I love my sister & Atlas Shrugged!

Posted by ycandrea 4 years, 7 months ago to Books
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I am so excited!! My sister, whom I love dearly but who is a flaming liberal, is re-reading Atlas Shrugged! We both read it as teens when our two older brothers introduced it to us. I have read it two more times since and will probably read it again soon.
She is the only one of our family that turned out to be so illogical in her thinking and has so much of a looter mentality. We both have tried to talk philosophy and politics calmly but she would always resort to name calling and anger and I would shut down. So much so that I have had to block her on Facebook until she promised not to be so vicious with my political posts.
Today I received an email from her. She told me she is in the process of re-reading Atlas Shrugged with an open mind. Here are her exact words:
Betti (my sister): I ordered Atlas Shrugged, the unabridged version, so I can listen in my leisure, one more time. It is a 52 hour Audio Book and I am on Chapter 20 or so. It is amazing that although I have read it twice, I still don't really remember what happens next for certain and I am enjoying the tale.
I am hoping when I finish, I can ask you questions about your interpretations and tell you some of my own interpretations of how she characterizes things, without us arguing or getting defensive, nasty or impatient with each other. I have been making some mental notes when I think our interpretations are diverse and when they are probably close.
I know it is a work of fiction, and because it is now a historic book, written several decades ago she is describing a USA that suits her theme, though it is dated. But it is not too difficult to envision her characterizations of America today fictionally, in a modern world. She, like other writers of that era never imagined the vastness of the coming of the computer age and telecommunications, renewable energies, ordering everything imaginable online, or overnight delivery. She would be as amazed as any of us that has been alive during the past 60 years are.
Anyway, I just wanted you to know I am listening to an unabridged reading, with an open mind in another attempt to figure out why you think the way you do, and perhaps to get at least a glimpse of a plausible "Alternative " point of view. That is my honest hope.
See your in Azeroth. And Speaking of that, I need to do a bunch of Suramar, Broken Shore adn ARgus Raids and dungeons On Bet. If you ever want to try to get a group together. I have been trying to get CAmbria to get geared up so she can do at least Heroics if not Mythics.. My DH got a Legendary level 1000 on a world Boss in Argus last night!!
Well, here’s hoping. I just had to share it with you. Oh! The last paragraph is about World of Warcraft. We play that together all the time.

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  • Posted by chad 4 years, 7 months ago
    I have found the best way to start a discussion is first reduce it to the simplest terms. If they want socialism then say that is fine as long as those who choose it can have it and those who don't will not have to participate. My communist daughter immediately indicates that unless everyone is part of the system it won't work! I then point out that her system, of say healthcare, depends on her ability to use violence to make people participate where my system of liberty allows everyone to make a choice including her and my system does not require the use of violence but allows free choice.
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  • Posted by LibertyBelle 4 years, 7 months ago
    My own sister is 13 years younger than myself. (I
    also have another one 15 years younger). Anyway, #1 Sister, some years ago (I guess in about 2007), mentioned that she would like to read Atlas Shrugged. (She was converted to Christianity at about 12; I didn't try to discuss it much with her, and I had moved about 100 miles away, and thought that arguing about it would be counterproductive). Well, I gave her a paperback (or software) copy for Christmas, and some months later she mentioned that she had been reading it, and thought it was great. I mentioned Rearden's gift of the bracelet, and Lillian's reaction, and my sister said, "I wanted to slap her!" Well, she seem enthused, until she got to Galt's speech, which she called a "harangue"; still, she finished the book, and seemed to think it was one she should keep as a classic. (Politically, she is what you might call a
    "conservative"). Later, I gave her Capitalism: the
    Unknown Ideal
    , and she said she loved capitalism, but not atheism. Still, I suggested she read the article "Requiem for Man"; as she is a devout Baptist, I also thought she might not be much in sympathy with a Papal encyclical. But I don't know if she ever read it or not. But, I do love her; since that time I saw her lying on my parents' bed in a diaper with that little scab on her belly; and she is like the baby I never had.
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    • Posted by 4 years, 7 months ago
      Yes, we do love our sisters. Mine is by best friend. She would never do anything to harm me and she has always been there for me in hard times. And likewise I am her best friend and have always been there for her. Nothing can ever come between us, I hope. I hope our country does not dissolve into civil war as we will be on opposite sides. At least right now we would be.
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  • Posted by Herb7734 4 years, 7 months ago
    I think that you might do well to read some of Rand's books other than her fiction.such as "For The New Intellectual." But if you need some quick and easy information, Get the "Ayn Rand Lexicon" which will allow you to get answers to questions easily.
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    • Posted by 4 years, 7 months ago
      I have read The Virtue of Selfishness, The Romantic Manifesto, Capitalism the Unknown Ideal, Fountainhead, Anthem, plus I had subscribed toThe Ayn Rand Letter back in 1971 & 1972. Maybe I need to re-read them all. I do own the Lexicon on Kindle but I always forget to refer to it.
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      • Posted by Herb7734 4 years, 7 months ago
        Actually, it is likely to be your best reference. I find myelf in a similar situation to yours. My daughter-in-law is the daughter of two 60s hippies, You know, the "All you need is love group." She's a very bright MENSA type and open to almost anything. So, with great reverence I loaned her my first edition of Atlas and I am anticipating some excellent discussions/discussions/debates.My son is already a Randoid, so he'll likely step aside (if he's as smart as I think he is).
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  • Posted by CaptainKirk 4 years, 7 months ago
    ycandrea, thanks for sharing.
    It is really hard, but YOU are forced to be the adult.
    My suggestions are:
    1) Keep your conversations private
    2) Don't use email/text
    3) Let her be wrong, think/act like Socrates. Without being condescending, ask her where it leads?

    I was in Australia on a Train ride, and the young ones in front of me were Boeing employees, talking about how Socialism would be better (and even Gates Said so).
    I was shocked (but held it in), and asked them "How how did you work for your degree?". Okay, so if you were guaranteed graduation, and a decent paying job,
    just for showing up, and not trying. Would you have tried harder or less hard than you did?
    Would that make you a better or worse student/future employee?
    Now multiply by 300 million people. Every day, Every year. Not trying their best.

    What do you think happens in those countries?
    What would innovation look like?
    Where would the quality be?

    And I said "I believe that your form of government should focus first on expecting people to be the MOST They can be, and not the least they can get by with... Think about that, and then tell me would you rather live in a Socialist country that is slowly dying, or something closer to what I described?"

    You could literally see him engage the concept and realize NOBODY made him think like that. His friends joined in by nodding approvingly. And he actually said "Yeah, I think I see the difference"

    4) Recognize in her that she CARES about people. But occasionally ask her "When it becomes ENABLING?" and "As long as the government doesn't do it".

    5) Also, consider trying this. Take it ONE step further than you think she would tolerate.
    Assign a Neighbor in her Neighborhood, who keeps coming to her house, and taking her kitchen supplies (whatever she likes), to help someone who is refusing to help themselves.

    Just thoughts. Remember to LOVE HER, not her ideals. She is not wrong for FEELING differently. But she is not CORRECT in how she is THINKING...

    Finally, find a way to make a game out of it. Payers vs. Takers...
    Let her be a Payer, and you be a taker. Slowly become the worse taker ever. Finding the point at which she realizes Taking over consumes, and when Paying is done by force, you lose the ability to say.

    Oh, I use an argument that says: If you are a mom who can't feed one of your 3 children, and that child dies. Does that mother become more careful about having another child? But what if the government is paying? This is the crux.

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  • Posted by Owlsrayne 4 years, 7 months ago
    I don't have a sister, but a younger brother. he is an engineer, conservative middle of the road politically. He is in the vain of Hank Reardon and a little bit of John Galt with the imagination of Tesla. He dreams hydraulic systems then builds them for his customers. His engineering innovations save customers time and money. Atlas Shrugged is not something he would read but I could get him the CD version.
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