Imagine how Ayn Rand would have written this chapter of history

Posted by $ jbrenner 3 months, 3 weeks ago to History
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In a recent post, I started a thread on where we are now in the Atlas Shrugged timeline.

https://www.galtsgulchonline.com/post...

Since it is June, our month in the Gulch, let's have a therapeutic exercise of our mind, and propose how Ayn Rand would have written about 2020.


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    Posted by ewv 3 months, 3 weeks ago
    Ayn Rand anticipated how she would have written about 2020:

    From The Ayn Rand Letter
    Vol. IV, No. 2 November-December 1975
    A Last Survey--Part I [Ayn Rand's last article before closing down her publication]

    "This is to tell you, regretfully, that I am discontinuing the publication of The Ayn Rand Letter after these last two issues.

    "I say 'regretfully' because I am sorry to disappoint the readers who have supported this publication, and its predecessors, for so many years. That is why I wanted to make this announcement personally and to tell you my reasons...

    "There are many aspects of the Letter's publication which I will miss and regret, but, for me personally, the decision to close it, was something of a relief...

    "2. My purpose in writing articles was to discuss the application of Objectivism to modern events—i.e., to explain today's trends by identifying their philosophical roots and meaning, and to present the Objectivist alternative. In this respect, reality has proved too cooperative: so many trends are going the way I predicted they would (only more crudely and viciously so) that I find myself in the 'untitled' predicament over and over again Most of you will remember that I wrote 'An Untitled Letter' once (January 29, 1973). Its first paragraph read: 'The most appropriate title for this discussion would be ''I told you so.'' But since that would be in somewhat dubious taste, I shall leave this Letter untitled.' I am tired of saying 'I told you so' indirectly. It would be better for someone else to observe it.

    "My criterion in selecting the subjects I discussed was: the subject's philosophical importance, which had to be demonstrable, but not too obvious. Today, the issues are becoming so crudely obvious that those who do not see them, cannot be helped by any discussion. Time and again, I have found that the basic evil behind today's ugliest phenomena is altruism. Well, I told you so. I have been telling you so since We The Living, which was published in 1936. Those who still pretend that they can save freedom and individual rights without challenging altruism, are outside my power of persuasion (and, I suspect, outside any sort of persuasion, i.e., outside the field of ideas).

    "Today's disasters are concrete manifestations of one or more of three fundamental abstractions: mysticism, altruism, collectivism. I have discussed such manifestations in many of their current forms, so that the method or pattern of identifying, understanding and opposing them should be clear to you by now. You should be able to recognize them in their next appearance or latest fashion, which will vary endlessly in form, but not in essence. In this respect, I have given you the intellectual ammunition required.

    "As far as I am concerned, I do not care to go on analyzing and denouncing the same indecencies of the same irrationalism. I enjoy writing only so long as I say something I have not said before. For me, every article has to involve some new identification, big or small, not only new to my readers, but new to me. I cannot bear merely to repeat myself. In the last two years, watching the gray monotony of the culture's disintegration, I saw that the time was approaching when I would have to report on the same kinds of phenomena over and over again. I began to feel as if I would have to become a journalist. Casting no aspersions on that once honorable and always badly needed profession, a journalist is what I most emphatically am not...

    "3. The state of today's culture is so low that I do not care to spend my time watching and discussing it. I am haunted by a quotation from Nietzsche: 'It is not my function to be a fly swatter.' The evils destroying modern civilization are enormous, but their representatives, agents and carriers are too small to contemplate. This is an illustration of the fact that evil is not 'single and big, [it is] many and smutty and small' (The Fountainhead)—or that evil is a default." [She then described the repetitious smallness of the time before concluding.]
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    • Posted by $ Flootus5 3 months, 3 weeks ago
      Boy,does this take me back. I was subscribing to her newsletter when I was in High School. Still have them in a 3 ring binder. I remember her ending the newsletter with this little essay while in College. Her sentiment here is so appropriate. She had all ready said it all.

      This is the first part of that Part I. There is more and there is Part II as well. It is about time for me to reread about everything of hers.
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    • Posted by edweaver 3 months, 3 weeks ago
      And as bad as it was then, look where we made it to. Ayn knew what was coming. I'm thinking she would be surprised it took this long.

      Excellent responseto JB's post EWV!
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      • Posted by ewv 3 months, 3 weeks ago
        She once wrote, somewhere in The Ayn Rand Letter, that she felt fortunate that she would no longer be here when what she foresaw would come to be, but she never gave up on the human potential and continued to advocate and expand her ideas.
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        • Posted by $ 3 months, 3 weeks ago
          I used to have such optimism about humanity. There are still some who are worthy of my production, including you and all those here in the Gulch. However, it is getting a lot more difficult to remain optimistic. Each time I read Atlas Shrugged I see more of the internal struggles that numerous characters had.
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          • Posted by ewv 3 months, 3 weeks ago
            Ayn Rand's not giving up on the human potential was not optimism, that potential is a fact. She believed that as long as there is freedom to speak, and people have free will to make choices, it is still possible to reverse the course of the nation and that the battle is worth fighting because so much is at stake (see "Don't Let It Go"). But she was not optimistic about that succeeding in the foreseeable future before a lot more destruction (if not outright collapse). That is in contrast to her earlier optimism when Atlas Shrugged was published, when she thought it would have an immediate major impact as people would see the obvious.

            It is always worth being a rational individualist, and it is always worth honestly and productively dealing with others who are like that, for as long as it is still possible to live as a human being, but the social conditions making that possible are not infinitely elastic.

            Many of the personal internal conflicts in Atlas Shrugged were over false premises sanctioning the irrationality, especially for example, Hank Rearden, who eventually made it, rejecting the irrational family life he had condoned and much more. Others, like the "wet nurse" and Cheryl Taggart, were too far gone in their entrenched confusion and didn't make it. It is a book about ideas, not politics, and the internal struggles of the characters were over ideas they had accepted. The rest is a consequence of that.
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            • Posted by term2 3 months, 3 weeks ago
              My point in our earlier discussions was exactly this that you mentioned- "But she was not optimistic about that succeeding in the foreseeable future before a lot more destruction (if not outright collapse). That is in contrast to her earlier optimism when Atlas Shrugged was published, when she thought it would have an immediate major impact as people would see the obvious"
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              • Posted by $ 3 months, 3 weeks ago
                That truly is the paradox of Atlas Shrugged. Just when you think it can't get any worse, ... it does. The message of Atlas Shrugged should be patently obvious, but it is so foreign to looters and moochers that we would be better off on a different planet.
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                • Posted by term2 3 months, 3 weeks ago
                  She presented it as a novel- a story. Its NOT a story really, its a prediction of what will happen, and is happening, when reason is ignored. I suppose reason isnt held in so little regard that people in general just dont think its of much importance.
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                  • Posted by $ 3 months, 3 weeks ago
                    While it is technically fiction, the best fiction often is very close to non-fiction. +1 for Ayn Rand.
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                    • Posted by ewv 3 months, 3 weeks ago
                      The Atlas Shrugged plot is romantic fiction. The theme is nonfiction because the principles are true, and that resulted in Ayn Rand's ability to predict in the plot so many essentials of the current trends. But the novel is romantic fiction, not literary naturalism. You should read or reread the essays in her The Romantic Manifesto describing her idea of romantic art and its function.
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                    • Posted by term2 3 months, 3 weeks ago
                      It was the non fiction result of specific philosophical principles. The world is adopting those principles so it gets the results she said.

                      I don’t consider it fiction at all
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            • Posted by $ 3 months, 3 weeks ago
              You are, of course, right as usual. What I realize more and more each year is just how big the challenge is to totally shrug. I might eventually do so, but I would certainly be one of the last precisely because I always to seem to find people with whom I can work honestly and productively.
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              • Posted by ewv 3 months, 3 weeks ago
                You need more than finding such people to work with. You need the rest of them to stay out of the way and not destroy what you are doing, along with the rest of your life. But that doesn't make hiding out in a utopian society feasible. About the best you could do, if it comes to that, is to 'retire' in a relatively safe place (maybe flipping superior hamburgers) and live off your assets the best that is allowed.
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                • Posted by $ 3 months, 3 weeks ago
                  I have enough to retire financially and am in a really nice place, but that is not enough.

                  From Galt's speech: A farmer will not invest the effort of one summer if he’s unable to calculate his chances of a harvest. But you expect industrial giants - who plan in terms of decades, invest in terms of generations and undertake ninety-nine-year contracts - to continue to function and produce, not knowing what random caprice in the skull of what random official will descend upon them at what moment to demolish the whole of their effort. Drifters and physical laborers live and plan by the range of a day. The better the mind, the longer the range. A man whose vision extends to a shanty, might continue to build on your quicksands, to grab a fast profit and run. A man who envisions skyscrapers, will not. Nor will he give ten years of unswerving devotion to the task of inventing a new product, when he knows the gangs of entrenched mediocrity are juggling the laws against him, to tie him, restrict him and force him to fail, but should he fight them and struggle and succeed, they will seize his rewards and his invention.
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  • Posted by term2 3 months, 3 weeks ago
    All bets are off for individual liberty
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    • Posted by $ 3 months, 3 weeks ago
      Today Hong Kong is "celebrating" its newfound lack of freedom on the 23rd anniversary of when the Brits gave Hong Kong to Beijing. It was supposed to be 50 years before they "took over", but what are a few years here or there?
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      • Posted by ewv 3 months, 3 weeks ago
        That agreement made no sense from the beginning. Why trust them at all and why give up a country to a communist dictatorship in 50 years or any other time even if they could be trusted to wait? It made no more sense than Carter and Reagan relinquishing control of the Panama canal, which China now also controls.
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      • Posted by term2 3 months, 3 weeks ago
        and people say how far fetched it is to think the chinese manufactured this coronavirus and unleashed it on purpose to destroy the economy of the US?
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        • Posted by ewv 3 months, 3 weeks ago
          It isn't far fetched to recognize the possibility that they would do something like that, but there is no evidence now that they did it and there are other more plausible explanations.
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          • Posted by term2 3 months, 3 weeks ago
            we will probably never know exactly what happened, because the chinese covered up what was going on. In the absence of data to the contrary, the circumstantial evidence apparent at this time leads me to accept and run with the idea that the chinese manufactured this new virus, and either accidentally or on purpose let it out.
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        • Posted by $ 3 months, 3 weeks ago
          I don't know if they "manufactured" this virus, but definitely they inserted a segment of the HIV virus into the SARS-CoV-1 (i.e. SARS) in an attempt to develop a vaccine for SARS. This is actually not that unusual an approach in vaccine development.

          So, in response to your "and people say ..." comment, I add,

          And people wonder why some other people are hesitant to take vaccines. You know that being vaccinated against COVID-19 will soon be a requirement. YIKES!
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          • Posted by term2 3 months, 3 weeks ago
            Well, if they were trying to "help", they sure failed. Hundreds of thousands of people died so far as a result of their "help"
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            • Posted by $ 3 months, 3 weeks ago
              I completely agree. According to the Nobel Prize winner who discovered HIV, researchers from India tried the same HIV gene insertion ... and failed.
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              • Posted by term2 3 months, 3 weeks ago
                I think it’s unwise to play around with this stuff Once it gets out terrible things can happen!!
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                • Posted by ewv 3 months, 3 weeks ago
                  It's guaranteed that something like that will "get out" by natural causes or otherwise. That is why it is necessary to research it and try to be able to contend with the possibility, not "play around" with it. But it is "unwise" for dictatorships with mixed motives to that or anything else, which is one of the reasons why we should be researching it. Likewise for nuclear and space weapons.
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                  • Posted by term2 3 months, 3 weeks ago
                    Well, whatever their intentions, what they did killed hundreds of thousands of people for no good, other than hurting trump;s re election and crashing our economy
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  • Posted by CEGamache 3 months, 3 weeks ago
    I was just re-watching and re-listening-to some of the interviews with Rand from decades ago. Her discussion about how our (U.S.) government was (and is) undermining the constitution in one of them from 1964 (republished by the Ayn Rand Institute, titled "The Structure of Government," https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mQmP... really got me thinking about how much more, and how much worse, our rights in the constitution have been undermined in recent decades. I think she'd be surprised that New York has not already gone dark.
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  • Posted by $ Olduglycarl 3 months, 3 weeks ago
    In terms of Atlas Shrugged...we are already at the end, minus the self destruction of their businesses as punishment to the government, the looters, the attackers.
    As for an Atlantis...from what I remember about it's theoretical structure, (not physical structure) America was to be it... in a sense.

    A unique observation provided in a comment here...the parasitical delete (looters) already have several "Gulches" to choose from.
    Maybe we should call it: George Gorge, (as in sorass)...reminiscent of the "Crack of one's butt".
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  • Posted by BCRinFremont 3 months, 3 weeks ago
    Where is Galt’s Gulch? Maybe Ms Rand could come up with a less magically hidden place. As it now stands, there is really no place to go. I suppose the richest of producers can buy an island or a small country. As for me, when the dollar is worthless and taxes take what’s left.......fade to black.....
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    • Posted by rhfinle 3 months, 3 weeks ago
      If I were making a movie if it I would put it in the mountains of Alaska. Remote, inaccessible, protected, but still part of the USA. Alaska wasn't a state when AS was written. Colorado was like that decades ago but not now.
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    • Posted by $ 3 months, 3 weeks ago
      Melbourne, FL is a suprisingly nice place. In a different thread, I recently reposted a link to our plans for Atlantis:

      https://www.galtsgulchonline.com/post...
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      • Posted by wrcohen 3 months, 3 weeks ago
        "who is John Galt?" I thought that the place we are all longing for is in the future of America. I know that Ayn Rand asserted that there could be no successful political action until the proper philosophical foundation is laid meaning wide spread and prevalent.
        Polls reveal that a substantial percentage of the population is libertarian.
        We may get a clue how wide spread a pro individual freedom limited government is because the LP is going to get its candidate for president, Jo Jorgensen on every ballot. Her position on issues are online at JoJ2020.com.
        She is intelligent, articulate, well oriented, normal character, a business woman and senior lecturer of Industrial psychology at Clemson University.
        I can imagine her getting votes from disenchanted GOP voters who cannot stomach Pres Trump, as well as disenchanted Dems who cannot abide Biden, and can attract many of the 40 million independents and might actually win!

        I have a grandson who is nine years of age and I think it is too soon to give up this country without a fight preferably at the ballot box.

        What percentage of anyone's assets should be in precious metals?
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        • Posted by Lucky 3 months, 2 weeks ago
          I wish you success.
          I looked at your site, do not tell anybody this but I recall I did not see a photo of the candidate, surely they should show a photo of him, (red face). I saw very little philosophy of the kind to attract serious Objectivists, but, do you want philosophy or votes?

          “It is amazing that people who think we cannot afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, and medications somehow think that we can afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, medications and a government bureaucracy.” Thomas Sowell.
          There are other big names who could swing votes.

          Disclosure- I am not a US resident or even tax payer (I hope).
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        • Posted by ewv 3 months, 3 weeks ago
          When Ayn Rand explained that successful and meaningful political action requires the proper philosophical foundation she made it clear that that foundation requires rejection of mysticism, altruism, and collectivism, not substitution of "libertarian" political views for the current parties. For all the impact she had, the dominant trend continues to worsen under the influence of professional intellectuals, and so have the politics.

          A substantial percentage of the population is not politically libertarian. The Libertarian Party after over half a century remains contradictory, fringe pretend politics with no understanding of the intellectual changes required,
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  • Posted by Owlsrayne 3 months, 3 weeks ago
    An outline of ideas based on Ayn Rands’ Atlas Shrugged in 2020:

    The social unrest swells, the Black Lives Movement and the Anarchists becomes well funded militarized groups.
    Major Democrat run cities defund or abolish their police force. Violent crime soars; BLM and Anarchists takes control of those cities.
    The Covid 19 virus mutates (now known as Covid19M) and sweeps most of the east coast and west coast of the USA.
    Truckers refuse to deliver goods to infected urban centers. Food warehouses are looted.
    Super markets are raided and emptied.
    Starvation pervades the inner cities.
    The Chinese have found a new corona virus in their pigs. The Wuhan lab genetically engineers the virus, and then the CCP exposes it to limited part of their population and encourages them to travel to Europe due to the lifted travel ban.
    The CCP and the Mexican Drug Cartels smuggles rocket propelled grenades and AK47’s to the Anarchists. Mass statue and indiscriminate destruction ensues. All federal building are fire bombed. The president tries to escape, his helicopter is destroyed by a shoulder launched missile.
    DHS squads tries to fight back, the military is called out but the effort collapses as the Pentagon is fire bombed.
    Anarchists set many cities ablaze.
    Mass migration begins from both coasts to the interior of the US. Millions die from the Covid19M in route.
    A number of vetted individuals make their way to a Florida Objectivist Enclave to start creating a new technological community. A group of engineers there create a plasma shield based on the Casimir Effect to tap into Zero Point Energy to protect the Enclave. Gold and silver become the method for payment of goods and services.

    A small group of medical techs and engineers in the Florida Enclave develop medical nanites (ref: Ben Bovas’ “Moon War”) to destroy the virus. They also develop an aerosol (from the movie: The Shape of Things to Come, based on H. G. Wells novel) that could render whole populations asleep, then wake up with loss of previous memory.
    Southwest (Arizona, New Mexico and Texas) armed enclaves with restored WW2 and Korean War Military weapons arise and shutdown any movement into those areas. Former military and their families join that enclave. Self-defense and munitions manufacturing along with existing firearms companies becomes their trade product. Their initial goal is to take back the ravage cities by force.
    Native American reservations raid National Guard Armories and then take control of large area of the former states they’re in. They revert to their tribal ways and refuse any trade with the Enclaves.
    Montana, the Dakotas, Idaho and Wyoming secede and become a separate country. They’re trading agricultural goods with those Enclaves for their tech. Gold and silver is also adopted for payment of goods.
    Military bases are now ghost towns some bases that are still manned scrape military hardware into useful products to trade with the Objectivist Enclaves. The remnants of naval vessels become initial mode of transportation for trade among some of the coastal Enclaves.
    A Chief Engineer of the merchant marines gathers together merchant mariners and ex-naval personnel to commandeer the remaining SL7 Algol Ro Ro( capable of 30 knots plus) from the Sealift mothballed fleet in New Orleans. They refit her and mount weapons for protection. The coastal enclaves are notified via sat cell they able to pick up and deliver cargo faster than the ex-naval vessels. They will be charging higher fee for that service.
    The ex-naval personnel recommend to the Chief Engineer that they could obtain a C-17 Globe Master to pick up and deliver product to inland Enclaves since the plane is capable of short take-off and landing on municipal runways. Now, a C-17 is added to their Fast-Lift organization.
    The weaponized virus backfires on the CCP, mass die-off occurs in China. Members of the CCP become infected along with the premier. The military is decimated by the virus. Angry citizens torch all the major cities. Trade ceases. Crops fail due to the farmers are dead. Starvation collapses the country. China ceases to exist.
    Major Russian cities collapses due to the Chinese Super Virus, Russians migrate to Siberia.
    Poland had shutdown their borders early on and survives as do some of the other Slavic states.
    The virus in Europe become like the Bubonic Plague of centuries ago.
    India has been spared and the leader there mobilizes the people to build walls and barriers on their borders terrain permitting. Their navy patrols the coast and sinks any refugee craft trying to enter India.
    The Muslim countries are also decimated by the virus.
    Israel survives. A mass die-off occurs in the Palestinian territory because the ruling government believes that Allah will save them. Then they build catapults to throw dead bodies over the wall in an attempt to infect the Israeli people.
    Africa becomes a desolate continent.
    My out-line of the Shape of Things To Come.
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    • Posted by Lucky 3 months, 2 weeks ago
      It is 'nice'. A coupla points:
      1. fantasizing destruction. Yes, but whatever rocks your boat.
      2. In no sense is it 'based on Ayn Rands’ Atlas Shrugged',
      as ewv explains. It is just continuation of year 2020! Barely fiction.

      I encourage Owlsrayne to write it. Can we have Israel surviving because they find aspirin kills the C19M? Condemned by global elites because- Trump, Zionists, has not been tested for being safe on C19M, is not a vaccine ... They make big money selling it, labels left on intact, no one reads the labels.
      What believable method can the enclaves use to keep out the infected violent armed wokists? Maybe big notices saying 'Beware Hate Zone).
      I see a market for a parody type farce fantasy with way-out destruction, would appeal to the twenties market.
      Would be good if there were some Objectivist messages but keep them low key.
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    • Posted by $ 3 months, 3 weeks ago
      Very nice.
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      • Posted by ewv 3 months, 3 weeks ago
        Nice? It is not based on Atlas Shrugged. Atlas Shrugged is a novel of ideas and pursuit of rational values, not fantasizing destruction.
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        • Posted by $ 3 months, 2 weeks ago
          Often the most critical element in a fiction writing endeavor is establishing the proper antithesis with a suitable villain or villains. While Owlsrayne's comments does not discuss how the rational deal with the irrational nor does it describe the philosophy (or lack thereof) of its protagonists and antagonists, it does describe the events in a plot line that would form the foundation for many of the chapters.
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          • Posted by ewv 3 months, 2 weeks ago
            His "outline of ideas" is not "based on Ayn Rands’ Atlas Shrugged", which is a novel of ideas and pursuit of rational values, not fantasizing destruction as its own focus. She discussed in detail the nature of fiction and its relation to sense of life in The Romantic Manifesto and The Art of Fiction.

            Comparison of real events with the plot in Atlas Shrugged can be illuminating. Morbid obsession fantasizing and even eagerly anticipating imagined comprehensive destruction that we often see on this forum is not healthy and is the opposite of Ayn Rand.
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            • Posted by Owlsrayne 3 months, 2 weeks ago
              I don't have "The Romantic Manifesto and The Art of Fiction" in my library. I do have The Ayn Rand Reader. I will definitely read through that and refine what I wrote. Thanks!
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              • Posted by ewv 3 months, 2 weeks ago
                The two chapters "The Goal of My Writing" and "What is Romanticism?" are both from The Romantic Manifesto.

                If your intent is to write a novel The Romantic Manifesto and The Art of Fiction are especially well worth understanding before deciding your literary purpose and how you want to approach it. But make it your own work, not "based" on the plot in Atlas Shrugged.
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