Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by Bern80, Jan 12, 2004.

  1. Bern80
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    Bern80 Gold Member

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    One of the best books about Economics ever. If you want to know what would happen if we did everything the liberals way you need to read this book.

    Essentially it's about what happens when the liberals keep calling the "greedy capitalists" cheats and they finally decide to take their proverbial ball and leave.
     
  2. wonderwench
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    One of my favorite books, but I would not classify the struggle as being one of conservatives vs. liberals.

    The real struggle is productive individuals who respect the liberty of others vs. parasites who work the system to exploit others.

    Parasites are found at all income levels and under most labels.
     
  3. SinisterMotives
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    I read most of it then managed to misplace it somehow. I thought Rand's portrayal of wealthy capitalists as God's gift to mankind and everyone else as villains bent on destroying capitalism was rather simplistic and one-sided. It's seldom as cut and dry as that.
     
  4. Bern80
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    Bern80 Gold Member

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    i agree with both of you, sinister and wonder. As u said wonder it's not really liberals vs. conservatives. more like capitalists vs. socailists. It does do an excellent job however of refuting many of the criticisms that people have of big business. One of my favorites being the argument that many make about CEO's only getting where they are because of their dependcy/cruelty to their labor force. She suggests that the CEO simply leave if people don't like it then we will see who is dependent on who.

    As far as your comment, sinister. Yes Rand does go to extremes to make her point, but i personally think she does this on purpose. I don't think her intent was to make the capitalists of the story seem god-like and by the end of the book most of them or doing less then god like work and enjoying it. I honestly think your god-like interpretation is wrong. They weren't reverred that way nor did they feel that way themselves. Did they have a vision as to what was best for the country? Yes, but that doesn't make them god like, just right.

    I strongly urge u to find it and read it again if you have time. Believe me i know finding enough time for this book is hard seeing it's over 1000 pages long. If you read again i think you'll come up with a slightly different interpretation.
     
  5. wonderwench
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    It's important to remember that Rand was a Romanticist (ie, The Romantic Manifesto). Her heroes and villains were designed to illustrate idealized archetypes.

    It is also interesting to note that the "Capitalists" in her novels valued highly competent people and were willing to pay them above market wages.

    Think about it.
     
  6. SinisterMotives
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    Bern, I think you're right. I was much younger and denser when I read it, so I probably missed some of the finer points.

    Wenchie, I agree that competent people should be valued and paid more than a slacker. Unfortunately, what I see a lot of nowadays is executives treating brilliant employees in a manner that squelches creativity and makes them doubt their own worth, possibly because they feel threatened by them. It doesn't seem to me that those kinds of executives embody the archetype that Rand envisioned.
     
  7. rtwngAvngr
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    Sinister, it's time for a new wave of techies, brilliants, and creatives to take up the tools of commerce:corporate entities, outside investors, harnessing genius into a sellable business plan. The current crop of executives in power ARE scared shitless, that's why they've accelarated the outsourcing to India so quickly, indians can still be dominated through cultural means and physical remoteness. Smart americans are just too threatening to their positions of power. and we're hungry, and that's what scares them the most!
     
  8. wonderwench
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    Actually they are archetypes of Rand's - but the negative ones. Think Orrin Boyle and Jim Taggart - users and abusers. The heroes and heroines did not treat their employees in such horrible ways.
     
  9. SinisterMotives
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    Wow, it really has been a long time. I remember those names but can't place them with characters in the book.
     

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