Any Rand's book Atlas Shrugged really bothers me. I really admire the intellect and the writing that created the book. I love her views on religion. But I am very conflicted by her views on capitalism. I have read Atlas Shrugged 2 times. First time in the 60's and again last year. I am a liberal socialist but I admire her intellect and her writing except for that very stupid book The Fountainhead. Are there any other lefty's out there that feel the way I do. The internet is really buzzing about Atlas Shrugged being made into a movie. I think it comes out in April and I think it is just part one. The book is over 1200 pages long and complex so I can see how it would be very difficult to make into one movie. It would probable have to be 10 hours long. I would love to know what other leftist think of the book and her. I am surprised that in this day and age there are people who are try to stop the movie.

Tags: Any, Atlas, Capitalism, Rand, Shrugged

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Busybody neighbors are known to object to things their neighbors do because it's an "eyesore".

I read "Atlas Shrugged" and "The Fountainhead" when I was 18-19 (16-17 ya). I identified with her philosophy at the time and it drove me. I worked hard and became successful in every industry I touched over the next 5 years and was making over $100k/yr by the time I was 23. Then I realized that my life was shit. My work ethic and philosophy had driven my family away and distanced me from other good friends and potential new friends. In my misery I threw away everything that I had worked for (capital) and was left in almost the same position as when I started only with a lower credit score and and a new passion - getting drunk.

 

Long story short; it took me many years to realize where I had gone wrong. The motivation that I derived from AR was gone and a new passion took over. I live at the poverty level with my wife and second child but we spend more time together than most families and are happy to spend the rest of our time educating ourselves whether it be through classes or reading at home. Ayn Rand's books still sit on my bookshelf as a reminder of the humanity they, and I, denied for so long.

That is some story. I can't say I had gone through what you did (I certainly never met with such "success"), but there are some parallels between our stories. I grew up with a father who was a doctor, very driven and always away at work, and when he came home he would scream and dominate and make everyone miserable. I decided from a very young age that I wasn't going to turn out like him. It was clear that money and professional success weren't even step 1 for being happy. I confronted him on this at one point while I was in my twenties. I told him it was obvious he was miserable and that he needed to make some changes. For once in my life I saw him actually swell up with emotion, and with his eyes tearing up, he asked me what he should do. Not knowing any better (and not knowing about Doctors Without Borders, which would have been a great suggestion), I told him he should throw it all away and begin again. His face just changed right back to the stern, cold bastard it had always been and he dismissed the suggestion. Since then he has only continued on in his miserable ways. Consider yourself lucky you didn't turn out like he did. Your children would hate you and have emotional problems themselves. Since then I have took to studying philosophy, particularly ethics, and one thing I think I have learned that I would pass on to anyone that wants to listen to me is that self-esteem comes from being able to affect the lives of others on a personal level, and this requires listening to your inner voice and conscience and feeling as strongly about others as you do about yourself. This Randian notion of selfishness is anathema to that.
Hmmm... Sounds like your dad and my dad should get together and go bowling. Maybe my father had more of an influence on me than I thought he did. He left when I was 12 but my wife and I were just talking the other day about how driven his life is by his work ethic. Looking back now I can see that the times when I was more like him were the times that we were the closest. He doesn't speak to me at all as of last year but I have a suspicion that that might have to do more with my outspoken atheism (he converted to Mormonism from backsliding Baptist about 6-7 years ago) than my rejection of capitalism and it's philosophies.
Wow, still more parallels. My dad left when I was 13 and I haven't spoken to him in about 2 years now. But that was my choice, not his, and had nothing to do with religion.
That is amazing that one book and philosophy influenced you so greatly. I have to admit I'm slightly envious that I haven't found a philosophy that could motivate me (or even give me the confidence) to be financially successful; but most of that is because I'm not willing to sacrifice my enjoyment of life to make large sums of money!

Hi PRG! It was a time in my life when I thought I had to grow up and become a "productive member of society" (I always want to say that phrase with half lidded eyes and drool coming out of my mouth). I didn't know what the book was about or who AR was at that time. I was looking for something and that was what fell in my lap. But thanks to Wanderer up there I now think my dad might have had an objectivist type of influence on me as well.

 

Yeah, I'm in no hurry to sacrifice my lifestyle for money any time soon again. I remember taking my ex-fiance to the beach for the weekend several times. We stayed in nice hotels but I was always so tired from working 70+ hours a week that I never enjoyed any of the amenities and hardly ever even set foot on the beach! Just about every other time I'd end up driving back to work on a Saturday morning from the hotel and come back late that night, get up Sunday, pack up, eat and go home. No enjoyment at all....

It was my first exposure to philosophy.  I did not agree with it but it inspired me to start readying other philosophy and for that I will always be grateful to AR and Atlas Shrugged.  As I said before I don't agree with her but find her lectures and books, except for The Fountainhead, very interesting and stimulating.  If you want to know AR you have to read Atlas Shrugged.  I am pissed as hell because so far the movie is not listed to be shown in Saint Petersburg.  Is this some kind of plot??
Keep trying.  It can bring great meaning to your life as an Atheist.
Sounds like you have your life all together.  Good job.
lol. I wish.
I think a few of you should go to Wikipidia and look up the word Objectivist.  I really think some of you are not sure what it actually means.  Careful when throwing around big words when you don't really understand them.

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