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FAQ for the Objectivism Reference Center

This FAQ addresses questions about the Objectivism Reference Center. All answers are provided by Richard Lawrence, the owner and webmaster of the ORC. This FAQ was last updated on February 28, 2009.

Can I link to your site?

Absolutely. You may link to the site's main home page, or any of the interior pages. Linking does not require any special permission.

However, presenting material from the ORC on your site as if it were your own material is inappropriate and in many cases would be illegal. So, for example, don't take a copy of one of my pages and drop it into your own site.

Will you add a link to my site?

Send me the address and I will be happy to check it out. I don't promise to link everything I'm sent, but I will at least consider it. A number of criteria are used in deciding what sites to link:

I reserve the right to make all final editorial decisions about what materials, including links, appear on the site.

What do you think of the following argument ...? OR, Can you explain what Ayn Rand meant by ...? OR, What is the support for the following position ...?

Unfortunately, I do not have time to engage in philosophical correspondence or arguments with everyone who writes the ORC. If I receive such a message from you, I hope you will understand if I do not address your specific argument or question. If time permits and I believe there is a relatively quick answer to your question, then I might answer it, but I'm not making any promises to engage in extended discussion. If you want to engage in debate, try one of the internet discussion groups listed on the site.

I am doing a homework assignment (term paper, etc.) on Ayn Rand. Will you answer the following question for me?

Please feel free to use the many resources available on the site to help complete your schoolwork, but I will not act personally as a resource for answering this type of question.

If you are doing serious research for graduate studies or professional publication, and believe that I may have access to resources that you are having trouble finding elsewhere, I will try to help. The vast majority of the sources used in creating this site can be found through libraries, bookstores, and internet searches (including the use of the ORC itself, of course), without my personal involvement.

Can you answer the following question about Anthem (or The Fountainhead, etc.)?

I am reluctant to answer such questions via email. Many of them appear to be school assignments. I've even had some not-so-bright attempts to get me to answer the questions for the annual Ayn Rand essay contests. However, readers should feel free to submit questions that actually interest them. If a question is asked repeatedly, then I will consider including it in an FAQ file for the novel in the Books section. (There is currently an FAQ for Atlas Shrugged.)

Where can I find more information about Joseph McCarthy and his work with HUAC?

I'm not really the best person to ask. I assume I get this type of question because the ORC includes a copy of Ayn Rand's testimony before the House Un-American Affairs Committee (HUAC), and in the background materials I mention Joseph McCarthy. However, as I clearly state in those materials, Joseph McCarthy was not a member of HUAC. He was a Senator and never served in the House of Representatives, so he couldn't have been a member of HUAC even if he wanted to be. If someone told you Joseph McCarthy was directly involved in the HUAC hearings, that person was confused. This includes your history teacher, that guy in the chat room, and anyone else who might have passed on this bit of misinformation.

In any case, this site is about Ayn Rand and Objectivism, not HUAC, Joseph McCarthy, the anti-Communist movement in the 1950s, Hollywood blacklisting, etc. I do not have resource listings available related to those subjects beyond the items I link to in the pages on Rand's testimony.

I want to buy/sell a rare book or other collector's item related to Ayn Rand. Can you tell me how much it should cost?

This is not my area of expertise and I do not have any special information available to answer this type of question. You may wish to contact The Paper Tiger, a store that specializes in rare books and memorabilia related to Rand.

How can I get a copy of a specific article from one of Rand's magazines?

Most of Ayn Rand's own essays have been published in the various books listed on the Ayn Rand's Books pages. These books are readily available from a number of sources. Also, Rand's magazine essays are included on The Objectivism Research CD-ROM. (Essays written by Leonard Peikoff are also included on this CD, which unfortunately is no longer sold new.) For articles that have not been published elsewhere, including those by authors other than Ayn Rand, bound volumes of the three magazines Rand edited are available from the Ayn Rand Bookstore. You might also be able to find them in a local library.

I saw a book listed on the site with no links for additional information. Where can I find more details?

If the book is one that was just published recently and/or has merely a chapter or two about Rand, then the odds are that I simply haven't gotten around to creating a detail page for it yet. Also, I do not provide detail pages for works of fiction that use Rand (or an obvious substitute) as a character. You should check with a library or bookstore to find these items.

The tougher cases are books that are so rare that it is difficult to obtain copies, even on loan, in order to create the detail pages. As of this writing, there are only a few books I have listed that meet this description, and I am actively seeking further information to create pages for these items.

Finally, I do not provide detail listings for books that have not yet been published, although they may be shown (as forthcoming) on the main list.

I submitted an essay to an Ayn Rand essay contest. Can you tell me the status of my submission?

No, I do not have this information. The Objectivism Reference Center does not run any essay contests and does not have any information about your submissions. You should contact the organization that sponsors the contest. There are actually several such contests, but if you are in the United States, then the sponsor is most likely the Ayn Rand Institute.

Can I advertise on your site?

The ORC does not accept advertising at this time, and it does not participate in affliate programs or link exchanges. Links or other references to commercial businesses are occasionally provided as a convenience to visitors, but these are not paid advertisements or endorsements. (Nor should such links be taken as an endorsement or approval of the ORC by those businesses.) Free Find, which provides the search functions for this site, may place advertisements in its search results pages. Advertisements from Free Find are not soliticted, approved or controlled by the ORC.

Why isn't X listed in the Critics section?

The Critics section contains links to online essays and excerpts that criticize Ayn Rand, other Objectivists, or Objectivist ideas. It does not list any of the following:

If you know of an online article that you think should be included in Critics section, please send me the URL and I will evaluate it for inclusion. Several links that I might not have found otherwise have been included thanks to helpful emails.

Why don't you have a section on ...?

There are a lot of subjects related to Objectivism that do not yet have pages or sections at the ORC. I've gotten requests to include things like listings for Objectivist groups and links to the many essays defending or applying Objectivism. Unfortunately, I am not available to work on the site full-time. A lot of material has been incorporated into the site over the years, and there is more to come. But some projects take more work than others, and some are more interesting to me than others, so I don't make any promises about when a particular feature will become available.

How can I get in touch with Ayn Rand?

She died in 1982. For more information on her life, see the Ayn Rand Biographical FAQ. Her heir, Leonard Peikoff, can be contacted via his website.

I am trying to find a person who used to be associated with Ayn Rand/The Objectivist/NBI. Can you help me?

I did not know Ayn Rand personally (she had died before I first heard of her) and was never involved in NBI or any of Rand's magazines. I do not have any special "leads" to anyone associated with her. Depending on who you are trying to find and what their relationship was with Rand, you might be able to get some information from someone who knew her during her life. There are a number of well-known former associates of hers who can be found/contacted via the internet, including Harry Binswanger, Barbara Branden, Nathaniel Branden, Allan Gotthelf, Leonard Peikoff, George Reisman and Robert Hessen.

Ayn Rand sucks! Why do you waste your time with this crap?

I find it interesting. If you do not, then I suggest you find better things to do with your own time than to hurl abuse at me.


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