Discover... Atlas Shrugged

I’ve been running through thought experiments to expose myself to ideas I am habitually cut off from. Like a personal empathy/privilege bootcamp.

Anyhow, I got to thinking, I have lists of the lists of books I want to read, but I don’t list one I do not want to read.

Atlas Shrugged.

I don’t have such a terrible association with this book that I hate it or anything. It was just the first to pop in my head of books I didn’t feel compelled to read. Tank gawd it was 50 Shades!

Anyhow, why? Because so many fuckers mention this book, it is like a god damn cult tome. Weird people, ya know? And Rand eirself, very interesting, but not all that compelling.

Also, Bioshock was kinda boring for me, and completely unfairly, I layer that critique on Atwell Sendhelp as well, despite Rand not in fact being a producer of that game.

So here is a very small concession that I have more to read outside my comfort zone, and maybe Atlast Surrender will prove insightful into the sick minds of elected American officials.

Read-a-long in #mediaclub

I was going to mention when I studied philosophy as an undergrad we spent a short bit of time on Objectivism. It didn’t mesh well with me. I wrote this book off myself without reading it; but did make a stab at trying to grok objectivism itself.

It’s also the book the Aan Rand institute pimps out the most. They donate a little under half a million copies every year to highschool students. Trying to infect the young with it.

So other libertarian propaganda aside; if your vulnerable to egoism. There is an organization out there trying to infect you at a young developmentally significant age.

Between that and the fact that it’s a philosophy that is apparently designed to tell the wealthy everything they largely want to hear. And its popularity amongst a certain niche kind of explains itself.


I can never think about Ayn Rand without remembering this scene from Dirty Dancing.

I read Atlas Shrugged in high school. I admit in my youth I fell into the objectivist trap, being headstrong and intelligent and located in what I thought of a backwater high school the message that some people are just born better and more capable and everyone who is an idiot deserves to be and should just get out of the other people’s way was very attractive.

Some people don’t enjoy the writing, but I thought that as a novel, much of the early material was pleasant to read as well. Maybe it’s because I have a fascination and love of competent, capable characters who ramble on about the details of their passion (trains in Dagny Taggart’s case, metallurgy and workaholism for Henry Rearden). The word-for-word recounting of multiple-hour speeches can get wearing though, and towards the end structurally it kind of falls apart.

I think the alt-text of XKCD 1049 gets it right:

I had a hard time with Ayn Rand because I found myself enthusiastically agreeing with the first 90% of every sentence, but getting lost at ‘therefore, be a huge asshole to everyone.’