Ayn Rand


Edited from a conversation with Joel_

Ever read Ayn Rand? I did fairly recently, and it explains a lot about libertarianism. You see, in America, it's actually those honest corporation-owning americans who are being discriminated against. Why should they have to pay taxes to support people who didn't have the same drive and work ethic as them? If those other people don't own their own companies, it's obviously their own fault - they should have worked harder! Class, education, and lack of social mobility are just excuses for the weak.

Also, Ayn Rand is a horrible writer (at least in Atlas Shrugged). Her allegories are paper thin, and the plot might as well not even be there. Once in a while she throws in an completely unbelievable love scene where they whisper sweet nothings about corporate profits and personal responsibility into each other's ears. It's awful.

Update - lots more discussion in the comments.

Comments

Written by Favela Cranshaw -

What do you think is the reason for Rand's popularity? Were you able to finish the book?

Written by Chris -

I think that Rand's arguments are attractive to certain people. Typically, these people are white males from the middle class who are intelligent and angry because they're discovering that the American dream is bullshit. Their hard work and intellect have only gotten them into middle management, and they want more. Ayn Rand's philosophy supposes that if you removed all those pesky government barriers, that these young men could succeed in becoming successful wealthy businessmen. It gives them a convenient scapegoat for their frustration with the current system. Unfortunately, Rand's fairytales are just that. I'll point to this comment as one example of the dangers of letting the "invisble hand" take care of all our problems.

Written by suvine.com -

I loved Atlas Shrugged, it is such a great powerful book. Sorry you didn't like it :( Suvine.com

Written by Robert Taylor -

Totally, totally disagree with your conclusions. Atlas Shrugged is a novel that frees and liberates individuals by informing them that ethics/morals can be objectified and are not derived from a "magical hand in heaven" with mythological commandments and judgments. The novel inspired me the first time I read it and continues to do so. If you think "Atlas Shrugged" is shallow and/or trite, I really have to question what has happened to you personally in your life that has made you the way you are.

Written by Chris -

Atlas Shrugged is a novel that frees and liberates individuals by informing them that ethics/morals can be objectified and are not derived from a "magical hand in heaven" with mythological commandments and judgments. I'm a pretty staunch atheist, and don't believe that any kind of moral laws are passed down from a higher power. In this much at least, we're in agreement. I don't even mind Rand's emphasis on personal freedoms. I agree with many libertarian points of view on privacy rights, for example. Where I vehemently disagree with Rand is when she asserts that hands-off capitalism is the best way to ensure personal happiness. Under her philosophy, selfishness is a virtue, and altruism is a foolish endeavour. I'd argue that it's the only thing that makes society tolerable. If you think "Atlas Shrugged" is shallow and/or trite, . . . I never said it was shallow - the philosophical side is quite in-depth. In fact, most of my problem with Atlas Shrugged is that the plot was completely superficial to the book. It would have been easier for Rand to write another position paper outlining her philosophies. Instead, she tried to tack a story on top to create a grand allegory and failed miserably. The characters are one-dimensional, the plot is boring, and the dialogue unrealistic, almost to the point of being funny. I really have to question what has happened to you personally in your life that has made you the way you are I've moved past juvenile philosophies that don't stand up to real-world application.

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