Atlas Shrugged: Midnight Train to Death, Part I

NightTrain

Atlas Shrugged, part II, chapter VIIIn the previous installment, I wrote that we were approaching the most infamous scene in Atlas Shrugged. The scene that ends this chapter, more than any other, lays bare what Rand thinks of people who don't subscribe to her philosophy - and what she believes should happen to them because of it.But I'm getting ahead of myself. First, the setting: we're in the wilderness of Colorado, late at night, on a Taggart Transcontinental train that's climbing a … [Read more...]

Atlas Shrugged: Death and Taxes

BostonTeaParty

Atlas Shrugged, part II, chapter VIIWhen someone pops up out of nowhere on a lonely road late at night to hand you a bar of gold, it probably wouldn't be your first impulse to wonder how they determined how much gold to give you. But Hank Rearden is curious, and Ragnar Danneskjold has an answer for that, too:"If men refuse to pay the debt they owe you, this is the manner in which they will pay for it. But there is one part of the debt which is computed and on record. That is the part … [Read more...]

Atlas Shrugged: Goldbuggery

GoldBars

Atlas Shrugged, part II, chapter VIIRagnar Danneskjold continues explaining his business plan:"I have been selling the cargoes I retrieved to some special customers of mine in this country, who pay me in gold. Also, I have been selling my cargoes to the smugglers and the black-market traders of the People's States of Europe. Do you know the conditions of existence in those People's States? Since production and trade — not violence — were decreed to be crimes, the best men of Europe had … [Read more...]

A Christian vs. an Atheist: On God and Government, Part 8

This is part 8 of my "Think! Of God and Government" debate series with Christian author Andrew Murtagh. Read my latest post and Andrew's reply.Hello Andrew,We'll get into consciousness soon, but before we do, I have a few more things I want to say about the problem of evil. Let's jump right into it:The emergence of free, loving, moral, and compassionate human beings comes at quite a price - the duality of nature and the duality of humanity. God created a universe to result in the … [Read more...]

Atlas Shrugged: Prince of Thieves

RobinHood

Atlas Shrugged, part II, chapter VIIHank Rearden asks Ragnar Danneskjold, the pirate, why he's chosen a life of violence against society, rather than just disappearing like the vanished industrialists:The shock that came next was to see Danneskjold smile: it was like seeing the first green of spring on the sculptured planes of an iceberg. Rearden realized suddenly, for the first time, that Danneskjold's face was more than handsome, that it had the startling beauty of physical … [Read more...]

Atlas Shrugged: The Highwayman

Atlas Shrugged, part II, chapter VIIHank Rearden has moved into an apartment in Philadelphia, so as not to have to see his family anymore. He's also - finally - begun divorce proceedings against Lillian, handing his lawyer a blank check and telling him: "I don't care what means you use, how many of their judges you purchase or whether you find it necessary to stage a frame-up of my wife." (Remember, bribery, fraud and false accusations are fine, as long as it's a Capitalist Hero doing … [Read more...]

Rebutting Reasonable Faith: A Feminized Atmosphere

I haven't responded to William Lane Craig's column in a while, but this question was too good to pass up:Dear Dr. Craig,I have usually found your words to be a source of information and reassurance in my Christian faith... So I was really disappointed, almost shocked, when I read your newsletter of April of this year in which you casually stereotypes [sic] men and women, and complain that the church is becoming increasingly feminized, and has difficulties in attracting men.The … [Read more...]

Atlas Shrugged: Violence Vouchers

PrivateProperty

Atlas Shrugged, part II, chapter VITo finish off this chapter, I want to flash back to an earlier scene. In it, the villains are discussing the one part of Directive 10-289 they're worried they may not have the power to implement: the part about the state taking over all existing patents. Somehow, they have no concerns over whether enslaving people to their jobs, or requiring them to spend the same amount of money every year, will pass legal muster; but they fear that Rearden "is in a … [Read more...]

Book Review: Recovering Agency

RecoveringAgency

(Note: This review was solicited and is written in accordance with this site's policy for such reviews.)At the American Atheists convention in Salt Lake City this year, I toured the grounds of the Mormon temple with some other attendees. At the time, I thought of it as an exercise in appreciating wacky religious camp. But the goofy theology of the LDS church is a cover for something darker and more troubling, as I found out from author (and ex-Mormon) Luna Lindsey's book Recovering Agency: … [Read more...]

Atlas Shrugged: The Living Wage

AllSeeingEye

Atlas Shrugged, part II, chapter VIAt the end of their conference, the villains agree to put Directive 10-289 into effect. When Dagny reads about it in the morning paper, she bursts into Jim's office, announces that she's quitting, and storms out:The newspaper was twisted into a roll by the time she stood before him. She threw it at his face, it struck his cheek and fell down to the carpet."There's my resignation, Jim," she said. "I won't work as a slave or as a … [Read more...]


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