10 things someone learned from Atlas Shrugged


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This person obviously is not an Objectivist. A somewhat humorous take on Atlas Shrugged.
Summary: (my comments in brackets)

1. All evil people are unattractive; all good and trustworthy people are handsome.
(In real life not always true, but proper in a novel.)
2. The mark of a great businessman is that he sneers at the idea of public safety.
(More correct would be public opinion.)

3. Bad guys get their way through democracy; good guys get their way through violence.
(The first part is probably true. The second part is exaggerated but a bit of that might make for a good novel.)

4. The government has never invented anything or done any good for anyone.
(Whatever good government did, free market probably could do better.)

5. Violent jealousy and degradation are signs of true love.
(Ayn Rand's psychology.)

6. All natural resources are limitless.
(Fossil fuels and helium might be exceptions. Most natural resources are renewable [forests] or in large supply or recycleable.)

7. Pollution and advertisements are beautiful; pristine wilderness is ugly and useless.
(Whatever nature made, man probably can make it better. For example a beautiful piece of wilderness might be made into a productive and even more beautiful garden.)
8. Crime doesn't exist, even in areas of extreme poverty.
(Obviously crime exists. There is no need to report petty crimes in a novel like Atlas Shrugged. Remember, selective recreation.)

9. The only thing that matters in life is how good you are at making money.
(Not according to Ayn Rand's novels. Howard Roark and Hank Rearden chose a hard way to make money, could have made more money.)

10. Smoking is good for you.
(Controlled fire is good, not smoking. I had an old fashioned stove that burned wood. It heated the house, heated water, cooked food. It was controlled fire, including how fast it burned; out of control it would burn the house down. I don't understand how such a rational and intelligent person as Ayn Rand can glorify smoking. Maybe a rationalization of her addiction.)
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In response to your comments-

1. Its "proper" to have all the bad people be ugly in a novel?

2. Maybe the mark of a great inventor is not caring about public opinion but I business person has little choice but to follow at least the opinion of his customer base.

4. only satisfied in idealism, in reality the jury is out

6. I believe that helium is limitless as well, it is a by product of radiation--as alpha particles. But we may not be able to put our hands on it just when we want it

7. A beautiful garden is productive?

9. Wouldn't Roark and Rearden, choosing hard ways to make money, still show that they are "good" at making money?

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In response to the Mr. Lee points-

1. Lillian Rearden is not ugly (Physically), she isn't as beautiful as Dagny but she isn't ugly.

2. As is said in the novel multiple times, Rearden Metal is safe, If I remember correctly Dagny even says that she looked at Reardens research and concluded it was safe. Plus, nobody is ever forced to ride on a track with Rearden Metal.

3. The only person who gets anything through violence is Ragnar but as he explains he is simply taking back what was stolen.

4. As jts said anything the government did, the free market could and/or has done better.

5. This is simply not true, the objectivist philosophy looks quite badly on being jealous- being jealous shows low self esteem.

6. Simply an Ignorant statement as jts and Derek have shown

7. When does she ever say pollution is pretty, she found work and production beautiful, Mr. Lee is forcing the connection between work and pollution.

8. Mr. Lee was clearly running out of points.

9. This is a clear misunderstanding, money shows which men have reached as Ayn Rand said "a high level of productivity".

10. Ayn Rand lived in a time when smokings side effects were not nearly as well known as they are today.

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  • 4 weeks later...

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