For those with a strong stomach!

Posted by lrshultis 4 years, 9 months ago to Books
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Buckley, since he would not read Atlas Shrugged himself, had his ex-communist buddy Whittaker Chambers review Atlas Shrugged as it started climbing the best seller list. As far as I am concerned, it is sickening, especially his "From almost any page of Atlas Shrugged, a voice can be heard, from painful necessity, commanding: “To a gas chamber — go!”
SOURCE URL: http://whittakerchambers.org/articles/nr/bigsister/


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  • Posted by Herb7734 4 years, 9 months ago
    Ayn Rand could hardly believe the religiosity of Buckley. Upon meeting her, he related to a friend,trying to imitate her accent, he said that she said to him, "You don't really believe that religious stuff?" Which not only revealed his true lack of intellectual curiosity, but his bigotry as well.
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  • Posted by ewv 4 years, 9 months ago
    Leonard Peikoff wrote a rebuttal to Chambers which Buckley refused to publish. Buckley was always a pretentious, pompous pseudo-intellectual in promotion of religious traditionalism. He couldn't admit what Atlas Shrugged was and his followers still can't. They republished the Whittakers mud sling on the centennial of Ayn Rand's birth and again on the 50th anniversary of Atlas Shrugged -- the typical Buckley obnoxious taunting anti-intellectualism. Ordinary people everywhere have continued to discover AS despite the Buckleyite smear campaign misrepresenting it.

    Leonard Peikoff's devastating rebuttal to Buckley's cohort is published as "Reply to Whittaker Chambers" in Essays on Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, ed by Robert Mayhew. https://estore.aynrand.org/p/233/essa... The Chambers smear continues to remind us what Buckley and his followers are.
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    • Posted by dbhalling 4 years, 9 months ago
      When you look into the philosophy of Conservativism this is not surprising at all. Buckley was a perfect product of Hume, Burke, Hayek etc He was skeptical of reason (at best) which I think is why he and many conservatives write such long articles that ramble They believe intelligence is not about reason and evidence, but arcane facts.

      This is why I posted the articles on the Philosophy of Conservativism.

      I have never seen Peikoff's response. Thanks
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  • Posted by $ Thoritsu 4 years, 9 months ago
    When someone uses that many words to make that thin a point, it is almost certainly written as a desperate response from a weak viewpoint.
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    • Posted by $ allosaur 4 years, 9 months ago
      That "mountain of words" called Atlas Shrugged a "mountain of words" in the last paragraph.
      Had that machine-gunning, machine-gunning, machine-gunning hit piece been written during our current socialist-in-chief's regime, I would not be surprised by the race card being pulled..
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      • Posted by $ Thoritsu 4 years, 9 months ago
        I missed that, probably because I couldn't stomach his mountain of words. Although, I have to say that Atlas Shrugged is not an easy read.
        Ayn was right and smart, but Shakespeare she was not. (Hey, unrhymed iambic pentameter!)

        I just got a Harvard Business Journal solicitation for subscription in the mail, with an example journal. Amazingly, every single article in the example simply dripped with whining progressive diatribe, from why women aren't supported in STEM (from bias from both sexes) to reducing "corporate culture" by not sending e-mails late at night. That either led the big O there as a fly to poop, or further instilled him with a fluency in poop. (for what it is worth, I rarely use "poop" in normal speech)
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  • Posted by freedomforall 4 years, 9 months ago
    She who laughs last ...
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    • Posted by wiggys 4 years, 9 months ago
      you are exactly right.
      one thing is for sure Ayn Rand is continually spoken of and quoted. rush Limbaugh claims to have known buckley fairly well having dinners at his home, however rush Limbaugh has on many occasions referred to Ayn Rand and quoted her always in glowing terms. so I guess those who think so highly of buckley as Limbaugh does never quote him.
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  • Posted by dturnbull 4 years, 9 months ago
    Unfortunately, Buckley, with whom I agreed about half of the time, slipped in to "good Catholic boy" mode too often, with all of that religion's closed mindedness. Chambers, like a reformed drunk, went from one extreme, communist, to another, religious zealot. The old red adage was that religion is the opiate of the people. I would argue that communism, fascism and all the other collectivist "isms" are in fact also opiates. They make people feel good without addressing the underlying cause of the pain. They are an easy fix as a way of avoiding dealing with real problems.
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  • Posted by Esceptico 4 years, 9 months ago
    Despite Buckley’s reputation as an intellectual, I found him arrogant and far from a thinking individual. Back in 1961, not knowing better and wanting a conservative to speak at the University of Oregon, I gathered up enough contributions to bring him to the campus. I picked him up at the Eugene airport, drove him to the University, spent time with him, and drove him back to the airport.

    Among the many things I found wrong were not only his conclusions (we can all make a mistake) but in his processes. He would start from his premises (in economics, by the way, he was a big fan of Henry George) as if they were axioms and then require dialogue from there. He never permitted his premises to be questioned. This is consistent with a person born and raised with religious dogma, but I found him to be a phony.
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  • Posted by coaldigger 4 years, 9 months ago
    Buckley's flunkey hatchet man is of the same cloth as the "intellectual" slugs that pontificate on the editorial and review sections of the Washington Post. Of course Rand creates a fiction to illustrate her philosophy. Of course she uses bigger than life characters to represent her heroic ideas. Of course she creates the most vile characters to represent the underlying evils that are destroying our chance of having a rational society.

    I have heard all the references to liking Atlas as a teenager but then "growing up". Rand does deal in blacks and whites but surrendering to a world of shades of gray without protest is not to have lived at all.

    On my first reading of Atlas I thought it contained some interesting ideas but that the story was like a Sky King TV segment and the level of competence of heroes were impossible to emulate. The second time I realized that the characters were composites of types of people that were on the right track. That the plot was just an instrument for illustrating the ideas and that the ideas were very profound. By the third time I read Atlas, I was focused on the words of the characters in their speeches, Reardon's trial, Francisco's money speech and "This is John Galt". Additional re-readings are for pleasure and refreshment. I no longer worry about the juvenile aspects of the story nor do I get intimidated by the characters. Oh and the book never seems to be a 1100 page chore, but more like a modern day Bible.
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    • Posted by $ MichaelAarethun 4 years, 9 months ago
      Like the other post I learned from AS not to 'sanction the system' and be made into a fool. putting your version together with Artful Dilletante is a Bible of sorts and as you said a pleasure to read.

      I feel sorry for those who never never learn.

      The more fools they are
      the more a fool they be
      they cast about
      hopelessly
      this way and that
      worms on a hook
      willingly swallowed
      and learned nothing
      from that book
      just worms on a hook.
      pretending pretending
      they have what they've lost
      objects of pity
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    • Posted by RonJohnson 4 years, 9 months ago
      I, too, recently re-read Atlas and came away from it with a deeper appreciation of what that book really says. For too many years, I accepted the typical diatribe that Rand was a clunky writer and that her book was just another form of science fiction.

      I read it once when I was a teen, once again in my 30's, and now in my late 50's. Even though I had a built-in bias against her as an artist, and even though I hold a bachelors degree in literature, I found Atlas to be stimulating and...emotional. I surprised myself when, upon finishing a section during which Hank Reardon has a soliloquy in his head describing his deep loneliness, I found myself in tears. What? When was the last time I was moved to tears by a piece of fiction...never? Especially with a story I've read multiple times? Atlas can be unbelievably beautiful and powerful.

      I acknowledge that Rand sometimes used unusual imagery or clunky verbiage ("inter-office-communicator" anyone?), but those flaws pale in comparison to the powerful passages.

      I always keep in mind that Rand was not a native English speaker, and that she learned some of her craft from writing for Hollywood (it shows most in her melodramatic love scenes). This may keep her out of the ranks of the truly polished writers, but is it better to write well or have something valid to say? I've not seen many writers who could do both.
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    • Posted by Herb7734 4 years, 9 months ago
      Coaldigger:
      You have described an evolution that many of us go through when reading Atlas. After having re-read it totally and in bits and pieces, the 1100+ pages became meaningless. I realized this when describing the book to a n email friend I said it was six or seven hundred pages long. Later, I realized that to me, the length had become irrelevant compared to the content.
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    • Posted by teri-amborn 4 years, 9 months ago
      That is surprisingly similar to how I assimilated Atlas...my mind had to concretize and then abstract in layers through multiple readings.
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      • Posted by coaldigger 4 years, 9 months ago
        I am usually pretty dense but the underlying message was so strong that it spoke to me. After partially digesting it, reading it again broke me free of the irrelevant parts and drove the message home. I am quite proud that I was able to recognize this but I thought that only I must have seen it since it was 7 years after it was published and the world was still screwed up. I had no one to discuss it with and the person that threw it on my desk and said "I think you might like this: had moved on. Here I am 52 years later and although we have the internet to discuss it, the world is in even worse shape.
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  • Posted by term2 4 years, 9 months ago
    I think that its a bad idea to associate too much, or trust too much, anyone who is really into religion. You never know what their "god" will tell them to do.

    When it comes to muslims, I really want nothing to do with them. I dont want to help them at all, since they openly say they want to kill infidels (me !!)
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  • Posted by Zenphamy 4 years, 9 months ago
    What a belligerent, antagonistic, pedantic fool.
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    • Posted by 4 years, 9 months ago
      In a way, that is better than those who in a few sentences just dismiss Rand with "just naive realism", or "it isn't literature", or "it is just escapist fantasy", or "about a lot of people who think they are better than others". The first I read of such a comment was in a history coarse in 1963 in Riesman's "The Lonely Crowd", as a comment about those who would mention "The Fountainhead" in his class. I did not read Rand's works until 1965, as recommend by a guy, whose subscription had been cancelled to "The Objectivist" for asking a question wrongly. An other book with that type of dismissal was "The Closing of the American Mind" (1987). I read Atlas Shrugged while waiting to see if I would be made to be cannon fodder in Vietnam.
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  • Posted by Owlsrayne 4 years, 9 months ago
    The review by Whittwker Chambers was a lot of hot air. Yes, it took some fortitude to read all that morass. Critics are not visionary, they can't see the future. Everything that is happening today is what Ayn Rand wrote about. She saw man (men & women) could become producers and innovators if the govt would get out of the way. The astronomical regulations that is imposed on American Industry stifles innovation and productivity.
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  • Posted by $ Radio_Randy 4 years, 9 months ago
    To this, I would have to say "Read it, yourself and draw your own conclusions...don't just take another's word for it".
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    • Posted by $ MichaelAarethun 4 years, 9 months ago
      Like wading in a cesspool of those who never had to live the life that system brought to millions but remained pinky finger tea sippers aloof from the little people.. Reminds me of something Roger Rabbit would use to make one of his propaganda movies - The rantings of a professional liberal for hire. I'm going out of my way to be nice. It was a real effort.
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  • Posted by $ nickursis 4 years, 9 months ago
    That is less a review, than an arrogant diatribe, seeking to discredit the book and author with nothing more than philosophical ranting. yet isn't this the same national review that almost 50 years later is attacking Trump? Makes me sort of want to like Trump...not enough, but sort of..
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  • Posted by $ SarahMontalbano 4 years, 9 months ago
    My lip was curling the entire time I read this (and I don't tend to make that expression much). This reminds me of Bertram Scudder's article "The Octopus" - a bucket of slime emptied in public. Was it really necessary to waste that many words on such a ridiculous premise? That's time I'm never getting back.
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  • Posted by $ Olduglycarl 4 years, 9 months ago
    Interesting commentary. But is it not so... that in order to point out a dichotomy one must paint in black and white. The in between only complicates the message...they'll end up on one side or the other or hopefully realize their wishy washy path and straighten out.

    I've been this route, in degrees of probability but the black and white of it is: the only true division in society is "Conscience" (which is much more than just a voice) "those that have and those that have not,
    Now the time comes for the middle, the reasons and the outcome of each...which is much harder and complicated than I ever expected.

    I think, Ayn, found herself here but realized it was necessary in order to awaken the middle...cause right generally stays right and left rarely strays but the middle are curious so might they be the one's that read here books?

    As for his take on "Robin Hood", rarely does anyone get it; Robin stole from the looters, the government, the usurpers and gave back to those they stole from. The tax payers, the true value creators, the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker.
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  • Posted by gaiagal 4 years, 9 months ago
    Well, not being an atheist (having, unlike so many folk nowadays, sufficient proof that humans are not the end all and be all) I'm sure Mr. Whittaker, when he thinks of this article, is in a state of eternal face-palming.
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    • Posted by 4 years, 9 months ago
      An atheist has no belief in the existence of a god or gods, period. A person with a atheism belief has a hypothesis about the non-existence of god.
      Neither of those, a non belief in the existence of god and a belief or hypothesis about the non-existence of a god, have anything to do with humans being an end all and be all. Objectivism is atheistic because it considers existence as the base of nature and of consciousness leaving no place for a supernatural god.
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  • Posted by Retfird 4 years, 9 months ago
    Buckley was a right wing Statist. It shouldn't surprise anyone that there was a hit piece in his magazine back then. Guess what? He's dead and no longer has a say. If you are critical of the recent articles, is it because you believe National Review moved to the too far Left, or too far Right?
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  • -5
    Posted by Wnston 4 years, 9 months ago
    Ayn Rand may have been a decent capitalist, but she's in hell now with Satan for denying God/Jesus/Holy Spirit.
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    • Posted by Herb7734 4 years, 9 months ago
      The translation of the word "Satan" means "adversary" in Hebrew. It does not refer to a specific entity. That was the work of one of the many people who re-wrote the Jesus story many times, adding this and dropping out that. Written by God? I doubt if those grubby hacks were very god-like.
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      • -4
        Posted by Wnston 4 years, 9 months ago
        Satan IS the adversary of mankind as he roams the earth seeking to destroy. The rest of your diatribe is pure secular humanist garbage. The Bible IS the very Word of God, His inspiration to more than 40 men for over 4000 years. You do have the free will to choose.
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        • Posted by 4 years, 9 months ago
          Psychology experiments seem to show that that choice may be much less that commonly thought. In most cases, what one perceives as having been chosen, was already chosen at the subconscious level since a chosen act has already begun before the awareness of the action is recognized. So in many chosen actions there is a little time shifting as to whether the choice or the start of the action came first. One big choice that one can make freely is to inhibit an action that is starting. That way one can stop flying of the handle before security is called. Choosing to think is one of the more difficult choices that humans can freely chose. It is sometimes like having to do a dirty job when it would feel better to just go floating through life. I do mathematics and find it more and more difficult to chose to make the extreme effort to think though abstract math as I enter my later 70's though I still recognize that doing the thinking is a matter of choice. Just can't get the ideas that used to subconsciously be popped into awareness that I could choose to think about.
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  • -5
    Posted by Wnston 4 years, 9 months ago
    Ayn Rand may have been a decent capitalist, but she's in hell now with Satan for denying God/Jesus/Holy Spirit.
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    • Posted by 4 years, 9 months ago
      How do you deny something for which there is no evidence?
      That is some narcissistic God you have there. Punishing a human for acting as it made her. That freewill excuse will not work for you, since omniscience sees all future actions of a human, unless your god has lost its omniscience.
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