And just for fun, I present the current disaster that is "Galt's Gulch - Chile."…

Yep, bunch of libertarian assholes are learning a painful lesson the hard way.
"Even Ayn Rand deserved better than this."

Wow. Hard to imagine.
@1, comedy gold, that.

@2, this is exactly the kind of pulpy garbage that Ayn Rand deserves. She shares a great deal with another icon of postwar bullshit, L. Ron Hubbard.
Are you sure this isn't Fifty Shades of Grey Coal & Oil Pollution?
@3 that's s good way to put it. They are two pillars supporting the weird dysfunctionality of second-half-of-20th century-America (would be interesting to come up with the two other pillars since there should be four, naturally, each representing a sector of society.)

Come to think of it maybe Ayn needs a movie like "The Master" about her... Might be interesting.
@4: The abridged version is the 100 page speech by Galt.…

It's only 58 pages in google docs!
"Even Ayn Rand deserved better than this"?

Why? I haven't heard about any government interference in the making of this travesty. She got exactly what the market delivered to her. Anything more would have been immoral.
@4 I enjoyed Atlas Shrugged as a sci-fi novel, but I'd really recommend starting with The Fountainhead since it is a lot less of a mess.

There's an appeal to the utopia that Rand lays out, but she is not a student of human history or human nature. My understanding was the Gulch was basically the utopian end result envisioned by the Communists. Every person gives everything they can to society and receives comfort and satisfaction as a result.

The architect builds the perfect houses. The food is prepared by the master chef who desires nothing more than to have his work savored nightly. The garbage is picked up by the best sanitation engineer ever whose satisfaction comes from clean streets. The plumbing is done by some guy whose really into plumbing. It's a bit like Eureka, but without the defense contractor mucking things up.

When I found out Rand was a right winger in real life I was frankly surprised. The bankers and politicians are the villains of her novels. People like Mitt Romney, Paul Rand, Rupert Murdoch, Donald Trump, these are the do nothing class who pulls the genuinely creative and smart people down.
I can't wait until this is out on VHS, then I can have a marathon viewing night of all three, back-to-back.

Can. Not. Wait.

I guess the only saving grace for AS III is that the entire film didn't consist of one long-assed, boring monologue from this guy.

VHS? Really?

Anyway, Parts I & II are available on DVD via Netflix, & I think Part I is even up on the streaming site. So, just give it a couple of months and you'll probably be able to indulge in your perverse little fantasy! :)
@12 oddly, this movies screams VHS to me. Think bargain bin. Not sure if that's what @10 intended to imply though.
John Galt has a face made for buttfucking.
What about the train wreck in the tunnel that is the violence porn centerpiece of the novel? Surely there's enough stock footage of old-timey locomotives hitting head on and such that they could have used (preferably with "Yakety Sax" playing in the background)
@9 Ayn Rand's books and her philosophy both suffer from the same problem -s he does not understand human nature. Her books are filled with characters that are theoretically more or less possible, but extremely unlikely. She herself probably had severely atypical psychology, and she seems to generalize from herself. If the vast majority of humans actually thought, felt, and functioned as she seems to have thought people do, then her philosophy might actually work, but humans don't. It's not even close. So, it's building a system that won't work for most of humanity. But people whose psychology happens to be closer to hers will often fall for it for the same reasons she did. And young people, who have much less life experience, will often fall for it, because they do not yet realize how unrealistic her characters are. This is why I think we need more psychology education, but really, I just love psychology.

However, I wanted to comment because it occurred to me that there is a fictional utopia-like world that works that way, and how extremely different it is from Rand's works. My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic does have the premise that each pony has a special talent that is how they will make their living and they will be truly happy and fulfilled by doing it. There also is a bit of the implication that everything that needs doing will end up with a pony who is particularly apt and desirous of doing it. But one assumes that this works by magic, and I don't think it quite carries to our own world. Yet, it is a nice dream, and I am amused at the similarities in fantasy between Galt's Gulch and My Little Pony. However, My Little Pony definitely has better script-writing and production values and acting.
@6, I nominate Dana Lamb (and his wife Ginger) for the third leg, so you only need one more. The Lambs were explorers who canoed and hiked their way through very remote parts of Mexico starting in the 1930s, visiting several previously undiscovered Mayan ruins (Bonampak, etc.) but whose work was so tainted by ludicrous claims of "the Lost City" and various rubbish, eventually including charges of CIA complicity in WWII and a hundred other crazinesses, which parallels Hubbard and Rand in a lot of ways. You should read "The Enchanted Quest of Dana and Ginger Lamb" by Julie Huffman-Klinkowitz if you want to find out more, and gain an insight into this particularly American brand of puffed-up but business-like kookery.

The best book on Hubbard is the recent "Going Clear" by Lawrence Wright, which covers Hubbard's early years, including his ridiculous (and mostly faked) Navy career, his association with the supremely kooky love cult of Jack Parsons, a devoted follower of Alistair Crowley.

For your fourth leg, I think Wilhelm Reich, the psychologist-turned-crazy-sex-researcher who invented the Orgone Accumulator, fits the bill, though really there are hundreds of candidates in the postwar world, driven mad by the effects of more than 30 years of machine warfare and particularly the business management principles that came out of that war.
@6 Rand is such a unlikely and bizarre hero for the far right.

An atheist Russian-jew pro-abortion speed-freak (she was addicted to benzedrine for over thirty years) and Hollywood writer who expressed open shrieking contempt for her own closest admirers.

She has all the ingredients of a juicy freak show of a bio-pic.
followed by clips of Glenn Beck, Ron Paul, and Sean Hannity telling us how moving the speech was
Jesus Christ, how horrifying!
Amazing that the righties savor Galts speech. He trashes religion in the speech. Ayn Rand hated Reagan because he was against abortion which she considered a right. Abortion was sacrificing a lesser value (fetus) for a higher value, the life and happiness of the mother.
@20 I absolutely support a society that encourages creativity, freedom, and the maximizing of human potential. This is part of why I feel we need universal health care, education (and not supported by property taxes that inherently maintain the status quo by making poor people's children have to go to more poorly funded schools), and a good social safety net. A good social safety net gives people the freedom to learn, grow, and create wonders. I also support the funding of science (which has shown to have great returns both for human welfare and financial gains). I not only wish we spent more on space exploration, I also wish we spent more on exploring the bottoms of our own oceans. We have huge portions of our own planet that we could learn so much from, and it would not be easy to explore, but at least we wouldn't have to fly to another planet first. And the process of learning how to safely explore them would yield wonderful scientific and engineering gains. Ayn Rand's philosophy would destroy scientific progress and well-being and lead to people not getting good educations, which actually leads to more people sucking it up and conforming. A philosophy that only works for the children of the rich is no model for a society.
@17 You don't mind if I quote you on this?…
@17, she also can't write for shit. Seriously unreadable sentences that Edward Bulwer-Lytton would be embarrassed by, and every time someone has to step out to the bathroom they have to make a thirty-page speech about why.
@17: "If the vast majority of humans actually thought, felt, and functioned as she seems to have thought people do, then her philosophy might actually work, but humans don't."

Actually, no, if the vast majority of humans did so, we would cease to exist as a species. Rand did not have children, there are no children in the Fountainhead, and there is only one passing reference to them in Atlas Shrugged. There's a reason for that: children are not "traders" who provide "value" in exchange for what is offered them. An infant can't "earn" the gold necessary for its sustenance. Any philosophy that fails to provide for the propagation of the species is just a joke.

@4: You claim not to have read Atlas Shrugged (which, no surprise, based on your track record, strikes me as a lie), then claim that "Obviously Rand took things to a ridiculous extreme." How would you know if you haven't read her flagship novel? Dishonesty is not pretty.

@24 Sirkowski, that's fine. Now I just wish I'd edited it for slightly better writing and grammar. But I am glad you liked my comment.
@25, that's the core of Reaganism, which still poisons the minds of all Republicans, and it's complete and utter bullshit.

Or it might be, but no one will ever know, because there's never been anything remotely like an "overly generous welfare system" and there never will be.

The increased welfare payments under President Johnson didn't foster dependency; they fostered a large-scale departure out of poverty, bringing millions of people into the middle class for the first time in their lives. But even those payments were, in the bigger picture of total government spending, trivial sums.

Not "overly generous" at all. You couldn't survive on what welfare payments are available to poor people, and the waste and cheating that right-wing assholes are always going on about is extraordinarily rare.

In reality, the vast majority of government spending on "entitlements" go not to the poor at all. They go to retired people in every income classification, including the very rich, and to veterans, and to farmers (mostly very wealthy ones), and to people who know how to milk the system.

Your entire economic understanding is a fraud, man.
@27 That's very possible. I do find the problem of children to be a fundamental issue with Objectivism. The general answer is that children would be cared for because adults would value them. But there is absolutely nothing in basic Objectivist theory to prevent massive child abuse. You could get a child to agree that in exchange for basic food and shelter they will work as a slave and get beaten whenever the person "caring" for them felt like it. The question would just be, would enough adults value treating children well for society to continue... and since I was positing fundamental changes to basic human psychology, it's hard to say. So, yes, it might work if humans weren't generally like humans as we currently know them to usually be or it might fall apart horribly. Either way, it definitely does not work for human societies as they are, which have a large percentage of fairly typical humans, with smaller amounts of less typical humans, and a tiny percentage of outliers. Part of being a smart outlier is recognizing that what works for you isn't necessarily going to work for others (and vice versa), but that society needs to work for most people or it will fall apart. Ayn Rand simply failed at this.
Oh, there's already a bio-pic for Rand. Helen Mirren! Eric Stoltz! PETER FONDA!

@25 As stated, it's never been tested. However, I grew up rich, so I don't think they do. Having lots of money fostered more time and ability for me to concentrate on education, which fostered independence. Had I been poor, I probably would have had to spend more time struggling to get be and less time learning. It's also worth noting that the internet has shown that people love creating things. People who have just a bit of extra resources (and sometimes they manage without even very much) will produce stories, art, and music for the love of it. The internet is overflowing with creativity.

It's also worth noting that human history has shown that great advances are made generally by those who have a great deal of leisure time, because they have the time to study and experiment. Sure, some great people managed despite poverty, but it's usually wealth and support (generally unearned or unfairly obtained) that has fostered growth. In the early days, slavery was necessary to create a class of people with enough leisure time to focus on science and art. Nowadays, we have enough technology that we could afford to support and educate people and see to basic needs without needing to enslave anyone. If we had more social support, it'd essentially be like raising more kids in the manner that wealthy children were raised - with a good education and time to explore the world. And that is almost always what allows those who have great talents to develop and share them. Who knows how many brilliant scientists and artists and doctors and engineers and musicians and so forth have been wasted because they were too busy trying to get food? You can't create a good violinist if you can't afford to get the kid a violin. You can't create a good scientist if you can't afford books to spark interest. And yet we don't actually have good evidence of strong social support causing problems. Sure, some rich kids end up spoiled, but it's not clear that that ever has anything to do with a good education and not needing to worry about food to eat. And I don't think there's any evidence that laziness is linked to social support. Also, good social support leads to better health, and it's really hard to contribute awesome things when you're health is failing you.
@34 That people love porn was blatantly obvious well before the internet. It's also true. But how is it relevant? Yes, if people have free time they will consume porn with some of it. They'll also make porn with some of it. So what?
I know Paul is ecstatic that there were only three installations of this sorry series. Otherwise, he'd need therapy.
@37 American slavery was actually kind of weird as historic slavery goes. And the issues in the US involved many factors. I was thinking more historical slavery (which did function differently than US slavery). Think ancient Greece or slavery as described in the Bible. Some basic technology, like agriculture and pottery were rather vital for the advances we've made, by allowing for food surpluses, but pretty much every ancient civilization used an under class, usually slaves or similar enough, as a basis to allow others to study, advance, and thrive. But in the more modern times, we've had enough technological improvements to make slavery unnecessary. This is also probably part of why modern US slavery wasn't as much of an advantage. We just don't need to enslave people anymore - and a great thing that is.

But that's all rather secondary. Children raised with excess tend to do better than those raised struggling. If struggling were so good for people, than rich people would raise their kids that way, but they do not. Instead, there's a lot of evidence that decent health care, good education, the ability to pursue interests, etc. is extremely beneficial. The first wave of programmers came almost entirely from upper classes, because only those could afford to give their children access to computers for their kids to learn the skills on. If more children had been raised with the ability to learn programming, probably more of them would have. If more kids had plenty of art supplies, you'd probably see more artistic talent. Growth doesn't come from nothing.
"Even Ayn Rand deserved better than this."
Rand's books are only fit to be used as compost. She was a sociopath and a fool who couldn't right fiction to save her life and her philosophy is disgusting.

For a good, thought provoking novel about free-market anarchism (as opposed to Rand's disgusting Objectivism) read "Alongside Night" by J Neil Schulman. Now THAT would make a good movie.
Oh, you also might want to look up Maslow's hierarchy of needs. It's not a 100% absolute rule. People do sometimes work on higher order needs while lower order needs are unfulfilled, but it's a pretty decent basic model for how most people work. It is having lower order needs dealt with that allows more focus on higher order needs. People benefit from having their lower order needs met. They do not usually benefit from having difficulty meeting them; it will generally distract them from being able to handle higher order needs. If we want a society of people who are self-actualized (people doing awesome creative or intellectual things - the sorts of things that really advance our society or enrich our culture) then it will help to make sure that people aren't bogged down in lower order needs.
@29, oh, well, then, you're an expert now, aren't you?

And please continue to shower us w/ your non-sequitors. They really shows how deeply you think, don't they?
@42 What makes you think a strong social safety net would create such a culture? Nor do we know much about what a culture of "not working" would look like, especially since it's not clear what is meant by not working. A culture that expects people to not work in certain ways, but still gives social prestige for numerous forms of creation and excelling wouldn't necessarily cause any such problems. And I'm not sure a culture that truly rewards the total lack of work has ever existed. Anyhow, I wouldn't promote such a thing, but it seems rather irrelevant to the discussion.
@45 In what way is France's culture worse than the US? In what way has that negatively affected their country? I don't know much about France, but a quick google search seems to show that they don't have worse stats than the US on any of the easy to find and think up stats that matter. They appear to have longer life expectancies. They certainly don't seem to have higher crime rates. They do have lower infant mortality.

Also, do you have any evidence for your assertion that free time leads to people sitting around in front of the TV all day or to increased involvement in criminal activity? I'd find it much more likely that financial desperation leads to increased involvement in criminal activity than that free time without financial desperation does.
@47 The research I've seen points to it having been the significant increase in environmental lead due to leaded gasoline. Although laws and methods of prosecution are also relevant. The US imprisons the greatest percentage of its people of any nation, but I do not believe it is because the US people are inherently more criminally-minded or our society necessarily fosters a far larger criminal element. I think it's because we have a set of laws and criminal justice system that encourages the imprisonment of people for fairly trivial reasons. I strongly dislike the war on drugs.

There are always many factors when looking at things. But I have little cause to believe people who oppose welfare systems, since while I have met many such people, I have never seen one of them that believed either that they themselves would do better without a safety net (often one provided to them by their family) nor that wanted to not provide a safety net for their own children. I've seen many people who preach the values of forcing people to stand on their own two feet, and yet they feel their own children are better served through assistance and aid. Which is good, since mistreating their children would make nothing better, but it does make it hard to take the argument seriously.

If a lack of a safety net were truly a good thing, then you'd expect people to do better for being raised in poverty than for having families that help them out during tough times. And that simply is not the case.
@47: Are you saying that giving money to poor people makes them MORE likely to mug people and steal their wallets? @_@
@49 Okay. This whole thread came about because I advocated for a good social safety net, good education for children, universal health care, and science research. So, I kind of assumed you were against some part of that.
@53 Ah, that may well be. But it certainly isn't much of an issue currently in the US. Sure, there is some theoretical system that is overly generous. When that becomes anywhere near being a problem, it'll be far more worth discussing. Although there's nothing wrong with discussions that aren't particularly topical or relevant.
There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.
There are two works that anyone interested in politics should read: 1984 and the Democratic Party platform.
One is about a party born out of slavery and racism which creates a world of total government control. A world of endless spying on the people by Big Brother, a world of perpetual war and attacks on every fundamental liberty, a world where schools are turned into brainwashing centers and poverty is everywhere.
The other, of course, is that book by English author George Orwell.
For the record, I hate Ayn Rand too.
@4, the fuss is ideological, not literary. It's a very badly written book, much moreso than Paul Constant lets on. As long as you've already figured out the libertarian message is bullshit, you're fine.
A world of endless spying on the people by Big Brother, a world of perpetual war and attacks on every fundamental liberty, a world where schools are turned into brainwashing centers and poverty is everywhere.
That all sounds more like the republican agenda than the democrat one.
@55: Ooh, that's good.

@56: Doesn't have the same ring to it. Also, here is the platform of the Democratic Party. Your claims about it don't stand up to even a quick reading of it.
"endless spying on the people by Big Brother"?
Advancing our interests may involve new actions and policies to confront threats like terrorism, but the President and the Democratic Party believe these practices must always be in line with our Constitution, preserve our people's privacy and civil liberties, and withstand the checks and balances that have served us so well. That is why the President banned torture without exception in his first week in office. That is why we are reforming military commissions to bring them in line with the rule of law.

"a world of perpetual war"
When President Obama took office, there were over 140,000 American troops in harm's way in Iraq. Today, all of those forces are out of Iraq, and there are no American bases there either. The Iraqi people, in continued partnership with the United States, now have the opportunity to build a better future.
...we have begun the process of bringing our troops home from Afghanistan, including removing 33,000 by September 2012. And, with the support of our allies, the President has outlined a plan to end the war in Afghanistan in 2014.
Already, the United States and our North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies have begun to transition responsibility to Afghan security forces.

"a world where schools are turned into brainwashing centers"
President Obama and the Democrats are committed to working with states and communities so they have the flexibility and resources they need to improve elementary and secondary education in a way that works best for students. To that end, the President challenged and encouraged states to raise their standards so students graduate ready for college or career and can succeed in a dynamic global economy. Forty-six states responded, leading groundbreaking reforms that will deliver better education to millions of American students. Too many students, particularly students of color and disadvantaged students, drop out of our schools, and Democrats know we must address the dropout crisis with the urgency it deserves. The Democratic Party understands the importance of turning around struggling public schools. We will continue to strengthen all our schools and work to expand public school options for low-income youth, including magnet schools, charter schools, teacher-led schools, and career academies.

"a world where...poverty is everywhere"
That's why President Obama and the Democratic Party have cut taxes on American workers and businesses and made sweeping reforms to the unemployment system to help get people back to work.
And we continue to fight for measures that would strengthen the recovery and create jobs now, including keeping teachers and first responders on the job, putting construction workers back to work by investing in our roads, bridges, schools, and water supply, helping families refinance their mortgages and save hundreds of dollars a month, cutting taxes for small businesses that invest and hire, and putting veterans back to work.
President Obama and Democrats in Congress cut taxes for every working family, putting more money in the pockets of Americans who need it most. A typical family has saved $3,600 during his first term. Now he's fighting to stop middle class families and those aspiring to join the middle class from seeing their taxes go up and to extend key tax relief for working families and those paying for college, while asking the wealthiest and corporations to pay their fair share.
In short, collectivism_sucks, you referenced a document and claimed that it speaks of principles which in reality it is diametrically opposed to. You say it says one thing, it says the precise OPPOSITE.
To summarize further: SHIT TIER POST, PLEB
collectivism_sucks: Alongside Night is a movie. Info at
The one thing I've learned over the years is that anyone invoking 1984 probably hasn't read anything else from Orwell aside from Animal Farm. Oh, and has no idea what Orwell was talking about.
@45- France also has more entrepreneurs than the USA. People are free to pursue their dreams rather than having to fight for a subsistence job.
@53- If you think the pre-Reagan system was overgenerous than you really do hate poor people.
The film wasn't funded well? Isn't that a triumph of Objectivism?
@58 It's possible he's confused the two entirely.
Gault Rennow > John Galt
And Gault isn't even his real name.
@25 - Even at her most reform-happy, Thatcher supported a subsidized health care system so much more generous than anything we seem to be capable of enacting that it's laughable to imagine that the welfare state of which she spoke could happen here.

@34 - All societies who have contributed anything of real meaning to the advancement of the species have been rich in pornography. The more aesthetically rich and decadent the porn, the more advanced the society.

@37, @42 - It's not really an either/or question; necessity + leisure time = innovation. Artistry, in any case, only thrives where there is leisure time, and of societies without significant artistic output, we know (and, really, care) very, very little.

By leisure time, I surely do not mean--and would wager, were I a betting man, that almost no one means--a life in which "not working" is a viable option. I mean one in which one is at liberty to work according to one's aptitudes, and wherein working does not, for anyone, mean the abdication of all non-vocational participation in civilization as it stands--a functional society in which even the generalist laborer (since most employment in any civilization will tend to be in either menial [either agricultural or industrial] labor or service, depending on the nature of the economy) can form healthy social connections and is at liberty, and in possession of enough wealth, to engage with, consume, or share in those cultural memes which lack (immediately) demonstrable material utility, but seem to add value to the human experience and could argued to contribute to its psychological, spiritual, or evolutionary value (religion, philosophy, the arts).

@45, @47 - Again, seems to point to a split in priorities. I think that higher unemployment is worth looking into and measuring, perhaps even correcting, but if we're going to consider material markers, we should also consider abstract markers, since we're seemingly unique in being a species who measures its successes in abstractions like "quality of life" (I imagine dolphins or bonobos may entertain such abstractions, but I doubt, say, fire ants would bother). Given that, French public life and exported artistic product seems richer than ours.

@53 - So why not make yourself useful and offer suggestions for designing a better social welfare system (modestly generous, well-designed), as opposed to speaking against the prospect of a social safety net? It seems exceptionally frivolous to admit, on the one hand, that every nation that offers universal health care appears to offer better results with regards to a healthy populace, and that cultures where all workers can enjoy some leisure time and disposable income tend to produce cultures more worth having, while spending most of your energies, not on how to do what they do more effectively (i.e., with more incentives to work), but on sniffling about their imperfections in such a way that it sounds, in most cases, like you would deny us even what you openly admit are their demonstrated gains and advantages.

@67 - I doubt I have the time to get too far into a Business Week article. Could you summarize the salient points for those of us who have jobs/sex/obligations? I guess what I wonder is how "growth" is defined for their purposes (in a paragraph or less). As a business owner myself, enjoying the current success and contemplating only the most modest growth, the way I see it, any growth that requires more time of me defeats the beauty of what I have now--a situation where I can make a comfortable living while still making theater, having date nights, putting away for retirement, and enjoying the new fall TV lineup in those leftover hours when the training, sweeping, bookkeeping, playwrighting, rehearsing, choreographing, and line work is done.

What I wonder is how possible that is in France compared to here, and how you suspect it could be made more possible either here or there?
Ayn Rand was in love with a child murderer...…

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