After another dive into Ayn Rand and ‘Atlas Shrugged’ I come out of the waters more informed but not less bewildered about the precepts of it all. I find more clarity in her words from interviews and old film clippings than I do from what others say and her books. Ayn chose the name of her philosophical view ‘Objectivism’ yet ‘Atlas Shrugged’ is filled with a personal bias and judgments that have little to do with being objective. After leaning some of her history and her story from her own words her personal biases are more visible in her work. Her notion that she is free of personal judgment free of bias in all ways is not reflected in her work or her philosophy.
It is arrogant for one to assume they are free of all past and present influences. It may be a goal or obtainable in moments or lengths of time, even to some degree for much of a lifetime, with vigilance and work, though boasting of such an achievement is a good indication it has not been achieved.
Then there is Ms Rand’s view of “the common man” often with ridicule sometimes distain; these views seem to come from a childhood experience with the Russian revolution and the mass distribution of wealth, specifically the wealth of her father and his subsequent emotional psychological and financial downfall. Some of her views have been transformed and relayed by her disciples, while most of her own words are ambiguous; less so in the two novels.
More on the ‘common man’
Atlas Shrugged V The Grapes of Wrath:
I find it ironic that the Rand family closely resembles the Joad family in the novel ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ by John Steinbeck, the main distinctive difference is the Joad family are itinerant farmers in America and the Rand family were intellectual elitist in Russia. Both suffered a great loss during economic and political upheaval. The politics in America during the 30’s was subtle and in 1917 Russia it was dramatic but the outcome was the same; financial upheaval and migration.
Rosasharn Joad V John Galt:
Similar experience produces two distinctly different offspring: Rosasharn Joad and John Galt. Simply stated John Galt is the virtue of selfishness or Egoism, Rosa Joad is the virtue of piety or self-sacrifice.
Dagny Taggart V Tom Joad:
Both are the protagonists, both ‘rule the roust’ in their stories. Dagny runs the railroad because her brother is inept, Tom runs the Joad family because his father and mother are growing old, both are persecuted by society. One is an industrialist the other a revolutionary. Both are individualist striving for freedom independence and self rule. Both fail in part but succeed in a kind of self liberation as social outcasts.
James Taggart V Ma & Pa Joad:
James is the privileged child, in charge but inept. Greed and vanity causes his downfall and the downfall of the family wealth. Ma and Pa, practical warm-spirited hardworking, broken by the loss of a means to support the family
MsD expresses her opinion:
On ‘Atlas Shrugged’ the novel
It is a heard read, the voice I hear in it is the author’s and the characters get lost in her voice. I put it down often and it takes time before I pick it up again. I keep on reading it because I am fond of the author. The romance seems unreal to me, than again I do not care for romance novels so I am not the best judge of that. As to the philosophical side of the novel it seems harsh critical unrealistic and one sided. If this was all I knew about Rand’s philosophy I would think her to be naive and cruel. But I do know more about her philosophy and in that other stuff I see generosity and goodwill. Yes she has opinions regrets and sorrow, who does not? Ayn Rand sited this as her “magnum opus” I believe she was mistaken that phrase should go to ‘The Fountainhead’. As a mystery and science fiction novel ‘Atlas Shrugged’ leaves much to be desired. In conclusion the book attempts to be all encompassing rather it is cluttered and satisfies little of my literary needs. I would give this book no prizes no awards and only one recommendation; Ayn Rand is an important mid 20th century figure, important enough to be studied and read. Do not limit your studies of her to just this book.
On Ayn Rand’s philosophy:
That is much harder to get a handle on. It seems to have a mixture of Aristotle; Micaville Pyrrhonism and later Philosophical Skepticism spearheaded by David Hume John Locke, George Berkeley and other Empiricist emphasizing the existence of free will and its incompatibility with idea that everything is cause and effect. Or something like that.
There is much about individual rights egoism selfishness in her work some about the negative effects of altruism. Others have taken her words and work twisting it around to give some kind of sanction to discard a personal and social consciences to discard kindness and charity but I do not think that was her intent. Like most people from another era, from another time they are misunderstood and misquoted. I think her being maligned by her critics was her own doing, her frustration with not being accepted and her peers; her inability to gain recognition from some imaginary or real social circle has more to do with her priggish attitude than anything else.
It is no simple matter to break free from family traditions and parental influences along with social and cultural backgrounds to obtain autonomy. We derive advantages from our social circles and those advantages must be let go of if autonomy is to be held for any length of time and it will be an ongoing effort to maintain that autonomy. From what I have seen and read of Ayn Rand she struggled with those outside influences much like the rest of us and fared better at times and worse at times. Only her close friends and herself can determine if she had a satisfied life and she and most all her friends are gone so that seems irrelevant. It is not a question of who is right or wrong but whether or not something of value was created. I do believe she did create something of value. What is gleamed from that body of work is up to the viewer.
That old and often quoted adage “There is nothing new under the sun” holds true with philosophy. Ayn Rand’s views on this were taken from a myriad of other philosophers. What fascinates me most about Ayn Rand is her humanisms her flawed and troubled character.
Father owned a humongous dilapidated house just outside of a big city in a small state of a great country. He could never keep up with the maintenance or complete any project, it was all too much for him and he was alone. The house was slowly crumbling into roughen.
War came to our country and father was drafted into service leaving the house to be looked after by his only child, a charming and precocious little girl.
In his time away father worried and dreamed about his house, sometimes his dreams were glorious, of a beautiful completed mansion done by his own hands. But mostly his dreams were nightmares that reflected his days at war, dreams with the house falling around him, endless dilapidated rooms with shattered windows, falling plaster, bursting pips and dripping sewage.
After a long time the war was over, father had grown old in battle and hardship. His dreams of the house were noting more than a flicker of a small candle’s light far off in a large darkened room.
Upon father’s homecoming, he had written no letters he made no calls; no one was there to greet him. He took the buss up Main Street got off at Maple and walked the three blocks up to his house. To his surprise his old dilapidation was now, in his eyes, a teaming monstrosity, construction going on everywhere, lumber exposed, half painted, additions flinging this way and that. ‘In shock’ would be understating his emotions at the sight. Walking through the cluttered yard filled with lumber, stone, brick and parked cars, in impertinent amazement he could see thirty or more young men and women bustling around with tools and materials doing things to his house! He grabbed one passerby on the shoulder and asked “whaattts going on here!?” “we are fixing our home” was the reply. His temper that often got out of control was now out of control. Rushing up the front porch steps, pushing working residents and some children aside crossing the threshold, the very threshold he had crossed many times in his dreams and as he entered the foyer he spewed out the most fowl profanities, the ones he learned in the midst of combat and slaughter, that even the oldest of the men working there cringed and took notice.
A boy not quite a man, tall with blond hair and deep blue striking eyes walked up to my father and inquired as to his health, his situation and his needs. This young man in his simple work clothes with his kind genital demeanor took my father aback. Not because of his warm smile or his piercing eyes but because he looked very much like father imagined he looked when he was a boy. The boy took father on a tour of the residence as father insisted that this was his house and that they had no right to be there or indeed,living there! As they went on with the tour, seeing all the hustling and bussing father grew even more agitated more distressed. All he could see was chaos, disorder and confusion and it reminded him of his time in war. Everything he saw with his eyes, of this house was decrepit. When they entered a bedroom he screamed out at the sight. His bedroom, the room where his wife of 2 short yeas had died, the room he painted black is now white filled with flowers, he screamed out “leave, everyone leave get out of my house”. Running and ranting throughout the big place, every room filled with young workers, each floor covered with playing children, spaces he had never seen before additions bright crisp and amazing in designee that he had not built, all he saw was the rubbish of his many years away. Then his eyes set upon his daughter and he stopped in his tracks. She was older now lovelier than ever.
My father’s eyes began to swell as he saw me I could sense his heart beating harder and he began to cry. I pulled him close reassured him he was home and that he was not forgotten, that yes all these people now lived here that it was their home too. His eyes cleared a little and he began to see the brightness of his home and loveliness of the people in it. He began to see that this was the home he had always wanted the home of his best dreams.
That night father slept on the front porch with some dogs he had never met before. The next day he came back into the house greeted everyone with loving eyes and kind words, his war was over.
Dedicated to my father who built a lovely home with lots of help from friends and family
Send me to the other side in a Cromer willow coffin sitting on a pedestal of dry oak logs branches and twigs. The air is thick with the aroma of lilac. When the sun begins to fall the pedestal is set ablaze. After the funeral fire the ashes are gathered and placed within tin canisters. Each canister is carried by a loved one and the ashes are scattered to the wind.
A guide to changing the current political system
The moment the whole of man kind has been waiting for..
Dan gives us a tour of his apartment!!11!!1!
please help me out by reblogging this video and as usual i will look through the notes and follow a bunch of you to say thanks! :D
It’s good to know that I’m not the only one with a specific stretch of carpet used for existential crises.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Heart of Atlanta Zero Mile Post
Every so often maybe two or three times a day or more I see or hear something, a story a picture a melody, sometimes just a few notes a few woods or images and they reflect something that I sense out of the corner of my eye or off in the distance a faint something, but that thing reflects itself inside me resonating brighter or louder and I feel at the core of things there is something grand in existence And at those moments I am so grateful to be alive. Even if life is finite those moments make it all worthwhile, so I hold on and go on enjoying the ride.