Author Topic: 'Atlas Shrugged':  (Read 2523 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Sue

  • Veteran
  • *
  • Posts: 19731
  • Karma: +1/-0
  • Thumbs Up
    • View Profile
'Atlas Shrugged':
« on: January 10, 2009, 09:42:28 PM »

From Fiction to Fact in 52 Years


The art for a 1999 postage stamp.

By STEPHEN MOORE
JANUARY 9, 2009


Some years ago when I worked at the libertarian Cato Institute, we used to label any new hire who had not yet read "Atlas Shrugged" a "virgin." Being conversant in Ayn Rand's classic novel about the economic carnage caused by big government run amok was practically a job requirement. If only "Atlas" were required reading for every member of Congress and political appointee in the Obama administration. I'm confident that we'd get out of the current financial mess a lot faster.

Many of us who know Rand's work have noticed that with each passing week, and with each successive bailout plan and economic-stimulus scheme out of Washington, our current politicians are committing the very acts of economic lunacy that "Atlas Shrugged" parodied in 1957, when this 1,000-page novel was first published and became an instant hit.

Rand, who had come to America from Soviet Russia with striking insights into totalitarianism and the destructiveness of socialism, was already a celebrity. The left, naturally, hated her. But as recently as 1991, a survey by the Library of Congress and the Book of the Month Club found that readers rated "Atlas" as the second-most influential book in their lives, behind only the Bible.

For the uninitiated, the moral of the story is simply this: Politicians invariably respond to crises -- that in most cases they themselves created -- by spawning new government programs, laws and regulations. These, in turn, generate more havoc and poverty, which inspires the politicians to create more programs . . . and the downward spiral repeats itself until the productive sectors of the economy collapse under the collective weight of taxes and other burdens imposed in the name of fairness, equality and do-goodism.

In the book, these relentless wealth redistributionists and their programs are disparaged as "the looters and their laws." Every new act of government futility and stupidity carries with it a benevolent-sounding title. These include the "Anti-Greed Act" to redistribute income (sounds like Charlie Rangel's promises soak-the-rich tax bill) and the "Equalization of Opportunity Act" to prevent people from starting more than one business (to give other people a chance). My personal favorite, the "Anti Dog-Eat-Dog Act," aims to restrict cut-throat competition between firms and thus slow the wave of business bankruptcies. Why didn't Hank Paulson think of that?

These acts and edicts sound farcical, yes, but no more so than the actual events in Washington, circa 2008. We already have been served up the $700 billion "Emergency Economic Stabilization Act" and the "Auto Industry Financing and Restructuring Act." Now that Barack Obama is in town, he will soon sign into law with great urgency the "American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan." This latest Hail Mary pass will increase the federal budget (which has already expanded by $1.5 trillion in eight years under George Bush) by an additional $1 trillion -- in roughly his first 100 days in office.

The current economic strategy is right out of "Atlas Shrugged": The more incompetent you are in business, the more handouts the politicians will bestow on you. That's the justification for the $2 trillion of subsidies doled out already to keep afloat distressed insurance companies, banks, Wall Street investment houses, and auto companies -- while standing next in line for their share of the booty are real-estate developers, the steel industry, chemical companies, airlines, ethanol producers, construction firms and even catfish farmers. With each successive bailout to "calm the markets," another trillion of national wealth is subsequently lost. Yet, as "Atlas" grimly foretold, we now treat the incompetent who wreck their companies as victims, while those resourceful business owners who manage to make a profit are portrayed as recipients of illegitimate "windfalls."

When Rand was writing in the 1950s, one of the pillars of American industrial might was the railroads. In her novel the railroad owner, Dagny Taggart, an enterprising industrialist, has a FedEx-like vision for expansion and first-rate service by rail. But she is continuously badgered, cajoled, taxed, ruled and regulated -- always in the public interest -- into bankruptcy. Sound far-fetched? On the day I sat down to write this ode to "Atlas," a Wall Street Journal headline blared: "Rail Shippers Ask Congress to Regulate Freight Prices."

In one chapter of the book, an entrepreneur invents a new miracle metal -- stronger but lighter than steel. The government immediately appropriates the invention in "the public good." The politicians demand that the metal inventor come to Washington and sign over ownership of his invention or lose everything.

The scene is eerily similar to an event late last year when six bank presidents were summoned by Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson to Washington, and then shuttled into a conference room and told, in effect, that they could not leave until they collectively signed a document handing over percentages of their future profits to the government. The Treasury folks insisted that this shakedown, too, was all in "the public interest."

Ultimately, "Atlas Shrugged" is a celebration of the entrepreneur, the risk taker and the cultivator of wealth through human intellect. Critics dismissed the novel as simple-minded, and even some of Rand's political admirers complained that she lacked compassion. Yet one pertinent warning resounds throughout the book: When profits and wealth and creativity are denigrated in society, they start to disappear -- leaving everyone the poorer.

One memorable moment in "Atlas" occurs near the very end, when the economy has been rendered comatose by all the great economic minds in Washington. Finally, and out of desperation, the politicians come to the heroic businessman John Galt (who has resisted their assault on capitalism) and beg him to help them get the economy back on track. The discussion sounds much like what would happen today:

Galt: "You want me to be Economic Dictator?"

Mr. Thompson: "Yes!"

"And you'll obey any order I give?"

"Implicitly!"

"Then start by abolishing all income taxes."

"Oh no!" screamed Mr. Thompson, leaping to his feet. "We couldn't do that . . . How would we pay government employees?"

"Fire your government employees."

"Oh, no!"

Abolishing the income tax. Now that really would be a genuine economic stimulus. But Mr. Obama and the Democrats in Washington want to do the opposite: to raise the income tax "for purposes of fairness" as Barack Obama puts it.

David Kelley, the president of the Atlas Society, which is dedicated to promoting Rand's ideas, explains that "the older the book gets, the more timely its message." He tells me that there are plans to make "Atlas Shrugged" into a major motion picture -- it is the only classic novel of recent decades that was never made into a movie. "We don't need to make a movie out of the book," Mr. Kelley jokes. "We are living it right now."

Mr. Moore is senior economics writer for The Wall Street Journal editorial page.


Peter Schiff Was Right 2006 - 2007 (2nd Edition)  Why gold is money. Gold stores wealth 

   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pL4e7F5Y6sk&NR=1   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2I0QN-FYkpw

"At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed all right-thinking people will accept without question. It is not exactly forbidden to state this or that or the other, but it is "not done".
...Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with.

Offline laconas

  • Veteran
  • *
  • Posts: 13653
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: 'Atlas Shrugged':
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2009, 10:09:14 PM »
I would still argue we're moving towards a Fascist model rather than a Socialist model. Obama has already spoken of mandatory purchasing of health insurance and Wall St. financial products.
Nobody censors what they agree with

Offline ChrisPDX

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 1249
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: 'Atlas Shrugged':
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2009, 02:14:55 AM »
I got my laptop back....

I just wanted you to know that I read your posts first, before others.

Thank you for your contribution.

Maybe next month, I will get ramped up enough to respond or post.

You are a Jewell!

Chris!
Boo!

Offline wag

  • Veteran
  • *
  • Posts: 10423
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: 'Atlas Shrugged':
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2009, 06:18:33 AM »
Quote
If only "Atlas" were required reading for every member of Congress and political appointee in the Obama administration. I'm confident that we'd get out of the current financial mess a lot faster.

The people responsible for the current situation know that soul-less book inside and out.
Nobody gets paid to tell the truth.

Offline Sue

  • Veteran
  • *
  • Posts: 19731
  • Karma: +1/-0
  • Thumbs Up
    • View Profile
Re: 'Atlas Shrugged':
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2009, 08:45:15 AM »
I would still argue we're moving towards a Fascist model rather than a Socialist model. Obama has already spoken of mandatory purchasing of health insurance and Wall St. financial products.

Murray Rothbard: `The difference between free-market capitalism and state capitalism is precisely the difference between, on the one hand, peaceful, voluntary exchange, and on the other, violent expropriation.` ~

        Both communism and fascism have given rise to totalitarian police states, where the freedoms of
        individuals were sacrificed for the good of the state. In both communism and fascism, the state is
        everything, the individual is nothing.

        It is interesting to note that though both communism and fascism claim to be ideological enemies
        and complete opposites, for someone who values individual freedom and free markets, there is really
        no difference.

From Yahoo:

What is the difference beween fascism and communism?

The difference is facism lies about the free market controling them secretly while communism tells the people the  state will help the production by deciding on what to make for the company so communsim is more trueful than fascism.

"This ism, that ism. Ism, ism, ism."

John Lennon was right -- there are a lot of "isms." The ones you mention are politically loaded and often used interchangeably, although the meanings are actually quite different. Hopefully, the definitions below explain the differences. However, please note that definitions don't always mimic real-world scenarios.

In very broad strokes, socialism is an economic system in which "the means of producing and distributing goods is owned collectively or by a centralized government that often plans and controls the economy." In modern societies, socialism often attempts to eradicate class divisions. While the word "socialism" is sometimes used interchangeably with "communism," the two aren't the same -- communism is a more extreme form of socialism.

Communism advocates the "collective ownership of property and the organization of labor for the common advantage of all members." While communism is first and foremost an economic system, it's also a political ideology that rejects religion. And just as communism is a form of socialism, Marxism, Maoism, and Leninism are branches of communism.

Like socialism and communism, fascism uses a central authority to maintain control, but "terror and censorship" are common. It results from economic failure in democratic political systems. Interestingly, while socialism and communism are both on the left end of the political spectrum, fascism contains elements of both "left and right ideology" and rises from economic collapse.

That ought to tell you it's not a good way to run a country.

"At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed all right-thinking people will accept without question. It is not exactly forbidden to state this or that or the other, but it is "not done".
...Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with.

Offline jewbacca

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 1320
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: 'Atlas Shrugged':
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2009, 09:05:29 AM »
there's that word "incompetence" again, tsk tsk.
comparing the current "legislation"  with a hail mary pass is also
a bad analogy as the latter actually has a chance of succeeding.
the former has a 100% chance of success if by success you mean
complete and total economic destruction which succeeds in
creating the largest ever transfer of wealth to the ruling class.
these two articles were posted elsewhere with the caveat that
they are not from the onion.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/anatole_kaletsky/article5469589.ece

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123120525879656021.html

Offline Sue

  • Veteran
  • *
  • Posts: 19731
  • Karma: +1/-0
  • Thumbs Up
    • View Profile
Re: 'Atlas Shrugged':
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2009, 09:57:29 AM »
Home Vault sales must be up?

       Some of the most attractive savings deals have already been withdrawn and more are
       expected to  follow next week as research showed the average savings rate is already
       at its lowest level for five years.

       And experts warned that if rates continue to fall, savers could even end up paying
      "negative" savings rates, where they are charged by banks for looking after their money.

Mark Dampier, of asset managers Hargreaves Lansdown, said: "No one who has any sense is going to put £100,000 under the mattress and so you will have no choice but to put it in the bank, even if savings rates fall into negative territory and you end up being charged for the privilege."


http://www.freedomportal.net/forum/index.php?topic=10978.msg91686#msg91686
"At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed all right-thinking people will accept without question. It is not exactly forbidden to state this or that or the other, but it is "not done".
...Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with.

Offline laconas

  • Veteran
  • *
  • Posts: 13653
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: 'Atlas Shrugged':
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2009, 09:58:47 AM »
Quote
Like socialism and communism, fascism uses a central authority to maintain control, but "terror and censorship" are common. It results from economic failure in democratic political systems. Interestingly, while socialism and communism are both on the left end of the political spectrum, fascism contains elements of both "left and right ideology" and rises from economic collapse.

On the positive side, our coming Fascist economic system might free us from our left/right, capitalist/communist paradigm.
Nobody censors what they agree with

Offline Sue

  • Veteran
  • *
  • Posts: 19731
  • Karma: +1/-0
  • Thumbs Up
    • View Profile
Re: 'Atlas Shrugged':
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2009, 10:11:00 AM »

All 'isms' start out as ideals, inevitably they become corrupted by extremes. The scramble for a new cycle begins again.

"At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed all right-thinking people will accept without question. It is not exactly forbidden to state this or that or the other, but it is "not done".
...Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with.

Offline laconas

  • Veteran
  • *
  • Posts: 13653
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: 'Atlas Shrugged':
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2009, 10:34:13 AM »
Mussolini would shrug if he ever saw how little credit he is given in history.


Quote
Mussolini and the fascists managed to be simultaneously revolutionary and traditionalist;[13][14] because this was vastly different to anything else in the political climate of the time, it is sometimes described as "The Third Way".[15]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benito_Mussolini
Nobody censors what they agree with

Offline Sue

  • Veteran
  • *
  • Posts: 19731
  • Karma: +1/-0
  • Thumbs Up
    • View Profile
Re: 'Atlas Shrugged':
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2009, 10:46:16 AM »


Jewel:

Usage: often attributive
Etymology: Middle English juel,
from Anglo-French, diminutive of ju, jeu game, play,
from Latin jocus game, joke `” more at joke
Date: 13th century

In German, Jewel is Edelstein - Edelstein, adopted as surname.  8)

"At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed all right-thinking people will accept without question. It is not exactly forbidden to state this or that or the other, but it is "not done".
...Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with.

Offline tiberiusapsimar

  • Lance Corporal
  • *
  • Posts: 42
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: 'Atlas Shrugged':
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2009, 11:20:05 AM »
Am I allowed to start my own bank?  I would be glad to take in all of your deposits and not charge you for the privilege.

Offline laconas

  • Veteran
  • *
  • Posts: 13653
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: 'Atlas Shrugged':
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2009, 11:32:17 AM »
Quote
In German, Jewel is Edelstein - Edelstein, adopted as surname.

Like Sen. Dianne Feinstein?
Nobody censors what they agree with

Offline ChrisPDX

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 1249
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: 'Atlas Shrugged':
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2009, 11:40:51 AM »
OK, instead your are my angel in these seas of threads!
Boo!

Offline graybeard

  • First Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 632
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: 'Atlas Shrugged':
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2009, 01:04:25 PM »
I would still argue we're moving towards a Fascist model rather than a Socialist model. Obama has already spoken of mandatory purchasing of health insurance and Wall St. financial products.
I see your point, but isn't it possible for socialism and facism to exist together?  That's how it appeared to be in Atlas Shrugged--and I do see facism developing in this country, now.

In Atlas Shrugged, the government became quite dictatorial (the defining characteristic of facism)--but its underlying impulse was toward socialistic goals (rob the wealthy and distribute the proceeds to the masses).

I don't recall the title, but Miss Rand devoted a LONG chapter to illustrating the anguish which socialism causes to individual, private lives--and NOT ONLY to the wealthy!

Offline Sue

  • Veteran
  • *
  • Posts: 19731
  • Karma: +1/-0
  • Thumbs Up
    • View Profile
Re: 'Atlas Shrugged':
« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2009, 02:51:32 PM »
Laconas: Mussolini would shrug if he ever saw how little credit he is given in history.

        Mussolini
        did not ignore the plight of the working class, however, and he gained their support with stances
        such as those in 'The Manifesto of the Fascist Struggle', published in June 1919. In the manifesto
        he demanded, amongst other things, creation of a minimum wage, showing the same confidence
        in labor unions as was given to industry executives or public servants, voting rights for women, and
        the systemisation of public transport such as railways.[12]

        The principle elements of Fascist ideology are laid out in the Manifesto of the Fascist Struggle and
        are as follows:

        Nationalism 
        Economic centralization with progressive taxation
        Subordination of Church to State
        Expansionist militarism
        Political equality for women, etc.    ~ ~ ~

HAHAHAHA, Politicians don't blush! EXAMPLES:

`We`re only making promises we can keep . . . read our platform, and you`ll see promises that we will keep.`
Conservative Party Leader Stephen Harper, December 15, 2005
(NOTE: the Conservatives broke at least 30 of their election promises)

`Leadership demands honesty.`
Liberal Party Leader Stephane Dion, February 6, 2008
(NOTE: Liberals have done nothing to ensure honesty can be demanded from leaders)

`Honesty, fairness and transparency should be the rule, not the exception in our political life.`
NDP Leader Jack Layton, November 1, 2005
(NOTE: the NDP did almost nothing since the last election to make honesty the rule)

`A government that cannot keep its promises is a government that will not have the moral authority to govern.` [translated]
Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe, December 15, 2005
(NOTE: the Bloc has done almost nothing to ensure governments are required to keep promises)

`I have made a commitment to myself, to may family, and I make the same commitment to voters, that I`ll tell the truth all the time.`
Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, March 5, 2008
(NOTE: but will the Green Party platform include measures to require people in politics to tell the truth?) ~ ~ ~

Free Market Capitalism
generally refers to an economic system in which the means of production are privately owned and operated for profit, and in which investments, distribution, income, production and pricing of goods and services are determined through the operation of a free market. It is usually considered to involve the right of individuals and groups of individuals acting as "legal persons" or corporations to trade capital goods, labor, land and money...

The defining characteristic of capitalism is, of course, its usage of capital. ~ ~ ~

Mark Weber: The Spirit of Capitalism
There is nothing degrading about capitalism. Such an approach to monetary gain is markedly different from the sordid passion of greed, for monetary gain was not to be used for luxury or self-indulgent bodily comfort, but rather was to be saved, and accumulated.

Neither could the resulting frugality be mistaken for miserliness, as the accumulated resources were to be reinvested in worthy enterprises. The spirit of capitalism constituted a sort of moral `˜`habitus`` which burdened the possessor of money with a steward`s obligation toward his own possessions. ~ ~ ~

Naomi Klein - Unfettered Capitalism
 Her book: ''The Shock Doctrine'' details how time and again, governments of all stripes have used almost any crisis that presents itself as an opportunity to advance radical economic restructuring: gutting social programs, privatizing and deregulating large sectors of economies, and leaving a global trail of devastation in their wake. Committed to nothing less than the exposure of the dominant economic theory of our time as a blood-soaked fraud, Klein shows that unfettered capitalism is an inherently violent ideology that is fundamentally incompatible with political freedom and true democracy. ~ ~ ~

Corporations are not moral entities. I was looking for articles on 'unfettered' capitalism, ironically, this came up:

"The High Priestess of Unfettered Capitalism"
 
Bush's nomination of Rep. Chris Cox to head the Securities and Exchange Commission makes Friday's Page One in an article by business reporter Stephen Labaton, accompanied by the leading headline, "Bush S.E.C. Pick Is Seen As Friend To Corporations."

President Bush, hearing complaints about Mr. Donaldson's record from across the business spectrum, responded on Thursday by nominating Representative Christopher Cox, a conservative Republican from California, as a successor whose loyalties seem clear. And unlike the Supreme Court, where Justice Souter has a lifetime appointment, the S.E.C. provides the White House with an immediate opportunity to tip the balance of the five-person commission in a more favorable direction.

Mr. Cox - a devoted student of Ayn Rand, the high priestess of unfettered capitalism - has a long record in the House of promoting the agenda of business interests that are a cornerstone of the Republican Party's political and financial support.... Full story at the picture link.

"At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed all right-thinking people will accept without question. It is not exactly forbidden to state this or that or the other, but it is "not done".
...Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with.

Offline Sue

  • Veteran
  • *
  • Posts: 19731
  • Karma: +1/-0
  • Thumbs Up
    • View Profile
Re: 'Atlas Shrugged':
« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2009, 03:04:14 PM »
In Canada - NO.

In America a ban has been extended on retailers' plans to open own banks - Just in case you are not joking, no, you cannot.
"At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed all right-thinking people will accept without question. It is not exactly forbidden to state this or that or the other, but it is "not done".
...Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with.

Offline Sue

  • Veteran
  • *
  • Posts: 19731
  • Karma: +1/-0
  • Thumbs Up
    • View Profile
Re: 'Atlas Shrugged':
« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2009, 03:11:42 PM »
Like Sen. Dianne Feinstein?

Yes, like Dr. Goldstein - my ex-dentist.
"At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed all right-thinking people will accept without question. It is not exactly forbidden to state this or that or the other, but it is "not done".
...Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with.

Offline Sue

  • Veteran
  • *
  • Posts: 19731
  • Karma: +1/-0
  • Thumbs Up
    • View Profile
Re: 'Atlas Shrugged':
« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2009, 04:54:42 PM »

Socialism and Fascism

To know what socialism and fascism are, let us begin by examining some historical examples of each. Fascist states have included Hitler's Germany, Mussolini's Italy, Tojo's Japan, Franco's Spain, Pinochet's Chile, and possibly Peron's Argentina. If we were to focus on each of these concretes, we would observe numerous differences. For instance, Hitler's Fascism was racist. Mussolini's was not. Mussolini's fascism involved belligerent nationalism. Franco's did not. What unites each of these concretes into a group of similars can be seen in a common definition of fascism: "A governmental system with strong centralized power, permitting no opposition or criticism, controlling all affairs of the nation (industrial, commercial, etc.)" (American College Dictionary, New York: Random House, 1957).



(1) That the Soviet Union was actually a socialist state is surprisingly another point of contention. Modern socialists typically charge that the USSR was not socialist, but Stalinist, and that the attrocities associated with that regime were entirely attributable to Stalin's adulteration of communist doctrine. The fallacies in this view are multifaceted, but I cannot write another essay explaining this as well. For the moment, I will merely argue that the USSR (and Communist China, as well) were in fact the living embodiments of socialist ideas. There is not a plank in Marx's Manifesto which was not implemented in the Soviet Union, save for Marx's arbitrary prescription that the state should "wither away". That such was not the case in the USSR was not a mere failure to practice socialist principles, but a consequence of the fact that socialist principles were inconsistent in theory. It is not possible to argue that each individual should sacrifice for the whole of society, and yet expect each individual to know what "society's good" consists of, without having a dictator to tell them.

(2) The way in which I have explained the process of concept-formation is consistent with Ayn Rand's solution to the problem of universals in Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology.

Revised: 2. November, 1997 a.D. http://www.lawrence.edu/sorg/objectivism/socfasc.html



Fascism is Socialism: Franco was not a Fascist -- a briefing document supplement to socialist religions

http://abelard.org/briefings/fascism-is-socialism.php
"At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed all right-thinking people will accept without question. It is not exactly forbidden to state this or that or the other, but it is "not done".
...Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with.

Offline laconas

  • Veteran
  • *
  • Posts: 13653
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: 'Atlas Shrugged':
« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2009, 05:10:55 PM »
Quote
I see your point, but isn't it possible for socialism and facism to exist together?  That's how it appeared to be in Atlas Shrugged--and I do see facism developing in this country, now.

There's a lot of gray area and it has existed side by side in the US for many years now. For example, we have socialized medicine for the poor, yet the govt. pays pharmaceutical companies billions to develop drugs. The former is socialist, the latter fascist.

Another example, FDR created a system of "voluntary contributions" for retirement known as Social Security. In the late 80'a laws were passed giving tax breaks to people who invested in Wall St. products for their retirement. The latter again is by definition Fascist since the govt. is indirectly giving benefits to big corps. at taxpayer expense.

Quote
In Atlas Shrugged, the government became quite dictatorial (the defining characteristic of facism)--but its underlying impulse was toward socialistic goals (rob the wealthy and distribute the proceeds to the masses).

One can argue whether the Socialist program known as SS is really voluntary.

Quote
I don't recall the title, but Miss Rand devoted a LONG chapter to illustrating the anguish which socialism causes to individual, private lives--and NOT ONLY to the wealthy!

You should give us some examples so we can see her view of Socialism.
Nobody censors what they agree with