Atlas Shrugged

So there’s a movie of it coming out. I generally agree with Scott Lemeiux’s assessment:

I dunno about you, but to me a film based on an interminable novel that consists almost entirely of position-paper wielding characters (and occasionally the narrator) expostulating a silly philosophical framework and its null-hypothesis strawmen ranks somewhere between “A new five-part George Lucas cycle based on vanity press Star Wars novelizations” and “Patch Adams 2” on my “films I’d like to see go into production” list.

My only experience with Ayn Rand came a few years ago when I was on a quest to read every dystopian novel ever written (Zamyatin and Orwell are all you really need; Huxley is overrated, in my opinion) and happened upon Anthem. My God, that is an awful book. It was 150 pages of her saying “and that’s another reason collectivism is bad”, with a plot that, er, doesn’t exist. We and 1984show the perils of totalitarianism. Rand just says that communism (and socialism, and mixed economies, and regulated capitalism) is the root of all evil in society, and leaves it at that. She’s a horrible writer, a worse thinker, and a lesion on American political theory.

3 thoughts on “Atlas Shrugged

  1. I read it in high school. At over 1000 pages, it’s one of the longest books I’ve read. I’ll probably read it again since I forgot most of it.

  2. I’ll probably read it again since I forgot most of it.
    It’s like painting the Golden Gate Bridge: When they finally get to the end, they start all over again.
    From the sound of it, Anthem is outright derivative to We in certain respects.
    Anyway, I agree that Ayn Rand is over the top and overrated, but it just dawned on me that she is also a Soviet-era relic. She was a foaming-at-the-mouth anti-Communist, as it happens from Eastern Europe, like Teller and Solzhenytsin. In context, her antics were somewhat understandable. The people who follow her now are just silly.

  3. From the sound of it, Anthem is outright derivative to We in certain respects.

    Indeed, I have a friend who considers 1984, Animal Farm, Brave New World, and all post-1920s dystopian literature to be outright derivative of We. I’m not that harsh, but Anthem is truly atrocious.

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