Randex

Wednesday 07 December 2016
Adam Lee, Patheos

…Good news! I’ve been reading and making notes on Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead, and I’m nearly done with it now. I’m planning to write another chapter-by-chapter review, like the one I did for Atlas…

Posted about 2 years ago Publication date: 07 Dec 2016
Friday 30 September 2016
Adam Lee, Patheos

…up with an ethic that justifies them? Either way, Ayn Rand played a major part in crafting this national mythology. Her protagonists are Aryan supermen who are completely self-made and self-reliant. They…

Posted about 2 years ago Publication date: 30 Sep 2016
Friday 15 July 2016
Adam Lee, Patheos

…idea is like a thread woven into their mythology. Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged makes this metaphor concrete with Galt’s Gulch. It’s the ultimate expression of the frontier mentality: a secret society of…

Posted over 2 years ago Publication date: 15 Jul 2016
Wednesday 13 July 2016
Adam Lee, Patheos

…like the kind I wrote about while reviewing Atlas Shrugged, tout their ability to run prisons more cheaply and efficiently. The reality, according to Bauer’s report and other investigations, is that they…

Posted over 2 years ago Publication date: 13 Jul 2016
Friday 08 July 2016
Adam Lee, Patheos

…Shrugged, Closing Thoughts In life and in death, Ayn Rand stands alone as the supreme advocate of individualism. No one was fiercer in defending the romantic idea that you should follow your conscience…

Posted over 2 years ago Publication date: 08 Jul 2016
Friday 01 July 2016
Negative
Adam Lee, Patheos

Throughout Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand tells us that her ideal state would be a perfect meritocracy. Everyone would rise or fall as their talents merited. There’d be no corrupt bargains, no discrimination, and no hereditary ruling class.

It’s an appealing vision, but what the novel shows isn’t the same as what it tells. Regardless of what Rand says she wants, she repeatedly undermines her meritocratic ideal by writing characters who do indeed have special rights and privileges by virtue of their birth.

Posted over 2 years ago Publication date: 01 Jul 2016
Friday 24 June 2016
Negative
Adam Lee, Patheos

Throughout Atlas Shrugged and her other works, Ayn Rand valorized human ingenuity and drive. In her eyes, the individual ability for achievement is our supreme glory. But where do these desirable character traits come from? What makes one person a productive capitalist while another becomes a shiftless moocher?

This is a question that Rand was staunchly incurious about. For all that she glorified brilliance, she never addressed what its origins or precipitating conditions were.

Posted over 2 years ago Publication date: 24 Jun 2016
Friday 17 June 2016
Adam Lee, Patheos

…re almost to the end of our epic journey through Atlas Shrugged. I’ve reviewed the whole book and all three movies, pointing out the logical holes and untenable assumptions as they were spotlighted in each…

Posted over 2 years ago Publication date: 17 Jun 2016
Friday 10 June 2016
Negative
Adam Lee, Patheos

As it turns out, the filmmakers saw the cruelty of the book… and flinched from it. As they’re bundling John Galt into the helicopter that will fly them to safety, we get this line of dialogue: “We’ve got one more man to pick up: Eddie!”

Whether they thought of it in these terms or not, this is a slap in Ayn Rand’s face. It’s tacitly saying that her killing him off was sadistic and unnecessary (which, well, it was). Even in a movie that ends, as the book does, with the lights of New York going out and tens of millions of people dying offscreen, Eddie’s pointless death was one step too far for the filmmakers.

Posted over 2 years ago Publication date: 10 Jun 2016
Wednesday 01 June 2016
Negative
Adam Lee, Patheos

My latest column is now up on AlterNet, “Ayn Rand’s Demented Mind Is Best Understood by Her Idea of the ‘Happy Ending’ in Her Bestseller ‘Atlas Shrugged“. This is the third and last of the “10 Lessons” posts I’ve been writing, one for each section of Atlas Shrugged, that sums up the moral principles taught in each major section of the book…

Posted over 2 years ago Publication date: 01 Jun 2016
Sunday 29 May 2016
Negative
Adam Lee, AlterNet

While it’s not depicted in graphic detail, what we’re supposed to imagine is that … millions of people will starve or freeze to death, and most of the remainder will kill each other in futile warfare over whatever scraps are left. When John Galt and the other true capitalists return to the world, they’ll find it depopulated and vacant, free for the taking and for them to rebuild as they please. (And if there are any survivors, Galt and his allies will just subjugate or kill them, as he explains in his radio speech: “Those who choose to join us, will join us; those who don’t, will not have the power to stop us; hordes of savages have never been an obstacle to men who carried the banner of the mind.”)

In Ayn Rand’s eyes, this is a happy ending. The government thugs who wanted to force John Galt to help save the world are the villains of this story, and their failure should be cheered. Ordinary people are like the weeds that need to be plowed under before the field can be planted. And with most of humanity dead, the world’s richest and most arrogant people will be the only survivors and will finally be free to do as they please. They’ll create a world with no more pesky laws to hold them back, where literally anything is legal as long as you’re doing it for profit. That’s the future that Rand and her devotees long for.

Posted over 2 years ago Publication date: 27 May 2016
Friday 27 May 2016
Neutral
Adam Lee, Patheos

You’d think, given the [Atlas Shrugged Part III: Who Is John Galt?] filmmakers’ obvious devotion to Ayn Rand, that they’d at least be well-versed in the book they’re adapting. But apparently not, because there’s a line of dialogue where John Galt uses the dreaded word “give” – which, according to the text, is the one word that’s forbidden to be uttered in the valley.

Posted over 2 years ago Publication date: 27 May 2016