Skip to comments.FReeper Book Club: Atlas Shrugged, White Blackmail
Posted on 04/11/2009 7:40:36 AM PDT by Publius
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Nah, it’d get shot down by the black helicopters! Person to person is better. Viral so it’s hard to wipe out plus you can wait till you see the individual is ready. — The Destroyer ;-)
Which third would that be?
One of my very favorite Rand quotes.
For many of Rand's fans, this book seems to have led them to a turning point in their lives. Although I already was on-board with many of her views (on private industry and the free market), and even though I disagree with her on at least one issue (adultery), there were other points she made in this book that led me to stop and think and come to a realization...
One of those points was that, if a man's enemies can bring him down using his morality against him, that man must be a moral person. (I'm using the term "man" here in a general sense. That statement applies to everyone, both man and woman.)
Looking forward to next week's chapter.
That is a really tough question. I'll speculate but it isn't much more than that. The difficulty is that Rand tends to make the same point several different ways, each of which is pretty good. From the point of view of the author, for whom each of the different ways might be the only one that turns a light bulb on for the reader, there is a resistance to cutting any of them. For the editor, who has to sell the thing in a package that book stores will buy, it simply has to be smaller. In fact, AS almost didn't get published for that very reason - the editor who finally bought it had to threaten to quit in order to convince his superiors to go through with it. And for the reader contemplating an 1100-page brick it's pretty intimidating.
What I'd cut at this point might be some of the unneccessarily (IMHO) repetitive descriptions of Hank and Lillian's married life and perhaps the irritatingly theoretical explanations for why Dagny and Hank wind up sharing a bed. And some of the speeches seem artificially long - did Francisco really need upwards of five pages to make his Root Of Money point? And does anyone really think that a crowd at a wedding party would listen to it?
The real problem, I think, is that Rand was trying to balance a flow of logic with a flow of narrative and the two aren't always compatible. What the heck, I might change my mind a few chapters hence...
Especially if the class bully hits you over the head with it.
Deep waters indeed. I am inclined to hold that it cannot, although it certainly can strongly suggest it, contingent on the strength of the logical system. A lot of folks smarter than I am have tried it (Leibniz and Godel to name only two). But I don't think that faith would be necessary if it were actually possible to nail the thing down with human logic. A lot of folks smarter than I am disagree... ;-)
I guess we’re sort of saying the same thing from different perspectives. The Bible says that God has concealed himself from those considered wise in a worldly way. Now I think that in part He does this in exactly the way you allude to, that logic, pursued honestly, strongly suggests His existence, but it’s equivocal enough so that if you want to deny it, you can. So that’s one way he calls humble ones. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Please add me to list. Thanks!
I guess I shouldn’t have said “demonstrate”. From another perspective, how about the fact the the very existence and beauty of logic leave imply an awesome God, just like a beautiful field of flowers or a starry night sky? Not persuasive, I know, to someone who doesn’t want to be persuaded, but it was another slightly related facet of our discussion that occurred to me.
Erps. I are a typerist.
It gets back to the theme I'm working on concerning Rand running into what appear to be more or less universal problems in philosophy. Rand is attempting something bold and ambitious (some would say arrogant as well) by literally rewriting philosophy from first principles. None of what she says or does is unprecedented but it does seem to be largely original. And the difficulty with the refusal to "stand on the shoulders of giants" is that you end up having to climb up all that way by yourself, avoiding false paths that have already been identified, wasting time and effort re-inventing the philosophical wheel.
I think that she finds the arguments for the existence of God unsatisfying because they do not seem to follow those laws of the universe - nothing palpable, falsifiable, no experimental situation one might set up that will break one way if God exists and the other if He does not. It's a perfectly legitimate objection. Aristotle's conclusion was that those laws are necessarily subordinate to their source; Rand's was that those laws cannot be incompatible with their source and that compatibility must be proven for the source to be considered legitimate. Philosophy has been here before, many times.
You can certainly work an agnostic position out of it. Not an atheistic one, however, for exactly the same reason you can't work out a theistic one. This is precisely the reason that an atheistic position is essentially a matter of faith. If you can't prove that God is compatible with the laws of the universe, neither can you prove that He isn't. It's a false path.
A thing I'll be thinking about on this beautiful Easter Sunday. My best to all here!
Lillian has accomplished her goal, that of being a victim of an unfaithful husband. A comeuppance for both but having different values for each. Lillian now has a pile of bargaining chips ( or so she thinks ) and Hank begins to understand what medium of exchange Lillian uses.
its time for Rearden to become a team player.
It's an interesting take since Rearden has been a team player all along. He successfully runs his business after all. What is really being asked of him is to change his goal, not his ability to lead his team.
Some of our representatives in Washington (and elsewhere) seem to have the problem of wishing to be known as 'team players' but not understanding that when you join a team, you are committed to accomplishing their goals which may be detrimental to your constituents.
Theres no way to rule innocent men."
In my own observation, this strategy is also effectively employed by the powers that be through the _implied threat_ that one will be prosecuted for an action. Slap suits come to mind as well as unenforceable regulations. Both are designed to coerce the victim through intimidation and the possibility of large legal expenses. How many times have you heard someone say that 'you can't fight city hall?' Thus the ruling of innocent men can occur at even lower levels than Rand implies. This distinction may be splitting hairs but I see a much larger net cast with my interepretation than Rands. Consider the difference if every instance of coercion is considered a vote won or lost !
I saw the movie as well and the above site will help to clarify what was going on at the time with the people around her. I'm sure there are others but I found this one interesting.
Good point. I should have phrased it something like, "Dr. Ferris asks Hank to change teams and join the winning side."
Great website! Thanks so much for passing on the info.
That's true! Ferris is of the opinion that he is on the winning side. Does Dr. Ferris understand that he is a destroyer ? Do any of the looters understand where they are headed ? At this point it seems to Ferris that he is on the winning side, given his myopic view.
Quoting Sun Tzu ( The Art of War )...
So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will fight without danger in battles. If you only know yourself, but not your opponent, you may win or may lose. If you know neither yourself nor your enemy, you will always endanger yourself.
I know it is difficult, but please try not to be a spoiler.
To this point I have read nothing about gold and nothing about Galt’s Gulch.
Now I can guess way more than I wanted to.
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