Author Topic: Atlas Shrugged  (Read 28126 times)

sol

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Re: Atlas Shrugged
« Reply #50 on: October 12, 2014, 03:47:49 PM »
I can only assume she had her own hedonic adaptations.

Oh MAN did she ever.  Google Rand's infidelities and be amazed at the small harem Rand was financially supporting for most of her life. 

Spork

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Re: Atlas Shrugged
« Reply #51 on: October 13, 2014, 10:26:09 AM »
I can only assume she had her own hedonic adaptations.

Oh MAN did she ever.  Google Rand's infidelities and be amazed at the small harem Rand was financially supporting for most of her life.

I've been on the edges of that subculture for > 30 years.  I've heard all those stories.  She definitely had some odd ways about her and was (apparently) able to sit down and "rationally explain" to everyone involved (including her husband).   Yeah, I've always found that a little odd.

rocksinmyhead

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Re: Atlas Shrugged
« Reply #52 on: October 13, 2014, 04:07:25 PM »
I enjoyed Atlas Shrugged as a sort of adventure story when I read it the first time in my twenties--the idea of a female character who was CEO of her own business was new and enthralling.  But as it lingered in my m ind, it bothered me that there was no consideration of the environmental damage the capitalists were wreaking on their environments-- both in the steel mills of Pennsylvania and the mining hideaway of Colorado.  There was also no compassion for those who are "takers" genuinely due to circumstance or illness-- what happens to the elderly or the disabled in her world? 

I am always attracted to stories about the lone hero standing up to the masses, and I loved the idea of one person starting a movement that could stop the world.  But in retrospect, it makes for a fun story, but doesn't have much to say about the real world, which is much more tangly and gray than the black and white world she created.

this pretty much sums up my thoughts on it, too. it was an interesting read (other than the interminable Galt speech) and a new viewpoint I hadn't been exposed to much at the time I read it (before senior year of college). but the characters were so simplistic it was annoying (and I know it's just an allegory, but still annoying), and the story world was too simplistic/black and white for the ideas to be directly applicable to the real world.

At its core, Objectivism has the same fundamental flaw as Marx's Socialism in why it doesn't work. Human nature and sin. It's why Rand's own protagonists are hypocritical to her own ideals. They can't even function rationally otherwise, even in fiction.

exactly!

Scandium

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Re: Atlas Shrugged
« Reply #53 on: October 17, 2014, 10:45:43 AM »
"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year oldís life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs."

Kaspian

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Re: Atlas Shrugged
« Reply #54 on: October 17, 2014, 11:48:33 AM »
I always thought that if the prominent, successful, "important people" walked away from their duties, other people would just step in.  No problemo.  The graveyard is full of "indispensable" people, isn't it?  I mean, at least that's what they thought about themselves at the time.  (But the world kept spinning anyway.)

EmersonsGiant

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Re: Atlas Shrugged
« Reply #55 on: August 18, 2019, 02:03:03 PM »
Sooo..... is there a Cliff's Notes version of this book? I am interested in reading it, but not interested in drawn out, repetitive parables.

Google the money speech that the character Francisco D'Anconia gives and it'll give you a substantial taste.

I personally love it.  There is a lot of good that can be gleaned out of that book.

bacchi

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Re: Atlas Shrugged
« Reply #56 on: August 18, 2019, 02:45:21 PM »
Holy necroposting, Batman!

SwordGuy

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Re: Atlas Shrugged
« Reply #57 on: February 09, 2020, 07:19:19 PM »

I think this meme is a great review of this book.

Enjoy Rand's work as a story, not as a prescription for your life.

PS.  My wife and her first husband were active with one of the Randian factions in the 70s.   She has nothing good to say about a single one of the leaders that she met and was glad to no longer deal with them.   

Chris Pascale

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Re: Atlas Shrugged
« Reply #58 on: May 14, 2020, 10:47:52 PM »
What's really great are the completely hilarious movies.

With each one you get to play a game called 'who the hell is this actor playing?' because the cast changes each time, and they don't look alike. Hank Reardon in Part 1 is a blonde model. In Part 2 he's a gravelly voiced average guy. Welsey Mouch goes from a stout older guy with fantastic hair to a bald 40-year-old.

The shit's hilarious!

And don't get me started on the character dynamics. Okay, you got me started!

When Reardon is done humping his wife as she just lays there you can rightly think she's the problem....until he has sex with Dagny, where it seems like this ideal woman could be any other hole in the wall for the steel man.

And then there are scenes where they completely botch basic storytelling. Reardon sees Dagny on a job site and says, "you look like you fit right in here" as she wears heels and a suit in the middle of nowhere while walking on railroad ties.

They don't even get the monologues rights. Reardon's one before the tribunal is well done, but at James Taggart's wedding, Francisco (who was like 6' 5" in Part 1 and is Esai Morales in Part 2) gives his money speech. In the book it was interesting as he was having a polite discussion with other guests, and solidifies him as an intelligent hero. In the movie, he interrupts the groom's very brief remarks, making him a giant fucking asshole.

Point is: Watch the movies! They're amazing.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2020, 11:21:02 PM by Chris Pascale »

Feivel2000

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Re: Atlas Shrugged
« Reply #59 on: May 28, 2020, 03:05:01 AM »
I am happy that I read the book (or listened to it). But it was WAY to long and most of the time, pretty stupid.

Too bad, she couldn't make her point rooted in reality. She needed this quasi dictatorship board, to make the plot happen. At one point the evil people sit together and one guy says: "Hey, our plan is stupid, this will never work!" and they all go like "yeah, who cares, lets do it!"
All citizen are stupid, because they will vote for the most stupid moocher who is clearly not helping them.

Oh, and a magic motor. Of course...

Roger D

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Re: Atlas Shrugged
« Reply #60 on: May 28, 2020, 08:07:02 AM »
To anyone who enjoyed reading Atlas Shrugged, may I suggest reading Atlas Snubbed, the parody sequel by Ken Krawchuck.

Despite being a parody, it's well-written and works as a novel in its own right. It's sympathetic to the original and extends her philosophy in a more practical and humane way. The author brings in lots of fresh ideas and employs some original and creative thinking to sort out the catastrophe that Ayn Rand's novel ended with.

Atlas Snubbed was a satisfying read, and I think it might even be the better book of the two, but it's a followup and you need to have read Atlas Shrugged first to appreciate it.

From my review at Amazon: "I very much enjoyed this book. It's a masterful parody of Atlas Shrugged - it lampoons the original characters and also the writing style of the original book. In addition, it weaves a great story around the characters that we know and love or hate from the original book."

Chris Pascale

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Re: Atlas Shrugged
« Reply #61 on: June 01, 2020, 09:52:14 PM »
To anyone who enjoyed reading Atlas Shrugged, may I suggest reading Atlas Snubbed, the parody sequel by Ken Krawchuck.

Never heard of it. Thanks for the reco.

Roger D

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Re: Atlas Shrugged
« Reply #62 on: June 03, 2020, 08:56:43 AM »
Thanks for the reco.
You're welcome, Chris. Let us know whether you like it!

rudged

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Re: Atlas Shrugged
« Reply #63 on: June 10, 2020, 04:19:45 AM »
I didn't quite parse that.  To me a taker is the person holding the "will work for food" sign on a street corner when there are three "now hiring" signs on the store fronts behind him

I parsed that you were highlighting how to become a taker, by becoming rich.  To me a taker is someone who lives off the fruits of someone else's labors, say by "owning" a diverse basket of companies he knows very little about and takes no hand in running.  Living off of dividends is taking the profit from a company and putting it in your pocket.  Selling appreciated stock is taking someone else's money in exchange for a hypothetical ownership stake in a corporation, whether or not you ever worked for that company or even know anything about it.


Another way I've heard people making the distinction between makers and takers are those who actually pay federal taxes vs. those who receive benefits from government programs paid for by federal taxes. Taxation is a forced redistribution of wealth from those that have to those that don't. I think it stems from a deep seated resentment of the poor and destitute, who are often misportrayed as lazy.

A few years ago we had a public discussion of our university's health plan. One member of the audience stood up to share her disagreement with extending health care to same sex couples. She didn't like the idea that her premiums were being raised to cover the extension of coverage others whom she did not identify with. I wonder what she would have said if a man in the audience objected to having to pay higher premiums for pap smears or a childless couple suggested the plan should no longer cover expenses associated with pregnancy or children because they would like to have lower premiums. I can't help but wonder if she really understood what insurance is.

It reminds me of a joke on the Simpsons where Lenny likens paying for insurance as akin to a lottery where people who become seriously ill win the jackpot compared to the other dupes who paid into the system without ever becoming sick. 
« Last Edit: June 10, 2020, 04:25:54 AM by rudged »

Chris Pascale

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Re: Atlas Shrugged
« Reply #64 on: June 17, 2020, 02:13:47 PM »
@rudged

I have tried to tell people that many military families are on food stamps, but it's like I'm saying nothing. They might say, "I don't agree with that," meaning they don't approve, but then swing back into a tangent about how people need to get off their butts and work.

Uh, they are working; they're in the military.

Michael in ABQ

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Re: Atlas Shrugged
« Reply #65 on: June 17, 2020, 02:30:10 PM »
What's really great are the completely hilarious movies.

With each one you get to play a game called 'who the hell is this actor playing?' because the cast changes each time, and they don't look alike. Hank Reardon in Part 1 is a blonde model. In Part 2 he's a gravelly voiced average guy. Welsey Mouch goes from a stout older guy with fantastic hair to a bald 40-year-old.

The shit's hilarious!

And don't get me started on the character dynamics. Okay, you got me started!

When Reardon is done humping his wife as she just lays there you can rightly think she's the problem....until he has sex with Dagny, where it seems like this ideal woman could be any other hole in the wall for the steel man.

And then there are scenes where they completely botch basic storytelling. Reardon sees Dagny on a job site and says, "you look like you fit right in here" as she wears heels and a suit in the middle of nowhere while walking on railroad ties.

They don't even get the monologues rights. Reardon's one before the tribunal is well done, but at James Taggart's wedding, Francisco (who was like 6' 5" in Part 1 and is Esai Morales in Part 2) gives his money speech. In the book it was interesting as he was having a polite discussion with other guests, and solidifies him as an intelligent hero. In the movie, he interrupts the groom's very brief remarks, making him a giant fucking asshole.

Point is: Watch the movies! They're amazing.

I've never finished Atlas Shrugged but I did read the Fountainhead years ago. It was interesting but the characters were just too unrealistic and one-sided.

My wife and I watched the first two movies but with the third we stopped about 20-30 minutes in. I'm the type of person to finish basically every movie or book I start but that third movie was just terrible. As my wife pointed out in the third movie when they were actually in Galt's Gulch - there were no children. How exactly do you sustain this utopian society without having families and children?

LaserLemon

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Re: Atlas Shrugged
« Reply #66 on: June 18, 2020, 08:11:22 AM »
I discovered Atlas Shrugged when I was in my early 20s. It had a *huge* impact on my life in the following ways:

-Rearden's situation with a family that demands handouts based on his success was similar to the worldview I had been exposed to growing up. One of my parents had always been quick to grab a handout or anything for free, because "we were poor and deserved it". And anyone who had more than us was spoken of with contempt. I didn't realize how uncomfortable I'd been with that outlook until I read Rearden's dialogue with his family.

-The book made me realize it is ok to enjoy working! Related to the point above, I'd grown up with the goal of avoiding work as much as possible because I was punished (given more work for no pay) whenever I did something well or efficiently. Then at 24, being on my own in a new city with a full-time job I came to realize how much I love the feeling of accomplishment from doing a task well and getting paid for it. (As well as the mustacian side of realizing I didn't need to spend much of that money to make me happy)

-The philosophy on sex in the book was surprisingly progressive. Particularly Francisco's speech and what Dagny says to Hank after their first night.

As a side note: the drama is fantastic. There is a great American road trip! Dagny sleeps with All The Men! There's courtroom drama! There's a mystery that gets solved (who is making all the producers quit)! The final section where the government is hunting Galt and Dagny just can't stay away and suddenly everyone is in an action movie is like Rand giving us a bonus for reading to the end!

I picked up the book and didn't realize at the time how incendiary it was. Definitely found out when I tried to bring it up in conversation and got looks of disgust or quick changes of topic. However, I haven't met anyone yet (aside from you lovely people) who is willing to discuss the actual book. Yes I do understand there's a lot to be critical of, but if you're curious just give it a shot. As others mentioned, if you're reading for the story just skip Galt's speech and those horrible movies... and sorry for the spoilers above ;)

Roger D

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Re: Atlas Shrugged
« Reply #67 on: June 18, 2020, 01:31:54 PM »
...Dagny sleeps with All The Men!
Well, only with the alpha men! Steady Eddie misses out. (Read Ken Krawchuk's "Atlas Snubbed" to see how it turns out after Dagny has tired of the alphas :)

LaserLemon

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Re: Atlas Shrugged
« Reply #68 on: June 19, 2020, 04:30:01 PM »
Haha you got me there. Maybe Iíd say she slept with all the Men, and Eddie is merely a man. Although I think he mightíve exploded if she gave him any personal attention.
Guess Iíll just have to read that book and find out :)

Chris Pascale

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Re: Atlas Shrugged
« Reply #69 on: June 27, 2020, 10:44:09 PM »
What's really great are the completely hilarious movies.

With each one you get to play a game called 'who the hell is this actor playing?' because the cast changes each time, and they don't look alike. Hank Reardon in Part 1 is a blonde model. In Part 2 he's a gravelly voiced average guy. Welsey Mouch goes from a stout older guy with fantastic hair to a bald 40-year-old.

The shit's hilarious!

And don't get me started on the character dynamics. Okay, you got me started!

When Reardon is done humping his wife as she just lays there you can rightly think she's the problem....until he has sex with Dagny, where it seems like this ideal woman could be any other hole in the wall for the steel man.

And then there are scenes where they completely botch basic storytelling. Reardon sees Dagny on a job site and says, "you look like you fit right in here" as she wears heels and a suit in the middle of nowhere while walking on railroad ties.

They don't even get the monologues rights. Reardon's one before the tribunal is well done, but at James Taggart's wedding, Francisco (who was like 6' 5" in Part 1 and is Esai Morales in Part 2) gives his money speech. In the book it was interesting as he was having a polite discussion with other guests, and solidifies him as an intelligent hero. In the movie, he interrupts the groom's very brief remarks, making him a giant fucking asshole.

Point is: Watch the movies! They're amazing.

I've never finished Atlas Shrugged but I did read the Fountainhead years ago. It was interesting but the characters were just too unrealistic and one-sided.

My wife and I watched the first two movies but with the third we stopped about 20-30 minutes in. I'm the type of person to finish basically every movie or book I start but that third movie was just terrible. As my wife pointed out in the third movie when they were actually in Galt's Gulch - there were no children. How exactly do you sustain this utopian society without having families and children?

In Rand's view, that is Utopia: no kids, and every dude is like, 'it's okay she went from sitting on my face to his, because I'm responsible for my own happiness.' [I'm responsible for my own happiness is an actual quote from the novel from a guy each time Dagny goes from one dude to his friend, and I'm guessing from Rand's husband in real life as she took a young lover].

Jordan Peterson said it best when he said of these books, "Rand is a terrible novelist. Every good guy is totally good, and every bad guy is totally bad."