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Today I bought Atlas Shrugged.

I am in a rather sensitive position right now with one parent very ill and the other going on a nervous breakdown spree by threatening to blackmail us to distant relatives and smashing lamps. I thought I needed to read something I'd possibly hate - it will either sweep the cobwebs away by making me laugh and the content or sneer at the writing or make a libertarian out of me.

Wish me luck.

by Anonymousreply 203February 10, 2024 2:16 PM

*at the content. Ayn can probably write better than I can type on a tablet.

by Anonymousreply 1October 21, 2015 2:49 PM

It's not for sensitive people.

by Anonymousreply 2October 21, 2015 2:51 PM

Ayn Rand has become anathema to everyone on the left, and I certainly wouldn't have voted for her had she run for anything, but Atlas S isn't a bad read in terms of storytelling. There are some interesting surprises in it, though there is one section that is over a hundred pages long that you--like everyone else--will skip. Not speed-read your way through. Skip.

I'll say no more. But come back and tell us what you thought when you're done.

by Anonymousreply 3October 21, 2015 3:03 PM

[quote]with one parent very ill and the other going on a nervous breakdown spree by threatening to blackmail us to distant relatives and smashing lamps

Having a very ill mother, I sympathize. Though the smashing lamps part made me laugh.

by Anonymousreply 4October 21, 2015 3:17 PM

If you're in a vulnerable place, do NOT read Ayn Rand. She will make you lose faith in humanity forever.

by Anonymousreply 5October 21, 2015 3:23 PM

What does that "100-page section that nobody reads" cover?

by Anonymousreply 6October 21, 2015 3:27 PM

[quote]She will make you lose faith in humanity forever.

Humanity already made me lose faith in humanity forever.

by Anonymousreply 7October 21, 2015 3:27 PM

R5, I believe that refers to the radio broadcast.

by Anonymousreply 8October 21, 2015 3:29 PM

I'm a dyed-in-the-wool supporter of the labour movement but that's why I'm pushing myself to read it. Most of Rand's online supporters are in some kind of intense fandom that is a total turn off by the 3 or 4 people I have met in real life whose lives it changed are, if not enlightened, but settled and engaging and self assured.

Thank you, R4. If a person had a good relationship with a parent, you're never prepared for when they weaken. The lamp smashing bit almost made me laugh out loud at the time until she threatened to tell people it was thrown at her. This situation is a perfect storm of suck for my mother. It's given her free rein to attack and manipulate her stress and fears away which we could live with until it got to this level.

I trust people too much so maybe some objectivist insensitivity is what I need. I certainly need to cut the cord and treasure what time I have with my ill father and not be a doormat out of misplaced affection.

by Anonymousreply 9October 21, 2015 3:34 PM

Sorry to hear about your situation. It sounds like you know what course to take with your mother.

As far as the book goes, the last hundred pages are torture. A repetitive diatribe. Be prepared.

by Anonymousreply 10October 21, 2015 3:41 PM

Read something that makes you feel great, something buoyant:

Don Quixote Three Musketeers Vanity Fair Angel by Elizabeth Taylor (not that ET) Moab Is My Washpot

Treat yourself.

by Anonymousreply 11October 21, 2015 3:44 PM

R6: R10 answered your question. I wasn't going to spoil it for the OP, but since word is already out:

OP: Stop reading!

The 100 pages is a speech delivered by a character on the radio that tells, and tells, and tells what Rand already showed dramatically. That is, it's completely unnecessary at that point and it lasts forever. When I was in high school, lots of kids read the novel, but everyone skipped the speech. In my whole life, I count only one person who read it, and he was an obsessive completest.

OP: if you're depressed, why don't you try reading something the cheer and inspire you, like Watership Down?

by Anonymousreply 12October 21, 2015 3:48 PM

I hated it, almost every bit of it. I read it because someone I liked and respected gave it to me. Changed my opinion of him forever. Turns out character is destiny, he was fired from the company for setting up a sceme to inflate sales revenues. That objectivist shit is ammoral, just an excuse to justify an anti social me first I have mine screw you attitude. I couldn't read that book if I were in a sensitive place, that's for sure.

by Anonymousreply 13October 21, 2015 3:48 PM

It's not exactly fine literature. I think the problem is that the book gives a reasonably effective argument for human douchebagginess...as if these people need to be or should be encouraged. I love R11's suggestions.

by Anonymousreply 14October 21, 2015 3:48 PM

After you read it, you will put your parents in a nursing home and take control of you life.

by Anonymousreply 15October 21, 2015 3:50 PM

I enjoyed The Fountainhead more. I listened to it as an audiobook years ago and it was alright. I did start listening to Atlas Shrugged last year but haven't been able to finish it. I just don't care about it. It does have certain preachiness to it and it feels way too long.

Rand can write fiction well enough but the whole cult aspect is off-putting. Especially since the books aren't really [italic]that[/italic] great to begin with.

by Anonymousreply 16October 21, 2015 3:57 PM

I read it or tried to many years ago. Take the advice on the 100 page section. It's tedious and pretty much stops the entire novel. I didn't really pay attention to all the political babble; but I did think that the plot and the characters where kinda cool in a way. If it were stripped of all the speeches, political rants that make up the majority of the book, it might have been a decent read: the main characters are young, strong, smart, attractive, daring, and anti establishment. I imagine them looking like1940's matinee idols. She pretty much destroyed my enjoyment of the fascinating story she created when she started the unending political thesis. I did finish it but by then I had lost interest in the story.

by Anonymousreply 17October 21, 2015 4:08 PM

It's a product of its time. I'm always leery of people who worship The Human Brain. Really, it's great but not THAT great. I do love the celebration of personal accountability in it, though.

by Anonymousreply 18October 21, 2015 4:08 PM

Actually the first part of the speech is the only part that a sane person would agree with, before it veers into nonsense similar to the ridiculousness of the rest of the book.

by Anonymousreply 19October 21, 2015 4:20 PM


I think auto-correct changed it.

by Anonymousreply 20October 21, 2015 4:32 PM

Ayn Rand books belong in one place: the fireplace.

by Anonymousreply 21October 21, 2015 5:37 PM

R21 is a fascist for advocating book-burning.

by Anonymousreply 22October 21, 2015 5:46 PM

[quote] After you read it, you will put your parents in a nursing home and take control of you life.

NOW you tell me!

by Anonymousreply 23October 21, 2015 5:47 PM

OP, I have very little of literary value to add to your choice of reading material during this critical time.

However, I think it's a creative choice and a good way to deal with all you are enduring. Hearing that someone is undertaking a reading endeavor is heartening. I'm not going to judge your choices.

I've been through some of what you have expressed here. It's a lonely place.

Wishing you the best.

I wonder how much household items my mother hurled at my father when I wasn't around.

by Anonymousreply 24October 21, 2015 5:59 PM

"Much" is "many"

by Anonymousreply 25October 21, 2015 6:03 PM

I enjoyed The Fountainhead more as well, r16. I enjoyed We the Living more than the Fountainhead. I suggest OP read it instead of Atlas Shrugged. It is actually autobiographical, and easily her best novel (her first). She seemed to get more and more preachy with each endeavor. Atlas Shrugged seemed interminable.

by Anonymousreply 26October 21, 2015 6:07 PM

I recall being gobsmacked by Patricia Neal in the film of The Fountainhead. Gary Cooper was similar beautiful; but my main memory was him delivering and extended incomprehensible speech.

R11, r12 and r14: thank you for your more positive recommendations. On one hand, I am seeking to read something (arguably?) misanthropic likely to purge myself of my sentimentality Admittedly, it would be a better use of my time together around to reading Don Quixote and Watership down. I probably will. And r11 isn't Elizabeth Taylor (not that ET) the greatest? Haven't read Angel, but saw the film and loved it. Her short stories are first rate. Any other recs?

R24: thank you for what you wrote. There's heartbreak and fear and regret on all kinds of levels but mostly an overwhelming love for my father. As seeing him means seeing my mother, to make it tenable, I need to stop the habits has me forgiving and forgetting and forgive cruel behaviour after change is promised but not completed. It's fine to "love" one's family but it's meaningless if that love is an excuse to when they are treated worse than on!s enemies. The cycle of abuse, etc.

by Anonymousreply 27October 21, 2015 6:32 PM

How about some nice Patrick Dennis or Angela Thirkell? And if you're in a more scabrous mood, Tom Sharpe?

by Anonymousreply 28October 21, 2015 6:35 PM

OP, r24, here. You have a good handle on the dynamics. I know, it doesn't make it easier. I identify with your feelings.

It's a huge journey.

by Anonymousreply 29October 21, 2015 6:56 PM

Sweet Jesus, my writing in r27 is a barely comprehendable mess, impressed that you understood it r24/r27!

by Anonymousreply 30October 21, 2015 7:43 PM


Sheesh. I'm off to read Atlas Shrugged. I can't even blame the tablet for that one.

by Anonymousreply 31October 21, 2015 7:50 PM

Read "We the Living" instead. It's a better story, and gives insight into how she arrived philosophically where she did. Not so preachy as "Atlas".

by Anonymousreply 32October 24, 2015 4:21 AM

OP, good luck. Now I want to read this crack of shit.

by Anonymousreply 33October 24, 2015 5:03 AM

Three Musketeers is a great book. My favourite as a kid. Also love Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson. By RL Stevenson, also really enjoyed Cévennes and The Amateur Emigrant.

by Anonymousreply 34October 24, 2015 5:06 AM

Tender Is the Night, another weird book if you are interested OP. Fitzgerald is a great writer, I hated Gatsby but enjoyed this one. It writes about people you wish never to meet, and who are racist to boot (there's even incest, I believe, in the beginning - it's alluded to and of course it's the daughter's "fault"). Book is scary. Supremely well-written, though.

by Anonymousreply 35October 24, 2015 5:11 AM

Anyone seen the film? Obviously it sucks it but it cover the themes (the first part, at least)? Grant Bowler is a sexy little thing.

by Anonymousreply 36October 24, 2015 8:02 AM

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

by Anonymousreply 37October 24, 2015 8:36 AM

[quote] my writing in R27 is a barely comprehendable mess

That's step one in reading Ayn Rand - emulation.

by Anonymousreply 38October 24, 2015 12:09 PM

[quote] Ayn can probably write better than I can type on a tablet.

The Fountainhead is much better. It has a relatively concise narrative; an interesting, if intentionally unlikeable, protagonist with some fleshed out characterization; a succinct plot; and communicates Rand's so-called philosophy much better than Atlas Shrugged which is better used as a bloated door stop.

by Anonymousreply 39October 24, 2015 12:35 PM

I agree with the recommendation of We the Living. It's a good historical novel. Atlas Shrugged completely jumps the shark with the ray gun or whatever the fuck it is.

by Anonymousreply 40October 24, 2015 8:13 PM

After 9/11, I ripped through every Patricia Highsmith novel, one a day. It was just what I needed: a little simmering dread, great pacing, not taxing but not lazy either. And there was something common among several of her novels that was familiar: a character who was overwhelmed into paralysis. I frequently thought, "Just fucking explain! Get up! Answer the door!" or any other seeming obvious action that the character didn't take. Anyway maybe one of her novels would match and distract your mood?

Another two I recommend is Hardy's Mayor of Caterbridge. It'll take you into a comfortingly bleak terrain with full confidence that the author's steering this nice and easy.

Let us know how you're doing.

by Anonymousreply 41November 2, 2015 4:11 PM


by Anonymousreply 42November 2, 2015 4:12 PM

Thanks for the recs, r28, r34, r35, r37 (my dear father gave me a copy of 100 Years Of Solitude when I was 13, I abandoned it halfway through because I struggled with the names of the characters but now is the time to read it in his honor, I think), r41. I also bought Carol (kindle and audiobook) to read before the film comes out.

r16, r26, r32, r39, r40, - if I read more Rand, it depends how this goes. I am most interested in his because I am convinced it will horrify me, and because the promotion of personal accountability is something I need to think about right now.

I am listening to it as an audiobook even though it will take me several times longer than if I read it myself- 60 hours, if you please! - when driving or doing chores, because I want to read something.

So, my impressions of chapter 1:

I am not sure what the “Who Is John Galt” rejoinder is about. Some kind of idiom in that society? The bum is not only a bum, but a dead-eyed leech, who has no idea or care that he is a dead-eyed leech. Eddie is sensible and energetic. James is a sentimental fool, spouting chardonnay socialist bon mots simply to appear contrary to his sister and out of intellectual laziness. He is sarcastic, has thin lips and grey hair to boot. Dagny is calm, self-assured, has healthy self-esteem, is pretty much perfect. Reardon metal - Cheap! Stronger than steel! Is backed up by impeccable science - that no one by Our Heroine is game to use is a I am assuming that Hank and Dagny are lovers? The musician admittedly intrigues me.

by Anonymousreply 43November 3, 2015 4:46 PM

This is no spoiler, OP, but "Who is John Galt?" is the central meme of the book.

by Anonymousreply 44November 3, 2015 5:20 PM

Is it a common phrase in that society, or is it just something these characters say?

A quick google reveals that John Galt even turns up on Lululemon tote bags. Oh, my.

[quote]"Our bags are visual reminders for ourselves to live a life we love and conquer the epidemic of mediocrity. We all have a John Galt inside of us, cheering us on. How are we going to live lives we love?"

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 45November 3, 2015 8:30 PM

Ayn Rand = Bad writer, bad philosopher, bad person.

OP, please read the "what are you reading" threads and find a better book.

by Anonymousreply 46November 3, 2015 8:37 PM

OP: don't google "John Galt" anymore, or you'll spoil the surprise.

by Anonymousreply 47November 3, 2015 8:38 PM

Read Dorothy Parkers assessment of Atlas Shrugged. Spot on.

by Anonymousreply 48November 3, 2015 8:38 PM

OP, I hope you mean "bought it" in the sense of purchasing it, not in the sense of "fell for it, hook, line, and sinker."

by Anonymousreply 49November 3, 2015 8:39 PM

This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.

-- Dorothy Parker

by Anonymousreply 50November 3, 2015 8:43 PM

Hatred of Ayn Rand has become an article of faith on the left, but there really are good Ayn Rand and bad Ayn Rand. The good one exalts the individual and his or her rights against the oppression of Nazi, communist, or other totalitarian states.

But the bad one scorns social safety nets for those who are not born to economic advantages, or who run into bad luck.

Disliking the bad Ayn Rand shouldn't blind anyone to the good Ayn Rand.

by Anonymousreply 51November 3, 2015 8:59 PM

Ayn Rand was a hypocrite who took social security under another name in her old age.

by Anonymousreply 52November 3, 2015 9:22 PM

[quote] Ayn Rand was a hypocrite who took social security under another name in her old age.

They took her money by force, and it was hers to begin with. If the system had been voluntary, it would be another story.

by Anonymousreply 53November 3, 2015 9:28 PM

I'll wager she took more out than she put in, R53. She preached the primacy of logic and reason while smoking herself to an early grave on cigarettes, whose harmful qualities were known to her.

by Anonymousreply 54November 3, 2015 9:37 PM

Lots of people smoked back then, R54. And she was over 75 when she died.

by Anonymousreply 55November 3, 2015 9:38 PM

She applied and got her checks under another name because she knew what a huge hypocrite she was being. She didn't want any of her brainless "followers" to find out she was a liar and a fraud.

by Anonymousreply 56November 3, 2015 9:40 PM

R51 her best point was atheism. Her worst was that she was a general fan of rape and violence.

by Anonymousreply 57November 3, 2015 9:41 PM

Thank you for the correction,R55, I don't know why I thought she died younger than that. She was 77 when she died in 1982. All the same, the fact that she was a first-generation payer into Social Security almost assuredly means she collected more out of it after age 65 than the amount she paid into it.

by Anonymousreply 58November 3, 2015 9:42 PM

I might add that although she posed as a virulent anti-Communist, in the end her philosophy had one very important feature in common with theirs, namely the ends justify the means.

by Anonymousreply 59November 3, 2015 9:43 PM

OP, read Every Man Dies Alone by Hans Fallada

by Anonymousreply 60November 3, 2015 9:46 PM

[quote] A quick google reveals that John Galt even turns up on Lululemon tote bags. Oh, my.

Oh my, indeed.

by Anonymousreply 61November 4, 2015 12:37 AM

Lululemon is creepy beyond belief. There are entire online communities of "ambassadors" who write what are essentially Yelp reviews about their favourite Lululemon products and organise swaps and the like. These people are generally healthy living/wellness and mommy bloggers. Capitalism at its finest.

[quote]OP, read Every Man Dies Alone by Hans Fallada.

r60, why do you recommend it? For thematic relevance for me, for a good "this is what life is really all about" kick in the gut or because it's just good?

by Anonymousreply 62November 4, 2015 12:43 AM

Baseball player and DL fave Anthony Recker has extolled the virtues of Lululemon on Twitter.

by Anonymousreply 63November 4, 2015 12:47 AM

[quote]Tender Is the Night, another weird book if you are interested OP.

Another weird book? Only a classic from one of the biggest names in American literature.

by Anonymousreply 64November 4, 2015 12:55 AM

OP, try the collected works of MR James, great at this time of year. xx

by Anonymousreply 65November 4, 2015 1:09 AM

R62/OP I recommended it because it is what life is really all about AND it's good.

by Anonymousreply 66November 4, 2015 6:43 PM

Assuming she came up with the title Atlas Shrugged, I must give her credit for that. It's a really cool title.

How do you pronounce Ayn anyway?

by Anonymousreply 67November 4, 2015 6:54 PM

Who let the dogs out?

by Anonymousreply 68November 4, 2015 7:07 PM

[quote] How do you pronounce Ayn anyway?


by Anonymousreply 69November 5, 2015 12:54 AM

So far, I'm finding it kind of interesting, structurally. Was she influenced by Citizen Kane? She seems to ape the scenes of Powerful People in Panelled Rooms discussing Industry and Power and Identity. It's very schematised. But the writing is poor. character and descriptions are a clumsy combination of detailed and broad.

Chapter 2

First I can see why arch-narcissist Angelina Jolie loves this book. She's basically Hank Reardon. A special snowflake. Self-motivated. Lives life by his terms and fuck everyone else's POV. Actually, at this point, it's not so much "fuck them" but his view of his comically foil of a family seems to be a mixture of contempt and pity and sentiment. Loathes go-with-the-flow, unfocused and lazy people and particularly, it seems, relationships and emotion formed out of habit.

And that family! They all straw-men, and laughably contrary to him. His mother is one-note horrible. When will he kick the old bitch outta home and hearth? (And why isn't she portrayed by Judy Parfitt?) His wife is slightly more interesting - affected and fake and faceless with empty glamour straight out of Dynasty.

Every chapter seems to have punchy scene backlash to charity, to socialism, to welfare. The charity as a form of personal promotion, a social activity and as self-promotion (something my bleeding-heart, pro-worker, pinko self actually despises) is ripped mercilessly. Which is, conversely, another Angelina Jolie special, but that perhaps the sharing of and basking in one's own good fortune the flipside to the special snowflake syndrome, and just as selfish.

And the request of his brother with regards to his earnest need to distribute the money his brother earned is so laughably written that Rand's argument collapses - it's not plausible that anyone, anyone would speak like that and succeed, and even less likely that a man such as Reardon would consider for a second. (Angelina would have given him the Voigt treatment.)

I should reiterate that I am listening to this on audiobook and the guy is performing the hell out of it. He gives the industrialists a sort of grandness and acts the loser characters with as pure soap.

The Hunger Games novels are an obvious reverse on the Atlas Shrugged world, with the Good and Bad sides swapped and the Katniss using her linking her personal power to empower herself FOR the greater good.

by Anonymousreply 70November 6, 2015 8:20 PM

[quote] Eye-n

Like Ian Zierling?

by Anonymousreply 71November 6, 2015 8:28 PM

I pronounced it in my head as the German "ein".

by Anonymousreply 72November 6, 2015 8:34 PM

No 70 interesting comments. Is English your first language?

by Anonymousreply 73November 6, 2015 9:59 PM

Angela who?

by Anonymousreply 74November 6, 2015 10:01 PM

r73 - No! God, how embarrassing. My only excuse is typing on a tablet.

by Anonymousreply 75November 6, 2015 10:23 PM

Let's get this back to OP, what say you, how can we help?

by Anonymousreply 76November 6, 2015 10:57 PM

[quote]Today I bought Atlas Shrugged.

Is it about Derek or Zeb?

by Anonymousreply 77November 6, 2015 11:04 PM

OP may we please know how we can help you in a concise and constructive way? No one born in your time can get floor space to raise the dead. Old scratch

by Anonymousreply 78November 6, 2015 11:12 PM

[quote] Like Ian Zierling?

No, his name is more like "Eye-un". R72, has it right, it's like the German "ein".

by Anonymousreply 79November 7, 2015 12:10 AM

OP here. I just remembered Mary Gaitskills, TWO GIRLS, FAT AND THIN, which is a, I'm not sure if it's a satire as such, but a depiction of the thin girl interviewing the fat girl, who was once a devotee of one Anna Granite, before it all went to shit. Might be fun for a tandem reread.

I detoured to David Walsh's SEVEN DEADLY SINS, a memoir in which he accounts his righteous fury with Lance Armstrong and pursues him with zeal - very inspiring. An AGATHA RAISIN mystery via Audible narrated by Penelope Keith, who performs Agatha just as bitingly funny as she did Margot Ledbetter. On advice of R11 dug up a copy of Don Quixote.

As to why I'm back to reading Ein, it is hard not to let sentimentality rule my actions. In a feel-good move, we gave a lot of leeway to my mother who none-the-less that back into a cycle of rage and disordered nuttiness, not providing poor father needs empathetic rather than physical support. So to I am returned to Selfishness Central of ATLAS SHRUGGED. And, also, I am admittedly intrigued by aspects of the story, if not the philosophy (or "philosophy").

by Anonymousreply 80November 21, 2015 2:15 PM

Chapter 3

The biggest issue in reading this is I keep searching for the function and POV of the characters in relation to Rand's philosophy.

I have a hard time getting a handle on James Taggart. His of paternalistic do-gooding nature negatively effecting his business practises, but he is such a prick about it that he seems utterly insincere in wanting to provide the good people of Mexico infrastructure. The chapter starts with James meeting magnate Orrin Boyle in a club with two other guys - One is Reardon's Washington man, whom everyone ignores. The second was is very poorly written. His job, social station and even his name are assumed information, other than Boyle and Taggart are trying to convince him of something. He is nonetheless a lily-livered twit who whimpered that if only people worked for the common good, everything would be alright!

Dagny, in turn, is a really attractive character. Self-possessed, hard-working, sensible. This chapter lays the foundation for her sexual mores. She is deeply suspicious of her brother's business dealings on the Mexican train line with her gadfly ex-lover (she appears to be celibate for the current time). For a heroic character such as herself, she irritatingly hero-worships of her mythic grandfather (great-grandfather?) but she is named for his wife, who smugly allowed herself to be used as the prize in a bet by her husband, because of her belief in him.

And Dagny as is mystified and annoyed as myself as to the "Who is John Galt?" idiom. Which, I have gathered, means something approximating, "the world today, huh?".

by Anonymousreply 81November 21, 2015 2:32 PM

Celebrity Ayn Rand fans: Hugh Hefner, Sharon Stone, Billie Jean King, Simon Le Bon, Steve Jobs, Jim Carrey, Mayim Bialik, Ashley Judd, Christina Ricci, Sandra Bullock,, Whole Foods CEO John Mackey, Rob Lowe, Eva Mendes, Michelle Williams (Mrs Ledger), Mark Cuban, Vince Vaughn.

by Anonymousreply 82November 21, 2015 2:56 PM

[quote] Steve Jobs

Not anymore.

by Anonymousreply 83November 21, 2015 3:02 PM

R82, that is a very depressing list. Wish I hadn't seen Bullock's name there. Others, I'm not so surprised.

by Anonymousreply 84November 21, 2015 3:10 PM

I borrowed Atlas Shrugged from the library.

by Anonymousreply 85November 21, 2015 4:42 PM

Today I bought "Atlas Shrugged."


by Anonymousreply 86November 22, 2015 10:02 PM

Has Paul Ryne ever read this book?

by Anonymousreply 87December 8, 2015 6:30 PM

I still haven't finished Atlas Shrugged, which I started in 1912.

by Anonymousreply 88December 8, 2015 6:54 PM

He would tell you he has, but probably not. It's a tome. I've said it before and I'll say it again, most writers only have one really good book in them. This is not Ayn Rand's. Granted, she didn't have a great book in her. Her Utopian valley is just in there because she knew she had to have it. If she really believed any of this crap, this is where the book would have centered, as she fleshed it out in lurid color. Instead, it's an afterthought, rushed, incomplete, and not the slightest bit plausible, a "Bitcoins" type of paradise which is really just a con game.

by Anonymousreply 89December 8, 2015 6:55 PM

You've gone to the Dark Side. I cannot approve this message.

by Anonymousreply 90December 8, 2015 7:55 PM

When I first started working in tech world in the early 90's, my supervisor's email used to come in under the login "jgalt." At one of my performance reviews, I asked her if her login referred to "Atlas Shrugged." She said that she had been using that login for years and that I was the first person to ever recognize where her login came from. I was promoted not too long after that.

by Anonymousreply 91December 8, 2015 9:24 PM

Disgusting R91!

by Anonymousreply 92December 8, 2015 9:37 PM

The relationships part with the surprisingly submissive Dagny was pretty steamy. Rand should have made a career change to writing bodice rippers.

by Anonymousreply 93June 3, 2016 10:15 PM

It's to post-WWII US what 'Mein Kampf' was to post-WWI Germany.

by Anonymousreply 94June 3, 2016 10:29 PM


Any update?

It's funny- this thread has 94 replies but only 16 are visible. The Permanent PMS Troll must be posting repeatedly!!!

by Anonymousreply 95June 4, 2016 2:50 AM

R95 here. My browser had stopped at R16. Apologies to The PPMST.


Vince V isn't a "fan" of Ayn. Like me, he understands the "ends" but disagrees heartily about the means.

Interesting thread.

by Anonymousreply 96June 4, 2016 4:08 AM

OP, Ayn Rand was also virulently homophobic. So there's that, as well.

She didn't start libertarian-ism. That's a misnomer. She actually deeply despised libertarians for associating themselves with her, because she believed they were/are evil. Her philosophy was called objectivism. It's an entirely different thing altogether.

by Anonymousreply 97June 4, 2016 4:15 AM


A nuanced understanding of Rand?

Tell me more.

by Anonymousreply 98June 4, 2016 4:17 AM

Read The Magic Mountain instead. Just as long, but more rewarding. Or the Tin Drum.

by Anonymousreply 99June 4, 2016 4:17 AM

R96 That's because she wasn't a libertarian. I never understood where libertarians got that idea, since she so openly loathed them. She called libertarians "hippies of the right" and said they were "anarchists" who tried to use her books to "snare people". She said libertarians were the losers who got discarded by leftist anarchists. She HATED them.

by Anonymousreply 100June 4, 2016 4:20 AM


I just saw this tonight. Rand has one fantastic rhetorical piece-

“Money is the barometer of a society’s virtue. When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion–when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing–when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors–when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you–when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice–you may know that your society is doomed. Money is so noble a medium that does not compete with guns and it does not make terms with brutality. It will not permit a country to survive as half-property, half-loot”

Although the first sentence is problematic, but the rest is pure gold, and aptly describes modern supranational government/ corporate crony capitalism.

by Anonymousreply 101June 4, 2016 4:24 AM


I was aware of libertarianism via Rothbard before I ever read Rand, so Atlas Shrugged was a slog for me. Good God, I still can't deal with Rand fans. If someone tells me they are libertarian because of Rand I immediately want to smack them.

The materialistic, rigid, haughty, banal "philosophy" she preached was radically anti-libertarian except in the intersection of government control and money. Her vision of individual freedom was twisted by her childhood in a totalitarian state, but that's a poor excuse for her hatred of "inferiors".

by Anonymousreply 102June 4, 2016 4:36 AM

And she was an evil person. Truly evil. Her ideas about "rational self-interest" were praised by Anton Lavey, and made a fundamental principle of his form of satanism. Not even kidding.

Ronal Reagan was a big Ayn Rand fan, if that gives you any indication. She opposed humanitarianism, because she said it created dependency (that's why she had opposed Social Security). She believed people should be 'productive' and 'responsible for themselves'. She inexplicably believed that people should reject all mysticism and faith, but also all skepticism. (No critical thinking wanted in cults, you see). She believed all human beings must have a 'proper morality' , which meant complete and total selfishness to the ends of productivity and self advancement (you can see why Republicans love her). The centerpiece of objectivism is "rational egoism" , meaning you must always only act in your own self interest and never in the interest of others. Atruism, and self sacrifice on behalf of others are immoral, because they do not advance the self. However, objectivism also rejects "hedonism", because advancement of the self should not be done in the pursuit of pleasure of any kind. The only true good value is in advancing the self and making material gains, and helping others is immoral because instead of an added value, it creates a 'loss' for the individual. You can surely see why right-wingers love this shit. She rejected libertarians because the notion of the greatest possible freedom for all individuals is an evil altruistic impulse. 'Happiness', by the way, true happiness, can only be found in 'added value' , not from sacrificing 'personal value' on behalf of another person. There's more of this crap, but it's all really a mess.

by Anonymousreply 103June 4, 2016 4:39 AM

A horrible woman, but all the conservative fundies and Republicans love her. Until they find out she was an outspoken atheist. Which is only thing about her I liked.

by Anonymousreply 104June 4, 2016 4:52 AM


While I agree with most of what you wrote, Social Security DOES create dependence. It has also destroyed inter-generational ties.

"People should be 'productive' and 'responsible for themselves'."

I agree, but (voluntarily) helping those who aren't capable is part of our humanity.

by Anonymousreply 105June 4, 2016 4:54 AM

Oh and, after spending her life attacking the poor as "parasites" and attacking government programs like Social Security. she was found to have been getting benefits from SS and Medicare. She'd scoffed at the science around cigarettes causing lung cancer, and contracted it herself. She didn't want to be wiped out by medical bills, but she also didn't want to be seen taking the benefits she'd railed against her whole life. So she got the benefits under her legal married name, which she never used, hoping no one would ever find out.

It's also probably good to point out that it was her obsession with a serial killer that led to her 'discovery' of objectivism. William Edward Hickman had brutally dismembered a 12 year old girl in the late 1920's, and she was obsessed with him. Hickman had a philosophy which was that "what is good for me is right". This became the foundation of Rand's objectivism. He'd committed many crimes; murders, robbery, etc. But he became notable for his abduction of a 12 year old girl. He sent taunting ransom notes to her parents, saying he needed money to go to bible college, and the father paid the ransom. But he didn't return the girl. He wired her eyes so they could not close shut. He chopped off her legs. He killed her and cut out her organs and dumped them all over LA. He had also cut her body in half, and stuffed it with towels. When he was captured, he told police the little girl had been a good friend, and that he'd enjoyed her company until he started cutting her up. Rand adored him. She said that he was an example of a "real man" and she basically found him incredibly appealing. Ayn Rand gushed about him in her journals, and called him a true hero. She used Hickman as the basis for her hero "Danny", and in her journals she referred to Hickman as a "beautiful human soul". She felt that his arrest was a victimization by a mob of her ideal man. She called him brilliant and romantic, and said he was adventurous. The reason she rejected religion was because she believed it had been the basis of the persecution of this true man's man , and that he was a 'superior' person who shouldn't have had to abide by the laws created by his lessers. Look this stuff up, it's truly horrifying. She was a complete sociopath.

by Anonymousreply 106June 4, 2016 5:01 AM

R105 Oh STFU, Reagan.

by Anonymousreply 107June 4, 2016 5:02 AM


Mark Ames is a nutjob.

Look at the first reply-

This is a hatchet story. Ayn Rand specifically expressed in her personal journals, which this article is quoting, that Hickman was only an inspiration for one aspect of her hero in her unwritten novel. The "virtue of selfishness", as she calls it in her later writings. Nobody here who believes this nonsense, I can guarantee for a fact, has verified any of this at all. Ayn Rand specifically states that she only took inspiration from this serial killer for the virtue of unwavering selfish desire, and contempt for the desires of others (which she very clearly stated was twisted and distorted into a vice in Hickman). She saw in Hickman a hint of what she later described as the "virtue of selfishness", which is best described as the unabashed drive and desire to live your life by your own logic and reason ad rational self-interest, without coercion from others through their use of guilt to "guilt" you into doing the things that will make THEM happy, and YOU less happy. Ayn Rand SPECIFICALLY stated in her journal that she took this selfishness from him as a starting point for her hero, while getting rid of the "degeneracy" of Hickman himself.

by Anonymousreply 108June 4, 2016 5:10 AM

Such ignorance R107

Reagan, and the big government he fostered with his "deficits don't matter" bullshit, is killing us.

Libertarianism is superior to your socialism.

by Anonymousreply 109June 4, 2016 5:15 AM

She was the Camille Paglia of her time.

by Anonymousreply 110June 4, 2016 1:51 PM

[quote]There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year-old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.

by Anonymousreply 111June 4, 2016 2:29 PM


Updates? Have you gone all Hank Reardon and shipped mom off to the old folks home?

by Anonymousreply 112June 12, 2016 3:25 AM

Oh, come on. You have to love a novel where the main character is named Dagny. It's so art deco-ish. And you know that Thelma Ritter is going to show up somewhere in the story.

by Anonymousreply 113June 12, 2016 3:38 AM

Everyone is superior to R109.

by Anonymousreply 114June 12, 2016 3:51 AM

It's such a depressing read. You like Dagny because she's the only person at the railroad with any common sense. but she and her friends are sociopathic egotists, the government is insane, and before it's over you hate the protagonist group for being such assholes and you hate everyone else for being such whiny little bitches.

Read it once, don't think too much on it, and move on.

by Anonymousreply 115June 12, 2016 4:12 AM

[quote]Read it once, don't think too much on it, and move on.

God help me for defending Rand, but that quote sums up the mentality of people who trust government to plan our economy, our education, our healthcare, etc.

Don't look at the billionaire crony capitalists and their "democratically elected" elite politicians that use the government to enrich the 0.1%- just pretend that your vote matters and that eventually the government will get better.

How naive.

by Anonymousreply 116June 12, 2016 4:19 AM

R101 most decidedly not get it. The people whose permission you need are not "Government parasites" but the non-working snobs of capital, who are more idle and less able than the government bureaucrats as a class.

by Anonymousreply 117June 12, 2016 4:19 AM

Of course they get around that by saying "crony capitalists" are not "real capitalists." But this is a lie. The goal of the capitalist is cronyism, and always has been: reduced competition, power over others, easy life. I'd much rather take orders from a slob at the DMV than Warren Buffet and if any of these 'tard Libertarians actually met him, so would they.

by Anonymousreply 118June 12, 2016 4:22 AM

No time like the present...

by Anonymousreply 119November 19, 2016 12:30 PM

In her book Donald Trump would be a James Taggart figure, so why are people like Peter Thiel jumping on the bandwagon, one wonders.

by Anonymousreply 120November 19, 2016 1:27 PM

I'm left as fuck and I quite like The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. I don't necessarily interpret Ayn's philosophy in the same way as most of the comments here on DL suggest.

I first read Fountainhead at age 25, at the recommendation of a friend, who said it "helped her live for herself." If someone is paralyzed by victimhood, and people-pleasing, to the point that they don't feel like they are living out their true wants and needs, then The Fountainhead has a nice message. Also, same with Atlas Shrugged....and thats what I got from it, and I bet you thats what Sandy Bullock gets from it too ;)

Of course, her political / philosophical beliefs were way out there, and completely unrealistic -- but I think she knew, deep-down, they were unrealistic. She was odd. I actually met someone who told me they were part of that "intellectual society" on the east coast back when Ayn and her husband lived there -- where professors and intellects would hang -- and said she hooked up with women and did many other things that "went against her teachings." She knew what she was doing -- and yes, hypocritical.

As a story, and the character archetypes, I think they are pretty good books. It's kind of silly that to be on DL and be on the left, you must LOATHE Ayn Rand. Ridiculous.

by Anonymousreply 121November 19, 2016 1:47 PM

How about loathing people who think it is applicable to real life?

by Anonymousreply 122November 19, 2016 1:53 PM

Oh, r122, you are correct. But look at the comments -- people shun the book as literature, as anything, because its written by Ayn Rand. You can appreciate a book and its insight, and not think it should be applied to the real world.

Yes, there are crazies that think it's a bible and guide to living (see Paul Ryan I assume?), but letting these people taint anything associated with the book is kind of ridiculous.

by Anonymousreply 123November 19, 2016 1:57 PM

OP here.

I did not finish ATLAS SHRUGGED. I read a small amount, up to the part, I think, where Dagney and Hank were looking at his new bridge design out in the country somewhere and after they had a moment, he took off on his plane and left her. If it were a Sidney Shelton or Colleen McCullogh or even a Jackie Collins style potboiler it would have been quite a yarn. As it was, there were 3 or 4 very well sketched characters, and the dozens of others unreadable. Overall, I found Dagny's singlemindedness and efficiency just what I needed to read about at that time. Given the current climate, I plan to pick it up again.

Who John Galt is, I did not discover. I presume he has some sort of scheme going with Dagney's childhood sweetheart who is pretending to be a debauched playboy.

Life got very busy - my dad is still unwell but thankfully alive and I have cut off my mother emotionally, and I told her as much. We are in contact regarding practical administrative and medical matters with my father. I had a lot of guilt about doing it before - what if she was my only family left and we are estranged?, etc - but I have honestly never been happier. And far more so than ATLAS SHRUGGED, you here in this thread gave me a place to vent and sort out my feelings and I can't thank you all enough.

by Anonymousreply 124February 1, 2017 2:58 PM

[quote]And she was an evil person. Truly evil. Her ideas about "rational self-interest" were praised by Anton Lavey, and made a fundamental principle of his form of satanism. Not even kidding.

You know that Laveyan Satanism is essentially just atheism, right? That it has nothing to do with evil, right?

by Anonymousreply 125February 1, 2017 3:03 PM

I've been unemployed so long I've been telling people my name is John Galt.

by Anonymousreply 126February 1, 2017 3:13 PM

Yes, but who ARE you r126?

by Anonymousreply 127February 1, 2017 3:16 PM

After reading both Fountainhead and Atlas, I felt they were both meant to be more allegorical than realistic. Though I enjoyed Fountainhead more, and its deliberately melodramatic, Expressionist design, I gradually reached the conclusion that Rand's works reminded me more of the films of Leni Riefenstahl.

Which is curious, because Rand was originally born Jewish, Alisa Rosenbaum, in Pre-Revolutionary Russia, and but later changed her name before moving to the U.S., in 1926.

by Anonymousreply 128February 1, 2017 5:23 PM

It makes a good door stop or paperweight

by Anonymousreply 129February 1, 2017 11:45 PM

[quote]The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me. –Ayn Rand #quotes

Dear LORD.

The lunatics are running the asylum.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 130April 28, 2017 3:47 PM

It makes a tremendous doorstop.

by Anonymousreply 131April 28, 2017 3:53 PM

I try not to fill my head with garbage, because I know it's hard to sort it all out long after the fact. This is why I don't watch Fox "news", never watched The Apprentice, and try not to watch any Fox shows at all. Tread carefully, OP!

by Anonymousreply 132April 28, 2017 4:06 PM

Read it to know what other people get out of it.

by Anonymousreply 133January 27, 2018 7:17 AM

OP, did it help you shrug things off?

by Anonymousreply 134January 27, 2018 7:29 AM

You pick up that book in a stressful situation? Are you a crazy person, OP?

by Anonymousreply 135January 27, 2018 8:25 AM

OP here. I picked it up when my father was in ICU, my mother was not supporting him (like, vanishing for a week at a time and not visiting) and being violent and hostile to my siblings and myself, and worse, my father, when she was. I had run into an ex of mine who raved about it - I laughed at him - but he said it helped him advocate for himself. He is a sweetheart. So I thought, why not?

And although I have not finished the book, as I said upthread in r124, I did feel it presented, via Dagny's character, the notion of having the courage of your convictions, self-pride and determining your own passage in life without guilt in a coherent and seductive way.

I can't say I was swayed by the didactic writing but it actually did go some way to convincing me that cutting off bad influences isn't a bad thing if I feel it will make my life better. (Catholic AND Jewish background, so a lot of guilt is in my DNA). But on the othe rhand I can also see why it is beloved of singleminded and narcissitic and ruthless Hollywood types like Angelina Jolie, business types like Ivanka Trump and political types like Paul Ryan.

I didn't get very far, only until after all the Dagny/Hank fucking scenes - but it's a very easy read, so maybe it's something to thumb through in bed or on the train. But there are so many other books I want to get through first, especially with my father who is still around!

by Anonymousreply 136January 27, 2018 10:47 AM

There is a tranny dominatrix in DC who's bought a nice condo by weekly sodomising Rep Paul Ryan with rolled up comic book versions of Ayn Rand "masterworks".

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 137January 27, 2018 12:20 PM

When I read Atlas Shrugged, it made me understand why people are obsessive capitalists. I came from a kum bah yah medical and artistic family and never had the entrepreneurial spirit.

by Anonymousreply 138May 11, 2018 1:30 AM
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by Anonymousreply 139November 24, 2018 2:14 PM

OP, wait until you get to the John Galt broadcast. Ayn Rand made it a stipulation that the publisher could not change one word of her manuscript. And so when John Galt does his broadcast, the plot grinds to a halt and it is 50 pages of the most boring prose in the English language.

by Anonymousreply 140November 24, 2018 2:35 PM

The Fountainhead Was a good book, but everything else she wrote was shit.

by Anonymousreply 141November 24, 2018 2:52 PM

Go to Jackson Hole Wyoming and you will be there instead of reading about it.

by Anonymousreply 142November 24, 2018 3:38 PM

I read The Fountainhead and (length aside) liked it. I didn't really care about the pro-capitalist angle or even pick up on it. I read as a Gay Man and felt inspired by the self-empowerment message, which is actually main theme.

by Anonymousreply 143November 24, 2018 3:43 PM

Is the self-empowerment theme also present in Atlas Shrugged?

by Anonymousreply 144November 24, 2018 3:48 PM

The Fountainhead is basically about an architect who rejects the current trends of 'good' architecture and struggles for years until his ability is finally recognized. It's very gay-relatable.

by Anonymousreply 145November 24, 2018 3:54 PM

Op, try “Narcissus and Goldmund” by Hermann Hesse instead.

by Anonymousreply 146November 24, 2018 4:16 PM

[quote]Is the self-empowerment theme also present in Atlas Shrugged?


And Dagny fucks at least three men in the book. So it's also Feminist self-empowerment. Dagny fucks them because she wants to not because she's trying to get something from them.

by Anonymousreply 147November 24, 2018 5:45 PM

This is an interesting thread. As I was reading it I went back and forth between wanting to read Atlas Shrugged and not wanting to read it. Then someone mentioned The Fountainhead, and that sounds like a better, more sophisticated read.

by Anonymousreply 148November 24, 2018 5:56 PM

It’s hilarious that so many right wing Americans have embraced Ayn Rand, since her work is so specifically anti-Christian.

by Anonymousreply 149November 24, 2018 5:59 PM

There's so much hot and debasing sexuality in Atlas Shrugged, with Dagny as a submissive, it's almost like a dishy romance novel. I am convinced that is a big part of its popularity.

by Anonymousreply 150November 24, 2018 8:43 PM

Rand was notoriously anti-gay but oddly enough her lifelong best friend was a gay man.

by Anonymousreply 151November 24, 2018 10:21 PM


by Anonymousreply 152November 24, 2018 10:22 PM

It’s much more useful, perhaps, to read what Rand’s train wreck of a personal llife was. Her fiction held nothing compared to her destructiveness on her marriage, the marriage of her lover and others who were foolish enough to trust her. She was a human wrecking ball.

by Anonymousreply 153November 24, 2018 11:37 PM

Anyone see the two part movie? Was it any good?

by Anonymousreply 154November 25, 2018 1:45 PM

Three part, I believe.

I watched about 15 minutes of the first part, actually wanted to finish it but lost my download.

by Anonymousreply 155November 25, 2018 6:13 PM

Ayn Rand was a thoroughgoing cunt.

by Anonymousreply 156November 25, 2018 6:34 PM

I tried to watch the movie, too, but also turned it off, and I never do that.

by Anonymousreply 157November 25, 2018 9:12 PM

[quote]Three part, I believe.

Oh Lord!

Two parts too many I think.

by Anonymousreply 158November 25, 2018 10:12 PM

Atlas Shrugged is one of the most influential books ever written, but it's not a lot of fun to read.

by Anonymousreply 159November 27, 2019 2:00 PM

I read it in high school. The most accurate review of it I ever read said : “I felt like Ayn Rand cornered me at a party, and three minutes in I found my first objection to what she was saying, but she kept talking without interruption for ten more days.”

It’s worth reading once I guess, but there are some really really dry parts that go on and on, and there are parts that are so bad they’re good.

by Anonymousreply 160November 27, 2019 2:17 PM

Please be careful, OP. Its world vision can be somewhat seductive.

by Anonymousreply 161November 27, 2019 2:25 PM

R161 is right...When you see unfortunates in the street, you start thinking of them as lazy, and poisonous to society. You start thinking of charity as evil. It's truly a book that can turn you into a bad person.

And by the way, the world view expressed in the book is essentially anti-Christian. It's interesting that so many supposedly Christian conservatives embrace it. Whenever you see a supposed "Christian" talking about expelling immigrants, or the evils of health care for all, rest assured that Ayn Rand is not far behind.

by Anonymousreply 162November 27, 2019 2:33 PM

Alice Rosebaum’s editor was Bennett Cerf, who pleaded with her to cut John Galt’s speech. “Would you cut the Bible?” she replied.

by Anonymousreply 163November 27, 2019 2:39 PM

Don't read Ayn Rand. There are two alternatives. They're both great and you'll get the general idea.

1. The Passion of Ayn Rand, starring Helen Mirren

2. Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life, documentary narrated by Sharon Gless

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 164November 27, 2019 2:46 PM

Rand was an atheist r162

by Anonymousreply 165November 27, 2019 2:57 PM

I haven't been able to get thru it - I was trying to read it during the 2016 election and the idiocy of the progressives drove me bonkers - to the point that I wanted to smash lamps. I had to put it down.

by Anonymousreply 166November 27, 2019 2:58 PM

I agree R166. Halfway through I threw it across the room.

by Anonymousreply 167November 28, 2019 2:04 PM

I can't remember how long it took me to get through this as a teen. I think it was months.

by Anonymousreply 168September 25, 2020 10:33 PM

r168 is a primitive savage. I have nothing but total loathing for Russia, except for the music.

by Anonymousreply 169September 25, 2020 10:37 PM

As much as I find her style of writing totally weird and frustrating, I think an HBO miniseries of this played 100% straight would be absolutely riveting to watch. But it'd be impossible, because the only people who would make it would be people who really love Ayn Rand, and they wouldn't do it right, nor would somebody who would make it just to mock Ayn Rand.

by Anonymousreply 170January 31, 2021 8:48 AM

I grew up in Orange County, California, home of the Ayn Rand Institute, which is just about right. Although the Orange County where I grew up is rapidly changing, it was for a long time and still in many ways is the perfect setting for Ayn Rand’s philosophy. I read Atlas in my early 20s and disliked it so much I threw the book away. The main female character gives up heading a corporation to be the maid / lover to the inventor character in some mountain enclave. I always thought that was such an odd choice for a female author to make.

by Anonymousreply 171January 31, 2021 9:07 AM

I tried to watch the mini-series a while ago. It really does make you lose all faith in humanity so I couldn't finish it.

by Anonymousreply 172January 31, 2021 9:10 AM

Despite its blind adoration of hardcore capitalism, to the point where it reads like propaganda, I found Atlas an utterly fascinating read.

There is something to be said for the “I’m not going to keep sacrificing everything for the greater good” stance that the key personas take.

For one who believes in social securities, taking care of the less-abled and the elderly, and ensuring that those who lose their job can still live a decent life while looking for the next; Ayn Rand’s world is a strange one.

But, at times, surprisingly humane.

by Anonymousreply 173January 31, 2021 9:28 AM

R173 It is fascinating. Her style is so unique. At times, it is simply unreadable. People just don't talk in the slavishly devoted ideological platitudes of Rand's heroes; even ideologues are usually good at couching their message in some kind of uplifting prose. So you take that and mix it with soap opera and you have Atlas Shrugged.

by Anonymousreply 174July 20, 2021 12:05 AM

People love to hate on Ayn Rand, but she really had an interesting pov on American politics and culture. She's definitely cynical, but I really liked her commentary on individualism and media culture. In Foutainhead the main characters deal with their own cancellation, and the herd mentality that she described is very similar to what we see right now. Just instead of white women being mad and writing letters to magazines because something is too secular, it's white women tweeting and posting trying to get people fired for being fatphobic/misogynist/provacative.

by Anonymousreply 175July 20, 2021 12:34 AM

Well said r175.

by Anonymousreply 176July 20, 2021 12:36 AM

“interesting pov on American politics”

It’s called anti-american propaganda and she ripped it off from others that came before her. How stupid can you be?

by Anonymousreply 177July 20, 2021 12:41 AM

R177 which others?

by Anonymousreply 178July 20, 2021 12:45 AM

[R177] Being critical of America doesn't make you anti American, right?

by Anonymousreply 179July 20, 2021 12:47 AM

I really find it to be such a unique book. Not good, to be sure, but very sui generis. I wish we could have an abridged version where some of the rambling is taken out, but then it wouldn’t quite be the same, would it?

by Anonymousreply 180February 28, 2022 2:48 PM

Ayn Rand was a genius literary dominatrix. Her technique was to condition her readers into agreeing with whatever she told them, however contradictory or illogical. I never made it as far as Atlas Shrugged but The Fountainhead is full of her tricks, like describing the hero's architecture in a way plainly recognizable to anyone who knows anything about the subject as pure Bauhaus, then insisting severely that it's NOT anything to do with that disgusting foreign Bauhaus crap, it's an original American style invented by our American hero. She's the perfect idol for people who love to be bossed around and memorizing authoritarian catechisms to live by.

by Anonymousreply 181February 28, 2022 2:59 PM

Whats wrong with putting number 1 first? I used to not think this way but after a hard life it dawned on me no one is going to do anything for me. Pathological altruism is for kids. Sorry. I will disclose I have not read the book.

by Anonymousreply 182February 28, 2022 3:20 PM

OP, I'd suggest something light like "Tales of the City" instead of AR. Trust me.

by Anonymousreply 183February 28, 2022 5:35 PM

OP, is your hamster enjoying the fresh papering inside its cage?

by Anonymousreply 184February 28, 2022 6:38 PM

I'm not reading almost 200 replies.

Can someone let me know if OP ever finished the book?

by Anonymousreply 185February 28, 2022 7:49 PM

I read The Passion of Ayn Rand at the same time as her fiction. The bio is written by one of Rand’s former acolytes who was convinced by Rand to allow her husband to have affair with Rand. We also find out that when Rand was a child in Russia, the Bolshevik’s moved a number of peasant families into the Rand’s sophisticated apartment and eventually forced the Rands out.

So her philosophy is based on what we now recognize as PTSD.

by Anonymousreply 186March 1, 2022 2:27 AM


by Anonymousreply 187October 21, 2022 5:10 AM

Don't take it too seriously. It's a gross caricature of how an economy and society works. Think of it like a boys' adventure novel.

by Anonymousreply 188October 21, 2022 5:25 AM

Is the unfuckable self loathing piece of shit from Pittsburgh at it again?

by Anonymousreply 189October 21, 2022 5:27 AM

You have my condolences on losing whatever brains you had, OP.

by Anonymousreply 190October 21, 2022 5:34 AM

R188 I agree. If you read it for the melodrama, it's actually enjoyable in a "so bad it's good" way... but you still have to skim through the long ranty parts.

by Anonymousreply 191October 21, 2022 5:52 AM

It will turn you into a Republican, OP!

by Anonymousreply 192October 21, 2022 6:01 AM


by Anonymousreply 193December 24, 2022 5:58 AM

9 years later, OP here. I looked up this thread because last weekend I passed on my copy to a former neighbour.

As I stated, I was a dyed in the wool supporter of the Labour movement. And after reading it, I remain so. My life view remains almost diametrically opposite to Rand’s.

I don’t admire her writing style any more than I do her philosophy, but I can admit she is almost (but not nearly completely) a decent storyteller of epic potboilers. She doesn’t have that talent as a wordsmith.

But I will say that the book changed me somewhat. I did become more proactive in advocating for my own desires and interests, largely inspired by the example of Dagny Taggart character (who it is increasingly obvious that Angelina Jolie modelled herself on). I became obnoxious about it for a few months. But I recognise that was my tendency to believe my opinions are law and indulging in rudeness because, hey, I am always right. But as soon as some dear friends called me out of my belligerence, I stopped debating everyone.

So in short I’m glad I read it, in spite of very very vulnerable at the time. And at the same time, it not the “essential” work nor a particularly good one.

by Anonymousreply 194February 8, 2024 9:24 AM

[quote]But, at times, surprisingly humane.

Yikes, how was she 'surprisingly humane'?

I have always read her as traumatized by her upbringing in Communist Russia (for the record as a democrat I think that communism and fascism are two sides of the same coin - both horrific regimes). And so she reacted in this overly extreme way. I'm a centrist so I like to try to balance things. Every developed country has taxes and state-provided education, police and so on for a reason.

by Anonymousreply 195February 8, 2024 11:36 AM

[quote]last weekend I passed on my copy to a former neighbour

Wow, you hated that neighbour, huh?

by Anonymousreply 196February 8, 2024 11:41 AM

No, I love her. She had watched the Helen Mirren TV movie and was curious.

by Anonymousreply 197February 8, 2024 12:30 PM

R195, you’re replying to someone who is Dutch. ‘Nuff said.

by Anonymousreply 198February 8, 2024 12:32 PM

There goes $29.95 that OP will never see again.

by Anonymousreply 199February 8, 2024 12:38 PM

You’ll be a libertarian for a week.

by Anonymousreply 200February 8, 2024 12:47 PM

The movie (the first part, with Taylor Schilling as Dagny) is one of the cheapest-looking films I’ve ever seen.

by Anonymousreply 201February 8, 2024 12:58 PM

[quote] We also find out that when Rand was a child in Russia, the Bolshevik’s moved a number of peasant families into the Rand’s sophisticated apartment and eventually forced the Rands out. So her philosophy is based on what we now recognize as PTSD.

And now it all makes sense…

by Anonymousreply 202February 8, 2024 3:24 PM

[quote] The movie (the first part, with Taylor Schilling as Dagny) is one of the cheapest-looking films I’ve ever seen

Considering she was replaced by Samantha Mathis (blast from the past) and Laura Regan (who?) for the sequels indicates even less money was spent on them.

by Anonymousreply 203February 10, 2024 2:16 PM
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