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View Full Version : Can't believe there's no thread for Atlas Shrugged [by Ayn Rand]



erika
08-19-2006, 06:55 PM
In my mind, one of the greatest books of the twentieth century. Ayn Rand is brilliant, her imagery captivating and her philosophy world-changing. Can it possibly get any better?

Mayor of Moronia
08-19-2006, 08:04 PM
Erika

Ayn Rand was a tremendous influence during her life but she tends to be intentionally ignored in our time. Her books continue to sell extremely well, and she consistently ranks high on the Amazon Bestseller List. But her other writings remain abrasive to pudding-head pedagogues, and they ignore her. It takes people a while to discover her magic.

Perks
08-19-2006, 08:37 PM
It's a great book. This board is relatively new, so we've lots of slots for all the important stuff. :)

erika
08-19-2006, 08:48 PM
How about the Fountainhead? Some people allege that's her best. But I love John Galt. Such a great hook.

Haven't read any of her other writings.

Mayor of Moronia
08-19-2006, 10:01 PM
Rand wrote lots of books. My favorites are her two books about writing: THE ART OF FICTION and the ART OF NON-FICTION. But I definitely enjoyed the first 600 pages of ATLAS SHRUGGED.

erika
08-19-2006, 10:40 PM
Since I consider myself a Christian, some people think that loving Rand is odd, perhaps (dare I say it) ungodly. Of course, I also think Nietzsche is brilliant.

I think she makes very good points about the inadequacies and deficiencies of religion. And I would also add that politically and economically, Atlas Shrugged was prophetic. Much of which unfolds in the book has come to pass in the last twenty years.

CaroGirl
08-20-2006, 04:15 AM
The only Ayn Rand I've read is We the Living. The profundity of her views on socialism and communism, as they are portrayed in that book, moved me. It's still with me now. After I read it, I was shocked and thrilled to have read something so textured and complex, but set within such a rich story. I don't know why I never read anything else of hers. I'll have to remedy that.

erika
08-20-2006, 04:29 AM
You're exactly right. But we can now see the kind of corruption and chaos that results from the practical application of Rand's ideals: "hero" CEO'S making in the low hundred millions a year, the exporting of good jobs and the defense industry, not to mention the tract-mallization of America.

I think there's a direct line from Rand's admittedly valiant championing of the capitalist ideal , to the current trash culture of the country, same as there was a direct line from Marx to the Soviet debacle. Objectivists may congratulate themselves that the casualties of secular Globalism have been low, compared to the totalitarian monstrosities, but it remains to be seen what the ultimate effect will be.

If the current world struggle is between Fundamentalist Islam (which posits God first and foremost, however much you may disagree w/ their take on the matter) and secular, agnostic Globalism, the casualties indeed may eventually be in the billions, and many of them cd. and shd. be placed at the Objectivists' doorstep.

That's a bit much. How can you justify this statement? How can you possibly relate the struggle with Islam to Objectivism? The struggle with Islam would exist if we were a Christian theocracy. (Crusades, anyone?)

Rand's issue is anything that condemns the ego, which most religions do. The Fountainhead pretty soundly declares that ego enables progress. There is a lot of truth there. But to take a Buddhist turn on it, does progress bring inner peace and if not, then neither does the ego.

Gary
08-20-2006, 05:26 AM
Add my vote to Atlas Shrugged being a wonderful book! I didn't read it until I was in my 50's, but wish I had read it when I was young and directionless.

It's too bad she couldn't have written it for a modern society, since her points are even more applicable today than when she wrote it.

janetbellinger
08-20-2006, 06:13 PM
Ayn Rand lost me when she had one of her heroines make her lover pay her back with merchandising services. What happened to doing somebody a favour for the sheer pleasure of it, with no expectation of persoanl gain?

priceless1
08-20-2006, 10:35 PM
I'll grant the sex was weird, but Atlas Shrugged gets my vote. Personally, I found its anti socialist message to be one of particular poignancy in this day and age where politicians are more than happy to dip into the pockets of the producers so they can press it into the palms of those who donít contribute anything to society other than their votes. Not expecting handouts and making a successful life through hard work and education is a message that should make this book required reading in every American high school.

erika
08-21-2006, 05:58 AM
I'll grant the sex was weird, but Atlas Shrugged gets my vote. Personally, I found its anti socialist message to be one of particular poignancy in this day and age where politicians are more than happy to dip into the pockets of the producers so they can press it into the palms of those who donít contribute anything to society other than their votes. Not expecting handouts and making a successful life through hard work and education is a message that should make this book required reading in every American high school.

Amen. As for Objectivism, I'll say I appreciate it but don't necessarily buy it lock stock and barrel. Rand does deify the ego a little much. But she did piss off the liberals. And that's worth a lot.

jbal
08-24-2006, 04:06 AM
I just found this thread, and thought I would chime in with my vote for Atlas SHrugged as a genuine great. Rand does, however, make a lot of the same points in the Fountainhead without the bloat and preachiness, but Atlas Shrugged is more complete.
Rand has classified herself as a romantic writer, which I took to mean that her characterization was not meant to be hyper realistic, but instead to embody the extremes of certain ideals. Too bad real industrialists are so seldom as ethical as her characters.

TSByrne
08-25-2006, 11:02 AM
I haven't read anything of hers (yet, at any rate) but from what I hear she champions ideals that are impossible to live up to unless one happens to be A) white and B) born wealthy; and if they aren't then f*ck 'em.

Any thoughts?

MacAllister
08-25-2006, 11:11 AM
TS--no, that pretty much sums up my impression, too.

Gary
08-25-2006, 07:59 PM
I haven't read anything of hers (yet, at any rate) but from what I hear she champions ideals that are impossible to live up to unless one happens to be A) white and B) born wealthy; and if they aren't then f*ck 'em.

Any thoughts?

I've heard the same thing from those who prefer to become dependent upon the state, rather than give their best to succeed and contribute to society.

jbal
08-27-2006, 04:39 AM
I haven't read anything of hers (yet, at any rate) but from what I hear she champions ideals that are impossible to live up to unless one happens to be A) white and B) born wealthy; and if they aren't then f*ck 'em.

Any thoughts?
No, I never got that at all. Howard Roark in the Fountainhead works at a quarry for a while and lives in a shack, and this is portrayed as a noble pursuit of his ideals. In any case, check out some of her work before making up your mind.

Wordworm
08-30-2006, 01:24 AM
It's been over thirty years (when I was in my early 20s) since I read (back to back) Atlas Shrugged and Fountainhead. Although the plot details of both are now pretty foggy, the impact they had on me at the time was huge. I read Atlas Shrugged first, and I remember thinking that Fountainhead seemed rather repetitive. But the John Galt character has stuck in my brain for the last 30+ years. And I still remember that I was warned about the 50 or 60-page section about halfway through Atlas Shrugged that someone told me I should just skip over because it was just a long diatribe that basically represented the bare core of Ayn Rand's philosophy. But I read it anyway.

blacbird
08-31-2006, 12:09 AM
Ayn Rand lost me when she had one of her heroines make her lover pay her back with merchandising services. What happened to doing somebody a favour for the sheer pleasure of it, with no expectation of persoanl gain?

Ayn Rand never did anybody, including herself, a favor for "sheer pleasure". Tobias Wolff said some very interesting things about her in an interview I heard a year or so ago. He was, as a student, very taken with her ideology, and somehow (I disremember the details) managed to meet her on something of a mentor basis. He grew out of that situation rather disillusioned with her and with her philosophy. Among other things, he learned that she had zero people she could call "friends", and was flintily proud of that fact. She apparently came across in person much as she does in her fiction: Brilliant, and inhumane.

caw.

crashbam
09-08-2006, 01:15 AM
I loved Atlas Shrugged when I was younger and it had a really powerful effect on me. I really took to heart the concept of self interest and not expecting a free ride.

I remember very distinctly that the book I read write after Atlas was On the Road by Kerouac. Big mistake! With my head full of collectivist ideals, I had little patience for Sal, Dean and the rest of the deadbeats in that book. I really need to go back and reread Kerouac with a fresh mindset.

One comment on this book and some of the comments here: I never really saw Rand's arguments in a liberal vs. conservative context. I think people in each of these supposedly ideological groups suffer from many of the afflictions Rand discusses. There are several "children of privilege" in both the democratic and republican parties who did not work to be where they are or earn their positions, and I always saw the collectivists as separate from this pissing match.

henriette
09-14-2006, 07:10 PM
"the fountainhead" is one of my all time favourite books. i love it from beginning (roark on a hilltop naked) to the end. although i do admit to skimming over toohey's speeches near the end.

i find it's such a great statement on the false nature of celebrity and the struggle to not sell out in a capitalist world. roark would rather sweat in the quarry than change his designs. he allows that slimy peter keating, the talentless celebrity architect, to take all the glory for his work. and who can forget dominique, one of the most fascinating characters of all time?

i also read 'atlas shrugged' but just couldn't get through to the end. perhaps architecture is more interesting to me than steel and railroad tracks, who knows. everytime i see it sitting abandoned on my shelf, along with 'war and peace' i shudder a little.

Inkdaub
09-15-2006, 01:59 PM
I have always avoided Rand's work. The reason being that when it was described to me or discussed by friends who were Rand fans I got the vibe that there was an ideal running throughout of the welathy being wealthy because they work hard. That's just not true. There are wealthy people who work hard...just like there are poor people who work hard. There are also wealthy people who hardly work just as there are poor layabouts. Becoming welathy is far more complicated than simply working hard. Being poor is far more complex than being lazy. I am also at odds with this idea of deserving or earning things. It seems far too malleable an ideal for me to support except in extreme cases. Have the wealthy earned their wealth? No. Have I earned my small paycheck? No. Do either of us deserve what we have or do not have? No...but the answers to these questions could easily be yes. The reality is that we all take what we can get. Do I deserve a new computer...or do I buy one simply because I want it and can figure out a way to afford it? Or does the second being true make the first also true?

Anyway, as I say I've avoided Rand but do acknowledge her intelligence and ability. She's one of the greats no question.

Ralyks
09-15-2006, 07:23 PM
I've never been able to make it through Atlas Shrugged, though I intend to give it another try. I was blown away by The Fountainhead, however, except for that one rape scene, which really distrubed me and made me think Rand is a bit of a nutcase with regard to sex. I very much enjoyed reading her non-fiction philosophy as well, even though as a Christian I don't agree with her condemnation and characterization of either religion or charity. I find her arguments well written and compelling, even when I disagree. She really wows me. For political non-fiction, it's some of the most interesting writing out there. Of course, I guess I'd find Lucifer's arguments quite attractive if he wrote philiosophical fiction...I try not to be too drawn in by Rand, but she did have one heck of an impact on me when I read her.


Ayn Rand lost me when she had one of her heroines make her lover pay her back with merchandising services. What happened to doing somebody a favour for the sheer pleasure of it, with no expectation of persoanl gain?

Don't you know that's against her philosophy? Philanthropists are weak at best, manipulative at worst. Truly noble people take, they don't give. Speaking of weird sex--what about that rape scene in The Fountainhead? She wrote it like it was a good thing.


I have always avoided Rand's work. The reason being that when it was described to me or discussed by friends who were Rand fans I got the vibe that there was an ideal running throughout of the welathy being wealthy because they work hard. That's just not true.

That's not really her point. Her point is more: the successful are successful because they don't take %$#@ from anybody, and people should seize their own success rather than becoming dependent on others. Collectivism is evil. Charity is for the weak (on the receiving end) and the manipulative (on the giving end). Poverty, wealth...it doesn't really come into the philosophy that much. Those who "succeed" aren't necessarily wealthy in her stories--some go through long periods of poverty like Roark--but they are free. It's about freedom and independence more than it's about wealth.

Inkdaub
09-20-2006, 03:48 PM
Yeah I can dig that. I sort of started rambling a bit. The reasoning I have avoided Rand is not based on personal experience with her work but rather based on conversations with fans that went down a certain path. That sort of thing usually leaves the actual work behind rather quickly.

Ralyks
09-21-2006, 11:33 PM
Yeah I can dig that. I sort of started rambling a bit. The reasoning I have avoided Rand is not based on personal experience with her work but rather based on conversations with fans that went down a certain path. That sort of thing usually leaves the actual work behind rather quickly.

Well, you have to understand, too, that Rand doesn't have "fans" in the way, say, Stephen King has "fans." She has disciples.

crashbam
09-22-2006, 09:26 PM
Well, you have to understand, too, that Rand doesn't have "fans" in the way, say, Stephen King has "fans." She has disciples.

and that's what ultimately turned me off of Rand. I remember finding out my college had Rand clique (I think they called themselves "Objectionists") and I went to a meeting that was extremely cultish. Now it may just have been the group on my campus that behaved this way, but it turned me off. I also found their view points to be a perversion of what Rand intended, or at least what her work meant to me.

Ms. Average
10-02-2006, 08:45 AM
and that's what ultimately turned me off of Rand. I remember finding out my college had Rand clique (I think they called themselves "Objectionists") and I went to a meeting that was extremely cultish. Now it may just have been the group on my campus that behaved this way, but it turned me off. I also found their view points to be a perversion of what Rand intended, or at least what her work meant to me.

Her disciples/followers are called Objectivists, and her philosophy is called Objectivism, as the rather annoying cardboard insert for the Ayn Rand Institute in my copy of Atlas Shrugged informed me. I recently finished Atlas, when a local Barnes and Noble had it inculded in a display for '20th Century Classics' and I realized I'd never read it. I got through it, so now I don't feel quite so illiterate, but I still don't understand how some aspects of life fit in to Rand's philosophy. For example, where does environmentalism come in? Rand seemed to think that nature was a tool to be put to use by the mind, but if all natural resources are exhausted, what can be produced? Also, how does she explain the unconditional love people feel for their children or pets? In her view, do people who are mentally or developmentally disabled have value? All the reviews I've read for this book are overwhelmingly positive, along the lines of 'this book is my new Bible', so I don't know what I'm missing...

Kate Thornton
10-02-2006, 09:53 PM
I really loved "Atlas Shrugged" and enjoyed "The Fountainhead" While Objectivism - and most isms - are more philosophy than I can take unleavened, the core idea that there is nothing wrong with working and making money stayed with me.

I like the idea that there is nothing wrong with making money honestly from your own work - money is not evil and if you make money from your work, it does not in any way diminish any other value your work may have.

But Objectivism aside, the stories are wonderful epics.

RG570
10-02-2006, 11:37 PM
Even while reading Atlas Shrugged, when I didn't have a bias against Ayn Rand, I found the writing extremely clumsy.

I find the idea of the Randian hero to be extremely depressing, and these people are nothing to admire. They seem like two year olds who think they know everything. Of course, two year olds are all ego, and Atlas Shrugged portrays this as a good thing.

Couple that with her obscene views on the roles of women and homosexuality:

"an ideal woman is a man-worshiper, and an ideal man is the highest symbol of mankind."

it's no wonder that Objectivism is not recognized as anything more than a pseudophilosophy. Too bad the public eats up pop/pseudo philosophy quite eagerly.

I also thought her speculation about how socialist states work to be laughable. It's how she wants them to work, not how they actually can work.

It took about a year after reading the book to digest it. At first I agreed with it, then the more I thought about it and read other things, I found it to be quite meaningless, downright cruel, and full of tautology and faulty logic. I'm glad I read it though; regardless of its fatally flawed nature, Atlas Shrugged has influenced western society, though to a detriment, and it's good to understand where we went wrong.

erika
10-03-2006, 01:13 AM
Some of you have raised some good points about Rand's books and her philosophy (I refuse to use the term Objectivism for various reasons). The reality is that many industrialists are good and decent people (my current employer, for one). Sam Walton is an example of someone who tried to help the American consumer by giving them low prices. He did it unassumingly, effectively and IMO with integrity. Granted, there are many CEO's who will step on anyone to make a buck, but what's the real caricature? Go back to dawn of Christianity and you'll see that people have for millenia tended to correlate wealth with corruption. It's easy to assume the man who has money or success took advantage of another. When we make that assumption, we never have to face the possibility that the man actually earned his success, because to do so would mean confronting our own inadequacies. Who really wants to believe they didn't get published or didn't the promotion because they weren't good enough or smart enough? Unfortunately, not many. So we end up crafting this nice little fairy tale where everyone who does well does so at the expense of others. It's a victimization mindset that this country and our wonderful politicians have been coddling since the Great Depression. "It's not your fault."

Rand says, "No, it is." What I think she does fail to deal with in Atlas is the reality that the greatest producers can also be the greatest swindlers. She tends to characterize the producers as noble and the takers as ignoble swindlers. We all know the world doesn't divide along such clear lines. However, in my mind, this depiction makes a greater philosophical point, that producing in and of itself is noble while taking is not. Her characters and story are a vehicle for this point, which is why to some extent they do seem a little too good to be true. I read the story more as an allegory than a novel.

The point I'm trying to get at is that because Enron execs cooked the books, doesn't mean big business is bad or capitalism evil. Likewise, just because Monica Lewinsky blew Clinton in the White House, doesn't mean blow jobs are bad. Each action and idea must be evaluated on its own merit. Why people are so surprised when someone kills in the name of God or does some assinine thing for animal rights confounds me. Take the most beautiful, noble, perfect idea in the world, give it to any person and watch it change into something ugly and selfish. That's human nature. And that is why capitalism is effective and communism will always fail. Fail to see the personal advantage in something and watch productivity fall. That's when Atlas Shrugs.

Ayn Rand scoffed at contemporary pseudo-compassionate culture. And I love it because I'm sick of hearing people talk about the environment or the hungry while they comfortably gorge themselves on potato chips and type at their plastic keyboards and computer monitors, all courtesy of industrial manufacturing. It's not that I don't think industry should conserve or treat their employees well. A well-run company will do both, looking at the long term interest of the firm. The problem comes when, in a frantic effort to get the quarter's profits up, the company takes shameful short-cuts that only serve to undermine its revenue in the long run. But the stockholders don't care about the long term. They care about now and thus, that's what the Board cares about. I guess you could blame the stockholders for being fickle, but that's gonna ultimately lead back to our own doorstep. The solution then - take responsibility for your own life and actions. Don't lay the state of the world at everyone else's feet. Pirsig might say, "Be grateful for industry and technology."

(Damn, that was long winded, but a good exercise for me.)

Gary
10-03-2006, 05:07 AM
At no time does she advocate breaking the law to earn and contribute to society. In a society of honest people, capitalism is free of the sins so often attributed to it.

Ms. Average
10-04-2006, 08:37 AM
Don't you know that's against her philosophy? Philanthropists are weak at best, manipulative at worst. Truly noble people take, they don't give. Speaking of weird sex--what about that rape scene in The Fountainhead? She wrote it like it was a good thing.


Hmm...so in Rand's view, sex must be something to be traded for something else? I suppose that if people have sex with the intention to enjoy themselves, and each person does have fun as the end result, that could be considered a mutual trade of a sort. I dunno... :Shrug: The Randian view of philanthropy is kind of depressing to me, since it implies that capitalists and inventors I admire, like Bill Gates, are weak in some ways because they use their wealth to help underprivileged people in other nations (in Bill's case, India). It also seems to imply that I am less than noble if I donate money to foundations that promote breast cancer or AIDS research, or to charities that help feed and educate poor children in my mother's homeland of Africa. Darn.

Bravo
10-05-2006, 06:09 PM
and i cant believe i just discovered this thread.

atlas shrugged along with the fountainhead are among my favorite books, but i dont consider myself a "randian" or an objectivist.

for one thing, i think her statement that there is "right and there is wrong, it's the people in the middle who are evil" to be one of the most ridiculous reductionist statements of modern philosophy.

although the good vs evil works fairly well in her books b/c it makes her philosophy more digestable and understandable (not so much in We the Living, my least favorite book of hers).

but here's where rand worked for me. and she really did it in a way that's helped my life.

i was always drawn to nietzsche, and rand essentially transformed his ideals into a character that a person can understand and possibly emulate (in some ways).

shockingly, both of these philosphers have fit very well into my own religious beliefs. i always believed that we were born good (or at least innocent) and that we all have the potential for greatness.

meaning that those ppl who spent their time doing illicit drugs, sex, or gambling, were wasting their God-given abilities.

what i found in rand was the same sense of the human spirit. seeing some1 like Roark struggle for his ideals, his art, and his own vision is powerful, esp. for ppl like us in the art/writing business.

it's important to see some1 struggle but still remain confident about their abilities and stay true to themselves, even if that seems like an impossible and hopeless ideal.

although, the problem w reading rand when youre too young, is that you might start to believe that you really dont need any1 else and that all you need to do is follow your own willpower and everything will be alright.

wrong.

one thing rand never did, b/c of her simplistic worldview, was show how ppl can grow and get to the level of howard roark if they werent born geniuses.

and that, i believe is to be very un-randian: to be a specialized "sponge" where you filter the good habits and good techniques of literally every1 and reject the bad.

be a selective "second-hander". maybe.

good thread erika.

:)

erika
10-05-2006, 10:57 PM
i was always drawn to nietzsche, and rand essentially transformed his ideals into a character that a person can understand and possibly emulate (in some ways).

shockingly, both of these philosphers have fit very well into my own religious beliefs. i always believed that we were born good (or at least innocent) and that we all have the potential for greatness. :)

All due respect, I totally disagree with you here. And I also admire Nietzsche despite his theological missteps. You'll have to show me the evidence that we are "born good." If you have children, you should know that babies are not born caring about anyone else. They come out of the womb completely self-obsessed and desiring nothing more than having the world cater to their needs. Empathy, IMO, is learned over time, not inborn. There is also some medical evidence to suggest this as well. (development of mirror neurons)

Realize that Lord of the Flies is one of my all-time favorite books, so you see how I lean. But really, we are not basically good. And I think when we start thinking that way, we run the greatest danger of catering to our perceived "goodness." Technically, we should see ourselves as neither good or bad, but in fact see the self for what it is, a creature of our own design. (That sounded freaking new-agey and I hate that.)

Bravo
10-05-2006, 11:52 PM
All due respect, I totally disagree with you here. And I also admire Nietzsche despite his theological missteps. You'll have to show me the evidence that we are "born good."

by being born "good" i mean humans arent prone to evil when theyre born, it's the conditions they come from which shape them. i would personally say that humans have an inbred sense of right or wrong, and that's something that we fight when we do evil acts.

there's only preliminary research on this but this is a pretty good argument here:
Wilson's the Moral Sense (http://www.amazon.com/MORAL-SENSE-James-Q-Wilson/dp/0684833328/sr=8-1/qid=1160076298/ref=pd_bbs_1/104-0398178-8891919?ie=UTF8&s=books)

he relies heavily on darwin, and essentially says that there are certain codes and rules that have become universal b/c they fit our own "selfish" interests. ie, we have an innate sense to protect our children and not murder, in order to propogate our genes.

what i was getting at, w/ the loaded phrase "innately good" was that there seems (from my POV) to be more good acts than evil. i dont see ppl commiting evil acts b/c theyre actually evil or just want to do bad things, but b/c of a host of environmental conditions.

(also, these guys here also do a fairly good job of summarizing the research:

http://www.bostonreview.net/BR30.5/saxe.html )

i think youre right in that the word "good" is somewhat useless, the better term would be "innocent", as in they have a clean slate.

i dont believe in original sin. i dont believe we're prone to evil and that we need a savior to die for us in order to enter paradise.

that's also something nietzsche and rand believe in.


If you have children, you should know that babies are not born caring about anyone else. They come out of the womb completely self-obsessed and desiring nothing more than having the world cater to their needs. Empathy, IMO, is learned over time, not inborn. There is also some medical evidence to suggest this as well. (development of mirror neurons)

that's not "evil" or "sinful". youre positioning selfish survival instincts against a sense of right or wrong. that doesnt really work.

we can say that by and large, a mother is automatically protective and loving of her child even if she originally did not want him/her. that is not something that is learned, but innate.

we can say that the vast majority of humans, even when living in horrible abusive conditions, still somehow exhibit empathy. for example, an abused child might be antisocial, but be loving and caring with a pet dog.

there are a few exceptions to this, of course, some1 that's become a pathological sociopath is a good example.


Realize that Lord of the Flies is one of my all-time favorite books, so you see how I lean. But really, we are not basically good. And I think when we start thinking that way, we run the greatest danger of catering to our perceived "goodness." Technically, we should see ourselves as neither good or bad, but in fact see the self for what it is, a creature of our own design. (That sounded freaking new-agey and I hate that.)

i actually never read of LOF. i know i should.

but from what im reading here is that youre willing to say that we are essentially "innocent" and that we become what we become b/c of ourselves (and ill add environment).

if that's your position, its totally reasonable.

my main argument and my main belief has always been against the concept of original sin/a predisposition towards evil.

great discussion though. you def. got me thinking. id say more, but i gotta run for now.

erika
10-06-2006, 02:38 AM
Original sin is self-awareness. Once we see "I" and "me" we cease to put God (or the void or Truth) first. We become the center of the world and hence, we become unsettled.

I agree that there is a moral code hardwired into all of us. However, if we naturally follow that code, why would we ever break it? If it's environment, what creates the environmental conditions but other people who have the same code in their DNA? Thus, you have yourself a dilemma. The rapist raped because he was abused, otherwise he wouldn't have done it. Why did his father abuse him if he is predisposed to following the inborn code? And so forth.

Here's the problem I think. If you say that selfishness is good (which I know Rand would), then you can label nothing bad. If killing people made Dahmer feel better, then how can you say it was bad? If you say because of the action itself (i.e. the motivation is irrelevant), then either all war is bad or all war is good (no, well WWII was worthy but Vietnam's not). I contend that motive is as important as action. Hence, selfishness taints every human action. We were born with a moral code to be sure. But once we become conscious of our own needs, we abandon morality for the sake of self-satisfaction.

Be careful appealing to evolution because nature is not kind. She is harsh. Bears eat cubs when food is sparse. They don't much care if the mother likes it. Dogs will kill another male that threatens their dominance. They don't care if he's having a bad day. Self-preservation reigns supreme in the animal kingdom. We, I believe, are a species of two natures, animal and spiritual. Consequently, we are in conflict, born into conflict with ourselves.

When I talk about not seeing yourself, I talk about it as a means to inner peace (new age crap I know). Seriously though, Rand may laud self-interest because it makes progress possible, but in reality, self-interest devours its own. The more you cater to the self, the more it demands. Soon, you'll wind up depressed as Sylvia Plath or as maniacal as Hitler. Most of us shelve our ego-centrism for the sake of others from time to time, but that is not innate. It is reasonable, but not instinctive. (Too much to say on this.)

This is where I part with Zen thought, but that's another matter. Interesting dialogue. I'm thinking about this as well.

janetbellinger
10-06-2006, 05:54 AM
In my mind, one of the greatest books of the twentieth century. Ayn Rand is brilliant, her imagery captivating and her philosophy world-changing. Can it possibly get any better?

I find her too didactic

erika
10-06-2006, 06:02 AM
She is didactic and it's why I love her. She never hides her point/message but she delivers it so deftly and IMO with such wonderful language.

Kate Thornton
10-06-2006, 05:30 PM
Turner Classic movies just showed the 1949 King Vidor "Fountainhead" (Gary Cooper, Patricia Neal - screenplay by Ayn Rand) - what a fabulous trek down memory lane. They said Frank LLoyd Wright was originally contacted to do the Howard Roark architechtural renderings, but he wanted $25K to do it and that was out of budget, so the set designer, William Kuehl, stepped up. I wish I had one of the renderings for my 1954 Cliff May house!

johnnycannuk
10-09-2006, 05:02 AM
Well, I must be one of the few around here that detests Ayn Rand - both her writting and philosphy. I tried very hard as a young man to read both "The Fountain Head" and "Atlas Shrugged" but could not. The writing was horrid. Now I could have forgiven that, had the plot been decent or the ideas been interesting (see Dan Brown). But the the idea that the poor are poor because it there own damn fault and that selfishness was a virtue struck me as repugnant.

Seemed to me that it was popular in my day with upper class white kids who needed a philisophic reason to justify their own prejudices.

As some have pointed out, socialism and communism are failures and bad, but Randian or Objectivist\Libertarian society would be equally bad and evil. They are simply un-Communists - just as mean sprited and radical as those they say they despise, just in ther other direction.

erika
10-10-2006, 03:29 PM
[quote=johnnycannuk]

Seemed to me that it was popular in my day with upper class white kids who needed a philisophic reason to justify their own prejudices.
[quote]

That is a dangerous comment, because you are then also prejudiced and make that statement to justify being so. Let me explain.

If prejudice against sloth or laziness is bad, then I assume being prejudice against selfishness or malice is also bad. If not, then prejudice isn't bad necessarily. It depends on what you're prejudiced against (e.g. stupidity, attitudes). And if that's the case, your real problem isn't white kids' prejudices. It's your own. For I have no doubt that these "kids" were prejudiced, but judging from the detachment with which you describe them, I doubt you knew them well enough to fully understand what their prejudices were. If they loved Rand, you'd know that they are opposed to sloth and favor creativity and ambition. Is that the prejudice you detest because it conflicts with your own?

estateconnection
10-11-2006, 06:46 AM
I am really enjoying this discussion. I am looking forward to reading the book. In trying to get scholarships for university, I noted that there is a huge scholarship that comes out of the Ann Rand Institute which is dedicated to her writings as well as her philosophy. Every year they dedicate a sum of money to the winner of the Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest. I confess that I was thinking about getting the Cliff Notes since it is a lot of money, but after reading this thread, I am really looking forward to reading the "whole" story!

ETA: In reading the little bits about her and ideas about charity, would she consider a scholarship charity? Would she be turning in her grave over this?

Kate Thornton
10-13-2006, 12:52 AM
I think she would consider the scholarship payment for the work of writing the essay - payment for the results of creative endeavor. No conflict there.

You'll need to read the whole thing in order to write a winning essay, I think.

estateconnection
10-13-2006, 12:57 AM
You'll need to read the whole thing in order to write a winning essay, I think.

That's for sure! With all the bits and pieces I'm reading about here, it seems that there are many different avenues this book rolls down. I am looking forward to reading the book.

Ms. Average
10-14-2006, 09:16 AM
Nice The Who quote, EstateConnection! Good luck with the essay contest and the reading. One issue that I haven't seen addressed about Rand's fiction is that of ethnicity, or ethnic diversity. If this sounds too much like a left-wing rant for some of you, I apologize and you can skip this post. The country that Rand loved so much contains people from different ethnic backgrounds, and always has, but Atlas Shrugged seems to contain white characters almost exclusively (Dagny Taggart, Hank Rearden, John Galt, Ellis Wyatt, and Ragnar I-can't-spell-his-last-name all have Caucasian features, at least). This lack of diversity kind of jumped out at me when I read the book, and it seemed a little strange. Is Rand's vision of the ideal society one where white industrialists are in power, or is the seeming lack of racial diversity in the novel just Rand's way of showing us that in an ideal society, race would be a non-issue?

magnolia42
10-14-2006, 10:02 PM
And I still remember that I was warned about the 50 or 60-page section about halfway through Atlas Shrugged that someone told me I should just skip over because it was just a long diatribe that basically represented the bare core of Ayn Rand's philosophy. But I read it anyway.

You know, I would have given you the same advice. As far as I was concerned, she had already hammered her points to death by the time I got to the 60-page radio speech. All I could think was, Jeez, we got it already. Do you think I'm stupid? Get over yourself, sweetheart.

Honestly, I felt the same way about Stephen King's, The Shining, one of the few books about which I can say I liked the movie better. He kept hammering in the metaphor of the wasp's nest over and over. I sorta felt like he was calling me stupid. But at least he wasn't preachy.

Yes, Atlas Shrugged was epic and entertaining, but it's hard to get past her agenda. What was the word? Didactic?


They are simply un-Communists - just as mean sprited and radical as those they say they despise, just in ther other direction.

I have always thought that Ayn Rand remained a slave to her Soviet upbringing throughout her entire life. She was so traumatized by Communism in her early life, that she spent all her years denying it and fighting it and embracing everything that was exactly opposite of it. It's the same kind of mentality that breeds young satanists in lands oppressed by Puritan zealots.

erika
10-16-2006, 06:23 PM
Nice The Who quote, EstateConnection! Good luck with the essay contest and the reading. One issue that I haven't seen addressed about Rand's fiction is that of ethnicity, or ethnic diversity. If this sounds too much like a left-wing rant for some of you, I apologize and you can skip this post. The country that Rand loved so much contains people from different ethnic backgrounds, and always has, but Atlas Shrugged seems to contain white characters almost exclusively (Dagny Taggart, Hank Rearden, John Galt, Ellis Wyatt, and Ragnar I-can't-spell-his-last-name all have Caucasian features, at least). This lack of diversity kind of jumped out at me when I read the book, and it seemed a little strange. Is Rand's vision of the ideal society one where white industrialists are in power, or is the seeming lack of racial diversity in the novel just Rand's way of showing us that in an ideal society, race would be a non-issue?

That's not a left-wing rant, but I'd say this in Rand's defense. She was white and at the time she wrote the book, industry was dominated exclusiviely by white men. For her to have a strong woman character was impressive actually. In that case, I'd consider her lack of ethnic diversity appropriate and more realistic.

I don't deal much with black/white issues in my writing because I'm not black and quite frankly, don't get everyone else's obsession with race. To me, if someone's black, so what? Likewise, I'm sure Rand's world in Atlas was mult-cultural, but I don't think she really cared about emphasizing that. And what a world that would be, if we all focused less on group (ethnic) labeling and more on ideas.

Gary
10-17-2006, 06:36 AM
That's not a left-wing rant, but I'd say this in Rand's defense. She was white and at the time she wrote the book, industry was dominated exclusiviely by white men. For her to have a strong woman character was impressive actually. In that case, I'd consider her lack of ethnic diversity appropriate and more realistic.

I don't deal much with black/white issues in my writing because I'm not black and quite frankly, don't get everyone else's obsession with race. To me, if someone's black, so what? Likewise, I'm sure Rand's world in Atlas was mult-cultural, but I don't think she really cared about emphasizing that. And what a world that would be, if we all focused less on group (ethnic) labeling and more on ideas.

Thank you! When I respond to a poll and even the census, I refuse to disclose my race. When asked, I tell them I am an American.

Bravo
10-17-2006, 07:06 PM
Thank you! When I respond to a poll and even the census, I refuse to disclose my race. When asked, I tell them I am an American.

maybe....b/c youre white? ;)

Gary
10-17-2006, 11:28 PM
maybe....b/c youre white? ;)

No, it's because race shouldn't matter in the eyes of the law. It's only important to those who believe they have been chosen to redistribute wealth.

Just for the record, I'm mixed, but the mix is none of your business, nor is it the business of government.

Bravo
10-17-2006, 11:54 PM
i agree that it shouldnt matter in the eyes of the law. and in a perfect system, we'd all just say "american citizen" on a census form.

but it helps in determing the various income levels and social disparity w/in our country, a disparity that for a multitude of reasons is evident along racial lines.

Dan A Lewis
10-18-2006, 11:54 AM
Count me as another denigrator. Rand's books are like cowboy westerns; good things happen to good people, while bad things happen to bad people. It's formulaic. And sure, it's interesting once, in the way that Piers Anthony's Steppe sketches out Central Asian history with spaceships.

When you scratch below the surface of the novels, there's nothing left. Everything is at the surface. So where is the messiness of life in its contradictions? When are the books going to grow and change as you grow and change?

Philosophically, Rand failed to appreciate the importance of self-sacrifice, humility, grace. She didn't live in a real world where people of great ability do great evil. She treated martyrs as if they were suicides. She saw enlightened self-interest as absolute (technically, as the only ethical good) and failed to deal with the dark side of selfishness (tribalism and genocide come to mind).

I don't hate the books, but I disagree with them and they certainly have their limitations.

JaneyJay
10-23-2006, 07:04 AM
I have been following this thread and I know there are a lot of differing opinions on Rand's work. This got me interested since I've never read anything by Rand. I went to the book store and I got overzealous since I don't have anything by Rand and I ended up buying six: Atlas Shrugged, The Fountainhead, Anthem, Philosophy: Who Needs It, We The Living and The Virtue of Selfishness--gonna be a lot of laughs around my house ;). So obviously I won't read them all at once, but any suggestions on which book to start with in this Randian Orgy?

Bravo
10-28-2006, 09:41 PM
So obviously I won't read them all at once, but any suggestions on which book to start with in this Randian Orgy?

the fountainhead.

Tienci
10-28-2006, 10:10 PM
...As far as I was concerned, she had already hammered her points to death by the time I got to the 60-page radio speech. All I could think was, Jeez, we got it already.

That's how I felt too, but I think that was my only (main?) gripe. I absolutely loved this book and started reading it again right after I finished it (got halfway through the second time though). Overall, it was quite entertaining.

brutus
10-31-2006, 07:25 PM
m

erika
10-31-2006, 07:32 PM
Seems like a no-brainer. She'd say we all have choices and are free to choose which direction to take. But are human beings inherently selfish? And if so, are we really free? So how can you really villify the non-producers?

I'm wondering how Ayn Rand would address human nature and the free will conundrum. I'm sure some of you are more familiar with Objectivisim than I and would like to know what you think.

James81
07-14-2008, 05:36 PM
Anybody ever read this?

I am currently reading it now, and I am about 2/3 of the way through it.

I think this is one of the most powerful books I've ever read thus far. In fact, I've never read a book where I feel like the reading itself is not only an experience, but that by reading it I feel like there are things changing about me and who I am and that I am actually putting stuff in me that is solid and strong.

Never had a book do that for me before, and I am not even finished it yet.

I'm just at the 3rd Part of the book now and the scope of this book is fantastic. The writing is raw and real and the ideas are amazing. In fact, it's amazing how much a man can learn on BEING a man from this book...which is ironic because it's written by a woman. lol

Plus, if I remember right, didn't a whole Philosophy come out of this book? Objectivism or something like that?

For those who've read this, what'd you think of it?

For those who haven't, put it on your list. :D

Gary
07-15-2008, 01:55 AM
I read it many years ago, and while I thought the style was rather heavy, I loved the story.

kuwisdelu
07-15-2008, 02:20 AM
Yeah, Ayn Rand came up with a philosophy called Objectivism, which she's inserted into all of her books, more or less. Not the biggest fan of Objectivism--some really good ideas, but too cold and inhuman for my taste--but I liked this book. Great story. You have my permission to skip the 50-page radio speech.

I can't wait for the movie (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0480239/) they've recently cast. Angelina Jolie as Dagny Taggart? Hot. I can see Hugh Jackman as Hank Rearden, but I have no idea who they'll pick.

TerzaRima
07-15-2008, 03:00 AM
For those who've read this, what'd you think of it?

Not to be the bad fairy at the christening, but I didn't like it at all. It read more like a manifesto than a novel. While her thoughts about altruism were bracing when I first read them, the constant undertone of "screw those weaker than me" got old.

Plus, the sex scenes were terribly grim--they read more like fights IIRC, but I can see that appealing to someone with Jolie's persona.

benbradley
07-15-2008, 03:28 AM
Anybody ever read this?

I am currently reading it now, and I am about 2/3 of the way through it.

I think this is one of the most powerful books I've ever read thus far. In fact, I've never read a book where I feel like the reading itself is not only an experience, but that by reading it I feel like there are things changing about me and who I am and that I am actually putting stuff in me that is solid and strong.

Never had a book do that for me before, and I am not even finished it yet.

I'm just at the 3rd Part of the book now and the scope of this book is fantastic. The writing is raw and real and the ideas are amazing. In fact, it's amazing how much a man can learn on BEING a man from this book...which is ironic because it's written by a woman. lol

Plus, if I remember right, didn't a whole Philosophy come out of this book? Objectivism or something like that?

For those who've read this, what'd you think of it?

For those who haven't, put it on your list. :D
I have heard SO MUCH about it that I FEEL like I've read it. I've recently read the first 50 pages or so (that's 1/6th of most books, but less than 1/20th of THIS one), and the President of the nationwide railroad whose steel rail supplier is a year late on delivery, causing great problems for the rail company and giving an edge to a competitor, this president still "believes" in this supplier ... well, that's the first and most blatant of several hard-to-believe characters and situations, at least so far...This could be a separate thread, perhaps we've had it already, "How in the world did THAT author get published?"

Anyway, Rand's ideas definitely have an audience, and apparently that's how her books have sold so well, even if they've got "stuff" like I just described in them.

But yes, I've heard about Objectivism. There are Objectivist groups around that adhere "strongly" to Rand's philosophies. From what I know of it (admittedly not a whole lot), it's rather strongly related to libertarianism and atheism.

I recently joined this group: http://fellowshipofreason.com - it's a fairly nice group of "free thinkers", and the founder based it only "somewhat" on Objectivism, and Rand's name doesn't come up TOO often... anyway, the founder of that group is there at every "FORum" )monthly meeting). I've read his book "Fellowship of Reason," and despite it being self-published I think it's pretty good, at least better than what I've read from Rand so far (though it may not be fair comparing Cowen's non-fiction to Rand's fiction).

James81
07-15-2008, 04:40 PM
Yeah, Ayn Rand came up with a philosophy called Objectivism, which she's inserted into all of her books, more or less. Not the biggest fan of Objectivism--some really good ideas, but too cold and inhuman for my taste--but I liked this book. Great story. You have my permission to skip the 50-page radio speech.

I can't wait for the movie (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0480239/) they've recently cast. Angelina Jolie as Dagny Taggart? Hot. I can see Hugh Jackman as Hank Rearden, but I have no idea who they'll pick.

The thought of Jolie as Dagny Taggart is hot as hell, and I think that she could pull it off.

But the idea that they are going to take a thousand page book and whittle it down to a 2 hour movie? I predict massive failure.

Now, if they were going to do a mini-series like they did with the North and the South (John Jakes), THAT would be great. But they are going to miss out on so much by making one movie out of it.


I have heard SO MUCH about it that I FEEL like I've read it. I've recently read the first 50 pages or so (that's 1/6th of most books, but less than 1/20th of THIS one), and the President of the nationwide railroad whose steel rail supplier is a year late on delivery, causing great problems for the rail company and giving an edge to a competitor, this president still "believes" in this supplier ... well, that's the first and most blatant of several hard-to-believe characters and situations, at least so far...This could be a separate thread, perhaps we've had it already, "How in the world did THAT author get published?"




You read 50 pages and think you have any idea of what the premise of this book is? lol

Try reading 500 pages and getting back to us and maybe you'll understand WHY that stuff happened.

sheadakota
07-15-2008, 05:08 PM
Not to be the bad fairy at the christening, but I didn't like it at all. It read more like a manifesto than a novel. While her thoughts about altruism were bracing when I first read them, the constant undertone of "screw those weaker than me" got old.

Plus, the sex scenes were terribly grim--they read more like fights IIRC, but I can see that appealing to someone with Jolie's persona.
I have to agree with TerzaRima on this- I tried to get through this several times in high school and couldn'r finsh it due to the heavy handness of it, finally actually forced myself to finish it as an adult- just a few weeks ago- Perhaps it is just Rand's style but I still didn't like it I felt depressed whe I finished it- not how I want to feel when I finish a book-

James81
07-15-2008, 05:18 PM
I have to agree with TerzaRima on this- I tried to get through this several times in high school and couldn'r finsh it due to the heavy handness of it, finally actually forced myself to finish it as an adult- just a few weeks ago- Perhaps it is just Rand's style but I still didn't like it I felt depressed whe I finished it- not how I want to feel when I finish a book-

I can understand that. I absolutely LOVE this book, but I can understand why some people would hate it. I think it really is one of those books that you either love or you hate.

I think the thing for me is the honesty of the book. There is a scene where "Hank" tells Dagny that he doesn't love her, he's going to treat her like an object, and that he expects her to just be there everytime he has his "animal desire" for her. She in turn answers him by saying "Hey, you know, I know you have that desire" and that she is his for the taking and that she expects nothing but sex when he wants it and blah blah blah. Then, the last scene of that section is absolutely VIOLENT love-making between the two of them.

I laughed for about 10 minutes at that. I know it seemed "misogynistic" by our society's standards, but I REALLY loved the fact that two characters were just straight up honest with each other like that.

And knowing that scene, I really want to see Jolie do that one now that you mention it. :tongue

Albedo
07-15-2008, 05:31 PM
Liked Atlas Shrugged? Now read the sequel (http://www.angryflower.com/atlass.gif). :)

maxmordon
07-15-2008, 08:49 PM
Liked Atlas Shrugged? Now read the sequel (http://www.angryflower.com/atlass.gif). :)

Hehehe, loved that

josephwise
07-15-2008, 11:56 PM
I thought the story was very well conceived, but poorly executed. Philosophical criticisms aside, there were many minor characters included from time to time merely to prove the author's points, and as such they were less than human and could not function to prove the author's points at all. These segments (such as the poor people with the pot boiling-over on the stove) were for me very irksome failures.

There were also quite a few clumsy scenes, the most notable being the train ride Dagney and Hank took once the bridge was complete. People of skill and genius ("creators"), such as they were, would not likely marvel at the wonders they have created, as having conceived them should already have established absolute confidence. Yet here we have a long-winded and flowery passage about how exhilarating it was for them to have triumphed. This is out of character: both of them would have considered their moment of triumph to have occurred long before the train ride. I suspect they more likely would have spent that ride thinking about their next projects.

Factors like that definitely contribute to the heavy handed feel. I consider it inelegance. Which is a shame considering how many elegant turns-of-phrase Rand employed in its making.

benbradley
07-16-2008, 12:22 AM
The thought of Jolie as Dagny Taggart is hot as hell, and I think that she could pull it off.

But the idea that they are going to take a thousand page book and whittle it down to a 2 hour movie? I predict massive failure.

Now, if they were going to do a mini-series like they did with the North and the South (John Jakes), THAT would be great. But they are going to miss out on so much by making one movie out of it.



You read 50 pages and think you have any idea of what the premise of this book is? lol

Try reading 500 pages and getting back to us and maybe you'll understand WHY that stuff happened.
Okay, that President has lead poisining or some other mental deficiency, or he's getting paid off big bucks under-the-table by Reardon to run his own company into the ground, or whatever.

I know the book is all about money, and while I'm strongly pro-capitalism myself and WANT to like the book, I'm finding a hard time doing so.

James81
07-16-2008, 12:31 AM
Okay, that President has lead poisining or some other mental deficiency, or he's getting paid off big bucks under-the-table by Reardon to run his own company into the ground, or whatever.

I know the book is all about money, and while I'm strongly pro-capitalism myself and WANT to like the book, I'm finding a hard time doing so.

The book isn't all about money at all.

The book, or at least as I am interpretting it as I read it, is more about the murder of a man's spirit.

freezer burned
07-28-2008, 02:45 PM
I think this is one of the most powerful books I've ever read thus far. In fact, I've never read a book where I feel like the reading itself is not only an experience, but that by reading it I feel like there are things changing about me and who I am and that I am actually putting stuff in me that is solid and strong.

Never had a book do that for me before, and I am not even finished it yet.
Hermann Hesse's Steppenwolf did that to me.

Plus, if I remember right, didn't a whole Philosophy come out of this book? Objectivism or something like that?
Artists should leave philosophy to the philosophers and philosophers should leave art to the artists. Ayn Rand created a pseudophilosophy called Objectivism.

KTC
07-28-2008, 02:50 PM
This book is on my once-a-year reading list. I love it. I think Angelina Jolie as Dagny Taggart would be great casting.

My only problem with the book is the coldness. They seem a bit perfect. I guess that's why I can see Angelina playing Dagny. Otherwise...I just love the book.

CBumpkin
07-28-2008, 02:56 PM
I'll be the wet blanket, I guess. Gak! I HATED this book!

KTC
07-28-2008, 03:00 PM
Hey man...to each his own. I think others said they weren't thrilled with it either, though...you'll have to share that blanket. (-;

Shar-Jan
07-29-2008, 01:50 AM
Atlas Shrugged is completely devoid of any merit, literary or political.

Lusty_Goat
07-29-2008, 01:57 AM
I know that feeling. I had the same thing when reading The Fountainhead. Dont worry. It will wear off a week later. Her ideas dont stick. Just shower with a Marx essay... you'll be fine.

Shar-Jan
07-29-2008, 02:17 AM
I'm not reading 30,000 pages or whatever awkward, poorly structured rubbish for a political 'ideology' that is better presented in the video game Bioshock. (the game makes the correct assumption that any society based on her philosophies would fall to pieces almost immediatley)

How long is the speech at the end of Atlas Shrugged anyway? 40-50 pages?

James81
07-30-2008, 02:33 AM
^We get it dude, you didn't like it.

Neat.

Don
08-01-2008, 06:01 PM
Atlas Shrugged is sort of a litmus test. The Cuffy Meigs, Lillian Reardons, Wesley Mooches, Bertram Scudders and James Taggarts of the world detest the novel. The Hank Reardons, Eddie Willers, and Dagny Taggarts of the world think it's great.

Anyone who can read this book without seeing the root rot of modern society, is probably in the first group. As a novel it's not bad; as an argument for sanity, it's an earth-shaking experience for those in the second group.

Marian Perera
08-01-2008, 06:11 PM
Atlas Shrugged is sort of a litmus test. The Cuffy Meigs, Lillian Reardons, Wesley Mooches, Bertram Scudders and James Taggarts of the world detest the novel. The Hank Reardons, Eddie Willers, and Dagny Taggarts of the world think it's great.

What if you enjoy some parts of it but don't like other parts?

James81
08-01-2008, 06:37 PM
What if you enjoy some parts of it but don't like other parts?

That would make you a Franseco de'Arconia.

Don
08-01-2008, 06:40 PM
What if you enjoy some parts of it but don't like other parts?
Then you're probably reading it with an open mind. :) There were parts I didn't care for, but that didn't change it's impact on me overall when I first read it.

Tienci
08-10-2008, 03:28 AM
I think this is one of the most powerful books I've ever read thus far. In fact, I've never read a book where I feel like the reading itself is not only an experience, but that by reading it I feel like there are things changing about me and who I am and that I am actually putting stuff in me that is solid and strong.

Never had a book do that for me before...

I felt the exact same way about "Atlas Shrugged" the first time I read it, leading me to begin re-rereading it right away because I loved the world she created in the movers and shakers of it. It's still one of my top favorites, in fact, my favorite book in a way- but not for its literary merit. It's a book I can see myself re-reading again and again throughout the years because it's so inspirational for the leading/active spirit.

One of my favorite quotes come from this book as well:

"Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desire can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it is yours."

maxmordon
08-10-2008, 05:05 AM
Hope that you people don't mind my signature

blacbird
08-10-2008, 08:56 AM
One of my favorite quotes come from this book as well:

"Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desire can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it is yours."

Wordy. Neil Young has said it far more concisely:

"It's better to burn out than it is to rust. Rust never sleeps."

caw

nerds
08-10-2008, 04:57 PM
In my opinion much too wordy, too ego-driven, too condescendingly intent on drilling things into our empty little heads. A patronizing pain in the ass to get through.

Best part of the book is its title.

Jerry Cornelius
03-22-2009, 04:45 AM
I agree with Dorothy Parker. This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly.

It should be thrown with great force.

Zoombie
03-22-2009, 05:54 AM
There are parts that are good.

There are parts that are bad.

BUT...for as much as I despise the writing style, I LOVE this singular fact...

This book gave us Bioshock.

http://blogs.creativeloafing.com/dailyloaf/files/2009/01/bioshock_06.jpg

Mr. Anonymous
03-22-2009, 07:24 AM
Hermann Hesse's Steppenwolf did that to me.

Artists should leave philosophy to the philosophers and philosophers should leave art to the artists. Ayn Rand created a pseudophilosophy called Objectivism.

Haven't read Atlas Shrugged (heard a lot about it though), but I felt I had to comment on this statement. I couldn't disagree more. To my mind, authors are philosophers for the masses. Every truly great story, whether in a game or a movie or a book, does more than just entertain. It teaches us. It shatters the boundaries we've erected in our minds. It takes us to new places. And it's a lot easier to swallow (and often times more relevant) than some guy's dissertation.

Chris Huff
03-22-2009, 09:27 AM
Anybody ever read this?

I have not read this novel. I skipped it do dive head first into the philosophy itself, rather than read the 1000 odd pages of fiction that are essentially a manifesto for her philosophy. As such I can't say word one about the plot, characters, or merit of the novel.

I can speak about the philosophy though. Someone very smart said that to hold an idea in your head and understand it, without believing in it or accepting it as the truth, is what it means to be intelligent. I think it was Joseph Campbell, and I'm sure I butchered the quote.

Study this philosophy, it is interesting. But it has also been rejected by all modern philosophers (except Randians) as absurd on its face. There are actual case studies of mental illness spiking in these people because the philosophy teaches them to hold such diametrically opposed point-of-view about the world.

If you know anything of philosophy or logic, a study of "The Virtue of Selfishness" is enough. Read through that, there are a few interesting ideas, then when you study the later works of her philosophy, many of her conclusions are contradicted later, by her, and those who came after her. The troubling part is, that as this has become essentially a religion, her followers are taught to hold both view points, even when they contradict. And forget thinking for yourself. If you study this philosophy enough to think you can reach your own conclusions about anything... don't tell anyone in the community because you'll be ostracized and wrong.

For example: in the Virtue of Selfishness, there are repeated arguments for the sanctity of life (yes, even fetuses), but Randians are pro-choice.

MumblingSage
03-22-2009, 06:38 PM
I love Ayn Rand's prose insanely. I love about half the characters insanely, am irritated by the other half (mostly minor ones) and hate the characters I'm supposed to hate. So far, so good.

I can't stand Ayn Rand's views of women. Can't. Stand. Them.

I skipped most of the John Galt speech. I think I liked Frisco and Rearden better than John Galt and Dagny (probably because Dagny was a woman, see above paragraph).

And the ending of the book horrified me. Probably in a good way, since I wasn't supposed to like what happened to the word under the collectivists, but I wasn't able to sleep that night.

All in all, I'd give it a 10/10 for a reading experiance, but I wouldn't list Atlas Shrugged as one of the Books to Live Your Life By. Especially if you have ovaries.

James81
03-22-2009, 09:15 PM
I love Ayn Rand's prose insanely. I love about half the characters insanely, am irritated by the other half (mostly minor ones) and hate the characters I'm supposed to hate. So far, so good.

I can't stand Ayn Rand's views of women. Can't. Stand. Them.

I skipped most of the John Galt speech. I think I liked Frisco and Rearden better than John Galt and Dagny (probably because Dagny was a woman, see above paragraph).

And the ending of the book horrified me. Probably in a good way, since I wasn't supposed to like what happened to the word under the collectivists, but I wasn't able to sleep that night.

All in all, I'd give it a 10/10 for a reading experiance, but I wouldn't list Atlas Shrugged as one of the Books to Live Your Life By. Especially if you have ovaries.

What about her views of women can't you stand? (it's been a while since I read this book and I can't think of what you mean)

The character of Dagny was probably unrealistic of most women, but it was a very good portrayal for the kind of woman women should probably strive to be.

Jerry Cornelius
03-23-2009, 01:38 AM
I can't stand Ayn Rand's views of women. Can't. Stand. Them.

They're pretty funny. As long as you find a female writer actually promoting women as voluntary sex-slaves hilarious. In fact, a great deal of this book is a laugh, in a so-bad-it's-good way.


I skipped most of the John Galt speech. I think I liked Frisco and Rearden better than John Galt and Dagny (probably because Dagny was a woman, see above paragraph).

This, I think, is the problem with the proposed film adaptation. No normal person will be able to stand the John Galt speech, and no Rand fanatic will tolerate any of it being cut out.

JamieB
03-23-2009, 02:21 AM
Who is John Galt? We should be asking ourselves that question. ;)

Love this book. Speaks volumes!

Zoombie
03-23-2009, 02:54 AM
I never "got" Rand's view of women...

Like...what the heck are they supposed to be? Sex slaves? independent? Independent sex slaves?

James81
03-23-2009, 05:17 AM
Sex slaves? did we read the same book? What the hell?

Zoombie
03-23-2009, 05:35 AM
This is an example of how two people can read the same book and find fifteen different things...

SPMiller
03-23-2009, 07:34 PM
I first read this at age seventeen and thought it was okay. As I got older, I realized the philosophy/ethics that Rand pushed aren't designed for the real world. I've been a liberal for a while now and haven't looked back.

Atlas Shrugged doesn't offer anything besides its ideas, so that leaves me with nothing else to say.

vrabinec
04-23-2009, 10:12 PM
the constant undertone of "screw those weaker than me" got old. .

It's not "screw those weaker than me", it's "screw those lazier than me". Any opposition to that?

vrabinec
04-23-2009, 10:16 PM
I know that feeling. I had the same thing when reading The Fountainhead. Dont worry. It will wear off a week later. Her ideas dont stick. Just shower with a Marx essay... you'll be fine.

As a former citizen of Czechoslovakia, which felt the heavy hand of what Marx sowed when the Russians ran their tanks in, I just threw up in my mouth a bit. Marx, eh? Each to his needs instead of each to his ability? Screw that.

vrabinec
04-23-2009, 10:23 PM
I can't stand Ayn Rand's views of women. Can't. Stand. Them.

She thinks women should be independent thinkers, strive to be the best they can be at whatever they set their minds to, wether it's an engineer or mother. Which part do you object to?

vrabinec
04-23-2009, 10:26 PM
They're pretty funny. As long as you find a female writer actually promoting women as voluntary sex-slaves hilarious. In fact, a great deal of this book is a laugh, in a so-bad-it's-good way.

A "voluntary sex-slave" is impossible. She says women should enjoy sex. Any objection?

Delhomeboy
04-23-2009, 10:35 PM
Was I reading the same book? I thought the thing was terrible...

Mr. Anonymous
04-24-2009, 02:30 AM
As a former citizen of Czechoslovakia, which felt the heavy hand of what Marx sowed when the Russians ran their tanks in, I just threw up in my mouth a bit. Marx, eh? Each to his needs instead of each to his ability? Screw that.

All due respect, but if you honestly think what the Soviets, or the Chinese, or the Cubans, or the North Koreans did/have done/continue to do was in any way resembling what Marx had in mind, then you quite simply haven't read Marx.

I'd also like to point out that the Russians themselves were arguably better off under "socialism" than the capitalism and "free political system" they have now. But that's getting too much off topic.

Delhomeboy
04-24-2009, 02:37 AM
All due respect, but if you honestly think what the Soviets, or the Chinese, or the Cubans, or the North Koreans did/have done/continue to do was in any way resembling what Marx had in mind, then you quite simply haven't read Marx.

I'd also like to point out that the Russians themselves were arguably better off under "socialism" than the capitalism and "free political system" they have now. But that's getting too much off topic.

The system the Russinas have now is neither capitalist nor politically free. Putin has succeeded in rocketing that place straight back to 1954.

Mr. Anonymous
04-24-2009, 07:51 AM
The system the Russinas have now is neither capitalist nor politically free. Putin has succeeded in rocketing that place straight back to 1954.

In the days of the Soviet Union, you could have all the money in the world but you couldn't buy anything. Nowadays you can buy anything, you just need all the money in the world. lol. Say what you want, call it what you want, but whatever it is, it's certainly much closer to capitalism than to socialism.

As for political freedom, I agree with you. That's why I put free political system in quotes.

Delhomeboy
04-24-2009, 08:04 PM
In the days of the Soviet Union, you could have all the money in the world but you couldn't buy anything. Nowadays you can buy anything, you just need all the money in the world. lol. Say what you want, call it what you want, but whatever it is, it's certainly much closer to capitalism than to socialism.


You need all the money in the world, AND, all the money Russia is in the hands of, like, six people. Most of them former KGB agents...

You know what? Let's just say the place is screwed up and leave it at that lol.

Ketzel
04-24-2009, 11:53 PM
I just finished re-reading Atlas Shrugged in preparation for a class, and I think it is pretty darn obvious what is not likeable in Rand's view of women as expressed in the novel (and elsewhere.)

Example one: The party scene where Dagny wears a diamond bracelet and Rand says, "the diamond band gave her the most feminine of all aspects: the look of being chained."

Example two: Reardon is admiring Dagny as she poses for him half-dressed because he likes the contrast between "the railroad executive who was a woman he owned."

(Rand is very into expressing the relationship between man and woman as a proprietary one, and the "true" woman wants to be "owned." Or, as Dagny put it in the scene where Francisco takes her virginity, "Don't ask me for it - oh don't ask me - do it!" She also describes herself to Reardon as "a luxury object that you've paid for long ago." There are many examples of this scattered throughout the novel.)

Example three: In the luridly over-written first sexual encounter between Dagny and the heroic John Galt, in addition to all the possession imagery, Rand adds another nice touch - violence. A real woman likes it when a man throws her on the ground, clonks her in the head and bites her "viciously."

In short, Rand advocates that for a woman to be truly fulfilled, regardless of how powerful or accomplished she is, she has to be in an extremely submissive relationship to a dominant man.

Femininity = Chained? Yikes! Not hard to understand why people would find this offensive.

vrabinec
04-27-2009, 08:37 PM
(Rand is very into expressing the relationship between man and woman as a proprietary one, and the "true" woman wants to be "owned." Or, as Dagny put it in the scene where Francisco takes her virginity, "Don't ask me for it - oh don't ask me - do it!"

These are all variations of the same thing. It's her preference to be "taken" by a powerful man rather than having the virginity begged for by some sappy, overly sensetive art major who weeps when his love interest gives him a dissapproving glance. And you're missing all the parts where she claims ownership of the men she "wins". It's all about the contest of wooing the best mate for yourself that you can get. I critique some erotica in return for having my stuff critiqued, and this is stuff that's written by women for women and it sells. The male MC is almost NEVER some wimp in need of coddling. He's a guy who comes along, sees the female MC, likes what he sees, and goes and gets it. Even when the male MC is shy, he's always a diamond in the rough and knows what he wants underneath.

KCathy
04-27-2009, 09:10 PM
I know exactly what James means about it being life-changing in some ways. There were parts of it that simply made me want to be a better person. At the end of the book, when it becomes more and more obvious what Rand was espousing, I disagreed with her philosophy but was still absolutely blown away by how powerfully she had made her point. I remember thinking I would be willing to spend my life improving my writing if I could someday hope to influence readers like she had influenced me--and I disagreed with her!

Also, whatever you think about Objectivism and whether or not fiction writers should promote a philosophy, she certainly has all of us talking about a ludicrous ideology decades after it would otherwise have been laughed out of town.

scottishpunk
04-27-2009, 11:50 PM
I agree with everyone who found the worldview presented in this book as "cold." I'm generally pretty conservative, but when I read this book (As I exited high school) and saw the logical outcomes of conservative economic thinking applied throughout life, it struck me as, not only harsh, but immoral. The good guys in the story are those who look out only for number 1 and the bad guys are the ones who give selflessly to others. (These are broad generalizations, I know... but Ayn Rand extolls selfishness.) What's up with that? That strikes me as the opposite of who I want to be.

That said, I do agree that those who are lazy do not deserve handouts and that those who work hard have a right to what they earn.

These days I'm pretty middle-ground on many political issues. I consider myself mostly apathetic, I guess.

Ketzel
04-28-2009, 01:14 AM
I critique some erotica in return for having my stuff critiqued, and this is stuff that's written by women for women and it sells. The male MC is almost NEVER some wimp in need of coddling. He's a guy who comes along, sees the female MC, likes what he sees, and goes and gets it.

Yeah, rape fantasy sells to some women. But the point is that's fantasy. Rand seriously advocated for the dominant male, submissive female interaction as the appropriate relationship for men and women in accordance with her Objectivist philosophy. That's what's offensive.

Jerry Cornelius
05-04-2009, 04:25 PM
A "voluntary sex-slave" is impossible. She says women should enjoy sex. Any objection?

A voluntary sex slave is not impossible. A slave does not have to be held against their will.

Her women aren't fulfilled until they subjugate themselves to a "Great Man." That's my objection.

Oh, and the prose is dreadful, right from the first page.

nighttimer
08-03-2009, 11:29 AM
My son wants to read Atlas Shrugged for an essay contest sponsored by The Ayn Rand Institute. The problem for him is going to be the essay is due by September 17 and at over 1300 pages Atlas Shrugged is by no means "light reading."

I fear my son has chosen a book waaay over his head. :e2drown:

I haven't read the book since I was in college and even then it was something I approached as a chore to get through instead of a pleasure to read. There are great books and there are long books and Atlas Shrugged is a very long book that has become great over the passage of time. I consider it to be in that pantheon of works which are admired more than they are read.

Then again, I feel the same way about all the Toni Morrison novels my wife owns.

STKlingaman
08-03-2009, 01:27 PM
I liked it, but didn't read the
40 page speech at the end of the
book. Felt like it was just a recap
of what she'd already written.

Her ideas, got her published, and
I believe she sold a few copies of the
book and others.

Try pleasing all the people and know
what you are?
A. a politician
B. a liar
C. a fool
D. insane
E. all of the above

DavidZahir
08-05-2009, 07:29 PM
I have to preface this with the statement that Ayn Rand saved my life. When in my teens and deeply depressed, not least because of being gifted in a school system that institutionally disapproved of such on top of being extremely lonely and neurotic on top of all the problems inherent in the protracted emotional puberty that is the norm in our society--I read her novella Anthem.

Then I read it again and again and again. It was a psychic injection of anti-depressants, the emotional equivalent of suddenly elevated blood sugar. Reading that work did much to let me survive.

Having said that--and having read all of Rand's fiction and much of her non-fiction--I must say that Rand's philosophy is seriously flawed. Part of that is tone. She did not seek to persuade, but to convert. Her way was not to question anyone else's ideas but to condemn, vilify and mock. Likewise, she possessed little self-knowledge and projected her own tastes onto the world, insisting that approach things (even deeply personal matters as sexuality or taste in music) in any way other than her own was some brand of Evil.

Frankly, I think many of her ideas are inherently flawed to say the least. She seemed to have little understanding of nuance, was far from an expert on many subjects about which she issued edicts, and made sweeping judgments with a very broad brush.

Which is not say she wasn't brilliant (she was), that at her best her fiction is not riveting (it most certainly can be), that she wasn't a startling and original artist (again, she very much was).

But her personality infused her philosophy, and most of her adherents seem to have embraced the most problematical of her tendencies as holy writ. For example, Objectivists in general like to accuse others of "irreducable evil" as in "a concept or belief that cannot be advocated without the advocate acting from an immoral motive." Now, this frankly is nonsense. Human beings are more complex than that, by a couple of orders of magnitude. More, it is a tool to condemn rather than understand, to alienate rather than teach, to feed vanity rather than arrive at any useful truth or policy. Rand herself never saw this. Her "intellectual heir" Leonard Peikoff (frankly, an intellectual pygmy IMHO) would never question it. Most Objectivists that I know find in the Movement an excuse for calling themselves the Uberman. No matter how sterile their actual achievements, they identify with Howard Roark, with John Galt, with Francisco d'Anconia. How many think of themselves as Cheryl Taggart or Eddie Willers? For that matter, how many exhibit the trait so common in Rand's heroes of feeling pride in doing simple, honest work even if menial?

At heart, Objectivism envisions a society that can only work if the vast majority are Objectivists -- a futile hope. Rand's ideas in their fundamentals have some real value. They certainly are worthy of discussion. Sadly, those who consider themselves Missionaries (I'm not kidding--these people try to settle arguments by looking up what Rand said, i.e. an argument from authority) of her ideology for the most part discourage actual discussion or debate. This is a cue they picked up from Rand herself.

Rand ended her life so hyper-critical of the world she found it impossible to simply read a book, driven to rage and distraction every single time anyone else made a "mistake." Her bout with lung cancer began with her telling a doctor that all those statistics about smoking were meaningless -- but when the diagnosis came in she put out her cigarette and quit cold turkey on the spot (methinks very few of her adherents would have that kind of courage and strength-of-will). The less said about the train wreck of her personal life, the better.

But again -- let us not forget that at her best she was a extremely powerful and moving author. She's not for everyone (this is a concept she would probably have trouble with) but at her best she reaches right into some people's hearts and souls, lighting a fire of hope and joy. No small feat. Tragically, her artistic impulses came to be short-circuited by her intellect. The opening of Book Four of The Fountainhead -- a passage nearly every fan of the novel mentions with praise and fervor -- she regarded as a silly piece of self-indulgence. She did not trust her intuition, so never learned how to use it, to wield it, to mine it. So, in time, she lost contact with it.

I do not dismiss Ayn Rand or her works. Nor do I encourage others to do so. But, like everything, take it with a grain of salt and eyes open. She did not have all the answers. No one does. But she does ask important questions, and some of her answers have the ring of truth while others are very worthwhile to consider. Just don't make a doctrine out of her words.

Un-clicking my soapbox icon now... :Soapbox:

Romantic Heretic
08-06-2009, 02:34 AM
Of course Rand's work reads like a Marxist tract. It is a Marxist tract.

Rand grew up in the Soviet Union and so was taught the Marxist 'philosophy' in depth. Then when she moved to the West she inverted it. She became the Marxist equivalent of a Satanist. She accepts the theology but what is bad in the original becomes good in her 'reworking' of it.

She agrees with the Marxists on how capitalism works and she thinks that it working that way is the best way the world could work.

I don't care much for Marx and I don't care much for Rand as both advance world views that must come about no matter who gets hurt.

Other people have noted how Ms. Rand was trying to deal with her sexually submissive nature in her prose so I won't go into that.

Ultimately, Ms. Rand is used as an excuse for people to do what they want to do when they want to do it.

Oh? The book? I should comment on the book. It sucked. Too big and badly in need of an editor.

Zoombie
08-06-2009, 03:28 AM
My friend, Sam the Objectavist, and his political foe, Alex the Commy, both tell me how wonderful Ayn Rand's characters are.

I tell them that they would not know a good character if it bit them in the ass.

Ayn Rand's characters have less depth than a spoon. They're not even two dimensional. They are one dimensional, bland, samey, caricatured fuckheads.

I hate her writing with a firy passion. Her ideas? Meh. Some of them are okay, others are not-so-okay.

But her writing sucks. Sucks sucks sucks sucks.

phantom000
01-13-2017, 06:51 AM
I am trying to make up my mind if i should read this one or not. I have read some excerpts and they are enough to send me into an angry rant...but maybe I should not judge a book by a just a couple pages.

What say you?

MaeZe
01-13-2017, 07:07 AM
It's not well written. It preaches Ayn Rand's ideas more than it is a good story.

Just my opinion.

mccardey
01-13-2017, 07:07 AM
Oh god - there's so much to get outraged about now, I'd probably save myself for Jan 20. But if you have rants to spare, yes, why not read it?

BenPanced
01-13-2017, 08:18 AM
If it turns out you don't like it and throw it against the wall, be prepared for some extensive and expensive wall repairs.

Alessandra Kelley
01-13-2017, 11:38 AM
If it turns out you don't like it and throw it against the wall, be prepared for some extensive and expensive wall repairs.

Rather than throwing a useless and offensive book against a wall, I recommend using it as garden mulch. Then at least the book does some actual good in the world.

phantom000
01-23-2017, 11:04 PM
Anyone ever thought about doing there own take on Rand and her philosophy? That is why i was thinking about reading the book, to get a better grasp before i offer my own counter arguments.

Marian Perera
01-23-2017, 11:41 PM
Daylight Atheism (http://www.patheos.com/blogs/daylightatheism/series/atlas-shrugged/) has a great series of posts critiquing Atlas Shrugged in depth.

Personally, I cherry-pick that book. There are some things I like, such as John Galt's comments on original sin. There are some things I don't. It's never been part of a philosophy of life for me, and I prefer The Fountainhead.

ASeiple
01-24-2017, 12:53 AM
It's telling that it's impossible to discuss Atlas Shrugged without clarifying your stance on Rand's worldview.

To that end, it's impossible to deny that she was a powerful writer. Articulate? Classically skilled? Not so much. I read one article which claimed she wrote the whole thing using Meth to get through it. I believe it.

But... it grabs you, somehow, if you can muddle through it. The world she paints is so damn attractive to quite a lot of people, and I can see why. It's a world where your productivity is a measure of your true value, where karma is absolute, and where the height of enlightenment comes from realizing that one does NOT have to submit to tyranny. That living free of unrealistic expectations, societal or otherwise, is the only way to achieve true happiness.

Rand is at her noblest when she speaks to empowering oneself. She is it at her stupidest when she turns around and condemns charity and kindness. One does not prevent the other. Some find empowerment by helping others, and are as necessary and vital as those who do not need to do so.

In that, she reveals her own flaws so intensely that it hurts. This author had emotional problems, was wrestling with demons so hard that she built up an enormous strength, and turned it to purposes both foul and fair.

In the end, I enjoy it for its fervor, but scorn the notion of translating its ideas to the real world. Many who call themselves Objectivists would actually hate living in a Randian world. Nor could they survive for long, if forced to do so.

Every couple of years I go and reread it. Checking it out of the library, because I find irony in that. I'll never own a copy, but I'll read it as I please. It seems fitting.

And every year, I come to the same conclusion: It is fiction; let it remain so.

Spooky
03-11-2017, 11:25 AM
It is an experience I'll say that much, she has a way of piecing things together that astounds me sometimes, I'll never forget those pages where Ayn is describing the first run of the train along the john galt line, truly spellbinding journey 'watching' that sucker purr along.

Zoe R
03-31-2017, 08:37 AM
I loved her books, and often said Atlas Shrugged was one of my favorites, but it's been many years since I read it, and I was not coming at it from a political perspective, so I wonder if my feelings on it would change. I think I can enjoy books that have philosophies I disagree with if they have interesting plots and strong characters. Ayn Rand gets demonized too much lately because of Paul Ryan! It's a shame.

blacbird
04-03-2017, 10:57 PM
Ayn Rand gets demonized too much lately because of Paul Ryan!

Actually, it's closer to Paul Ryan gets demonized by Ayn Rand.

caw

Diana Hignutt
04-03-2017, 11:25 PM
If you must read Rand, just read The Fountainhead. It's a lot shorter, it's a better book, and there's no 150 page speech to read towards the end. That's my advice.