Do you want to live in the world of Atlas Shrugged?

Do you want to live in the world of Atlas Shrugged?


There’s an ongoing debate on where to place
Rand in the American intellectual and political tradition, because she was such a unique thinker.
She combined elements from so many different things and it’s hard to figure out exactly
where she should fit. What is clear, though, is some of the most important themes in her
work really resonate with classical liberal themes, specifically her emphasis on individualism,
suspicion of centralized power, and her advocacy of free markets. These are all staple themes
of classical liberal thought and they’re also fundamental to Rand’s thought. So on individualism, individualism is really
the key theme for Rand;, it’s the motive power of her writing;, it’s the most important
idea she wants to convey. And, in Atlas Shrugged, her choice is to show how individuals matter
in business and how their productive contributions to business power society as a whole. So, a good example of this would be Hank Reardon
and his work inventing a new steel alloy. Now, Reardon runs his own business., hHe’s
a manager but he’s also an engineer and a creator. And Rand really makes clear that
it’s his contributions, his genius, his thinking that lie at the heart of his businesses. The same thing with Dagny Taggart, who runs
a railroad. It’s a family business, she’s inherited it, but she’s very entrepreneurial
within the context of this business, developing new lines, using new materials, always paying
attention to what her competitors are doing. So Rand is, in Atlas Shrugged, really focusing
on the individual as entrepreneur and then showing what the entrepreneur contributes
to society as a whole. So even though these two stars of Atlas Shrugged are within large
corporate structures, Rand really focuses on the individual autonomy and of agency they
have and the difference that individuals make within these broader corporate structures
and within the broader society as a whole. Now, centralized power. Suspicion of centralized
power is fundamental to all classical liberal thinkers. A really good example of this in
Atlas Shrugged is Reardon metal. This is a new invention, it has potential to revolutionize
the way transportation, and all types of industrial processes are done. It also has the potential
to revolutionize the marketplace and make one person much more successful than the rest
because he has invented this incredible new steel alloy. And so what happens is that those who haven’t
invented Reardon metal go to the government and get the government to pass a series of
laws that restricts the sale of Reardon metal, and imposes quotas on it. It’s because they’re
not willing to compete openly and fairly and try to go back to their own labs and create
a new alloy. They don’t want competition. They want to hold back the person who’s
innovatedive and who’s broken ahead. So, it’s a very vivid story, the “dog eat
dog law,”, the “equalization of opportunity law.”. All these laws are passed specifically
to inhibit Reardon metal. And so Rand is saying that in a system of
crony capitalism, you don’t really have objective rule of law. You have subjective
laws that are passed when certain people are more connected with the government and area
able to use to the government to gain competitive advantage over others in the marketplace.
This is what economists call, regulatory capture. This is an idea that‘s really fundamental
in Atlas Shrugged, but she shows it not by using an abstract economic term, but by painting
the relationships at work. So although Rand is remembered as a critic
of state power and the federal government, she’s also in some way s a very subtle critic
of capitalists and of capitalism by showing what it means when crony capitalism is the
order of the day, when people are able to seize the power of the government and use
it to get ahead of their competitors instead of having a fair, honest fight in a free market.
And that’s what Rand would support, and that’s really what her work is trying to
advance. She called capitalism the unknown ideal. She considered the U.S. economy to
be a mixed economy not a true capitalist economy because there were so many government interventions
in economic life. And these are what she’s trying to detail and bring to life and show
through all the action of Atlas Shrugged. Now, Rand is known as a great advocate of
free markets. Again, free markets are a fundamental organizing principle of classical liberalism.
What Rand offers in her work, which is new and unique and important, is the real emphasis
on free markets as a place for personal creativity. It’s not just an economic argument. A lot
of people will make an argument for the free market: “It’s more efficient;, it makes
things run better,; it makes society more prosperous.” Rand is not really interested
in those. Those are side effects to the fact that free markets provide the only space for
individuals to be creative and to really flourish and to live up to their highest potential. So for her, it comes back to the individual.
aAnd what’s tremendously important about Atlas Shrugged is it takes the world of business,
the corporate world,. Aa world that in the 1950s was considered boring and humdrum and
full of conformists, and it makes this world exciting, and glamorous., aAnd it shows how
the business person can be an artist in their own way, a creator in their own way. And so
what’s she’s really making is as much a cultural argument for free markets as an
intellectual argument for free markets., sShe’s saying, here is the best of all possible worlds
in the free- market system when it allows people to have a new idea, work really hard,
and bring it to fruition. That, for her, is the individual living up to their highest
potential. And as a side benefit, society as a whole may become more prosperous. bBut
it’s really the freedom of the individual and the creativity of the individual that’s
at the core of her concern. I think the most important way that we can
understand Rand as a classical liberal is that she considers liberty the primary political
value. With Atlas Shrugged, Rand asks her readers to envision a world where liberty
has been traded away completely for equality and security. And the question she first asked
in 1957, and she continues to ask us today is, “Ddo you want to live in that kind of
world?”

100 thoughts on “Do you want to live in the world of Atlas Shrugged?

  1. this book is a work of FICTION and does not reflect the world we live in TODAY. get a grip people. I still liked the book and its emphasis on individual achievement!!!!!

  2. Rand – Too big to fail
    Real world – Too big to fail – wall street, banks, auto industry etc
    Rand – too many looters and moochers
    Real world – gov't fraud waste abuse, nearly 50% pay no taxes but absorb 40% of GDP

    Hmmmm sounds fairly similar.

  3. You make a great point. When you use copyright, you steal money from the people putting in the hard work of creating the duplicate copies. It's wrong to live off someone else's hard work and copyright lets you steal from it.

  4. Gosh, she sure doesn't understand Rand! Having had more opportunity than most Objectivist types to really read Rand's stuff, she FAILS!

  5. Look at the response Bioshock and Bioshock Infinite got from religious extremists or orthodox people, the Republican party, and the Tea Party. Those will give you the answer.

    I am just about to finish Bioshock 1 myself, it's a great video game pointing out the flaws of Randian like philosophy. Even if the people behind the games deny that's largely its premise it sure does a well thought out critique of her. Can't wait to get Bioshock Infinite when I have the money.

  6. Bioshock as a critique is pretty weak, though. The entire premise is that a society without regulations will destroy itself because people don't know enough to make decisions about products that may harm them. Crack is outlawed and still used. If it weren't outlawed no ones gonna start snorting coke just because the government says its okay. Hell, cocaine WAS legal and society never broke down. That's the MAIN fall of Rapture: ADAM. And its not realistic. Still a good game, though.

  7. My main point was the backlash it got from those groups as if it were something dangerous & brainwashing. Still, to counter your claims, while regulation is a very big theme of the game it is not the main point. The game actually has positive things to say about Randian philosohy if in small bursts.

    The game doesn't "completely" suggest that ADAM is bad and must be outlawed/regulated. Throughout the game you use it and see it in positive non-violent lights. It was intended to make life easier.

  8. Yeah, it was meant to make life easier, it was heralded as a technological marvel through free markets, but it is the one thing that destroyed the society. Andrew Ryan didn't want to regulate the item because it was against his ideals. The idea was that people are helpless without government. As for the backlash, I don't remember it, but I'll take your word for it. There will always be idiots that believe in 'freedom' but are hypocritical about its application, so they aren't even worth noting.

  9. The people I'm referring to were small, not vocal enough to be noticed, & didn't have good outreach.

    You find out your character is controlled by the phrase "Would you kindly?". Control, gov't or not, is not something that paints in a nice light is it? BioShock Infinite is supposed to attack gov't more. Ken Levine sees in more of a gray area than a Randian or a pro-gov't person would: "I don’t find those stories very interesting. That’s why I don’t find either left or right particularly open. "

  10. whatever you think of Marx, he was a talented philosopher who employed reason, I mean yes most of what he though has been refuted, even Neo Marxists admit a lot of his thought was flawed. Yet Ayn Rand has never been took seriously by the academic world of philosophy, namely because she bases her philosophy on Psychological Egoism which is generally refuted. Not to say she hasn't influenced serious thought, just she has never been took seriously. I personally like some of her thought but not all

  11. A) I'm joking.
    B) I could use the same logic against you. Atlas shrugged is a book, like Harry Potter, where people fly around on broomsticks.

  12. You would argue for the contrary if you read the fountainhead XD, well for architecture not liberalism of course.

  13. rand was a racist drug addicted cunt who sucked off the american tax dollar in the form of medicare….they should dig up her rotted carcass and use her mummified cunt as a toilet

  14. it's also hysterical to me how these so called libertarians claim to be against "crony capitalism" when learn liberty .org is another astroturffed pile of shit funded by the krock of shit brothers.

  15. Who's to fucking say that a "free market" gives people the only place to flourish and be free? what kind of freedom does a shit eating wage slave have with no time to focus on art or music or even their own scientific pursuits….many people who have wasted their lives on meaningless jobs just to be able to scrape by…..look at the life of Henry Darger

  16. this notion of a "free market" does not exist. there are always prices to be paid in the market whether it be environmental costs or human lives. it is nothing more than a myth, and as for the market being "efficient" it is only efficient because of the help of government. both ayn rand and milton friedman (both pro capitalists) were failures.

  17. This is the first GOOD explanation of Rand's work I've heard. I've said things like "Rand is discussing CRONY Capitalism as the evil, not necessarily regulation." Neither liberals nor conservatives want to hear that.
    People want to hold Rand up as a symbol to love or hate instead of listening to her actual message. Huh … reminds me of the problem of the prophet vs. the so-called religion of the prophet.

  18. free market is the only space for creativity? I guess she hasn't heard of painters who lived during feudalism or writers during antiquity.

  19. Ayn Rand wasn't a unique thinker. She was a hypocrite, and her philosophy is explicitly meant to be fixed. No room for improvement. I'd rather look to the future.

  20. I'm sorry, your response is too vague to mount a direct response. A cursory look at her reveals she despised people who disagreed with her over the most trivial things. She also relies heavily on slights of language to say nothing at all. And as I said before, her philosophy is explicitly fixed. If you disagree with her in any way, you're not an Objectivist. She may have had good intentions at first, but somewhere along the way, she lost the will to improve herself and her followers.

  21. So? I guess what you and Rand mean is that only the free citizens could have been creative. Not the serfs or the slaves

  22. Because everyone else realized a long time ago that limited collectivism works and that complete free markets are bullshit.

  23. the market has never been efficient without it. in fact with government intervention in the market we have had major advances in computer technology and aerospace as well as medicine. just take a look at cray supercomputers that was developed out of universities and computer labs not the market. and besides corporations and big businesses that are publicly traded on the market love big government cause it protects them from market discipline and keeps them afloat. that is not free market.

  24. Markets can't be free of control.That's a possible linguistic structure, but it's not possible in reality. Markets are determined and influenced by participants.The more resources those participants have the more influence they can exert, in other words, the more power over market they have.If you have enough resources(as a group of rich) you can easily control very large portions of "free" market and ppl lives.You can do things like choking small businesses at birth, brainwashing ppl and so on

  25. The only method of control such people would have is brainwashing. The only method of brainwashing they'd have would be via public education.

    Thus we come full circle.

    Without gov't the market is controlled by the ppl and the only vote that matters, their dollar. If they don't like Walmart they won't shop there and Walmart will be forced to change. Perhaps the change is slow, but it's real and will happen according to what people want.

    Only the gov't refuses to change and slows this progress.

  26. 1)We all are influenced by our environment to some degree. The more money you have the more you can influence environment that people are making decisions in. You can expose them to certain information, ads, use latest psychology findings to influence people's decisions. Ads affect people's decisions, that's why they are there. So by having money, you control people's decision making and thus you control their dollar. Free markets will be a disaster in the future we are moving into.

  27. 2) We are moving into the machine age, where machines will replace more and more people. This time machines replace jobs that they never could before and they will continue to do it. Watson or Google car is just a hint of a storm that’s coming. Corporate profits rapidly go up, while wages go down. Medicine becomes an information technology. With 3d printing many categories of goods become information that can be made for free.

  28. I'm guessing all these thumb-down's are in favor of crony capitalism, political bullying, theft, and coercion. That sucks.

  29. By who, the government? If you think for a second that government controls corporations and not the other way around nowadays, then you really are hopeless…

  30. I agree completely. In the Fountainhead she criticized the boards of large corporations almost as much government. Her politics show through, though, when a for-profit corporation rebuilds the housing project so much better than the gov't w/o explaining why. Much of Fountainhead isn't even about economics/gov't, just flawed people with an addiction to getting a reaction or attention from other people instead of living their lives for what gives them true joy.

  31. Read The Fountainhead. The protagonist creates architectural marvels for the sheer joy of it and rebuffs offers to sell out. The villains in her books are the money grubbers. Rand would say feudal lords (the gov't) are scared of serfs who do what they believe in w/o regard to other's opinion. The rulers like people eager to jump through hoops to get the rewards they can offer.
    @Garegin: You might read the Fountainhead and find you agree with most of it.

  32. She says people only flourish when they do what they believe in without regard for the hoards of buyers and sellers that make up a market. She does not say market is a place to be free.

  33. She also called the Palestinians savages and idolized a child murderer because he was such a maverick so I wouldn't put too much stock to anything written in her over long emergency toilet paper supplier.

  34. A lot of who are what? Are you talking about Palestinians? You might as well say "well most blacks are criminals" same kind of mindset but I'm surprised a "libertarian" would say something so fucking stupid.

  35. Well yes, certain people are just "better" than others don't you see?

    Therefore their opinions are "more valid" than the rest of us Sheeple, and their opinions should be forced on the rest of us ignoramuses.

  36. She doesn't get Rand. Rand is about selfishness. Rand is a plutocrat. I don't want to live in a world run by plutocrats. I want corporations destroyed because their main function is to shield the people involved from responsibility and to bind them to serve the profit motive. I happen to like altruism. I kind of think it is a good thing. I think helping an old lady cross the street is not evil or benign but central to what humans are and should be about. Rand received Medicare.

  37. I'd much rather live in Galt's Gulch, competing to the best of my ability, than being strangled by those who can't by the virtue that I can. You do not have the sanction of this victim.

  38. Rand was an advocate of Objective Freedom. Learn about the philosophy of a free society at Objective Freedom dot com. Rand was neither left, center, right nor libertarian.

  39. Pretty much. Authoritarians don't like it when someone who believes in the Individual (Classical Liberals/Libertarians) comes to the table wanting to destroy the central planners dreams.

  40. Centralized anything gives us libertarians the creeps. Does anyone who calls themself a Libertarian really trust big gov or big business for that matter? i think not 

  41. Capitalists are central planners par excellence who dread the idea of Democracy. The free market ideology of Libertarianism is as much a totalistic utopian vision promising to "free man from his chains" as Communism. Collectivism cuts both ways and in its Capitalist formation represented by the Fortune 500 for example we find a massive annual marketing campaign in the $120+ billion range fomenting the illusion that consumers are directing the production of laundry detergents and football teams. The Libertarian insistence that we can only be "free" if some cartel of private parties commands the means to direct production set wages and collect rents presents yet another collectivist vision of society directed from the top down. No thanks.

  42. I understand Ayn Rand lived in a rent controlled apartment and was on medicare in her later years. I think the appeal of her ideology is to a narcissistic tendency in our era of declining expectations for the capitalist empire. The renewed interest in Rands dreadful literature is like the heat given off by rotting vegetable matter. She lived by a set of precepts that made her a miserable parody of Edenezer Scrooge.

  43. Libertarianism is the cult of Rand's ersatz individualist who embodies the terminal social pathology of Capitalism in the coda of a pulp fiction narcissist. This political bait and switch is now being offered by hucksters promising to free us from majority rule, thereby allowing them to abolish the welfare state in favor of a Capitalist disciplinary state that retains and expands the repressive functions of government in the form of courts police prisons and militarism while disabling the public will and liquidating the public sphere. The dollar sign is a plastic symbol and serves as Objectivism's swastika. Buyer beware.

  44. It's amazing how a person can talk to so articulately about something so utterly trite. Rand was a nutbox, the sooner people forget what she said the better for the human race.

  45. While I greatly respect Ayn Rand, I do have some criticism of her philosophy.
    Primarily: I agree with her that "Egoism" is a virtue. However, I would disagree when she states that 'the self' is all-important (I tend to like the saying "don't ask what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country"). Also, the belief that you should /never/ give to charity I'd say is false. I'd instead say that any and all charity should be a) in some way voluntary for both parties, and b) as self-obsoleting as possible.

  46. Jennifer.  I think around the 4:45 mark you should have been more explicit in stating that for Rand, free markets were the only  "MORAL" system (for all the reasons you gave:  liberty, non-coercion, etc.)

  47. I think the biggest problem with Rand's ideology is simply that her view of human nature and my own are different. I don't think the average individual is inherently entrepreneurial, and I know for a fact that being born into a wealthy family does not mean you will continue to drive innovation. Individuals are only as strong as the team that they lead.

  48. Commentary on the current situation in Russia
    "I have been anticipating this moment for 27 years;

    that is, the moment when the Russians
    would pull off their democratic Halloween
    mask and reveal their totalitarian face.

    I have never had the illusion that America
    or the West would “wake up” before the
    Kremlin leaders had gained a critical advantage.

    At the same time I do not believe they will prevail in the end.

    When nearly everyone realizes what has
    happened the whole world will crave an accounting.

    What is written here is a small attempt toward that goal.

    It is not a matter of blaming anyone, but of
    pulling ideas and people together at the eleventh hour.

    Whatever disaster befalls us, we are better
    equipped to face the odds when we possess
    a clear picture of what went wrong.

    This picture must include a detailed account
    of that fatal and seductive optimism which even
    now prevents a full understanding of the problem we face.

    The leaders of the West could not change course
    because the logic of our civilization is the logic of
    economic optimism. Of course, economic optimism
    is itself necessary to economic success.

    Such optimism is generally good except
    it completely fails when confronting an enemy.

    The fiasco was a quarter of a century in the
    making, and now it is time to replace
    economic optimism with political realism.

    Do not be fooled by the apparent strength of the
    enemy; for just as the enemy’s weakness was a
    partial facade, so is the enemy’s current strength.

    Politically organized psychopaths,
    however clever or ruthless they might be,
    can only succeed if we surrender to them.

    And we must never do such a thing."

    Excerpted from an article by Jeff Nyquist

    http://www.jrnyquist.com/psychopath-part-3.html

    www.jrnyquist.com

  49. This channel is really way beyond the pale. You listen to this person and she sounds like a puppet: no heart, no soul and really no understanding of Atlas Shrugged. Proof positive, that one can read the book, learn, understand and to some degree believe in it, but still cannot embrace or apply the spirit of this great work.

  50. Alisa Rosenbaum was an evil elitist witch, her philosophy is inhumane, anti-liberal and frankly just fascist.

  51. Actual liberals –> Libertarianism
    Regressives –> Modern Leftist Liberals
    Conservatives –> Conservatives

  52. So confused. Wouldn't equality and security be liberty from debt? Wouldn't being liberated from debt and having to work 40+ hours a week at a job that is tiring and stressful foster an environment where people could be more creative and live up to their potential?

  53. Atlas Shrugged was written in 1957. At the end of the video the women says "Rand asks her readers to envision a world where liberty has been traded away completely for equality and security" boy was Rand ahead of her time. That's exactly the world were heading into.

  54. The one of the flaws in the selfishness of Rand is this: your grandmother smells bad and has gone half mad.. instead of paying a ton of money to a home.. It's cheaper to kill her (euthanasia).. So too a man who's wife and children are annoying him.. just dump them and make a new family.. Let them cope for themselves.. Is your baby too hard to take care of? well you could sell it.. put it in a home or kill it.. after all.. all that matters in the eyes of Rand is your own happiness and pleasure.. and let's face it… sometimes people are a pain.

  55. …critic of capitalism when crony capitalism.

    Wait a minute. Is crony capitalism capitalism* at all? Isn’t crony capitalism equal to fascism and fascism just more covert socialism, both being anti-capitalistic credos?

    Capitalism = social organization and economic system based on the sanctity of private property

  56. You gotta be kidding. The book makes no literary, social or economic sense (According to the Supreme Court, it should be labelled as pornography) It took 200 pages for her describe an instance where Taggert's railroad sends a diesel engine train into a tunnel and winds up killing many people on the train. In the real world, a class action would have begun against the company for wrongful death and negligence that probably would have bankrupted the company. No, not in this realistic novel. It wasn't the worst book I've ever read but it certainly was the worst written. Talk about the metaphors (they are comical) talk about the symbolism (there isn't any). There are entire plots that are never followed up and allowed to fallow. More importantly, it doesn't make a point. NO wonder it isn't taught in any literature class, philosophy class, economic class, or fiction writing class.

  57. How do the shop owner and the customer figure out a price?
    I mean you cannot ask the customer and get a honest answer. Just trying out does also seem to be a bad idea as people base there willingness to pay on what things cost. They are less inclined to pay a higher price for a product that has previously been cheap, while they are probably more inclined to pay this price if it has been lowered from a higher one.
    You said it yourself that surveyed people couldn't determine a value.
    So neither the shop owner not the customer actually know a products value.

  58. So price is essentially about supply and demand.
    The producer could make a change to the supply curve, e.g. by hiring an engineering. But how is the producer able to know about the demand curve? The current market only communicates the current market price so only one spot on the supply curve.
    How is he supposed to know whether hiring this engineer is worth it?

  59. Here's the rest of it. Enjoy!

    6. All natural resources are limitless.

    If you pay close attention to Atlas Shrugged, you'll learn that there will always be more land to homestead, more trees to cut, more coal to mine, more fossil fuels to drill. There's never a need for conservation, recycling, or that dreaded word, "sustainability." All environmental laws, just like all safety regulations, are invented by government bureaucrats explicitly for the purpose of punishing and destroying successful businessmen.

    One of the heroes of part I is the tycoon Ellis Wyatt, who's invented an unspecified new technology that allows him to reopen oil wells thought to be tapped out, unlocking what Rand calls an "unlimited supply" of oil. Obviously, accepting that natural resources are finite would force Rand's followers to confront hard questions about equitable distribution, which is why she waves the problem away with a sweep of her hand.

    This trend reaches its climax near the end of part I, when Dagny and Hank find, in the ruins of an abandoned factory, the prototype of a new kind of motor that runs on "atmospheric static electricity" and can produce limitless energy for free. Rand sees nothing implausible about this, because in her philosophy, human ingenuity can overcome any problem, up to and including the laws of thermodynamics, if only the government would get out of the way and let them do it.

    7. Pollution and advertisements are beautiful; pristine wilderness is ugly and useless.

    Rand is enamored of fossil fuels, and at one point, she describes New York City as cradled in "sacred fires" from the smokestacks and heavy industrial plants that surround it. It never seems to occur to her that soot and smog cause anything other than pretty sunsets, and no one in Atlas Shrugged gets asthma, much less lung cancer.

    By contrast, Rand informs us that pristine natural habitat is worthless unless it's plastered with ads, as we see in a scene where Hank and Dagny go on a road trip together:

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    Uncoiling from among the curves of Wisconsin's hills, the highway was the only evidence of human labor, a precarious bridge stretched across a sea of brush, weeds and trees. The sea rolled softly, in sprays of yellow and orange, with a few red jets shooting up on the hillsides, with pools of remnant green in the hollows, under a pure blue sky.

    … "What I'd like to see," said Rearden, "is a billboard."

    8. Crime doesn't exist, even in areas of extreme poverty.

    In the world of Atlas Shrugged, the only kind of violence that anyone ever worries about is government thugs stealing the wealth of the heroic capitalists at gunpoint to redistribute it to the undeserving masses. There's no burglary, no muggings, no bread riots, no street crime of any kind. This is true even though the world is spiraling down a vortex of poverty and economic depression. And even though the wealthy, productive elite are mysteriously disappearing one by one, none of Rand's protagonists ever worry about their personal safety.

    Apparently, in Rand's view, poor people will peacefully sit and starve when they lose their jobs. And that's a good thing for her, because accepting that crime exists might lead to dangerous, heretical ideas — like that maybe the government should pay for education and job training, because this might be cheaper and more beneficial in the long run than spending ever more money on police and prisons.

    9. The only thing that matters in life is how good you are at making money.

    In a scene from part I, the copper baron Francisco d'Anconia explains to Dagny why rich people are more valuable than poor people:

    "Dagny, there's nothing of any importance in life — except how well you do your work. Nothing. Only that. Whatever else you are, will come from that. It's the only measure of human value. All the codes of ethics they'll try to ram down your throat are just so much paper money put out by swindlers to fleece people of their virtues. The code of competence is the only system of morality that's on a gold standard."

    You'll note that this speech makes no exceptions for work whose product is actively harmful to others. If you burn coal that chokes neighboring cities in toxic smog, if you sell unhealthful food that increases obesity and diabetes, if you sell guns and fight every attempt to pass laws that would restrict who could buy them, if you paint houses with lead and insulate pipes in asbestos — relax, you're off the hook! None of this matters in the slightest in Rand's eyes. Are you good at your job? Do you make money from it? That's the only thing anyone should ever care about.

    10. Smoking is good for you.

    Almost all of Rand's heroes smoke, and not just for pleasure. In one minor scene, a cigarette vendor tells Dagny that smoking is heroic, even rationally obligatory:

    "I like cigarettes, Miss Taggart. I like to think of fire held in a man's hand. Fire, a dangerous force, tamed at his fingertips … When a man thinks, there is a spot of fire alive in his mind — and it is proper that he should have the burning point of a cigarette as his one expression."

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    It's no coincidence that Atlas Shrugged expresses these views. Ayn Rand herself was a heavy smoker, and she often asserted that she was the most rational person alive; therefore, she believed, her preferences were the correct preferences which everyone else should emulate. Beginning from this premise, she worked backward to explain why everything she did was an inevitable consequence of her philosophy. As part of this, she decided that she smoked tobacco not because she'd become addicted to it, but because it's right for rational people to smoke while they think.

    In case you were wondering, Rand did indeed contract lung cancer later in life, and had an operation to remove one lung. But even though she eventually came to accept the danger of smoking, she never communicated this to her followers or recanted her earlier support of it. As in other things, her attitude was that people deserve whatever they get.

  60. Yes. All the fabulous rights of objectivism. But, I want to keep Christianity and quiet generosity. Individuals that work together can be outstanding. E Pluribus Unum. However, Power Corrupts.

  61. Keep in mind that economics is a subset of psychology, so there's no way to make the math work without acknowledging economics is human behavior. It's not physics.

  62. It isn't about beating others in the world of Atlas Shrugged it is about everyone working and producing. Giving good value for good value is something we should all want. ALSO being kind to others isn't forbidden, but charity should be on the givers terms.

  63. I'm kind of amused about a Rand fangirl giving a lecture about liberty and opportunity where her argument is exclusively focused on people who are already very rich or powerful, and doesn't even acknowledge the existence of people like me. What does any of this have to do with me? Oh boy, I get to choose which boot is on my neck!

  64. There is no such thing as "Crony Capitalism", what you are referring to is called "CORPORATISM".

    Cronyism completely contradicts Capitalism at the root.

  65. By equating crony capitalism with capitalism, this professor makes an error. Using government to gain competitive advantage is NOT capitalism.

  66. Atlas Shrugged's world was one where the Government wants to run the economy at the pace of its weakest link and hold everyone else at that speed by force.

  67. Reardon should have picked a couple of very powerful competitors and cut them in by licensing – letting them lobby on their own and thus his behalf. That's something Rand didn't see imo.

  68. I don't want to put blind faith into some all-powerful institution and hope it's completely altruistic and not filled with personal agendas.

  69. I think this person has the Ideas in Atlas Shrugged wrong. Ayn Rand was a fan of Free Market Capitalism.

  70. Galt and the rest of Rand's fictional "heroes' might contribute to society but that also take a great deal from society.
    They are the ones who think simply because they own the means and distribution of stuff they have th right to dictate to the people how that stuff should be used and in doing so take for themselves not only a very great deal of the wealth society (not them) produce but also the power to dictate to others under what conditions of work, pay, they are going to get.
    The think is pure smoke and mirrors nonsense

  71. Basically, she’s not the best choice to look for political ideology and government. She’s an author. Her philosophy doesn’t work in the practical worldview for society and government. That’s my only issue is when people utilize these authors with liberal mindset because it relates to their way of thinking. Many Millennials misplace what she’s trying to say and because of how modern liberals think, shows how our educational system is failing.

  72. this person is a moron … critical of capitolism … bullshit ….. she is in favor of capitalism … which thrives in freemarkets …

  73. half of what this person is saying about ayn rand is true … she didnt believe in liberalism she believed in capitalism which she states in some of her interviews …. she states that products of an individuals effort belong to individual not the collective or the state ….. that is true freedom ..

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