"Atlas Panted"

Discussion in 'Writing' started by midcan5, Oct 13, 2007.

  1. midcan5
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    midcan5 liberal / progressive

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    The Tortoise and the Hare.

    One day the Hare comes out of his hole all full of bluster singing that he has just finished 'Atlas Shrugged.' I am the master of all I survey. I alone am important. The Tortoise looks at him confused and asks what is it about, and the Hare tells him that his own happiness is the most important value.

    The Tortoise puzzled, says but don't we need each other sometimes to mend a dam, or move the earth, and doesn't that make us happy too? Bragging loudly, the Hare says, no Tortoise, I am a free, self sufficient rabbit and you a lowly, slow footed Tortoise.

    The Tortoise thinks for a moment and says, if that is true then surely you will be able to beat me in a race. The Hare laughs loudly. Why of course I can beat you any time, name the time and place and I will destroy you. Tomorrow Hare meet me in the field and we shall see who is fastest. The Tortoise hurries home and tell his brother a near look alike his plan. He will stay at one side of the field in a furrow and when the Hare arrives say 'I am here already.'

    Next day the two meet and they wager the Hare's new car. The car has made the Hare very happy, but he has no fear of the outcome of the race. So are you ready to lose asks the Tortoise, the Hare laughs loudly and says, I will even give you a head start, go. The Tortoise starts and soon ducks down as the Hare races by. But when he gets to the other side the brother looks up and says, 'I am here already.' The Hare can't believe it, he wants to race back, the Tortoise obliges and soon he is greeted with, 'I am here already.' This can't be, says, the Hare and so he tries again and again and soon exhausted admits defeat. Unhappy he crawls back to his hole.

    And the moral of the story:
    Sometimes happiness comes in twos and reason can trick us. By the way the Tortoise never took the car as he cheated but he had the last laugh.

    with apologies to Grimm

    "My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute." Ayn Rand



    originally posted as
    Libertarianism in a Nutshell IV
  2. Threedee
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    I still think this is retarded. You are making the individualist's point for them by claiming that the collective needs to cheat (or use force/intimidation/etc.) in order to keep up with the individual.

    Seeing as how this is the first response, I can only assume that there are not many libertarians on this board like at FP or JPP, or else they have begun to ignore you... :eusa_think:
  3. Diuretic
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    Diuretic Permanently confused

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    What sort of shrug did Atlas give? Was it the Gallic type? Was it the "I don't give a shit" type? Was it the, "search me, I haven't got a clue?" type or was it the sort of shrug you have to give when you receive a wedgie and you don't want to be seen clawing your pants out of your arse?
  4. Threedee
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    It doesn't matter how Atlas did it. The point of invoking Atlas is to use him as a comparison to the characters of the story. He was the guy holding the weight of the world on his sholders. Rand asks, what would have happened if he realized he was the one doing all the work and just shrugged it off?

    BTW - I'm assuming your just being sarcastic, but I just recently learned the plot of the story, not having read it myself, because I hear they want to make a movie out of it, possibly starring Angelina Jolie.
  5. Diuretic
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    Diuretic Permanently confused

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    I rarely use sarcasm and when I do I usually point it out, not because I think anyone is thick but because I like to make sure the reader knows it was intentional.

    I use whimsy, scepticism, humour and even (on my best days) some logic, but I do try and eschew sarcasm.

    I was, in this instance, combining some whimsy, a little humour and perhaps a dash of my cynicism on the topic of Rand and her "objectivism".

    I find "Atlas Shrugged" to be, eventually, rather pointless, empty, unremarkable and a general wank.
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  6. midcan5
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    midcan5 liberal / progressive

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    Actually, Three, I watching cspan a few weeks ago and saw a serious discussion of this book. Having once tried to read it I found that absurd so of course I had to re-post one of the old nutshells on libertarian silliness. You take it too serious, like any parable, the purpose points towards the paradoxical nature of living. What I find particularly amusing about libertarians I have meet is they all come from money and then think jeez why are there poor. This one sums it up:

    http://www.usmessageboard.com/showthread.php?t=50564
  7. Threedee
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    Well, no, I'm not taking it too seriously, any more than Stringy, ironhead or Warren did. You are simply saying and implying things about libertarianism that are not true.
  8. Bern80
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    Bern80 Senior Member

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    His post is referring to "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand. Probably my favorite book of all time. The first post is probably meant as some farse as to what the author thinks the book is really about.

    Needless to say the Hare's perspective is not what the book is 'really about'. Best way to find out is to read it yourself. But the more accurate perspective of the book is not that people should only strive for their own gains and not help other people, it's that people who are able to help themselves should and not apply false obligations to those that have been successful in doing so.

    The "Atlas'" of the book are business leaders that have made themselves successful and as a by product provdied things like quality steel and transportation to many, many people as well as provided many, many jobs. yet thy're still maligned and are told they must do more for the less fortunate and must handicap themselves in order to allow others to 'farily' compete. When they get tired of it, they leave society , closeing the doors of their million dollar businesses that provided jobs and products, hence they 'shrugged'. They form their own society hidden away from rest of the world where the people understand what the expectations are of each other while the rest of the world is left to struggle on without them.
  9. Diuretic
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    Diuretic Permanently confused

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    I appreciate the informative response.

    I must say though, that sounds - the idea, not your words - a bit, well, sooky. Like the business leader is spitting the dummy because he or she is not loved. Trust me, if I could walk away from a cockup like the CEO of Merrill Lynch with all that money, I wouldn't give a rat's arse what the world thought of me.

    Anyway, I've said it before, I can't see much difference between Rand's objectivism and ethical egoism (in it's various flavours).
  10. Bern80
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    Bern80 Senior Member

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    They don't care whether they're loved or not. I don't suspect the characters of the book care if people lavish praise or fawn over them for what they have done. Essentially what they care about is others in society that have the ability to, not holding themselves to the same standards that they hold themselves. Not only that but essentially being punished for being successful.
  11. Diuretic
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    I know this is ridiculuous but I'm put in mind of Walden Two by B.F. Skinner.
  12. Bern80
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    Bern80 Senior Member

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    Read it. vaguely remember it. Sort of similar. Really give it a read. Warning: its really, really long. Like 1300 pages or so I think. While it is social commentary, there is a decent work of pure fiction and story in there to.
  13. Diuretic
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    I haunt second hand bookshops so I'll keep an eye out for it.
  14. midcan5
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    midcan5 liberal / progressive

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    Sorry, but I found it unreadable, also found Skinner's book unreadable, they are both ideology cloaked in so called literature. Read Sinclair or Steinbeck instead. Galbraith's quote pretty much sums it up, "The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness." Anyone who lives and works in corporate business know the premise that they do conscious good work is complete hooey. Think Enron. If you want a real challenging (but easy) read in this area, and it is contemporary, check out Derrick Jensen's, "The Culture of Make Believe." I am just over a hundred pages into it but it questions so much of modern economics BS.
  15. Threedee
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    Well, we're not all entrepreneurs now, are we? That's why I'm not a business or engineering major (I simply cannot do the math). However, anybody can realize the serious benefit that successful businesses give to society - wealth, jobs, products, innovation and even tax revenue. Now, as you may also have been aware, Enron was not successful in the end, which is why a few crooks plotted to cook the books and run off with some cash.
  16. midcan5
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    midcan5 liberal / progressive

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    Or business people are like all those other folks out there, many are crooks or as John Prine sings:

    "Some humans ain't human
    Though they walk like we do
    They live and they breathe
    Just to turn the old screw
    They screw you when you're sleeping
    They try to screw you blind
    Some humans ain't human
    Some people ain't kind

    You might go to church
    And sit down in a pew
    Those humans who ain't human
    Could be sittin' right next to you
    They talk about your family
    They talk about your clothes
    When they don't know their own ass
    From their own elbows"
  17. Threedee
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    Its hard for me to appreciate a piece that repeatedly uses the word "ain't." Its very uncultured.

    Now, I find that an anti-business mentality is highly un-American, because we were founded on natural rights philosophy, which declares property sacred. Furthermore, the Revolution broke out in Boston, the city of the merchant class of the period.

    Also, recall that it was the free labor/free & competitive marketers of the 1850's that rose up in opposition to the South's despotic single-market system (I say despotic, and note that nowhere on earth today are there single-market systems that have not bred despotism - oil/diamonds/gold/etc.) and to slavery.
  18. midcan5
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    midcan5 liberal / progressive

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    Ain't ain't a word, ain't or ain't it.

    I doubt John's song would have much impact in proper English.

    Derrick Jensen puts forth the presumption that all evil is grounded in property.

    [ame]http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/1931498571/ref=sib_dp_pt/105-5672573-7974020#reader-link[/ame]

    "If I were permitted to write all the ballads I need not care who makes the laws of the nation." Andrew Fletcher
  19. jillian
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    jillian Princess Supporting Member

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    Kiddo, you're barely drinking age and you're talking about John Prine being "uncultured"? Kind of presumptuous of you, IMO. Guess I'll have to write a letter to Springsteen, and the other songwriters who use the term as a literary device and tell them about how they've gotten it wrong all these years. Perhaps we need to correct the volumes of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, too.

    Actually, all property is a creation of law, whether common law or statute. There is nothing "natural" about it. Certain types of property are owned which give rights of succession to the heirs of the owner. Some property rights exist through marriage because the law *says* they exist. Some property rights end with the life of the holder. Intellectual property only exists to the extent that copyright and trademark laws grant those rights. Corporations only exist as entities created artificially based upon statutory code which describes how they are created, who controls them and how they are controlled.

    Is that what you think the civil war was about and what its lessons were?

    As for the effects of the "free market" system, that system, when untempered by laws which enforce minimal standards for workers result in Dickensian nightmares. There's a reason that a better way was found. Adam Smith's type of laissez faire capitalism is, ultimately, a failure of humanity when taken to its extreme.
  20. Diuretic
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    Diuretic Permanently confused

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    jillian's point is more erudite but there are no "natural" rights, property or other. Everthing we know about "rights" and "property" is a human invention.

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