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Defending ATLAS SHRUGGED…

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  • Wed, Feb 08, 2012 - 07:53pm

    #1
    JuanGalt

    JuanGalt

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    Defending ATLAS SHRUGGED…

Hey fellow CMers,

I’m engaged in some discussions, more like debates, with a group of extremely liberal friends regarding the validity of ATLAS SHRUGGED. Obviously, for them Ayn Rand’s philosophy is indefensible. They typically assault the value and credibility of her work based on the inconsistencies found in her life with respect to actions versus the philosophies discussed in her books. They cite the contradictions in her life, how the end of her life was quite miserable and that her views are much too extreme.

I understand their points but my argument is more about the inherent value and lessons found in her magnum opus and how prescient it was given what has and is transpiring in America (big brother government, police state, growing gov’t intervention and nationalization of private industry, crony capitalism, emerging fascism, widespread corruption, socialism, anti-business friendly environment especially for small business, entitlement society, political and economic fraud, etc…).

Can you suggest any particularly compelling articles, interviews, podcasts or You Tube videos that do an excellent job at defending Atlas Shrugged from liberal attacks while separating the contradictions and hypocricy found in Rand’s life versus the value of her most famous work? Thanks in advance!

JG

 

  • Thu, Feb 09, 2012 - 04:22pm

    #2
    TimesAwasting

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    No need to defend Atlas Shrugged

Hi Juan.

I Don’t think you need to defend Rand’s opus… its eloquence and truth (in my opinion) stand’s on it’s own!

I think one either gets “it” or one doesn’t… however, not getting (or understanding) her philosophy is a matter of choice. The Liberal mind wants desperately to believe in the theory of a “free lunch”, so it quite happily ignores the fact that while it may have in deed, received a free lunch, “someone” had to provide it (either willingly or by force).

The challenge you’re running in to is that the Liberal mind will rationalize (yes, ironic word choice…) it’s belief system, by attacking the author’s personal life, stating “see, see… her own life’s mess is proof that her ideas are wrong”.

That challenge though, can be adequately addressed. I would tell your Liberal friends quite simply that Life is messy; and that time, circumstances and people do in fact, change.

Presumably, Ms. Rand created Atlas between the ages of 37 and 52 (the time between the publishing of The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged). She went on to live another 25 years in notoriety and fame… two fairly big crosses to bear. Whatever her own personal failings might have been, they do not detract from her message in the slightest!

Whenever I hear someone wanting to “spread the wealth around” I immediately wonder, who’s wealth are they talking about? While I am personally all for lending a helping hand, I believe it should be given voluntarily… not at the end of a gun barrel.

To your friends I would say, Charity… if it please’s you, then by all means please feel free to give. Such charitable giving will vary… as I’m sure your’s likely varies from theirs.

  • Thu, Feb 09, 2012 - 06:19pm

    #3
    doug green

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    I think using the bankruptcy

I think using the coming bankruptcy of heavily unionized and lavish government employee pension states, the Post Office, Medicare, Medicaid and Fannie and Freddie show that central planning cannot compete with free enterprise when it comes to managing successful entities.  Atlas Shrugged is the best book ever written, and we are living through it right now!  The only thing I note from Ayn’s main characters is that they exhibit an iron will in their convictions that normal people cannot sustain.  

  • Thu, Feb 09, 2012 - 10:27pm

    #4
    JuanGalt

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    Thanks for the input Timesawasting!

I agree, the book stands by itself.

I have a feeling some of these knuckleheads are going off the relatively poor attempt at taking the book to the big screen in Atlas Shrugged Part 1, critical reviews found on-line or only partial readings of the text with a biased eye seeking to justify selective critique.

Very true about “getting it” or “not getting it”. The liberal brainwashing is very hard to overcome for them.

Yes, that “spreading the wealth” phrase Obama likes to parrot is propoganda and a psy op (IHMO) for a socialist and collectivist agenda that ultimately destroys individual ambition, personal liberty and opportunity and society’s progress while consequently concentrating wealth and power in the hands of an elite and corrupt few.

Absolutely correct about charity. Charity and helping your fellow man has its place but when a ridiculous amount of laws and regulations are enacted to enforce it and compel others through the restrictions on their freedoms we are walking a slippert slope. You you create a law it creates the opportunity and need for enforecement and fear at the end of a gun barrel is guaranteed way to create resistance.

There is no coincidence we are living in an ever-increasing police state and that our 2nd amendment rights to keep and bear arms are being threatened buy existing legislation.

Thanks for your thoughts!

JG

 

  • Thu, Feb 09, 2012 - 10:34pm

    #5
    JuanGalt

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    Right on dmger14!

Very good examples!

The book is incredibly prophetic.

The iron will and convictions of the main characters and heroes in the novel is something few possess. It’s no coincidence that  entrepreneurs constitute an extremely small percentage of our population. These visionaries and fighters should be held up, supported and respected, not attacked and held back by gov’t bondage.

May the free markets live and thrive, be it in or outside the United States!

JG 

  • Fri, Feb 10, 2012 - 12:23am

    #6

    darbikrash

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    Moral Philosophy of Politics

In the hopes that just one person may be influenced to put down the bad fiction novels, comic books, internet conspiracy theories,  and other assorted trash valorizing greed and radical individualism:

Yale University wrote:

The final Enlightenment tradition left to be explored in this course is social contract theory, for which we must return to Locke and somehow secularize his views and reconcile them with the refutation of natural rights. Modern social contract theorists replace natural rights with Kant’s categorical imperatives, and accept the Aristotelian notion that there is no such thing as pre-political man. They approach the social contract as a hypothetical thought experiment, asking, if there were no state, what kind of state, if any, would people like you and I create? The first modern social contract theorist Professor Shapiro introduces is Robert Nozick, whose theory derives from the voluntary entry of individuals into mutual protective associations in the absence of a state. But he also makes two important points about force: (1) for coercive force to be a good, it has to be exercised as a monopoly, and (2) there’s no other natural monopoly. Therefore, a dominant protective association will come out on top and resemble the state. But one problem remains: the incorporation of independents into this state.

Yale University wrote:

Professor Shapiro dives more deeply into Robert Nozick’s theory of the minimal, or night watchman, state. This formulation is not redistributive, nor does it consider rights as goals, but rather as side-constraints on what we can do. In other words, Nozick’s is a deontological, not teleological, approach. However, the Achilles’ heel of this formulation is the incorporation of independents, based on a system of compensation. Some people will opt not to enter into our hypothetical social contract, but for the dominant protective association to protect its members from the fear of these independents, they must be forced to incorporate. Nozick thinks that if members could compensate the independents for this rights violation, it would legitimize the state. Unfortunately, no one has ever solved the puzzle of compensation without some interpersonal comparison of utility. But another way to salvage Nozick’s account is with the Kantian dictum “ought entails can,” meaning that since independents cannot be tolerated, it cannot be an obligation not to violate their rights. But what if the independents could compensate the members for their fear? And couldn’t this compensation model be used to justify the welfare state as well? Isn’t the value of consent, in which Nozick’s account is rooted, completely violated here?

 

 

  • Fri, Feb 10, 2012 - 12:34am

    #7
    TimesAwasting

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    Atlas Shrugged as the Rule of Law died today

JG,

I posted that response this morning before finishing my daily “internet round-up”… only to find out a few minutes later that the rule of law in America died today, February 9, 2012.

It seems some pigs are more equal than others!

Our state and federal governments now openly sanction all kinds of forgery and fraud by the bankster class… the thieving of The People will now continue with reckless abandon… this robo-signing settlement is just the sort of guidepost I’ve been looking for… decisions here forward will now be very easy to make.

Ms. Rand was in deed a brilliant human being! I find it ironic that we’d be discussing Atlas Shrugged today, of all days, as the final nail is driven into our collective coffin. I imagine years from now we will look back on this day as a major turning point in the collapse yet to come…

TA

 

  • Fri, Feb 10, 2012 - 01:27am

    #8
    JuanGalt

    JuanGalt

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    Hey TA, is there a particular article you’re referencing here?

I have not scanned the news yet today?

If there is a link to a worthwhile article it would be greatly appreciated if you get a chance. Thanks in advance!

JG

  • Fri, Feb 10, 2012 - 04:37am

    #9

    Travlin

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    I hear you

darbikrash wrote:

In the hopes that just one person may be influenced to put down the bad fiction novels, comic books, internet conspiracy theories,  and other assorted trash valorizing greed and radical individualism:

Yale University wrote:

They approach the social contract as a hypothetical thought experiment, asking, if there were no state, what kind of state, if any, would people like you and I create? The first modern social contract theorist Professor Shapiro introduces is Robert Nozick, whose theory derives from the voluntary entry of individuals into mutual protective associations in the absence of a state. But he also makes two important points about force: (1) for coercive force to be a good, it has to be exercised as a monopoly, and (2) there’s no other natural monopoly. Therefore, a dominant protective association will come out on top and resemble the state. But one problem remains: the incorporation of independents into this state.

I hear you Darbikrash. In times of anarchy the first thing people do is band together for mutual support and defense. Group cohesion requires some rules and enforcement. Next thing you know you have a state again. People crave this. They realize instinctively it is vital to survival. Groups of people can always overwhelm the rugged individualist. They cannot exist in a vacuum. There have to be obligations both ways to obtain a workable balance.

Travlin

  • Fri, Feb 10, 2012 - 12:47pm

    #10
    Rihter

    Rihter

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    Empathy

Empathy, or lack of it, is the reason I never took Rand seriously.

Jeremy Rifkin – On empathy in civilization.

 

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