Ayn Rand for All
Last comment by 22 1 year, 9 months ago.

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John Goedde, Idaho state senator , recently sponsored a bill that would require every Idaho high school student to read Atlas Shrugged. He then castigated newsmen for reporting the story, newsmen who obviously were not sophisticated enough to know that his sponsorship of the bill did not mean he sponsored the bill.Instead it was just a shot across the bow---brilliant! What he was really interested in doing was to hand the state run online education program over to private vendors who ,of course, would seek very little financial reward. And think of the broadening experience. Young Clem could have his homework checked by someone in India or China! A champion of the public school, Goedde's approach to saving the public school is to essentially eliminate the public school--Boy! can he think outside the box---vouchers anyone? But I digress. What would the kiddies learn from reading Ayn Rand? I offer the following:

1. They would learn how to construct a straw man.
2. They would swim with schools of red herrings.
3.They would learn how to create cardboard characters and how to churn out acres of purple prose.
4. They would would be titilated ( not a bad word ) by reading sexless sex scenes.
5.They would learn that businessmen are more important than God.
6.The girls would learn that no means yes and that a girl must earn the right to be a mistress.
7.They would learn how Soviet Realism can morph into a paean for fascism.
8.They would learn that Ayn likes phallic symbols-- all of those pointy things thrusting skyward.
9. They would learn that Atlas Shrugged was undoubtedly a response to the restrictive business climate during the oppressive Eisenhower administration.
10. They would learn that every aspect of the human experience is a business transaction and that love is for suckers.
11.They would learn that prolixity and profundity do not go hand in hand.
12. The would probably not want to read another novel for a long while.
13. They would learn that Rand hangs with Aristotle and doesn't have much use for science.
14. They would learn that narcissism is good for you.
15. They would learn that Objectivism only makes sense if compared against artificially created and necessarily weak alternatives.

Idahoans should take heart that this one will probably never see the light of day. On the other hand,they're stuck with Goedde and his merit pay,vouchers- for- all,and testing fantasies.Will these guys ever get it?


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Charles_and_Angie_Howell commented on Monday, Feb 11, 2013 at 07:46 AM

Fly, Charlie.
I will confess up front that I have not read “Atlas Shrugged.” I have read several summaries and have taken these two quotes from those synopses. I chose them as a counter-point to some of your issues.

“Rearden's wife Lillian, his mother, and his brother are nonproductive freeloaders who believe that the strong are morally obliged to support the weak.” This is from the Cliff’s Notes synopsis. I would (and do) strongly disagree with this statement that the strong are morally OBLIGATED to support the weak. I believe in voluntarily supporting those who are willing and trying to help themselves. I DO NOT believe in the redistribution of wealth to support everyone regardless of effort.

“At his trial, Rearden states that he doesn't recognize his deal with Danagger as a criminal action and, consequently, doesn't recognize the court's right to try him. He says that a man has the right to own the product of his effort and to trade it voluntarily with others. The government has no moral basis for outlawing the voluntary exchange of goods and services. The government, he says, has the power to seize his metal by force, and they have the power to compel him at the point of a gun. But he won't cooperate with their demands, and he won't pretend that the process is civil. If the government wishes to deal with men by compulsion, it must do so openly. Rearden states that he won't help the government pretend that his trial is anything but the initiation of a forced seizure of his metal. He says that he's proud of his metal, he's proud of his mills, he's proud of every penny that he's earned by his own hard work, and he'll not cooperate by voluntarily yielding one cent that is his. Rearden says that the government will have to seize his money and products by force, just like the robber it is.” This is also from the Cliff’s Notes synopsis. Based on the setting of America as described, I would have to agree with Reardon.

Reading your points (issues) with the book, I have to say that you seem to have a definite Socialist/Communist bend to your politics. I am not baiting you, just stating my observation. Needless to say, I am NOT in your corner. Based on your issues and the summaries that I have read, this book might be good required reading. On the other hand, I am not a fan of ‘required reading.’ I would just as soon students be given a choice of several modern classics.

I can’t really comment on the moral issues other than to say that if you want to mention morality with government and economics, let’s discuss babies born out of wedlock, siblings with multiple fathers, the welfare state, anchor babies, and illegal immigration.

Bryant commented on Monday, Feb 11, 2013 at 17:32 PM

Charlie, Bryant, I posted earlier but all my witty, insightful comments seem to have disappeared into the ether. Did I offend? Who knows.

I can't address all of Fly's comments about Atlas Shrugged but I can tell you, using the Cliff Notes version to form a rebuttal does not work. You really need to read the book to see how boring, preachy (in the worst sense), and poorly written it is. I believe in capitalism and individuality but I recognize capitalism must be constrained and regulated or we return to the days of Upton Sinclair's The Jungle. And while great intuitive leaps and innovations are accomplished by individuals, great accomplishments such as putting a man on the moon are accomplished by the concerted efforts of many.

As required reading, I can think of nothing better to increase the dropout rate than adding Ayn Rand to the list.

Charles_and_Angie_Howell commented on Monday, Feb 11, 2013 at 19:12 PM

Bryant, Charlie.

True, but the gist of the novel seems to support capitalism and individuality, so to me it serves as a counterpoint to Fly.

I have no doubt it is long, boring and preachy. I will stick to Tolkien.

Ironside commented on Monday, Feb 11, 2013 at 22:34 PM

Ayn Rand live in the Soviet Union under Stalin. She writes Altas Shrugged to expose the Communist Socialist Cenralized Government, and it's millions of government bureaucrats dictating how the economy was to fuction. The book describes the madness of Central Government control over every decision affecting production of the goods and services produced. An example used was a Communist Bureaucrat sending out an order to the government run factory to produce fifty million pencils per year. The bureaucrat had no idea if that number was over producing or under producing. Production became inefficient, wasteful, no quality control and so bureaucratic that the workers on the assembly line, who saw better ways to do things could not get anyone in the government bureaucracy to listen to them. The doers finally walked off the job and the system collapsed. The book written long before the Soviet Union collapsed, described exactly what would happen to the Communist/ Socialist Economic system. Anyone who believes in Central Government control of the economy, like Obamacare, Obama Motors, ect. , hates this book because it exposes, the failure of Socialism. I would add Milton Friedman’s book “Free To Choose” as required reading too.

After all I was required to read , Catcher and Rye, Brave New World, and A Clockwork Orange when I was in Public High School. I turned out to be a Conservative. I’m sure Atlas Shrugged and Free To Choose will not brainwash high school students to becoming Liberals or Conservatives, just well informed citizens able to see the world for what it is, not want our politicians want us to believe it is.

Bryant commented on Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 14:46 PM

charlie, Tolkien is much more entertaining. I recommmend Max Brooks, World War Z very highly, also the Goerge R R Martin Game of Thrones.

Ironside, if you recommend Friedman I refer you to Charlie's blog "Death Spiral". And I hate the book because it is exceedingly boring, poorly written, and is to capitalism what Das Kapital is to Socialism.

22 commented on Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 16:39 PM

I recommend "illustrated classics" 22


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