atlas shrugged

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    Apr 24, 2009 3:17 AM GMT
    if anyone has read atlas shrugged isnt what is happening right now seem eerily familar to what to what happened all the big companies throughtout the book. minus all the people running away to a hidden canyon in the mountains.icon_question.gif
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    Apr 24, 2009 5:27 AM GMT
    Years ago I was infatuated with a beautiful young man who could never say enough about the brilliance of Ayn Rand. At his suggestion, and because in my youthful folly I thought it might get me somewhere with him, I began reading The Fountainhead. I thought, what could it hurt, I love reading anything.

    I dove into the book with an open mind and after the first few chapters, my opinion of the young man I so longed for began to......change. By the time I was halfway through the book I decided he was functionally retarded if he found anything beautiful or brilliant in her work. By the time I was 3/4 of the way through it, I decided that not only was he a complete moron, but a complete and total jackass as well.

    Now I was raised to revere books. I have well over a thousand of them and each of them is precious to me in some way. The Fountainhead is the first and only book that I not only didn't finish, but tore up and fed into the fireplace on a cold December morning.
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    Apr 24, 2009 5:37 AM GMT
    jprichva said and her adherents are adolescent boys.


    quite true. I sense the machinations of a cougar.
  • Webster666

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    Apr 24, 2009 5:42 AM GMT
    GuerillaSodo,
    That was a beautifully written post.
    Although I have not read any works by Ayn Rand, it seems to be radical conservatives who worship her.
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    Apr 24, 2009 5:50 AM GMT
    I read all of Atlas Shrugged in the summer of 2006 and was left with a weird after taste. I really enjoy the fact that her characters pursued their goals with such strong integrity, sacrificing all that they could for their pursuits. That level of determination and drivenness, in addition to integrity (for they never swerved from those ideals) was captured brilliantly.

    However, those ideals and beliefs left me nauseous. Concern for one's own goals without a thought about others livelihood, domination and destruction of the earth for material pursuits, individual isolation as a testament to strength, are all stances that churn my stomach.

    I'd recommend it as a character study of determination and lack of concern for others, but not for pleasure reading.
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    Apr 24, 2009 6:09 AM GMT
    I absolutely love Ayn Rand for her personal philosophy, which I find extremely empowering ... that sense of doing what makes you happy without obligation, guilt or regret. I wish I had the time to write out the specifics, but that'd take way WAY too long. :-p

    As far as her socioeconomic views, I think what is required is a little perspective. She was writing during a period of time when communism was growing, and she saw the danger inherent in removing personal incentive for people to produce and innovate. I am 100% with her on that. The problem is that she polarized to idealizing a totally free-market society, and I feel the irony of the situation is that both worlds hold the same fundamental flaw: that people (not everyone, but enough to ruin the situation for all involved) do not have the level of integrity necessary to function without external regulation or personal gain.

    So, the conservative pricks who idolize her work seem to have forgotten one major thing: her protagonists, although not the most lovable characters in the world, were all hard-working, uncompromising, and HONEST.

    I think Ayn would be APPALLED at the state of the conservative party and the infiltration of liars and thieves.
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    Apr 24, 2009 6:16 AM GMT
    jprichva said
    GuerrillaSodomite said The Fountainhead is the first and only book that I not only didn't finish, but tore up and fed into the fireplace on a cold December morning.

    You didn't realize how useful and functional it is as a doorstop, then.


    Yes, but I think that books have souls. Except for this one. Having sprung forth from the soul suckingingly sociopathic abyss at the center of Rand's being, I felt it best to purge my home of its arrogantly frigid empathy devouring presence. To this end, it was fed into the warm dancing embrace of the cleansing fire so it would never darken my bookcase again.
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    Apr 24, 2009 6:25 AM GMT
    Hmmm... I actually really enjoyed The Fountainhead and it remains one of my favorite books till today (roughly 7 years later). I have not read Atlas Shrugged because several people told me it would ruin The Fountainhead for me (including my mother who has almost identical taste in literature as I do.)

    I have read some of Rand's essays and listened to some of her lectures on tape and I think the woman was absolutely off her rocker, but I think that there are messages in the book everyone can walk away with, provided you don't take everything literally. I thought that the drama of the black and white nature of the book, and the self-destructive nature of the characters (something we all possess) is what really kept me reading.

    As for the characters, I like to view them as allegorical in their representation of various character traits whether cowardice, greed, passion, determination, beauty, etc. As someone else mentioned, Rand's characters are entirely black and white - and so represent the absolute extremes of human nature, which I think can be a useful tool in proving points (as has been done historically in most religious tales). I, however, DO NOT, as most of Rand's devotees seem to, think her writing should be taken as religious gospel (for that matter I don't even treat religious texts as requiring literal interpretation).

    I think that The Fountainhead brings to light important virtues and vices, but in extremes, and though it was a little ridiculous that all ended well for the protagonists, I don't think that really took away from what the characters were demonstrating. This is what I got out from it:

    Elsworth - appeared to be benevolent but was actually a very spiteful, unhappy, scheming person who wanted only to be in control and had no actual regard for others. Remained miserable.

    Keating - Spineless, all show (in his architecture and personality) with little substance, couldn't get what he wanted, resorted to murder and still couldn't.

    Rourke - Stood up for what he wanted, never went out of his way to help others but also never did anything to harm anyone else, followed his heart, came out the winner

    Dominique - one screwed up, self-destructive bitch, but she actually did understand Rourke and in the end somehow everything worked out

    Her husband/newspaper tycoon/I can't remember his name anymore - similar to Rourke, a self-made man, but he allowed power to get to his head and was unhappy, ultimately though he relented.

    Anyone disagree?

    To the OP, sorry I didn't respond to your question... I was just disheartened that so many people seemed to hate The Fountainhead.
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    Apr 24, 2009 7:34 AM GMT
    Wow Guerrilla, I've hated some books myself to the point that I would finish them in some stupid mock 'I will not let you win' mentality and bitch about it the entire time but never have I actually done a book burning. It always became like one of those crappy movies that you have to make comments at with the only redeeming quality would be the death of the main character(s) which of course never happens.
  • Delivis

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    Apr 24, 2009 9:31 AM GMT
    The best description of her books i ever heard was "transcendently aweful".
  • Caver

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    Apr 24, 2009 10:40 AM GMT
    jprichva said
    FierceEyes saidI absolutely love Ayn Rand for her personal philosophy, which I find extremely empowering ... that sense of doing what makes you happy without obligation, guilt or regret.

    Think of what you just wrote. Without obligations? Without regrets? You're not describing a philosophy, you're describing a sociopathic pathology.


    I agree 100%... This philosopy is horribly flawed. Aggressive self interest without compassion and empathy for others is a recipe for disaster. All it accomplishes is destroying people that care about you. Just ask my ex-BF, lol.

    It's great to get what you want out of life, but it's so much more satisfying and real to do it with mutual help and respect of those around you.
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    Apr 24, 2009 12:48 PM GMT
    Read Nathaniel Branden if you want to learn what's missing in Ayn Rand's work.
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    Apr 24, 2009 1:34 PM GMT
    ObsceneWish saidRead Nathaniel Branden if you want to learn what's missing in Ayn Rand's work.


    [going off to update my Amazon cart]
  • docmarvy

    Posts: 122

    Apr 24, 2009 2:29 PM GMT
    jprichva saidNo.

    Ayn Rand was a sadly deranged woman, and her writing is just terrible. Her "ideas" are full of shit, and her adherents are adolescent boys.


    Amen, brotha.

    Objectivist is just another term for selfish a-hole.
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    Apr 24, 2009 2:40 PM GMT
    I actually enjoyed "Atlas Shrugged" as a work of fiction, although Ayn Rand could have used a more aggressive editor. That book was like 5,000 pages long! I did find some resonance with the political corruption in Washington but I have a hunch that has pretty much been a constant in Washington.

    I know Real Jock forums are rather casual but it would have been nice if the original poster had actually capitalized and italicized (or put in quotation marks) the title and even mentioned the authors name...but beside that it's nice to see kids today interested in literature. Seems I recently saw a mention of this book on-line somewhere...

    http://foxforum.blogs.foxnews.com/2009/04/20/ayn_rand/

    Hmmm perhaps this has something to do with the sudden interest in Ms Rand's writings...

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    Apr 24, 2009 2:52 PM GMT
    Atlas shrugged is a fun easy read (except for that damned speech in the middle). It has some interesting ideas on personal accountability, but the ideas on political and governmental policy are twisted and unworkable. Don't get too worked up about Ayn Rand.
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    Apr 24, 2009 2:53 PM GMT
    I'm glad to finally see some thoughtful analysis on Ayn Rand in here, since the references seem to be increasing. Whenever an adolescent (of ANY age) cites her influence, I have a tendency to keep that person at least at arms length, but more likely not even engage the person anymore and exit politely. Yikes!

    I was a perfect candidate for getting drawn in by Ayn Rand. I'm self made from basically nothing, and have been since I was 18 (I could even argue 13). But I challenged myself to do far more than read one single book or author and then build a life from such a limited, simplistic and ultimately flawed perspective. That's just lazy.

    As a side, the earth is our habitat. We have to live here. Anyone who degrades our habitat without remorse and for their own personal gain is both a sociopath and a criminal. After all, who willingly shits in their own bed?
  • ROYCE13

    Posts: 315

    Apr 25, 2009 8:26 AM GMT
    Webster666 saidGuerillaSodo,
    That was a beautifully written post.
    Although I have not read any works by Ayn Rand, it seems to be radical conservatives who worship her.


    think again, a radical conservative would not utter the words of her name, where are you from , ???
  • ROYCE13

    Posts: 315

    Apr 25, 2009 8:38 AM GMT
    The Fountainhead was required reading when I was in high school. Although I enjoyed the book and identified with aspects, I was in conflict with the book and after finding out that it was part of the existentialism movement, I confronted the school english department and asked why it was on the required reading list. Naturally, I was unpopular with the department for this. As a high school pre architectural student, I enjoyed aspects of the book, but I did not appreciate being forced to read an existentialist point of view, when I probably did not know what that meant as a junior in high school, until I researched it.
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    Apr 25, 2009 10:28 PM GMT
    Like Guerrilla, I read it because I was enamored of someone who adored her. He was a whack job, and so was she. Movie wasn't too bad -- Gregory Peck?
  • Aquanerd

    Posts: 845

    Apr 25, 2009 10:53 PM GMT
    peterstrong saidSo I have heard that she based Roark on Frank Lloyd Wright - that would make sense, in that when I read " Fountainhead " I got that he was not an anti-environment guy - he seemed to me to care deeply about efficiency and proper use of resources, like FLW did.
    Did anyone else get that / this ? Or am I remembering it with rose colored glasses
    as it has been 15 yrs or so since i read it. I seem to remember Dagny, the female protagonist in " Atlas Shrugged " did not have any use for ecology. I remember thinking about the fact that Rachel Carson's work, esp. " Silent Spring " and other books would have come out
    in the following decade :

    " Atlas Shrugged " Ayn Rand 1957
    " Silent Spring " Rachael Carson 1962


    As a tree hugging selfish asshole, I have read both many times. If taken in the context of the time, both had were groundbreaking in there core philosophies. Both should never be considered a blueprint for the real world.

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    Apr 25, 2009 11:06 PM GMT
    People seem to either love or hate Ayn Rand. But I'm fairly atypical because I'm torn about her.

    I've read Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. Rand wrote from her experience growing up in communist Russia. In some ways, I think she was prescient and on the mark. But she was also extreme. Her brand of self interest was entirely cold and without compassion.

    I thought The Fountainhead was a almost a waste of time. I liked Atlas Shrugged but I would have liked it much better if it was about half as long. Rand was very verbose for no good reason. She took up 35 pages just writing out Dagny Taggart's daydreaming thoughts on a train ride. Three pages probably would have sufficed.

    But as it relates to current events, it does make you wonder how far we're going to go... federalizing banks and auto makers, and having the government dictate the economy much more than the free market. I can't say I am completely comfortable with these developments.
  • UncleverName

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    Apr 25, 2009 11:24 PM GMT
    GuerrillaSodomite saidNow I was raised to revere books. I have well over a thousand of them and each of them is precious to me in some way.


    Sounds eerily similar to Ron Burgundy, when he states that he has many leather bound books, and that his apartment smells of rich mahagony icon_smile.gif
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    Aug 01, 2009 12:07 AM GMT
    It seems odd to me that people whom I know to be intelligent and sensitive would come to conclusions about other people based upon what books they like to read. This is something that I find surprising.

    No one appointed me defender of Ayn Rand, and it is most certainly a job that I would not want. However, having read the entire canon of her works more than once it seems that her ideas are really distorted in this dialogue.

    The concept isn't that I will do what I want and fuck you. Rather the idea was that the interaction of people operating out of enlightened self interest would be healthy and equitable.

    Since it isn't in anyone's interest to breath poisoned air and die, people acting out of their own self interest would avoid doing so, or so the theory went.

    Admittedly, this was an idealistic fantasy of Ayn Rand's that never proved practicable. However, neither did Sartre or Plato posit anything that turned out to be absolute truth (whatever that might be).

    If there is any free market that I care to defend it is the one of ideas. It rattles me to hear invective against books, even if we are talking about "Mein Kampf" or "Tropic of Cancer".

    Completely off topic, sort of, Malcolm X was a hero of mine and Alex Haley's biography is one of my favorite books.

    A great friend of mine had his painting studio on Washington Blvd. in L.A. and one day right after the riots I was coming out to get in my car. A young kid from the neighborhood came up to me and really started laying into me with some heavy duty racist rhetoric. I recognized that he was enthusiastically misquoting Malcolm X. It was one of those moments when I stood my ground and explained to the kid that his hero had actually said something quite different. We ended up talking about Malcolm X and his transcendence (the true story of Detroit Red is the story of absolute transcendence) for more than an hour. Never was I happier to have had the opportunity to have read a book or have those ideas catalogued in my swiss cheese of a mind.

    Terry
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    Aug 01, 2009 1:14 AM GMT
    Ayn, yes....and Atlas shrugged. Atlas Shrugged is perhaps more timely today.