A fantastic quote bubbled up in comments the other day:

“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

I find this hilarious, because it it true.

Category: Philosophy, Really, really bad calls

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

68 Responses to “QOTD: Two Novels That Can Change Your Life”

  1. Nuggz says:

    Atlas Shrugged in one of the most pedantic pieces of garbage ever written.

    The fact that the GOteaParty carries it around like the jaw bone of an ass is classic.

    It’s similar to their “profound” knowledge of the bible.

  2. VennData says:

    This is blatant literary class warfare.

    This sort of talk only inhibits the novel creators.

    Burn these books, it’s the only way to reform the entire book writing process.

  3. kenny powers says:

    I’ll add a third book: Keynes’ General Theory. Another longish, not very readable book that makes a few interesting points, but also one that idiots use as some sort of fucking bible (hey, there’s a fourth book with similar characteristics) to guide their pathetic lives.

  4. contrabandista13 says:

    Lord of the rings was fun to read when I was 13 years old and smoking bad Mexican pot…. WOW…! Atlas Shrugged was boring, I couldn’t get through the first chapter…. It’s still boring and now, I can’t get through the first page….

    Try reading “Bailout Nation”…… My daughter loved it….. :-)

  5. lunartop says:

    Also the CGI was better in the movie version of LOTR.

  6. herewegoagain says:

    Ayn Rand was hopped up on amphetamines while scribbling most of that literary monstrosity, which partially explains the delusional fanaticism that seems so attractive to the feeble minded. And Alan Greenspan, of course.

    I’ll add Nietzsche’s “Ecce Homo” to the list of childish books, although he had a much more legitimate excuse:
    syphilitic insanity.

  7. kenny powers:
    Have you disproved Keynes yet? Didn’t think so.

  8. noahmckinnon says:

    I love that quote. I usually paste it whenever I see someone extolling that unreadable garbage. I think I saw in one of your What I’m Reading lists, a link to Jesse’s Café American a post about her and her admiration for a man named William Edward Hickman, psychopathic murderer (mutilated and killed a young girl whom he ransomed to her parents).

    from Jesse’s blog:
    - – - – - – - –
    In her notes, Rand complains that poor Hickman has become the target of irrational and ugly mob psychology:

    “The first thing that impresses me about the case is the ferocious rage of a whole society against one man. No matter what the man did, there is always something loathsome in the ‘virtuous’ indignation and mass-hatred of the ‘majority.’… It is repulsive to see all these beings with worse sins and crimes in their own lives, virtuously condemning a criminal…

    “This is not just the case of a terrible crime. It is not the crime alone that has raised the fury of public hatred. It is the case of a daring challenge to society. It is the fact that a crime has been committed by one man, alone; that this man knew it was against all laws of humanity and intended that way; that he does not want to recognize it as a crime and that he feels superior to all. It is the amazing picture of a man with no regard whatever for all that society holds sacred, and with a consciousness all his own. A man who really stands alone, in action and in soul.

    We get an idea of the “sins and crimes” of ordinary people when Rand discusses the jury in the case: “Average, everyday, rather stupid looking citizens. Shabbily dressed, dried, worn looking little men. Fat, overdressed, very average, ‘dignified’ housewives. How can they decide the fate of that boy? Or anyone’s fate?”


  9. hue says:

    the Fountainhead was not a bad read.

  10. Expat says:

    I reread Atlas Shrugged last year since it was in fashion again, or at least being discussed by talking heads who could probably not even spell Atlas. It is middle literature and heavy-handed, fantasy philosophy. One might as well draw one’s economic philosophy from Grimm’s fairy tales.

    I will buy a beer for anyone who has actually managed to read the entire John Galt speech near the end. I read the first page and then skipped to the end of the book hoping that the bubonic plaque killed off everyone. Oh, the disappointment.

  11. jack says:

    i read the fountainhead and rings at about the same time, maybe 16. my mom gave me the former, not because she was a randian, but because the story revolves around an architect, and i was considering that as a career. never became an architect, but the novel’s emphasis on sticking to your principles and vision, and not catering to groupthink, made an impression. not a bad film, either:

  12. whskyjack says:

    Good one.
    to me the followers of Ayn Rand are the same as the lefties who ran around exchanging Chairman Mao quotes. It is one thing to be doing it when you are 20 and a college sophomore. At that age you test a lot of weird things out to see how they sound, but by the time you are in your 30′s it is a different matter


  13. arogersb says:

    yeah, I would add The Audacity of Hope to that list as well…

  14. gordo365 says:

    I summarize Atlas Shrugged as a) become and atheist b) fend for yourself.

    Seems like everyone talks about the self serving capitalist part. But doesn’t ignores the Godless part of “Godless capitalist”.

    A peanut butter and jelly sandwich without the jelly isn’t a PB and J.

  15. gman says:

    Ayn has already won.
    She wrote at time when USSR, China and India where close to complete communism.
    Western European governments controlled all of there big industries. The US had top tax rates of 80%(compared to 36/15% today) at least twice the level of unionization it does today!

    Be a gracious winner already and stop before we end up like Brazil or some other bifurcated society full of social unrest!

  16. gordo365 says:

    That’s “But ignores the Godless part of “Godless capitalist”.”

  17. acai says:

    I, too, believe Bailout Nation is a much better book than Atlas Shrugged.

    Ayn Rand’s philosophy may sound good to some (not to me) in theory, but in practice, it is ridiculous as demonstrated by the collapse of 2007. Even Ayn Rand devotee Alan Greenspan admitted the idea that business could police themselves because it is in their own best interests to do so, has been proven dead wrong.

    The Republican candidates all seem to agree that the problem with the economy right now is that there is too much regulation. They are idiots! Since one of them will probably win in 2012, this country is in big trouble.

  18. finance says:

    I first read the LOTR as a 13 year old, I also remember reading the Fountainhead and Atlas –in that order. Honestly, I usually skipped the long monologues. What I found amazing about the events of the past few years (as they relate to the financial crisis) is how well the Financial industry fit the mold of the” moochers” — got the Gov’t to make things better for them!

    The Fountainhead — was a shorter book that made one point: Stick to your guns! As a 15 year old that made lots of sense — and it worked for a 15 year old sense of entitlement — probably why if I read it now I would find it glib and self centered — plus I’ve hired my share of architects, and invariably they are insufferable SOB who will never have to live in what they build!

  19. SANETT says:

    I wish Ron Paul and the other Ayn Rand fans out there would do a little international travel, skipping the five stars and going where most of the world’s population lives….i.e. places where absent resources one starves to death in the street. See what it’s like to come upon people so destitute that the kindest wish you could have is that they die soon. Is that what we want here? It’s what an unfortunately large percentage of the population wants — and they can both breed and vote. Scary.

  20. gman says:

    “I wish Ron Paul and the other Ayn Rand fans out there would do a little international travel, skipping the five stars and going where most of the world’s population lives…”

    Especially those that have weak governments..libertarian paradises like somalia, nigeria and afghanistan…gun right ultra sacred!

  21. AlexM says:

    I always thought it more than a bit ironic that Randian Greenspan would be head of the Federal Reserve.

    In the spirit of his free market obsession is there anything less free market than controlling an economy through monetary policy?

    It would seem to me that if he was following his beliefs, he would have never have taken the job, but I guess power is a more powerful aphrodisiac than the failed Randian philosophy that he loves.

  22. AlexM says:


    That is what they say they want from the comfort of their cushy couches, full bellies, and guaranteed government safety net.

    Ron Paul and the other’s beliefs are fine in 100 person communities, where one man can actually take care of himself and family; in the US and other developed countries the economic systems are more socialistic than capitalistic but they refuse to acknowledge that public schools, fire and police departments, sewers, the court system, the entire military, among other things, are totally socialized. And while none of them are perfect, imagine a world without them.

  23. Bomber Girl says:

    Odd man out here. Loved Ayn Rand and LOTR. Ayn Rand was great guide to contrarian investing and avoiding the herd of sheep mentality prevalent on Wall Street and elsewhere. And LOTR, well, c’mon, orcs, elves, wizards, hobbits, these are all Wall Street characters. Although I always wondered what happened to the Entwives.

  24. ZackAttack says:

    I’ve gotta work on an analogy to this quote for ’1984′… ‘One is about a brutal, repressive totalitarian regime. The other is about the life of Winston Smith.”

  25. Ridge Runner says:

    Greenspan many years ago went over to the moochers. He has been in their pay (bad forecasts and all) ever since.
    Rothbard on Greenspan

    Parallel Lives: Liberty or Power?
    Clearly, Greenspan opted for power, and the rest is history.

    It’s true that LOTR is a genuine contribution to literature and Atlas Shrugged is a puerile turgid adolescent fantasy. Greenspan floated along with her crowd as long as it seemed helpful to his career, and floated away when running with Keynesians looked more promising. He has been a faithful servant of the TBTF banksters and all their crony friends.

  26. Ridge Runner says:

    @Sanett: ” I wish Ron Paul and the other Ayn Rand fans out there would do a little international travel, skipping the five stars and going where most of the world’s population lives.”

    At least when Ron Paul patronizes the 5-star places (to the extent he does . . . I have no information on that, except that when I’ve run across him, he wasn’t staying at such a venue) he does it on his own dime, or those of his supporters.


    “As a physician, Paul routinely lowered fees or worked for free and refused to accept Medicaid or Medicare payments.[16][17] As a member of Congress, he continues to refuse to sign up for the government pension that he would be entitled to in order to avoid receiving government money, saying it would be “hypocritical and immoral.”[18]” – Wikipedia listing

  27. [...] Fantastic quote of the day thanks to TBP. (The Big Picture) [...]

  28. DeDude says:

    “I, too, believe Bailout Nation is a much better book than Atlas Shrugged”

    Well if you set the bar that low – I believe that Bailout Nation is much better than the Mickey Mouse stories.

  29. Edoc says:

    Ayn Rand’s name from birth was Alissa Rosenbaum.

    The Winston Tunnel scene in Atlas Shrugged shows Ayn Rand’s kind of morality. She describes in detail the evil train passengers, including women and children who die because the engineers and conductors ditch the train and let it crash.


    “It is said that catastrophes are a matter of pure chance, and there were those who would have said that the passengers of the Comet were not guilty or responsible for the thing that happened to them.

    … [ description of passengers ]…

    These passengers were awake; there was not a man aboard the train who did not share one or more of their ideas. As the train went into the tunnel, the flame of Wyatt’s Torch was the last thing they saw on earth.”

  30. EIB says:

    It’s about working hard and contributing to society. Wow, what a deplorable concept. People are such clueless idiots. Keep parroting what you’re read on blogs. If you read it at 16, you’ll have no idea what it’s about. Funny how no one here has actually READ Atlas Shrugged.


    BR: Human history reflects development of cooperative society as a survival advantage. Does anyone believe you can’t work hard and contribute to society and not be a self-involved contemptible radical selfishness?

  31. grandparoach says:

    Are you guys okay? I mean: you compare the book that is admired by hundreds of extremely successful people with “Bailout Nation”? Atlas Shrugged is going to be remembered in a hundred years. This website is very likely going to be gone by then so is the book by Ritholtz. What always strikes me is not how ignorant sometimes people are, but half-assed people. Fool of crap people, who praise capitalism when they are making money and play populistic tone when they want to please crowds. This is the country that was build by people who praised Ayn Rand. Any really successful person (I don’t mean by showing-up-on-TV-program standards), I mean the person who can own his own jet, is more likely to love Rand than a middle class person.

  32. machinehead says:

    ‘I’ll add Nietzsche’s “Ecce Homo” to the list of childish books, although he had a much more legitimate excuse: syphilitic insanity.’

    Presumably modern medicine has spared the POTUS from the tertiary stages of that scourge. So what’s his excuse for the dreadful The Audacity of Hope?

  33. favjr says:

    Ayn Rand’s ideal human was a sociopath, the largest percentage of whom are found in prisons and at stock exchanges:



    Most economic theories also assume that humans are essentially sociopathic — i.e., so-called rational economic actors.

    We let these people run society via our banking system. No wonder we are in so much difficulty today.

  34. Sarge says:

    It’s nice to see so much moral certainty on display.

  35. covel says:

    I don’t care left or right, the first objective of every politician is not to do something “good”, or help you, or fix this or that. No, the first objective of every politician is to get elected. They love how those power chairs feel on their derrieres. Rand was not perfect, and I am not here to defend every last word she put in print (who knows how many words that is or what she said), but she was very good at describing how power corrupts those inside government. I read Atlas and Fountainhead a decade ago, but those simple themes stuck with me.

    Disclaimer: I have traveled quite a bit and would prefer to live in Singapore, think GS (among many) should have failed, don’t plan to vote for Ron Paul (or anyone), see no rationale for why we are in Afghanistan, thought the Occupy Atlanta group was looney tunes (see the video), believe pot should be legal (even though I don’t care for it), and I like straight shooters like Bill Maher and Mark Cuban. BTW, Cuban’s piece about getting rich is spot on:


  36. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    Some folks who have commented on this thread have sucked the government tit for all of their adult life, without the slightest qualm.

    Moral certainty.


  37. Rohdewarrior says:

    I don’t remember the Orcs in Atlas Shrugged, but perhaps I skipped over that part [I did a lot of that with both books].

  38. Petey Wheatstraw says:


    If you think the power resides in government, you probably aren’t paying attention. “This” AND “that” have been “fixed,” that’s why we’re screwed. Corporatism Uber Alles.

  39. covel says:

    Petey Wheatstraw, who is ‘we’? I posted Cuban’s link to share a very good view, one I happen to share. That’s my direction.

  40. ElSid says:

    That’s plagiarized from Raj Patel’s “The Value of Nothing”!!!!!

    Chapter 10, Page 172 of the Picador paperback:

    “There are two novels that can transform a bookish fourteen-year-old’s life. The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish daydream that can lead to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood in which large chunks of the day are spent inventing ways to make real life more like a fantasy novel. The other is a book about orcs.”


    BR: John responds:

    “It was picked up by a few places. Raj Patel included it in his book VALUE OF NOTHING, believing it was a quote from a friend, not knowing the friend was actually quoting my blog. Mr. Patel then issued a very nice correction and sent me a very sincere letter apologizing, so I always considered the issue closed.

    Thanks for taking the time to check the source.



  41. ElSid says:

    BR/John: Cool. Sorry for assuming that because Raj’s version is hard copy, the blog must be the plagiarizer! That’s a lesson learned. Cheers.

  42. wkevinw says:

    Quoting: “BR: Your partisanship is showing !”

    While I agree with your basic amusement, BR would say he doesn’t let his partisanship show, and….
    he would be wrong.

  43. ElSid says:

    Well, why not show a little partisanship? Isn’t Rand kind of like the Eldridge Cleaver of the rich?

    She made Greenspan what he was, and as it turns out, J. Galt did exactly the opposite of what she said he’d do, and hung around for the tax-payer-funded bailout. All those captains of industry backstopped by all that cash requisitioned from the unwashed masses! NOT what she predicted. And in fact, since the captions of industry are the ones who have captured the government, they will end up making the government work for them, to print, and thereby lay a tax on the proles, via inflation, with that transfer making the nominally squeezed a little more whole. And that’s all in place to happen because so many are still infected by her pathology.

  44. Michael says:

    Sorry Barry, but I too loved “Atlas Shrugged”…. I think you just didn’t get it…


    BR: I got 2 things from the book:
    1. Rand did not understand human behavior and motivation; her view of how humans operate was false
    2. Pedantic, clumsy, boring, inelegant writer
    Its not that I didn’t get it, its that I didn’t like it.

    Give me Orwell anyday . . .

  45. tagyoureit says:

    The only reasons to read either of those books is to see how different they are from the movie and to marvel at CGI. :P

  46. AlexM says:

    it is hardly partisanship to merely point out that Rand writing’s were as cuckoo as she was and her adherents even more cuckoo for believing in it. And a sentient person of any political persuasion is able to distinguish between her fantasy and the political realities in this world.

    Partisanship, clearly, has nothing to do with it.

  47. kenny powers says:

    “PhilPerspective Says:
    October 11th, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    kenny powers:
    Have you disproved Keynes yet? Didn’t think so.”

    Please reread my post. Not all Keynes is bad. Nor is all of it genius. Try to reverse your college brainwash, moron.


  48. Expat says:

    As far as Atlas Shrugged being around one hundred years from now and Bailout Nation being relegated to a filing number in the Library of Congress database, while that may be true it says nothing about the relative worthiness and quality of each work. I suspect the bible will still be around and well-known in a hundred years but that does not do anything to improve its poor quality of writing, lack of internal coherence, and outrageous disconnection from reality.

    I would like my children to read Rand if only to show them an example of cartoonish propaganda and reductionist philosophy.

    Rich, successful businessmen may be Randian but I don’t know many who have gotten there, stayed there, and prospered there without the help and use of government. If these Randians are so perfect, pure, and able to succeed in a fetterless environment, I would like to see them head off to Somalia, Liberia, or Iraq where capitalism can flourish with no real central governance of any kind.

    I call “bullshit” on Rand and Randians. I mean, c’mon, it’s not even a good novel, for God’s sake.

  49. lcooksey says:

    If you liked that quote from John Rogers, you should check out this longer post from 2004: http://kfmonkey.blogspot.com/2004/12/i-miss-republicans.html

    “No, seriously. Remember Republicans? Sober men in suits, pipes, who’d nod thoughtfully over their latest tract on market-driven fiscal conservatism while grinding out the numbers on rocket science. Remember those serious-looking 1950′s-1960′s science guys in the movies — Republican to a one.”

  50. Lukey says:

    I chalk Greenspan’s “repudiation” of the market up to nothing more than a bureaucrat offloading responsibility for horrendous job performance. As for Atlas Shrugged, I can’t read it – too boring. As with any book people try to elevate to gospel, it doesn’t live up to its hype. I certainly don’t think that negates the common sense behind the concept of a simpler, freer, more transparent market’s ability to achieve both a greater level of overall prosperity and a more egalitarian dispersement of wealth.

  51. Sarge says:

    Expat – if you (and the others) knew anything about Rand you’d know that her novels were not meant to be realistic and her characters were idealized (for good and evil) to illustrate her view that man’s productive independent mind is the highest value and reliance on “help” from others (government) tends to turn him or her into a useless slug. Please show where this is not true. The literary world she illustrated was not meant to be taken literally regardless of the fact that many of her ideas and scenarios are being played out on the world and national scene now.

    Somalia, Liberia, Iraq? Are you joking? Now I know you didn’t read the novel and are totally ignorant of Rand’s views on government. Her view is that government’s primary and proper role is to protect the individual’s rights and property and by extension his business. Such an environment does not exist in those places. Greenspan long ago departed from whatever Objectivist beliefs he held. Central banker? Not in Rand’s worldview.

    I find it ironic that a bunch of investors who hope to make money by “playing the stock market” would excoriate the one person who extolled the virtues of true capitalism which makes a healthy stock market possible. Not the crony capitalistic thuggery we have now.

    Oh and let’s throw in the gratuitous dig at the Holy Bible, nice. Surprised you didn’t include the Koran. arguably the single most inconsistent and irrational piece of so called literature ever promoted as a basis for a religion.

    I’m sure all you guys are experts at playing the stock market but do any of you actually produce anything? Do you run your own company that makes a tangible product or provides an essential service? Work with your hands? In the trades? Artisian?

    Petey Wheatstraw – I’d hardly call spending your adult life in military service protecting your right to shoot your sarcastic mouth off, sucking at the government tit. People like you are the first to start screaming for the Marines when the jihadists start cutting throats.

    So I’m wondering who exactly has the 14 year old world view? I’m calling bullshit on the whole thread.

  52. DeDude says:

    Atlas Shrugged is a bu-huh book for sociopaths written by a maladjusted sociopath. It tells them that they don’t owe society anything, but that it is society that owes them (and should be worshipping at their feet). This is exactly what a sociopath wants to be told, so they treat it like a holy book. All the weaknesses and inconsistencies in the book are ignored because the conclusion feels right. It appeals to young people in that sociopathic phase when they break away from their parents and establish themselves as independent individuals. But it also sticks with a small group of sociopaths who never grow up and begin to feel responsibility for more than themselves.

  53. Greg0658 says:

    wow Sarge – Petey is a good guy …
    and socialism is not dirty … Blackwater Inc into Xe Inc = a bit of rebranding makes it all better
    (generally I was IN with the rest) (so thats 1 auhshit & wipes out 10 attaboys)

  54. DeDude says:

    Yes Sarge; Government should be here to protect, serve and deliver to your kind of individual – and serve the rest by sticking a sock in their wanting mouthes.

  55. Petey Wheatstraw says:


    You are full of shit, and you have never defended me or my rights (if you think you have, make your case — I’ll listen).

    Answer me this: If you’re such a free market capitalist type, why did you make a career of the military? Why didn’t you pull a 4 year stint and then become a net PAYER of taxes?

    If I’m not mistaken, you work for a defense contractor. How does that sweet cream taxpayer money taste?

    That you think the world is full of “jihadists” is a clear indication that you rely on the boogeyman under the bed scare tactics to keep the taxpayer dollars flowing your way.

    Before you champion “free market capitalism,” you might want to read what the most decorated Marine in US history had to say about it (then you can disown him as a bleeding heart liberal):


    To be clear: I’ve never been a recipient of taxpayer largess (outside public schooling), I have never collected unemployment, welfare, SS, or any other taxpayer money. I have paid for you and your family to survive, and you damn well should not forget it.

    Military service is not an excuse for hypocrisy, nor does it automatically confer respectability.

  56. Petey Wheatstraw says:


    Am I going to have to defend my law-abiding Muslim countrymen from the thuggish likes of you? I the military, you only protected the Christians? I have only read parts of the Koran, and I’ve read the Bible, in its entirety, several times. From what I can tell, they are equally false. Nonetheless, I’ll defend a person’s right to believe what they want to, as long as they don’t commit a crime. Seems you think that freedom is a bitch, when other people have it.

  57. bear_in_mind says:

    DeDude@9:18am: Well said!

    Barry, one of your responses about preferring Orwell made me think of both Orwell and Huxley, pondering which of the two’s work may have been the more prescient about the future of America.

    I observed a portion of Huxley’s biography at WikiPedia that I think is eerily telling:

    On 21 October 1949, Huxley wrote to George Orwell, author of Nineteen Eighty-Four, congratulating him
    on “how fine and how profoundly important the book is”. In his letter to Orwell, he predicted:

    Within the next generation I believe that the world’s leaders will discover that infant conditioning and
    narco-hypnosis are more efficient, as instruments of government, than clubs and prisons, and that the lust
    for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging
    them and kicking them into obedience.[13]

    The danger of agnotology (i.e. culturally-induced ignorance) is that it’s so easily cultivated by use of various forms of media; and access to mainstream media has been largely acquired by corporate interests who stand to gain the most economic benefit from “conditioning” the citizenry to think in a particular fashion toward “loving their servitude”

    Therefore, it’s not accidental that corporations and government(s) continue to deploy messages activating deeply-ingrained cognitive emotions such as fear, suspicion, aggression, greed and avarice for economic and/or political gain.

    It’s that last point that highlights the necessity for strong, effective regulation in service of balancing the power of the corporation with that of the individual.

  58. cgasho1 says:

    I find it interesting that most of the negative comments about this book come from people who admittedly failed to complete the book in entirety (hence not skipping through pages). Secondly people believe that Greenspan and Rand go hand in hand and thus charge her with the crimes of Wall street when these frauds are actually not Capitalist at all. This is a fallacy that i see repeated often. People identify a work/philosophy with the current pseudo-promoters of the philosophy… That is just laziness and anti-intellectual.

    Third, as for the book not being relevant or fantasy … that it obviously incorrect when the story line is in the setting of non competitive industrialist who have failed in their endeavors and thus turn to manipulating government and policy in an attempt to maintain their undeserved wealth. That the book is less complex than Time and Being is not by mistake but is a literary choice in order to present an idea to the masses. That is called knowing your audience.

    Finally stating that she doesn’t understand people’s motivation is a quite condescending statement to make with such authority. As if there is one single motivator for all individuals. I know the more simple of you will submit that she asserts that greed is the underlying motivator, however that is incorrect and misguided. Her philosophy according to AS is that the fulfillment of man’s own potential and desire to create are the inherent motivators that men use to achieve self actualization. But never mind the depth of that idea… continue to frame all ideas into soundbites and then ask why their is absence of deep thought. Maybe those who read the book were of a 14 year olds maturity, expecting an answer without the willingness to exercise the intellect!

  59. cgasho1 says:

    BR: Human history reflects development of cooperative society as a survival advantage. Does anyone believe you can’t work hard and contribute to society and not be a self-involved contemptible radical selfishness?

    Did you read the book Barry????

    The protagonist do eventually work in a cooperative society. In fact they had to isolate themselves from the corrupt society, and redefine the structure in which a new society would operate, in order that each individual, could achieve to their highest potential. A

    What you are calling self involved contemptible radical selfishness is the individual basis for why we choose to work in a cooperative society because it does offer a survival advantage.

  60. Econophile says:

    Yeah, Barry, I know what you mean. Some books are just too difficult for some folks to understand. And I don’t mean the one about the orcs.

  61. infinitiplus1 says:

    I would think the The Bible would be a better substitute in this quote rather than Atlas Shrugged.

  62. JEDL says:

    @Sarge: October 12th, 2011 at 8:53 am

    In reference to your post and your opinions…I read The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged while serving in the military. I’ve worked hard. In my life I’ve:
    Volunteered two tours in ‘Nam while also serving in 16 countries on 3 continents,
    After the service, started a business from scratch – No borrowed money, no aid from anyone or anything that; employed more than 50 employees at its zenith. Made a lot of money. No help, no family, all by myself…no assistance from anything or anyone.
    Successfully retired at 29 years, 4 months and 13 days and continue to this day.

    I attribute it all to what I learned from Ayn Rand in Atlas Shrugged. End of story on this one.

    The people you address your wisdom neither have the requisite mentality, IQ nor curiosity to learn. They appear to have been endowed with intellectual entitlement. They are smart and intelligent simply because they declare so. You apparently don’t understand this. I’m only here to point out the obvious…You don’t get them. You’re trying to save them. They are not worth the effort.

    In their world, you’re obviously a bad person. What they don’t understand they fear, they loath and condemn.

    Look at the plot in Atlas Shrugged and you’ll see the politics of today replete with oligarchies, crony capitalism, Obamanomics and these idiots. It’s right out of the book for Christ sakes.

    Sarge, you’re a decent guy. Quit trying to save the idiots.

    Who is John Galt?

    …You are.

  63. WhatsTheMattaU says:

    Mystic minds always have trouble with Rand’s reasonableness.

  64. WhatsTheMattaU says:

    Thanks Sarge,

    Your comment is a breath of fresh air and a real cover puller…Thanks again.

  65. watershot says:

    Her book was about moochers mooching and those with real ideas not mooching and trying to find alternatives.

    I think you’re just butthurt.

  66. javva209 says:


    Im thinking the bailed out financial institutions are the biggest moochers, how about GE getting a huge subsidy in the form of low interest loans…Im sure Ayn Rand would reject this govt interference. I think if you actually knew hard working people living off of subsistence wages you would not be so hard hearted toward the working poor.