Tag Archives: atlas shrugged

Why I’m Writing a Parody of Atlas Shrugged

I’m reading about Ayn Rand because I intend to write a parody of Atlas Shrugged, which takes the form of a novel that occurs immediately after the end of Rand’s novel (albeit changed enough to remove the threat of copyright infringement, and strengthen a fair use defense in case something weird happens). The purpose of the parody is to create a rejoinder to the political, philosophical, and economic principles that Ayn Rand lays out in the novel.

It is simply uncontroversial that Ayn Rand’s followers, particularly those at the Ayn Rand Institute, use the novel Atlas Shrugged to spread Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism. In The Ayn Rand Lexicon: Objectivism A to Z, Atlas Shrugged is quote dozens if not hundreds of times to illustrate the philosophy of Objectivism. The Ayn Rand Institute has given hundreds of thousands of copies of Atlas Shrugged to schools with the express purpose of introducing new generations of readers to Objectivism. John Galt’s long speech in Atlas Shrugged is considered to be the first complete expression of Objectivist principles. It is also my personal experience that followers of Ayn Rand quote Atlas Shrugged the same way Christians quote the Bible – at nearly every turn for nearly any occasion.

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Atlas Shrugged: Reviewed as Art

atlas4My agonies are done. I have finished reading Atlas Shrugged. I will have to go back to it, time and again in the coming months for research, but the worst is over. I no longer have to engage in the novel as a novel, but merely as a resource to drive my parody.

In this review, I’m going to talk about Atlas Shrugged as art. It is a book that is both philosophical and political, but I’m going to leave that for another review. This one is just about Ayn Rand’s art.

I can say with absolute certainty and clarity that this is the worst novel I’ve ever finished reading in terms of artistry. Atlas Shrugged is not I novel I dislike, it is a novel that is as close to objectively bad as can be written. I am going to write a numbered list – who on the Internet doesn’t like numbered lists? – that outline just some of the absurdities, bad research, and contradictions of Atlas Shrugged. Some will be general, others quite specific.  Their sheer number is so breath-taking, so overwhelming as to remove all doubt about the quality of this novel: it is garbage.  No, no, it is objectively and uncategorically garbage.

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Criticism of John Galt’s Speech in Atlas Shrugged – I come not to praise Johnny the G, but bury him

statue-1515390_1920-1200x900I’ve just got done with John Galt’s long speech in Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. It’s part philosophy lecture and part insult-comic rant. It is bad at both. (Later on, in my general critique of Atlas Shrugged, I’ll cover the most serious of her flaws in regards to art, politics and economics. It would take a book-length critique to get them all, but there are several that are especially glaring, even to me.)

There are three primary philosophical sins in John Galt’s 36,000 word speech: the first is badly constructed syllogisms, the second is reliance on arguments from authority, the third is straw man arguments. I’m going to give an example of each, but just one, because the speech sixty-plus pages long and it would take forever to cover everything.

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Atlas Shrugged EXECUTIVE CAPITALIST Summary, Chapter 25

atlasJim Taggart: Dagny, fix everything!

Dagny Taggart: No way, but I will laugh! I told you this would happen! Bwahahaha!

Jim: Well, listen to this radio show! It’ll learn you!

Plot Radio: Instead of d’Anaconia Copper being nationalized, it was blowed up by Francisco d’Anaconia.

Jim: Drat!  I’m broke and there’s no more copper in America!

Continue reading Atlas Shrugged EXECUTIVE CAPITALIST Summary, Chapter 25

Atlas Shrugged EXECUTIVE CAPITALIST Summary, Chapter 24

atlas5Jim Taggart: I hate that my wife is learning to like being rich!

Cherryl Taggart: I hate it that my husband isn’t Dagny Taggart! Maybe Eddie Willers will tell me the whole story of why Jim sucks!

Eddie Willers: Yep! There is no corporate secret or personal information that I won’t divulge to anyone, so long as they’re a CAPITALIST! Granted, I don’t know everything, like how my loose lips are helping John Galt sabotage Taggart Transcontinental, and I won’t put any blame on the current crises on Francisco d’Anaconia’s massive sabotage of the global economy, or Ragnar’s incredibly destructive piracy… so, not really the “whole story”, just the incompetent lickspittle’s story, as it were.  But spill the beans about sensitive personal and business information?  I’m your guy!

Continue reading Atlas Shrugged EXECUTIVE CAPITALIST Summary, Chapter 24

Atlas Shrugged EXECUTIVE CAPITALIST Summary, Chapter 23

atlas4Dagny Taggart: I’m back!

Jim Taggart: Good and drat! I hate you, but I kinna need you.  Anyway, you’ve got to give an interview with this Commie Broadcaster.

Dagny: No way, Jose!

Lillian Rearden: Yes way!  If you don’t give the interview, I’ll reveal that you had an affair with Hank!

Dagny: OK, bwahahaha!

Commie Broadcaster: Tell us how awesome communism is!

Dagny: Nope.  I boinked Hank Rearden and I liked it!

Commie Broadcaster: Cut, cut!

Hank Rearden: Dagny, I love you!

Dagny: Yeah, well, about that, yeah, I knew that because I expect all CAPTIALIST men to be rapey, slut-shaming assholes. But I don’t love you, anymore. I love a superior CAPITALIST. Y’know, John Galt.

Hank: D’oh! Despite me having been consistently portrayed as a jealous, violent, and abusive man, I’m good with you loving the superior CAPITALIST John Galt. (Plus, well, let’s be honest, my main squeeze is Franscisco d’Anaconia, no homo.)

Kit Bradley: Seriously, that’s it?  This chapter is, like, fifty pages long!  Curse you, Ayn Rand!

John Galt: Cult Leader

statue-1515390_1920-1200x900John Galt looks a lot like a cult leader.

After having read the first couple of chapters of part three of Atlas Shrugged, something started to look mighty familiar from my research for Simon Peter: John Galt has nearly every characteristic of a doomsday millenarian cult leader.

First, John Galt approaches people – or has them approached – when they’re psychologically vulnerable. He targets people who are in the midst of exceptional crises, in this case, generally the failure of their business or some other great professional failure.

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Atlas Shrugged EXECUTIVE CAPITALIST Summary, Chapters 21 and 22

altas3Kit Bradley: I’m condensing chapters 21 and 22 into one bit because they’re nearly identical! This is some great, and by great I mean “awful”, writing!

John Galt: Hi, I’m John Galt!

Dagny Taggart: Ohemgee, I can’t catch my breath, and my thighs are steaming so I can’t see right, but I can tell because you’re the tallest and thinnest of all that means you’re the bestest CAPITALIST in the universe!  Ohemgee!  OHEMGEE!

Continue reading Atlas Shrugged EXECUTIVE CAPITALIST Summary, Chapters 21 and 22

Atlas Shrugged EXECUTIVE Summary, Chapter 20

atlas2Dagny Taggart: I’ve got to get to Utah, FAST, to talk to the man who is figuring out the Miracle Motor (a plot point ignored for 300 pages!), so I’m taking a train! Trains DEFINE fast!

Coachman: Get off the train, you bum!

Objectivist Bum: But I’m a CAPITALIST!

Dagny: He’s tall and thin, proof of his CAPITALISM!  Let him stay! Tell me a story!

Objectivist Bum: Communism sucks! I started the whole “who is John Galt” thing, too. It is important to show no credulity that out of hundreds of millions of Americans, you just happen to find one of the few people who really knows John Galt’s origin story! Remember, I’m a CAPITALIST, not a moocher saying what you want to hear to take advantage of you.

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Atlas Shrugged EXECUTIVE Summary, Chapter 19

atlasDagny Taggart: I love my apartment now that my job sucks. Why doesn’t the whole world be like I want it to be? I’d be happy if everything was exactly like I wanted, which isn’t childish of me AT ALL. Hark! A knock! Who could it be?

Francisco d’Anaconia: It’s me!

Dagny: Of course it is. Of course.

Francisco: Do you remember that thing, last chapter, when I said that you should just go back and read my other speeches? I’m here to give that speech, again.

Continue reading Atlas Shrugged EXECUTIVE Summary, Chapter 19