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Desc:The more you know...
Tags:Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, ugly people with ugly ideas
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Comment count is 42
Pillager - 2011-05-20
'Rough sex enthusiast' also works for Ayn Rand's oeuvre.
StanleyPain - 2011-05-20
When religious people try to use the argument that atheism is a "faith" just like religion, part of me winces inside because while the logical argument is "no that's not true and here's why...", I also know that Ayn Rand followers exist.
IrishWhiskey - 2011-05-20

Ayn Rand wrote her books with characters divided between the supermen, the hard-working but untalented servant laborer class, and the parasites who opposed the supermen only because they hate themselves and the world and wish to see it burn.

No wonder then it's like a religion. It's how Rand was able to build a cult where she banned art as 'unobjectivist' based on her whims, convinced her followers she had the right to demand their money without earning it, and to sex with their husbands, as she was inherently better.

The McK - 2011-05-20
I did not know about the husband-fucking.

Baldr - 2011-05-20
To be fair, it was just one husband, and it was more of an open-relationship thing where everyone involved was hypothetically okay with it.

That said, open relationships involving Ayn Rand work out about as well as you'd expect them to. The husband in question ended up being removed from her will, taken out of every acknowledgments section of her book, and she never spoke to him again.

IrishWhiskey - 2011-05-20
In "The Passion of Ayn Rand", Barbara Branden (the wife) describes the affair. Rand didn't get her consent, so much as tell her "The fact that you don't want me sleeping with your husband shows you are a weak parasite trying to suck away the happiness of stronger people. So either consent, or be excommunicated." There might be legal consent, but its classic cult behavior.

Branden was a devoted acolyte of Rand's and close to her throughout her life. And yet, "The orthodox Randists, led by Leonard Peikoff, have put it about that anyone who utters a word in praise of the book is to be shunned, boycotted, and cut off root and branch."

Baldr - 2011-05-20
Oh fuck. I didn't know about any of that.

You win this time, IrishWhiskey.

exy - 2011-05-20
So wait, what? There's an ultra-Randroid sect for whom AS is "too commercial" or some shit? Leonard who? This is some good stuff over here.

Baldr - 2011-05-20
Leonard Peikoff became her intellectual heir after she disowned husband guy we were talking about earlier. You can find a pretty sweet video clip of Bill O'Reilly trying to talk sense into him if you just Google his name. I would have submitted it some time ago, but I'm not about the low-hanging fruit.

FABIO - 2012-10-24
"the parasites who opposed the supermen only because they hate themselves and the world and wish to see it burn."

Ironically, that description applies more to John Galt and Atlas Shrugged fans.

Caminante Nocturno - 2011-05-20
Ayn Rand fled Communist Russia in order to become the embodiment of everything wrong with Capitalism and the Western world.
SolRo - 2011-05-20
Fled? We couldn't get rid of her fast enough.

Born in the RSR - 2011-05-20
Straw-maning much?
Bort - 2011-05-20
"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: 'The Lord of the Rings' and 'Atlas Shrugged'. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs."

- John Rogers at kfmonkey.blogspot.com
Random - 2011-05-20
Oooooh fuck, that's gold! *****

Nikon - 2011-05-20

Caminante Nocturno - 2011-05-20
Pretty much.

phalsebob - 2011-05-20
These fart videos are getting out of hand.
Mother_Puncher - 2011-05-20
On the surface, I can agree with some of the things said here. Like the pursuit of personal happiness regardless of any social obligations or what you're "supposed" to do. I'm not saying fuck everybody else but doing what you truly want to do whether it's help people or not. But beyond that, it seems Rand just wants to potray the rich CEO of a company as a victim. He's a victim because he's greedy and wants to live beyond his means. It's less of a story about the needs of an individual and more about the wants of a greedy CEO. That is the worst part of capitalism and the mindset that a corporation is an individual and has the same wants and needs of an individual is childish at best. God, fuck Rand, fuck libertarians, fuck capitalism. I'm going to go write a book about how Hitler was victimized for doing what he wanted.
jangbones - 2011-05-20
There are actually a lot of really interesting and worthwhile concepts in Rand's writing.

That said, I don't really disagree with any of the other comments here criticizing the giant problems with her philosophy.

And her ardent followers are just worthless.

exy - 2011-05-20
I think the most charitable thing you can say about Rand's writing, *which I haven't been subjected to but am responding only to the commentary I've seen*, is that the story might describe a set of circumstances under which the seeming asshole is the more valuable character. Randroids go along with the idea that the circumstances involved make for a good stand-in for the general circumstances of the world, and so they infer that the seeming asshole is the hero in general. If you think, for one of the infinitely many possible reasons, that those circumstances are merely contingent, and so that the Ultimate Ethical Theory requires more than what has been given in a /novel/, then you may think that even full agreement with the story's heroes and their actions does not suffice to show that the story could establish the basic moral code of humanity. At most, it shows how things ought to work under a particular set of circumstances. Randroids think that particular set is pretty much the set that always obtains. That's my theory.

Baldr - 2011-05-21
Rand had serious issues, but she would never have commented on something she hadn't actually read, so she's less of a tool than exy is.

exy - 2011-05-21
Ba-boosh. Only commenting on my impressions, gained from encounters with a few fanatics in my day. Good job ferreting out the lack of credentials in my post.

memedumpster - 2011-05-20
Hank Reardon created Nu-Metal, another reason to hate Ayn Rand.
kingarthur - 2011-05-20
Fuck Randroids.
dystopianfuturetoday - 2011-05-20
Ayn Rand's fictional protagonists were always brilliant, creative, highly driven, highly principled artists, news paper magnates, architects and inventors, which are characteristics you never find in her small minded, sheltered followers. In real life, her followers would be far more likely to complain about modernist architecture or avant-garde orchestral music than to create it.

Ayn Rand herself, failed greatness in both writing and philosophy. She was no Howard Roark.

IrishWhiskey - 2011-05-20
"Ayn Rand challenges convention thinking by making the heroes the ones not fighting for the public interest."

No, she doesn't. Her heroes are people who contribute to society, risk their own lives and destroy their fortunes for the greater good, and never abuse their positions of power for self-interest. She makes those who invoke 'public interest' psychotic monsters who wish to see the world burn.

Had she made a the book where Dagny builds an unsafe tunnel because it's cheaper to write off the lives, where Rearden exploits labor in China, and John Galt releases a flawed energy device so he can issue expensive updates every year, it could at least have been an interesting philosophical treatise. Instead it's a battle between straw-men over words with inverted meanings.
snothouse - 2011-05-20
Hair and greenscreens don't work well together.
misterbuns - 2011-05-20
They do.

She just couldn't use her productive ability to find the spill supression button in After Effects.

jangbones - 2011-05-20
conversely, if you light the set and talent properly they work just fine

these people are amateur hacks who do not deserve to live

IrishWhiskey - 2011-05-20
I say we sabotage the infrastructure, then a handful of us hide in a cave and wait for billions of people to die, so that way the amateurs and idiots are gone and we can take over unopposed using our skills as company executives and songwriters.

No wait, that's idiotic.

glendower - 2011-05-20
Can anyone explain how it is possible to be this naive?
Dynamicuno - 2011-05-20
That's exactly what I was thinking.

spoken loosely...No man is an island.

Cena_mark - 2011-05-20
Did you know that the University of Wisconsin did a study that found that people who hate the writings of Ayn Rand are likely to be closeted Rand fans.
SolRo - 2011-05-20
Like how republicans are gay?

misterbuns - 2011-05-20
With the puzzling exception of Aristotle, Rand rejects the whole of human philosophy out of hand.

Really, though, what is evident in reading her stuff is that her ideas inhabit a sort of world of forms more oblique than anything Plato ever hypothesized.

So, it's pretty lol to hear one of her acolytes say:

"How much we would like to meet heroes like Dagny Taggart and Hank Reardan in real life."

Yeah. That would be something, wouldn't it?
Binro the Heretic - 2011-05-20
Atlas Shrugged, the super-condensed version:

An engineer hired by a company to research & develop new technology invents a fabulous new pollution-free device that would solve the world's energy problems. Rather than turn this technology over to his employers, he opts to violate his contract after the company announces it will give more pay and benefits to its workers.

He uses his technological know-how to set up a city in the middle of nowhere surrounded by a force field that makes it invisible to the outside world.

He convinces all the people who inherited resource-rich land and huge corporations to destroy those resources and plunge the world into a new dark age while they sit safe and sound in their hidden paradise.

For their entertainment, they also brought in playwrights whose plays nobody wanted to see, novelists whose books nobody wanted to read and composers whose music nobody wanted to hear.
exy - 2011-05-20
Man. Fuck those guys.

Bort - 2011-05-20
Rand's admiration of a real-life child killer:


SteamPoweredKleenex - 2012-07-05
@Bort: Your link has changed. It's now:


And while I'm glad someone is adding to the "Rand was a nutcase" files for those who still worship her lunacy, I would point out that in several of his other essays, Michael Prescott actually thinks "medium" John Edwards is a REAL psychic and that the dead can talk to the living.

FABIO - 2012-10-24
Further condensed: Jonas Salk was immoral to not charge a billion dollars for the polio vaccine.
FABIO - 2012-10-24
^Binro reply

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