Talk:Ayn Rand

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Good articleAyn Rand has been listed as one of the Language and literature good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
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March 20, 2006Featured article candidateNot promoted
April 7, 2006Peer reviewReviewed
April 14, 2006Good article nomineeListed
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Current status: Good article

Far too long. Far too detailed Lacks objectivity and a neutral point of view.[edit]

This article takes a vanishingly minor intellectual and rather minor cultural figure and treats her work -- of which actual philosophers and literary scholars take little or no note -- as if it were the combined output of the Enlightenment. The article is far too broken to be fixed line-by-line. It should be deleted and begun anew. It need only be a paragraph or two. Its sheer size and detail belies all claims to a "neutral point of view". It seems written by fan-boys, with more objective editors only able to tamp down some of their enthusiasm by introducing some of the criticisms that are made of Rand; this has the paradoxical effect of magnifying her importance by making it seem that actual philosophers think of her much or often, which, because they consider her work so poor and insignificant, they do not. In fact, virtually no philosophers consider her work to be philosophy at all. Articles like this are what keep Wikipedia from being a trusted and citable source. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:19, 23 June 2018 (UTC)

You are free to hold whatever view you wish of Rand and her work, but this page is not a forum for discussing people's personal views of Rand. Realistically the article is not going to be "deleted and begun anew", as you propose, so you will have to think of less drastic methods of improving it. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 03:23, 23 June 2018 (UTC)

Noting the irony of the title of this section compared with the verbiage posted by the individual created it. TheDarkOneLives (talk) 01:55, 1 May 2019 (UTC)

Well, you probably wanted to contribute something on the "lighter" note, but, in my mind it's hard to deny its substance and point made.--౪ Santa ౪99° 14:20, 5 June 2019 (UTC)

RfC Lead sentence[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

This closure was requested at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Requests for closure.

As often is the case with multi-option proposals, a significant number of editors supported other options. However, based on the showing at this discussion, in my view the consensus was Option A (writer and philosopher).

AGK ■ 17:28, 7 October 2018 (UTC)

There is a dispute about the roles that should be included in the lead sentence. Which of the following is preferred for the lead sentence:

  • A : Ayn Rand (/aɪn/; born Alisa Zinovyevna Rosenbaum; February 2 [O.S. January 20] 1905 – March 6, 1982) was a Russian-American writer and philosopher.
  • B : Ayn Rand (/aɪn/; born Alisa Zinovyevna Rosenbaum; February 2 [O.S. January 20] 1905 – March 6, 1982) was a Russian-American novelist and philosopher.
  • C : Ayn Rand (/aɪn/; born Alisa Zinovyevna Rosenbaum; February 2 [O.S. January 20] 1905 – March 6, 1982) was a Russian-American novelist, playwright, screenwriter and philosopher.
  • D : Other, please specify

The relevant policies are MOS:BIO#Positions_and_roles and MOS:LEADSENTENCE.
Thanks, --LK (talk) 04:33, 11 August 2018 (UTC)


  • How about a fourth option that concludes "...was a Russian born American writer."?
It's much healthier to avoid double-barrelled labels, and we should keep the other labelling simple too. The article elaborates well enough on what she wrote about. No need to cram it all in the lead. HiLo48 (talk) 06:00, 11 August 2018 (UTC)
  • Her status as a Philosopher is controversial although there are references. No one would dispute she was a novelist and and screen writer. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Snowded (talkcontribs) 06:49, 12 August 2018 (UTC)
  • A or B both seem fine. Both are accurate and used in multiple sources. Another common appellation is "novelist-philosopher", which might tip the scales towards option B. Option C is accurate but unnecessarily verbose. She did also write for stage and screen, but her novels are much more significant. As far as any attempt to exclude "philosopher" from the description, we've been over that numerous times before, often with the result that someone gets blocked. The smart money says don't go there. But if we must, those favoring such a change can start by finding sufficient reliable sources denying that she is a philosopher to counterbalance the lengthy list of sources calling her one in this archive. --RL0919 (talk) 17:03, 12 August 2018 (UTC)
I'm certainly not going to edit war over it, but asking for sources denying that she is a philosopher is ridiculous. I haven't been part of the earlier discussions on this matter, but if that reflects the quality of discussion, I'm not surprised there have been problems. HiLo48 (talk) 00:06, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
Agree with HiLo48, requesting negative proof for something is ridiculous. There ought to be sufficient positive proof justifying her being labeled as a philosopher. I've not been part of any discussion as I don't particularly care about Ayn Rand, but if the level of discussion has been such that there have been some attempting to shift the burden of proof on whether Ayn Rand is a philosopher or not, then as HiLo48 says, no wonder you've had problems. AlanStalk 08:40, 31 August 2018 (UTC)
In my comment above I explicitly refer to the "lengthy list of sources" provided to support the use of the term. No one has suggested that positive evidence does not need to be provided. Rather, it has already been provided in copious amounts. Four academic sources are currently cited in the article; up to seven sources have been cited in the past and many more have been listed in discussions. --RL0919 (talk) 09:24, 31 August 2018 (UTC)
  • Trying to exclude some form of "philosopher" is probably a bad idea. -- Doctorx0079 (talk) 20:29, 12 August 2018 (UTC)
    • I'll make the comment that the 'philosopher' question illustrates an issue in Wikipedia around the use of negative evidence. Most of the major international dictionaries and encylopedia's don't even mention her or see her as significant. But yes there are references so the inclusion of some reference is valid. Whether it is in the lede or not is a different question. -----Snowded TALK 20:41, 12 August 2018 (UTC)
  • I'll just point out here that that exact, exact argument has been made here approximately 1000 times already. -- Doctorx0079 (talk) 21:02, 12 August 2018 (UTC)
And I have heard a million times that one should never exaggerate. HiLo48 (talk) 00:07, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
Hey, I said approximately. ;-) -- Doctorx0079 (talk) 01:33, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
Made and never resoloved ....-----Snowded TALK 09:24, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
Everyone was pretty satisfied until you decided to come back and complain, AGAIN. Anyway, I weigh in on "philosopher" and I don't have anything new to add to the excellent arguments already presented in the past, ~1000 times. I don't think you will ever get your way on this point. -- Doctorx0079 (talk) 18:41, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
Cool it - I made the point that this is a wikipedia issue on negative evidence and until it is resolved at that level anomolies such as this one will have to stand.   We may get to a point where enough money goes into academics from the various Rand orientated foundations to mean that main line philosophy pays attention enough to deny her the status but we are not there yet. My question here is what prominence is given in the lede. She clearly initiated a political movement and there has been philosophical take up of her ideas mainly in the US and more recently in parts of what was formerly Eastern Europe. She was uncontroversially a novelist and screen writer -----Snowded TALK 20:16, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
  • A includes C, and B would leave out part of her notable work unnecessarily. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 17:48, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
  • A per SarekOfVulcan Seraphim System (talk) 04:26, 19 August 2018 (UTC)
  • A - Summoned by bot. Most accurately describes her without leaving anything out. Meatsgains(talk) 01:10, 27 August 2018 (UTC)
  • None She is notable as a writer first and foremost. A good example of what her notability is can be demonstrated in the opening sentence at which reads "Ayn Rand, original name Alissa Zinovievna Rosenbaum, (born February 2, 1905, St. Petersburg, Russia—died March 6, 1982, New York, New York, U.S.), Russian-born American writer whose commercially successful novels promoting individualism and laissez-faire capitalism were influential among conservatives and libertarians and popular among generations of young people in the United States from the mid-20th century.". Just on the note of that example, I can see a bit of the wording from that source being lifted into this wiki article. AlanStalk 08:57, 31 August 2018 (UTC)
  • C Is a full summary of her career. And I don't think academics can decide who is a philosopher or not. Philosophy and philosophical traditions predate academia and its wanna-be philosophers by centuries. What matters is impact. Dimadick (talk) 09:02, 31 August 2018 (UTC)
  • A seems most appropriate; no need to pollute the lead sentence with details of what sorts of things she wrote. Dicklyon (talk) 04:21, 1 September 2018 (UTC)
  • C as the most informative option. Very appropriate to mention that Rand was a "novelist, playwright, screenwriter", as well as philosopher, given the impact of her work. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 05:34, 1 September 2018 (UTC)
  • C plus Russian-born: I agree should add "playwright" per 2012 source: [1] ( Add "Russian-born" because U.S. children of immigrants often label themselves as hyphenated Americans, when born in U.S.A. -Wikid77 (talk) 06:04, 1 September 2018 (UTC)
  • D I support describing her as a "writer", full stop, followed immediately by a description of what she wrote and its significance (as the second sentence does). Definitely not "playwright" or (wannabe) "screenwriter"; those are trivia, and if her notability relied on either of those, she wouldn't have an article. People keep trying to turn these opening sentences into resumés listing every gig the subject ever did (trying to inflate them into Leonardos), when all we need in most cases is a noun. The rest of the lede should provide the details. JasonAQuest (talk) 01:48, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
  • B Most of her other writing was commentary based on her philosophy. She didn't write general nonfiction like books about railroad trains or cats etc., nor articles for hire. She wrote a couple of plays and screenplays but they aren't that notable. Her most notable screenplay is based on her own novel. -- Doctorx0079 (talk) 18:42, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
  • A or D, with D as per the positions articulated by JasonAQuest and AlanS (and, not for nothing, as supported by a number of comments prior to the !vote). "Philosopher" does not feel entirely WP:DUE enough for the lead sentence. Every writer who has something significant to say about the human condition may to be to some degree considered a philosopher in some circles, especially to fans of their work, but that does not often translate to sources broadly describing them as such, or to people generally regarding them as "philosophers" in the general occupational and/or "major feature of their notability" manner. Rand certainly had a political philosophy, and one that had an impact upon the culture of those who support various forms of what we (rather inaccurately) call "social Darwinism" today, but the actual title of philosopher is not the first descriptor that is common to how she is remembered, which is to say first and foremost as an author, and the author of two works in particular.
All of that said, Rand's deep interest in the history of social philosophy may be enough to include that descriptor, simply because her pet moral philosophy theory was so overt in her works, and she spoke openly about it, even though she never published in that area to my knowledge, nor received any credentials or regard as any kind of expert in that field during her life (at least not as an academic; she certainly was an essayist and arguably a public intellectual). So maybe enough to have "writer and philosopher", but I agree with others above that options B or C get into truly trivial territory and are surely undue as a WP:WEIGHT matter with regard to the lead sentence. Therefore, although "writer/novelist" alone remains my first choice (and the one which I think may have the most explicit consensus support in the above comments, despite not being listed as an option), A is the best of the initially presented options. Snow let's rap 08:07, 4 September 2018 (UTC)
Rand most certainly did publish in the areas of epistemology and moral philosophy. -- Doctorx0079 (talk) 20:59, 4 September 2018 (UTC)
Yes, one of her books is literally titled Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology. In any case, the RfC doesn't ask the question of whether the term 'philosopher' should be used, and one that did ask that question would produce a different discussion that would include a large number of sources supporting the use of the term. For example, in 2013 the University of Pittsburgh Press published an anthology about her epistemology, and there several academic books specifically about her moral philosophy, including one from Cambridge University Press titled Ayn Rand's Normative Ethics. --RL0919 (talk) 21:55, 4 September 2018 (UTC)
Well, I was already on the fence, and that extra information brings me at least a little more firmly into the position of feeling "philosopher" is justified, but its not exactly a very WP:WEIGHTy argument for her being labelled as such here. Genuinely, I had no idea about her publication regarding "objectivist epistemology", but if I'm being honest, that sounds like a somewhat silly mish-mash of terms, and I'm having a hard time believing I would find the work to be very much about epistemology so much as a rehash of her sociopolitical views. And there's a big difference between someone being a recognized academic publishing within the field in question and having what essentially amounts to your fan club publish your thoughts on a topic, after which the work is almost immediately forgotten about by the world at large. That's not really being "published" in the sense I was referencing above, as an expert and academic.
Now of course, at the end of the day, neither my impressionistic sense of the work nor anyone else's is justification for keeping or omitting the philosopher label--that would just be blatant WP:original research. We should judge whether she should be described as such based on the weight of how frequently that label appears in secondary sources which discuss her life and impact, not on the basis of what we think of her publications and thoughts ourselves. But I can honestly see even the proper, source-based analysis going either way. I remain mostly on the fence and neither option seems like it would be a blatant mistake. In any event, I appreciate the additional context. Snow let's rap 03:13, 5 September 2018 (UTC)
In case you were wondering, it's really Objectivist epistemology, with a capital O, because Objectivism is the name Rand gave to her philosophic system. It's a proper noun. It does advocate small-o objectivity in epistemology, including a definition of what objectivity is, which is where the name comes from. But Rand's approach requires a proper noun because it is distinct from other approaches referred to as "objectivist". -- Doctorx0079 (talk) 21:15, 5 September 2018 (UTC)
In other words, objectivist epistemology is a much broader category than Objectivist epistemology. :) -- Doctorx0079 (talk) 21:23, 5 September 2018 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.


@FreeKnowledgeCreator: Why did you revert my latest edits? The first section is supposed to be a summary, not a biography.

There's also the (less important) issue of the whether the first sentence should describe Rand as a "Russian-born Jewish-American" or a "Russian-American". I prefer the former because she identified less as Russian than she did as Jewish. VwM.Mwv (talk) 01:40, 11 February 2019 (UTC)

I reverted your edits because they did not improve the article. I have no idea what your comment, "The first section is supposed to be a summary, not a biography", is based upon or what its relevance to your edits is. You did not bother to explain. The emphasis on Rand's ethnicity is unnecessary in my judgment. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 02:03, 11 February 2019 (UTC)

@FreeKnowledgeCreator: It means excactly what it says. The first section is simply not supposed to be a biography. Look at any other article about an individual. "Not an improvement" doesn't actually mean anything.
Why is it any more "necessary" than the Russian part? VwM.Mwv (talk) 02:24, 11 February 2019 (UTC)

It means nothing without explanation. I don't even know what you think the phrase "the first section" means. Are you talking about the lead or only some section of it, such as its first paragraph? Please understand that while the expressions you are using are meaningful to you, they are not necessarily meaningful to other people. You didn't explain what your position was based upon. As for, "not an improvement", it obviously does mean something. It means that your edits made no improvement to the article. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 02:27, 11 February 2019 (UTC)

@FreeKnowledgeCreator: I am referring specifically to the first paragraph of the lede of the Wikipedia article titled Ayn Rand. Is that precise enough for you? VwM.Mwv (talk) 02:38, 11 February 2019 (UTC)

Yes. You could have made that clear from the outset. I continue to see no benefit whatever to your recent edits to the lead, which have no clear rationale. I suggest that you wait for further discussion. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 02:39, 11 February 2019 (UTC)

@FreeKnowledgeCreator: Look at Donald Trump, Ben Shapiro, Jordan Peterson, John Stossel, etc. Do you see any biographies in their first paragraphs? VwM.Mwv (talk) 02:51, 11 February 2019 (UTC)

What is the point of that comment? FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 02:58, 11 February 2019 (UTC)

@FreeKnowledgeCreator: The point is obviously to demonstrate an inconsistency. If your next reply, too, is nonsense, I will not answer again.
And if nobody presents any logical objections within considerable time, I will restore my latest version. VwM.Mwv (talk) 03:10, 11 February 2019 (UTC)

VwM.Mwv, if you want to revise the lead, and someone objects to your changes, then it is up to you to present a compelling and coherent explanation of why you believe that your changes are an improvement. So far you have not done that. You have made a series of comments and assertions expressing your views, but there is nothing that amounts to a case that might convince another person that you are correct. It is pointless to list a series of articles that you believe support your views. This is a different article, about a very different writer; there is no reason why it has to be written in the same fashion as some other article. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 03:13, 11 February 2019 (UTC)

Paragraph expansion[edit]

I would like if at least few other editors express their opinion on attempted expansion of paragraph in section Later Years. I tried with something like this (expansion text here in italic):

In her 1974 Ford Hall Forum lecture, she explained her support for Israel, following the Yom Kippur War of 1973 against a coalition of Arab nations, expressing strong anti-Arab sentiment with a words: "The Arabs are one of the least developed cultures. They are typically nomads. Their culture is primitive, and they resent Israel because it's the sole beachhead of modern science and civilization on their continent. When you have civilized men fighting savages, you support the civilized men, no matter who they are."'[1][2] She also stated that European colonists had the right to develop land taken from American Indians,[3] and called homosexuality "immoral" and "disgusting" while advocating the repeal of all laws about it.[4] She also endorsed several Republican candidates for President of the United States, most strongly Barry Goldwater in 1964, whose candidacy she promoted in several articles for The Objectivist Newsletter.[5]

This prompted editor User:RL0919 (with admin's prerogatives) to revert whole thing with summarized justifications as follows:

rv good faith expansion on a minor topic; the goal of the paragraph is to briefly summarize some of the topics she spoke about as part of the biographical narrative, not to expound on her views or give one topic much greater weight than the others

I used "Undo" move and reverted to my previous expansion with following reasoning:

u mean like paragraph on love 3-angle below, that's due-weight? less than 2-lines expansion is hardly bad-faith "expound" & giving topic "much greater weight" nor such view expressed at Ford Hall Forum as influential 20c US thinker is "minor" & less important than 6-line (paragraph) love-drama gossip below, especially if current line is framed in tone & scope as if she simply reiterated fact of life; on top of all u removed all refs for no reason; call me overly skeptical but it feels as deliberate obfuscation

And it really does - it feels like an attempt to politely but deliberately obfuscate something one doesn't like or wouldn't like to see as part of this article. Looking at that following paragraph which takes on her love relationships drama and it's consequences, which is larger and more detailed than my own expansion on her pretty important stated view, I am inclined to think that User:RL0919 justification to remove it does not 'hold water'. Paragraph below looks like this:

In 1964, Nathaniel Branden began an affair with the young actress Patrecia Scott, whom he later married. Nathaniel and Barbara Branden kept the affair hidden from Rand. When she learned of it in 1968, though her romantic relationship with Branden had already ended,[6] Rand terminated her relationship with both Brandens, which led to the closure of NBI.[7] Rand published an article in The Objectivist repudiating Nathaniel Branden for dishonesty and other "irrational behavior in his private life".[8] Branden later apologized in an interview to "every student of Objectivism" for "perpetuating the Ayn Rand mystique" and for "contributing to that dreadful atmosphere of intellectual repressiveness that pervades the Objectivist movement".[9] In subsequent years, Rand and several more of her closest associates parted company.[10]
  1. ^ "The Ayn Rand Institute: America at War: Israeli-Arab Conflict". 22 August 2007. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  2. ^ Rand 2005, p. 96; Burns 2009, p. 266.
  3. ^ Burns 2009, p. 266; Heller 2009, p. 391.
  4. ^ Heller 2009, pp. 362, 519.
  5. ^ Burns 2009, pp. 204–206; Heller 2009, pp. 322–323.
  6. ^ Britting 2004, p. 101
  7. ^ Branden 1986, pp. 344–358.
  8. ^ Heller 2009, pp. 378–379.
  9. ^ Heller 2009, p. 411.
  10. ^ Branden 1986, pp. 386–389.

--౪ Santa ౪99° 23:28, 1 June 2019 (UTC)

Santasa99, I agree with RL0919 about the direct quotes. The paragraph currently reads as a solid summary. Adding the quotes about Arabs and Israel would make me as a reader wonder why there aren't similar quotes on all of the other topics she spoke on. I think it makes more sense to merely summarize (as it is now in the article) rather than support each subject area with a direct quote.
That said, the love paragraph is too detailed (in my opinion). I would end the paragraph with "the closure of NBI." Schazjmd (talk) 23:59, 1 June 2019 (UTC)
How about, than, we leave all as it was but we also leave these two refs which I included, and than include quotation itself in one of these to refs, preferably within ref which use her website as source for the quoted statement? It's easy to create markup, and it's routinely used method in cases such as this. Because, I am afraid, this summerization in an old version is framed in such a way that it really create veneer of common sense, or common knowledge and accepted truth - after all she was highly influential intellectual, and this can seduce readers into believing that her statement is a fact.--౪ Santa ౪99° 01:54, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
Articles should weight their content based on what is in reliable secondary sources. To quote the relevant policy: "An article should not give undue weight to minor aspects of its subject, but should strive to treat each aspect with a weight proportional to its treatment in the body of reliable, published material on the subject." Rand's brief comments about Arabs get relatively little attention in the overall body of work about her. In contrast, the years-long breakdown of her relationship with Nathaniel Branden is one of the most frequently mentioned topics of her later life. We can certainly discuss whether there are unnecessary details about the breakup (this article has a known tendency towards bloat), but the two topics are not all similar in the amount of weight given by sources.
Regarding the other, non-policy arguments: I don't see how we are creating a "veneer of common sense, or common knowledge and accepted truth" for her views when the article introduces them as "controversial stances". We should add quotes in footnotes only when they are needed to verify the material, which is not the case here. Finally, all the sources besides the ARI website were in the article previously and still were after the revert. --RL0919 (talk) 08:02, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
The comments are significant, however. They were at a prestigious US Institution and were never retracted. They illustrate what she saw as one of the practical consequences of here philosophy and while (hopefully but one never knows these days) it might jar with a modern audience it is what it is. The fact that there was more conversation about love affairs means little. She is here for the novels and the political philosophy she generated. In that latter context it is highly relevant -----Snowded TALK 08:20, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
I don't believe anyone is arguing that her comments should not be mentioned at all (or even quoted briefly as they are already), but rather whether there should be significantly more material (including a five-sentence quote) about this commentary than what we include about her other similar comments. Again, the Wikipedia policy standard is that what matters is the amount of coverage it has attracted in reliable sources, so the amount of "conversation" a topic attracts actually means quite a lot. By this standard, her comments on homosexuality have been discussed more extensively than her comments about Arabs, and all of the items mentioned in this paragraph are dwarfed in coverage when compared to major biographical and ideological topics in the sources about her. --RL0919 (talk) 09:31, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
Actually WP:WEIGHT comes into account. The statement is reliably sourced and is relevant. Matters with more commentary are also relevant - but it doesn't exclude this material. If we excluded material with only one reliable source from Wikipedia we'd have a lot of deletions -----Snowded TALK 19:39, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
User:RL0919 said it all very well, and than turned their back on it so casually. I am skeptical about their positioning on the whole issue now that User:RL0919 expressed doubt even on relevance of Rand's quoted statement, one which is given within one of the most important forums in US and, among other, shaped entire generation of public intellectuals, commentators and provocateurs active and relevant in Middle East and Islam forums in present moment, and which makes Rend and her thought influential today in Trump, Breitbart, Geller, Coulter, and so many others' era as ever; followed with assumption that pulling out of context just one small bit of that statement can't change that context and ultimately its meaning. On top of that User:RL0919 seem to ignore WP:WEIGHT guideline elsewhere - paragraph just below which is at least double in length and comprised of story on love drama, which sounds more-less like gossip. Also, User:RL0919 implies that this entire issue boils down on attempt to give Arab-statement "promotion" and greater prominence, which I never said or tried to do, I just said that bits taken out of context of entire statement, which itself is just line and a half long, gives strange feeling of obfuscation (by crying foul on WP:WEIGHT and "promotion" we are trying to remove specific "ugly" bits of legacy), and that framing it in such short quotation (three words) sounds as if Wikipedia accept and confirms that Rand was stating undeniable truth - civilized fought savages - we all know anyway; by the way these arguments can't be labeled "non-policy" arguments, sysop should know better. As @Snowded: put it in their comment, and if I understood them properly, and as I also stated in summery, quote is "weighted" as it is relevant, it is framed within paragraph well enough to feel balanced, and is well-referenced with both primary and secondary sources, and ultimately it's not unreasonably long extension after all. Finally and most tellingly, User:RL0919 is even against inclusion of given quotation into reference, stating their reasoning more categorically than any policy guideline requires, which should preserve current integrity and scope of the paragraph and take us toward decent compromise.--౪ Santa ౪99° 04:12, 4 June 2019 (UTC)

───────────────────────── I don't know if you are following the links in the discussion, but WP:WEIGHT is not about whether a passage is "framed within paragraph well enough to feel balanced", etc. It is about representing views "in proportion to the prominence of each viewpoint in the published, reliable sources". It is a section within the same policy page I cited using the WP:PROPORTION link, the only difference being that one goes to a section about how much attention to give to points of view about a subject, while the other goes to a section on how much attention to give the details of the subject. In both the standard is the same: how is the material treated in reliable sources. This is what I have focused on: the attention these remarks have received in the body of work about Rand is quite limited, and thus the space given to them in the article should also be quite limited. Arguments about "important forums" and describing other biographical information as "gossip" don't change the amount of attention these things have or have not received in sources. I also know of no reason to believe that somehow quoting a statement briefly implies agreement but quoting it at greater length does not. Finally, speculations about the motives of other editors are typically not helpful, and I have neither stated such speculations nor attempted to imply any. --RL0919 (talk) 08:07, 4 June 2019 (UTC)

Fully agree on gossip reference and speculation on motives. However, I can't understand why you want to eliminate this material. It is properly sourced, it clearly indicates a practical perspective from the founder of Objectivism on what it means and the forum in which it is delivered is significant. It doesn't deserve a section but it does deserve a couple of paragraphs without commentary - her words can stand on their own. -----Snowded TALK 08:22, 4 June 2019 (UTC)
I've explained my point about proportion. There is also a significant concern about keeping the article to a readable size. If this one minor view of hers is expanded, then why not also expand on her views on abortion, homosexuality, etc.? The exact same arguments would apply. That path takes us back to the when the London Review of Books complained, "The entry on Ayn Rand herself is more than 8000 words long and covers her views on everything from economics to homosexuality in technical and mind-numbing detail." Many of these details were cut en masse in May 2009. (The talk page reaction to the cut is worth reading.) I could say the price of readability is eternal vigilance, but really we aren't all that vigilant and at 6100 words there are probably unnecessary details in the article that could be cut. --RL0919 (talk) 08:59, 4 June 2019 (UTC)
I would have said that lecture was one of the best illustrations of objectivism a la Rand that one could find. I can see material in the article of less significance - one solution might be a section on memorable quotes (in several fields) including the one in contention -----Snowded TALK 11:12, 4 June 2019 (UTC)
That's what wikiquote:Ayn Rand is for. Checking, I see that the quote in question is already placed there. --RL0919 (talk) 11:27, 4 June 2019 (UTC)
Questioning one's position in debate like this isn't such a deviation, especially if it isn't used to persuade - I can't find where I used to speculate "about the motives", in strong language anyway. I don't believe it can be helpful either, so my argument is also about (dis)proportion, and also based on perception of technicalities and guidelines, for they are not set in stone nor editors required to follow them to the letter - unless you are measuring every word, letter by letter, for every remark on her views included here. So, that's exactly what makes your categorical insistence so strange, in my eyes it's quite a reason for skepticism on your position: rejection of all three (3) suggestions, while giving variety of reasons for each pretty inconsistently, without suggesting any of your own - extension # lengthy and unproportional; ref quote in footnotes # not needed; create "memorable quotes" section # go to wikiquote. Well, there are many lines of text and refs that are not needed on wikipedia, even in this article; wikiqute isn't wikipedia; paragraph expansion is only line and a half long, although you prefer to say 5 sentences. Five or not, it's line and 1/2 of text. Just because other views are given in such and such way doesn't require this one to be chopped, taken out of context and served as statement of fact. Is it integrity of paragraph that is compromised with sheer length of quoted line, or is it proportionality against the body of scholarship which discussed it - either way it's vague argument, simply because 1) again, it's about 1 and 1/2 line long txt (5 sentences?), and 2) it's vague because if this is really her "minor" non-consequential remark, which occupies very little space in scholarship, or non-fiction, or isn't influential on public discourse, or consequential in politics and media today, and so on and so forth, than why include it at all. Rational that we are going to use shortened three-word-version of her statement on her view on Arabs and Israel because this is how we measure its importance, its influence, and its usage in scholarship and public discourse is weak. Who is that gate-keeper, who is going to decide which part of Rand's original statement exactly is OK or allowed, how many words we gonna use, and which length is befitting its scope within scholarship and public discourse. And what if one bit taken out of context of her statement interfere with that context and sends a vague and confusing massage on Rand's motives and Wikipedia editorial. By the way, this "minor" view of hers concerns some 500+ millions people identifying ethnically or culturally as Arabs, and especially in this day and age what do you think Arab editors and admis response would be, would they agree? That statement is representative of her views, but why should anyone dwell on it or wrap entire treaties around it - what kind of argument is that - nobody expect that, so we can't find it in works and literature. What we can find is discussion on her views this statement of hers embodies.--౪ Santa ౪99° 11:54, 5 June 2019 (UTC)
  • I agree the quote is too long to be included in full. And if it is included, describing it as "strong anti-Arab sentiment" would constitute WP:editorializing. M . M 13:58, 5 June 2019 (UTC)
  • No one said it must be - statement quoted in full was just first of three suggestion. I can't see why any paraphrasing would be unacceptable, or placing original quote in footnotes without editorializing, or any other conceivable but reasonably worded compromise.--౪ Santa ౪99° 14:39, 5 June 2019 (UTC)
Praphrasing is acceptable so long as it's neutral. That and the quote could be cut down to this:

Following the 1973 Yom Kippur War in which Israel was attacked by a coalition of Arab countries, she said that "Their [the Arabs'] culture is primitive, and they resent Israel because it's the sole beachhead of modern science and civilization on their continent. When you have civilized men fighting savages, you support the civilized men, no matter who they are."

M . M 14:55, 5 June 2019 (UTC)
Any (para)phrasing which gives a reader little bit more information, and most importantly clarifies her point is welcomed. Even less quotation is fine by me if it include clear and intelligible paraphrasing and/or describes her point more clearly - for example using few short quotations and some clarification.--౪ Santa ౪99° 16:19, 5 June 2019 (UTC)
The only part of the quote I removed were "The Arabs are one of the least developed cultures. They are typically nomads." Those two sentences are just different ways of saying "Their culture is primitive" - that part I didn't remove. I don't understand what needs to be clarified. M . M 16:47, 5 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Here's my even shorter suggestion, and with even less quotation:

In 1974 FHF lecture, following the Yom Kippur War, she asserted that Arabs are underdeveloped culture of primitive nomads who resented Israel for being only civilized nation in their midst. She justified support of Israel as "civilized men fighting savages", saying you always support the civilized, regardless who they are.

But before any changes are made we should wait at least other two debaters from this thread to get involved or invite them.--౪ Santa ౪99° 17:32, 5 June 2019 (UTC)
I think that's too much of a paraphrase. The version by M is more precise. -- Doctorx0079 (talk) 21:40, 5 June 2019 (UTC)
Sorry, I still don't see a compelling reason to expand on her views of a war that happened 46 years ago as opposed to any of her other political stances. Why does this one topic need more illustration than any of the others? Schazjmd (talk) 21:43, 5 June 2019 (UTC)
The notability is not the way - but the practical outworking of her philosophy which denied Arabs and Native Americans property rates on the grounds that they were 'savage'-----Snowded TALK 23:30, 6 June 2019 (UTC)
Along with the fact that there is no statute of limitation; currently lost or clouded context; and not least gravity and magnitude of her statement and declared view, and it's timeless acuteness.--౪ Santa ౪99° 04:52, 7 June 2019 (UTC)
Giving more space to material because of a belief that it is revealing or important or for whatever reason should receive attention is the exact opposite of the direction our NPOV policy is trying to take us. We look to outside sources for guidance precisely so we do not have to engage in endless, tedious disputes about whether something has "gravity and magnitude" or is a "practical outworking of her philosophy". However, see below for a possible solution that describes Rand's view more specifically without giving it a lot more text. --RL0919 (talk) 06:53, 7 June 2019 (UTC)
@User:Doctorx0079 It's all about editorial - all we do in project is paraphrasing, everything is written by editors encouraged to use their own words for copyright reason, which bears the risk committing foul on POV grounds as laid down in guidelines. This particular case is about context lost in editing paragraph containing this important view of hers - context is lost, which means that with this kind of phrasing and attitude some guideline, like those on Tendentious editing and NPOV, is possibly compromised. Any version which gives reader little bit of context and/or some description should be OK - so, yes, his may well be decent version.
@User:VwM.Mwv On what needs to be clarified, is that Rand didn't simply deduce something factual through neutral analysis: as current partial quote says "civilized men fighting savages" - this could mean that she than simply worded something which was maybe true, albeit using overly strong language. We can't see from this short bit how Arabs actually fought that war against Israelis, it may well be that they really bore themselves contrary to manners and customs of waging "civilized" war, committed numerous horrific atrocities for which she than labels them "savages" rightly so, all the while Israelis showed restraint and fairness of "civilized", and so on. It is important that reader know why she supported Israel and how she reasoned her choice - it was resentment toward weak Other.--౪ Santa ౪99° 04:52, 7 June 2019 (UTC)
OK, I finally see something that suggests a useful change. If the specific portion of the quote that has been used creates an ambiguity about what Rand's position was, then that is something we could address without a drastic expansion of the material. Rather than the potentially ambiguous "civilized men fighting savages", we could substitute other portions of her statement showing more specifically the contrast she drew. So instead of the current:
supporting Israel in the Yom Kippur War of 1973 against a coalition of Arab nations as "civilized men fighting savages"
we could have something like this:
supporting Israel in the Yom Kippur War of 1973 as a "beachhead of modern science and civilization" fighting Arab "savages" with "one of the least developed cultures"
This should make it clear that Rand thought Israel was modern and the Arabs primitive, but only adds seven words and fits within the existing sentence structure. A change like this strikes me as a legitimate improvement that would make the article more accurate without running afoul of NPOV concerns. --RL0919 (talk) 06:53, 7 June 2019 (UTC)
Good general direction, I agree completely on all grounds, except only this still sounds affirmative of her position and co-conspiratorial, I mean, as an editor, I don't agree with her opinion, which is just that - opinion. I don't believe that Israel is or ever has been "beachhead of civilization" against "primitive" Arabs, and I really hope any self-respecting involved editor, with some knowledge on history and politics of the region, agrees. But even more so, I don't want readers to think that I do hold such belief neither, by perceiving my and our edits as an attempt to reassert her opinion through adoption and inclusion in the article. She formed her opinion on false pretense that "Israel is beachhead of civilization" and "Arabs are primitive", then she implied something obviously and extremely dishonest: that then and only then she supposedly picked the side of "civilized", all the while using foul language and deriding rhetoric.
Bringing up any other part of her statement, so that one can read about what is still reassertion of her opinion as if it's reality based reasoning (beachhead of civilization), along with her false conclusion (civilized v. primitive) and dishonest justification of her choice, without distancing Wikipedia community and project from it through proper editorial, doesn't accomplish much. To the contrary, from one NPOV wee are risking to slide into another.
Important thing is that we can try to agree, and I myself am OK with any rephrasing and any amount of quotations, sentence length and structure choice (of course keeping in mind NPOV), as long as we stress clearly enough that including her opinion here isn't reaffirmation of supposedly accepted reality or fact. Let's wait a day or two and see if anyone else is interested to contribute suggestion of it's own.--౪ Santa ౪99° 12:01, 8 June 2019 (UTC)
Your opinions about Israel and Arabs aren't relevant, the article isn't about you. The article is about Rand's views so it should say what they are. No reasonable person would assume that the editors' views are the same as Rand's views. It is up to the reader to decide whether Rand's statement contains "foul language and deriding rhetoric". The point of WP:NPOV is to avoid soapboxing such as you are doing here. -- Doctorx0079 (talk) 20:51, 9 June 2019 (UTC)
Would it help to include a link to the page for Yom Kippur War, to indicate that there are other points of view? There are separate articles about Yom Kippur War, Israel, Arabs, Palestine etc. -- Doctorx0079 (talk) 21:03, 9 June 2019 (UTC)

─────────────────────────@User:Doctorx0079 First problem here is that you seem to believe how, along with our respect for the norms of civility, we should be careful while explaining ourselves not to transgress, and in doing so upset any genuinely gentle soul with a way we express what we want to explain. Apropos, you seem to confuse Talk page for Article, however this is exactly the place which should be used for explaining things as best we can, sharing our point of view as honestly as possible, so that we can assure each other that our position stem from knowledge, understanding, while keeping our bias in check. Your inability to understand neither my explanation nor expression (which could be reason for your confusion) is obvious from your rant, which is problem No.2, because there is nothing constructive said in it and nothing to be said in response - your reiteration of how my opinion on Israel and Arabs isn't relevant, and how article isn't about me, although interesting, is irrelevant itself. Or maybe, you do understand but simply want to devalue both, my points and position in debate, along using opportunity to defend honor and legacy of your hero.--౪ Santa ౪99° 15:25, 10 June 2019 (UTC)

That is a whole lot of words to say "nothing". To quote from the orange box at the top, "While suggestions to improve the content of this article are welcomed, please refrain from posting your personal opinions on Ayn Rand or Objectivism, and make sure to provide references to reliable sources when proposing a change." -- Doctorx0079 (talk) 23:33, 10 June 2019 (UTC)

I don't know if you could see mine, in text above:

In 1974 FHF lecture, following the Yom Kippur War, she asserted that Arabs are underdeveloped culture of primitive nomads who resented Israel for being only civilized nation in their midst, so she justified support of Israel as "civilized men fighting savages", saying you always support the civilized regardless who they are.

I can't accept comment which followed above, that it's too much of a paraphrasing, simply because good paraphrasing is main pillar of good Wikipedia editing with the respect of copy rights, and especially if paraphrased statement is previously properly "vetted" in Talk page; also it's just half (1/2) a line longer then your latest suggestion.--౪ Santa ౪99° 13:13, 8 June 2019 (UTC)

In order to include criticism of Rand's position, the article would have to quote a secondary source that criticizes Rand's statement. But the whole problem is that there isn't a lot of commentary about her statement about the Yom Kippur War, either positive or negative. -- Doctorx0079 (talk) 23:47, 10 June 2019 (UTC)

Regarding the latest suggested phrasing from User:Santasa99, in this case we can convey what she said accurately in fewer words by quoting small portions of her statement, thus achieving both accuracy and brevity. Although you want to minimize how much longer your version is by calling it "just half a line longer", it is almost twice as many words as my last suggestion, and that's before adding more words to make it fully accurate and intelligible (for example, "In 1974 FHF lecture" should be rendered as "In a question and answer session following her 1974 Ford Hall Forum lecture"). And this longer, less accurate text seems to be entirely directed toward your personal opinion that just describing what she said somehow "sounds affirmative of her position and co-conspiratorial". User:Doctorx0079 is correct that your desire to frame her comments with negative editorialization is the exact opposite of what the WP:NPOV policy counsels.
Regarding Doctorx0079's question about wikilinks, my reply is yes, I expect we would have links to relevant items just as we do in the article today. I didn't include links in my proposal because I was focused on the phrasing. --RL0919 (talk) 23:59, 10 June 2019 (UTC)

FA nomination for The Unconquered[edit]

Since this page gets more views than any other related to Rand, I wanted to note here that I have nominated The Unconquered (1940 play) as a featured article candidate. If promoted, this would be the third FA related to Rand's works (after the articles on The Night of January 16th and The Fountainhead). Feedback on the nominated article is welcomed at Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/The Unconquered (1940 play)/archive1. --RL0919 (talk) 01:39, 2 July 2019 (UTC)