by Alexandra York—A Review
Who Is Alexandra York?
She writes: “I am a Rational Romantic intent on championing and merging beauty and reason. … I am determined to confront the cynical concepts of the sensationalist, nihilistic, popular anti-culture in which we now live and encourage a path of self-created distinctiveness, integrity, and pursuit of excellence.” While I totally agree the popular culture is dominated by cynicism, sensationalism, and nihilism, I’m not certain how, “self-created distinctiveness, integrity, and pursuit of excellence,” whatever exactly those terms are intended to identify, would cancel any of the negative aspects of today’s cultural decay.
She continues: “My novels fall under the broad category of Romantic-Suspense, but they are based in serious ideas with no escapism, fantasy, or wishful dreaming to waste the brain. My fiction goals are an integral part of my larger mission to contribute directly and indirectly to individual and cultural enrichment through the power of art by dramatizing high ideals that can be actualized in real life.”
York is a follower of the philosophy of Ayn Rand, called Objectivism and like many Objectivists mistakenly believes her purpose is to save the world, or at least the society and culture of The United States. That view is expressed in her own, “larger mission to contribute directly and indirectly to individual and cultural enrichment,” and articles she has written, such as, “Culture at the Crossroads: What You Can Do to Save America.”
Alexandra is the founding president of ART, (American Renaissance for the Twenty-first Century,), “a 501 (C) (3) nonprofit educational foundation dedicated to a rebirth of beauty and life-affirming values in all of the fine arts.”
I do not intend to criticize the book on its, “artistic,” merit or its value as an interesting or worthwhile read, because everyone is different, and no two people will find the same personal value in anything. Some people will truly enjoy this book. I am not one of them.
It is interesting that Dr. Hurd called the book “a psychological thriller,” since every character in it, even the protagonists, are either psychotic or neurotic, wrestling with, “choices,” that any rational adult individual has not problems making. It is one’s values that determine one’s choices and Alexandra does, at least, make the confusion of choice of her heroine consistent with the confusion of her values.
On pages 274-275 she puts these words in her heroine’s mouth:
“You say that life is meaningless, but I believe it’s life that is sacred. I talk about art and sex because they’re the most intense life experiences I know, so I feel that they must be sacred too. They let us experience the values we’ve chosen for our lives in one exquisite moment not of pleasure, exactly, but of oneness with all of existence and with our own personal relationship to it. Art lets us feel oneness with reality, and sex lets us feel oneness with another living being. Art says: ‘this is Life.’ Sex says: ‘this is Living.’ It’s as if both experiences purge my whole being of any pettiness and leave me with just the essence of my soul and my mind and my body all unified. I wouldn’t want to live without either.”
This kind of subjectivism is disastrous in anyone’s life. For one’s values to be based on an, “intense life experience,” a, “feeling,” is as anti-rational as it is possible to be.
The two things she regards as, “sacred,” art and sex, are two of the least important aspects of human life.
Like all modern thinkers and writers, Alexandra confuses sex and love and treats love as another kind of, “experience,” almost indistinguishable from sex, which is why her heroine’s love and sex life are so confused. Though her heroine’s love is supposedly determined by her objective values, her values do not provide her with the ability to discern the difference between her emotional feelings and those values, which always seem to result in fulfilling sexual desire.
This view that treats sex as some kind of happy accident that exists solely as a means of providing, “the most intense life experience,” one knows is an irrational obfuscation of the very nature of sex. No one likes to say it today, as though ignoring a fact cancels it, but there would be no sex if sex were not the means to human reproduction, and that reproduction requires a male and a female. When sex fulfills it’s biological purpose there are children. Any discussion of sex that ignore’s that most significant fact of sex is wrong.
The, “love,” described in Crosspoints is not love, but the kind of, “free love,” described by Ayn Rand:
“The cheap little schools of “free love” attempt to glorify sex on a silly sort of materialistic basis—simply glorifying physical joy, considering themselves ‘vital as animals.’ They are unable to discover a moral, spiritual premise to justify sex—so they try to enjoy it without any morality, and, of course, it doesn’t work, it doesn’t bring them any sort of spiritual happiness, and not even much satisfaction.” [The Journals of Ayn Rand, “13-Notes While Writing: 1947-1952.”]
[NOTE: Rand had some peculiar views of sex and love, as well, as I described in the article, Ayn Rand, Beauty, Love, and Tenderness.]
The truth is, far from being the most important things in life, one can live a totally successful happy life without either sex or art.
Love And Sex
For a man and woman who love each other and are one in that love, sex is one pleasure available to them as an expression of their love for each other and taking their pleasure in each other. It is not necessary to that love. Some individuals are physically incapable of sex. Like any other, “handicap,” it does not limit one’s ability for a completely fulfilled life.
One of the greatest true love stories is the story of Heloise and Abelard, who, in the end, were not only deprived of sex, but even of seeing each other, but never was their love diminished.
Life Without Art
Most people are just not interested in what is called the, “fine arts,” and most people could live very well without them.
Art cannot be important to everyone, or even most people. For many people, the fine arts cannot have any meaning. Those who are deaf, or tone deaf, will never enjoy classical music, or any music. Those who are blind, or color blind, will not be able to enjoy most visual arts. Those without a good sense of spatial relations, rhythm, or relative motion cannot enjoy or appreciate most performing arts. Nothing that cannot be used or appreciated universally is essential to human values.
What Is Essential To All Humans
Sex and art are not fundamental values. Compared to fundamental values they are almost trivial.
Fundamental values are those things no human being can live successfully without. No human being can live without consciously choosing their behavior. To Choose they must think and to think they must have knowledge, because knowledge is all there is to think about and all there is to think with. No human being can live without knowledge.
No human being can live without without work, without producing both the physical and psychological things that sustain them as living beings. No human being can fully enjoy a life they have not done to be all they can be and achieve all they can in every aspect of life, physically, mentally, and morally.
No human being can live successfully as a human being without the freedom to think, choose, and act to achieve that life.
None of these things can be secured or achieved by joining a program, or supporting organization or foundation, or any other collective method. They can only be achieved by individuals using their own minds and effort in pursuit of their own personal goals and purposes.