Holy Shit: They’re Making Atlas Shrugged Into A Movie

When it comes to dating, I have only one simple rule. If I go over to a girl’s house and she has a copy of The Fountainhead, or — god forbid — Atlas Shrugged, then I’m out the door in 0.5 seconds. Liking Ayn Rand novels is a guaranteed sign that someone is crazy, and though crazy people are often good in bed, it’s really just not worth it.

(In fact, I have a corollary to this rule: if the girl has a ton of books by Anaïs Nin or Anne Rice, then she’s also gonna be crazy, but also good in bed — but she’ll still be less crazy than someone who likes Ayn Rand, so it’s worth sticking around and sleeping with her for, say, three weeks or so.)

Yes, Atlas Shrugged is the horrible 1,168 page book that turned a generation of gullible 14-year-olds into conservative Tea Partiers. And now, it’s a major motion picture. And here’s the trailer for the movie! Please to enjoy:

Wow, so it’s like “TWO UNPLEASANT PEOPLE AND A TRAIN: THE MOTION PICTURE.” Groovy. And boy, these two people really like trains, and more trains, and metal… and metal-based alloys. Gosh, but it’s all so exciting. (By the way, if you haven’t read the book — the guy who says “My only goal is to make money” — well, he’s the good guy.)

And, note to the producers of Atlas Shrugged: discussions about metallic alloys are not exciting, no matter how much thudding ‘Inception’-style music you add, and no matter how many jump-cuts you do.

Actually, the nice thing about this trailer is that it’s exactly as boring as the book. But before we get into that, here’s a…

…QUICK PRIMER ON AYN RAND

Ayn Rand was a horrible, vile woman who was a terrible writer. But because she was such a bad writer, her work could be easily understood by 14-year-olds who would go on to become future Tea Partiers. The nice thing about Ayn Rand is that all her characters are one-dimensional, or occasionally two-dimensional, and they don’t have actual conversations with each other, they just make speeches where they say stuff like “MONEY IS GOOD,” thereby making it fairly easy to follow the plots of her books.

In fact, here are the plots of all her books:

1) Money is good. 2) Selfishness is good. 3) Businesspeople are awesome. 4) Government intervention is horrible.

Of course, these aren’t “plots,” they’re more like philosophical statements (dumb ones, but still). Atlas Shrugged is the book where she spells out this philosophy, which she called “Objectivism.” In Atlas Shrugged, her hero, John Galt, decides that businesspeople are awesome and that government sucks. So he starts a general strike which destroys society and kills millions of people. (Remember, he’s the hero.) And then he and all of his followers go in live in a canyon called “Galt’s Gulch,” where everything is supposedly awesome and businesspeople run everything. Because if there’s one thing we learned from the Industrial Revolution and the Wall Street collapse, it’s that when businesspeople are given unfettered control, they make children work 70 hours a week in sweatshops and destroy the world’s economy everything goes great.

Seriously, that’s Ayn Rand’s philosophy. Here it is, explained in helpful two-minute video form:

Not only is her philosophy really really dumb, but Ayn Rand herself couldn’t even follow it. She spent her whole life bitching and moaning about government and the “parasites” who accept money from the government. Then, at the end of her life, she took Social Security and Medicare payments from the government under a fake name. (She did this after she got cancer from smoking, because she also refused to believe the government warnings about cigarettes causing lung cancer; brilliant.)

So, not only is Ayn Rand a terrible writer, she’s also a — what’s that word again? ah yes! — a hypocrite.

_____

True story: I once pitched a column for this website entitled “Bad Books,” a column idea that was duly rejected by my boss. But the idea, which you have figured out already, was that I would write about the worst books of all time. I had a little trouble coming up with the full list of books to do — Sure, Beowulf is boring, but is it bad? Does the fact that Tess of the D’Urbervilles is basically “Hot Chicks Rock!: The Novel” mean that it merited inclusion? But one thing I was sure of; the book that would be my Number One Worst Book Ever… Atlas Shrugged.

Here’s an entirely accurate description of Atlas Shrugged:

It’s a totally ridiculous book which can be summed up as Sociopathic idealized nerds collapse society because they don’t get enough hugs. …Indeed, the enduring popularity of Atlas Shrugged lies in the fact that it is nerd revenge porn — if you’re an nerd of an engineering-ish stripe who remembers all too well being slammed into your locker by a bunch of football dickheads, then the idea that people like you could make all those dickheads suffer by “going Galt” has a direct line to the pleasure centers of your brain. I’ll show you! the nerds imagine themselves crying. I’ll show you all! And then they disappear into a crevasse…. and a year later they come out and everyone who was ever mean to them will have starved.

And here’s another description:

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.

I knew this about the book, and I had even flipped through it a few times, but I hadn’t really tried to read it yet. So when I came up with my “Bad Books” idea, I bought a copy… and started to read. First off, the book is really 1,168 pages long; I mean, really. One thousand, one hundred and sixty-eight pages. And the book begins with a — I shit you not — 90-page discussion about the business mechanics of a failing railroad line. After an hour, I started to get a throbbing headache. I looked like the guy on the cover of the book; clutching my forehead in pain. “Jesus Christ are they ever going to stop talking about this railroad line?!” I said to nobody in particular. Abandoning all hope, I flipped to the last page; page 1,168. They. Were. Still. Talking. About. The. Railroad. Line.

You’ll be pleased to know that on the last page of the book, things are resolved. They build a new railway line. Eureka! “Glad they got that railroad business sorted out,” I said, as I tossed the book across the room. It hit the wall with a thud, and I never opened it again. I couldn’t bring myself to throw a book out, so I left it on a park bench near my house. No doubt, it was picked up by some homeless person, who could then read Ayn Rand’s important message that he was a sniveling useless parasite who deserved to die.

…And this is the book that Tea Partiers think is THE GREATEST BOOK EVER WRITTEN.

_____

There’s no point in talking to people who love Atlas Shrugged. And I say this, having held out hope throughout my lifetime that anyone can talk to anyone. But there really is no point in talking to them. It’s not a good idea to base your entire world-view on a philosophy that can be refuted in a seven-panel cartoon, but this is what Ayn Rand fans have done. These people already believed that being selfish and not paying taxes was the most important thing ever. And here’s a book… and now, a movie, that confirms that. A movie that’s like a bad ‘Simpsons’ parody of a movie, complete with people barking ridiculous parodic dialogue at each other.

This movie isn’t for us; it’s for them: the True Believers. The people who are already in a “Galt’s Gulch” of the mind. They live in an imaginary, perfect world where all businesspeople are nice and kind and no one should ever have to pay the capital-gains tax because that’s so, so awful. It’s a perfect world, because it can never exist, and so it never has to be tested. And now they can sit in the dark and munch popcorn and enjoy a fantasy version of their fantasy world: a whole movie about Galt’s Gulch… and trains. And also alloys. And metal-based alloys. And did we mention the trains? TC mark

More From Thought Catalog

  • John Galt

    … Sounds like you didn't really understand, or bother to understand, Objectivism. Or Rand's theories of self potential. Then you decided to lash out all that anger into a scathing and, quite honestly, shitty blog post.

    • Dagny Taggart

      Rape me.

      • tagny daggart

        I'll be right over,

    • FellowPlagiarizer

      Just because I understand something wouldn't make me think it is right. I “understand” Joe Stalin's gulag – doesn't make it right.

      • red82991

        No, but how can you agree or disagree with something unless you understand it first? Yes, you may disagree with Stalin, but that’s probably because you understand that he killed millions of people.

  • BBQCHICKEN

    Hahaha. This is brilliant. I cannot fucking believe they made a movie based on such a bullshit novel. And the trailer is so boring, insipid, and undeniably stupid, that I honestly questioned whether it was a real trailer or not. Way to go hard on such a shitty novel and the shitty ideas behind it. I applaud you, Oliver.

  • Scribler

    God, this is the best ever. I freaking despise Ayn Rand.

  • http://www.facebook.com/TomSmizzle Tom Smith

    If the movie is anything like the book then it will be 300 hours long and i will watch half an hour of it before leaving in disgust.
    Good article!

  • http://twitter.com/calvinaftercal Calvin

    I spent three months reading Atlas Shrugged last year. And before getting to the philosophies, my complaint with the book was the STORY ITSELF. It takes you 1000+ pages to write a story about industrial entrepreneurs striking against the government? I understand its your magnum opus, but in 1000+ pages I expect deep, well-thought out characters. What I ended up with were simple characters lacking depth that were simply pawns in a lengthy essay about objectivism and libertarianism.

    The philosophies have merit (see: https://calvinaftercal.wordpre…/) but the world's greatest plot falters if it has one-dimensional characters.

  • wwatts

    1. I think this movie will suck for reasons completely apart from yours.
    2. Fuck it, I like one dimensional characters. Anton Chigurh from No Country for Old Men – Awesome. John Mclaine in all the Die Hard movies – Awesome.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Caroline-Evertz/25521401 Caroline Evertz

    While I really like Ayn Rand's novels and can understand the points of Objectivism (although I'm not a Tea Partier by any means), I think this movie will really, really suck. It's just not the kind of book that can be adaptable to film, in my opinion.

  • Connor Warden

    Here's the thing. You've not only fundamentally misunderstood Rand's ideas, but have then laid them out here in a deliberate misrepresentation. Now, people who may never have heard of Rand or Objectivism may well wander onto this page looking for information about a film and turn against her due to your intellectual dishonesty. The idea that her books are “written for 14-year-olds” is truly laughable, in that they could easily read the words and understand the plot, but it is the overall social, political and philosophical relevance of the ideas expressed within the book that draw people in time and again and make the book one of the great novels of our time.

  • Guest

    The film looks awful! – but so is this article….

    Funny how the Tea Party misunderstands the philosophy behind Rand and then the liberal opposition just assumes that they are correct in their interpretation and thus by default hate the book. This is exactly why the democrats and the liberal left (which I consider myself a part of) are so weak!

    I'd be surprised if the author of this blog actually read any of her books. And by the way, when you attack a philosopher and not the philosphy it's called an ad hominem attack and it's a common fallacy.

    This writer seems to be very simple minded (also an ad hominem attack :-) ).

    But yes! Film looks bad!

    • Oliver Miller

      Yeah, it was meant to be an ad hominem attack. (In addition to an actual attack on “Objectivism.”)

      I mean, it's Ayn freakin' Rand that we're talking about. She seriously spent her whole life calling people who took government money “parasites,” and way worse than that. And then she took Social Security and Medicaid. It's like if Jesus suddenly went on a mass killing-spree at age 32. It would sort of undercut his message a little bit, right?

  • Crazy but good in bed.

    You have no idea what you are talking about.

    • Connor Warden

      Really? How so? I'm pretty sure I do know what I'm on about, and will happily argue the point further.

  • AtlasShrugged

    no no no nooo. I've read Atlas Shrugged. It took me 8 weeks to read it but I always recommended to anyone that asks.
    Now Im not a raging Tea Partyist or someone who you can't talk to like you quote: “There’s no point in talking to people who love Atlas Shrugged…. ” I honestly try very hard to stay out of politics, and I'm not the type of person to shove my beliefs in your face and tell you that you're wrong.
    But I love that book. That doesn't mean I completely agree with her philosophy on life. The book makes you think though. You can think of it basically as a philosphy class subject in the form of a fictional book.
    You can still love the book and not totally agree with everything. Philosophy is supposed to make you question your beliefs, and then either form defenses of them, change them- whether it be a lot or a little, or just add something else to your beliefs.
    I don't know how far you got in the book, but I don't think it is fair for you to give an opinion on a book you didn't finish.

  • Bryant Reeves

    I don't agree with this blog post. While certainly Ayn Rand's philosophy is incomplete and is generally inadequate, it's not as if everyone that reads it is a maniac. By reading Atlas Shrugged, I was introduced to the general ideas of individualism and after all was said and done, I understood my place in the world much more than before reading.

    In short, Ayn Rand misunderstands that it's impossible to take a solely individualistic view of the world because humans cannot exist in such a state. But, it's a useful thought experiment.

    Being a socially liberal person, as Rand was (and tea-partiers generally are not, I might add), I am very upset with the narrow-mindedness and childish tone used in the post. It makes me reconsider reading Thought Catalog.

    • Dan

      The problem is that this “it's impossible to take a solely individualistic view of the world because humans cannot exist in such a state” is obvious to nearly everyone.

      • Bryant Reeves

        I disagree, because before one actively considers the notion of the self and its relation to society, it's impossible to articulate an opinion on the self's relation to society. Being stuck in a default setting is unhelpful and is not akin to actively realizing the problems with a solely individualistic view of the world.

      • Dan

        That's true if intellectualizing something is required to understand it. It's not. But, some people learn differently so I'll allow the exception. I learned that no man is an island both from the cliche and from realizing I didn't have any friends when I was being a selfish ass.

  • Dominique Roark

    My, my. I get giddy out of the mere attention the book is getting. Although I put The Fountainhead, which is such a sacred book to me, before Atlas Shrugged, the latter is still very close to my heart.

    I think this article's very funny, and my tea partymates agree. Was your point really to poke us out of our burrows or do you just want to be talked about during tea parties that you never get invited to? I'm telling you, so much more happens at tea parties, you'd think you were in a girls' locker room in high school.

    But I do agree with you, they shouldn't have attempted to make a movie out of it. Unless they make a 12-hour movie with a crazy Rand book-owning chick as director and John Galt as producer.

    So, how about a girl who loves Ayn Rand and reads Anne Rice as well? Ah, that'd be much to handle, no? I will not try to correct your misunderstandings about the book or her philosophy. I'll just fly to Atlantis or seek refuge in Howard Roark. I'm sure he and John Galt were brothers in their past lives.

    • Oliver Miller

      Can we all just agree that the movie will suck, at least? They should have set it in the 1940s, like “The Fountainhead.” The plot would still be dumb, but we would at least have had retro clothes and buildings and trains to look at. And women's hats. And everyone could have chain-smoked.

      • Tim

        Yes, this I agree with. Put it back in the 40s and have some respectable actress as the lead. Blanchett, Winslet, etc. But they wouldn't touch this movie with a 10 ft pole for the same reason that people are afraid to enjoy it (and admit that they do); ignorantly being labeled a conservative.

  • Aaron

    Very nice work. Summed up the book and Ayn Rand perfectly. Odd that so many commenters seem to be fans of her work. I didn't think there were so many morons reading this site.

    • http://likethehours.wordpress.com/ devin howard

      seriously, where did all these people come from

  • EmiliaBedelia

    one of my favourite activities is getting drunk and talking about how stupid ayn rand is. this is fabulous. i am currently typing with a big grin on my face.

    • Herman Parish

      After I typed my comment on this 'piece' I thought, “Emeliabedelia, shit-eating grin,” and “big shit-eating grin.”

      • EmiliaBedelia

        hahaha… what?

  • Bob

    This is bar-none the stupidest article I have ever read on this site. To say it was juvenile and one-sided is like calling the KKK “a little extreme.”

  • Amused Reader

    I am in no way political, and so I read the book (based on a recommendation of a coworker) expecting to be utterly bored. This was not the case. I found her storyline to be much more centered on symbolism than most people care to think about, and the interactions of the characters were much more drawn out because of this, and so that she could properly and completely illustrate her ideas for the readers.

    The idea of Objectivism is a difficult one to grasp, and after reading into it much more, I found that I do not entirely agree. Still, I feel like it raised some simple points that most people can agree with, and they're things that a lot of people follow quite well without ever knowing what Objectivism is. And since a good deal of the book was centered on the idea that people should “Question the premise” on which things are founded, I feel that her book made the readers take the time to do just that. She created highly intellectual characters, if somewhat one dimensional at times, gave them a goal and then through various stopping points into their world, causing them to use her philosophy to try and uphold they're beliefs. The monologues that the characters go on tend also make the reader question things and that is all that a good writer can hope to do in a book like Atlas Shrugged.

    Yes, the book was ridiculously long (right on par with The Mists of Avalon), but if her idea was to play out this philosophy of Objectivism in such a way that people could follow, so as to see how it effected social and business interactions, then she did a damn good job. Still, it's not something that a 14 year old can read, hell, I know a lot of 26 year olds that wouldn't be able to follow it, or even understand the verbiage that Rand uses.

    They did fuck up the movie though, didn't they. And you did quite a nice job stirring up controversy, that's why I like this site.

  • Randians are funny

    Don't you just love the “it seems like you didn't understand it” argument? Like, what does that even mean?

    • red82991

      It means simply that your understanding of her philosophy is superficial and incorrectly understood. Her ideas teach that you should work hard to be the absolute best that you can be, that you shouldn’t be ashamed of success or greatness. You have the ability using your mind to do great things. In Ayn Rand’s world, this greatness is not, as it may seem on the surface, about financial success or business shrewdness, but about achieving excellence in whatever pursuit you set your mind to. In fact, on the first first page of Atlas Shrugged, Rand describes a vegetable cart filled with clean and healthy produce and a bus being expertly steered, these are simple actions by people who are not wealthy, but take pride in their work.
      Rand’s guiding principal in her work comes not from the Tea Party (whom I believe Rand would despise as being the worst interpreters and perverters of her philosophy), but from the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America: The pursuit of happiness. Rand argues against a society that tries to subvert this pursuit, making its citizens feel guilty about pursuing their own happiness. Finally, she teaches that one should not work for the sake of others without being rewarded for their efforts. She shows a world in which men are asked to work against themselves. The same people that try to put Hank Rearden out of business by slandering his metal are later the people who demand that they have the right to it.

      I challenge anybody to pick something from Rand’s philosophy that they don’t like, that they feel is an evil idea and I will show them that is actually a very simple, familiar idea rooted in common sense and basic justice.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carlos-Ortiz/1279921705 Carlos Ortiz

    I don't know about politics, or rather have an opinion on politics, but I loved Anthem and thought it was well written and conveyed a powerful message which gave me reassurance on living my life for myself, and on having courage to stand for my ideas, and brought me out of a neurotic cycle.
    I think you are being excessively negative and polar about Ayn as an author.

  • disappointed

    please don't write book reviews of books you haven't even read, or understood.

    • Oliver Miller

      In order to deal with the “you haven't read all of this book, you jerk” thing that was inevitably going to come up, I'm going to re-post this comment that I made on Facebook. Here you go:

      …I was having a conversation with my friend about this the other day — can you judge a book without having read all of it? He said you couldn't.

      Me: “…So, have you read 'Mein Kampf'?”

      Him: “No.”

      Me: “But you're AGAINST it, right?”

      Him (grudgingly): “…Yeah.”

      Now, I'm not comparing Ayn Rand to Mr. A. Hitler. But it is something to think about, and I don't know if I'm right or wrong.

      I haven't read all of 'Atlas Shrugged.' I read all of it that I could humanly stand. I've read ABOUT it, I've read about Ayn Rand, and I've, uh… seen the movie version of 'The Fountainhead' (which Rand wrote the screenplay for). And I've met Objectivists, and for my other job, I've interviewed Tea Party members, Libertarians, etc.

      But still, it is something to think about. This whole having an opinion about something you've never read thing. Everyone DOES hate 'Mein Kampf,” right? But no one's read it, right? (Except for Neo-Nazis; and I also forced myself to read five pages of it once.)

      Here's another example: Do I believe in the Bible? No. Have I read all of it? No. I've only read about 30% of it. (I'm a bad Jew.) …So maybe I just haven't yet read the part that would make me like it and believe in it?

      Now — if you have read every single page of every book that you have an opinion about, then you are, of course, superior to me, and I have no point. But it's just something to think about.

      • TK

        Your reply sounds like what Lillian Rearden. Are you her re-incarnate?

      • Oliver Miller

        Fuck, this book sucks.

        “Lillian Rearden

        The unsupportive wife of Hank Rearden. They have been married eight years as the novel begins. Lillian is a frigid moocher who seeks to destroy her husband. She compares being Rearden's wife with owning the world's most powerful horse. Since she cannot comfortably ride a horse that goes too fast, she must bridle it down to her level, even if that means it will never reach its full potential and its power will be grievously wasted.

        As her motives become more clear, Lillian is found to share the sentiments of many other moochers and their worship of destruction. Her actions are explained as the desire to destroy achievement in the false belief that such an act bestows a greatness to the destroyer equal to the accomplishment destroyed. She seeks, then, to ruin Rearden in an effort to prove her own value, but fails.

        Lillian tolerates sex with her husband only because she is 'realistic' enough to know he is just a brute who requires satisfaction of his brute instincts. She indicates that she abhors Francisco d'Anconia, because she believes he is a sexual adventurer.”

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L

      • Splutard

        Again with the Wikipedia! See, if you had actually read the book (whether you liked it or not), you would have understood the reference.

      • David

        I think the reason your Mein Kampf analogy fails is that disagreeing with the core philosophy and analyzing the artistic merits of a book are two different things.

        Let's try another Nazi example: I can admire the filmmaking techniques Leni Riefenstahl used in Triumph of the Will, which have influenced countless other films and filmmakers, and still think fascism sucks.

        But if I said, “Well, I've seen less than ten percent of Triumph of the Will, but it sucks because Nazis suck! Plus…I read about it!”, I can't expect to have a lot of credibility as a film critic.

        I've always thought that there was nothing wrong with Ayn Rand that a really good editor couldn't have cured. Her characters definitely tend to speechmaking, and Rand seemed to think that making the same point ten times was ten times as effective as making it once. I actually think the Fountainhead was a better book than Atlas Shrugged – it was shorter, and had a very memorable villain in Ellsworth Toohey.

      • http://www.publiusnm.org/author/ellsworth/ Ellsworth Toohey

        Villain? I was the hero!

      • red82991

        The fallacy in your argument is that it is “Mein Kampf” that people object to and not the systematic genocide of eleven million people. You have never read Mein Kampf, but you understand it at least on a level to know that its author was a murdering dictator and its ideas spout hatred against innocent people, you understand this because you have seen the actions of this man.

        You do NOT understand Atlas Shrugged, whether you read it cover to cover, you failed to grasp any real meaning in what Ayn Rand was actually trying to say,

  • # SisterWolf

    Ha, I couldn't agree more. Ayn Rand is a real deal-breaker.

  • Taylor

    What I expected: an article humorously mocking a unarguably terrible film unfortunately being released.

    What I got: a childish rant about a book that the author of this article didn't bother to read.

    What I suggest: in the future write stuff like this in your journal, read it, realize how childish and unread you sound (you admitted that you didn't read Atlas Shrugged), then close your journal, and move on to use your writing abilities to write something that is at least constructive, and not inflammatory.

  • http://sixmetamorphoses.blogspot.com/ The Other Jordan

    If I swear to get rid of Atlas Shrugged, then will you plz plz plz sleep with me?

    • Oliver Miller

      No. But I have been to Conway, Arkansas.

      • http://sixmetamorphoses.blogspot.com/ The Other Jordan

        I hope your stay wasn't as awful as most people expect it to be!

      • Oliver Miller

        I kind of liked it. I went to some restaurant that had good sandwiches and a party at the college.

  • jacob

    learning about something and taking the time to understand it are two totally different different things. seems like you saw this movie, went on Wikipedia and read the 'Ayn Rand', 'Atlas Shrugged', and 'Objectivism' articles and sat down and wrote this. admitting that you didn't even read the book automatically destroys ~80% of the validity of this article. if you read this book, or at least a few decent essays on Objectivism, I might respect your opinion. I've read just about everything Ayn Rand has written- even her plays, for fucks sake- and I don't agree with everything she has to say. but she was a great writer, and there's no denying that. goddamn, this is such a shit article.

    “By the way, if you haven’t read the book — the guy who says 'My only goal is to make money' — well, he’s the good guy.”

    if you read the whole entire book and maybe understood a hint of what Rand tries to convey, you might understand this a little bit more. yes, it is ironic as hell. yes, Rand wrote a book called “The Virtue of Selfishness” for fuck's sake. even I think that's a bit off. but I've at least taken the time to understand it before I go around saying why it's horrible or why we should all believe it. and please don't try and refute this comment with your bible analogy because I don't buy that. I'm hardly religious. like a ton of other people, I went to church as kid, hit my teenage years, and all that religion stuff died out. but I don't go around holding signs up (or writing shit articles) about why religion is stupid and why Christians and Catholics should just go kill themselves.

    “Actually, the nice thing about this trailer is that it’s exactly as boring as the book.”

    yeah, because you totally read the whole entire book, right? so you should definitely be the one to know all about this.

    “The nice thing about Ayn Rand is that all her characters are one-dimensional, or occasionally two-dimensional”

    god, are you kidding me? Ayn Rand characters are possibly the most complex characters I've ever come across. you can't write 1,000 page stories and have your characters be 'one-dimensional'. that's like comparing a 1,000 page Tao Lin 'novel' to an Ayn Rand story. Tao Lin's characters are one-dimensional. And when you compare those characters to the characters of Ayn Rand, the difference is extraordinary. and yeah, sometimes her characters are so fucking complex that they don't even make sense sometimes. I'll acknowledge that. but then again, I actually read the book.

    “So, not only is Ayn Rand a terrible writer, she’s also a — what’s that word again? ah yes! — a hypocrite.”

    another blatant attempt at belittling Ayn Rand. what philosopher wasn't a fucking hypocrite. what person isn't a hypocrite? we're all human. and yeah, maybe she was a hypocrite. in fact, there's no maybe, she totally was. but does that mean that everything she did, every story she wrote and every aspect of her philosophy that she created, is now totally invaluable and we should just burn everything she wrote and erase her from history? no, it doesn't. you write about these 'Ayn Rand followers' and how they live in their 'own world', but it seems that you (based on your ignorant views) are the only person living in your own world. a world where reading a few Wikipedia articles makes you such a great critic of literature.

    I have more to say, but I'll just stop here. next time you stop to totally discard something without putting any effort into learning what it's about, just stop. keep it to yourself. maybe write it n a notebook. or at least come up with a better fucking title.

    • Oliver Miller

      I can think of plenty of philosophers who weren't hypocrites.

      • http://twitter.com/phmadore phmadore

        You being an expert and all, I ask you to direct me to the specific works of Ayn Rand wherein she condemned the use of public subsidies. Not that I'm unaware of the fact that she did, in fact, do so, but I want you to prove her hypocrisy in some way other than a generality. Thanks.

      • Oliver Miller

        '[She] called altruism a “basic evil” and referred to those who perpetuate the system of taxation and redistribution as “looters” and “moochers.” She wrote in her book “The Virtue of Selfishness” that accepting any government controls is “delivering oneself into gradual enslavement.'

        I mean, I you could have clicked on the link in my article that led to that, but clicking on links is hard, I know. But of course, you said in your comment that you know that she did condemn the use of subsides, so why are you asking? Your goal is to agree with what I said, but try to be like, “Yeah, but Oliver's a DUMMY, he can't cite things”? Or what? Here. Go away now:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C

      • Splutard

        Oh the Wikipedia citation. How scholarly.

      • Oliver Miller

        Yeah, the Wikipedia citation and the other citation. The other citation with actual quotes from Ayn Rand, and the Wikipedia citation with actual… quotes from Ayn Rand… and links to other writing about her and other quotes from her. I'm sorry that linking to actual quotations from someone isn't enough for you. Google it yourself then. It's easy.

    • http://likethehours.wordpress.com/ devin howard

      is this Ayn Rand? I thought you were dead.

  • itsguccitime

    Not sure where all of these Ayn Rand loving Thought Catalog readers came from. If anything.. I thought this would be the place where we could cackle at the psuedo-intellectual “theories” Ayn Rand poses e.g., “Objectivism,” a.k.a. a self-help fantasy written in a style akin to Stephanie Meyer’s “Twilight” series.

    Accepting, and defending, a senseless “theory” such as Objectivism, is defending a utopia you are aware will never actually happen. If you need an example, you clearly don’t know what was going on in 2008 and may want to e-mail Henry Paulson with “MORAL HAZARD?!” in the subject line (too soon, Henry?)

    Also, the page count is absurd, the epitome of bullshit (as defined by Frankfurt,) and a waste of paper.

    For every copy of Atlas Shrugged.. we could have had three copies of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

    Oliver, I enjoyed this piece, well done.

    • Oliver Miller

      Ayn Randians are like roaches.

    • http://likethehours.wordpress.com/ devin howard

      I applaud the reference to frankfurt, one of the greatest essays ever written. I have it on my desk actually and each of its 67 pages is better than the entirety of Atlas Shrugged.

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