Raise your other hand if you are living "Atlas Shrugged"
Published on January 10, 2009 By ZubaZ In Current Events

Fifty years ago Atlas Shrugged was a fiction of what might happen.  According to the linked editorial it's not so fictional anymore.


David Kelley, the president of the Atlas Society, which is dedicated to promoting Rand's ideas, explains that "the older the book gets, the more timely its message." He tells me that there are plans to make "Atlas Shrugged" into a major motion picture -- it is the only classic novel of recent decades that was never made into a movie. "We don't need to make a movie out of the book," Mr. Kelley jokes. "We are living it right now."

on Jan 10, 2009

 I read it several years ago. Boring!

on Jan 10, 2009

I've tried reading it a couple of times, but I find the style far too didactic and its characters seem like cardboard cutouts who exist solely to give long, boring monologues. As a result, I can understand why people think it's an important book, but I'm not sure I'll ever be in a sufficiently forgiving frame of mind to read it.

As for its relevance to today, you could also apply that same reasoning to the Communist Manifesto, with roughly the same result of a new political nirvana opening up for Rand's believers.

on Jan 10, 2009


Excellent read.

on Jan 10, 2009

I felt the same way about "Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance"  I don't care how great a book it might be, I can't plod my way through it.

on Jan 10, 2009

I read it. I thought it was poorly written and far too dull. I've never been been a fan of Rand's writing.

on Jan 10, 2009

I thought it was a great book.  I don't see how anyone can say we're living it right now, however.  Yes, the looters are running rampant, siphoning off the "can"s because they "can not," and issuing hefty guilt trips all along the way.


But for us to live Atlas Shrugged right now, the "cans" would have to disappear and leave the "can nots" to realize that fact.  That isn't happening.  Why not?  Because the "can"'s are looters, too.


It should be noted that a "can" (in Randian terms) is not just a successful person.  A "can" is someone who is competent because being competent is important to them above all else.  They don't do what they do for power or money.  They do it because what they can create defines who they are in a unique way.  Don't you think John Galt could have made a killing if he'd stayed around?  He invented a machine that draws electricity from the air!  He chose to leave this world because money and power were not what was important.  His statement and enactment of who he was and what he could achieve was what was important.


There are no John Galts in this world that I've seen.  A large majority of successful (read: wealthy) people would not make the choices they make if there wasn't a dollar behind it.  And those wealthy people are just as much looters as the looters they hate.


I really don't understand the standard "take" on this book.  It's not the same book I read in 99% of comments I've seen.

on Jan 11, 2009

I read it last semester as it was required for a course.  Man, I hate monologues, not to mention cheesy romance.  That was 1,000 pages of torture.

Ironically, I remember bringing up this book in another thread recently, because I do think it is an accurate take on what socialism in the US would look like.  However, I don't think that objectivism is a sound philosophy that will solve the problem, as it is presented in the book.

The reason I think that is the fact that selfishness is supposed to be a virtue in Rand's philosophy, and looters are evil.  Yet this is a contradiction, because it is obvious even in her own book that the looters are also selfish.  They want everything without having to work for it, without having to earn it.  Her idea should hinge on a good work ethic, not selfishness.

on Jan 11, 2009

Oddly enough as we type Atlas shrugged the movie is in production, how is that for coincidence?

on Jan 12, 2009

"We don't need to make a movie out of the book," Mr. Kelley jokes. "We are living it right now."

David Kelley is right.

on Jan 12, 2009

Everyone move to Colorado, quick!