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Atlas Shrugged a Cynical Review

User Thread
 31yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that pickup is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Atlas Shrugged a Cynical Review
This is primarily for those who have already read the book if you haven't the spoilers aren't a lot and I didn't give away the ending.

Where does one begin when trying to accuse a beloved author of in-sighting genocide ?
Ayn Rands philosophy of objectivism is black and white, something is either rational or not rational you can do this or you can do that, you are either a "taker" or a "pioneer." She uses anecdotes that present social systems in a warped way, explaining how socialism is just a bucket of water with a hole growing bigger each year until you can no longer fill it, that people won't want to work and that they will do anything in there power to help themselfs not have to work under the guise that they are helping each other because they don't really want to help anyone else but themselfs. Ayn Rand creates two types of societies A Dystopian Socialist society that the books uber mench John Galt secedes from and goes on to create the perfect Capitalist Utopian Society.
She shapes the two from her horrible expirence growing up in Communist Russia that was actually a Stalinist Dictatorship much like China. Then moved to America which was a huge difference. This is important to keep in mind.
Her Utopian society she makes everyone live in these modest log cabins with luxious things that while nice aren't over the top decadent, there are no rules the motto of the society as that no man shall live for the sake of any other man and is there only law that is enforced by a judge who never has to work because no man ever has the dispute that any man there is doing something that is soley for the benifit of another person without any benefit to the person selling the service product or idea. In this way her perfect ideal Utiopia is basically a Quasi Anarcho Capitalist state, no military (unless you buy it) no police, fire public education or social programs of any kind, because others who share your opinion will force it onto people you disagree with and if they don't well they are being non rational and don't belong in the Utopia. Everyone in this place is BEUTIFUL and charming and affluent and ameable, just some good fellows
Well anyway she goes on to create (before the Utopia) a Quasi Socialist State thats modaled after a Stalinist Quasi Communist Dictatorship in which everyone is Stupid, IRRATIONAL, and subserviant to a a buracratic nightmare that litterally sucks the life out of society in all forms, It is truely a horrible place to imagine living in, oh wait just Imagine a Stalinist Dictatorship only represented by a bunch of different variations of the "Jew in the Thorns" charecter "the jew" In Fascist German Fairy Tales, where everyone who represents them is ugly, deformed, stupid, down syndrome, mentally handicapped, physically handcapped the genitically diseased, mentally disabled, those who can't afford healthcare, the "TAKERS" on SSI and Social Security, anyone on Medicare Medicaid, "Tea Partiers" of the Nanny State. (Ayn Rand was once caught saying that weak people are unworthy of Love)
Her premise of creating this society is that these people are irrational and selfish, that they want to tax the compentant people in society so they can selfishly mooch off of that society, which makes no sense at all because she says that these irrational people only live for the sake of others yet are doing these things to serve there own slef interests underneath, which is a charecteristic of a Stalinist Dictatorship you could argue what you think makes them irrational all day just like God works in Mysterious ways but I'm not gunna go there. These people are basically anyone who has evey held a government job or needed help from a social saftey net program ever which is over 50% of the WORLDS population.
She then goes on to literally starve and Kill Off all of these people by taking out all compitent people out of the workforce, (Just for the Hell of it im gunna say Arayans instead of competent people in workforce), so all the Arayans then move on away disapear from the work force in an effort to ruin the Dystopian Society she created by the idea of NON PARTICIPATION, an idea founded in ANARCHO CAPITOLISM, by doing this think of the top 20% of america taking out the 60% of value in the economy and saying f-off and die. Its not making concentrationcamps no its just as vicious though they want to kill of everyone in that old system that want the system and those apart of it to die like in natural selection.
Because they are Irrational, Because they live for the idea That each man should work for the benefit of his fellow man, because each according to their need from each according to there ability when assuming that human nature is Irrational will create a paradox that will make everyone not care at all and because if A happens Z will eventually happen so we need to get rid of all Social Programs and allow Corporations and Free Markets to flourish and do whatever they want That somehow the needs of the economy will be addressed and dont worry about those people working in your sweatshops without any laws governing there ethical treatment after all they aren't your family of GENUIS INDUSTRIALISTS AND SAVANT ELITE ACTORS ARTISTS AND MUSICIANS
The way they treat labour in the book even in Reardons Foundries before people started leaving and everyone was competent is not what happens in the real world. They arent treated with that respect and fairness that Hank gives them they are taken advantage of souley for profit which is what makes Ayn Rand soo out of touch with the working class and middle America. This is evident in they way she Portrays Love as Hero Worshiping, and her idea of sex is litterally NO means YES , I want you to Make me Want you which is apparent in the first sexual encounter between Dagny and Fransisco.
In Short the book is transparent the charecters are transparent and the message is to treat people as objects after all it is Objectivism right? She is almost inciting active genocide which is hillarous because she is a Jewish Russian. Califonia Uber Alles? more like John Galt Utopia Uber alles, and don't even start on Rangor or the trainscene where they all sophicate from poisonous carbon based gases... Galts Speech at the end is what I Imagine would be blasted through nuclear holocaustic warning speakers as everyone of the "looters" slowly dies from starvation or worse.

Please share your opinion on the book and how you think I am wrong or if you agree, I know this is a work of fiction and not to be taken literally but people do and it is.



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"I like carl sagans spin on that, we are all made of the same stuff therefore we are all one and should love one another as an extension of ourselfs"
 61yrs • M
A CTL of 1 means that Hobbes Choice is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
I assume you mean inciting genocide.
A Jew ought to know better one thinks?

Rand is a disgraceful blot on the landscape. An over privileged women from a Russia Feudalist background who never did a decent days work in her life, and had every luxury of a great education and family to fall back on, farm a heritage that exploited a slave economy in which millions were bound to the yoke with no hope of progress or advancement.
A woman that regarded poverty as a personality defect.
Why would anyone want to spend the time reading her drivel?

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 31yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that pickup is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
I thought it was a good idea to know my enemy so I read the book so every time I see it used as a GOP rally cry I can destroy their point of view and then hopefully help them rebuild it but unfortunately the problem is they only understand strawmen and scarecrows.

Looking back I have never been angrier reading a book in my entire life so I thought I would write a review.

I was hoping some Ayn Rand fan was lurking somewhere and I would have some fun but alas people are too reasonable here

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"I like carl sagans spin on that, we are all made of the same stuff therefore we are all one and should love one another as an extension of ourselfs"
 67yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that littlejohn is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Hi, I read it also -- like 20 years ago. It was not a GOP rally cry in those days. I dont think I would call myself a fan but I have a good deal of appreciation for her work.
So please tell me about your enemies, your anger and your desire to destroy peoples points of view.

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 67yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that thx1137 is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Ayn Rand Objectivism has been held to be the holy grail by many influential republicans. Notably Ronald Regan, George W. Bush, Alan Greenspan and Paul Ryan; amongst many others. Objectivism has been a driving force in our politics since the eighties.

As a footnote, Ayn Rand lived off of both Social Security and Medicare in her later years in contradiction to her own philosophy.

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 61yrs • M
A CTL of 1 means that Hobbes Choice is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
All the names you mention have dovetailed with her so-called objectivism, to carve out their own selfish schemes in denial of the wider interests of community and the best interests of the people and the state.
Alan Greenspan for example was the architect of the financial crisis in which he personally made himself many millions of dollars at the expense of the world's economy.
Objectivism is nothing more that a cover for I'm all right Jack, dog eat dog, and take the money and run.

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 67yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that littlejohn is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
fortunately for me, self interest and making money are not criminal offenses. i will do what I can to ensure that never happens. Having said that i don't have a problem sitting on the bus next to someone who puts the common good ahead of themselves. I imagine if I were destitute or near destitute, then raising the bar of the common good would raise the bar for me along with it, thus it would likely be my position as well. (if I were all that)

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 61yrs • M
A CTL of 1 means that Hobbes Choice is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Actually it was a GOP rally cry back then and was since it was published. This sort of insane in it for yourself philosophy has been growing ever since the American right took up the mantle when Hitler and Mussolini dropped it.
When the bombs were falling all over London, and elsewhere in the UK, we did not keep up our spirits and stand firm against the Axis by looking after number one.

Many are trying to revive that spirit to get us through the current economic climate.

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 67yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that thx1137 is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Hobbes, I do not doubt what you say, However, it only has been an exposed, accepted philosophy since Reagan in American politics. It may have been held by American politicians prior to this, but was never the 'this is why you should vote for me' philosophy till Reagan.

Prior to Reagan, ever since the Great Depression, we had followed variants of the Roosevelt- Keynesian model. Since the eighties we have followed the Reagan-Rand model.

After some forty something years of this, I think it safe to say that the data does not support the concept of trickle-down economics; but no one seems to be noticing.

Obviously, I am not a fan of Objectivism. I think it may be our undoing.

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 67yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that littlejohn is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Interesting. I vaguely remember the Reagan years, the impressions i do recall -- at the time I was very happy to have an advocate that was not trying to get further into my wallet. I read atlas shrugged a little before that time. My only remaining impressions are that I recall thinking it was stuff I had hard before from Adam Smith - Wealth of Nations. Adam Smith's propositions, as well as those from Rand both seemed (and do now) healthy to me in the context of "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness." I am certainly no expert, but I am at least quite aware of the pitfalls of unfettered capitalism. for whatever reason, I fear that less than "the government acting as a great leveler" (my take on the pitfalls of abused Keynesianism). I would like to hear about Objectivism as "our undoing." Naturally I dont want to be undone, and am always willing to admit there is much to learn.

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 67yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that thx1137 is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
The response to this would be a whole other thread. But here are some short replies:

Before he was the 'first economist,' Adam Smith was an ethicist. He was not writing about what should be, but what was. And there is truth in that. He also wrote warnings of what would happen if the capitol (means of production) fell into the hands of just a few.

What we have now is not so much Capitalism as it is Financialism. The means of production is not owned by those producing the goods, but by financial backers who share no real interest in the producers -- only the profits they produce.

We now have a new entity: the Corporation. We have endowed this thing as a person, with all rights. But it is not a person, it is an amoral thing with but one interest: the profit of the shareholder. (Here, note, that I did not say unmoral, but amoral - it is a thing. The people who run it may be very good people indeed, but their only job is to produce the greatest return for the share holders, and nothing else.) This corporate identity shares no interest in the worker, the country of origin, the environment or our democracy. Only the return on investment.

Rand does not take this into account. The fictional Galt does not exist. A non-person, person (the corporation) has taken his place.

Back to Rand, you have to ask yourself: is poverty a result of monetary policy, or the result of a personal character flaw? Is the possession of wealth the result of personal superior being, and an indicator of better moral fiber in and of itself? Rand thinks so. I am not so sure that the likes of Paris Hilton and Kin Kardashian supports that claim.

Now thanks to the Supreme court, money = speech. Add in the lobbyists and you do not have so much one man, one vote; but one dollar, one vote. Financialism, or even unfettered capitalism, actually does not like democracy. The vote of the people (the moochers) gets in the way,

So the trend is toward the golden rule: those with the gold make the rules. And according to Rand, that is the way it should be, for the common man is inferior, and should not have power.

But we forget: it is not the case of the people against the government. Last I checked, it was supposed to be "We the People" -- we are the government.

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 67yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that thx1137 is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
LittleJohn: I do not think I have directly answered your question, 'why do I think it could be our undoing.' [paraphrased]
History has shown that regardless of the form of government, (be it monarchy, oligarchy, dictatorship or even democracy,) no society remains stable when the bulk of the nation's wealth becomes concentrated into the hands of a few.

I am not a socialist, and I see no option but capitalism -- but to remain a stable democracy, each citizen must have a reasonable chance of being educated, and having a standard of living above minimal subsistence. If a large portion of the people lack education and only barely survive, the country will become unstable and unsustainable without forcible suppression of its citizenry. Presently, the concentration level is increasing at a staggering rate, and those considered poor is the fastest growing group.

We now live in a world where corporations are considered too big to fail. A world where top bankers have been found to have illegally colluded to set interest rates, or launder illegal monies -- but can't be prosecuted because it would cause too severe a blow to the economy.

Adam Smith would shudder.

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 61yrs • M
A CTL of 1 means that Hobbes Choice is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
I think you are aggrandising Rand by calling late 20thC economics "Reagan/Rand".
Actually you are also aggrandising Reagan, who was basically economically naive.
The Thatcher/Reagan model of monetary economics is usually attributed to Milton Friedman, and has been old-hat for at least 12 years.
Objectivism is one thing, but Monetarism is another.

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 61yrs • M
A CTL of 1 means that Hobbes Choice is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
THX- you are right Adam Smith would shudder!

Littlejohn.
How poorly you understand economics!
Adam Smith talked about the Wealth of Nations. Please see the word 'nation' which is utterly absent from the self seeking modern capitalism that knows and accepts no national boundaries. Moving money and resources between countries, and exploiting working people, by pursuing an ever decreasing wage share-out is the means by which the rich have become ever richer, the poor ever more poorer and the national interest go go to hell.
You seem to be the victim of your own exploitation, through another person's ideology.
Wake up and smell the Starbucks, my friend!

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 31yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that pickup is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Im glad this post gained some traction I would like to see more Rand supporters in here but I think they might be afraid of the "irrational" human beings in here.

Your absolutely right hobbes the Chicago boys economic plan that has destroyed the south American economy for decades and helped contribute to the destabilization of the world market through free trade. I would also like to point out that in the wealth of nations adam smith (if I can recall correctly) speaks out against slavery but offers up an alternative in poor labor that has no other choice or opportunity but to work for established industrial society.

As for objectivism in Galts speech he tells the people to think of men as you would think of a Rock, This is fundamentally inhumane. But the sickest part about the philosophy is that she wrote two books on how human beings aren't selfish enough. That to me is the amazing part, the fact that our economy is beholden to the weakest links in society and that the only way to rise up from where we are is to collectively raise the economy of a nation rather than the profits of a nation. This can be seen in the artificially inflated DOW that we now have and the surge in the market place while unemployment is virtually stagnant.

Noam Chomsky once asked the question How would you define an economy, not a dictionary definition how would you define the purpose of an economy?

His answer was basically an economy is how you provide goods and services to a people, does anyone have a differing opinion?

I am a social democrat, which is not the same as a democratic socialist and even then I still disagree with the ideal social democracy because I think there should be more incentive to succeed but the way we are going about things now is failing to see that we are all connected.

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"I like carl sagans spin on that, we are all made of the same stuff therefore we are all one and should love one another as an extension of ourselfs"
Atlas Shrugged a Cynical Review
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