Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Ayn Rand Applied To Dating - The Fountainhead Part 1 of 4, Howard Roark.

Hey guys,

I'm kinda under the weather today, probably the remnants of the Vegas trip combined with getting kinda wasted last night. Not a good call.

Oh well, Over the last few weeks I've been trying to get more into reading actual literature. And I decided to get started with The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. So over the past couple of weeks, I've read about 2000 pages of Ayn Rand's Objectivist Epistemology, and I'll be boiling that down to what I think can effectively help you with women and dating.

I actually read The Fountainhead after I read Atlas Shrugged, but I want to talk about it first, as I think it builds the foundations of Rand's philosophies about Men, Self-Esteem, Values, Happiness, Judgements etc...

The Fountainhead is the story of Howard Roark an architect. The book starts with a bang as Roark is thrown out of school for refusing to follow the standards of traditional architecture. This is one of the main points of all of Ayn Rand's writings. The only way for men to be happy in Rand's view is for them to live ONLY by their own standards, values and judgements. Men are certain, set their course and find the work that makes them happy. Howard Roark is the living embodiment of Rand's philosophy. Throughout the book he is punished for his commitment to excellence, his vision and his ability to produce and enjoy his production. He is opposed by the second raters, the worshippers of death who want to see man as a slimy lowly creature, to be dominated by means of lies, and distortions.

Roark's certainty in his standards is one of his most amazing traits. In fact throughout the book he is called upon to help his polar opposite Peter Keating with various architectural tasks. Early in the book as Roark is helping Peter to decide on what job to take. Peter asks how Roark can always manage to decide. Roark responds by asking him how he can let others decide for him. This is huge when it comes to meeting women. You must have your own standards and be able to make decisions. You have to have things that are more important to you than getting laid or having a girlfriend. You must know what you stand for and consistently make decisions moving towards that.

Let's take a look at how Roark is described by Rand in her initial notes for The Fountainhead.

"Howard Roark- The noble soul par excellence. The man as man should be. The self-sufficient, self confident, the end of ends, the reason unto himself, the joy of living personified. Above all-the man who lives for himself, as living for oneself should be understood. And who triumphs completely. A man who is what he should be."

Furthermore Rand shows the sufferring and unhappiness caused by not living by your own standards and doing things to appease the masses. Everything from Peter worrying about whether or not he really loves his mother, to Gail Wynand coming into power by giving the masses what they want, and becoming miserable along the way. We'll get more into both of those guys and how they perverted their standards in order to get what they think they want. This is something that a lot of more advanced guys can see in their own game. You can get girls, but you can't seem to keep the cooler, hotter ones etc... I'll talk about how guys pervert their standards with women in the Gail Wynand and Peter Keating lessons upcoming.

That's why it's so important to know who you are and what is important to you. This and this alone causes you to come off certain, passionate, dynamic, and alive. By living by your own standards and not looking externally for validation you become more attractive. In pick up lingo this is known as being "non-reactive." But in order to really be non reactive, you have to stop looking outside of your own standards of right and wrong for validation. You have to stop seeking others approval. In short you have to stop giving a fuck. Or become internally validated. TD once wrote that as a man you are responsible for creating and maintaining your own state. That means you have to step up, and learn to draw validation from who you are, not what you accomplished or how much you've read.

Later in the book is where Rand ties in the idea of being selfish. It is a kind of selfishness to elevate your beliefs and standard above all others. It is something of an arrogance to believe you know best. But it is what being a man is all about. The men who have shaped hostory have been men that believed in their own abilities, reason, and virtue. One of the main characterizations we see throughout this book and Atlas Shrugged is the idea of heroic men without guilt for their virtues. Roark refuses to feel bad for his selfishness and instead feels nothing for it. The act of following his values is as second nature to him as breathing. He knows no other way.

As guys we often feel guilty about our achievements, desires, judgements, choices etc... One of the most interesting things about Rand's writing to me is the idea of guilt rejection. Her characters are willing to suffer for their virtues. Be it Dominique Francon marrying two men she doesn't love and letting them have their way with her. Or Roark refusing more commisions than I can remember because they wouldn't let him build the way he wanted to. What her heroes(and heroines) don't do is accept any guilt whatsoever for the way they are. The only exception in here is Gail Wynand but I'll get to that in the another post.

Howard Roark is the posterchild for self esteem, while Peter Keating is the posterchild for ego. In becoming self sufficient, autonomous, and masculine, you re-store your self esteem. By holding a respect for yourself above a respect for anything else, you become a more attractive person. That's why "jerks" get women. Because jerks (and naturals) are selfish. They don't care much about people other than themselves. And even though that's a perversion of the idea of being autonomous and having self esteem, it subcommunicates very similar things, which women are attracted to.

In fact next time I'm going to continue to discuss Howard Roark as we take a look at his love affair with Dominique Francon and what we can learn about sexual tension, power exchange and values related to sexual love.

Stay tuned...



  1. Melynthos7:27 PM

    Awesome article, I have been really enjoying your articles taking pop culture and applying game theory to it.

  2. holy crap sinn. this post was really good. I myself read the fountainhead last summer, when i had downtime due to my wisdowm teeth being cut out. Long story short, this book was amazing. I remember having to put the book down, because i was furious that Roark would not waiver the least bit in his ideas. He stuck to his ideals no matter what. I wish that I myself held such a strong conviction I think that is why I got so frustrated with the book. I recommend this book to everyone.

  3. Very good post, I learned a lot from it

  4. Anonymous11:47 PM


  5. MunichHawk4:27 AM

    Personally I think that her philosophy of objectivism is like poison for every society, a philosophy like this brought us the credit crunch and a lot of other more unpleasent consequences of capitalism. But still a very good article, I´m looking forward to the other parts. Not only is your analasys interesting it also prevents me from actually reading more from Ayn Rand. ;-)

  6. Anonymous9:17 AM

    wow! amazing sinn!
    i read both of the books, because of rsd promoting and i wasn't disappointed at all. amazing books!
    the characters are sometimes overdrawn and not realistic, but that's what draws the attention to their specific characteristics, so i'm fine with it.

    the line that struck with me the most was when ellsworth m. toohey revealed his real face in some dialogue with roark and screened for validation by asking: what do you think of me? roark simply responded: i don't think of you.
    to me that's conveying the biggest part of what's being a man is about. own sense of reality, internal validation, no external distraction, vision, i don't give a fuck.

    the sinn 2009 blog is really brilliant! it's been one of the top3 blogs from the start, but you really shine lately. thanks a lot for all the free value. keep em coming!

    oh and with the upcoming parts, could you elaborate a bit on how you would have picked up dominique francon? just out of curiousity :-)


  7. Great post. Seriously. I've already read Atlas Shrugged, and I'm about to start the Fountainhead. It's awesome that you're breaking everything down and cutting to the core of how Rand's principles can help in every day life. Best blog on the web!

  8. Sinn, good post but there's a dark side to this unrelenting selfish pursuit of one's goals.

    I've met quite a few community guys who are total Ayn Rand sycophants (and there are also many secret Ayn Rand admirers, many of them have ran our financial/investment market to the ground today). None of these people are normal in the sense that they always give off this weird vibe that makes girls scatter when they show up.

    I'm all for knowing oneself, pursuing one's goals, but I can accomplish them in ways that are not socially destructive. Like it or not, we can say all we want about living for oneself, but we also exist within communities (not the gay-ass weirdo "pickup community") with others.

    I know it's cliche, there's a delicate balance between selfish needs and common good. Going out to fuck random girls is fine, as long as those "random girls" don't turn out to be girlfriends of your buddies. With most "community guys," all they do is wanting sex and whatever else from people without providing any value... At some point, people will discover these guys to be parasites and kick them out of their communities, which is the reason why most community guys don't have normal friends and only belong to their gay-ass man-on-man seduction community.

  9. Michael R5:09 PM

    This is why I keep coming back to read this blog. Btw I keep hearing about Atlas Shrugged. I've gotta check that out

  10. Anonymous6:53 PM

    Ayn Rand - Accomplished author, noted intellect.

    Tyler Durden - noted for stealing Mystery's techniques, creating a cult of losers at RSD, puts out 53-DVD sets which offer no value, and creepy loser.

    Please don't ever compare the two in any way, whatsoever.

  11. Very solid post! Having read Atlas Shrugged first and now reading the Fountainhead I see how Rand's philosophy was maturing in The Fountainhead and reaches it's epic pinnacle in Atlas Shrugged, where the character archetypes are projected onto the most expansive canvas of American (and the world's) destruction due to an abdication of the responsibility to "Think."

    A few people commented that Rand's philosophy of articulated selfishness is the cause for the "financial meltdown" - but I believe it is a perversion of this idea (which you rightly point out) that causes so much strife and far-spread repercussions.

    Think of it: Howard Roark and John Galt live solely to achieve what their minds can conceive of, using the resources they can get through mutual exchange of value. A true objectivist is the ultimate capitalist in the sense that they use only their own capital (be it intellectual capital or financial).

    The heart of the problem in the financial sector was people playing it loose and easy with Other Peoples Money. With no skin in the game, and a culture of being rewarded lavishly for shoving responsibility for risk onto the next unsuspecting buyer, it seems clear in hindsight that Rand's philosophy stands in contrast to the mindset that precipitated this crisis.

    Keep up the great writing!


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