Thread: Ayn Rand
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Old 06-27-2009, 08:13 PM   #27
Elfwreck
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Rand's morality breaks down at the micro-level; there's no room in her philosophy for families. (Atlas Shrugged doesn't deal with children at all; it's like they don't exist.) There's also no consideration for how her super-meritocracy would deal with less-talented, not-brilliant, but honest & hardworking people; Eddie Willers and Cheryl Taggart-nee-Brooks get shafted along with all the lazy scam artists.

If you've started reading AS, and it's dragging horribly, I'd say don't bother. Maybe try Anthem, which is a much-condensed version of the philosophy without any notable plot, or Fountainhead, which is shorter and has a different flavor. Atlas Shrugged doesn't get any better on a literary scale, and does have, at one spot, a 50-page monologue. (Maybe you could just read that and ignore the rest of the book. If you want to know what happens to the characters, check Wikipedia.) I like Rand's writing style, but I was probably exposed to it too young to know any better.

However, I learned a lot of great things from Rand. Her books don't have The Answers, but they do have some important truths, some of which are often overlooked.

10 Things I Learned From Ayn Rand:

1. I learned that you should do work that pleases and inspires you, not work that pays a lot or gives you high social status (assuming high social status is not what pleases and inspires you).

2. I learned that deliberate incompetence is a sin.

3. I learned that one of the cruelest attacks a person can make is to withdraw his or her resources from the community.

4. I learned that true kindred will recognize each other, regardless of status or recent activities. That you will know your brethren, and it will trouble you when they don't seem to be acting like you expect your kin to act.

5. I learned that "the group" is not necessarily right, that democracy is only a good idea if the sensible votes outnumber the bigots and idiots.

6. I learned that people will attack those they perceive as enemies, even if those "enemies" are actively improving their quality of life in obvious ways.

7. I learned that a woman can insist on her own terms, and get them, if she's skilled enough to force the issue.

8. I learned that money cannot buy you admiration from the people whose opinions you care about.

9. I learned that the most obviously manipulative scheming leech will fight viciously to avoid facing that label.

10. I learned that it does not matter if people call you a liar, a criminal, a slut, a coward, an idiot, or any other insult... it doesn't even matter if you are one by their standards. You are not accountable to other people's standards, except inasmuch as their opinions matter to you personally.
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