17

I wish my father had read Atlas Shrugged

Posted by $ richrobinson 5 years, 1 month ago to The Gulch: General
103 comments | Share | Best of... | Flag

I have mentioned before that my family owns a small business. While our earnings reports may not move the Dow Industrial Average it is all we have and it is successful enough to support us. My father began working at this business in 1962. Another in a series of jobs he took to help support the family of farm. As the farm fell on hard times dad quit school to help support the family. He married and soon had kids to support. In 1964 his father was murdered. Tough times became tougher. He ultimately became a full partner in the business we now own. Unfortunately his partner was stealing . He bought her out and while all is well I think if dad have read Atlas Shrugged we would have abandoned the thief who was his partner and we would be fine. She would be much worse off. As I thought of this tonight I wondered if other Gulch members wish their relatives had read Atlas Shrugged. It has a way of changing lives.


Add Comment

FORMATTING HELP

All Comments Hide marked as read Mark all as read

  • Posted by LetsShrug 5 years, 1 month ago
    Great post Rich! Your Dad could still read it...and answer that question. :)
    My Mom has read it (after I suggested it)...she gets it, but she's always been more aware and logical than most. I've given it to many others and suggested it numerous times...I do not understand the hesitation people have and I've chopped most of them off as a result.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by Mamaemma 5 years, 1 month ago
    This is such a great thread. It is so interesting to read the many different ways we all came to Ayn Rand.
    I read Atlas somewhere between 14 and 16 when my mother recommended it to me after she had read it.
    The most interesting thing to me is that I have 2 brothers, both of whom turned out to be lazy moochers. I'm pretty sure neither read Rand; they would be too lazy.
    Since I read Atlas 45 years or so ago, I have been so sad to see it all coming true, and often I think, "But it doesn't have to be this way!"
    So Galt's Gulch has been on oasis in the desert; comfort for my soul. I know people like you exist, but it means everything to actually communicate with you.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by $ Maree 5 years, 1 month ago
      Hey Mama just saying from somewhere nearer antarctica than you are, that i enjoy your thoughtful points and like you, i enjoy knowing i can coommunicate with fellow producers. My first copy of AS came to me from a copper mine in NuiGini in 1984.
      I look forward to your views.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by $ 5 years, 1 month ago
      I wish I had read it as a teenager. My father has 3 sisters and 1 brother. His brother worked hard his whole life and is retired. All 3 sisters married alcoholic losers. One was smart enough to kick hers out and still works hard everyday. One of the losers made it to retirement although he may be too drunk to know it. The other has mooched off the government his entire life. Funny how different siblings can turn out.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by term2 5 years, 1 month ago
    As Francisco says in AS1: Its a war and we need to take sides (paraphrased). I have become much less tolerant and more vocal. God save the bum that comes up to me looking for money. I engage them in conversation and ask them point blank why they actually think that I should work so they dont have to. I really do want the answer from their mouths. I am most upset by people that give them money and enable this behavior. I engage them too. I may be unpopular, but at this point I agree with Francisco's character. We have let these altruits get away with this crap for too long. Time to speak up.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by Mamaemma 5 years, 1 month ago
      Term2, what do the bums say?
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by term2 5 years, 1 month ago
        I never get the truth, which would be that they just want to get whatever they can from whoever they can and that they are lazy but people are so stupid and guilty that they give up money.

        I get the sob stories about how they lost their jobs, they cant find work, etc. I tell them they should look harder and that they are spending as much energy on begging as they would at a job. For the young ones, I look them in the eye and tell them they are young and look healthy, and what are they doing trying to get money from someone like me who is old and sick but still working, and how I should ask THEM for money. They never give me any, but just walk away telling me "god bless". I then tell them that god should bless THEM instead, cause I have already been blessed.
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
        • Posted by Mamaemma 5 years, 1 month ago
          Term2, I think it's great that you challenge their stories
          Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
          • Posted by term2 5 years, 1 month ago
            Thank you. It just upsets me that they are bogus. If someone really had a run of bad luck or some unforeseen illness, I would be the first to help them get back on their feet. But when people try to hoodwink me on this, I can be pretty blunt. It bothers me that others dont seem to be willing to see whats going on and challenge it. I guess the altruistic guilt trip worked on them
            Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
            • Posted by Mamaemma 5 years, 1 month ago
              In today's world moochers are considered to be superior to producers. For example, have you noticed a person who has been through rehab is considered to be more aware and advanced than someone who has stayed sober? Another example: single mothers are celebrated and more special than a woman who marries before childbirth. All a part of that altruistic guilt trip of which you speak
              Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
              • Posted by term2 5 years, 1 month ago
                The whole issue of care of children is very distorted in our current culture. It would seem to me that one should not even have the child until one is pretty secure in being able to take care of it. There are special cases where one's carefully planned support structure is yanked out from under then (husband dies, mother comes down with some debilitating illness, hurricane or other disaster comes along).

                My grandmother lost my grandfather in a mining accident in the early 1900's after coming here from Italy. Then there was the depression and she lost all savings in a bank failure. All the kids were taken by the catholic church into their orphanage until my grandmother could get back on her feet. All that time my grandmother was a "single parent" and worked continuously, learning english and doing whatever she could. As I remember it, my mother said they were in the orphanage for several years (depth of the depression), and they was so embarrassed that she and my aunt didnt even tell me until she was in her 70's. It was a stigma back then. Today, I am happy that the church was there for them.
                Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by Zenphamy 5 years, 1 month ago
    My father passed when I was 6 and left my mother pregnant with the last of the 5 of us sons. But my mother could have benefited greatly from the reading in relation to how she managed the younger boys. She dealt with me much as you would expect a parent who had read AS, but with the others, she enabled their mooching and it stuck with them their entire lives. I finally was forced to shut them off around 40 just to save my sanity.

    An interesting thought experiment.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by Stormi 5 years, 1 month ago
    My dad went through the depression and likely had little time to read while supporting his family. However, every decision he made, every bit of advice he gave me, was pure Rand. It was as if it were part of his whole fiber, a way of life. I have no idea where he learned to believe that way, but he lived and breathed Objectivism. I am so glad he did, as I saw it in action every day of my life.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by $ 5 years, 1 month ago
      Amazing man. My dad worked hard and was self reliant as well but didn't recognize moochers quickly enough. His word was his bond and I think it amazed him when someone would go back on their word.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by NealS 5 years, 1 month ago
    Wow, did your post bring back memories. We moved from Wisconsin to Southern California in the early '50's. My dad started a paint contracting company with two other guys. One of them robbed them blind, they lost everything. My dad refused to press charges because the thief had some 5 children. Dad was afraid it might take food out of their mouths, and figured what good would it do to just put the guy in jail? The money was gone. My dad soon recovered by turning a few run down houses on his own, I helped the best I could, but I learned a whole bunch about repairing things and saving my money. Later my dad worked for Kelly Johnson at Lockheed's Skunk Works, Kelly also became a friend. I've got personal letters of recommendation from Kelly about my dad, some of my prized possessions.

    Through dad later I got to meet his friend that he did some work for, some actor guy, that was going to run for governor of California. His friend actually won, and in later years went on to win the presidency of the United States. My parents both worked very hard on both of the campaigns, they really liked this guy. I've still got a happy birthday card that Ron and Nancy sent to my dad from the White House.

    Sorry, I get carried away a little by some of your posts, so many of them just bring back little things that I have forgotten about. Thank You !!!
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by Non_mooching_artist 5 years, 1 month ago
      Wow! Pretty great story there! It must have been interesting to meet him back then.
      He would be saddened by things now I'm sure. A friend of mine worked for him, and the his successor. A marine that was always stationed w/them, flew where they went. I have a birthday card from GHW Bush and Barbara from their time in the WH.
      One of our fellow gulchers took him out crabbing actually. I will ask if she will post the photo...
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by $ 5 years, 1 month ago
      Cool story Neal. I understand your dads thinking about the guy who was stealing. I told my father a few times I could prove his partner was stealing. He said he could to but fighting her would take more money and time he didn't want to waste. Hang on to that card from Reagan. Not sure when we'll see another President like him.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Comment hidden by post owner or admin, or due to low comment or member score. View Comment
  • Posted by $ MichaelAarethun 5 years, 1 month ago
    Amen to that. My Dad was a lifelong Democrat because his father was and his father was one because Teddy Roosevelt cut out hunting in Yellowstone. Simple as that. Dad was at one time State Partyi Secretary in Oregon. and a huge Wayne Morse fan.

    Being retired infantry etc. I asked him one day sort of out of the blue why his generation fought WWII and then voted the same type of political beliefs into power at home.

    Well that got things going at first heatedly but he thought about it. By the end of his life he had become a Libertarian in his voting and one day shocked us all wearing a Limbaugh T Shirt.
    Didn't like the guy though. Just did it to push buttons on the rest of us.

    Just before he died he wrote a paper and described the 1900s as the Century of the Socialist Wars each version struggling for supremacy. By then he was voting Libertarian or for the better Independents.

    That's my story.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by telsen2 5 years, 1 month ago
      I hear you. My father as a youth became a democratic socialist volunteering at rallies held by a guy called Alfredo Palacios. He continued into his fourties with his socialist ideals, but while reading a conservative newspaper in the 70's he started to change his philosophical ideas, by the turn of the 80's he was a conservative, and by 1983 he helped to start a pro conservative party in my city. By 1985 he was in his ideals a libertarian, and was actively studying Human Action by Von Mises, al well as works by Hayek and other austrian thinkers. I also had the same ideals, we worked together in the party to spread the ideals of freedom, although it was very difficult to convince people on the street with a fascist mindset . One day, shortly before my father passed away, a guy that was known to my father dropped by my home a left a copy of the Virtue of Selfishness. That is how I came to know the ideas of Ayn Rand.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by $ 5 years, 1 month ago
        Thats great that your dad was open enough to continue reading different views and that he allowed himself to change. Many people mindlessly pull the same lever every election cycle.
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by $ 5 years, 1 month ago
      My dads side was all Democrat as well. I think Jimmy Carter did him in. Our business flourished in the Reagan years. My grandmother never switched. She loved Truman and voted Democrat thru her last vote in 1992.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by Non_mooching_artist 5 years, 1 month ago
    I don't know who of my family has read AS. My mom died before I had read it, although I recall it having been on a bookshelf when I was a kid. My dad was never really a reader, not until the last 8 years or so. He was always a very hard worker, taught me the value of hard work, living within one's means, joy. He is retired now, just turned 82 this month, and is dating a lovely widow. I can honestly say a cousin of mine would have benefitted from it, had she not taken a very different path than I have. She became pregnant at 16, and went on to have 8 kids by 4 different fathers. Ugh. She would try to mooch off of me, which she tried in the past, but I have forbidden our Uncle from giving her my whereabouts. I have cut off those who are just along for the ride, who have nothing to offer in return. I just wish I had read it earlier in my life. It was on my list of must-reads, I just kept skipping by it until.....
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by $ 5 years, 1 month ago
      Your dad may not have read it but it sounds like he lived it. My wife has an older half sister who is real nice but a moocher. She knows not to ask either of us anymore. I like her personally but I wish she had chosen a different path as well.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by $ jlc 5 years, 1 month ago
    My father was career military (Army Air Corp => USAF) and he did read Ayn Rand. It was his copy of Anthem, sitting on a table somewhere in the house, that I first picked up and read. We used to discuss the concepts in it (and later, in AS). When I was in High School, I checked out a copy of Atlas Shrugged and started reading it after dinner. When my mother woke up the next morning, I was still sitting in the same chair - reading. I was on the last chapter. When I finished the book, she sent me to bed and did the languishing dinner dishes herself.

    My mother did not care for philosophy, or reading. She was quite influenced by what society thought was proper, but she did have a good gut feeling for economics and was generally conservative.

    Both of my sisters have read Ayn Rand at one time or another. One of them is a socialist; one is a liberal. I disagree with them frequently...

    Jan
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by Herb7734 5 years, 1 month ago
    What a great question!
    My dad would not have read it. However, if by some miracle he did, he would have written it off as SciFi nonsense. Since the Gulch is not a therapy group, I won't go into it any deeper other than to say, that if my dad read it and actually liked and understood it, both our lives would have been much better and happier.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by $ 5 years, 1 month ago
      I feel our lives would have been better too Herb. While I think I always agreed with what I eventually read in AS, we still let the looters get away with too much.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by Herb7734 5 years, 1 month ago
        Me too.
        I was in business for 25 years. I was naïve at first and thought that business people would treat me fairly. Whoa! What a mistake. I did get my revenge, though, in a minor way. I started writing a column in the most popular trade magazine, and I was able to point out many underhanded practices going on which usually made life for the little guy more difficult. It did have some effect because it helped small dealers like me unite with others to be treated more fairly. Sounds like a union doesn't it? It wasn't. It became an association of retailers. I did learn a lot about looters and 2nd handers in both the manufacturing and distribution worlds.
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
        • Posted by $ 5 years, 1 month ago
          Good job. Nothing wrong with small businesses pulling together. Being in retail I find myself recommending independents over chain stores mostly because I don't agree with some of the things the larger chains do.
          Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
          • Posted by Herb7734 5 years, 1 month ago
            I don't know how the current workings of retailing are, but because of their greater volume, the big retailers got special deals allowing them to undercut small retailers. These deals, perks and special offers were kept unannounced so that it looked as if everyone paid the same price. True, the small retailer offered more service but money trumps everything and if the buyer can get a better price, the hell with personal service. Now people wonder what happened to all that personal attention they used to get.They are lucky to get some pimply-faced kid to do them a favor by waiting on them.
            Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
            • Posted by eddieh 5 years, 1 month ago
              It has not changed. My son and I are still operating a small business my dad started 61 years ago. Big concerns and the internet has taken it's toll. I only wish my dad and myself had read AS long ago. It would have made a difference.
              Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
              • Posted by $ 5 years, 1 month ago
                I have always said I don't mind fair competition. I just don't want stabbed in the back and I don't like seeing the consumer cheated. I see this a lot. Manufactures will manufacture their product one way for us and a cheaper way for the large chain stores and then put it in the same package. I simply find the practice unethical.
                Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by $ rockymountainpirate 5 years, 1 month ago
    My dad was also a business owner. He already applied some of the philosophy to his life, but not all. His family was hit really hard financially when he was young so he had to produce for himself. I have heard tails that if he wanted breakfast before school he had to catch it himself by fishing off the Redondo pier. He worked hard, learned a trade and then started his own successful business. He was a capitalist, but I am not sure he would have liked the book.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by $ 5 years, 1 month ago
      That's surprising. I think I just assumed that a producer would be drawn into the message. I remember being surprised as a kid when I saw a picture of my grandmother when she was young. She was proudly holding up all the rabbits she had gotten hunting that day. It was a different era.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by coaldigger 5 years, 1 month ago
    My father never read AS and would have been puzzled by the lack of a link to Christianity. He was a hard worker, had a strong sense of ethics, smart with numbers but not a deep thinker. He was a Freemason and seemed to get a lot out of that association.
    I was an only child and very rebellious from the start which created a gap between us that did not close until I was an adult and we could have a drink and shoot pool together. I introduced him to golf when he retired and he became a fanatic playing almost every day until he became ill at 91 and died at 92. Some of our best times were spent on golf courses even after he was more interested in finding lost balls than in playing the game.
    When he was very sick he asked me what I thought happened when you die which was the first time our conversations bordered on philosophical issues. I told him that if he was looking for a comfortable answer he was talking to the wrong person and that I thought the answer was nothingness. He said aren't you scared that is true and I said no and would only regret it if I felt I had wasted my life. He said I thought that is what you would say and we never spoke of it again. Due to his background, I think he would not have benefited a lot from reading AS but nevertheless had beliefs and traits that many have acquired from reading it.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by $ 5 years, 1 month ago
      My dad goes to church now but not while I was growing up. He had a falling out with the Pastor at his family church when he was quite young so I don't think that would have been an issue for him. It's great that your dad lived such a long life. I guess reading AS and accepting AS are two different things. I think my dad would have gotten a lot out of it.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by CircuitGuy 5 years, 1 month ago
    My father gave me other books along the same vein when I was a teenager, and I stupidly rolled my eyes at them until at least a decade later. No one in my family has heard of AS except for from me.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by $ 5 years, 1 month ago
      I probably would have done the same thing. I don't look back often but I do occasionally let myself think of how different I would be if I read AS when I was a teenager.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by CircuitGuy 5 years, 1 month ago
        "I don't look back often but I do occasionally let myself think of how different I would be if I read AS when I was a teenager."
        I probably wasn't ready for it, although I would have benefitted some from it. I needed more practical guides to getting things done. I didn't find AS until I was 37.
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Comment hidden by post owner or admin, or due to low comment or member score. View Comment
      • Posted by Robbie53024 5 years, 1 month ago
        Probably not much. These are internal values that you likely developed on your own, AR merely gave you a "voice" to crystalize those values around.
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by Dan66 5 years, 1 month ago
    Hello, to anyone within 50 miles of Rowland, NC. I'm 50 from Florence, SC and Fayetteville, NC. Would like to get a dialogue going on a local level
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by Ibecame 5 years, 1 month ago
    I only read the book a few months ago and found myself wishing I had read it when I was a young man. When I finally started to look at this with my brain, rather than my heart, I realized it wouldn't have made much difference. When I was young I already leaned toward the Philosophy that was in the book which made me a misfit in my early life.
    Placed in perspective; Ayn Rand's Books and Philosophy were way ahead of her time, or, often repeated throughout history depending on how you want to look at it.
    I don't know your father so my apologies first; But I doubt that had your dad read the book it would have made any difference. Since I read the book and realized this for myself I made a point of seeking out and asking people who read the book 30 years ago one question. "What did you think about it?". Their response in many cases was "I never finished it." or "It was OK." Which means they never gave it another thought. (Hard for some of us today to believe, but true). Think about it. The 1960's were a great time to start and be in business. The war was over, many people had VA benefits that they used to start businesses with. There was little government regulation to "equalize and protect us from ourselves". Many people that read the book back then found it interesting to boring, because they couldn't picture what was happening today. If they had paid more attention back then to what Ayn Rand had to say, the book would be far less prophetic.
    I'm sorry you are having trouble with your business. As a business man myself I certainly have had my troubles, but can offer some sound advice: When confronted with a problem ask yourself; "What would Hank Rearden or Dagney Taggart do?" I know these were not real people (or were they simply alter Egos of Ayn Rand) but they were charters that found solutions to their problems and then became emotional later. Theres a powerful secret there.
    Good Luck
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by NealS 5 years, 1 month ago
      I read the book a long time ago. Apparently it didn't impress me back then because I mostly forgot about it, (I remember reading Peyton Place too {disgusting}). All I remembered is that I read them.

      Someone gave me a new copy several years ago (Obama was in office), and I almost read it cover to cover, I could not put it down, but I'm not a speed reader so it took me about a week and the weight of it hurt my wrist. What impressed me the most this time was that it was just like reading the newspaper or a diary of exactly what was happening today, only the names of the people and the action were changed to protect the guilty. Every chapter I ran to my wife and exclaimed that I just read in the book what I had just seen on the news. She read it after I finished.

      I figure most of us read (for pleasure) what we enjoy, those stories that agree with our morals and how we think about life and everything else, the things that enforce our opinions. I don't think AS really make someone change that much, only perhaps make them more aware of how and what they believe in. I think this can be shown by asking someone who hated the book or hasn't read it what they think about it..
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  

FORMATTING HELP

  • Comment hidden. Undo