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Thread: Is Atlas Getting Ready to Shrug?

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    Oh Really? Wilde's Avatar
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    Is Atlas Getting Ready to Shrug?

    I have had a back and forth relationships with Ayn Rand and her books since I was sixteen and I read Atlas Shrugged. When I first read it I fell in love and became determined to be an objectivist. Like most, I was turned off by Peikoff's dogmatism and became a recovering objectivist although, as a work of fiction, I still am entranced by Rand's work.

    Re-reading it this year I began to recall why I think this (and Fountainhead) are some of the best books I ever read. They are so pertinent in the political turmoil we are in today. I found myself looking towards the Rocky Mountains for an oasis where I could wait this time in history out while Mouch...ah...I mean Bush...ruins the world.

    Where is John Galt?
    "One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors." - Plato

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    Fountainhead has always been one of my ten favorite books ever. I have yet to read Atlas Shrugged. Perhaps I should move that to the top of my list (it's mired in the middle somewhere).
    I know someday you'll have a beautiful life, I know you'll be a star in somebody else's eyes... but why... why... why can't it be me?

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    Premium Member dagwood's Avatar
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    I will admit, I only read Atlas Shrugged because my mom named me Dagny after Dagny Taggart. I loved it...when it ended I wanted it to continue. I think I need to read it again.

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    Sexy evil genius Paulie's Avatar
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    Your name's Dagny? How cool!!! I thought that was a really beautiful name when I read the book.
    When you're ten years old and a car drives by and splashes a puddle of water all over you, it's hard to decide if you should go to school like that or try to go home and change and probably be late. So while he was trying to decide, I drove by and splashed him again. - Jack Handey

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    Premium Member dagwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paulie
    Your name's Dagny? How cool!!! I thought that was a really beautiful name when I read the book.

    Yup, my name is Dagny. Growing up, I hated the name but now I think it is pretty cool. :cool:

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    Oh Really? Wilde's Avatar
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    That is a cool name. You should read Atlas Shrugged if you liked Fountainhead...same general theme buy way different plot.
    "One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors." - Plato

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    Atlas Shrugged is also one of my top favorites.When things started to get out of hand in certain union negotiations I used to be part of , I'd always think of the book and how things got so out of hand.( Aromatherapy , Feng Sheui in workplaces )
    I always thought the concept of some nobody coming forward and taking over the world was cool.
    Dagny is a great name!

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    Premium Member dagwood's Avatar
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    I haven't read The Fountainhead...maybe I will. I definately enjoyed Atlas Shrugged more than I expected to. I agree, Dagny is a cool name

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    everyone's a critic... holly71's Avatar
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    What is "Atlas Shrugged" about? I mean, in a nutshell...
    I've never read it, but I've heard of it & some people say they love it & others say it's crap. Maybe if I had an idea of what it was about, then I could decide if I want to read it or not. Thanks!
    Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

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    Oh Really? Wilde's Avatar
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    !

    I would guess that Atlas ends up being about something different for everyone who reads it...but here is my take:

    The setting of Atlas is basically our world. America is a place where railroad lines criss-cross the nation delivering the goods of industry, New York City is the cultural capital, the industrialists are perceived to live like kings and the politicians are corrupt and profess the standard line about "caring for your fellow man". However, unlike our world, the industrialists are disappearing, one by one, and as they leave their factories are shut forever and the communities around them rot.

    In the power vacum that this dissapearance is creating, the politicans pass a series of laws to equalize competition, keep people employed and deter industrialists from disappearing. Such laws make all patents void and declare a moratorium on new invention so that no one can get the upper hand, they mandate that every producer of a product can only produce as much as their competitor, and so forth. These laws cripple the economy (see market economics 101).

    In the midst of all this, Dagny Taggart, heiress to Taggart Transcontinental is struggling to save her railroad. However, with the industrialists disappearing she can't get the best contractor to re-build it, or the best factory to make switches, or the best men to run her trains. Evern her brother is resentful of her attempt and tries to thwart her. However, she is a capable and energetic person/heroine and she takes her cause to Hank Rearden, who has one of the last and the best foundrys in the country. For her, Rearden makes beautiful rails out of his new alloy and she completes the new railroad line which will save her company - the John Galt Line.

    The rest of the story is about the mystery of these disappearances - who or what is taking away the industrialists - who or what is stopping the motor of the world? Into the mix, add one of the most deep and compelling love stories that I've ever come accross in a book, some philosophical musing (which you may or may not agree with), a cast of extremely interesting and diverse characters - both "good" and "bad" and an ending that will make your spine tingle with reverberations of just how close our worlds really are.

    Hope that helps!
    "One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors." - Plato

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