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Atlas Shrugged: Ayn Rand

Atlas Shrugged Ayn Rand Book
by Ayn Rand

Book Comments & Discussion (8)

What would happen if the leading innovators and industrialists go on strike or disappear?

What would you do if society betrays your hard work, dignity, underpays and confiscates the property you have rightfully acquired?

Read the book to find out.

Atlas Shrugged” is rated as second most influential book after the Bible. The theme is: “the role of the mind in man’s existence — and, as corollary, the demonstration of a new moral philosophy: the morality of rational self-interest.”

Miss Rand's greatest work and one of my top 10 books ever.

This book is a neo-fascist, badly written, rant by an author who was certifiably bonkers. It is only popular in the USA, which says much about that country's literary taste and politics.
Thanks for your comment Sreich, but I have to disagree. The book is a political allegory of something completely different from fascism and totalitarianism. This book is about freedom and individualism. It seems people like to love it or hate it and what makes you a lover or a hater is your attitude towards the novelity of making money, to innovate and produce, and never accept the guilt of the non-productive. According to Ayn Rand, the best society is one in which people trade the best they have created for the best that others have created. This is the moral of the book. People should not be forced to sacrifice their dreams for the sake of others. This is where the principle of equality is based.
I will agree with you that the book is badly written but there is a spirit behind the words that makes you certain you are reading something important.
Rand spent most of her life slagging off altruism. Altruism means being kind to people. Hers is a philosophy of nastiness and selfishness. Anyone who supports that must, ipso facto, be a genuinely objectionable person. The book can be easily summarised:

Everyone else is wrong: Ayn Rand is the only person who is right. A characteristic she shares with Marx, Hitler, and any other fundamentalist you care to mention.

All the misguided people i.e. everyone who isn't Ayn Rand, has to be punished by lecturing them in interminably boring speeches that go on and on and on for about one hundred pages and have only one point - I've got more money than you, Ha Ha Ha!

And she is a truly abysmal writer
It is totally apparent that the last post was from a person with no understanding of Ms. Rand, her life, or her philosophy. That is usually the case with people who react so negatively to her writings. First of all, if you cared to educate yourself about her work, you would know that altruism is not just kindness, it is defined as "sacrificing of oneself for others" (i.e.- putting yourself at a disadvantage to benefit others)meaning taking from yourself to give to someone else. She does not oppose this if it is voluntary, only when it is compulsory or expected by society in order for you to be considered morally "good". No one has a "right" to anyone else's property, as societal norms and popular religions now dictate. She objected to the judgements attached to either behavior.

As for the book, it is very interesting and contains certain philosophical premises and ideas that are beyond the understanding of many people. I am of above average intelligence and I have had to ponder and research some of the information she is trying to relay just to get a full grasp of it. Some of it I still don't understand, and I am willing to admit that. Others would rather just denigrate and dismiss, and I personally feel that if the book is such an awful piece of crap, please feel free to come back and discuss this right after YOU have created a substantial work of literature, by all means....

The book may be considered "poorly written" by classic literary standards, but it was written as a vehicle to communicate some radical philosophical ideas by an author for whom English is a second language. Again, come back and talk to me when you can even write a mediocre book in ANY other language you learned as an adult. I think she did a pretty good job. Oh, and people are still buying it more than 60 years later. Go figure.

You can disagree with her work, attitude, philosophy, and even her demeanor, but do me a favor and stop showing your own arrogance and ignorance while doing so. She was a brilliant thinker who was arrogant sometimes in her defense of her life's work, but who wouldn't be when you are constantly being attacked by people who don't even understand. She made no apologies for her intelligence and beliefs, and she shouldn't have to. Nobody should. She would have loved to be around today to hear the kids use the term "Haters gonna hate"! It probably would have made her laugh.
Actually, this book doesn't make good predictions on what would happen if the wealthiest industrialists left society to form their own.

For one thing, the wealthiest industrialists don't tend to be the engineers and farmers, but the management. Don't get me wrong, that management is a useful efficiency mechanism, as far as the society at large is concerned. But, they aren't actually making the products or services, themselves.

So, first thing that would happen is that, when they get to Galt's Gulch, is they would begin to starve. The second is that the society that they left would deal with some initial discord, but other people, perhaps people with a better comprehension of their reliance upon others would take on the positions that had been vacated. Would they do the job better? Maybe, maybe not.

You see the Free Market Economy is the least flawed economic system, to date, for the purpose of sharing and encouraging the production of prosperity. Yet, and this is important, it is not a system of economic justice. Money doesn't automatically flow to the most necessary or the best or the hardest workers.

Unfortunately, Atlas Shrugged only works as socio-economic allegory if the completely unencumbered free market economy is a perfect, or even mostly successful, means of attributing wealth and power to the most deserving.
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Ayn Rand Atlas Shrugged, depicts a world which we live in today, a world where 85% of people try to be oblivious to being slaves but prefer to just make meager wages or dole handouts. We are defeated if we do not get up and achieve what is rightfully ours,Ayn Rand has given us the means to achieve a better life, she has displayed all we need to conquer that seems too hard to overcome.
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Ayn Rand was a Russian-Jewish immigrant. As such, she came from a different social upbringing that, as occurs with any child that grows into adulthood, conveyed unto her thinking processes a certain style and attitude while being in life. Life in Russia during her early years was a bit harsh, to say the least. Ms. Rand was 12 when the Russian Revolution erupted, 26 when she immigrated to the U.S. At least read the Wikipedia article on her to get a beginning feel of who she was, which might begin to shed some light on her writing style. Let the truth be known! Check out her book entitled, "Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal."
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Peopled by larger-than-life heroes and villains, charged with towering questions of good and evil, Atlas Shrugged is Ayn Rand’s magnum opus: a philosophical revolution told in the form of an action thriller.

Who is John Galt? When he says that he will stop the motor of the world, is he a destroyer or a liberator? Why does he have to fight his battles not against his enemies but against those who need him most? Why does he fight his hardest battle against the woman he loves?

You will know the answer to these questions when you discover the reason behind the baffling events that play havoc with the lives of the amazing men and women in this book. You will discover why a productive genius becomes a worthless playboy...why a great steel industrialist is working for his own destruction...why a composer gives up his career on the night of his triumph...why a beautiful woman who runs a transcontinental railroad falls in love with the man she has sworn to kill.

Atlas Shrugged, a modern classic and Rand’s most extensive statement of Objectivism—her groundbreaking philosophy—offers the reader the spectacle of human greatness, depicted with all the poetry and power of one of the twentieth century’s leading artists.
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