Add Comment

FORMATTING HELP

All Comments Hide marked as read Mark all as read

  • Posted by marshafamilaroenright 3 years, 9 months ago
    One of the points of the book is that the Moochers and Looters are, in fact, acting AGAINST their own self-interest because they are destroying the people who create the wealth they loot. That's what the strikers are demonstrating to the looters and moochers and everyone else who, knowingly or not, support them.

    The problem is that most of these other people don't understand what their objective self-interest it: they just look at their short term material self-interest.

    I would go even farther than Dean and say that they have such little self-confidence that they have to get it from all the "love" from other people and the power they get from their positions. This is in contrast to the heroes, whose self-confidence comes from their independent thinking, acting, and creativity.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by $ jbrenner 3 years, 9 months ago
      Looters and moochers assume that producers will "do something" - a reference to the response that prompted Rearden's final tumbler to click into place. They at least think that they are acting in their own self-interest.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by term2 3 years, 9 months ago
      You are right. Look at Venezuels. Everyone there is suffering, albeit the leaders not as much as the regular citizens. The whole damn thing will collapse in the not too distant future to be sure. We should watch how it happens, as the same thing is going to happen right here. as the "other peoples money" is drained off to fund socialism.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by mccannon01 3 years, 9 months ago
        I agree, term2. The way I see it is socialist policies can be made to appear to work as long as there is a strong enough capitalist base to support them. As you point out and as Margaret Thatcher said socialism works until it runs out of other peoples money. The final act in forcing socialism to work is what I call the "Stalin Solution", which is guns and gulags. Actually, I wouldn't call that "working" except from the elitist leaders point of view. I figure Venezuela is about to introduce the "Stalin Solution". [side note: arguably the income tax is a pre-implementation of Stalin Solution lite.]
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
        • Posted by term2 3 years, 9 months ago
          The more stored up wealth there is, the longer socialism can last. The system will suck the wealth from wherever it is- which relates to your “Stalin solution”. California has a lot of stored up wealth, but it’s mostly in paper assets
          Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
          • Posted by mccannon01 3 years, 9 months ago
            Yes, the USA has a lot of stored up wealth, but if the US continues on the socialist march, that wealth may not last as long as the domestic socialists feel it will (notice I didn't say "think it will").

            Another grab at other peoples wealth to feed socialist systems is trade imbalance by government edict rather than free market forces. Places like the EU and China have been sucking up US wealth for decades by edict.
            Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
            • Posted by term2 3 years, 9 months ago
              Very interesting line of thought. Money printing. I wonder if the longevity of a given society could be predicted by estimates of wealth and estimates of the rate of socialist using up of wealth. There would be the remaining total real wealth at any given point in time plus the rate of generation of new real wealth minus the taxes on that new wealth divided by the rate of the conversion of real wealth into paper money or used up in social services

              I can c this would be a very complicated calculation, but might predict how much more time a collectivist society had as it was collapsing

              The calculation would be ever changing as new sources of wealth were found like oil , and new social programs were implemented ( like Medicaid for all)
              Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by $ jbrenner 3 years, 9 months ago
    The looters are pursuing their own self-interest ... at our expense. Moochers are pursuing their own self-interest ... at our expense. Neither looters or moochers understand SELF-reliance.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by DeangalvinFL 3 years, 9 months ago
      "Perceived self-interest". Most of them are so full of themselves that they truly believe that it is up to them to do "good" or else the little citizen people will not survive without them. Their self-interest is to be the hero to the "people". Maduro, "Comrades, trust me, I will make things better FOR you." He actually believes it.
      I think that only a small few are what could be called evil with deliberate intent to cause harm to others.
      So, I think it is far more the completely incompetent description. Just not from a stupid angle but from an idiotic application of their smarts to a problem that doesn't exist. Thus, they make things worse.
      The people are competent enough to get along without them. John Galt, "get out of our way!"
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by Herb7734 3 years, 9 months ago
    It's a mixture of evil and stupidity.Some are just "useful idiots" like my cousins. The rest are the ones who run the wind-up toys called Useful.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by LWinn 3 years, 9 months ago
    Easy. The aristocrats of pull can practice their evil art with impunity because their victims can't leave. We lost the ability to disperse more than a century ago and, so far, there is little evidence of a consensus to do anything about it. It's not just about freedom, either. Living things that fail to disperse perish.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by cwieder3 3 years, 9 months ago
    Re the comment by < marshafamilaroenright >,
    point/argument well taken. But it leads to the question of why such slimy folks ever began to act against themselves. My take is that self-destruction (and taking others down with you) isn’t always conscious/deliberate. Hence, not conspicuously evil. A personal history of bad habits of thought, ignorance, self-deception, evasion, and the like can also be at play. But maybe that’s a category – if not the essence –of evil.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by chad 3 years, 9 months ago
    I do not think the moochers are one or the either. They conglomeration of members of any institution are a blend of those who know what they are doing and those who believe the lie that they are accomplishing the common good. Their resulting slavery is the same no matter what level they function on because they will believe they have the authority and best interests of those they enslave and the others will understand what they accomplish and desire to be the top slave master and benefiter of the loot. Either way the result is the same; enslavement of those who would rather work than steal.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by $ Radio_Randy 3 years, 9 months ago
    I believe the looters had a plan...the same plan they'd used for centuries. Drain the life from productive entities, as long as they exist, and don't worry about the consequences. If that is, indeed the case, these people are plain evil, not incompetent.

    Problem is...there will eventually come a time when there is no one left to drain. At that point, death is the only answer. But, then, John Galt repeatedly inferred that these people didn't really want to live.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by $ Temlakos 3 years, 9 months ago
    For the most part, the looters are incompetent. Orren Boyle, Wesley Mouch, Eugene Lawson, "Tinky" Holloway, "Chick" Morrison, and Mr. Thompson certainly are. They just flat-out don't know what they're doing or what effect they're having.

    But James Taggart and Floyd Ferris are just stone-cold evil. So were Gerald Starnes, Jr. and Ivy Starnes. Gerald Jr. was a venal shakedown artist, like Hillary Clinton. Ivy was a stick-in-the-mud power grabber, like Bernie Sanders or Alejandria (Alexandria?) Ocasio-Cortez.

    Floyd Ferris didn't have enough of a back story, I don't think. He strikes me as the sort of person who, as a boy, enjoyed torturing insects. James Taggart was envious of anyone who could do things better than could he.

    Notice that of the two (Ferris and Taggart), Taggart breaks first--and breaks completely. Ferris is still avoiding the issue even as he and Mouch flee the scene with Taggart in tow.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by $ Temlakos 3 years, 9 months ago
    For the most part, the looters are incompetent. Orren Boyle, Wesley Mouch, Eugene Lawson, "Tinky" Holloway, "Chick" Morrison, and Mr. Thompson certainly are. They just flat-out don't know what they're doing or what effect they're having.

    But James Taggart and Floyd Ferris are just stone-cold evil. So were Gerald Starnes, Jr. and Ivy Starnes. Gerald Jr. was a venal shakedown artist, like Hillary Clinton. Ivy was a stick-in-the-mud power grabber, like Bernie Sanders or Alejandria (Alexandria?) Ocasio-Cortez.

    Floyd Ferris didn't have enough of a back story, I don't think. He strikes me as the sort of person who, as a boy, enjoyed torturing insects. James Taggart was envious of anyone who could do things better than could he. Notic
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by strugatsky 3 years, 9 months ago
    I’ve had a limited interaction with the socialist ruling class. They are evil. Consciously evil. They are not incompetent or uneducated or uninformed. They are consciously evil because it suits them. As to the argument that they are destroying their own future - not true. Obama worked hard to destroy American education system, but his children are isolated from the destruction. Congress destroyed American health system with Obamacare, but isolated itself from the ashes. The ruling class in the Soviet Union never had food shortages, just like Kim Ung is not starving. They know that they can steal and enslave for at least their lifetime; the rest is irrelevant. The rank and file socialists, on the other hand, are truly stupid and follow their leaders religiously.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by DrZarkov99 3 years, 9 months ago
    Government corruption is endemic to government bureaucracy. The temptation to pad one's own nest is intoxicating and addicting to all but those with powerful personal resistance. It's delusional to think that our government began as a pure, unscrupulous entity that has only recently been polluted.

    What has saved the republic is the chance occurrence of a periodic political figure with a strong sense of honesty and dedication from time to time. Thankfully, we have had enough of these figures to offset the wretched mistakes we've made.

    Presidents who've cleaned things up periodically come from both sides of the political spectrum. Grover Cleveland was distinguished by revealing hidden deals between federal bureaucrats and industry barons, among other things. One thing he couldn't stop was the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy on behalf of the sugar power brokers (still one of the most downright evil industries to exist), and he publicly apologized for his inability to stop the theft of the islands (Congress had the ability to override his veto).

    Trump is the latest reformer who, despite his often irritating demeanor, wants to return the operation of the republic to its original intent. It's sadly comical to listen to congressional figures describe him as a bully when he's trying to get them to do their job. I hope he continues on his imposing task.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by wiggys 3 years, 9 months ago
    The root cause has been written about and published at great length by Ayn Rand.
    what else do you need to know?
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by ewv 3 years, 9 months ago
      As Ayn Rand wrote in the introduction to Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal,"The political aspects of Atlas Shrugged are not its theme. Its theme is primarily ethical-epistemological: the role of the mind in man's existence—and politics, necessarily, is one of the themes consequences."

      The root cause of the deterioration in society depicted in the plot of Atlas Shrugged, including the deterioration at the beginning, is the topic of Galt's speech. The looters running and supporting the government in Atlas Shrugged were evil because they were anti-mind. They were incompetent as a result.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by bsmith51 3 years, 9 months ago
    There will always be many more people envious of wealth than those who have it. Democracy is then the perfect setup by which a huckster with a megaphone can foment that envy to gain power and, through influence peddling, achieve personal wealth.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by $ MikeMarotta 3 years, 9 months ago
    Part of the unifying plot-theme of Atlas Shrugged They are evil because they are incompetent. It is a fallacy that Ayn Rand called "muscle mysticism" to accept that looters and moochers have any power except that which we grant them. The Nazis and Communists of the past, today's Christian and Muslim fundamentalists, nationalistic thugs such as Putin, Trump, Maduro, and Orban, are not powerful. They are not the a serious threat to your freedom - though they want you to think they are. The real threat to your freedom is closer to home, perhaps in your own home.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by CircuitGuy 3 years, 9 months ago
    I think they're following feelings that evolved when people were hunter/gatherer tribes and morality that religions developed in agricultural societies. Like many ideas from antiquity, this morality doesn't stand up to reason.

    Are they evil? I don't know. I got the idea that Toohey in Fountainhead was evil to the core, but with Thompson and Mouch I couldn't tell.
    Are their actions evil? Yes. And this question is more objective than the question of whether they themselves are evil.
    Are they incompetent? No. They're good at the immediate things they're trying to do. They're like a competent psychic or practitioner of homeopathic medicine. They're good at doing they're job, but their job is wrong.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  

FORMATTING HELP

  • Comment hidden. Undo