshima slavewho followsthecrowd's
a whollyexternalized,
"otherwhims);Keatingis a simpleconformist,
oriented"subject;Toohey, Roark's trueopponent,is the figureof
diabolicalEvil,a manwho nevercould have been a primemoverand
who knowsit- he turnedhisawarenessofhisworthlessness
intothe
self-conscioushatredof prime movers,i.e., he becomes an Evil
Masterwho feedsthecrowdwiththishatred Paradoxically,
Toohey
is thepointof self-consciousness:he is theonlyone who knows it
all,who,evenmorethanRoarkwho simplyfollowshis drive,is fully
awareof thetruestateof things.
We have thusRoark as the being of pure drivein no need of
symbolicrecognition(and as such uncannilyclose to the Lacanian
saint- onlyan invisiblelineofseparationdistinguishes
them),and the
threewaysto compromiseone's drive: Wynand,Keating,Toohey.
The underlyingopposition is here that of desire and drive, as
in thetenserelationship
betweenRoarkand Dominique,
exemplified
his sexualpartner.Roark displaysthe perfectindifference
towards
theOthercharacteristic
of drive,whileDominique remainscaughtin

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thedialecticof desire,whichis thedesireof theOther: she is gnawed


by theOther'sgaze, i.e.,by thefactthatothers,thecommonpeople
totallyinsensitiveto Roark's achievement,are allowed to stareat it
and thusspoil its sublimequality.The onlywayforherto breakout
of thisdeadlockof theOther'sdesireis to destroythesublimeobject
in orderto save it frombecomingtheobject of theignorantgaze of
others:
"You want a thingand it's preciousto you. Do you know
who is standingreadyto tearitout of yourhands? You can't
know,it maybe so involvedand so faraway,but someone
I neveropen again
is ready,and you'reafraidof themall
book
hurts
me to thinkof
I've
read
and
loved.
It
anygreat
the other eyes thathave read it and of what theywere."
(143-44)
These "othereyes"are theEvil Gaze at itspurest,whichgroundsthe
paradox of property:if,withina social field,I am to possess an
object,thispossession mustbe sociallyacknowledged,whichmeans
thatthebig Other who vouchsafesthispossession of minemustin
a way possess it in advancein orderto let me have it. I thusnever
relatedirecdyto theobjectof mydesire:whenI casta desiringglance
at theobject,I am alwaysalreadygazed at bytheOther (not onlythe
the
double, but primarily
imaginaryother,the competitive-envious
and
big Otherof thesymbolicInstitutionthatguaranteesproperty),
thisgaze of theOther thatoverseesme in mydesiringcapacityis in
itsveryessence "castrative,"threatening.3
castrative
matrixof thedialectics
Thereinconsiststheelementary
of possession: if I am trulyto possess an object,I have firstto lose
it, i.e., to concede thatits primordialowner is the big Other. In
traditional
monarchies,thisplace of thebig Otheris occupiedbythe
King who in principleowns the entireland, so that whatever
individuallandownerspossess was given,bequeathed,to thembythe
King; thiscastrativedialecticreachesits extremein the case of the
totalitarian
Leaderwho,on theone hand,emphasizesagainand again
how he is nothingin himself,how he onlyembodies and expresses

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TheActuality
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etc.of thepeople,but,on theotherhand,he gives


thewill,creativity,
we have, so we have to be gratefulto him foreveryus everything
thingwe have,down to our meagerdailybread and health. At the
level of drive,however,immediatepossession is possible, one can
dispose of the Other,in contrastto the everydayorderof desirein
one cares
whichtheonlywayto remainfreeis to sacrificeeverything
wants
and
a
one
to
never
have
to
for, destroyit,
enjoys,to marry
job
a man one absolutelydespises.
So, forDominique,thegreatestsacrilegeis to throwpearlsbefore
swine: to create a precious object and then to expose it to the
Other'sEvil Gaze, i.e., to let it be sharedwiththe crowd. And she
treatsherselfin preciselythe same way: she triesto resolve the
deadlock of her position as a desired object by way of willingly
- she marries
evensearchingfor,theutmosthumiliation
embracing,
thepersonshe most despisesand triesto ruinthe careerof Roark,
thetrueobjectof herlove and admiration.4Roark,of course,is well
aware of how her attemptsto ruin him resultfromher desperate
to cope withherunconditionallove forhim,to inscribethis
strategy
love in thefieldof thebig Other;so, when she offersherselfto him,
he repeatedly
rejectsherand tellsherthatthetimeis notyetripefor
it: shewillbecome his truepartneronlywhenherdesireforhimwill
no longerbe botheredby theOther'sgaze- in short,when she will
accomplishthe shiftfromdesire to drive. The (self-)destructive
dialecticsof Dominique,as well as of Wynand,bearswitnessto the
factthattheyare fullyaware of the terrifying
challengeof Roark's
of
drive:
to
him
want
break
down in orderto
position pure
they
deliverhimfromtheclutchesof his drive.
This dialecticsprovidesthe keyto what is perhaps the crucial
scenein TheFountainhead.
Dominique,whileridinga horse,encounterson a lone countryroad Roark,workingas a simplestone-cutter
in her father'squarry;unable to endurethe insolentway he looks
backat her,thelook thatattestshisawarenessofherinability
to resist
to him,Dominique furiously
beingattracted
whipshim. (In thefilm
scene of
version,thisviolentencounteris renderedas thearchetypal
the mightylandlord's lady or daughter secredy observing the
attractiveslave: unable to admitto herselfthatshe is irresistibly

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attractedto him, she acts out her embarrassmentin a furious


whippingof theslave.) She whipshim,she is hisMasterconfronting
a slave,butherwhippingis an act of despair,an awarenessof hishold
over her, of her inabilityto resist him- as such, it's alreadyan
invitationto brutalrape. So thefirstact of love betweenDominique
and Roarkis a brutalrape done withno compassion:
He did it as an act of scorn. Not as love, but as defilement.
And this made her lie stilland submit. One gestureof
tendernessfromhim- and she would have remainedcold,
untouchedby the thingdone to her body. But the act of a
mastertakingshameful,
contemptuous
possessionofherwas
thekindof raptureshe had wanted. (217)
This scornis paralleledbyDominique's unconditionalwillingnessto
thatis thestrongest
destroyRoark- thewillingness
expressionofher
love forhim. The followingquote bearswitnessto thefactthatRand
is effectively
a kindof feminineversionof Otto Weininger:
"I'm goingto fightyou- and I'm goingto destroyyou- and
I tell you this as calmlyas I told you that I'm a begging
- I tell
animal. I'm goingto praythatyou can'tbe destroyed
you this,too- even thoughI believein nothingand have
nothingto prayto. But I will fightto block everystepyou
take. I will fightto tearawayeverychance you want away
fromyou. I will hurtyou throughthe onlythingthatcan
hurtyou- throughyourwork. I willfightto starveyou,to
strangleyouon thethingsyouwon'tbe able to reach. I have
done it to you today- and thatis whyI shallsleepwithyou
tonight.... I'll come to you wheneverI have beaten you
- wheneverI know thatI have hurtyou- and I'll let you
own me. I want to be owned, not by a lover,but by an
adversarywho will destroymyvictoryover him,not with
honorableblows,butwiththetouchof his body on mine."
(272-73)

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TheActuality
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22 1

The womanstrivesto destroythepreciousagalma,whichis whatshe


doesn't possess in her beloved man, the spark of his excessive
autonomous creativity: she is aware that only in this way, by
hisagalma(or,rather,
destroying
bymakinghimrenounceit),shewill
own him,onlyin thisway will the two of themforman ordinary
couple; yet she is also aware that in this way, he will become
- thereinresidesher
worthless
tragicpredicament.Is then,inultima
analisithescenarioof TheFountainhead
not thatof Wagner'sParsifal
?
Roark is Parsifalthe saint,the being of pure drive;Dominique is
Kundryin searchof her delivery;Gail is Amfortas,the failedsaint;
Toohey is Klingsor,the impotentevil magician. Like Dominique,
Kundrywantsto destroyParsifal,since she has a forebodingof his
likeDominique,Kundrysimultaneously
wantsParsifalnot to
purity;
giveway,to enduretheordeal,sincesheis awarethatheronlychance
ofredemption
residesin Parsifal'sresistanceto herseductivecharms.
The trueconflictin theuniverseofRand's twonovelsis thusnot
betweenthe primemoversand the crowd of second banderswho
parasitizeon theprimemovers'productivegenius,withthetension
betweenthe primemoverand his femininesexual partnerbeing a
meresecondarysubplotof thisprincipalconflict The trueconflict
runswithintheprimemoversthemselves:it residesin the (sexualized) tensionbetweentheprimemover,thebeingof puredrive,and
hishysterical
thepotentialprimemoverwho remainscaught
partner,
inthedeadlyself-destructive
dialectic(betweenRoarkandDominique
in TheFountainhead,
betweenJohnGait and DagnyinAtlasShrugged).
When,inAtlasShrugged,
' one of theprimemoverfigurestellsDagny,
who unconditionally
wantsto pursueherworkand keep the transcontinentalrailroadcompanyrunning,thatthe primemovers' true
enemyis not thecrowdof second handers,but herself,thisis to be
takenliterally.
Dagnyherselfis awareofit: whenprimemoversstart
to disappearfrompublicproductivelife,she suspectsa darkconspiracy,a "destroyer"who forcesthemto withdrawand thusgradually
bringstheentiresocial lifeto a standstill.Whatshe does notyetsee
is thatthefigureof the"destroyer"thatshe identifies
as theultimate
enemy,is thefigureof hertrueRedeemer.
The solutionoccurswhenthehysterical
subjectfinally
getsridof

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herenslavementand recognizesin the figureof the"destroyer"her


Savior. Why? Second handerspossess no ontologicalconsistencyof
theirown,whichis whythekeyto thesolutionis not to breakthem,
butto breakthechainthatforcesthecreativeprimemoversto work
forthem- whenthischainis broken,thesecondhanders'powerwill
dissolveby itself. The chain thatlinksa primemover to the perverted existingorder is none other than her attachmentto her
productivegenius: a primemoveris readyto payanyprice,up to the
utterhumiliation
of feedingtheveryforcethatworksagainsthim,i.e.,
thatparasitizeson theactivity
he officially
endeavorsto suppress,just
to be able to continueto create. What thehystericized
primemover
mustacceptis thusthefundamental
indifference:
shemust
existential
no longerbe willingto remainthe hostage of the second-handers'
blackmail("We willlet you workand realizeyourcreativepotential,
on conditionthatyou acceptour terms"). She mustbe readyto give
to her,
up theverykernelof herbeing,thatwhichmeans everything
and to acceptthe"end of theworld,"the (temporary)
suspensionof
theveryflowof energythatkeeps theworld running.In orderto
she mustbe readyto go throughthezero-pointof
gain everything,
And, farfromsignalingthe"end of subjectivity,"
losingeverything.
this act of assumingexistentialindifference
is, perhaps, the very
thatgives birthto the subject. What
gestureof absolutenegativity
Lacan calls "subjectivedestitution"is thus,paradoxically,another
name forthe subjectitself,i.e., forthe void beyond the theaterof
hysterical
subjectivizations.
This subjectbeyondsubjectivization
is freein the most radical
sense of the word. This is why Rand's "prime movers" are not
characterizedprimarily
by theirpositiveproperties(superb intellitheir
featureis theirlack of the falseguilt
innermost
gence, etc.);
their
freedom
from
the
feeling,
superegoviciouscycle- whenyouare
in
this
are
caught
cycle,you
guiltywhateveryou do. This superego
laws:
logic was nicelyformulatedby Rand apropos of the antitrust
if
his
are
a
does
crime
becomes
a
prices higher
everythingcapitalist
thantheothers'prices,he exploitshis monopolisticposition;ifthey
are lower,he practicesunfaircompetition;if theyare the same,it's
collusionand conspiracyto underminetruecompetition(Rand 1967,

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223

And is this not similarto the time of the patient'sarrivalin


psychoanalysis?If thepatientis late,it's a hysterical
provocation;if
he is early,it's an obsessional compulsion;if he arrivesexactlyon
time,it is a perverseritual. One should introducehere the key
distinction
betweenethicsand morality:whenthesubjectgathersthe
strengthto break out of thisvicious circle,he leaves behind the
whilesimultaneously
sphereof morality
assertinghis or her ethical
commitment.
Frommyhighschool days,I rememberthestrangegestureof a
good friendof minethatshockedme considerablyat thetime. The
teacherasked us to writean essay on "what satisfactiondoes it
- the
provideto accomplisha good deed of helpingone's neighbor"
idea beingthateach of us shoulddescribetheprofoundsatisfaction
thatcomes fromthe awarenessthatwe did somethinggood. My
friendput thepaper and pen down on the tableand,in contrastto
otherswho quicklyscribedtheirnotes,justsatmotionless.Whenthe
teacheraskedhimwhatwas wrong,he answeredthathe was unable
to writeanything,
becausehe simplyneverfelteithertheneed for(or
the satisfaction
of) such acts- he neverdid somethinggood. The
teacherwas so shockedthatshe gavemyfrienda specialopportunity:
he could writehis paper at home afterschool- surelyhe would
remembersome good deed.
Next day,myfriendcame to school withthesame blankpaper,
statingthathe thoughta lot about it thepreviousafternoon.There
was simplyno good deed of his thathe could recall. The desperate
teacherthenblurtedout: ccButcould you not simplyinventsome
storyalongtheselines?,"to whichmyfriendansweredthathe had no
imaginationthatwould runin thisdirection,thatit was beyondhis
scope to imaginesuch things.When theteachermade clearto him
- thelowestgradehe
thathisstubbornattitudecould costhimdearly
- my friendinsisted
could getwould seriouslydamagehis standing
thathe could not helpit. He was completelypowerless,sinceitwas
beyondhis scope to thinkalong these lines,his mind was simply
blank.
This refusalto compromiseone's attitudeis ethicsat its purest,

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ethicsas opposed to morality,


to moralcompassion. My friendwas,
in his deeds, an extremelyhelpfuland "good" person; what was
in
absolutelyunpalatableforhimwas to findnarcissisticsatisfaction
reflexive
himself
In
his
such
a
deeds.
mind,
observing
doinggood
turnequaled theprofoundestethicalbetrayal.
Is therenot somethingprofoundly"Randian" in this stance?
Thereis a well-knownstoryabout Rand whose superficially
scandalous aspectofteneclipsesitsextraordinary
ethicalsignificance.When,
in theearlyfifties,
she suffereda writer'sblock in themiddleof her
workonAtlasShrugged,
sheproposedto theyoungNathanielBranden
and his wifeBarbarathat,duringthe timeof writingthe novel,she
would meet Nathaniel in the afternoontwice a week for sexual
relationsto help herovercometheblock (Branden1986,259). They
came to an agreement,the encounterstook place, and when,years
later,thenovel was completed,theencounterswere over.
Although,later on, relationsgot more complicated,thereare
nonethelesstwo importantaspectsto thisanecdote. First,contrary
to the standardpatriarchalprocedureof men exchangingwomen
- one
women
amongthemselves,here,theexchangetookplace among
woman borroweda man fromanotherone. Second, more importhe writer'sblock was not an excuse to
tandy,Rand did notcheats
in
Once
theworkwas done, she returnedthe
indulge promiscuity.
man to hiswife.To show such firmness
in themostintimatedomain
bears witnessto an ethicalstance of extraordinary
strength:while
Rand was here arguably"immoral," she was ethicalin the most
profoundmeaningof the word. It is this ethicalstance of inner
freedomthat accounts for the authenticity
clearlydiscerniblein
Rand's descriptionof themomentary
Howard
Roark makes
impact
on themembersof the audiencein the courtroomwherehe stands
trial:
Roark stood beforethemas each man standsin the innocence of his own mind. But Roark stood likethatbeforea
hostilecrowd- and theyknewsuddenlythatno hatredwas
possibleto him. For theflashof an instant,theygraspedthe
mannerof his consciousness. Each asked himself: do I

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225

- am I tied? And
need anyone'sapproval?- does itmatter?
for thatinstant,each man was free freeenough to feel
benevolenceforeveryothermanin theroom. It was onlya
moment;themomentof silencewhen Roarkwas about to
speak. (Rand 1992a, 677)
Indeed,as Lacan putit: a trueMasteris theone who cannoteverbe
- theone who, even when actuallybetrayed,does not lose
betrayed
We are
How, then,is thisRandianMasterfiguresexuali^ed?
anything.
narratives
thatare not to be
dealingherewithtwo radicallydifferent
confused: thestandardmasculinenarrativeof the strugglebetween
theexceptionalOne (Master,Creator)and the"crowd" thatfollows
theuniversalnorm,as wellas thefeminine
narrative
of theshiftfrom
desireto drive,i.e.,fromthehysteric's
in thedeadlocks
entanglement
of the Other's desire to the fundamentalindifferenceof the
desubjectivizedbeingof drive.
- phallocratie
The Randianherois not"phallocratie"
is ratherthe
of
the
failed
Master
, Stadlerin
figure
(Wynandin TheFountainhead,
AtlasShrugged
): paradoxicalas itmaysound,thebeingof pure drive
who emerges once the subject "goes throughthe fantas/' and
assumes the attitudeof indifferencetowards the enigma of the
Other'sdesire,is a femininefigure.WhatRandwas notawareofwas
thatthe upright,uncompromisingmasculinefigureswitha will of
steelwithwhom she was so fascinated,
are effectively
figuresof the
femininesubjectliberatedfromthedeadlocksof hysteria.It is well
knownthata thwarted(disavowed)homosexuallibidinaleconomy
- itis forthat
formsthebasisofmilitary
community
veryreasonthat
theArmyopposes so adamandythe admissionof gaysin its ranks.
Mutatismutandis
, Rand's ridiculously
exaggeratedadorationof strong
male figuresbetraystheunderlying
disavowedlesbianeconomy,i.e.,
thefactthatDominique andRoark,orDagnyand Gait,areeffectively
lesbian couples. It is thus a thin,almost imperceptibleline that
separatesRand's ideological and literarytrash fromthe ultimate
feminist
insight.5
Such a readingenablesus to drawa crucialtheoretical
conclusion
about thelimitsof subjectivity:
is
hysteria not thelimitof subjectiv-

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ity.Thereis a subjectbeyondhysteria.Whatwe getafter"traversing


the fantasy,"i.e., the pure being of drive that emerges afterthe
is nota kindof subjectless
subjectundergoes"subjectivedestitution,"
the
of
the
of
movement
drive,but,on the contrary,
loop
repetitive
the
subjectat its purest,one is almost temptedto say:
subject"as
such." Saying"Yes!" to the drive,i.e., preciselyto thatwhich can
neverbe subjectivized,freelyassumingtheinevitable,i.e.,thedrive's
radicalclosure,is thehighestgestureof subjectivity.It is thusonly
afterassuminga fundamental
towardstheOther'sdesire,
indifference
rid
of
the
of
aftersuspendgetting
hysterical
game subjectivizations,
thatthepure
ingtheintersubjective
gameofmutual(mis)recognition,
subjectemerges.
Notes

an
1. Thisisanexpanded
of"TheLesbian
andrevised
version
Sessions,"
which
inLacanian
Ink12(Fall1997):58-69.
essay
appeared
inspiteofthe
2. Rand'sideological
limitation
ishereclearly
perceptible:
newimpetus
themyth
ofthe"prime
movers"
thedigital
(Steve
industry
gotfrom
BillGates),
inoureraofmultinationals,
individual
aretoday,
definitely
Jobs,
capitalists
notits"prime
Inother
isthefactthatthe
movers."
whatRand"represses"
words,
itself.
"ruleofthecrowd"
istheinherent
ofthedynamic
ofcapitalism
outcome
3. SeeAssoun1995,v.2,35-36.
inversions
of
4. AtlasShrugged
a wholeseries
ofsuchhysterical
contains
- suffice
edition:
desire
ittoquotefrom
onthecoverofthepocket
theblurb
Why
does[John
thewomanheloves?. . . whya
hishardest
battle
Gait]fight
against
was
steelindustrialist
became
a worthless
productive
genius
Whya great
playboy.
onthenight
forhisowndestruction
. . . why
a composer
working
gaveuphiscareer
fell
ofhistriumph
. . . whya beautiful
railroad
whorana transcontinental
woman
inlovewiththemanshehadsworn
tokill."SeeRand1992b.
5. Alongthesamelines,
oneistempted
tomakethesameclaimabout
as the
TomRipley,
novels:insofar
theheroofa series
ofPatricia
Highsmith's
than
rather
radical
lesbian
coldness
heevinces
characterizes
a certain
stance,
uncanny
. A seriesof
lesbian
ofRipley
is thatheis a male
beinga closetgay,theparadox
1999)
andSciabarra
inFeminist
Rand
texts
(Gladstein
outstanding
Interpretations
o/Ayn
indetail
ofRand'swork,
elaborate
thehomosocial
andgaydimensions
especially
thoseessays
andMelissa
ThomasGramstad,
Wilt,
JaneHardie.While
byJudith
totheir
twist
indebted
tothem,
thepresent
toadda specific
justwants
essay
deeply
insights.
References
1995.La VoixetLe Regard.
2 vols.Paris:Anthropos.
Paul-Laurent.
Assoun,

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ifyk-

TheActuality
of Rand

227

Barbara.1986. ThePassion
NewYork:
Branden,
ofRand.GardenCity,
& Company.
Doubleday
MimiReiselandChris
Matthew
Sciabarra.
1999.Feminist
Gladstein,
Interpretations
the Canon. University
Park:
of Rand. Series: Re-reading
State
Press.
Pennsylvania University
Poems
Plath,
, edited
Sylvia.1981. Daddy.In TheCollected
byTedHughes.New
York:Harper
andRow.
TheUnknown
Ideal NewYork:NewAmerican
Rand,Ayn.1967. Capitalism:
Library.
. 1992a.TheFountmnhead.
NewYork:Signet.
. 1992b.^ Shrugged
NewYork:Signet.

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