ForumMusic/Movies/TV/Books ► Atlas Shrugged - Such a great start and a such a disappointing ending
Not saying it's a bad book by any means, the first 500 pages actually shook my life philosophy. Maybe socialism truly is evil. We've all dislike people who make claims on us because we do things better, sometimes even getting bitter with emotional blackmail. Socialism seems to be this on a national level.
The next 500 pages deconstructed the blooming amazement of a solid way to live and turned what was a great idea into beating up strawmen and this random shining god-like John Galt just swoops in to end the story. That was so lame!
Being disappointed by the end of Atlas Shrugged must be especially disappointing considering how long it is.
It made me realise the only way to get Any Rand's worldview to make sense was to just bore you into agreement.
Yup, boring is a good way to describe the last 500 pages.
Ayn Rand is confusing because I find myself in agreement with some things and vehement disagreement with others. I remember reading Anthem in High School and enjoying it until the 21-year-old protagonist falls in love with a 17-year-old girl. It was kind of a Giver-esque dystopia until then. They flee society and find a cabin somewhere and immediately the woman spends her days dressing up in beautiful clothing and staring at herself in the mirror. Oh and she gets pregnant with his child. Ayn Rand had a surprisingly regressive view of gender roles.
I find myself disagreeing with Objectivism more and more as I grow up. Humans have had a leg up on the rest of the world partially because we work together and value what happens to other people. We're only stronger for working together and sharing the fruits of our labors.
You took the words out of my mouth here. The gender roles, and hard shift from a great book to sudden crap. I haven't read Anthem, but the downfalls sounds almost exactly like Atlas Shrugged.
I'm still on the fence about objectivism (despite the horrible story telling). I am aware that on a fundamental level selfishness is bad for society as a whole (tragedy of the commons), but I have also had my eyes opened with the certainty in which she condemned the needy weak. Not because they are weak, but for them making moral claims on the stronger simply because they are weak. This I have seen often in real life and it annoys me to no end.
Of course, I do understand that there are lots of grey area and it's not one or the other. Maybe society is simply doing its function by normalizing selfish behaviours by pressuring people to be more selfless. But something in the moral conviction of it all feels off to me. It's summed up pretty good in the quote "I want to destroy Robin Hood. Who first practiced charity with wealth he does not own"
The thing about objectivism that I think it shares with a few modern pundits (particularly Jordan Peterson) is that it sounds eminently reasonable when Ayn Rand is being critical/adversarial and picking on things she herself specifically highlights, but when push comes to shove and Ayn Rand has to actually stake her own flag in the ground and define her own philosophy she sounds like a crackpot.
But surely, something that sounds so reasonable can't be totally off the mark?
No, I think it's important to listen to reasonable criticism. Most people read Ayn Rand and get that the kind of dystopic overly obsessive victim mentality is a bad thing. If I were to sum it up I would say she isn't wrong, but she isn't right either.

The thing is, it's valid criticism and something to bear in mind, but in her novels Ayn Rand controls the discourse, she gets to define the group and mentality she is criticising.
You're right. Well, I gotta admit I was kinda stirred up in the beginning but as the actions of the villains (but more importantly the protagonists, which definitely are the narrative's good guys - no ambiguity there) start to diverge farther and farther from a good grasp of reality, the suspension of disbelief loses its tension and we're just reading fantasy and magic at that point.
Forum > Music/Movies/TV/Books > Atlas Shrugged - Such a great start and a such a disappointing ending