HomeMost Popular on AATTPAyn Rand & Atlas Shrugged In Under 10 Minutes (Video)

Ayn Rand & Atlas Shrugged In Under 10 Minutes (Video)

If you’d rather skip the trite, long-winded and tedious musings of Ayn Rand, this video has you covered!  This gentleman says many of the things I have thought over and over again.  Particularly, these points:

  • Rand presents a ridiculously simplistic view of liberalism, capitalism and the world in general, which essentially makes her arguments baseless.

  • Ayn Rand is a writer of science-fiction and not a philosopher, as many of her acolytes claim.  If you don’t believe me, try and find ONE University course that teaches Objectivism (Rand’s  “philosophy”) as a serious philosophy.  I imagine if you asked a college professor why you were studying Kant, Descartes and Hume instead of Ayn Rand they would laugh you right out of the classroom.

  • Objectivism and Satanism, as described by Anton LaVey in the Satanic Bible, have a lot in common. LaVey actually stated that Rand was an influence, saying, “I give people Ayn Rand, with trappings,” in a Washington Post interview circa 1970.

A few things he left out that are worth noting:

  • Rand admired a convicted child-murderer named William Hickman.  In her journal, Rand wrote of Hickman, “Other people do not exist for him, and he does not see why they should,” she also wrote that the he had “no regard whatsoever for all that society holds sacred, and with a consciousness all his own.  He has the true, innate psychology of a Superman.  He can never realize and feel ‘other people.’ ”

  • Ayn Rand, a chain-smoker and speed addict, applied for Social Security in her old age after a diagnosis of lung Cancer.  While it should be noted that, of course, she paid into the system, it should also be recognized that she could have very well taken out more than she paid in since lung Cancer treatment is generally very expensive.  No one will ever know for sure.  Ayn Rand also applied for SS under her married name, never declaring so publicly, which indicates that she was not proud of of it and didn’t take government money on principle, as some of her disciples claim.

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Americans Against The Tea Party is a group committed to exposing the Tea Party’s lies, violence, racism, ignorance, intolerance, bigotry, and corporatist fascist efforts to subvert our democratic process – and we are organizing to defeat Tea Party/GOP candidates on ballots everywhere.
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  • paul clark

    Always heard about it but never got around to reading it , but when the movies came out I watched and I loved them…..as a work of fiction just a good story. I do not get how people take Ayn Rand as some kind of great philosopher and take her views as something that should be enacted in the real world. In a real world setting her characters would be almost sociopathic.

  • Kyn

    I lol’d. I was first exposed to Rand as a late teen. After much eye-rolling (and reading) ensued, I felt comfortable with considering Objectivism to be amoral and inhuman. Every time I’ve since looked at it I feel that my initial impression was correct.

    Still, I’m a bit disappointed in this video–I would’ve preferred a “in 30 seconds, with bunnies” version. :D

  • Randy the Randian

    OK, Michael – please give us an accurate representation of Ayn Rand, since no one else appears capable in your mind.

    • http://www.fuguewriter.com Michael R. Brown

      I said nothing about “no one,” and it would be most incorrect to say so. I’m talking about specific mistakes, misrepresenatations, urban legends, etc. The Wiki, at a quick glance, is accurate enough – though its summary shortchanges some of the good reviews she got in major papers.

  • Jim

    Of course she is a writer of science fiction and not a philospher. it is obvious because she was not mentioned in “The Philopsher Song by Monty Python.

    Immanuel Kant was a real pissant,
    Who was very rarely stable.

    Heidegger, Heidegger was a boozy beggar
    Who could think you under the table.

    David Hume could out consume
    Schopenhauer and Hegel;

    And Wittgenstein was a beery swine,
    Who was just as schloshed as Schlegel…

    There’s nothing Nietzsche couldn’t teach ya
    ‘Bout the raising of the wrist,
    Socrates, himself, was permanently pissed…

    John Stuart Mill, of his own free will,
    On half a pint of shandy was particularly ill

    Plato they say, could stick it away,
    Half a crate of whiskey every day!

    Aristotle, Aristotle was a bugger for the bottle,
    Hobbes was fond of his dram–

    And René Descartes was a drunken fart:
    “I drink, therefore I am.”

    Yes, Socrates, himself, is particularly missed–
    A lovely little thinker,
    But a bugger when he’s pissed!

    • AATTP

      Awesome!

  • chariotdrvr14

    For crissakes, Michael Brown…if you’re going to trivialize who Anton La Vey was, as an author and the founder of a widely known sect then it calls into question the credibility of all your other statements. Anton La Vey did completely crib Rand’s philosophy for his satanic bible which as a religious philosophy document (though no one actually worships Satan) gives her belief system another philosophical and social context.
    You and her other fans seem to be at pains here to find fault with any criticism of her writings or her personal life. I can understand that. You’re fans of hers. And basically, you’re bunch of dicks. You have to be to embrace it. And yes, I have read alot of her writings. In my household her books were required reading, And I hated it.

    • http://www.fuguewriter.com Michael R. Brown

      One of the entertainments of our time is in finding non-existent contradictions. The impulse is so great that they’re invented constantly. And such is the case here. You’re going to need to argue for this alleged loss of credibility (which is a weasel-word anyway). LaVey was an interesting guy, but he was – as he himself said – an entertainer – basically the flipside of Alan Watts. I’m not a *fan* of her work – in any possible worshipful sense – so much as a student of her as an author. I have criticisms and disagreements galore with her – but that has nothing to do with the basic requirements of factuality that almost every attack on her throws out the window. At least try to get the facts right – and deal with her as she was, not a childish concatenation of rumors and untruths.

  • rooney72

    I read the book, in college, and loved it then. Then a funny thing happened; I grew up.

    I agree with the video’s assessment (although, geez, could it BE any cheesier?)

  • http://www.fuguewriter.com Michael R. Brown

    Almost everything claimed here about Rand is inaccurate. Everything.

    Just for instance: she did not admire Hickman. She was looking at him while he was still an innocent man – before guilty decision byt the jury – admired an aspect of his persona. She said so in her journal – and that he was a “purposeless monster.” What the above nonsense doesn’t disclose is that she was barely done being a teen when she wrote it, and had just escaped the cesspool of Soviet Russia, where the “friends of the toilers” were doing far worse – and being loved by Western intellectuals for it.

    There certainly are university classes in which Rand is included – Oxford U. Press just published a study of her, and the philosophy chairs of Harvard – Nozick – and of UCLA – Hospers – wrote about her work. (Nozick not much at all, Hospers a lot.)

    LaVey was an entertainer. Grow up.

    The Medicare issue is a red herring: she paid in a great deal and was given no option, including recouping all the gains she would have gotten, and the system’s distortion of medical pricing, which was already beginning. No inconsistency there.

    Typical, alas, of the disinformation about Rand. (And I’m not even an Objectivist!)

    • AATTP

      Nothing is inaccurate in the least.

      1. She called Hickman a “Superman.” That’s not admiration? And, which argument are you making; that she didn’t admire him or that she did, but was too young to know any better? You seem to contradict yourself.

      2. I didn’t say that universities or individualism don’t study her; I said philosophy professors don’t consider her a philosopher. It should also be noted that Nozick was a libertarian and Hospers was basically an acolyte of hers.

      3. Whether he was an entertainer or not is completely irrelevant to the point I made.

      4. The “Medicare issue” is not a “red herring.” It’s a valid point. You, nor I, have any idea how much she paid into it. Regardless, she applied in secret so she wouldn’t die a sick and broke old lady. Those, Michael, are the actions of a textbook hypocrite.

      • http://www.fuguewriter.com Michael R. Brown

        1. What she called Hickman (who again had not been found guilty at that point): “A purposeless monster” – “[My hero will be a] Hickman with a purpose. And without the degeneracy. It is more exact to say that the model is not Hickman, but *what Hickman suggested to me*.” (Emphasis added.) Anyone who knows Rand knows that purposeless is one of her worst criticisms. The pseudo-argument you invent is not mine, and so this is another invented contradiction. A. She did not “admire Hickman” – see above. B. “She” – which she – i.e., at what age, are you claiming admired him? You dehistoricize, and so the imprecision is yours. As for age: so if you had a crush on someone at age 8, would it be proper to attribute that feeling to you now? Your resistance to accurately stating her age is telling. The accurate statement is: for a brief time, at the age of ~23, she admired a few abstracted aspects of Hickman. But that doesn’t make for junky (and already long-debunked) talking points. : )
        2. “philosophy professors don’t consider her a philosopher” – False statement. Philosophy professors do consider her a philosopher; not all professors do, but that’s true of Sartre also, and of other great names. The American Philosophical Association has an Ayn Rand Society. : D Philosophy requires exact word usage, so bone up there. You might check out other philosophers such as Den Uyl, Rasmussen, Chris Sciabarra, Tara Smith. George Walsh. All academics. More could be named. Hospers was not in the least an acolyte – she banished him very early on, and they had ~many~ disagreements. (See her letters.) Your comments on Hospers and Nozick are ad hominem’esque. The entire premise of this approach is also curiously static: at one point in time, no philosopher was considered a philosopher. The academy does not establish the canon – else one is but a Philistine. Strangely *conservative* of you.
        3. Your point, then, is vacuous. And ad hominem by association
        4. The amount she paid in is irrelevant. You ducked the issue of gains. : ) “Broke”? Please provide proof that there was any danger of that. Before you do that, I suggest you look up in the NYT of what her estate was worth when probated. “the actions of a textbook hypocrite” – You have failed to demonstrate any hypocrisy whatsoever. Hypocrisy is the seeking of personal advantage through contraction of one’s professed values; Rand never said “Don’t take government ‘help,’ ever” – on the contrary, she said *explicitly* that one should, so long as one was an opponent of government help. She stated what she (and every Objectivist) would and should do – and she did it. That is not hypocrisy. You can see her exact argument here: go down the page to ““The Establishing of an Establishment,”
        Philosophy: Who Needs It, 166″ at http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/government_grants_and_scholarships.html . You are laboring too hard to find hypocrisy there.

        Rand continues to be a way to generate hits, so happy hit-counting.

      • Dallasite

        I don’t know all the details about her application for Medicare, but I don’t think it is hypocrisy, because, if it happened today, she would be compelled by law to seek Medicare/Medicaid coverage regardless of her preferences. If a hospital treats you and you don’t pay because you can’t afford it, the hospital will apply for government benefits that provide for at least medical coverage to recoup the costs. Given that all employed workers in the US pay into the Medicare system by law and all are obligated to ‘receive’ the benefits (through payment to a hospital or other medical care-giver) if they can’t pay for those services out-of-pocket, there can be no hypocrisy in being forced to pay into the system or ‘accept’ the benefits, because they were/will be done without the individual’s initiative or assent.

        The other ‘points’ raised have nothing to do with the book, but are other comments/opinions by or about her. The “superman” Rand may have referred to – I haven’t seen the source, only references to it – in the ’20s or early ’30s would *not* be a ‘faster than a speeding bullet’ or ‘able to leap tall buildings in a single bound’ or have a blue cape. Nietzsche’s definition of ‘superman’ (übermensch in German) is not the same as Clark Kent’s Superman – a better but imperfect analogy would be the ‘ego’ to the ‘super-ego’ in Freudian-speak. Übermenschen was later corrupted by the Nazis to justify Aryan superiority, but that’s really getting off on a tangent.

  • Spartacus

    Even conservative icon, W F Buckley, Jr, stated it was unadulterated trash. Buckley also can be seen on YouTube saying: “I had to flog myself to read it.”

    • http://www.fuguewriter.com Michael R. Brown

      And what of all the conservatives who loved it? Your “even X” argument falls apart there.

  • Gina

    Obviously you haven’t read the book, because the description of Rands books in the video is spot on.

    • http://www.fuguewriter.com Michael R. Brown

      I’ve read every book she wrote and almost everything else, and the video is a massive fail.

  • Boothby171

    If this guy knows about the stupid radio speech, he’s read it. Sorry if not everyone who reads it automatically agrees with you.

  • Dallasite

    Yeah, why bother educating yourself when you can watch someone else’s view of it? Never mind whether he made up half of what he claims is in the book, if you can find it on the internet, it must be true!

    Come on, it’s a novel (albeit a long and dense one) – you can’t feel strongly about something you haven’t even tried to read, which the narrator evidently did not. Stringing together lots of other people’s opinions does not equate to having one’s own opinion.

    • Laffin Dolfin

      When a preponderance of respected thinkers say it sucks & the people I see following that blighted philosophy also suck, I can put 2 & 2 together to reach the conclusion that objectivism objectively sucks without subjecting myself to the intellectual pain of reading that tome of bitter backlash.

      • http://www.fuguewriter.com Michael R. Brown

        How progressive and intellectual! “Sucks” – that’s a major critique. And no preponderance of “respected thinkers” (respect by whom?) has said that.

    • http://aattp.org/ayn-rand-atlas-shrugged-in-under-10-minutes-video/ Mark Riley

      I have to agree with your conclusion. I was hoping there was an ‘objective’ critique of the work, an outline of the story and some details on the main characters, so I could draw my own conclusion. I’ve never read either of her books, but I feel like I wasted ten minutes on a polemic I could easily have dispensed with.

      • http://www.fuguewriter.com Michael R. Brown

        Few writers and thinkers are as inaccurately represented – or hated on – as Rand.

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