Atlas Shrugged Is A Ridiculous Book

Posted by sdesapio 5 years, 7 months ago to Books
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"The key element of the book is that all the richest and smartest people (for the two are the same) have gone on strike and run away."

!?!?!?!?!?!?!

Shoot me and get it over with already. Is there some "we hate Rand" site that they go to to get this stuff? Please... someone make it stop.
SOURCE URL: http://robertnielsen21.wordpress.com/2014/03/14/atlas-shrugged-is-a-ridiculous-book/


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  • Posted by overmanwarrior 5 years, 7 months ago
    I feel sorry for people who feel this way. The reviewer simply can't relate. They have no concept of having the kind of passion for something where sleep, rest and comfort are secondary concerns. They don't feel those kinds of things, so they think good characters are the type of people who strive to have faults, where they work simply to eat, drink,rest, and have sex. People like that are like monkeys at a zoo looking at human visitors across a gulf of intelligence, beyond the barriers of a cage, and can't understand why zoo visitors have drinks, and strollers, and small humans in their arms with sunglasses shielding their eyes from the sun. They are primitives, sad and left behind lost forever to faulty thinking and stupidity.
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  • Posted by  $  rockymountainpirate 5 years, 7 months ago
    If this guy read the book, of which I'm very skeptical, he certainly didn't read the same book I read.

    The author writes: "In the real world, the threat by business leaders that anti-business laws will damage the economy is usually enough to stop any laws. " Lets see; would that be a law like ocare? Like EPA regs? Crony bailouts of to big to fails? I could go on but you get the point.
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    • Posted by khalling 5 years, 7 months ago
      Sarbanes Oxley, AIA, standard accounting rules, which means you keep two sets of books one for the govts demands and one so you can see how your business is doing...
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    • Posted by KevinSmith1281 5 years, 7 months ago
      I'm also skeptical that guy read the book, I don't think progressives are capable of it... from the stand point that the heroes would be so infuriating to them that it would make it impossible to keep reading. I feel like if the book was written from the other perspective, say if Jim Taggart and Mouch were written as the heroes, I probably couldn't read the entire thing either. What the author of this critique probably did was read some cliff notes, because while he/she seems to be able to somewhat describe some scenes of the book, they do a terrible job of grasping the point of those scenes. All in all, the critique looks like a progressives angry and misunderstood response to what was probably a summary of the book written by another progressive.
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  • Posted by j_IR1776wg 5 years, 7 months ago
    Humans are capable of Reason and Emotion. For Rand and most of us in the Gulch, Reason is primary and our Emotions are integrated with and gated through our Reasoning faculties to determine the proper course and actions of our lives.

    There are those, including this author, who believe that Emotions are primary and their Reasoning faculties exist only as a means of making reality conform to their whims and wishes.

    They have been with us from the beginning and will be forever. Emotions as primary are the underlying reason for the decline and fall of America.
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    • Posted by  $  Maphesdus 5 years, 7 months ago
      I don't think that's quite correct. The problems in America are multifaceted, and trying to pin them on any one single cause will not produce a workable solution. Even the theories of Communism are based on logic – just bad logic that's riddled with fallacies and misconceptions. The problem is not emotions, but rather logical misunderstandings about how human society actually works.
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      • Posted by j_IR1776wg 5 years, 7 months ago
        Maph logic cannot be either good or bad. Logic is a tool that our Reason employs to allow us to correctly identify the evidence of our senses. It is a tool available only to our Reason. Emotional logic is a contradiction in terms. The tool of Emotions is faith. This site http://utribi.com/administrator/faith-de... defines faith as "Confidence or trust in a person or thing [,] belief that is not based on proof; belief in God or religious doctrine" which I agree is "belief that is not based on proof." Accepting something on faith is the negation of logic.

        I've re-read Marx and Engels Communist Manifesto and cannot discern any attempt at logic. It is a series of unproven assertions. Please re-read my original post. I said "Emotions as primary are the underlying reason for the decline and fall of America." The problems we face are caused by too many people employing Emotions as primary.

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      • Posted by ShruginArgentina 5 years, 7 months ago
        "Logic" is not something on which a theory can be based.

        "Logic...has two meanings: first, it describes the use of valid reasoning in some activity; second, it names the normative study of reasoning or a branch thereof. In the latter sense, it features most prominently in the subjects of philosophy, mathematics, and computer science.

        Logic is often divided into three parts: inductive reasoning, abductive reasoning, and deductive reasoning.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logic

        It may be possible to make a logical case for Communism, but it would be based on fallacious premises (which can be checked ;-), and therefore invalid.
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  • Posted by  $  ObjectiveAnalyst 5 years, 7 months ago
    Another critic with comprehension problems. He missed the point at every turn, if he even read the book. His own ideology and agenda are showing. There are too many coattail riders that profit from the capitalist system and hypocritically deride Rand. Cookie cutter criticism... unoriginal and tired... jealous derision stemming from a lack of original creativity...
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  • Posted by Notperfect 5 years, 7 months ago
    It sounds as if he is saying "The union told me to write this so it is true". His blinders are welded to his head and he goes in one direction. Not the book I read as others have quoted.
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  • Posted by preimert1 5 years, 7 months ago
    I have to agree the book seems overly long to slog through. I found I could skip several pages at a time and still without missing a lot. But it was Rand's magnum opus (okay, I know its a musical term--but whatever...) like the creshendow of a fire works display. But the reviewer shows their bias with the statement: "The book is a criticism of beliefs that no one holds, a denouncement of an ideology that no one believes in and condemnation of things that no one would ever say." This site alone refutes that.
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  • Posted by CircuitGuy 5 years, 7 months ago
    This is a good post, though, because even though I like the book I agree with some of his criticisms. The biggest one is it seems the characters are powerless against the gov't. They're supposed to be amazing people, but the gov't does something and they're like deer in the headlights. She doesn't bring out for me why they didn't use the same skills they use at work to deal with the gov't. For example, Hank Rearden doesn't care about the gov't; he's not interested. So he hires someone to manage relations with the gov't and doesn't stay on top of it. Is there any other aspect of his business he doesn't like, say accounting, supply chain management, receiving inspection? But I imagine he stays on top of it. He finds people he trusts, gets them to buy in on objectives and holds them accountable. He presumably visits them to see if they're having problem doing their job. But when dealing with the gov't, he puts his head in the sand.

    Despite the problems, though, the book is popular. The characters are flat sometimes, BUT often I thought it was on purpose to bring out some flat behaviors your see in real life. This was esp true for Fountainhead.
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    • Posted by ShruginArgentina 5 years, 7 months ago
      The "sames skills they use at work" to create wealth are not very effective when dealing with a government that confiscates wealth and imposes controls with the threat of fines and imprisonment for non-compliance.

      And on what basis can you make the claim that Hank Rearden doesn't care about the government, is not intested, or put his head in the sand?

      The fact that he would not comply and voluntarily sign over his patents doesn't mean he didn't care. Did you forget the scene in AS II when he only signed because he was being blackmailed?

      When has any CEO been able to "stay on top" of "relations with the gov't" unless they are in on the fix?

      Hank Rearden was not a crony-capitalist.

      All he wanted fom the government was to be left alone to poduce his product as efficiently and as profitably as possible.

      All the government wanted from him was as much as they could possibly loot, from his factories as well as his mind.

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      • Posted by  $  Maphesdus 5 years, 7 months ago
        In real life, large corporations do not ignore government like Hank Rearden does in Atlas Shrugged. In real life, large corporations interact with government by getting it on their side and using their massive financial leverage to gain political leverage and thereby protect their assets. They also use their resources to influence what new laws get passed and also to change existing laws. They get the force of government working for them rather than against them. This is evidenced by John D. Rockefeller and his Standard Oil Trust.
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        • Posted by ShruginArgentina 5 years, 7 months ago
          Are you asserting that J.D. was able to build the Standard Oil Company only because he was able to get the government on his side?

          If I remember correctly, millions were spent by Rockefeller (and other industrialists) to insure the election of McKinley and to keep TR out of the oval office. Of course that backfired (pun intended) when McKinley was shot and then died.

          What does the expression "using thier massive financial leverage to gain political leverage and therby protect their assest" really mean?

          Obviously, according to Rand and anyone who believes in a free market economic system, it means those who produce something must pay off those who produce nothing in order to either be allowed to produce or, in some cases receive special (legal and financial) favors which should not be within the scope of government to grant or deny in the first place.

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          • Posted by ShruginArgentina 5 years, 7 months ago
            "In real life, large corporations interact with government by getting it on their side and using their massive financial leverage to gain political leverage and thereby protect their assets. They also use their resources to influence what new laws get passed and also to change existing laws."

            This is exactly what I meant when I used the expression "in on the fix" in the post you answered with the above quote.
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          • Posted by CircuitGuy 5 years, 7 months ago
            It seems like you're talking as if people are either completely independent from gov't or in on the fix. Many business leaders are good at serving their customer, knowing how to talk to investors, creating a good environment for employees, and attending occasional fund raisers where they talk to their representatives. They're not living in a libertarian ideal with little gov't nor are they rent seekers.
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        • Posted by khalling 5 years, 7 months ago
          And Rand demonstrates this w/ Jim Taggert and TT. Rearden has a blindspot when it comes to the govt. He has one regarding his wife as well. But those critical of AS don't want to focus on that. Or the fact that Dagny puts up with Jim as long as she does. My criticism from a writing perspective is the hollowness of JG's character. The words out of his mouth are great but he has no introspection, he lacks emotionally. Rand was clear that showing anger is an appropriate response to government tyranny. Passion can be expressed emotionally. She chose to deny that character proper range.
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          • Posted by  $  Maphesdus 5 years, 7 months ago
            The difference though is that Jim Taggert seems whiny and incompetent. John D. Rockefeller was neither of those.

            Also, it just doesn't seem realistic to me for the owner of a large corporation to be blind to government. I could see a small business owner being blind, but not a large one. Growing a business from small to large requires an extraordinary amount of competence and skill, part of which includes a hyper vigilance and awareness of everything government is doing. In the "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" books, Robert Kiyosaki mentions how one of the most important business lessons his rich dad taught him was to always stay on top of any new changes in the laws and legislation that are coming, so that you can always be prepared and adjust your business accordingly. I just don't see anyone who lacks that particular skill being able to establish or run a large corporation.

            I've said before that I think Atlas Shrugged is a good story, but that Ayn Rand's philosophy ought to be taken with a grain of salt. And one of the reasons for that is because many of the things Ayn Rand said don't quite match up with what Robert Kiyosaki says.
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        • Posted by plusaf 5 years, 7 months ago
          In real life, large corporations do not ignore government like Hank Rearden does in Atlas Shrugged. In real life, large corporations interact with government by getting it on their side and using their massive financial leverage to gain political leverage and thereby protect their assets. They also use their resources to influence what new laws get passed and also to change existing laws. They get the force of government working for them rather than against them. This is evidenced by John D. Rockefeller and his Standard Oil Trust.

          >>> and your comment makes me think that the people of 'corporations' that you describe are merely falling to the same level of thuggishness as the government folks.

          Something that Hank, Dagny and their ilk would not. And that makes all the difference.
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          • Posted by CircuitGuy 5 years, 7 months ago
            " and your comment makes me think that the people of 'corporations' that you describe are merely falling to the same level of thuggishness as the government folks.

            Something that Hank, Dagny and their ilk would not. And that makes all the difference."

            It seems like you're saying only thugs keep up on legislation and gov't policy. The righteous people of the world hold themselves above such concerns, resulting in their failure, leaving the world in the hands of the thugs.
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            • Posted by plusaf 5 years, 7 months ago
              whew! I had to reboot my brain and re-thread that discussion... :)

              Um, ok, pretty much... The protagonists in AS did not stoop to the strategies and tactics of the evil antagonists.

              Compare, today, for example the growing ire against 'crony capitalism,' where them in power glom onto more power, not necessarily for the benefit of their companies or their companies' customers, but as egos and money and power.

              'Folks like us' (here) (generally) wouldn't do shit like that and would not support or encourage others to do so, but in the hallowed Halls of Congress and in many businesses today, ends pretty much justify means, and as a grad course professor informed a Stanford class a friend of mine was enrolled in, "this is Silicon Valley, and if you have to step on people's backs or heads to get ahead, that's the way it works."

              She dropped the class the next day.

              No, the 'righteous people' are not ABOVE 'such concerns' imnsho, but the thugs have a huge vested interest in the legislation and influence peddling. So they develop and perfect their survival and influence skills to do that.

              My personal belief is that 'the righteous', for want of a better term, have just never learned how to lie, cheat and steal as well as the thugs and are generally outnumbered in the battle.

              For a while I've embraced the observation that libertarians and Gulchers in general will rarely, if ever 'win these battles' because 'we' don't know how to fight the bad guys. We let them make the rules of debate and law and we operate essentially under their control.

              We need to invent, learn or discover some other kind of playbook that can get more peoples' attention and wake them up to the fallacies and evil that they're unwittingly bought into and that's hurting them!

              I haven't come up with an answer, but typically, I'm better at identifying issues and problems than implementing solutions. I try to provoke others into coming up with solutions by asking questions of them. One of the reasons I enjoy playing in this sandbox.

              Thanks for your comment!
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              • Posted by CircuitGuy 5 years, 7 months ago
                "'Folks like us' (here) (generally) wouldn't do shit like that and would not support or encourage others to do so, but in the hallowed Halls of Congress and in many businesses today, ends pretty much justify means, and as a grad course professor informed a Stanford class a friend of mine was enrolled in, "this is Silicon Valley, and if you have to step on people's backs or heads to get ahead, that's the way it works."

                I agree this attitude is a huge problem, but I don't think it's the vast majority. As Dale Carnegie points out, most people want to at least think they're the good guys.

                Maybe that professor meant you have to be willing to try things that make other people mad or disrupt a market by bringing a product to people who previously couldn't get it. If she means immoral practices, I highly disagree. It takes a long time to build a reputation. If you get caught doing one immoral thing, it jeopardizes people's willingness to work with you.

                Immoral behavior is more common in gov't and large orgs, I think, b/c everyone can plausibly blame someone else: employees work for managers who work senior management who works for the board who works of analysts and institutional investors who work for retail investors, a group that may include many of these players. Everyone can plausibly say, "it's not me; I'm just doing my job; otherwise they'll fire me." This is less an issue for closely held or private companies. They need to behave morally, not just for their brand but because there's a small group of owners where the buck stops.

                This makes me stop and ask what is rent seeking. If I get to know my representative to Congress and then she gets elected to Senate and then a client wants to work with me because they do a lot of SBIR stuff and I'm supposedly connected to a senator, I guess I'm an accidental indirect rent seeker. This never happened to me, but I could imagine it happening.

                Unlike the heroes in AS, I do know how to navigate small amts of graft and/or incompetence, sway policy in a libertarian direction, and I usually don't let other people set the rules of debate or control me.

                I want to say to the AS heroes, "Go to some fundraisers. Spend most of the time talking to your colleagues, potential customers/suppliers, but at least shake hands with your representatives and their staffers. Learn their names. They're probably not as smart as you but have an amazing ability to be affable and remember your kids' names. They spend a lot of time listening to lobbyists but generally want to do the right thing in life. They could benefit from you spoonfeeding them the downsides of decisions they're making." Instead the AS heroes seems dazed and confused like a deer in the headlights. I understand the point she's making, but this aspect of it was a little ham-handed.
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                • Posted by plusaf 5 years, 7 months ago
                  Dale Carnegie was probably right about the "good guys' quote, just as 'most people think they're above-average drivers,' too.

                  Getting caught doing 'immoral things' can be a downer for your career or reputation, but only if people around you aren't running with the same playbook, in which case you become a role model or challenge.

                  And, as I've unfortunately felt I have to remind too many folks in my life, 'folks like us' are a small minority of the world. Maybe you and most of the people you hang with are of the same inclination of trying to be honest, moral and good, but you/we certainly do NOT apparently represent the legions of politicians, bureaucrats and crony capitalist who game the system for their own benefit at the expense of anyone and everyone else.

                  And, again, 'stereotypes don't come from nowhere...'

                  oh, and I am surprised you came away from AS with the impression that the 'heroes' acted like 'deer in the headlights.' Unless you mean that they found it hard to comprehend the ethics and morals of the folks trying to control them.

                  My Stanford friend often says things like 'I can't understand how people can think that way' yet for some reason I am able to hold the thought in MY mind that they can, for whatever reasons, actually think that way... as foreign as 'that way of thinking' may be for me or her.

                  Infinite variety, as Heinlein put it for a different subject. :)
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