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any one else for downing tools

http://mises.org/story/2617

Atlas Shrugged is, shortly put, a story of a strike, although not an ordinary one.[9] Rand does not write about labor unions or working masses, but about titans whose irreplaceable work, like that of their Greek predecessor Atlas, keeps the world alive. Titans are big capitalists, owners of ironworks and mines, men of genius, people who are creative and in every respect outstanding. Such is also the main character of the novel, Dagny Taggart, the heiress to the huge railroad company Taggart Transcontinental, which she desperately strives to save against ever more impudent government attempts to lay hands on her fortune. The society in which the heroine lives is dull, envious, lazy, essentially quite helpless, and were it not for the handful of Atlases, it would have definitely plunged into despair.

Dagny loves what she does for a living. She is an extremely talented railroad executive, and directing the whole enterprise seems not to tire her at all. The real burden for her is not work itself, but the necessity — the legal obligation — to share its plentiful fruits with the rest of society — the ungrateful mob of losers. Initially, the situation, though harsh, seems bearable, mainly because the heroine carries on with all her everyday duties with the relieving thought in mind that she is not alone, that other great achievers feel and think similarly, and though they may be outnumbered, they constitute the real engine of the world.

Gradually, however, Dagny realizes that the very engine of which she considered herself a part has been abruptly turned off and the titans, one after another, seem to be disappearing. The kidnapper turns out to be John Galt — a mysterious, legendary hero, whose name elicits expressions of helplessness among the losers:

"How should I deal with it?" asks one frightfully mediocre worker.

"How should I know?" is the invariable, dull reply. "Who is John Galt?"

Galt used to be one of the titans, but greed, collectivist bias, and ingratitude from the society to which he had given so much in the past have induced him to go on strike — not to fight with the oppressive system, not even to try to change it, but simply to leave, taking others along. And so they go, one by one: the great composers, innovators, creators, directors, owners… As a result, the engine of the world stops, and the economy plunges into chaos, for when there is no one to prey upon, the society of insatiable vultures no longer knows what to do.

The Übermenschen find refuge in an extraordinary valley hidden somewhere in Colorado, where the dollar sign does not stand — as on the "other side" — for greed, bribery, and sneakiness, but instead symbolizes success, skillfulness, and creative powers. The one and only unforgivable sin there is altruism. So they live, far from the dying world, bound by a promise that never again will they let unproductive loafers gain from their work

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Guest bound

Seriously Rand ...

Greenspan was one of her acolytes ...

Her ideas assume that all these Titans moral self interest will not involved f'ing over other people, which I am afraid is far too optimistic a view of humans.

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What a terrible article.

Fun things in Atlas Shrugged:

- The banker is capable of repaying all the money he owes before going off in a sulk

- The hero invents a car that runs on static electricity

- The heroine is really, really into being raped

Its ridiculous. Ah, but its a fiction, its exaggerated and can still have some meaning etc etc.

No. The thing is bankers can't pay back the money they owe and industrialists don't (personally) invent miracle alloys and solve the energy crisis.

The issues are most clearly seen in the gap between the real world and the one imagined by the completely ******ed-up Hollywood screenwriter called Ayn Rand.

PS. The bit about Tolkien beggars belief it is so wrong. I assume the author half watched the film DVDs while on drugs.

I don't really see why you thought we'd be interested in a "D grade" standard essay by a 12 year old but I guess I got a few laughs out of it.

Edited by Cogs

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We all know you love the State

not to worry because on their present course Governments and Bankers are in the process of destroying everything

Seriously, my objection to this article has nothing whatsoever to do with what I think about society. Whether I can't accept the truth as you see it has nothing to do with whether this young man has read LoTR or is pretending he has. This little essay is embarrassing, its a teenager's book report for school. Why doesn't he go the whole hog and end with "I give this book 5 stars out of 5 because it was interesting".

Cliff's notes: Nobody is 'free' in Lord of the Rings. It isn't about freedom. If its about anything, it is about duty in the face of fear, hardly surprising from a WW1 veteran. Hardly anyone in it, Tom Bombadil aside, is doing what they want to do, they are all compelled and coerced one way or another.

Edited by Cogs

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Seriously, my objection to this article has nothing whatsoever to do with what I think about society. Whether I can't accept the truth as you see it has nothing to do with whether this young man has read LoTR or is pretending he has. This little essay is embarrassing, its a teenager's book report for school. Why doesn't he go the whole hog and end with "I give this book 5 stars out of 5 because it was interesting".

was he making a point or putting his work in for marking

copied from elsewhere

CART_682_733830a.jpg

post-2696-1247070825_thumb.jpg

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was he making a point or putting his work in for marking

copied from elsewhere

CART_682_733830a.jpg

He isn't even doing that.

Tolkien expresses himself very clearly on the subject of capitalism in "The Scouring of the Shire" where someone referred to as the "Boss" (aka Sharky, aka Saruman) winds up getting stabbed to death by Grimea Wormtongue (an unhappy employee who he refers to as "Worm").

Tolkien was a "conservative" in the sense he was a misty-eyed nostalgic for "merry England". What he wasn't was someone the Von Mises Institute would mean when they talk about someone being a conservative. He expresses this primarily by being against industrialisation; you'll note anyone who is interested in commerce or production comes a cropper, even the dwarves. We know Saruman is a bad man mostly because he opens not one but two factories over the course of the book. When he was just content with sitting in an ivory tower reading books, he was OK though (funny an Oxford Don should think that eh).

I don't necessarily care for Tolkiens views but there they are. He was also very keen on things like social class and so on, his writing are pretty reactionary on that front. Sam calls Frodo 'Master' throughout the book, the relationship is really one of Officer and Batman/Adjutant rather than the rather more egalitarian vibe in the film.

This is how I know he didn't read the book, its all in the bits they took out in the film adaptation.

Much better discussion here:

http://www.revolutionsf.com/article.php?id=953

Moderation was the rule and it is moderation which ruins Tolkien's fantasy and causes it to fail as a genuine romance, let alone an epic. The little hills and woods of that Surrey of the mind, the Shire, are "safe", but the wild landscapes everywhere beyond the Shire are "dangerous". Experience of life itself is dangerous. The Lord of the Rings is a pernicious confirmation of the values of a declining nation with a morally bankrupt class whose cowardly self-protection is primarily responsible for the problems England answered with the ruthless logic of Thatcherism. Humanity was derided and marginalised. Sentimentality became the acceptable subsitute. So few people seem to be able to tell the difference.
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While there is an argument for the reactionary nature of the books, they are certainly deeply conservative and strongly anti-urban, which is what leads some to associate them with a kind of Wagnerish hitlerism. I don't think these books are 'fascist', but they certainly don't exactly argue with the 18th century enlightened Toryism with which the English comfort themselves so frequently in these upsetting times. They don't ask any questions of white men in grey clothing who somehow have a handle on what's best for us.

If you think Tolkien was against the state, you are off your rocker.

Edit: This is actually my favourite passage:

This is not to deny that courageous characters are found in The Lord of the Rings, or a willingness to fight Evil (never really defined), but somehow those courageous characters take on the aspect of retired colonels at last driven to write a letter to The Times and we are not sure - because Tolkien cannot really bring himself to get close to his proles and their satanic leaders - if Sauron and Co. are quite as evil as we're told. After all, anyone who hates hobbits can't be all bad.
Edited by Cogs

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If you think Tolkien was against the state, you are off your rocker.

interesting

did he write this

The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Humphrey Carpenter ed., HarperCollins, London 2006, p. 233.

[6] He wrote: "My political opinions lean more and more to Anarchy (philosophically understood, meaning abolition of control not whiskered men with bombs) — or to »unconstitutional« Monarchy. I would arrest anybody who uses the word state (in any sense other than the inanimate realm of England and its inhabitants, a thing that has neither power, rights nor mind); and after a chance of recantation, execute them if they remained obstinate!"; see The Letters…, p. 63.

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interesting

did he write this

Yes, in a letter to his son, in 1943. He wrote a lot of things, including a letter about how he liked Franco because he was a Catholic and how much he approved of factories and powerstations being 'dynamited'.

Tolkien thought that if you took away the state things would return to a natural order of cap doffing and deference and suchlike. We're back to merry england again where everyone is happy and the local squire isn't someone stealing food out of our mouths, he's a nice chap who we respect simply because he is better than us and we know our place. An example of someone better than us is presumably an expensively educated Oxford Don.

He once railed against socialism and planners becoming power crazed. Which sounds quite exciting until you realise he was really moaning because some frightful Tory politician wanted to put a road through Oxford and it was going to spoil his view.

Is that the sort of vision of 'freedom' you aspire to? Depends who and what you are I guess.

It is not so much 'anarchy' as a sort of very refined petty mindedness when it comes to that wicked old government giving those nasty smelly people some sort of share in things instead of reserving those things for the better sort of person. The authoritarian thugs!

"I am not a ‘democrat’ only because ‘humility’ and equality are spiritual principles corrupted by the attempt to mechanize and formalize them, with the result that we get not universal smallness and humility, but universal greatness and pride, till some Orc gets hold of a ring of power—and then we get and are getting slavery"

I think the phrase he used was 'unconstitutional monarchist'.

Edited by Cogs

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Yes, in a letter to his son, in 1943. He wrote a lot of things, including a letter about how he liked Franco because he was a Catholic and how much he approved of factories and powerstations being 'dynamited'.

Tolkien thought that if you took away the state things would return to a natural order of cap doffing and deference and suchlike. We're back to merry england again where everyone is happy and the local squire isn't someone stealing food out of our mouths, he's a nice chap who we respect simply because he is better than us and we know our place. An example of someone better than us is presumably an expensively educated Oxford Don.

He once railed against socialism and planners becoming power crazed. Which sounds quite exciting until you realise he was really moaning because some frightful Tory politician wanted to put a road through Oxford and it was going to spoil his view.

Is that the sort of vision of 'freedom' you aspire to? Depends who and what you are I guess.

It is not so much 'anarchy' as a sort of very refined petty mindedness when it comes to that wicked old government giving those nasty smelly people some sort of share in things instead of reserving those things for the better sort of person. The authoritarian thugs!

What is wrong is the assumption that haves would not necessarily share with the have-nots of their own accord. The idea that anyone would do anything for no personal benefit is obviously beyond the realms of comprehension for the political class so they assume the same for everyone else. Their primary interest is of course their own share.

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