Monday, June 01, 2009

Multiple Choice Monday - Atlas Shrugged

June 1, 2009

I've currently committed myself to Atlas Shurgged. Spouse is jealous because it's the first thing I reach for when I climb in bed. It's a fantastic read. Highly recommended on the Rabidrunner Reading Richter scale.

As a rule, I don't generally write in my books. Figure that if I loaned the book, the markings would reveal too much of my inner identy. As if I should worry about someone else's book (with my notations) revealing too much. As if.

Atlas Shrugged
, on the other hand, has proven itself worthy of a few splotches and smudges. I don't intend to lend this one out. Ever. So get your own damn Atlas Shrugged. (Or if you're nice to me, I'll buy you one for your birthday or send it to you in lieu of flowers. This reminds me of the year I gave everyone that Healing Back Pain book. Have a grand ole testimony of that one too.)

In honor of this book and it's bewitching dialog, today's Multiple Choice is all about the writings of the Ayn Rand.

Which of these following is NOT an Atlas Shrugged quotation?

A) " [The] Soul is in every man who has the capacity to equal this achievement. Should the soul vanish from the earth, the motors would stop, because that is the power which keeps them going - not the oil under the floor under her feet, the oil that would then become primeval ooze again - not the steel cylinders that would become stains of rust on the walls of the caves of shivering savages - the power of a living mind - the power of thought and choice and purpose."

B) About the Colorado government: "It's a backward, primitve, unlightened place. They don't even have a modern government. It's the worst government in any state. The laziest. It does nothing - outside of keeping law courts and a police department. It doesn't do anything for the people. it doesn't help anybody. I don't see why all our best companies want to run there."

C) "Money demands that you sell, not your weakness to men's stupidity, but your talent to their reason; it demands that you buy, not the shoddiest they offer, but the best that your money can find. And when men live by trade - with reason, not force, as their final arbiter - it is the best product that wins, the best performance, the man of best judgement and highest ability - and the degree of a man's productiveness is the degree of his reward. This is the code of existence whose tool and symbol is money. Is this what you consider evil?"

D) "When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion - when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing - when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors - when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don't protect you against them, but protect them against you - when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice - you may know that your society is doomed."

E) "Let me give you a tip on a clue to men's characters: the man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it."

F) All of the above.

G) None of the above.


meg said...

So far as I can tell all of them are. So F.

One of my favorites was a bit from Akston: Ask yourself whether the dream of heaven and greatness should be waiting for us in our graves - or whether it should be ours here and now and on this earth.

I could deconstruct each piece to explain why I like it, but that's for another time. I just love this statement because that's how the characters behave. In the ideal.

Mandee said...

I HAVE to buy this book today. And one for my sister in law.

The MacMizzles said...

I think A.

tom lindsey said...

All Five are quotations.

Question to all: How does a religious person of and conservative politics, esp. the dominant local flavors, deal with Rand fundamentals?

1. Faith VS Reason. Rand states that Reason is man's only means of perceiving reality and acting upon it whereas religion is built solely on faith.

2. Man must not sacrifice "self" for the sake of others VS service. Rand sex scenes always run a long these lines.

ps-- tell the PN that Rand called Libertarians the hippies of the Right ;-)

rabidrunner said...

Alright you smarty pantses... I haven't gotten that far. Mr. Akston hasn't said much. But I can tell he'll be appearing soon. Will take notes when I get there.

It's my first Rand book I've read and the Tom expects me to understand the principles?

I'm just in it for the story man.

However, in regards to the conservative religious 'round these parts, it seems as if FREEDOM OF CHOICE is a Rand theme. Correct? Choice to do things how you choose without someone breathing down your neck (maybe the breathing down the neck is the hidden symbolism in the sex scenes. Eh?)

I guess us religious folk believe in that whole FREEDOM OF CHOICE thing too, 'cept there's always someone breathing down your neck, (figuratively speaking of course.)

As usual, I'm pulling it outta the depths of you-know-where, so interpret lightly. (As if anything I write is interpreted heavily.... As if.)

tom lindsey said...

Excellent point:
3. Self-Interest VS (Individual, Political) Freedom of Choice

There are three further points to be addressed:
a. Can reason alone lead to faith?
b. Can reason alone offer choices?
c. Can reason alone produce individuals?

Lest you think I am a Rand apologist:
The many flaws with Rand's philosophy does not lessen my enjoyment of her two major works as fun thought provoking fiction. Rand's post-hoc philosophizing is simply naive.

Staci said...

That reminds me, I forgot to tell you on Sunday that there was someone here who had a picture of Atlas Shrugged on their blog. I guess he is currently reading it too. I meant to introduce the two of you but it completely slipped my mind. I'm disappointed because I was looking forward to the ensuing conversation.