Tag Archives: atlas shrugged

The Traditional Way of Payment

by Kit Bradley

Written March 2017

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

In Galt Gulch, one of the few laws was that nothing should be given for nothing. How much should a wife charge for a meal, washing clothes, sex? Should they be able to sell all of those services on the free market? After all, that was the very origin of Galt’s Gulch: mercantile contracts. They embraced the traditional way of payment for married women, as they called it.

James Gussey was on his third wife by the time he got to Galt’s Gulch. Owing to a botched plastic surgery his face had a stretched, glassy look. When adding to his slight build might cause one to imagine that he was unpopular with women. Hundreds of millions of dollars ensured he never lost his sex appeal, and he had the confidence borne of a man to whom the word “no” was an illusion.

James Gussey’s third wife was Laine Maxton-Gussey. James had seduced her when she was seventeen and unsophisticated. Arriving at the Gulch, she was twenty-seven, a tall Viking beauty of a type that seemed to be very popular among millionaires of the time.

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Ronnie Drumpf in Galt’s Gulch

by Kit Bradley

Written March 2017

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Ronnie Drumpf in Galt’s Gulch by Kit Bradley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Some of Ronald Joseph Drumpf’s first memories were helping his father to collect rents from Brooklyn tenements.  Ronald’s old man, Fred Drumpf, left Germany in his teens to avoid military service – in later years, Ronald would avoid the American draft into World War II.  It was just Ronald, his father and Vincent – a heavyset Italian-American with scars on his face and knuckles.  Fred Drumpf introduced Vincent as a “boxer,” and it was true after a fashion, and Vincent was certainly in the hurt business.

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Atlas Falls Cycle – Paul Ryan, Rand Paul, and the lessons of Donald Trump

As I transition to doing more research for the Atlas Falls cycle, which is a parody of Atlas Shrugged, I think that the current administration makes the work highly trenchant. Indeed, part of my research!

Part of my criticism of Objectivism is that it doesn’t work because people aren’t anything like the heroes or villains of Atlas Shrugged. What makes this highly apropos is the relationship between Rand-devotees in the Senate like Paul Ryan and Rand Paul with Donald Trump.

I have thought a long time to the extent that Trump shares the goals of Objectivism. While Trump is the kind of man that would be created by Objectivism, that’s because of its ideological idiocy – the idea that ruthless ambition has a limit, an idea that is verbally expressed in the novel but ignored in practice. But, in the end, Trump is one of Ayn Rand’s enemies: a crony capitalist who finessed government regulations to get taxpayers to foot the bill of his construction contracts, using tons of insider pull. In the parlance, Trump is a looter, raiding the public trust to subsidize his business ventures, succeeding more because of federal largesse and elaborate contacts than holding himself to the tenants of laissez-faire capitalism.

Yet, he is the President, and none of the government Randroids have the guts to call him what he is: a crony capitalist. Not only has Trump gotten one over on the disciples of Rand in the government, Ryan, in particular, has his tongue so far up Trump’s ass that he knows what Trump ate for dinner two minutes before Trump does.

When writing a parody of Atlas Shrugged, though, this dynamic between the followers of Rand and a man that Rand would consider an archenemy (if one consistently adhered to Objectivist philosophy) is fascinating.

I acknowledge that this is a lot of interpretation, in part because the characters of Atlas Shrugged don’t live up to Rand’s stated ideology. From murderous piracy of Ragnar Danneskjold to the intellectual property theft of Dagny Taggart and Hank Rearden to innumerable breaches of contract (which are supposed to be the bedrock of Objectivist law and order), the characters of Atlas Shrugged don’t live Rand’s ideology. So, given the immense failure of the cast of Atlas Shrugged to live up to Objectivism, Trump is very much like a Randian hero as written.

You read Atlas Shrugged without understanding the supposed ideology of Objectivism, the lesson of the book is clear: it’s okay to do anything, to break any law, destroy any contract, to lie, to cheat, to steal, and to kill to get your way. In this regard, Trump is very much like Rand’s heroes, even down to the sexual abuse of women.

Which, ultimately, is a big part of what the Atlas Falls cycle will be about: how Rand’s heroes aren’t who they think they are, how they violate all the principles they claim to hold. That Paul Ryan and Rand Paul’s horror at Trump is simply the horror over the lessons of Atlas Shrugged.

The Origin of John Galt

statue-1515390_1920-1200x900Here’s another Atlas Shrugged fanfic from yours truly!  One of the fascinating things about these characters – now that I’ve got a little distance from the novel – is that Rand leaves them as nearly blank slates.  Even when some of the characters do having living family, like Hank Rearden, their family seems to have no real relationship with the character, evidenced by Hank’s mother’s name, in the novel, is literally “Hank’s mother.”  She has no proper name.  And while both Francisco and Dagny are obsessed with long dead ancestors, we learn almost nothing about their immediate family and nothing at all about their fathers.  Ayn Rand has daddy issues that burn so brightly that people are Jupiter are blinded by them.

Atlas Shrugged EXECUTIVE CAPITALIST Summary: Chapter 30

Dagny: Guys, we’ve got atlas4to save John Galt! I know we’re never supposed to do something for nothing, and, let’s be honest, John is there because of his own stupidity! He could have stayed in capitalist utopia. He could have left after the speech. He could have run when I arrived at his apartment. But, no! He stayed, and allowed himself to get captured, and despite this being against our CAPITALIST values (in which we never give any help to anyone without charging them) let’s ignore that and save him!

Hank Rearden: Yes!

Francisco d’Anaconia: Yes!

Ragnar Danneskjold: Argh! Yes! If I get to jump through a window!

Continue reading Atlas Shrugged EXECUTIVE CAPITALIST Summary: Chapter 30

Atlas Shrugged EXECUTIVE CAPITALIST Summary: Chapter 29

altas3Commie Dr. Statler: I need to control the sonic or cosmic ray cannon (no one knows which, it’s like the writer didn’t know the difference between sound and cosmic rays)! This despite the fact that I was horrified to learn of it’s existence, I’ve suddenly decided that I want to be a warlord! I’ve driven for days to get to it! Even though the country is supposedly in ruins with gangs and violence everywhere, I can drive totally unmolested for two thousand miles!

Commie Cuffy Meigs: I got here, first!

Commie Dr. Statler: You fool, don’t touch that lever! You’ll destroy us and everything within a hundred miles! You’ll destroy a BRIDGE!

Continue reading Atlas Shrugged EXECUTIVE CAPITALIST Summary: Chapter 29

Atlas Shrugged EXECUTIVE CAPITALIST Summary: Chapter 28

atlas2Evil Commie Government Officials: For some reason, we stood around listening to that four-and-a-half hour long speech from John Galt without moving or saying anything!

Dagny Taggart: Give up, he’s won!

Evil President: No! Look for John Galt, instead, so we can give him a job!  That’s what true evil would do!

Eddie Villers: Ms. Taggart, I know who John Galt is. I’ve been telling him every little personal detail about your life, and all of our confidential business secrets, to him for years.

Continue reading Atlas Shrugged EXECUTIVE CAPITALIST Summary: Chapter 28

Atlas Shrugged Reviews as Political Commentary

My finishing purge of Atlas Shrugged is to discuss the flaws in her political and social reasoning, as opposed to merely talking about why the book is a disaster artistically.  (And it is a disaster artistically, as close to objectively awful as a book gets.)

Ayn Rand, in Atlas Shrugged and elsewhere, isn’t just proposing a form of laissez-faire capitalism. She is proposing a system of ethics in which selfishness and greed are the dominant – maybe even sole – principles. To many people, this is absolutely terrifying, and Atlas Shrugged does a very good job of exposing the reason that’s terrifying, even though Rand doesn’t seem to notice it.

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Atlas Shrugged EXECUTIVE CAPITALIST Summary: Chapter 27

atlasDagny Taggart: Gosh, I just noticed that John Galt literally works for me! For years, people have been saying “Who is John Galt?”, even in this very building, without even noticing that John Galt literally works here! How dumb have I been?  I mean, should I feel really embarrassed that John Galt literally works in the same building as me, and I’ve been looking for him for two years?  Nah.  I’m a CAPITALIST!

Jim Taggart: You have to listen to the Evil Commie Government Officials give a speech.

Dagny: Ugh, I guess so.

Continue reading Atlas Shrugged EXECUTIVE CAPITALIST Summary: Chapter 27

Atlas Shrugged EXECUTIVE CAPITALIST Summary: Chapter 26

atlas5Hank Rearden: My mill is dead because of commies, and my money is seized by the gub’mint! They tried to trick me into helping people not starve to death, but I’m too smart for that!

Hank’s Mom: You haven’t visited us in months! Come over.

Hank: Sure.

Lillian: Ha! I’m here!

Hank: Curses! I divorced you because I’m INNOCENT!

Lillian: Dude, you slept with another woman for two years and then bribed judges to get the divorce so I couldn’t get anything. That’s the total opposite of innocent.


Continue reading Atlas Shrugged EXECUTIVE CAPITALIST Summary: Chapter 26