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Just picked up my old Atlas Shrugged book.....
Old 03-05-2009, 03:01 PM   #1
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Just picked up my old Atlas Shrugged book.....

There are some eerie similarities between what's going on now and what Ayn Rand described when big government went amok in Atlas Shrugged.

Remember in the book the "Anti-Greed Act", which was to redistribute income (kind of like the new tax bill), and the "Equalization of Opportunity Act" to prevent people from starting more than one business to give others a better chance to make it. Or how about the ridiculously named "Anti Dog-Eat-Dog Act," that was supposed to stop cut-throat competition between firms and thus slow the wave of business bankruptcies.

I remember laughing at these titles when I first read the book years ago, but I'm not laughing so much any more. Now we have the $700 billion "Emergency Economic Stabilization Act" and the "Auto Industry Financing and Restructuring Act" and the "American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan" and the most recent "Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan".

Is it just me, or do these recent plans sound very similar?
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Old 03-05-2009, 03:04 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by cardude View Post
There are some eerie similarities between what's going on now and what Ayn Rand described when big government went amok in Atlas Shrugged.

Remember in the book the "Anti-Greed Act", which was to redistribute income (kind of like the new tax bill), and the "Equalization of Opportunity Act" to prevent people from starting more than one business to give others a better chance to make it. Or how about the ridiculously named "Anti Dog-Eat-Dog Act," that was supposed to stop cut-throat competition between firms and thus slow the wave of business bankruptcies.

I remember laughing at these titles when I first read the book years ago, but I'm not laughing so much any more. Now we have the $700 billion "Emergency Economic Stabilization Act" and the "Auto Industry Financing and Restructuring Act" and the "American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan" and the most recent "Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan".

Is it just me, or do these recent plans sound very similar?
Welcome to the New World Order, citizen.
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Old 03-05-2009, 04:06 PM   #3
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Who is John Galt? And how can we tax him?
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Old 03-05-2009, 04:27 PM   #4
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Yes, I have pondered this too and may just dig out my old copy from one of our many boxes of books in the basement. Perhaps we can reenact some of the major scenes from Atlas Shrugged here on the forum. After all, many of us have read the book and were influenced by it. I dibs the role of Dagny Taggert
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Old 03-05-2009, 04:41 PM   #5
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Q: Is it an "easy" read? I'm just not much for long drawn out stuff, and I got scared when I saw it was 900 pages or something like that. But some stuff breaks down into small chunks.

I guess I'm kinda ADD, I take stuff in small portions - magazine articles, internet stuff, posts. Or should I just stick to the wiki summary?

-ERD50
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I don't have to find an old copy...
Old 03-05-2009, 04:44 PM   #6
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I don't have to find an old copy...

My DW gave it to me four weeks ago. I'm about 450 pages in (John Galt is yet to appear). It IS THE BOOK for our modern times.

Maybe Obama needs a little required reading. Atlas Shrugged may be too long. I have Ayn Rand's We thr Living on my shelf to send him. How about something REALLY short and simple, like the USConstition and the Bill of Rights. That's pretty simple reading for a busy super hero.

You would think that he had read that already?!>
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Old 03-05-2009, 04:59 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
Q: Is it an "easy" read? I'm just not much for long drawn out stuff, and I got scared when I saw it was 900 pages or something like that. But some stuff breaks down into small chunks.

I guess I'm kinda ADD, I take stuff in small portions - magazine articles, internet stuff, posts. Or should I just stick to the wiki summary?

-ERD50
It is fairly easy reading. A story takes place and along the way you see misguided government policies and the effect they have on the characters' actions. A good study in the law of unintended consequences.

It is long though.
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Old 03-05-2009, 05:54 PM   #8
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I just got it on CD.
Read it years ago.
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Old 03-05-2009, 06:57 PM   #9
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I dibs the role of Dagny Taggert
Looks like that part is taken.

Angelina Jolie has been confirmed to play the role of Dagny Taggart, and there are discussions with Russell Crowe to play the part of Hank Rearden.[27] Brad Pitt is rumored to be cast in a yet unspecified role. Both Jolie and Pitt are fans of Rand's works.[28] The role of the mysterious John Galt is likely to be played by an unknown.[27] Vadim Perelman (House of Sand and Fog) had been confirmed to direct,[29] but as of June 18, 2008 is no longer attached to the project.[30] Lions Gate Entertainment picked up worldwide distribution rights. The film was expected to be released in 2011.
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Old 03-05-2009, 07:16 PM   #10
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Q: I got scared when I saw it was 900 pages or something like that. \
No no no...... That's the stimulus package you're thinking of at 900 pages. And that should scare you!
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Old 03-05-2009, 07:24 PM   #11
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My DW gave it to me four weeks ago. I'm about 450 pages in (John Galt is yet to appear). It IS THE BOOK for our modern times.

Maybe Obama needs a little required reading. Atlas Shrugged may be too long. I have Ayn Rand's We thr Living on my shelf to send him. How about something REALLY short and simple, like the USConstition and the Bill of Rights. That's pretty simple reading for a busy super hero.

You would think that he had read that already?!>
Not to quibble, but I would imagine that a former president of the Harvard Law Review has read it. The Constitution, that is. Not sure about Atlas Shrugged...

Btw, John Galt used to post here...
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Old 03-05-2009, 08:29 PM   #12
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I used to have a dorm mate (in college) who was a rabid Ayn Rand fan. He took things rather far, stating that he would prefer to see his own mother, etc., die of starvation and exposure before she received a penny of support from any source, especially including himself. With that level of self-righteous selfishness, he didn't remain a friend for long.

I have always loved dystopian novels (as a child, 1984 had the largest impact on me of any novel, then or now), and so I gave it a try. I felt sympathetic to a number of its themes, but I had no patience for its enormously self-indulgent, never-ending contemptuousness. Much later, I heard the classic critique: "This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force." I will say, however, that the title is just fantastic.

If you want an equally-preachy antidote to Rand, try The Grapes of Wrath.

Or, if you want to dive head-first into an even more sprawling and "difficult" novel, I am pleased to recommend what is perhaps the masterpiece of American literature: Moby Dick. Really. It takes some effort, but keep at it; it builds momentum until you find yourself unable to tear yourself away for feeling stunned at every magnificent sentence.
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Old 03-05-2009, 08:47 PM   #13
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Looks like that part is taken.

Angelina Jolie has been confirmed to play the role of Dagny Taggart, and there are discussions with Russell Crowe to play the part of Hank Rearden.[27] Brad Pitt is rumored to be cast in a yet unspecified role. Both Jolie and Pitt are fans of Rand's works.[28] The role of the mysterious John Galt is likely to be played by an unknown.[27] Vadim Perelman (House of Sand and Fog) had been confirmed to direct,[29] but as of June 18, 2008 is no longer attached to the project.[30] Lions Gate Entertainment picked up worldwide distribution rights. The film was expected to be released in 2011.
Well I'm sure Angelina would do a much better job with the role of Dagny. After all, who could imagine a former government accountant in that part I would like to see Crowe as Hank Rearden and would think Brad Pitt might make a fine John Galt.
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Old 03-05-2009, 08:50 PM   #14
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I used to have a dorm mate (in college) who was a rabid Ayn Rand fan. He took things rather far, stating that he would prefer to see his own mother, etc., die of starvation and exposure before she received a penny of support from any source, especially including himself. With that level of self-righteous selfishness, he didn't remain a friend for long.
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Wow, I have studied Ayn Rand for decades and have absolutely no idea where he got that interpretation. Sounds like you just lived with a nut rather than an objectivist.
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Old 03-05-2009, 08:51 PM   #15
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If you want an equally-preachy antidote to Rand, try The Grapes of Wrath.

Or, if you want to dive head-first into an even more sprawling and "difficult" novel, I am pleased to recommend what is perhaps the masterpiece of American literature: Moby Dick. Really. It takes some effort, but keep at it; it builds momentum until you find yourself unable to tear yourself away for feeling stunned at every magnificent sentence.
Grep, you managed to mention two other books I admire very much. And you are right - quite a contrast to Atlas Shrugged. The point is, all three are fine novels and expand the mind and our perception of the world. That's what truly great works of literature do. By the way, I seem to recall W2R mentioning Moby Dick as one of her favorite novels some time ago.
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Old 03-05-2009, 09:20 PM   #16
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Grep, you managed to mention two other books I admire very much. And you are right - quite a contrast to Atlas Shrugged.
Thanks. The Grapes of Wrath is truly amazing.

As an aside, I saw the movie after reading the book. Much of it was excellent. But when the curtain dropped, I was beside myself with disbelief and fury at its utterly-lame fade to black, as compared to the heart-breaking, cataclysmic and supremely touching final pages of the novel.
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Market's Shrugged
Old 03-05-2009, 09:33 PM   #17
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Market's Shrugged

"During the 1950s, Alan Greenspan was one of the members of Ayn Rand's inner circle, the Ayn Rand Collective , who read Atlas Shrugged while it was being written. Rand nicknamed Greenspan "the undertaker" because of his penchant for dark clothing and reserved demeanor."

I guess we can all thank Ayn Rand for the mess we are in today.


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Old 03-05-2009, 11:27 PM   #18
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Atlas Shrugged is probably the most thought provoking book I've ever read. It really changed my views on many things.
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Old 03-06-2009, 08:23 AM   #19
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Old 03-06-2009, 09:14 AM   #20
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Ummm,

When I was in high school, my circle of friends would gather at our friend Julia's house to "intellectualize". Atlas Shrugged was a book we spent much time admiring and discussing. Later, as a poor student living in a one room apartment, sharing one bathroom in a three story apartment house of one room apartments, and running out of food some weeks, I picked the book up again. It ended up in shreds on the floor after I stomped it to death. I declare my "age of reason" had occurred.

I have always, since then, considered the book to be for children who will eventually grow up to the real world.
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