A Randian Christmas Carol

Posted by Hiraghm 6 years, 4 months ago to Books
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I got to thinking the other day about Dickens' "A Christmas Carol."

The story essentially shows the misery of a man who, while growing increasingly bitter, surrenders his happiness for the making of money.

So what would an "Objectivist" Christmas Carol look like?

Well, either the main character would be prosperous, gregarious and happy, or he'd be poor, miserable and alone. Pretty much like Scrooge without the money.

The latter seems more in keeping with the polemic nature of the story, so let's see where that takes us.

So, at the beginning of the story, we have, essentially, Bob Cratchet. Only, instead of the wife and kids, he's alone because he never had enough money to court a wife. Or, else, his wife is a slovenly shrew, (think Lillian Rearden as a slob) because that's the best he could attract, being non-ambitious. Either no kids, or obnoxious brats who can't respect him.

The three ghosts; Christmas Past, Christmas Present, Christmas Yet to Come...

Christmas past would have to show how he indulged himself. Instead of studying, he partied. Therefore his grades weren't the best, therefore he couldn't get a top flight job.

He was always broke, because what little money he did make he spent on others, making himself a great deal of good will, but slowly removing his power to control his life. Ambitious colleagues and successful men tried to warn him, but he dismissed them as "money-grubbers". Also needs to show the successful ones as able to *really* affect the world around them, either by creating/funding charities, and/or by generating prosperity in the community.

Christmas Present would have to show his life being run by obligation. He has to work at whatever work he can get, he's always in debt, he's *still* giving or spending his money on others, and in his poverty his options and opportunities are narrowing. His employers are looters who use him with contempt, and his "friends" are moochers who use him with contempt. When the collectors for the charity show up and deliver their sad tales of woe, he empties his coinpurse for them, leaving him no money to feed himself (or his family, if he has one).

Christmas Yet to Come would show an impoverished community. Since he wasn't successful, he didn't open the factories, the businesses that created prosperity. The people he perpetually supported in the past are either dead, living in abject poverty, or found new hosts to mooch off of, having forgotten him. The wife, if he had one, has left him. He's broke, starving, and no one who can help him will even remember who he is, and those who would help him can't because they're in the same boat he's in. Eventually he staggers into a back alley, and either freezes to death or is mugged; either way, his body is tossed on a compost heap.

In his revelation, he gathers up what little money he has, sells what few valuables he has, and opens up a shop where he manufactures... oh, pens, ink and linen paper. Which he specializes in selling to all the local businesses. he invests in new pen-making technology, develops specialty inks, and as sales build up, hires new employees for his expanding business. When the charity guys show up, he tears into them, lecturing them on the people he's brought out of poverty by employing them (directly and by doing business with their employers), including citing some examples by name, and asking them if they knew the names of any of the faceless masses they pretended to represent. He finishes off by telling them that if it weren't for the taxes the gov't confiscated to do the very thing the charity guys are trying to do, he could expand and bring even more people out of poverty. Shortly thereafter he runs into an attractive woman who wouldn't give him the time of day had he the courage to ask her out, but who now is surprised and impressed... not by his wealth, but his new-found aura of courage.
The story ends with the narrator talking about how he became wealthy and prosperous, with shops and factories in many towns, making the entire country prosper, and how, when he died, memorials were erected to him and the mourners clogged the streets.

Rough draft, just a general idea thrown out to get other people's ideas on how a Randian Christmas Carol might go...

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  • Posted by PaxInSky 6 years, 3 months ago
    I remember a sequal with George Burns as Scrooge. A decade later, Scrooge's generosity is bankrupting the company. Tint Tim is mounting a hostile takeover. Just in time, the spirits teach Scrooge that generosity should be directed to the deserved and only in appropriate amounts.
    It aired only one year, as far as I know.
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  • Posted by Zenphamy 6 years, 4 months ago
    , and those that he's helped in the past slam the door in his face. And now he finds that he doesn't make enough in his begging to qualify for Obama Care.
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