Atlas Shrugged: The Jolly Roger

PirateShip

Atlas Shrugged, part III, chapter IILeft alone in John Galt's house, Dagny is cooking breakfast when a visitor arrives:She was setting the table, when she saw the figure of a man hurrying up the path to the house, a swift, agile figure that leaped over boulders with the casual ease of a flight. He threw the door open, calling, "Hey, John!" — and stopped short as he saw her. He wore a dark blue sweater and slacks, he had gold hair and a face of such shocking perfection of beauty that s … [Read more...]

Atlas Shrugged: Hume’s Meadow

FishSchool

Atlas Shrugged, part III, chapter IAlthough Galt's Gulch is the fullest picture of a capitalist utopia that Ayn Rand ever presents, in this book or any other, she's frustratingly vague or inconsistent about some of the crucial details. We've seen that it's somehow organized so there's no real competition. We've also asked why Mulligan sells land to the others, rather than living off rents like a feudal lord which, according to Objectivist morality, he'd have every right to do.For … [Read more...]

A Christian vs. an Atheist: On God and Government, Part 13

This is part 13 of my "Think! Of God and Government" debate series with Christian author Andrew Murtagh. Read my latest post and Andrew's reply.Hi Andrew,Thanks again for your hospitality when I came to visit Indianapolis earlier this month! I relished the opportunity to go (metaphorically) into the lions' den and speak to some Christian audiences together with you. I got the impression that neither of us were precisely what the audiences were expecting, which is great! I think debates … [Read more...]

Atlas Shrugged: Welcome to Atlantis

MountainValley

Atlas Shrugged, part III, chapter IAnd now, we embark on the third and final part of Atlas Shrugged. When we left off at the conclusion of Part II, it was on a cliffhanger: Dagny's plane was spiraling down for a crash landing, plummeting into a mysterious valley that seemingly appeared out of nowhere. Part III begins as she regains consciousness:When she opened her eyes, she saw sunlight, green leaves and a man's face....She was looking up at the face of a man who knelt by her … [Read more...]

A Christian vs. an Atheist: On God and Government, Part 10

This is part 10 of my "Think! Of God and Government" debate series with Christian author Andrew Murtagh. Read my latest post and Andrew's reply.Hi Andrew,Well, this little conversation of ours is titled "Of God and Government", after all, and so far we've focused more on the God part than on the government part. I'm glad to get into the other side of things, but I want to return briefly to something you said in the last installment that will be relevant to our new topic.Last time, I … [Read more...]

New on AlterNet: The Mythical Golden Age of Religious Charity

My latest column is up on AlterNet, Do Right-Wing Christians Want People to be Destitute? It's about the conservative politicians who want to slash the social safety net, claiming they want to go back to a time when churches and private charity provided for everyone's needs, and the evidence showing that the actual effect of that policy would be to throw millions into destitution - and its backers not only know that, they're counting on it. Read the excerpt below, then click through to see the … [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: 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...]

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...]

Atlas Shrugged: Make the Trains Run on Time

AtlasLocomotive

Atlas Shrugged, part II, chapter VThe band of crossties swept in wide curves around granite corners, clinging to the mountainsides of Colorado. Dagny walked down the ties, keeping her hands in her coat pockets, and her eyes on the meaningless distance ahead; only the familiar movement of straining her steps to the spacing of the ties gave her the physical sense of an action pertaining to a railroad.Dagny and Hank have traveled to Colorado. Ostensibly it's to buy and ship out any … [Read more...]


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