Thursday, January 12, 2012

Atlas Shrugged and I was like "Dude, don't be a Jerk"

I just finished Atlas Shrugged. It took me forty hundred years (which is 2 months in Maria time) and was grueling but gripping. It made me groan because I recognize the story, playing out in the news, and that makes me sad. It also made me groan because that lady is WORDY, and there were so many times when I was like come on, all I want is to just finish this chapter and get some chicken nuggets, how long is this going to take?

Regardless, the book is a must-read I think, and now I shall share some of my impressions. Shut up and listen.

First of all Ayn Rand, I don't know if you really started a philosophical revolution because I wasn't around when you were, but if you did, I'm sad about it, because I don't know how we didn't know that stuff before.

People can be trusted more to make useful business decisions when they are working for a profit than when they aren't. That just makes sense. So replacing businessmen with politicians in the role of economic rule-making (and keeping) doesn't work. It's just replacing fallible people with fallible people. Except the first group actually have a financial interest in succeeding. The second group just wants to look good. I know who I'd trust more.

CEO's don't make money "on the backs of" blue-collar workers. Blue-collar workers wouldn't have jobs if CEO's didn't have ideas that needed some machinery to implement. And blue-collar workers can leave whenever they'd like.

Secondly, I think we should help each other, but only because we want to. Of course it is my hope that we'd all want to, and Jesus had a lot to say about this that made sense. But we're not all going to want to, and no one should make you. However, Ayn Rand, you downplay this a little too much for me. It's ok for people to have sympathy. I know you would just say "then they are serving their own interests by acting on that sympathy" and maybe that's true, but that's why we need God to change our hearts. Also, a lot of this is just semantics. I think we're on the same page. Kind of.

Thirdly, I really hope that the true reason behind fakely altruistic politicians and the like is not the fact that they hate living. When you follow their actions all the way to their basest possible motives, that may seem like the only plausible explanation sometimes, but I just hope it's not. I tend to think it's more simple - that they just want to be liked. Or in power. That seems a lot less evil to me than just hating life, and so hating those who love it.

Fourthly, I wish I had known you had a Russian accent before I read the book, because I really missed out on narrating the entire thing with your accent.

Fifthly, Dagny is incredible and I named my Kindle after her.

Readers? Any thoughts? Have you read it? Does the fact that I read it mean I have to write a paper and enter a scholarship contest now? These are burning questions.

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