Hello This is the Radical Reviewer taking
a look at Atlas Shrugged By Ayn Rand Penguin Books Publishing 1957 In this book Ayn Rand basically divides all
of humanity into 3 categories. The Prime Movers, the Looters, and the Parasites which are like
just the average people. This story is about how the Looters, who are
bureaucratic, socially minded, liberal, do gooders, are destroying the economy and the
world with their excessive regulations, and taxes, and government intervention in the
market, and welfare programs and the like, and so the Prime Movers, the stoic, individualistic,
entrepreneurs, must go on strike, must withhold their ingenuity, and go into hiding in a secret
Wakanda style hidden capitalist utopia to wait for all the Looters and the parasitic
welfare bums they support, to all die off so that the Prime Movers can then come out
of hiding and create a free market capitalist utopia. In the book the Prime Movers are like somehow
solely responsible for everything to do with the company. It’s like Ayn Rand thinks that
Steve Jobs was solely responsible for everything Apple ever did, Bill Gates is solely responsible
for Microsoft, same goes for Elon Musk and Tesla, Phill Knight and Nike, Jeff Bezos and
Amazon, you name it.
However, we know this isn’t true.
The engineers and scientists working for the government or with research and development
grants and the entry level workers, and everyone in between, collectively made those companies
what they are today. Also, this looters category seems to imply
that any and all government taxes and regulations and social services are all just reckless
meddling, that only damage the market. Again historically, patently false. Many folks have
been able to achieve great things, even things I’m sure Ayn Rand would support, by accessing
low income housing, welfare, food assistance, federal student aid programs, and other social
services. Basically these categories seem to correspond
to reality. Regardless, thinking about these categories,
I wanted to replace the "prime movers" and "looters" terminology Ayn Rand uses with something
more accurate. At first, I wanted to think of funny replacements. maybe referring to
Tony Stark or Scrooge McDuck or Bruce Wayne (particularly the Frank Miller one) or maybe
even Mr. A or Rorschach even if those are a little on the nose. Buuut, for our purposes here I will call the
Prime Movers, Utopian Capitalists and I will call the Looters, Dystopian Bleeding Hearts.
These terms are much more accurate, as you will see.
Oh, and also, while reading this book I noticed
a lot of its arguments are incredibly fascist. We'll see this explored throughout the overview
of the text, but also for good measure, in the conclusion of this video I will look at
one of the most well regarded definitions of Fa$cism, that being Umberto Echo's 14 common
features of fa$cism and see how Atlas Shrugged stacks up But anyway with all that said, let's get into
the text in depth … oh and if you didn't know this text is a beast. Imma try and go
through it as expediently as possible, but there is no avoiding this being a long one,
so get yourself a snack, get yourself comfortable and let's get into it.
Part 1 Non-Contradiction…oh yeah the sections
of this book are named after the three fundamental laws of logic. Because, just like Ben Shapiro.
Ayn Rand has a major hard-on for the aesthetics of logic and rationality while demonstrating
in practice that she actually doesn't understand it at all, it's great. Alright let's get into
it. To start, we are introduced to Jim Taggart,
a Dystopian Bleeding Heart, and president of the Taggart Transcontinental train company
and we meet our main protagonist, Jim’s sister, the Utopian Capitalist, Dagny Taggart.
Dagny does all the work but Jim gets all the credit because he’s the company president
and because he has connections to politicians in washington. Jim talks about how ^loyalty is important
even when it means working with companies who never deliver on time and always over
charge^, and Dagny says, ^psh forget that, I didn’t order steel from our “friends”
I ordered Rierdon Metal, this new kind of unobtanium, adamantium type fantasy metal
that is stronger, cheaper and lighter than steel.^ We then hear a little bit about Hank Rierdon,
the Utopian Capitalist who invented this new unobtanium type metal.
Basically he got his
start working the worst jobs in the bottom of the mines and everyone there was an idiot
except him, but eventually he worked his way up, pulled on those bootstraps and now he’s
a genius, entrepreneur, inventor, well, Utopian Capitalist. Your standard rags to riches fantasy
faire that pro-capitalists like to wheel out: X person was a college drop out and now their
a billionaire, X person got hired as the janitor and now they're the CEO, you know the stories…always
neglecting to mention the part where wealthy families, prestigious universities, loans,
grants, and other connexions made those stories possible. Oh and like how Dagny Taggart has a Dystopia
Bleeding Heart brother opposite her character, well Hank has a Dystopian Bleeding Heart socialite
gold digger wife, a college educated philanthropist never worked a day in his life brother, and
his old crow of a mother who all live with and off of Hank Reirdon.
Then we hear about this guy Francisco D'anconia,
the richest man in the world who owns a bunch of copper mines. He’s a childhood friend
of Jim and Dagny Taggart. As a child Francisco would run away from home to go work in the
factories because from birth he was just such a bootstrap lifting hard worker and also a
super genius who was always good at everything he ever tried. This will be a repeated pattern
with these Utopian Capitalists types. Later there is talk about the government investing
in Mexico and lifting up other nations, and Dagny has this internal monologue like, ^my
family is so cool, they didn't believe in getting any handouts, my Utopian Capitalist
grandpappy Nat Taggert, who created Taggart Transcontinental went door to door to poor
farmers getting investors, and when he was offered a government loan he refused and threw
the man down a flight of stairs.^ Dagny then walks the city wishing some Utopian
Capitalist man would come and sweep her off her feet.
She thinks about her favorite composer,
another Utopian Capitalist, who has disappeared, and she thinks about how quite a lot these
Utopian Capitalist folks have been disappearing lately. Then we find out Mexico nationalized their
railway and in response the Dystopian Bleeding Heart bureaucratics at the Rail Alliance pass
the Dog Eat Dog Proposal to help protect the rails from over competition. Talking to Hank, Dagny states, Pg. 84 “I
know it’s useless – getting angry at people like Jim and his friends. We haven’t any
time for it. First, I have to undo what they’ve done. Then afterwards…Afterwards they won’t
matter” and Hank replies, Pg. 85 “All that lunacy is temporary. It can’t last.
It’s demented, so it has to defeat itself.” and Hank and Dagny talk about how they hate
the Dog-Eat-Dog Proposal, and how they are going to work together and build a railroad
like no one thought was possible.
By the way it's important to keep in mind
that the Utopian Capitalists, throughout this whole book always talk and act like they are
totally stoic and rational and logical and totally in control and unphased by anything
all the time. So keep that in mind going forward. We then find out that Dagny and Francesco
used to hook up in college, but over the last decade or so he's been acting like a Bruce
Wayne playboy buffoon which is out of character for him. He explains to Dagny that he has
this plan to bankrupt his mines in Mexico to attack the Dystopian Bleeding Hearts, and
Dagny is all like, ^whaaaat, we’re utopian capitalists bro, we’re practically genetically
designed to make companies, not destroy them, why would you do the opposite of what we're
destined to do?!^ Then an Equalization of Opportunity bill is
passed, and the Dystopian Bleeding Hearts justify it stating, Pg. 127 "A free economy
cannot exist without competition. Therefore men must be forced to compete therefore we
must control men in order to force them to be free" basically every new bill or act or
policy passed over the course of the story is a slow ramping up of over regulation, a
slow government take over of, and therefore destruction of, the economy.
Hank has a wedding anniversary party and everyone
is there. Jim Taggart and Francisco and Hank talk about the Equalization of Opportunity
bill, Mexico nationalizing its railway, and all that, and Hank and Francisco talk about
how they are Titans that are supporting all of these lazy parasites and they bicker with
each other about what it means to be a Titan. Hank is all like, ^Francisco, I have deduced
rationally that I'm the true titan and you're a parasite because you're ruining your investments
in Mexico and acting like a total playboy buffoon^
And Francisco is all like, ^Quite the contrary, Hanky Panky, the rational objective truth
is that I am the real titan because I'm super selfish and don't care about anyone but myself,
meanwhile you are a parasite because you let your lazy good for nothing mother, brother,
and wife live off your hard work^ Meanwhile, Dagny is breaking all these new
laws and regulations in order to get the rail built.
She orders all her rails and replacement
tools out of Reirdon metal which of course are cheaper than anyone else and always delivered
on time. They need to replace a bridge and not only does Hank produce the metal for the
bridge but he also invents a totally new way to construct a bridge which requires much
less materials, you know, because these utopian capitalists are so amazing that they don’t
only invent unobtanium super metals, they also invent totally new ways to construct
This is essentially the, “because he’s Batman” trope, you know, how does
Batman know anything about literally any field of science or industry that the plot dictates?
Forensics, weapons logistics, chemistry, hand to hand combat, computer hacking or whatever?…because
he's Batman. How does Hank know more about the chemistry of making metal than anyone
else, but also more about the physics and engineering of bridge construction, than anyone
else? Because he’s a Utopian Capitalist.
The State Science Institute, the government’s
scientific arm, wants to steal Rearden Metal because they are so bureaucratic and uninventive
and wasting the public's money, and they don't want this private entrepreneur’s new invention
to make them look bad. This is the same argument anarcho-capitalist types use when talking
about inventions such as the cell phone (clip?)…I've talked about
this before but, basically this idea has no basis in reality. Private companies are worried
about the bottom line, about their profit margins and so do not fund the very costly
and risky work of research and development instead they rely on grants and government
scientists and Military scientists to do that. Anyway of course Hank refuses to sell the
rights to Reirden Metal so Reirden Metal starts being demonized by the government which also
hurts Taggart Transcontinental since the metal is being used for so much of the railroad
construction so Dagny and Hank decide they will form their own railroad company together,
taking on all the risks and bad press, then finish all the rail lines and then give the
company over to Taggard Transcontinental and save the day.
In the world of the book the term "Who is
John Gault?" refers to something helpless or failed: Why is the government so bureaucratic?
Who is John Gault? Why is steel never delivered on time? Who is John Gault? etc. and so Dagny
and Hank decide to name their company the John Gault Line to spit in the face of the
hopelessness invoked by that phrase. Because of the contradictory nature of the
book there is a lot of inconsistency here, like, noone wants to invest in the John Gault
Line because they all think Reardon Metal is dangerous, yet everyone is secretly investing
in the company because they know it will make a return on their investment because Reardon
Metal is so great and awesome.
Also the Unions hate the John Gault Line company because it’s
rejecting unions, and regulations, and safety recommendations, and they use scabs, and all
that, yet the company is flooded with workers, Pg. 192 "More applicants than I can hire.
I don't think the union is going to interfere . Most of the applicants are giving fronted
names. They are union members and desperate for work" Over the course of the story there isn’t
really a lot of talk about the making of the Rearden Metal or the John Galt Line. The book,
I realize, has main characters to focus on, but there isn’t really any time given to
the average people doing the work. Again it seems like Ayn Rand literally thinks Bazos
alone runs Amazon, Elon Musk alone runs Tesla, or whatever. The Newspapers complain that Reardan metal
is dangerous and that Hank and Dagny are greedy, they ask, Pg. 214 “What protection does
society have against the selfishness and greed of two unbridaled individualists whose records
are conspicuously devoid of any publicly spirited actions?" And the public is saying, Pg. 213
"when they run the first train on the John Galt Line, the rail will split.
get to the bridge if they do the bridge will collapse under the engine" School boys and retired workers line the track
armed with rifles to protect the rail from attack. As the train passes all those standing
guard salute with their rifles and at every town the train passes people are on the rooftops
and in the streets waving and cheering on the train. Again this is totally inconsistent,
the John Gault Line and this bridge of Reirdon metal are both distrusted and hated by the
public who are also flooding the streets and rooftops cheering them on? This is a concept
called 'selective populism' which is going to come up when we discuss Umberto Eco’s
14 features of fascism. As the train goes over the bridge and everything
goes off without a hitch Dagny goes into the engine room and starts yelling and being really
enamored, really inebriated with the whole experience. I’m pretty sure she wants to
have sex with the train, or like Ayn Rand wants to do it with trains or something.
Hank and Dagny hook up, and Dagny talks about how she wants to be totally used and diminished
into an object for Hank’s use. Meanwhile, the Dystopian Bleeding Heart Jim
Taggart meets a girl who is a temporarily embarrassed millionaire, a temporarily embarrassed
Utopian Capitalist, that is to say she has the mindset of Hank and Dagny but she is just
a poor entry level cashier person. Anyway, this woman and Jim hit it off, mostly because
she thinks that he is also a Utopian Capitalist. They discuss Reirdon Metal and Jim says, Pg.
246 "Riordan. He didn't invent smelting and chemistry and air compression. He couldn't
have invented his metal but for thousands and thousands of other people." basically
the “all is made by all” argument popularized by Peter Kropotkin.
I've used this clip many
times in other videos, but it just explains the idea so concisely (all is made by all
clip) Dagny and Hank decide to celebrate their success
and go on a road trip through the country, everything is abandoned factories and overgrown
and such, but in an abandoned motor factory, they find the remnants of an unfinished engine
that was designed to run on static from the atmosphere, a free energy source, for all
practical purposes a perpetual motion engine. You know, on top of the unobtanium metal and
the totally new bridge structures they gotta have a perpetual motion engine as well. In the meantime more Utopian Capitalists disappear
and the government passes new regulations limiting the speed of trains, and how many
cars they can pull and limits the amount of Reirdon metal that can be produced, you know,
because government regulation isn’t done for the purposes of safety or anything like
that but simply to ruinously overregulate business. Dagny goes to the banker who provided loans
for the factory where the perpetual engine was found, to try and find out who made it
so it could be finished.
The banker explains that, Pg. 290 "I wasn't concerned with the
parasites of Laboratories and offices I like the real workers the ones with calluses on
their hands” and Pg. 292 "I can proudly say that in all of my life I have never made
a profit” basically the banker is a Dystopian Bleeding Heart who paid too much attention
to the parasites and ignored the Utopian capitalists and so it’s the fault of men like him that
the various factories of the country are out of business. Dagny then talks to the siblings who owned
the factory where the perpetual motion engine was found, and one of them explains, Pg.
"We put into place that noble historical precept: from each according to his abilities to each
according to his needs. Everybody in the factory, from charwoman to president, received the
same salary” she explains that they ran the factory all super socialist with democratic
meetings and everything and of course they totally failed. Who would have thought Ayn
Rand would completely misunderstand Marxism as contrary to the self interest of human
nature, rather than greatly informed by it. Anyways Dagny discovers that the man who invented
the engine left the minute this evil democratic workplace plan was announced. Oh by the way,
keep in mind that at this motor factory’s new plan made it so everyone is paid the same. Part 2 Either-Or We then meet Dr. Stadler, the president of
The State Science Institute. He is mad that the modern scientists are all rationality
denying, objectivity denying, post-modern neo-marxists now. He reads from a recent book
by Dr. Floyd Farris, the lead thinker of this postmodern neo-marxists movement, which was
published by the institute, it states, Pg.
319 "Do not expect consistency. Everything
is a contradiction of everything else. Nothing exists but contradiction" I don’t want to
get into a big thing about this, but I and many other folks have discussed Marx and Hegel
and what they say about contradiction in more detail so look there if you want to understand
more. But for our purposes here I’ll just say that Marx didn’t believe in contradictions
like, he believed up was down, rich was poor or whatever, but rather, he believed that
systems like gravity or economics have contradictions, have conflicting relationships within themselves.
Up lives in contradiction and conflict with down, the rich live in conflict and contradictions
with the poor and so on. If you're hip you'll recognize this "our colleges and institutes
are infected with reality denying postmodernists" argument is basically your standard cultural-bolshevism,
cultural-Marxism, the Frankfort school is the illuminati, fascist anti-intellectual
Anyways, Dagny asks Dr. Stadler, ^Yo lead
science guy, do you know anyone who might have invented this, here, perpetual motion
engine? And if not, could you recommend someone for the job?^ And Dr. Stadler explains, ^I
don’t know who might have started it, but I do know this one scientist who hates the
government, he hates social responsibility and is a total Utopian Capitalist like you,
you’d love him.^ So she hires this scientist to finish the engine. Meanwhile the government passes more and more
regulations. Now trains can only go 50 miles an hour and only carry like 40 cars. Using
coal and other outdated technology is becoming common again because the regulations are so
bad things are reverting backwards. And more of the utopian capitalists are disappearing.
Dagny calls the man who is taking away all these Utopian Capitalists ^The Destroyer^
because he is destroying the economy. The Science Institute demands Rierden Metal
for this thing called Project X but again Hank refuses because he doesn't want to sell
anything to the government even though this is now against the law and he can be arrested.
He is all like, ^My objective self interest dictates that I shall not be forced to arm
my own murders with the weapons with which they wish to murder me^ Later Hank and Dagny talk about how the folks
in government actually know that the way they see the world is wrong and Hank states, Pg.
353 “They want us to pretend that we see the world as they pretend they see it” again
getting a little fashy here, "them" in government are pulling the strings, they know what they're
They know that what they are doing is wrong, and manipulative, but they are doing
it anyway. This is the “obsession with a plot” stuff in the 14 features of fascism. Oh and there's a bunch of parts with Hank
buying Dagny expensive gifts and ordering her around, and how much she likes being reduced
to an object of his desires. Very Fifty Shades of Grey. But hey aren't the Utopian capitalists
supposed to love selfishness and not being reduced to an object for someone else? Isn't
this exactly what they hate the Dystopian Bleeding Hearts for? Living for the benefit
of someone else? Oh well. Jim Taggart and the cashier girl decide to
get married, and at the wedding someone says ^money is the root of all evil^ and Francisco
goes on this tirade about how ^The root of money is production and it is the Utopian
Capitalists who produce value and not the Dystopian Bleeding Hearts^.
He states, Pg.
383 “Money rests on the axiom that every man is the owner of his mind and his effort…Money
permits no deals except those to mutual benefit by the unforced judgment of the traders” This argument assumes that everyone's relationship
with money in the market is the same, but it isn’t, employees and employers have contrary
goals in the market. Workers come to the market trying to sell their labor for as much as
possible to buy food and shelter to survive getting back less than they put in, Employers
come to the market trying to get means of production and labor as cheaply as possible
to make a return on their investment and come out with more money than they put in. I don't
wanna get into a whole thing on this but look at my video on Marx’s Kapital for Beginners
if you’d like to understand why Fransisco's argument here is total bunk.
At the end of the monologue Francisco states,
Pg. 385 “Run for your life from any man who tells you that money is evil….Money
is the barometer of a society’s virtue” In response a woman is all like ^Francisco
you’re wrong^ and he says ^if you can prove me wrong I will change my opinion^ and she
says Pg. 387 “I don’t have any answers, my mind doesn’t work that way, but I don’t
feel that you’re right, so I know that you’re wrong…I feel it.” Oh It’s a 'facts don't
care about your feelings' type argument, it's very easy to win an argument when you are
writing your opponent’s script and ignore all psychological, anthropological, historical,
political, and economic thought and just write your interlocutor as a crybaby idiot.
Fransisco then tells everyone he’s going
to sabotage his mines to screw over the Dystopian Bleeding Hearts and everyone starts freaking
out, Francisco says ^I am tired of being the root of all evil so I stopped.^ Then Francisco and Reardon have a long talk
about their role in society, and how Reardon is a pushover who sacrifices his morals to
the Dystopian Bleeding Hearts. Francisco asks, ^Hey Hanky Panky, I’m wondering. What kinds
of men would like to see riding the John Gault Line, Utopian capitalists like ourselves or
disgusting Dystopian Bleeding Heart parasites?^ He adds, Pg.
422 “You have been called selfish
for the courage of acting on your own judgment and bearing sole responsibility for your own
life…. You have been called anti-social for the vision that made you venture upon
undiscovered roads.” yadda yadda yadda. This whole argument is ridiculous because,
again, it assumes that the Jeff Bezoses and Bill Gateseses of the world are the ones that
do all the work when in fact they live off the work of others. Anyways, Francisco changes Hank's mind about
the whole state of things.
Hank took the red pill and now understands the virtue of being
totally selfish and never caring about anyone else. and so Hank decides to go home and tell
his Dystopian Bleeding Heart wife and mother and brother that he’s cutting them off. Afterwards Hank goes to his trial, he’s
on trial for refusing to sell his metal to the State Science Institute, and apparently
the charges are pretty serious, but Hank, speaking from the mindset he’s learned from
Francisco, just says ^I refuse to see the law or the court as justified and so I am
removing my consent from this interaction^, he states Pg. 446 “Whatever you wish me
to do, I will do it at the point of a gun. If you sentence me to jail, you will have
to send armed men to carry me there – I will not volunteer to move.” Then basically the
judges, who are all Dystopian Bleeding Hearts, all look like idiots and Hank looks awesome
and everyone in the crowd whistles, and laughs, and applauds on cue with Hank's speech.
Doesn’t this, If you sentence me to jail,
you will have to send armed men to carry me there talk remind you of Jordan Peterson (who
loved this book surprise, surprise) crying about compelled speech with the Canada Bill
C-16 stuff? Anyways, apparently Hank saying he revokes
his consent from the court just doesn’t get in any trouble over this. What an interesting
defense, I guess anyone who's gonna go on trial should say that they retract their consent
from the court's ruling and the bailiff, and police and such will be powerless to do anything
oh no wait that only works when you’re like one of the richest people in the country sooo
i guess, in a way, this part of the book is actually kinda accurate then Then there is more talk of overregulation,
needless things like demanding all buildings be under a certain number of stories so elevators
are shut down and stairways are blocked and eventually they cut the buildings shorter.
Because remember all regulations are only silly things that hurt business and serve
no other function.
Dagny walks around looking at the dilapidated
world and seeing things like a house with a TV inside knowing that these people do not
even remember when there used to be electricity, she thinks about how things that used to be
available to the poor are now considered luxuries. Somehow people have a TV in their home but
don't remember electricity um ok. Basically more talk about how overregulation and such
is causing technology to revert backwards. Hank's wife discovers that Hank has been sleeping
with Dagny Taggart and so they get in a fight where Hank explains ^Um now that I’m all
selfish after talking with Francisco so much, I don’t care that I hurt you because you
are a parasite who sucks and I don’t care about you anymore^, he states, Pg.
are not to speak of her to me. If you ever do it again, I will answer you as I would
answer a hoodlum: I will beat you up” awesome, cool protagonist you got there. The Dystopian Bleeding Hearts in Washington
complain that companies are going out of business left and right and that Utopian Capitalists
are not fulfilling their responsibility to the public good, and so they implement Directive
10-289. The goal of which is the following 8 points. Directive 10-289 1: workers are tied to their jobs and can’t
leave or be fired. 2. All businesses and their owners must remain
in business and can not sell, close down. 3. All patents and copyrights must be turned
over to the government. 4. All research and development is suspended 5. All establishments must produce the same
amount every year, over production will be punished. 6. Everyone must purchase the same amount
of products every year, over consumption will be punished. 7. All wages, salaries, dividends are to be
frozen at their current level 8. Anything not covered here will be ruled
on by the Unification Board. And regarding Directive 10-289 the Dystopian
Bleeding Hearts say things like, Pg.
501 “Those who’re big are here to serve those who aren’t.
If they refuse to do their moral duty, We’ve got to force them. There once was an age of
Reason, but we’ve progressed beyond it. This is the age of love” This is more fashy
anti-intellectualism, cultural-Marxism type stuff. Now I see what Ayn Rand is trying to do here,
remember this was written after the New Deal in what Ayn Rand saw as America becoming a
communist totalitarian hell hole. And so Directive 10-289 is supposed to be some sort of Nationalization
or collectivist strategy, to bring this about…. but none of this is present in any of the
8 points named. It would have made much more sense if Directive 10-289 mirrored the democratic
workplace measures that were implemented on that motor company that destroyed itself.
This would still be wrong but at least then the arguments would be consistent.
Anyways, the government then blackmails Hank,
threatening to expose his affair with Dagny Taggart, if he refuses to sign the rights
to Reirden Metal over to the government. Hank goes on a long internal monologue all like,
^Damn I am such a cool Utopian Capitalist, all us cool Utopian Capitalists are totally
punished for being the coolest, best, smartest, most totally good looking people in the world
by the twisted morals of all these lazy good for nothing parasites. If it wasn't for the
International Jewish hem hem hem I mean if it wasn’t for the Dystopian Bleeding Hearts
in government encouraging degeneracy and distorting the economy, all us awesome capitalists would
be free to reach our full potential!^ In the end Hank decides to give in to the
blackmail and sign Reardan metal over to the government.
It turns out the government had a Metal Factory
in the middle of nowhere ready to go to make Reardan Metal long before Hank signed the
rights over to them, but then like the day Hank gave them the rights a loudspeaker at
the factory warned everyone to leave and then it was bombed by some unknown terrorist named
Ragnar Danneskjöld. Ragnar then meets up with Hank as he walks
alone at night, Ragnar explains that he is keeping gold aside for all the Utopian Capitalists
as payback for all the tax dollars wrongfully stolen from them. He explains that he is the
terrorist who has been blowing up factories and shipments of goods on behalf of the Utopian
Capitalists. He states, Pg. 534 “Robin Hood…he was
the man who robbed the rich and gave to the poor. Well, I’m the man who robs the poor
and gives to the rich – or, to be exact, the man who robs the thieving poor and give back
to the productive rich” He explains, ^I only attack government property, and never
private property because capitalism is awesome, oh and I never attack military property because
the military is the only justified arm of the government because it’s only function
is to protect private property rights.
So don’t worry Hanky Panky, I’m gonna blow
up any factory that attempts to make Reirdon Metal on behalf of the government.^ Hank says he doesn't want the gold and that
he will do everything in his power to report this terrorist to the police, but when police
randomly show up to talk to Hank he says nothing. In fact he clutches the gun in his pocket
in case he needs to shoot the policemen so Ragnar can escape Meanwhile a train full of Dystopian Bleeding
Hearts falls off the rails, and the government’s over-regulatory, bureaucratic mess is exposed
as all the bureaucratic train workers pass the buck to the next guy because no one wants
to be blamed for the derailed train. In the end they decided to send a coal burning train
to pick up the passengers, knowing that the train will then go through a very long tunnel
resulting in the death of the passengers from asphyxiation and collapse of the tunnel.
people jump off the train disappearing into the night because they realize what is happening. As the train tunnel kills the passengers the
book explains specifically why all these Dystopian Bleeding Hearts on the train actually deserve
to die, let's run through some examples Pg. 561 “The man in Seat 5 Car number 7, was
a worker who believed that he had ‘a right’ to a job, whether his employer wanted him
or not. The woman in Roomette 6, Car number 8, was a lecturer who believed that, as a
consumer, she had ‘a right’ to transportation, whether the railroad people wished to provide
it or not. The man in Roomette 2, Car number 9, was a professor of economics who advocated
the abolition of private property.” It's like 4 pages of this crap, really just revealing
in these peoples murder.
Really wanting you to know, Ayn Rand thinks maybe if all these
college liberals, and sjws, and Bleeding Hearts, and post-modern neo-marxists, and degenerates,
maybe if they all get onto a train and um died, that would be good and justified…I
think you know who else makes this same argument. Mad about Directive 10-289 and the nationalization
and over regulation and all that, Dagny runs away to live in a cabin in the woods. In the
nearby town Dagny talks to the local people who all let their roads fall apart and flood
and their produce go bad, and they don’t try to fix anything because they are too stupid
and lazy to fix any of their own problems. Francisco finds Dagny at her cabin and we
finally hear why he’s been pretending to be a playboy buffoon for the last twelve years,
he states Pg. 570 “I shall destroy every last bit of it and every last penny of my
fortune and every ounce of copper that could feed the looters.” he wants to leave nothing
for the Dystopian Bleeding Hearts to take over when he goes to disappear as the other
Utopian Capitalists have.
He adds, Pg. 573 “Let it go. We don’t need it. We can rebuild
it. They can’t. We’ll survive without it. They won’t” boy this us versus them
stuff sounds pretty eugenics-y, like arguing that some people are inherently the ubermensch
and others are inherently parasitic degenerates. Dagny decides to return to Taggart Transcontinental
and gets to work doing all kinds of drastic things like tearing down old factories to
turn the metal into railroad ties to bypass the collapsed tunnel and all this stuff to
cut through the bureaucratic and regulatory nonsense and to compensate for the fact that
so many Utopian Capitalists have disappeared making it hard to get anything done. Luckily
the Dystopian Bleeding Heart bureaucracy is so bloated and bureaucratic that it won't
be able to enforce its regulations on Dagny before she's finished fixing the railroad. Also remember that in this book all the Utopian
Capitalists respond to every situation like total stoic, unphased, Chad's all the time.
For example even when Dagny is told that Hank gave in and gave his medal to the government
she responds all cool and like, ^Ah I see, This stoic and in control utopian capitalist,
who I've been sleeping with, seams to have sold out all of our morals unexpectedly, well
you see, one would assume that I would panic or be distraught under such circumstances,
but I am not, for I have objectively determined that the logical action for my rational self
interest is to come off as completely, inhumanly stoic and unphased as possible.^ Francisco finds Dagny at her work and tells
her that, ^i have objectively determined that if you will continue to work under the Dystopian
Bleeding Heart government, I will regard you as my enemy^, he states, Pg.
you’ll struggle to save Taggart Transcontinental, I will be working to destroy it.” This is
because he wants to starve the Dystopian Bleeding Hearts so that they die and go away or whatever
some kind of Final solution if you will. But wait, if the richest guys in the world are
trying intentionally to destroy the economy isn't this whole global economic catastrophe
kind of their fault and not actually the fault of the parasitic, Dystopian Bleeding Heart,
government who are only trying to stop this intentional destruction? Seems like a major
plot hole no? The scientist that Dagny hired to figure out
how to complete the perpetual motion engine wrote her a letter saying he's quitting he
says that he does not want to create an engine that the looters and parasites will use, he
595 “I do not wish to work in a world that regards me as a slave.” oh
did I mention that, despite being these totally in control stoic Chad's, these Utopian Capitalists
are such crybabies…boohoo I don't wanna make a perpetual motion engine! That might
be used to help people on welfare and that basically makes me a slave it's basically
torture and murder boohoo. Anyways Dagny gets on a train to go and speak
to the scientist about the engine, while on the train she meets a homeless man who used
to work for the motor factory where the engine was found and the homeless man goes on to
explain how the factory fell apart. ^Well you see it was because the factory was based
on each according to ability to each according to need. So the only ones whats needs got
met was them who acted the neediest and those who worked the hardest were punished.
worked as little as they could get away with so as to maximize how much they got.^ He states,
Pg. 611 “it turned into a contest among six thousand panhandler, each claiming that
his need was worse than his brother’s…They voted which men were the best, and these men
were sentenced to work overtime each night for the next six months. Overtime without
pay – because you weren’t paid by time and you weren’t paid by work, only by need” Remember when Dagny was talking to the owner
of the motor factory, I asked you to keep in mind that this factory paid every employee
the same, what ever happened to that? Where’s the consistency in this frickin story? Also
going from equal pay to pay according to need eh? Someone clearly didn’t read Critique
of the Gotha Program.
Anyways, Ayn Rand’s explanation of worker
run factories has a lot more to do with her hatred of democracy and the working class
than with reality. I mean just think about it, who do you think is going to be more dedicated
to the job, some wage slave working under an unelected totalitarian boss who wants them
to work as hard as possible for as cheaply as possible, or a democratic workplace in
which the worker has a say in the functioning of that workplace and they get a share in
the profits produced? Next the homeless man explains that this mischievous
failed democratic plot was intentional he states, Pg.
616 “they didn’t do it by
any kind of mistake. Mistakes of this size are never made innocently.” , this fits
into the obsesion in a plot feature of Umberto Eco’s 14 features of fascism. The Homeless man then explains, ^at the very
first meeting when we voted to make the workplace democratic, this little whipper snapper named
John Gault stood up and shouted^ Pg. 619 "I will stop the motor of the world " ^and he
stormed out! And when the factory closed people began saying "who is John Galt?" in response
and as factories all over the place closed that's when it became a common phrase^ The train Dagny is on breaks down, and everyone
else on the trains are fat lazy Dystopian Bleeding Hearts who don’t want to help solve
the situation, so Dagny gets on a plane and tries to fly to where the scientist who was
working in the engine is, but when she gets there one of the employees says the scientist
just left with some stranger and he points to a plane in the sky.
Oh no! Yet another
Utopian Capitalist to be disappeared by the Destroyer, so Dagny jumps in her plane to
follow them. The Scientist and Destroyer fly to some valley
and vanish out of sight, Dagny keeps circling lower and lower trying to spot the plane but
it just looks like an empty valley. Then Dagny’s plane crashes. Part 3 A is A Dagny wakes up in John Galt’s Gulch, it
turns out the Gulch is hidden by some kinda Wakanda style optical illusion. John Gault
himself is the first one on the scene to make sure she's ok…also he is super sexy obviously.
Dagny sees all the Utopian Capitalists who
had dissapeared, it is a wonderful utopia, That famous composer who Dagny likes is there
and he’s playing his new music, which is all classical and good and not like that new
degenerate type music that's popular with the Dystopian Bleeding Hearts, gotta get some
of that Neo-Nazi style art critiquein there, oh also there is a 3 foot goldan dollar sign
floating in the middle of town as the code of arms.
John Gault explained that, Logically, heh
hem, Logically you know what? I don’t think I have the pipes to do this character justice.
Let me phone a friend to cover for me, hopefully the ADR isn’t too noticeable. ^Logically
and rationally and objectively, I had to remove the scientist who completed my perpetual motion
engine from the equation, because such an engine would have saved the economy and thus
wreck my plans for destroying the economy and causing all the Dystopian Bleeding Hearts
and parasites to die off^ Again, If the Dystopian Bleeding Hearts are such useless parasites
they should be destroying the economy and die off on their own right? Again, doesn’t
Ragnar blowing up all the factories, and John Gault hiding all the industrialists and all
their new inventions doesn’t this active destruction of the economy work against the
premise of the book? Well this all plays into a few concepts from
Umberto Eco 14 features of facism. Basically in fascist ideology there is conspiracy around
a plot fueled by an enemy which is both strong and weak. Both reining over you and beneath
you. In Hitler's time the argument was that the parasitic illuminati made up of you know
who was promoting degeneracy and marxism in the culture and economy.
They were running
everything behind the scenes but were also naturally degenerate and inferior. And in
our modern times neo-nazi folks will argue that feminism, and lgbt+ ideology, and hip-hop,
and illegal immigration, all these elements of society (promoted by you know who of course)
all these elements of society are naturally weaker and more inferior than the white race
or western culture or whatever and yet they are controlling and ruining everything…and
it is the same here in Atlas Shrugged, the Dystopian Bleeding Hearts are plotting to
take over the economy and destroy the Utopian Capitalists who they are defeating and yet
naturally inferior to.
John Galt's Gulch is powered by his perpetual
motion engine, that’s how they survive in the valley.
One guy tells Dagny that, Pg. 662 “I’m the hog farmer and the airfield attendant”
This is actually almost a Conquest of Bread style Utopia where people are sharing the
rote, entry level work and the interesting work.
Another man explains that ^I work for use, not for profit^. Again this is some Marxist
type arguments and Ayn Rand doesn’t even know it. John Gault talks about how they only use pure
gold as currency in the Gulch and he states, Pg. 672 “We don’t accept any other currency
in this valley. We accept nothing but objective value” you know, because the value of gold
is objective, and not subjective…apparently. If you saw Knowing Better's video on Capitalism
and Libertarianism you saw that Ayn Rand would often use flawed arguments like this. For
example, she said that an airplane is objectively better than a bicycle. But is this true? From
a global travel and speed standpoint sure, but from an environmental, or affordability
or community access standpoint, no, the bicycle is better.
But that’s the goal of Objectivism,
the name of Ayn Rand's philosophy, to attempt to make objective claims about things that
are clearly subjective. I guess what I’m trying to say is that Ayn Rand is objectively
stupid. John Gault explains that there is an oath
you have to pledge before you can live in John Galt's Gulch it goes as follows, Pg.
675 "I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another
man, or ask another man to live for mine" Oops Dagny already failed at this when she
wanted to be reduced to an Object for Hank’s desire, but I’m guessing Ayn Rand didn’t
notice this inconsistency. Anyways, Dagny is upset that they are not
sharing their wondrous discoveries and inventions with the world and John Galt explains that
they are on strike then he goes on this giant Cry-Baby monologue about how, ^We inventors
of the world, all through history, have done all these wonderful things that have made
everyone's lives better and for our work we've been victimized and tortured^.
John Galt is turning class Consciousness on
its head, he argues, Pg. 684 “We’ve heard it shouted that the industrialist is a parasite,
that his workers support him, create his wealth, make his luxury possible – and what would
happen to him if they walked out? Very well. I propose to show the world who depends on
whom, who supports whom" Sooo there’s a documentary right here on youtube called The
Take by Naomi Klein, it is about the time hundreds of capitalists abandoned their factories
in Argentina and the worker’s took them over. This clearly demonstrates what happens
when owners walk out, guess what, workers take over and run the factory themselves,
it is in fact the owners who rely on the workers.
John Galt and by extension Ayn Rand just hold
a worldview that is the opposite of reality. Apparently John Galt’s Gulch is almost self-sufficient
and the things they can't produce they buy through a black market pipeline so that none
of the money goes to the Dystopian Bleeding Heart government, (keep in mind that the gulch
is almost self-sufficient for just a second). A friend of John Gault says that Dagny is
the only woman of the outside world fit enough or brave enough to enter John Gold's Gulch
or be worthy of it…cool cool and Smurfette type situation apparently. Actually, this
is a good time to point out that Dagny Taggart is perhaps, well, the only fit or brave woman
in the story.
I'm sure you've noticed over the course of this synopsis I haven't given
any female names outside of Dagny Taggart, not Hank Reirdon's mom or wife, not Jim Taggart's
wife, and that's because that's essentially how the text treats them. It’s Dagny Taggart,
some important government and capitalist dudes and two or three female extras acting as their
foil. Francisco arrives at the Gulch and explains
that he's going to start a new copper company in the mountains nearby.
like the world is starving for resources but apparently this little hidden valley magically
has all these resources in it. Remember I asked you to keep in mind that this Valley
is almost entirely self-sufficient somehow. Well this is a key failure in the anarcho-capitalist
or capitalist libertarian worldview. Do You remember that Thought Slime video about how
an-caps think the world is like Minecraft? Like their world view only works if you pretend
there is always some magic untouched land out there with all the iron ore and copper
and potable water and arable land you could need? John Galt's Gulch is just magically
some untouched valley that has all the resources needed for all their new inventions and food
and water to live almost self-sufficiently off of and somehow.
We then get a little back story about our
Utopian Capitalist heroes. There were two professors who were mentors to John Gault,
Fransisco D'anconia and Ragnar Danneskjöld, the architects of this Utopian Capitalist
strike. Hugh Akston a Philosophy Professor and good reasoning boy Utopian Capitalist
who now lives in John Galt's Gulch, and Dr. Robert Sadtler the Physicist Professor, who
is the head of the State Science Institute and, despite being mad about the postmodern
neomarxist thought taking over the institute, he sells out his Utopian Capitalist beliefs
to win favor and social approval from the Dystopian Bleeding Hearts. Explaining the
split between these two professors is kinda supposed to be like the War of Wrath prior
to the Lord of the Rings story, or the Clone Wars before the old Starwars Movies, or like,
when Voldomaore was still alive before the Harry Potter Books. It is the big rift that
happened before the story creating the conflict our current characters are now existing in. In the end Dagny decides to leave John Galt's
Gulch and continue fighting the Dystopian Bleeding Hearts and try to run Taggart Transcontinental
and make the economy work.
Meanwhile, Dr. Floyd Ferris, the main postmodern
guy, brings Dr. Stadler to a meeting of a bunch of bureaucrats in a field in the middle
of nowhere. They are demonstrating the completed Project X, a weapon, credited to Dr. Stadler
without his knowledge or permission. The weapon uses sound waves and they demonstrate its
power by destroying a barn in killing the livestock around it. Stadler asks what is
the purpose for such a monstrous invention, and Ferris explains, Pg. 760 “It will relieve
social frictions. It will promote peace, stability and – as we have indicated – harmony. It will
eliminate all danger of war” The Railroad Unification Board announces that
train companies will operate on each other's tracks free of charge for each according to
need. Dangy is expected to make a radio broadcast where she will tell the public everything
is fine and to trust the government and railroad unification plan and that she totally did
not run away to live in a cabin because of Directive 10-289.
The public is all on edge
because all the Utopian Capitalists are disappearing and the economy is collapsing and the government
wants Dangy to ease their minds about that. But when She’s on the radio program she’s
all like, ^Yo Hank Reirdon and I have totally been hookin' up and the lazy good for nothing
government used that affair to blackmail Hank into signing Reirdon metal over to the government,
and now they’re trying to blackmail me! Truth exposed! The government sucks, capitalism
rules, mic drop!^ Everyone is stunned and the radio program is cut off the air, Dagny
leaves and all the Dystopian Bleeding Hearts are all dumbfounded. When Dagny gets home Hank is there and they
talk and Hank comes to understand that Dagny met John Gault and is now in love with him…it’s
funny because these Utopian Capitalists are all obsessed with her, but they’re also
such chads that they understand her moving on when Dagny leaves Francisco for the objectively
more Chad Hank Reirdon and leaves Hank for the objectively more Chad John Gault.
Later Jim Taggart tells his wife that on September
2nd the government will nationalize Francisco's copper mines (but wait didn't Jim find out
at the wedding that Francisco’s been secretly trying to destroy them?) Oh well, anyway,
Jim brags about how he's gonna be richer and better than Dagny and Hank and Francisco and
that whole Utopian Capitalist bunch. But, Jim Taggart’s wife is a utopian capitalist,
remember, and she reflects on how she likes Hank and Dagny and how all of the art and
novels and music of the modern era, that she’s seen as a wealthy socialite, is all degenerate
and childish blah blah blah basically some more Neo-Nazi art critique about how we have
to go back to when art was a celebration of our Western values and not this postmodern
filth or whatever. Over the course of this conversation Jim's
wife is slowly discovering that he is not the Utopian Capitalist she thought he was
so she goes to talk to Dagny and explain how she now knows Dagny is awesome and Jim is
a parasite, She states, Pg.
817 “I married Jim because I … I thought that he was you"
Apparently everyone thinks Dagny is just so hot and cool all the industrialist guys want
to bang her, her secretary wants to banger her and now even her own sister-in-law wants
her. Meanwhile Hank Reirdon's wife goes to Jim
Taggart to complain that she doesn’t want to get divorced and lose all her money, and
the two of them the two Dystopian Bleeding Hearts hook up, and it is ofcourse explained
as all lazy and gross and not at all like Dagny and Hank’s affair even though they
are essentially the same. Jim's wife comes home to find that Jim had
an affair and they get in a fight. Jim explains that he only married a worthless white trash
girl because then all she would ever have would belong to him.
However, when she started
to rise socially and act more like a rich person she became what he couldn't because
she's a Utopian Capitalist and he isn't. This realization causes her to go insane and she
runs out of the house, running round the dark city streets banaging her fists on walls till
they bleed, she knows that any business she tries to build will be destroyed by the governments
continued nationalization efforts, so she runs around like a crazed animal then throws
herself off the roof of a building and dies. This is what I mean by none of the female
characters being strong in the text. Jim Taggart's wife is the closest to the strength and confidence
of Dagny Taggart and upon finding out that her husband is a lazy bureaucrat she goes
insane, runs around like a deranged animal and kills herself. Later Jim wants Dagny to hear the September
2nd radio broadcast announcing the nationalization of Francisco's copper mines. Jim wants to
brag to Dagny that he and the other Dystopian Bleeding Hearts triumphed over the Utopian
Capitalists, and such but at 9am every employee of Francisco's copper mines was escorted of
the premises and right as the nationalization plan passes at 10am every Fraciscio copper
mine on earth blows up.
All over the world as different strands of
copper break without new copper to replace them various trains and phone lines and other
industries collapse. Hank Reirdon divorces his wife and also finds
out that when his employees quit they get replaced with government stooges, this is
suspicious. Dagny is continuing to break all kinds of
laws running Taggart Transcontinental. At a meeting with workers she sees John Gault
undercover among them, she follows him and she's all like, ^John Gault, I have rationally
determined that you are objectively the most Chad capitalist on earth, and that is like
so freakin' hot^ and they bone.
Afterwards John Galt explains that he'd been
spying on Dagmy for like 10 years working as a handyman for the train company. Well
that’s kinda weird, which is it, is he a super sexy ultimate chad, or is he a creep
who's been stocking some lady for like a decade? All the liberal newspapers are giving these
stories about how bad the workers have it next to stories about how good the rich have
it, trying to sow Discord. Pg. 886 “Inequalities still exist among us’ the newspapers were
saying, ‘and cheating us of the benefits of our enlightened age’ ‘Privations have
worn the nerves and tempers of the people. The situation is reaching the danger point.
We fear an outbreak of violence’ ‘We fear an outbreak of violence’ the newspapers
kept repeating” and this is followed by stories of workers attacking foreman and factory
Oh yeah mainstream media covering and even encouraging workers striking and
rioting this is totally historically accurate. Just don’t, you know, look at any labor
or media history, don’t read The Rise and Repression of Radical Labor, or Manufacturing
Consent, or anything like that. Hank goes home and his ex-wife explains that
she slept with the depraved, degenerate Jim Taggart back when her and Hank were still
married. And Hank says he doesn't care and leaves. The funny part about this is: isn't
it in the logic of the world of the book that Jim is supposed to be looked up to? He’s
the president of a railroad and a big Washington government hot shot.
But with the logic of
the book it is like everyone knows all the government people are parasites and also they
celebrate them. Again it's "the enemy must be both strong and weak" and the “Selective
Populism” stuff from Umberto Echo's 14 features of fascism. Next Hank goes to meet with the government,
they want to start a steel unification plan similar to the rail unification plan, and
Hank explains, ^A steel unification board would just mean cannibalizing my business
to feed all the other unsuccessful ones, because I’m a super cool Utopian Capitalist and
everyone else in my line of work totally sucks by comparison^ Hank then has an internal dialogue about how
working with the Dystopian Bleeding Hearts has led to the downfall of the world and that
he should have never given into them.
He states, Pg. 907 “From the first extortion he had
accepted, from the first directive he had obeyed, he had given them cause to believe
that reality was a thing to be cheated” After the meeting Hank goes back to his Factory
but it's all like on fire with people dying and shooting guns and stuff. One of Hank’s
employees explains beforing dying, Pg.
910 “Listen, that riot…it’s staged…on
orders from Washington…It’s not workers…not your workers…it’s those new boys of theirs
and…and a lot of goons hired on the outside” Apparently the government had staged the riot
at his factory as an excuse to push through the Steel Unification Board.
Ah yes the government secretly plotting with the workers against the capitalist owners,
totally a real and normal thing that happens again don't you dare look at any labor history
about that thought. In the riot Hank is injured but is saved and
taken to John Gault’s Gulch All over the country people are rising up
against this economic colaplse, Pg. 922 “there were districts that rose in blind rebellion,
arrested the local officials, expelled the agents of Washington, killed the tax collectors
– then, anccouncing their succession from the country, went on to the final extreme
of the very evil that had destroyed them, as if fighting murder with suicide: went on
to seize all property within their reach, to declare community bondage of all to all,
and to perish within a week, their meager loot consumed, in the boody hatred of all
for all” so because the beurocrats of this world are dystpoically incompetent and corrupt
and because the wealthiest capitalists are all actively destroying the economy, various
communities are breaking off and forming anarcho-communist type societies which, because this is an Ayn
Rand book, they all obliterate themselves in their evil wicked hated.
The government asks everyone to listen to
the radio or watch TV on November 22nd so they can explain what’s going on and calm
everyone down. But when the day comes a wall of radio waves blocks all TV and radio transmissions.
It’s like the joker in some batman episode. Someone has taken over and is broadcasting
on all channels. If you know anything about this book you know that there's a part where
John Galt gives a giant speech talking about how awesome right-wing libertarian capitalism
is… well that part is now.
Let's take a look. Pg. 928 "For twelve years you have been asking,
‘Who is John Galt?’ this is John Galt speaking."
"This city is afraid of me. I've seen its true face… all the whores and politicians
will look up and shout "Save us!"… and I'll look down, and whisper "No."….oh no wait
sorry that's that Rorschach quote from the watchmen, sorry got them confused, hahha,
but um jokes aside this speech is like 60 pages long. I'm not about to go over the whole
thing. I'm just gonna hit on, let's say the most relevant and/or stupidest parts.
do this. First he explains why all the Utopian Capitalists
are on strike Pg. 929 “We are on strike against self-immolation. We are on strike
against the creed of unearned rewards and unrewarded duties. We are on strike against
the dogma that the pursuit of one's happiness is evil.” blah blah blah oh ok cool. Next John Gault divides human history into
two categories which he considers equally mischievous and evil: Those who told people
to live their lives for God, the religious, and those who told people to live their lives
for their neighbors, the collectivists.
He states, Pg. 930 “For centuries, the battle
of morality was fought between those who claimed that your life belongs to God and those who
claimed that it belongs to your neighbors” John Gult is against all that, wants everyone
to, surprise surprise, live only for themselves. He then bersperches both giving and receiving
charity stating, Pg. 948 "if you are selfless and virtuous when you give it are they not
selfish and vicious when they take it…it is immoral to earn, but moral to mooch." and
this is a basic misunderstanding of how social goods are provided. If we all put in money
to build a road or a school or fire department or social services or whatever it is not that
one person is giving it in another taking it we are all giving and all taking, working
together and creating something better than what we could produce individually. He then talks about how it is insanity to
value things that have no value, therefore rather than giving aid to the destitute we
should treat them according to their value, as worthless.
He of course talks about how the Dystopian
Bleeding Hearts don't want to just return to the dark ages but to the darkest age in
human history. He then gets that Jordan Peterson, neo-nazi,
cultural Marxism, Frankfort school conspiracy theory angle in there stating, Pg. 958 "walk
into any college classroom and you will hear your professors teaching your children that
man can be certain of nothing, that his consciousness has no validity whatever" ah yes because understanding
that our perception can be flawed, or that many concepts such as currency or gender that
we treat as objective are actually socially constructed this is all the same as believeing
up is down and right is wrong and all that.
Also, you know, Jordan Peterson totally considers
himself a real world John Gault right?: 6:45 minutes into this clip https://youtu.be/EOh1Gflu7Uw He then spouts off a couple sentences ending
in Blank out. Just the kinda nonsense fare already expressed, Pg. 959 “A student reading
a book understands it through a process of – blank out. A scientist working on an invention
is engaged in the activity of – blank out..” etc etc etc. the most notable one here is,
Pg. 959 "Every man, they announce, owns an equal share of the technological benefits
created in the world, created by who? Blank out." This quote is, again, more denying the
fact that all is made by all. Next John Galt states, Pg. 962 “They do
not want to own your fortune, they want you to lose it; they do not want to succeed, they
want you to fail; they do not want to live, they want you to die; they desire nothing,
they hate existence” Hmm nah this is hilariously not true, I’ve read The Communist Manifesto,
The Conquest of Bread, The ABC of Anarchism and others.
In fact, here is a quote you might
remember from my review of ABC of Anarchism: Pg. 232 “What, really, is there to destroy?
The wealth of the rich? Nay, that is something we want the whole of society to enjoy.”
I can’t believe Ayn Rand is so naive to just argue that her political opponents just,
like, hate life and wanna die, why do people take this crap seriously again? Ayn Rand,
fan of the show, I know you’re watching from beyond the grave, hey let me tell you,
this isn’t a good look.
Anyways, he then states Pg. 970 “You are
letting this greatest of countries be devoured by any scum from any corner of the earth,
while you concede that it is selfish to live for your country and that your moral duty
is to live for the globe" oof and I thought the us versus them stuff was a little mask
off, hot damn! A few times now he's already rejected the
All is made by All argument, now he completely reverses it stating, Pg.
978-9 “When you
work in a modern factory, you are paid, not only for your labor, but for all the productive
genius which has made that factory possible” and he argues that a blacksmith gets the benefit
of Reirdon metal without having to invent it themselves. And like yeah when we work
together we can make something better then what we could produce individually but in
a capitalist system, where workers have no say in the means of production, new inventions
can make the work easier, but that’s never the goal, it’s typically just a byproduct
of far more likely goals like increasing productivity or decreasing cost of labor. Under something
like socialism, automation is great for everyone. But under our current system do you think
workers are thrilled when some new machine is invented that decreases their wages or
hours or automates them out of their job all together? John Galt ends his speech essentially saying,
^All my fellow Utopian Capitalists out there, the rational, objective thing for you to do
is to only work the bare minimum to ensure the Dystopian Bleeding Hearts die off.
should also create Capitalist enclaves like I’ve done with the John Galt’s Gulch thing
so that your beautiful capitalist utopians will be the economic centers of the new country
that will emerge from the rubble.^ Because apparently, even though the country is totally
starved for resources these Utopian Capitalists can totally find little enclaves full of resources
to live practically self-sufficiently all over the country. Again. Rightwing capitalist
libertarian types apparently think the world is like minecreaft where you can just go homestead
a few acres of land wherever you want and there will be precious metals, potable water,
arable land and such is just all over the place. Anyway that’s the long and short of it,
the broadcast ends Oh hey do you remember that part at the end
of Das Kapital when the super Chad main character says people who agree with him are totally
objectively rationally super geniuses and anyone who disagrees must have been tricked
or are just plain evil and only believe what they believe because they hate life and want
to die? Do you remember that part that Marx wrote? No? because that's dumb and naïve,
ok cool just checking.
Anyways, the government freaks out, they're
totally panicked, totally losing it, they don’t know if they should deny the speech
or claim credit for it. Also do you totally remember at the end of Das Kapital when The
Chad main character was done giving their speech all the capitalists turned into sniveling
crying babies? Anyway the government decides they have to kill John Galt or at the very
least force him to tell them where the other utopian capitalists are so that they can force
them to fix everything.
So they tail Dagny so she will lead them to him. Everyone is being hush hush about the broadcast
however all over the country houses are being abandoned and businesses are going up in flames
with the owners disappearing. The radio broadcast keeps asking for John
Gault to come and negotiate with the government while also broadcasting that they already
captured him. Little John Galt’s Gulch style capitalist
enclaves start popping up in the mountains. Apparently the homeless or starving people
who go to one of these settlements looking for food are called “indians” as a derogatory
term. Kinda racist. Buuut I suppose if Ayn Rand is gonna call all the average people
parasites, demonizing native americans isn't much of a stretch. You remember how after they hooked up John
Galt told Dagny that he’d been stalking her for a decade as a grunt worker for Taggart
Transcontinental? Well, wanting to see John Galt again, Dagny searches her employee records
and finds his address. Also even though "Who is John Galt?" Is, like, this widely used
catchphrase, no one thought it noteworthy that some guy named John Galt had been working
at Taggart Transcontinental for the last decade.
Anyways, when she goes to see him he explains
that she must have been followed by government spies. But, like, apparently it says John
Gault right on the door, and he is in the Taggart Transcontinental employee records
sooo I don't get it. Is the government idiots like they really couldn't put two and two
together to find this guy? Either way John Galt says Dagny needs to pretend she hates
him and was gonna to turn him over to the government so that she isn’t captured alongside
him. The government comes in with guns to take
John Gault away to some guarded room to try to convince him to give up the strike and
work with the government. All the leading aspects of the Dystopian Bleeding
Heart government get their chance to convince John Gault to work with them.
are actually much more interesting than the big broadcasted speech, it's more of a socratic
dialogue with the liberal media person, the liberal academic, the liberal bureaucrat,
and even the liberal capitalist all chiming in. Unfortunately the general public doesn't
get a part in this dialogue but they either already agree with Galt or they are parasites,
according to Ayn Rand, so there was never really hope for that. Mr. Thompson, who's like the president states,
Pg. 1011 "In the field of production, we will do whatever you say. You’ll be – you’ll
be the Economic Dictator of the Nation!" They offer John Galt absolutely anything he wants
provided it's some middle ground that does not involve the complete destruction of the
bureaucratic government. They ask what is something John Gault would
change about the current system, and he states, Pg.
1012 "Then start by abolishing all income
taxes" but they can't do that. Mr. Thompson says that he could make it so
John Galt can't leave the room and he would starve in there or he could have the men with
guns kill him and John Galt goes on this explanation about how ^Haha, I have forced your hand,
causing you to logically deduce that you can not offer me anything you can only take things
away^ which is only true because he’s making it true, like the government is offering him
all kinds of things and he refuses them and so they make demands then he says, haha see
the root of your power is violence. It kinda reminds me of that old John Stewart argument
about how the Republicans are in a unique position because they say government doesn't
work and then when they fail to do their job say, "look see, we told you, government doesn't
work" One of the Dystopian Bleeding Hearts is like
^Look John everyone is begging for your help, here are bags of letters from school children
and crippled people asking you to save the economy from collapse^ and John Gault is all
like, ^Ha is that a feeling argument I hear? Well, facts don't care about your feelings!^ Dr.
Robert Stadler, the once mentor Utopian
Capitalist professor who is now a sellout to the Dystopian Bleeding Hearts is, apparently,
the only person that John Galt wants to speak to, but he was the bureaucrat crying most
about not wanting to speak to him, well too bad he is being forced onto the room at gunpoint.
The whole conversation is Dr. Stadler crying and complaining while John Gault just sits
there all stoic and silent. Dr. Stadler saying things like, Pg. 1027 “I couldn’t help
it, John! I couldn’t help it!….It’s not what I intended!…John! I’m not to
blame for it!…They’re mindless animals moved by irrational feelings – by their greedy,
grasping, blind, unaccountable feelings!” He argues that, ^John It would have worked
if you hadn't taken them from us^ Which I kind of agree with right? Like, if the economy
was falling apart on it's own then the book makes more sense but because John Gault and
his friends are all actively destroying everything it's like it is their fault.
In the end Dr. Stadler states, Pg 1029 “You
won’t win! You can’t be allowed to win! You are the man who has to be destroyed!”
And John Gault finally speaks and is all like, ^I am cool and stoic and you have just exposed
the evil conclusion of what happens when you compromise with the Dystopian Bleeding Hearts^
and Dr. Stadler is all like, ^Oh no no no! Defeated by my own logic! I have been so utterly
destroyed by your incredible awesomeness^ and he pounds on the door demanding to be
let out. As everything is falling apart Dr. Stadler
decided that because he was credited for Project X he should be the one who controls it. He
wants to make a feudal society with him at the top using the weapon to control the area.
But when he gets there Project X is being ran by Cuffy Meigs, the old director of the
unification of the railroad board who, like, wears an army uniform and carries a pistol.
It is Cuffy Meigs versus Dr. Stadler, the
bureaucratic thug versus the bureaucratic scientist, brawn versus brain, in the end
neither of them are Utopian Capitalists so they both suck. Dr. Stadler says the machine
was declared made by him so he should get to control it, Cuffy laughs and starts putting
his hands all over the buttons and levers in arrogance and Dr. Stadler yells at him
to stop and that he’s an idiot who doesn’t know what he’s doing, which causes Cuffy
to indignantly keep messing with the buttons and controls and all this causes the weapon
to target itself and fire, the whole thing to blow up, literally up, the weapon itself
flies up into the sky and a shockwave destroys infrastructure all over the surrounding area,
including the famous Reirdon metal train bridge. We now go back to the Dystopian Bleeding Heart
bureaucrats. The Dystopian Bleeding Hearts had all made plans to escape this awful system
they created if it ever came to that, but unfortunately with no copper or bridge or
trains or anything they are all trapped inside their system as it collapses around them.
Then they think about a secret project they
have which had gotten three men to confess to murder and they want to use it on John
Galt to make him say what they want to hear. They tell the public that they will have John
Gault back on TV in 3 hours The secret project they're going to use is
called the Ferris Persuader named after Dr. Floyd Ferris one of the leaders of the post-modern
neo-marxist dystopian bleeding heart intellectual movement. Dagny fleas and calls Francisco
to say ^Franky baby you have to save John Galt, their gonna do something awful to our
poor daddy capitalist^ and Francisco is all like, ^Dagny doll don't you worry I have objectively
determined that I should tell you to get ready so I can fly over and pick you up ^ She runs home and grabs some goldl then goes
to her office to grab the picture of her grandfather Nat Taggart and a map of the old rail lines.
An employee there says ^Miss Taggart we've been trying to get a hold of you, the Taggart
Bridge has been destroyed.^ Dagny runs to grab the phone to get to work fixing things
but then remembers that John Gault said if she was gonna go on strike with them she would
have to leave everything behind and how devastating it would be and she thinks about how John
Gault had to leave behind his perpetual motion engine.
So she hangs up the phone, Draws a
dollar sign at the foot of the statue of Ned Taggart, the symbol the Utopian Capitalists
leave behind when they disappear, then she recites the oath that’s all like, ^It is
super awesome to be selfish and never care about anyone else^ then Francisco pickers
her up and they leave. At the Ferris Persuader the Dystopian Bleeding
Hearts tell John Gault, Pg. 1048 “We want ideas – or else. We won’t let you out of
here until you tell us the exact measures you’ll take to save our system” John Galt
is strapped to a mattress in a room with all kinds of buttons and stuff. This book came
out like 10 years after 1984 I wonder if maybe Ayn Rand stole some of this from the torture
of Winston in that book, I mean if you saw Knowing Better’s video on Capitalism and
Libertarianism you saw that Ayn Rand basically stole the John Galt’s Gulch idea from a
book called The Mysterious Valley, so who knows.
The Dystopian Bleeding Hearts pump an electric
current through various limbs on John Gault's body and demand he tell them how to fix the
economy. One man yells, Pg. 1050 “I don’t want him to obey! I want him to believe!”
Ok yeah this is definitely ripping off 1984 hahaha Pg. 1050, "We order you to give orders! We
demand you to dictate!" They cry. They shock John Gault so much the machine
breaks down. The engineer that was pushing the buttons needed to be smart enough to push
buttons without being smart enough to know that torture is wrong, so he doesn't know
how to fix the machine. Then like a total Chad John's Gault explains how to fix the
machine that they're using torture him.
(fun fact, electric shock as an interrogation technique
is actually a lot more common than you'd think, if you read authors like William Blum who
write a lot about US foreign policy…I'll let you be the judge of which is actually
more common, electric shock interrogation of wealthy capitalists or leftist militants
and labor organizers) Anyways, the guy running the machine now understands
how to fix it but also now realizes that torture is wrong and panics and runs away. Then Jim
Taggart who had been chomping at the bit this whole time is trying to fix it saying like
^I don't care if he dies I want him to suffer, he never even screamed, it's not fair! I want
to hear him scream!!^ he is so upset it is in fact Jim that is screaming.
Just like how
Dr. Stadler was destroyed by facts and logic against John Gault's stoic silence now Jim
is being destroyed by it. Apparently Jim Taggart never believed any
of the things he said about wanting to help people and be kind or anything he knew that
he wanted to kill John Galt and consequently the whole economy, the whole country because
he just loves death or whatever. Jim is so utterly destroyed by John Gault's resolve
that they all decide they have to leave Gault strapped to this mattress and go and take
Jim to the hospital.
Dagny, Francisco, Ragnar and Hank all go to
where John Galt is being held. Dagny goes and talks to the guard at the front door.
She says ^I was sent by one of the dystopian bleeding heart leaders to be let in^ but the
guard says ^Um well I was told by a different dystopian bleeding heart to not let anyone
in.^ Dagny points a gun at him and explains that both bureaucrats are evil and giving
him opposite commands, so he must decide for himself what to do. He can’t decide so Dagny
shoots and kills him, this totally doesn’t violate the NAP because this guy refused to
take charge of his life and make his own decisions so he is basically also a Dystopian Bleeding
Heart so he deserved to die apparently. Buuut like, if the guy really was taking contradictory
orders from top level government officials like what was he supposed to do just dissipate
a direct order? Couldn't he be like courtmarshaled or imprisoned for disobeying or whatever?
I guess at this point I shouldn't be surprised when the book revels in the deaths of those
its labeled as in cahoots with the Looters.
Francisco and Hank go in and kill the other
guards and they free John Gault and they all get in the plane to fly back to the Gulch.
There are a whole bunch of airplanes behind them because apparently the Utopian Capitalists
were going to go to war against the Dystopian Bleeding Heart government or whatever if they
failed to free John Gault. Dr. Hugh Akston calls from one of the planes
to hear John Galt's voice he says he's happy to hear from him and asks if he's all right
and John Galt says ^Of course I am because A is A^ The book ends with Eddie Willers, Dagny's
old secretary and right hand man, as the head of Taggart Transcontinental he is on a train
but it breaks down in the middle of the desert he can't seem to fix it because he doesn't
know how but he doesn't want to give up, but everyone else is just saying whatever don't
worry about it.
And then a group of canvas covered wagons approaches one of the people
from the Caravan explains to Eddie that the bridge across the Mississippi was destroyed
(the one destroyed when project X blew up) and so there is no way to get to New York.
Everyone leaves with the caravan but Eddie keeps trying to fix the train engine
But ultimately he fails. Then there's a kinda Montage over all the
cool Utopian Capitalist heros doing their thing in John Galt's Gulch.
Oooh wow look
all the outside world reverted back to canvas covered wagon days but our Utopian Capitalists
are all awesome and practically living in some kind of utopian future. So with the Dystopian Bleeding Hearts all
dead presumably, the Utopian Capitalists amend the constitution to ensure the Utopian Capitalist
world can begin, this amendment states, Pg. 1073 "Congress shall make no law abridging
the freedom of production and trade" huh that's a big amendment to the constitution. Just
for fun let's look at article 1 section 8 of the constitution which explains the role
of congress in the federal government. Heh hem, "The Congress shall have Power To lay
and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts … borrow Money on the credit
of the United States; To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several
States, and with the Indian Tribes…To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof…" um ok
so this new amendment would literally make it impossible for congress to fulfill some
of its primary functions? Um, how do people take this book seriously again? Anyway and the text ends with John Galt Looking
over the waste land and stating, Pg.
1074 "The road is cleared said Gault….we're returning
to the world" the end Conclusion —————————————————— Alright the part you've been waiting for,
how does Atlas Shrugged stack up against Umberto Echo's 14 features of fascism? Well actually first I wanna explain how pure
libertarian capitalism is totally unworkable bs. In the book all of the coolest of Ayn Rand’s
characters smoke. In fact people from John Galt's Gulch smoke fancy cigarettes with little
dollar signs on them, which Dagny uses to try to track down and solve the mystery of
the destroyer in parts 1 and 2 (yes apparently on top of everything else that little valley
can grow tobacco I guess). But why am I bringing this up? Well if you saw Knowing Better's
video on Capitalism and Libertarianism, you saw that Ayn Rand was a total denyer of the
dangers of second-hand smoke, and she had to be, her world view kinda requires it. You
see, she can admit that there's aggression like stealing from someone or forcing them
to do things at gun point because those are things one person intentionally enacts on
But she can't admit that second hand smoke unintentionally enacts violence on those
around you. Because, once you admit that, what's next? Admitting that smoke from factory
pipes enacts violence? That pollution from Francisco's copper mines enact violence? Exhaust
and slurry from Reirdon's metal production? Various air, water, sound and other externalities
from the Taggart Transcontinental rail line? Soon as you admit that these externalities
enact violence on the surrounding community then you have to admit that those impacted
by those externalities should have a say in the cost and benefits and operations of those
industries, but heck if you admit that then you'd have to admit that libertarian capitalism
is bunk and the true solution is some sort of collective worldview based around democracy
and communism and anarchism. If you want a more detailed explanation of
this check out my review of For a New Liberty which is essentially the manifesto of this
Ayn Rand type of libertarian capitalist economic system. But with that out of the way onto
Umberto Echoes 14 features of fascism.
1. The cult of tradition. “One has only
to look at the syllabus of every fascist movement to find the major traditionalist thinkers. Yeah both the Nazis and Atlas Shrugged are
reactionary worldviews that glorify a fictitious account of the past. Where Nazis wanted to
valorize the warriors of Sparta or Ancient Rome or whatever, Ayn Rand seeks to valotize
the capitalists of the industrial era, the Duponts and Rockefellers and Fords. For example
Dagny Taggart valorizes her grandfather Nat Taggard as a hero from a more heroic time,
or Francisco D'anconia wanting to live up to the history of his family's name. All the
Utopian Capitalists long for a more capitalistic heroic past. 2.The rejection of modernism. “The Enlightenment,
the Age of Reason, is seen as the beginning of modern depravity. In this sense Ur-Fascism
can be defined as irrationalism.” Now this might sound contradictory to the
text, since the text is all about fetishizing logic and reason and all that…buuut where
the Nazis wanted to reject modernism and return to traditional thought, this text wants to
reject postmodernism and return to modernist thought.
Remember Dr. Stadler being mad that
the other scientists at the State Science Institute were preaching a rejection of reason?
Remember in John Galt's speech where he said "walk into any college classroom and you will
hear your professors teaching your children that man can be certain of nothing, that his
consciousness has no validity whatever"? Remember the various times in the text that Dagny or
Jim Taggart's wife complain that modern art is more degenerate than classical art? I mean this isn't surprising Ayn Rand's whole
theory of Objectivism is inconsistent with postmodern thought.
Ayn Rand claiming that
gold has objective value, that an airplane has objectively more value than a bicycle,
her grand narratives about the world, these run contrary to postmodern thought. 3.The cult of action for action’s sake.
“Action being beautiful in itself, it must be taken before, or without, any previous
reflection. Thinking is a form of emasculation.” This one almost seems to not apply. But that
is simply because Ayn Rand did not write sufficient critiques of her ideas in her own book and
so there was no need to act without reflection because there was no need for reflection.
I mean remember the times Francisco or Dagny or John Gault challenged one of the Dystopian
Bleeding Hearts and they just crumbled? Let's compare that to real life.
Again, if you've
seen the Knowing Better's video on Capitalism and Libertarianism you saw that when Ayn Rand
was challenged on the circular logic of her theories the solution wasn't to reflect, no,
thinking is a form of emasculation, instead she just says some pithy thing about denying
the objectively wrong perspective of the questioner. (Clip from Knowing Better Video) 4.Disagreement is treason. “The critical
spirit makes distinctions, and to distinguish is a sign of modernism. Remember when Hank Reirdon had that internal
dialogue after refusing to join the steal alliance where he stated Pg. 907 “From the
first extortion he had accepted, from the first directive he had obeyed, he had given
them cause to believe that reality was a thing to be cheated”? Remember Franciaco telling
Dagny , Pg.
587-8 “While you’ll struggle to save Taggart Transcontinental, I will be
working to destroy it.”because as long as she is working in the world of the Dystopian
Bleeding Hearts she is the enemy? Remember all the talk by John Gault about how they
must never compromise with the Dystopian Bleeding Hearts, how they must hold strong with their
strike to ensure their destruction? Throughout the text any compassion, any compromise
with the Looters is treason. 5.Fear of difference. “The first appeal
of a fascist or prematurely fascist movement is an appeal against the intruders. This ones easy, all the talk about people
being scum and parasites and looters and all that. In fact, let's play a little game. I
will read a few lines of text and you can tell me if you think the quote is from Atlas
Shrugged and referring to "the looters:, or if it is a quote from Hitler referring to
"the Jewish people." Ready? Here we go: 1: “They are the natural bait for the swarms
of BLANK that stay under rocks for centuries, but come crawling out at the first smell of
a man who begs to be forgiven for the guilt of owning wealth.”
2: “It seems monstrously wrong to surrender the world to the BLANK, and monstrously wrong
to live under their rule” 3: “I could say to you that you will and
can achieve nothing by universal devastation – as any BLANK must, when he runs out of victims”
4: “The slave-drivers of those States are kept in power by the handouts from their fellow
BLANK in countries not yet fully drained, such as this country”
And 5: “We’ll fight the BLANK as long as we can.
I don’t know what future is possible
to us, but we’ll win or we’ll learn that it’s hopeless. Until we do, We’ll fight
for our world. We’re all that’s left of it” Ok what do you think? Which ones were Ayn
Rand Discussing Looters, and which were Hitler quotes discussing Jews? Drum roll please (drum
roll) oops it was a trick these are all quotes from Atlas Shrugged. 6.Appeal to social frustration. “One of
the most typical features of the historical fascism was the appeal to a frustrated middle
class, a class suffering from an economic crisis or feelings of political humiliation,
and frightened by the pressure of lower social groups.” Oh yeah I mean this is the whole argument
of the book right, that the capitalists are being held back by the bureaucracy, and social
spending, the regulations that the looters and parasites impost on them. I mean this
was written in part as a response to what Ayn Rand saw as frustration with America's
move toward socialism and away from capitalism that was the New Deal.
7.The obsession with a plot. “Thus at the
root of the Ur-Fascist psychology there is the obsession with a plot, possibly an international
one. This is explained when Hank tells Dagny that
the Dystopian Bleeding Hearts are only pretending to see the world as the do, abd when the homeless
man on the train tells Dagny, “they didn’t do it by any kind of mistake. Mistakes of
this size are never made innocently.” and this is explained by John Galt in his big
speech when he says, they want you to fail; they do not want to live, they want you to
die; they desire nothing, they hate existence” It's explained that while these Dystopian
Bleeding Hearts talk a lot about social good and social responsibility and all that, what
they are actually doing is evil and they know it is evil and they are doing it intentionally
as part of some love for irrationality and death.
Sounds like an international plot to
me. 8.The enemy is both strong and weak. “By
a continuous shifting of rhetorical focus, the enemies are at the same time too strong
and too weak.” As I said earlier, we see this with Nazi Germany,
The Jewish people are both degenerate, subhamns that the master race could easily defeat,
and also they are super secretly controlling everything behind the scenes. And with modern
fascists who talk about how SJW’s and feminists are deranged and soy boys or whatever and
yet they are also controlling all videogames and hollywood movies behind the scenes.
immigrants are lazy but they are also taking everyone’s jobs. And same goes here the
Dystopian Bleeding Hearts are both lazy, uninventive, moochers, but also in control of the entire
political and economic system. 9.Pacifism is trafficking with the enemy.
“For Ur-Fascism there is no struggle for life but, rather, life is lived for struggle.” Now because of all the Non Aggression Principle
stuff popular with capitalist libertarian types there isn’t much direct attacking
of the Dystopian Bleeding Hearts by the Utopian Capitalists…well not until the end when
Dagny and the others go around shooting guards left and right to rescue John Gault, and their
plan to go to war with the Dystopian Bleeding Hearts had the escape plan failed. But really
this lack of violence isn’t really about the Non Aggression Principle stuff it more
has to do with the fact that this is a made up story. After setting up all this us versus
them framing, the Dystopian Bleeding Hearts are bad and we must never compromise with
them, they must be stopped at all costs, then Ayn Rand can conveniently write the story
so that the Dystopian Bleeding Hearts all die in train accidents and weapons explosions
and even revel in their deaths, without the Utopian Capitalists being the murderers themselves.
10.Contempt for the weak. “Elitism is a
typical aspect of any reactionary ideology.” Hmm calling people looters and parasites,
check. 11.Everybody is educated to become a hero.
“In Ur-Fascist ideology, heroism is the norm. Now, as I said for number 1, in Atlas Shrugged
folks aren’t trained to be heroes in the spartan warrior sense, but from the glorification
of grand pappy Nat Taggart to the celebration of all the industrials like Hank Reardon,
Francisco D'anconia and John Gault it certainly seems to be that the people in the book and
the people reading the book should strive to be like these heroic industrialist, selfish,
ubermeches. 12.Machismo and weaponry. “Machismo implies
both disdain for women and intolerance and condemnation of nonstandard sexual habits,
from chastity to homosexuality.” Hmm, weaponry no not really, in the text that
is more of a government thing what with the Project X and all that.
Although in real life
an-caps and capitalist libertarian types certainly feteshize weaponry. Non standard sexual habits
and chastity and homophobia don’t really seem to be here either, however, in the book
most of the women are Dystopian Bleeding Hearts, and both in this book and her other works
Ayn Rand really goes for the, playing hard to get, no means yes, Dagny wants to be reduced
to an Object for Hank or Gault’s desires and stuff like that. So there does seem to
be quite a bit of misogyny in Ayn Rand's work. There are a few articles about this kind of
thing, so look there if you’d like to know more. 13.Selective populism. “There is in our
future a TV or Internet populism, in which the emotional response of a selected group
of citizens can be presented and accepted as the Voice of the People.” In the real world we see this with neo-nazi
folks claiming to speak for the real Americans and silent majority regarding feminism or
immigration or BLM or whatever.
And in this story the citizens supposedly all distrust
Reardon Metal and dislike Hank and Dagny but then the streets and rooftops are flooded
with people cheering on the John Gault train. The story seems to jump back and forth between
the people hating the Utopian Capitalists and loving them. We see in John Galt’s speech
that either you are part of the select utopian capitalists who know how things really are,
or you’re a looter or a parasite, this is certainly selective populism. And finally 14.Ur-Fascism speaks Newspeak.
“All the Nazi or Fascist schoolbooks made use of an impoverished vocabulary, and an
elementary syntax, in order to limit the instruments for complex and critical reasoning.” I think Ayn Rand would argue that her work
does not engage in Newspeak, in the limiting of complex or critical reasoning. I think
she would argue that, although this story is a little hyperbolic, it is a thoughtful
and nuanced explanation of capitalism and its relationship with bureaucracy.
as we’ve seen going over this text, it isn’t the case. The great man theory style promotion
of industrialists, the joy that’s taken letting the so-called looters and parasites
wallow in their desperation or die in tragic accidents, the us vs them talk and conspiracy
about a plot to destroy the world. Anyone remotely familiar with economics or politics
should find this story laughably reductive.
This book is an incredibly naive and dogmatic
take on the struggle between capitalism and the government which gives the reader a limited
understanding of the complexity or critical reasoning required to properly understand
these issues. Sooo the long and short of it, the stuff about
college professors teaching the next generation to deny reason, the stuff about Modern Art
and music being all degenerate, the stuff about a looter class with unjustified political
power holding back the prime mover capitalists and giving unjust money and resources to the
parasites thus causing degeneracy in the economy and the government and the world, all the
times the story revels in the deaths of people it calls looters and parasites. Just switch
the term prime mover for master race, switch the tem looter for Jews, and switch the term
parasites for degenerates and well you can clearly see that Atlas Shrugged is Fascist
Propaganda. Now if you are a fan of Ayn Rand, a fan of
Atlas Shrugged, I assume you were able to get this far in the video, I mean it’s only
like 1/50th the length of the Atlas Shrugged audiobook.
Well if you are such a person you
might be thinking, “Hey wait a minute, Atlas Shrugged isn’t fascist, Ayn Rand was a devote
anti-fascist, she wrote letters and gave speeches all about it! Check mate you statist commie!” Buuut nah, first death of the author, Atlas
Shrugged can easily be seen to promote a fascist worldview regardless of the author’s intentions.
But also I think Ayn Rand misunderstands fascism so much that she was able to claim to be an
anti-fascist while writting fascist propoganda. I mean, this letter and these speeches aint
it’s chief; she makes the stupidest arguments in them. In one she literally makes the argument,
“Uumm acktually Nazi, stood for National Socialist, see it has socialist right in the
name, so there!” (https://youtu.be/7La8l6kgC7s) 49 minutes Then she goes on a “Nazis and Liberals are
the same” type argument.
Which reminds me of the book Liberal Fascism, which I might
review one of these days. These are hilarious arguments like Liberals are Fascist because,
hey look, they both like to do marches, they both like to shout slogans, Hitler and FDR
both encouraged patriotism and promised their constituents they would make the country better.
But um, hey all politicians do that, Conservatives preach the patriotism of Law and Order, cutting
taxes, traditional family values and Liberals preach the patriotism of racial justice, lgbt+
rights, environmentalism. Buuut I guess this is the kind of analysis you get when you consider
all government action theft and murder and tyranny without any nuance for the goals and
structure of the government in question. Also in Ayn Rand’s letter on fascism she
argues that fascism is just the big business version of socialism but wait didn't John
Galt and all the leading industrialists literally form a new world in their image, rewriting
the constitution to codify this new world into law? Sounds like we're on the same page,
Ayn Rand, turns out maybe we both think Atlas Shrugged is fascist.
So anyway yeah, capitalist libertarianism
is a BS ideology and Atlas Shrugged is fascist propaganda. If you're gonna read a classic
political philosophy novel go read Iron Heel by Jack London or The Dispossessed by Ursula
K LeGuiun, instead. Anyways, as always I'd like to thank my wonderful
patrons, for Objectively determining it is in their rational best interest to support
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that, and for allowing me to support other creators I couldn’t otherwise support. I
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the radical reviewer…thanks for watching..