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 Post subject: atlas shrugged
PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2004 7:29 pm 
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so i just read atlas shrugged, and there are just a few things within the story that are causing me to doubt the passion and sincerity of the author, about the philosophy. for example : john galt has been on the company payroll for 12 years unnoticed. and when d.t. is talking to "just some bum caught steeliing a ride on the train" he tells her his name is jess allen. later she says to eddie "give jeff allen a job" . i am sure that if i read the book again i could find other evidence. thoughts any one?


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2004 9:13 am 
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Dear ds,

I'm not sure I understand how the incidents you point out would cause you to "doubt the sincerity and passion of the author," Ayn Rand once wrote, "I trust that no one will tell me that men such as I write about don't exist. That this book has been written-and published-is proof that they do."

I'd be happy to go over anything with you if you'd clarify what you mean.

-fish are quick!

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2004 9:43 pm 
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I am also willing to help you. Do you want to start by giving us the page numbers???

I agree with you, Fish Are Quick, they do exist, and the possibility that Rand made a mistake does not intervene with their existance.

Joy :mrgreen:


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 Post subject: Atlas Shrugged
PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2004 5:04 am 
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Although its been many years since I've read Atlas Shrugged, one thing I did come away with is that the author was quite sincere, if somewhat misguided. I read The Fountainhead, which I believe is a more satisfying read and in which she first laid out her principles, or her philosophy, when I was sixteen. I was quite captivated by the persuasiveness of her writing. She was an artist and hugely talented and all that talk about being a genius was heady stuff. Frank Lloyd Wright was, quite obviously, her model for the hero of that book. Although they never met FLW was flattered by her admiration and he even designed a magnificent home for her and her husband. Unfortunately, it was never built.

What people who are so taken with her work and thus her political philosophy, must remember is that she was born during the comminist regime in a small town in Eastern Russia. In those days, attending party meetings on a regular basis, meetings where Marxist doctrine was foisted on all 'comrades' in the name of Progressive Enlightenment was a requirement of all Russians. Rand, like so many artists who lived in Russia during this regime felt stultified by the near worship of collectivism.

When Ayn Rand came to this country and began to write she did what so many expatriates do: she had a kneejerk reaction to the collectivism which the current regime in Russia had tried to shove down her throat. This kneejerk reaction took her to a radical conservatism as opposed to the Radical Progressivism she had left behind. She worshiped wealth and money and all of the attributes of Capitalism. But there were a few fatal flaws in her outlook, especially if she wished to be considered a true phliosopher. One such flaw was her near fanatical devotion to naive materialism. This was something she never got a handle on. She failed to realize that another name for Marxist pilosophy is Dialectic Materialism.

So she had not left behind what she ran from--- she brought at least half of it with her. This materialism is by nature atheistic. The Russian people have long been intensely religious and orthodoxy was built into the culture. She could not recognize in herself her own fundamental need for a god---a supreme and impossibly super human being. She couldn't shake it since it was in the very air she breathed as a child. Her atheistic materialism forbade her straying into mysticism or spiritual experience of any kind. So Rand created god-like heroes: cold, austere and remote. Those are also attributes of the God, Jehova, of the Old Testament. And the most telling attributes of her heroes was that they worshipped not only creative genius as expressed by the rugged individual, but also money, the dollar bill, as an icon of the hero's intrinsic worth. God equals hero equals money.

As I recall, she wrote an entire chapter at the end of Atlas Shrugged laying out her philosophic view. An Apologia. In Aristotle she found a champion of materialism. A equals A is Aristotle's statement. That which appears to exist is really real. And she stopped there. But Aristotle, though a good logician, was also what one might call a 'naive' philosopher. He got there early on--- but the nature of philosophy is that it continues on, more or less open ended, and raises ever more profound and complex questions. For example, there is the Zen Buddhist master who not too long ago said: A is not A, therefore we call it A. For those of us who inquire deeply into the nature of reality this is a more satisfying expression of apparent reality. [/i]In other words, the Zennist is saying, that which appears to exist, in fact, has no true basis in ultimate reality. And because we are uncomfortable with the flickering ambiguity of existence slash non-existence most of us choose to deny the possibility of its non-existence and blunder on by calling it this or that. If only we could perceive apparent reality without going through the mind which insists on cataloquing and naming all things which appear to exist, and experiencing them by virtue of perfect surrender to the radically present moment we would see that in fact a thing not only exists but also does not exist because of the fundamental law of the universe which is that all things are in a state of flux and constantly move through the monent from the past to the present and on to the future. And, as Einstein pointed out--- even the perception of time is illusory and varies from one individual to another depending on their position in the time-space continuum. And that brings us into the fourth dimension which cannot be seen but only experienced in an eternal present.

As you can see, just one example of a refutation of Aristotle's naive definition of reality is enough to bring Ayn Rand's materialism to a screeching halt.

So I would say again--- I do not deny Ayn Rand's sincerity, nor her talent as a persuasive writer, but rather, I would challenge the depth of her view. It's only an eighth of an inch. Like the depth of her mostly cardboard characters.

I hope this helps. :roll:

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If you want to know what God thinks about money look at who he gave it to. :o)


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2004 11:43 am 
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Wistan- I'm not sure how much you've read, although I would suggest if you haven't already to read 'We The Living' which Rand cites as the closest she'll ever come to writing an autobiography, and though it doesn't narrate the circumstances of her life in Russia, the essence of her values are evident throughout.

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One such flaw was her near fanatical devotion to naive materialism. This was something she never got a handle on. She failed to realize that another name for Marxist pilosophy is Dialectic Materialism.


Naive? Hmm, are you suggesting that she wasn't really aware of the nature of materialism- I think you only have to read Francisco D'Anconia's speech about money to realise that she certainly knew what she meant by the acquisition of wealth and money or materialism. Secondly, dialectic materialism is not akin to materialism and it is quite perverse to suggest similarities. It is also worthy of note that I think her philosophy (Objectivism) developed out of ethics rather than politics, with reference from an early age of the characteristics and qualities she could identify that, for her, was heroic.

I shall return, with a full reply.

-fish are quick!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2004 4:47 pm 
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FAQ--- Please allow me to heartily reccommend you peruse this web site: http://www.marxist.com/Theory/study_guide1.html where you will find a pretty good discussion of the nature of Dialectic Materialism. I am not reccommending Marxism, mind you, but just for your information. Many people near and dear to me were very taken with Rand as a serious philosopher. Unfortunately. But don't you find that she appeals most strongly to the undergraduate? Experience in the real world makes her ideas seem idealistic. Sort of an overly rich Capitalistic candy.

Free yourself, FAQ. Loyalty to AR will lead to a dead end.

I once heard Nathaniel Brandon, (as you know, he was the idealized model for Atlas in the flesh) explain why he and Rand came to an idealogical schism; AR insisted that a bad person could not change his or her ways but would always be bad or evil and Brandon felt that negated the possibility of personal redemption. As a psychologist he had to feel that human beings were capable of change or transformation.

This is a fine text book example of AR's naive materialism. A equals A and can be no other thing. Near stone age naivete. Whereas Dialectic Materialism would say that all things are in a constant state of change. Einstein would agree.

BTW, what I wrote last night has some definite flaws as I had taken a sleeping pill an hour or so before I began to write and by half way through my brain was beginning to fog.




:roll: :?

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If you want to know what God thinks about money look at who he gave it to. :o)


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2005 3:30 am 
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justa dig this up.

i admire Ayn Rand's writing a lot.
its exceptionally inspirational and makes me feel good about so many things people try to make me feel bad about. in short, it applauds humanity, and that, if not for hundreds of other reasons is why one should read her work.
try it.
and gimme ur views

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