Atlas Shrugged EXECUTIVE Summary, Chapter 12

altas3Dagny Taggart: Capitalist Engineer, name your price to fix the Miracle Motor that I took from someone else’s property to use for my own profit!

Capitalist Engineer: I’ll take a low salary, now, but when I’ve discovered how it works, I’ll squeeze you!

Dagny: Okay!

Kit Bradley: Waitasec, isn’t he just saying he’s going to break his contract with you? Why are you hiring him?!

Capitalist Engineer: But I want to keep working at the Utah Institute of Technology, because they have a lab there that I’m using. I’m actually a night watchman, but I just ignore the job they’re paying me to do, to steal their power and supplies, to do what I want to do.  Work is very important to CAPITALISTS.

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Atlas Shrugged EXECUTIVE Summary: Chapter 11

atlas2Dr. Statler: Commies wrote a commie book and twisted my words! It is published by the State Science Institute that I supposedly run, though I do nothing administrative – indeed, I actively avoid administration! I’ll summon the commie stooge who wrote the book.

Commie Stooge Scientist: Sorry, my car broke down.

Dr. Statler: I hate you for not apologizing! Commie stooge, you misrepresented me!

Commie Stooge Scientist: Well, yeah. People are stupid. I’m publishing the book to manipulate them.

Dr. Statler: Though I agree people are stupid, I don’t like how you are manipulating them.  You should manipulate them through CAPITALISM.

Continue reading Atlas Shrugged EXECUTIVE Summary: Chapter 11

A rejoinder to Tyron Woodley saying the UFC “isn’t a sport”

With all respect to Tyron Woodley, who recently said that the UFC isn’t a sport, the UFC has never been a purely athletic contest in the sense that there are fixed rankings and fighters get fights only based on their performance.

The very early days of the UFC – the first dozen or so UFC events – were primarily to show that Brazilian jiu jitsu was superior to other martial arts and the entrants were carefully selected to make BJJ look good. After Zuffa bought the promotion, the small number of initial fighters meant that they had to, basically, keep fighting each other – which is why we had THREE Tito Ortiz-Ken Shamrock fighters. Ken won NONE of them, and lost quite badly, each time by TKO, and the first was for the belt . . . even though Ken had lost his previous two fights. Lose two fights and get a title shot? Yep. Shamrock was never in Tito’s league, but it sold tickets, and there were other realities at stake.

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Thoughts on the movie Atlas Shrugged: Part 1

We just saw the movie, Atlas Shrugged: Part 1, starring Taylor Schilling as Dagny Taggart and Grant Bowler as Hank Rearden.

Rotten Tomatoes gives it an 11% score. It is the highest rated of the Atlas Shrugged trilogy of movies, and the score is justified. It is not a good movie.

Still, I’m not here to damn the movie, exactly, but to discuss it, comparatively, to Part 1 of the novel.

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Reinterpreting Atlas Shrugged: Galt’s Gang

statue-1515390_1920-1200x900Apropos my previous, serious post about reinterpreting Atlas Shrugged, there’s something kicking around my head: how the actions of Galt’s guys are similar to the work stoppage. After all, if I say that people are doing work stoppages to prevent the US from benefiting the USSR, it is also clear that Galt and his guys are also contrary to the USSR.

No.  They’re not the same thing.

In many times of political crisis and chaos, bandits and warlords arise. The bandits are the enemy of both the invaders and the people – they aren’t motivated by a desire to see their country free of foreign influence, but their own personal profit.

Galt’s goons fit that description. America is going to hell in a hand basket, and what they’re worried about is how individual businessmen can’t make enormous piles of money. They take advantage of the weakened state, and further weaken it, to create the conditions where they can take profit from America’s misery.

That Galt’s goons have an ideology hastily pasted onto their terrorism is normal. Many bandits say that they’re looking out for people, or fighting an unjust system. The Shining Path rebels mouth Marx while shipping drugs, for instance. The Contras in Nicaragua said they wanted to “free” the people from socialist tyranny. The Taliban talks about creating a Caliphate. So what? Ideology doesn’t magically transform bandits into freedom fighters.

Galt and his associates are just bandits, terrorists, and criminals.

Atlas Shrugged EXECUTIVE Summary, Chapter 10 – The End of Part One!

atlas5Commie Businessman #1: It’s not my fault! It’s the fault of stone hearted businessman and greedy people who don’t care about people, only profits! It’s not my fault!

Hank Rearden and Dagny Taggart: Where is the guy who made the perpetual motion machine?

Kit Bradley: Why are you guys doing this, personally? Don’t you have a business to run? One that is under attack by corrupt politicians? Why aren’t you in Washington, making sure that your business interests are being protected?

Continue reading Atlas Shrugged EXECUTIVE Summary, Chapter 10 – The End of Part One!

Atlas Shrugged EXECUTIVE Summary, Chapter 9

atlas4Hank Rearden: Dagny, you’re a slut. But I’ll keep on using you like a slut.

Dagny Taggart: Cool. I like it when you insult me. It turns me on.

Kit Bradley: Why do you do this to me, Ayn Rand?

James Taggart: You look like a sweet young thing.

Sweet Young Thing: You’re famous and rich! I’ll babble on about how my family is useless and espouse a primitive version of Objectivism! Let’s boink!

James: Nope. Because virtue is being miserable, I won’t boink sweet young things.

Kit: Almost no one believes anything like this.

Continue reading Atlas Shrugged EXECUTIVE Summary, Chapter 9

Serious alternate interpretation to Atlas Shrugged: an American work slowdown

altas3For Atlas Stumbled, one of the things I’m going to provide is a larger context for Atlas Shrugged. While reading Atlas Shrugged, I noticed along the way that Rand will invent things she doesn’t need to invent. So she will create fictional philosophers when, you know, there are real ones to choose from. She does things like this because it is exceptionally hard to argue about these fictional sources. What does the fictional philosopher really say? Only the snippets we get from the characters in a novel, they are our only source of interpretation! If you use a real philosopher, well, now people can actually look into what they said and see the nuances or see how Rand misrepresents their work.  Thus, Rand is careful to avoid specific references to Kant and Nietzsche because people might legitimately argue her interpretation and what this means to the story overall.

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Atlas Shrugged EXECUTIVE Summary, Chapter 8

atlas5Eddie Willers: I’ll blab to some random guy at the executive lounge about the details of business! Why are you so upset when I mention John Galt Lines? It’s ALMOST like you’re John Galt!  (He’s John Galt.)

Dagny Taggert: Who is that coming around my John Galt offices at night? I’m sure that there is no such person as John Galt! (Yep, John Galt.)  I am also erotically fixated on my work! I get horny thinking about business!

Kit Bradley: Normally, I like sex in my literature, but Too Much Information, Dagny.

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Atlas Shrugged EXECUTIVE Summary, Chapter 7

atlasSwitch Manufacturer: I can’t use Rearden Metal for switches because it’s too expensive – it needs new furnaces and stuff for me to shape it! Isn’t this stuff supposed to be cheaper than steel?

Dagny Taggert: Screw you! I’ll bribe government officials to open closed plants! For some reason, I don’t consider using bribes to steal someone’s plant as looting, even though I’m supposed to believe in the sanctity of property rights! So long as they’re not my property! Yay, government corruption when it benefits me!

Continue reading Atlas Shrugged EXECUTIVE Summary, Chapter 7