Hint: I don’t.
For the uninitiated, Atlas Shrugged is a book by Ayn Rand. Let’s go to wiki: “first published in 1957 in the United States. It was Rand’s last work of fiction before concentrating her writings exclusively on philosophy, politics and cultural criticism. At over one thousand pages in length, she considered it her magnum opus. Also, at approximately 645,000 words, Atlas Shrugged is one of the longest novels ever written in any European language. The book explores a number of philosophical themes that Rand would subsequently develop into the philosophy of Objectivism.“
My problem with Atlas Shrugged is not its length. Not liking a book because it is long, is well, stupid. One of the Harry Potters is 800+ pages for pete’s sake. So why don’t I like it? I’ve actually tried to read Atlas Shrugged before and I got about a third of the way before deciding the whole endeavor is a waste of my time.
But how can I have an opinion then? How hypocritical of me to lambaste a book I haven’t even fully read.
Really, it’s because of the whole Objectivism thing. My smart friend Kevin can articulate his feelings/disdain/what have you toward Objectivism much better than I can. I tend to lump it in with my feelings of disdain for libertarianism, but this is kind of it’s own special brand of dumb. In short, it’s a philosophy that combines metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, politics, and aesthetics as a way of justifying why you don’t want to pay taxes.
Okay, not exactly what it ends up saying, but it kind of is the end result. To Rand’s credit, you have to be pretty intellectual to understand the whole affair. It’s tricky, but it’s basically a version of philosophical libertarianism that doesn’t have the courage to outright dismiss the collective concept and instead opts for a completely nonsensical reason for how acting selfish really is good for other people.
Whatever, Ayn. If that is your real name.
I could discuss this all in actual detail, but I’m going to got a read a book I like now.