Why did Dagny and Hank assume the motor had been invented by a single man?


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Jeff:

There are some critics who will never build a bridge.

Your criticism of Ayn's novel Atlas is that the FICTIONAL ARCHETYPAL METAPHORIC FIGURES IN HER MAGNUM OPUS are not realistic enough to "allude" to a team of folks coming up with the motor idea...you are kidding right?

Let us see, in the "real world", there are no warp drives, little cartoon girls who eat mushrooms that make them into giants and black presidents do not get elected...ummm, well you get my point.

"...how good Rand was at writing novels,..." You are actually asking this seriously?

Adam

Adam:

Rand wrote what she intended to be a realistic novel, showing what happens to a society in the real world when the looters destroy it and the producers abandon it, and that people can act heroically in those and any other circumstances. Star Trek and Alice in Wonderland have never been presented as anything other than fantasies. So they have nothing to do with Atlas Shrugged. So her characters need to act as real people do, and invent things that are scientifically plausible.

But on examination, it turns out that there is a lot of unrealism in AS, which hurts the credibility not only of Galt's motor and Rearden's metal, but of the ideas that are the real heart of the novel, about looters and producers.

Brant--in answer to your question, it's not my like or dislike of fiction that motivates me here. It's the fact that so many people think of her as a great novelist, and that Fountainhead and AS are great works of literature. The simple fact is, they are not, and the sooner people accept that, the better. Rand needs to approached as a philosopher who presented some of her ideas in second-rate novels, not as a novelist who was also a philosopher.

Jeffrey, you are flat out wrong. And a lot of what passes as "great literature" is puffed up garbage. She was a great novelist. She wrote two great novels, natch. I could care less about their "literature" classifications or who makes those things.

--Brant

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Nathaniel Branden tells somewhere (I'm too lazy to look it up now for an exact quote) that she repeatedly would make the same claim in public and then to his great embarrassment point out herself and the Brandens as examples of such people. But no matter whom she took as examples, the claim was clearly that the heroes in AS are not idealizations but people who could and did exist in reality. She also described Frank O'Connor as "John Galt on strike".

Thanks DF for providing this crucial info which offers insight into what made A. Rand tick.

Brant Gaede:

It's not an error. You are criticizing AS as if it were a non-fiction treatise.

Dragonfly: F: AS is in fact a non-fiction treatise in the disguise of a novel.

Precisely. And that disguise can be felt throughout in the novel.

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Hmmm Dragonfly...context context:

I believe that Ayn then said, "...that this book was published [Atlas] proves that men like this exist." I believe that she was talking about Cerf for example.

"I trust that no one will tell me that men such as I write about don't exist."

Nathaniel Branden tells somewhere (I'm too lazy to look it up now for an exact quote) that she repeatedly would make the same claim in public and then to his great embarrassment point out herself and the Brandens as examples of such people. But no matter whom she took as examples, the claim was clearly that the heroes in AS are not idealizations but people who could and did exist in reality. She also described Frank O'Connor as "John Galt on strike".

Thanks DF for providing this info.

It's not an error. You are criticizing AS as if it were a non-fiction treatise.
Dragonfly: F: AS is in fact a non-fiction treatise in the disguise of a novel.

Precisely. And that disguise can be felt throughout the novel.

And of course xray feelings take precedence over rational understanding of the specific FACT that it is categorically fiction, but that is that old school stuff, Ayn and Aristotle.

Adam

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Jeffrey, you are flat out wrong. And a lot of what passes as "great literature" is puffed up garbage. She was a great novelist. She wrote two great novels, natch. I could care less about their "literature" classifications or who makes those things.

--Brant

Yes, there is a lot of puffed garbage out there. And I'm afraid that AS, considered as a novel, comes closer to that description than it comes to the description "great literature". Considered as a philosophical presentation, however, it's a very good book indeed. But only when considered as a philosophical presentation.

I know Rand thought highly of Victor Hugo, so let's take him as an example. Les Miserables is actually chock full of philosophical nuggets, yet no one I know has ever said that they read it because of the ideas, or that they thought it was a great work because of its ideas. They read it because it's a frickin' great novel. A hundred years from now, they will read it because it's a frickin' great novel. (Assuming that people still read novels then.)

Atlas Shrugged is not in that league. Not anywhere near that league. People are impressed by AS because of the ideas it presents, not because of any literary merits. Rand thought she was a great novelist? Not the first time people have mistaken where their talents raised. She was a first rate philosopher, and a second rate novelist, and the sooner Objectivists accept that, the better.

The question that originally started off this thread is a good example of why. A detail that should have been included to enhance the novel's realism--and which would have actually strengthened Rand's position on creativity as being something that is part of individuality--is instead totally ignored.

And remember what I said--if readers find the less important points of AS (Galt's motor, or any of another twenty dozen things) to be not credible, not plausible, not realistic, then the more likely they are to reject (if they haven't been prepared beforehand philosophically) the really important points--the possibility and the need for heroic struggle by individuals and the destruction of society inherent in a politics dominated by moochers and looters--as being just as implausible and incredible.

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Jeffrey, you are flat out wrong. And a lot of what passes as "great literature" is puffed up garbage. She was a great novelist. She wrote two great novels, natch. I could care less about their "literature" classifications or who makes those things.

--Brant

Yes, there is a lot of puffed garbage out there. And I'm afraid that AS, considered as a novel, comes closer to that description than it comes to the description "great literature". Considered as a philosophical presentation, however, it's a very good book indeed. But only when considered as a philosophical presentation.

I know Rand thought highly of Victor Hugo, so let's take him as an example. Les Miserables is actually chock full of philosophical nuggets, yet no one I know has ever said that they read it because of the ideas, or that they thought it was a great work because of its ideas. They read it because it's a frickin' great novel. A hundred years from now, they will read it because it's a frickin' great novel. (Assuming that people still read novels then.)

Atlas Shrugged is not in that league. Not anywhere near that league. People are impressed by AS because of the ideas it presents, not because of any literary merits. Rand thought she was a great novelist? Not the first time people have mistaken where their talents raised. She was a first rate philosopher, and a second rate novelist, and the sooner Objectivists accept that, the better.

The question that originally started off this thread is a good example of why. A detail that should have been included to enhance the novel's realism--and which would have actually strengthened Rand's position on creativity as being something that is part of individuality--is instead totally ignored.

And remember what I said--if readers find the less important points of AS (Galt's motor, or any of another twenty dozen things) to be not credible, not plausible, not realistic, then the more likely they are to reject (if they haven't been prepared beforehand philosophically) the really important points--the possibility and the need for heroic struggle by individuals and the destruction of society inherent in a politics dominated by moochers and looters--as being just as implausible and incredible.

"Only as a philosophical presentation" is it a "very good book indeed."

Ronald Reagen: "Where's the rest of me?"

--Brant

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"Only as a philosophical presentation" is it a "very good book indeed."

Ronald Reagen: "Where's the rest of me?"

--Brant

There is a difference between literature and philosophy, Brant. Rand wasn't very good at the literature, but she was good at the philosophy. Very few people have managed to do both: Plato, Schopenhauer, and Camus among the philosophers, and no one I can think of among the novelists/poets except Lucretius. And Schopenhauer is mostly by default: the only German philosopher who had a good writing style. So it's no insult to Rand to admit that, despite all the ideas, AS is not a very good novel.

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"Only as a philosophical presentation" is it a "very good book indeed."

Ronald Reagen: "Where's the rest of me?"

--Brant

There is a difference between literature and philosophy, Brant. Rand wasn't very good at the literature, but she was good at the philosophy. Very few people have managed to do both: Plato, Schopenhauer, and Camus among the philosophers, and no one I can think of among the novelists/poets except Lucretius. And Schopenhauer is mostly by default: the only German philosopher who had a good writing style. So it's no insult to Rand to admit that, despite all the ideas, AS is not a very good novel.

Your opinion is noted. I have my own.

--Brant

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Jeffrey, you are flat out wrong. And a lot of what passes as "great literature" is puffed up garbage. She was a great novelist. She wrote two great novels, natch. I could care less about their "literature" classifications or who makes those things.

--Brant

Yes, there is a lot of puffed garbage out there. And I'm afraid that AS, considered as a novel, comes closer to that description than it comes to the description "great literature".

<snipped>

I know Rand thought highly of Victor Hugo, so let's take him as an example. Les Miserables is actually chock full of philosophical nuggets, yet no one I know has ever said that they read it because of the ideas, or that they thought it was a great work because of its ideas. They read it because it's a frickin' great novel. A hundred years from now, they will read it because it's a frickin' great novel. (Assuming that people still read novels then.)

Atlas Shrugged is not in that league. Not anywhere near that league. People are impressed by AS because of the ideas it presents, not because of any literary merits. Rand thought she was a great novelist? Not the first time people have mistaken where their talents raised. She was a first rate philosopher, and a second rate novelist, and the sooner Objectivists accept that, the better.

Brant/Jeffrey S,

This would be interesting to discuss and debate further on the Great Literature thread after J. Riggenbach is back, since he believes Ayn Rand is one of the greatest writers is of the 20th century. :)

And remember what I said--if readers find the less important points of AS (Galt's motor, or any of another twenty dozen things) to be not credible, not plausible, not realistic, then the more likely they are to reject (if they haven't been prepared beforehand philosophically) the really important points--the possibility and the need for heroic struggle by individuals and the destruction of society inherent in a politics dominated by moochers and looters--as being just as implausible and incredible.

Problem is, what is labeled as a looter and moocher by what people?

For example, a capitalist who draws profit from the plight of others by exploiting third-world children to work for him in a sweatshop may well be regarded as a 'looter' or 'moocher' by a communist.

Rand's rose-colored view of unbridled capitalism as the source of all good would deserve some premise-checking too. For is always "good for whose interests?".

Edited by Xray
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Problem is, what is labeled as a looter and moocher by what people?

For example, a capitalist who draws profit from the plight of others by exploiting third-world children to work for him in a sweatshop may well be regarded as a 'looter' or 'moocher' by a communist.

Rand's rose-colored view of unbridled capitalism as the source of all good would deserve some premise-checking too. For is always "good for whose interests?".

You mean provide paying work for people who would otherwise starve to death? Some exploitation that is.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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> the less important points of AS (Galt's motor, or any of another twenty dozen things) [are] not credible, not plausible, not realistic

Jeffrey, I have seen in you a tendency to exaggerate numbers about twenty quazillion times.

> Brant/Jeffrey S, This would be interesting to discuss and debate further on the Great Literature thread after J. Riggenbach is back, since he believes Ayn Rand is one of the greatest writers is of the 20th century.

Xray, If you wanted to thoroughly debate this view "further", then why do you have to wait? It was not Jeff, but -me- who posted the strongest and most thoroughgoing defense of Atlas on that thread. There were many, many points I made. The post was pretty much ignored. Do you guys jump in fear to another thread and only attack weak arguments or arguers? Cherry pick which strong literary arguments you want to address?

I'll post it again. Want to bet that very few if any of my central points are rebutted? Or that those who think Atlas is not great will only respond to whichever single point or point below they think is weakest INSTEAD OF ALL OF THEM, SYSTEMATICALLY ===>

(great literature, 10/4)

Subject: The Greatness and Power of Atlas Shrugged

I'm going to cover a lot of ground. Each point will be terse.

-- In addressing whether or not the characters are three-dimensional vs. cardboard, context of the novel is relevant. The canvass of Atlas is vast compared to Fountainhead (where the central focus is on one character.) If you have three or four major characters and a dozen minor ones entering and leaving the stage, you can't allow too many of them to hog the limelight. In a play, the audience wants to focus on the lead(s). If the cleaning lady in the background draws too much attention that takes away the focus. True in a novel, you can always go back and reread, but the principle remains the same. What's skillful in the novel is to develop Dagny, Francisco, Rearden, James Taggart, Lillian, Dr. Stadler, Galt, and a handful of others all so well and distinctively, given that you have to give each of them fewer pages than you do the major characters in Fountainhead, due to the needs of a much more complex plot...and a whole philosophy. Think of a painting. If there is a large canvas containing a vast landscape or dozens of people, one has to give less space and less development to each element. They are tinier than if you do a close-up portrait.

-- It's a mistake to evaluate Atlas by purely literary standards. In a way, it's not a work of literature, not exclusively. It is a hybrid - both a work of literature and one of philosophy. Purely literarily, it's a mistake to have a speech of the length of Galt's. It causes the story to come to a screeching halt. But the speech -definitely- was a good decision. Why? Because the criterion is that the book is a work of philosophy as well. And the speech is necessary to tie all the philosophical elements together. This is not the first fiction work that has been talky and yet is respected for all the ideas. I'm told "The Magic Mountain" is only one example of a well-liked work that is that way. Late Heinlein is very talky with little action and seems a vehicle for his ideas. What's amazing is that Rand is able to pull off something so impossible as well as she does and the action doesn't vanish and make you want to snooze as late Heinlein does. Stranger in a Strange Land? the bizarrities of Lazarus Long?

-- Seldom given due credit are the many skills of Rand just as a writer. [she's often derided as a simple-minded, un-nuanced writer best suited to immature adolescents.]To start with, the stories (especially in Atlas) are complex and operate on different levels. As a creator of characters, even the sketchily drawn secondary characters, people constantly say they often capture in pattern people or types who one sees throughout one's life. She is a great satirist, good at witty repartee (the parties are a lot of fun - note in particular the great dialogue involving Francisco). Her descriptions are evocative and effective - not just the major scenes such as the breathtaking ride on the John Galt Line, but scattered throughout - the city sinking into the fog, the blasted oak tree, the peeling skyscrapers. And her essentialized descriptions of people. Part of the appropriateness of making bad guys ugly is that it's often more than just ugliness it's a trembling lip or sagging chin or weak mouth. Or using weak and satirical names (Wesley Mouch, anyone, which suggests a mouse). When you don't have a lot of time to spend on a minor character and can't do a three dimensional character [see my first point in this post], nothing wrong with using shorthand like this. If that bothers you, get over it. It's at very worst a minor blemish. Dickens did it too in his sprawling novels, so the gossip says.

-- Rand has a certain range in being able to capture despair and decline and disillusion as well as a soaring uplift and idealism. And the enormous potential and beauty possible in the world. On this last, I don't know anyone better. "She sat listening to the music. It was a symphony of triumph. ... they seemed to embody every human act and thought that had ascent as its motive."

-- Most original and unprecedented of all is the conveying and making palpable a complete new philosophy. This is impossible in a novel. Yet she comes as close as can be to pulling it off. This is part of the double track nature of the book - telling an exciting story of disappearances and having philosophical implications inserted side by side.

-- When she does get philosophical, it is never too abstract for too long. And the implications for your life are never too far away. She is at her most down to earth and forceful often when she is the most far-reaching, broad, and abstract: "Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved.." Galt's speech alone, (whether you agree with it or not - I do) is a great work of literature as well as revolutionary intellectually.

(I think I'll leave it at this length - short enough to be understood.)

Philip Coates

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Phil, Xray doesn't want a debate. Everything for her will devolve into subjective value preference. In her world your reasons don't matter; they are just futile attempts at objectivity. I guarantee you that that is what she thinks of the Objectivist philosophy in its entirety--that it's some kind of silly joke we have hypnotised ourselves with. Of course, that is an unadmitted objective truth for her: she gets her objectivity and we get continually put down by the hidden circularity of her basic position which uses objectivity as a stolen concept, another idea she laughs at.

--Brant

wake up and smell the _________

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Phil, Xray doesn't want a debate. Everything for her will devolve into subjective value preference. In her world your reasons don't matter; they are just futile attempts at objectivity. I guarantee you that that is what she thinks of the Objectivist philosophy in its entirety--that it's some kind of silly joke we have hypnotised ourselves with. Of course, that is an unadmitted objective truth for her: she gets her objectivity and we get continually put down by the hidden circularity of her basic position which uses objectivity as a stolen concept, another idea she laughs at.

--Brant

wake up and smell the _________

107.gif = X-ray

Bravo Brant.

"Xray, If you wanted to thoroughly debate this view "further", then why do you have to wait? It was not Jeff, but -me- who posted the strongest and most thoroughgoing defense of Atlas on that thread. There were many, many points I made. The post was pretty much ignored. Do you guys jump in fear to another thread and only attack weak arguments or arguers? Cherry pick which strong literary arguments you want to address?"

Watch what her responses are, it is hilarious. Do some real popcorn, pull up a comfortable chair and put your feet up. It's a good show...once.

Adam

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Brant or Adam,

Comments on the points I made about Atlas?

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Brant or Adam,

Comments on the points I made about Atlas?

None. I have no student/teacher relationship with anybody unless I pay money for it. This also means I didn't read your post. I don't read detailed esthetic evaluations of Rand's fiction--any of it, ever.

--Brant

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"Don't bother me, don't bother me, don't bother me."

Arrogantly, proudly!! . . . anti-intellectual.

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(winding down...starting to get more and more short-tempered with the intellectual habits and psychologies of so many people here....good time to take a break)

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-- In addressing whether or not the characters are three-dimensional vs. cardboard, context of the novel is relevant. The canvass of Atlas is vast compared to Fountainhead (where the central focus is on one character.) If you have three or four major characters and a dozen minor ones entering and leaving the stage, you can't allow too many of them to hog the limelight. In a play, the audience wants to focus on the lead(s). If the cleaning lady in the background draws too much attention that takes away the focus.

Of course you cannot develop deep-going characterization of all the participants in a large novel, but the weakness of AS is that almost all the characters are cardboard. Only with Rearden and Dagny we get perhaps a little more depth. But even many Objectivists admit that Galt is rather an abstraction than a person and the other heroes are not much better in that regard. The villains are all complete cardboard figures, even caricatures who at the end all disintegrate when the light of reason shines on them. In contrast, even Peter Keating had sometimes his better moments and many characters in The Fountainhead are not exclusively black or white (for example Dominique's father, or Cameron with a beard and heavily drinking). Moreover, her psychological theories get the better of her when she describes how Francisco gladly accepts that Rearden becomes Dagny's new lover, who in his turn equally gladly accepts that Galt is the next one. This is completely unrealistic and it's no coincidence that it was written by someone who decided that it was quite "rational" to start an affair with her much younger (for all practical purposes) student Nathaniel Branden, while she got the agreement from their respective spouses.

-- It's a mistake to evaluate Atlas by purely literary standards.

Not if you want to evaluate its literary qualities.

In a way, it's not a work of literature, not exclusively. It is a hybrid - both a work of literature and one of philosophy. Purely literarily, it's a mistake to have a speech of the length of Galt's. It causes the story to come to a screeching halt.

Indeed, and that is one of the worst faults in the book.

But the speech -definitely- was a good decision. Why? Because the criterion is that the book is a work of philosophy as well.

First, apart from the literary aspect of inserting such a long speech in a novel, the speech in itself isn't good, it's overly repetitive. It hammers down the same message in countless variations that are not essential and in practice no one would have listened it to the end (and probably the majority of readers will start to skim it after a while, or even skip it altogether), as they would have become bored to death. But second, it may be that the book is a work of philosophy as well, but that is no excuse. It just doesn't work, as many (or even most) people don't read it in this form. They've got the message of the book or not, but the speech doesn't change that.

Late Heinlein is very talky with little action and seems a vehicle for his ideas. What's amazing is that Rand is able to pull off something so impossible as well as she does and the action doesn't vanish and make you want to snooze as late Heinlein does. Stranger in a Strange Land? the bizarrities of Lazarus Long?

In fact I find the "bizarrities" of Lazarus Long much better to digest (or even great fun) than this extremely boring speech.

She is a great satirist, good at witty repartee (the parties are a lot of fun - note in particular the great dialogue involving Francisco).

The problem is that these witty repartees are always completely one-sided: the hero is witty but his opponents are invariably dumb, just as the hero is beautiful, but the villain ugly.

Her descriptions are evocative and effective - not just the major scenes such as the breathtaking ride on the John Galt Line, but scattered throughout - the city sinking into the fog, the blasted oak tree, the peeling skyscrapers.

I think these descriptions are the best aspect of her art.

And her essentialized descriptions of people. Part of the appropriateness of making bad guys ugly is that it's often more than just ugliness it's a trembling lip or sagging chin or weak mouth. Or using weak and satirical names (Wesley Mouch, anyone, which suggests a mouse). When you don't have a lot of time to spend on a minor character and can't do a three dimensional character [see my first point in this post], nothing wrong with using shorthand like this.

Well, I think it's really a drawback. To make all your heroes beautiful and all your villains ugly, with names to match, is a primitive method that dates from earlier centuries but that has no place in a modern novel. This is also a departure from The Fountainhead, where for example the good guy Mike has "a face so ugly that it became fascinating", and I'm afraid this is no improvement.

-- Most original and unprecedented of all is the conveying and making palpable a complete new philosophy. This is impossible in a novel.

It is indeed impossible, and that is the greatest drawback of AS. Where The Fountainhead (with all its weaknesses) is still a novel with philosophical implications, AS becomes an impalatable hybrid, neither successful as a novel, nor as a philosophical treatise. It's far too preachy, even without that horrible speech. That may indeed appeal to immature adolescents (as I also was, long ago), but becomes quite irritating to mature adults (at least most of them).

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Correct Dragonfly good points:

"But even many Objectivists admit that Galt is rather an abstraction than a person."

I was one and still am. He was an absurd archtypal metaphor to the "ideal man" with "no pain, no fear, no guilt", cute image, but I did not buy it at 14, and if I did not buy it then, I sure ain't buying it now.

"Indeed, and that is one of the worst faults in the book." "They've got the message of the book or not, but the speech doesn't change that." Bravo

Yes indeed, which makes me wonder why folks can't accept that even when the worst plot interruption I have ever encountered, the book was, is and will be a huge success forever because it deals with the nature of man and it clearly lays out a way to live your life if you apply rational principles with integrity.

Every time I have made significant mistakes in my life, it was because I deviated from that path.

The reason it is great literature, is because it is eternal. That is one of my 103.gif critical objective standards of evaluation.

This is in red for you xray so you do not have to search through all the Ayn crap to continue your Chautauqua routine.

"...neither successful as a novel..." Now I know you mean this a different way than the rest of us do because it is clearly successful as a novel both financially and the scope of its impact generation after generation.

We can all find flaws in greatness because at some level, I think it makes people feel like well see he/she was not perfect, as if that was remotely relevant to anything.

Adam

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"Don't bother me, don't bother me, don't bother me."

Arrogantly, proudly!! . . . anti-intellectual.

No, Phil. I detest intellectualisms applied to any art I like. Don't take it personally. It applies to everybody. I have my own ideas on why AS is a great novel, but I'm not going to pass them around or push them off on anybody. I could care less why Jeffrey Smith thinks it's second-rate or whatever-rate. I could care less why you think differently. This is not "anti-intellectual." We're not talking about the ideas. The most I've done that I remember is complain about the style of presentation of Galt's speech. I hate that tone of address, but admit it literarily fits the novel.

--Brant

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Thank you, Dragonfly for at least arguing in some detail against me point-by-point (or at least against those of my points you disagree with). Even though I still disagree with most of your views or your reasoning for them.

This is how you conduct an intellectual debate.

,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Even though I am "semi-retired" :unsure: , I will try to find time to make a careful, respectful response to your points...and indicate where I find you to be wrong and try to identify exactly where the disagreements lie.

I do want to say, though, that my argument is not that Rand's novels are without flaws. Any thousand page novel - or any novel - that I have ever read has flaws (or areas of improvement) - in style, in writing skill, in characterization, in plot - and so on.

So the argument should not be about whether or not you can find flaws in Atlas or Fountainhead...or in Shakespeare or Dickens. It should be about whether when you get past the flaws, what remains is of lasting value in one or more ways, which is unforgettable, which speaks to the human condition.

Edited by Philip Coates
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Problem is, what is labeled as a looter and moocher by what people?

For example, a capitalist who draws profit from the plight of others by exploiting third-world children to work for him in a sweatshop may well be regarded as a 'looter' or 'moocher' by a communist.

Rand's rose-colored view of unbridled capitalism as the source of all good would deserve some premise-checking too. For is always "good for whose interests?".

You mean provide paying work for people who would otherwise starve to death? Some exploitation that is.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Of course it is exploitaiton, for they they are paid just enough not to starve so that the capitalist can draw profit from work for which he would have to pay far more in other countries.

Don't delude yourself: would you think it was fair if your child had to work for a multimillionaire in sweat shop?

Edited by Xray
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"Of course it is exploitaiton..." objectively correct? 109.gif

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"Of course it is exploitaiton..." objectively correct? 109.gif

What is objectively correct is that many children have to work in these shops. How you judge this depends on your value system. Many people would consider it exploitation because they empathize with the children who have no choice but to work there.

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Yes indeed, which makes me wonder why folks can't accept that even when the worst plot interruption I have ever encountered, the book was, is and will be a huge success forever because it deals with the nature of man and it clearly lays out a way to live your life if you apply rational principles with integrity.

Imo that the book has been a success has nothing do with any rational principles - the reason is that it feeds the dreams of many to stand out among the crowd, be a grandiose person, to be "admired by the world", to be both sexually attractive and rich etc.

Many people read novels for this reason: they offer escapism and allow them to dream, so there's large gamut of novels on the market satisfying that need, ranging from cheap pulp booklets to large volumes like AS.

Then there are those who share Ayn Rand's ideological views of capitalism 'as the best for mankind', if they are into reading fiction and get acquainted with Rand's novels, they will probably value the 'message' conveyed there.

The reason it is great literature, is because it is eternal. That is one of my 103.gif critical objective standards of evaluation.

This is in red for you xray so you do not have to search through all the Ayn crap to continue your Chautauqua routine.

No need to mark your mistake in red, Selene. It is your subjective standard of course.

BTW, according to your chosen standard, Jerry Cotton and Mickey Mouse texts are also great literature' because they have been around forever too. :D

And if one zeroes in on the denotation of the word "eternal" and applies it to the logic in your post, then there exists no great literature because nothing is eternal.

"...neither successful as a novel..." Now I know you mean this a different way than the rest of us do because it is clearly successful as a novel both financially and the scope of its impact generation after generation.

Sure it was successful both financially and in its impact on generations, but what does that say? For example, Coca Cola, marshmallows and Barbie Dolls are successful here too. :)

Edited by Xray
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