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Part One, Chapters I–II (1 - 2) 
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Post Re: Part One, Chapters I–II (1 - 2)
giselle wrote:
Its such a tiresome and elitist argument that the failure to understand the economic basis of society is responsible for supposed misconceptions about the role of business. This is just a cute way to assume the high ground and put all others on the defensive.


Well then Rand is a tiresome elitist. Atlas Shrugged is all about imagining that the communist psychosis of Russia occurred in the USA. While the policies of the State Planning Commission described by Rand are more measured than Stalin's policy of the liquidation of the kulaks as a class, there is a similarity in the failure to understand how private enterprise requires profit incentive to generate jobs and growth. Her underlying point is that planned economies don't work, especially when the planners are biased against the most productive and talented people.

I suspect Giselle that your concern may be more that Rand's views on statist opposition to the private sector provide effective Republican propaganda, which is why Democrats tirelessly portray her as a crackpot.


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Post Re: Part One, Chapters I–II (1 - 2)
lindad_amato said "In her writing, as in her life, there is no room for gray areas."

This is another unusual feature of Rand's philosophy to look for in this book. Objectivism means that for virtually every question under the sun, there is a Correct answer and an Incorrect one. In between lies no grey area, but Evil or Immorality, which is compromise with the Correct Answer.



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Thu Sep 20, 2012 9:22 pm
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Post Re: Part One, Chapters I–II (1 - 2)
Sometimes I wonder if people who have no room for gray areas in life actually have a fear of gray areas and do their best to eliminate them and bring order to what otherwise might be rather messy ? And also I'm thinking about correct and incorrect answers .. is there not also the notion of completeness of an answer, not merely its correctness, and the applicability of an answer in every instance or context that a particular question might arise .. i.e. .. the definitive answer .. ?



Fri Sep 21, 2012 12:50 am
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Post Re: Part One, Chapters I–II (1 - 2)
giselle wrote:
Sometimes I wonder if people who have no room for gray areas in life actually have a fear of gray areas and do their best to eliminate them and bring order to what otherwise might be rather messy ? And also I'm thinking about correct and incorrect answers .. is there not also the notion of completeness of an answer, not merely its correctness, and the applicability of an answer in every instance or context that a particular question might arise .. i.e. .. the definitive answer .. ?


Giselle, you hit the nail on the head with this statement. Rand created her philosophy in order to deal with the depravity and atrocities in Soviet Russia. In order to remain sane and alive while her family lost everything and fled Petersburg only to return and live in poverty, she created a belief system that she could control. It allowed her to focus completely on her own education and survival and it worked well for her until she had to put it into affect in relationships in the US. Once she had to relate to others, she became a dictator who allowed no challenges to her throne.



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Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:29 am
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Post Re: Part One, Chapters I–II (1 - 2)
I can understand that people who suffer experiences like Rand may become defensive and want order and control to prevail. However, I think this can evolve into a 'superiority complex' because Rand depicts those who believe in gray areas and emphasize the softer less scientific sides of human existence and economic systems and so on as weak and mealy mouthed, maybe even bleeding hearts. To some extent, these are Mitt Romney's "victims" :) ... I suspect this is a defensive posture because by devising rigid rules and systems, black and white dominates and the gray disappears and the individual appears 'strong' and 'decisive' and commands respect, when really (I am postulating) it is primarily to protect oneself from vulnerability, uncertainty and ultimately, fear. I'm interested in reading AS and in learning more about Objectivism with an open mind, but it is unlikely that I will accept that it is a 'superior' way because of my skepticism about what is behind it.



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Fri Sep 21, 2012 6:49 pm
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Post Re: Part One, Chapters I–II (1 - 2)
Suzanne wrote:
I see Hank Rearden almost as a Christ like figure.
I agree, or perhaps John the Baptist. One line from the Bible that I'm sure Rand would relate to despite her atheism is John 3:19 "This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil."

The messianic archetype of Jesus Christ is the one who stands for truth against the whole world. The idea is that only the far-seeing individual is the source of progress, whereas popular consensus is intrinsically corrupt.

Hank Reardon resembles Jesus Christ in having a vision of change that can transform the world, but like the suffering servant of Isaiah 53:

Isaiah wrote:
Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.
Like one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.


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Post Re: Part One, Chapters I–II (1 - 2)
LanDroid wrote:
This is another unusual feature of Rand's philosophy to look for in this book. […]there is a Correct answer and an Incorrect one.


Right.

Either, Or.
Black or white.


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Post Re: Part One, Chapters I–II (1 - 2)
The bracelet scene in Chapter 2, one can see the adaptation of it in this clip from Atlas Shrugged: Part 1:



They also sell them:
http://store.atlasshruggedmovie.com/off ... -bracelet/


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Fri Nov 02, 2012 11:41 pm
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Post Re: Part One, Chapters I–II (1 - 2)
Heh, I would never have suspected Reardon Metal is actually anodized aluminum alloy, proudly made in the U.S.A...
:huh?:



Sat Nov 03, 2012 1:24 am
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Post Re: Part One, Chapters I–II (1 - 2)
Romantic Realist artist, Bryan Larson's painting titled "First Heat" was inspired by the first pour of Rearden Metal:

Image

You can find the print here:
http://www.cordair.com/larsen/firstheat.php

Quent Cordair Fine Art is such a lovely art gallery featuring the finest Romantic Realism in art. Romantic Realism, is what Rand described her writing as being.


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Sat Nov 03, 2012 10:53 am
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Post Re: Part One, Chapters I–II (1 - 2)
The oak tree and blood vessel system of the railroad on Taggart's desk are some good notable points. My mind was drawn to those as I rescanned chapter one yesterday and then read these comments. The hollowed out tree of what it once was and the faded map of routes on the desk definitely show a death spiral for not only the railroad, but for humanity as well according to Rand. Good imagery indeed!

The portrait of James Taggart is truly something. He truly comes across as a menial, whining collectivist with no originality or "guts." I don't believe there exists, a comparable character in liberal works such as The Grapes of Wrath. The closest to such a character is in a minor work by Marie Sandoz titled Capital City which highlighted extreme reactions to progressive movements during the Great Depression. One notable section features wood and baseball bat wielding VFW members attacking marching union members during a parade. That is only the only example I can think of so in this light, Rand does a great job of setting up the perfect straw man, the ideal character of what objectivists and others detest as a person who is a parasite, excusing making for self, reliance on the government blood sucker extraordinaire.

The opening of the book also reminds me of what larger cities would have appeared like during the depression, perhaps that is what she was aiming for when she wrote the book? Some are, interestingly enough, drawing parallels between the world of Dagny Taggart and the present day Obama years.



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