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John Galt, Ayn Rand's Ubermensch, relays his values in the poignant rhetorical question: "Which is the monument to the triumph of the human spirit over matter: the germ-eaten hovels on the shorelines of the Ganges or the Atlantic skyline of New York?" Galt's public address, delivered over the subverted airwaves, encompasses the major themes running through Atlas Shrugged. In the speech, Galt claims the triumph of reason over religion, of individualism over collectivism, of self-determination over governmental intervention. Galt's libertarian ideals are at the heart of Rand's novel, forming the basis for the author's own philosophical stance. It is not so much the buildings lining the Manhattan skyline that so inspire Galt; rather it is the motivation behind them: the desire to propel human consciousness and human society forward and to continue to expand the boundaries of human potential. Rand does not glamorize capitalism arbitrarily; the author's thinly…… [Read More]
He needs to believe this not only for himself but also for those that follow and place their trust in him. He declares that money is the root of all evil and that it "can't buy happiness, Love will conquer any barrier and social distance" (392). These kinds of platitudes are nice to hear but they do not pay the bills. It is extremely important that the Looters believe these concepts, however, because they keep everyone on the same level, which leads to a lack of individuality and an overall sense of nihilism. James Taggert's philosophy brings people down instead of lifting them up and encouraging a sense of importance in the world. James Taggart resists at every opportunity the realization of what he is encouraging, which is a life of emptiness and lack. Orren Boyle and Bertram Scudder reinforce this attitude and conduct. They are "men who used words…… [Read More]
The events in Chapters nine and ten of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged have much in common with the real world events of recent history.
In Chapter 9, characters Dagny and Reardon find a car company which has been deserted. The Twentieth Century Motor Company factory is deserted. Everyone who was employed or who benefited from the factory has been made to suffer. The United States' government bailed out General Motors and other car companies to make sure people stayed in their jobs. Had they not done so, the real-world car companies would have found themselves in the position of the fictitious Twentieth Century.
In the tenth chapter of the book, numerous laws are being put into place which makes limitations on industry. For example, everyone is entitled to the same amount of steel even if they do not need it. No company is allowed to have more steel…… [Read More]
Likewise, Dagny's brother James doesn't so much believe that money is evil so much as he believes that money is not a natural extension of human reason. Jim's means of making money is through connections and manipulation, not through creativity and intelligence. Therefore, characters like Orren Boyle and James Taggart represent the antithesis of what d'Anconia was trying to say about money.
Like John Galt, Wesley Mouch's name is meaningful to the theme of Atlas Shrugged: "Mouch" looks and sounds like "mooch," one of the ultimate evils that d'Anconia denounces at Jim and Cheryl's wedding. Mouch becomes one of the novel's clear villains as a government bureaucrat. His dictatorial economic regime is the embodiment of evil, not money. He mooches off of others' ideas in order to accumulate capital. His appropriation of Rearden Steel is an act antithetical to d'Anconia's theory about human productivity and therefore bolster's the book's central…… [Read More]
Galt's Gulch and a strike of the mind is possible? Do we choose not to believe it or the philosophy because we might not be one of them or do we truly not believe in top down economics?
In theory a strike of the mind such as the one perpetrated by John Galt and his colleagues at Galt's Gulch seems like a logical idea; smart people would just have to get together and agree not to use their brains to help the government or those people who were in an undeserved position of power. All the members of the intelligentsia could be rounded up and unite in their refusal to participate in a corrupt status quo. They could disappear and build a utopian society based on individual responsibility. However, in the real world, such a disappearing act would be very difficult to carry out. Technology has advanced society to the…… [Read More]
Capitalists of the orld Unite! You Have Everything to Gain -- profit, individual excellence, and personal appeal!
In her fictional work of philosophy entitled Atlas Shrugged, one of Ayn Rand's central characters, Francisco d'Anconia, expresses outrage at the expressed ideal that "money is the root of all evil." He argues instead that money is the root of all human advancement and gain. Money provides motivation for humans to rise above the level of beasts and create unique works of human production and the imagination. Money is an objective standard of valuation, unlike airy systems of merit that are open to bias. It is for this reason, d'Anconia ominously says, why the systems of money evaluation and money production is one of the first things that are attacked by invaders, when attempting to destroy a country.
Rand's protagonist accuses those that spout "that phrase about the evil of money," as being…… [Read More]
industry in America are a varied lot, ranging from self-righteous and mean-spirited individualists to community-minded altruists. The tensions among these capitalist types is as evident today as it was in the days when Ayn Rand first penned The Fountainhead. Since Rand was a Russian immigrant, it is not particularly surprising that her experiences with socialist and communist societies colored her perspective of capitalism, to a degree reminiscent of a defensive reaction formation. The protagonists in the film Atlas Shrugged engage in a capital strike that is intended to bring the economy to a standstill in order to emphasize the rightness and importance of laissez-faire capitalism. The decline of the transcontinental railway stands in for the future of America if it practices communism and upholds the values of moral relativism. The fundamental tenant of these industrialists was that they were entitled to function according to a natural order that encouraged individuals…… [Read More]
As if to say scientific achievement and technological advancement work together with agriculture and mining to produce. Each complements and supports the other with Integrity watching over all. There was a speech given by Ayn Rand about the New York Stock Exchange about money from Atlas Shrugged?
The interpretation was if you think money is the "root of all evil," think again. hy would someone make such a statement. hy not say "what is the root of money" instead. Money is nothing of itself, it is a tool used by men in exchange for goods and services. Money cannot exists without man. It is the principles of man that determine how money is traded. They give money power or value based on the decisions they apply to the tool. He further states that "Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears, or of the…… [Read More]
Moral Skepticism and Knowledge
Moral Skepticism and Moral Knowledge
Morality is a much debated philosophical idea, wherein the arguments range from ethical egoism being the perfect sample of moral ethics to altruism being the perfect -- and otherwise opposite -- viewpoint. Both ideas have strong followings, and ethical egoism along is broadened to even more branches within philosophical studies. There is still much reconciliation to be done between the various problems of philosophical thought and ethical egoism or lack thereof.
Ethical egoism is a particular form of egoism where one who is moral "ought" to do what is in one's self-interest. The morality behind egoism generally points toward the idea of self-interest; that a moral being's moral path is by focusing on one's self. This type of egoism should not be mistaken for psychological egoism, however. Psychological egoism makes a claim that beings act only in their self-interest.…… [Read More]
The argument being advanced is that since, the Muslim extremists were responsible for the 9/11 disaster, the construction of the Muslim religious center would inculcate the jihad teachings and dishonor to the memory of the 9/11 victims. The question one would ask is this, what about the strip clubs, bars and other activities that are zero blocks away from the hallowed ground, do they honor the victims of the attacks. Consequently, it can be argued that Politicians and anti-Muslim groups found an easier way to agitate the crowds by exploitation of their Islamophobic instincts with the aid of the media framing of the issue. In same the interview, what comes out clearly is that Pamela fights against what she perceives as Islamization of America as opposed to Americanization of Islam. he later describes the center, which she refers to as ground zero mosque as a war memorial against the Americans…… [Read More]
Symbol is an image that conveys an idea to the viewer. For instance, the Golden Arches symbol used by McDonald's conveys the idea of fast-food -- a burger and fries with a Coke to go, picked up at the drive-thru window. One little symbol puts in the mind an idea and can even put in the will a desire for something that was not there a moment ago. Symbols have the power to ignite one's imagination and to move one's will to behave in accordance with the ideas embodied by the symbol. Thus, the Christian cross can be a symbol that reminds one to behave like Christ, to serve as an example of goodness, mercy, charity and truth to the world. However, not all symbols have the same effect on people. While the Golden Arches of McDonald's might inspire hunger in some, it can inspire revulsion in others (depending upon…… [Read More]
Meanwhile, Dwight R. Lee (writing in The Independent Review, 2001) points to a situation where a powerful environmental group (Audubon Society) has cooperated with an energy company and both have profited. Free market environmentalism has shown the way for profits and preservation at the same time in this case. The Audubon Society (AS) owns the 26,000-acre Rainey Sanctuary in the swamps of Louisiana, and while the group is opposed to oil drilling and gas drilling in 99 out of 100 cases, the AS has "been willing to accommodate the interests of those whose priorities are different" (Lee, p. 219). Those interests include allowing thirty-seven wells to be exploited for oil and gas in the Rainey Sanctuary.
According to Lee, the AS has received royalties of more than $25 million from those 37 wells, and in the meantime the technology used in the oil and gas development has prevented any spills…… [Read More]