Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Atlas Shrugged (the novel), Part 1

Having done nearly fifty shows on the premise of "shrugging out"--and how you should do as much of the "Atlas Shrugged" thing as you can, and be prepared in the modern survivalist sense to 'bug out" of Dodge, wherever your Dodge is--I've decided to do a series of shows on Ayn Rand's epic novel.

This isn't a book report, or something you've already endured in that English class you loathed (or perhaps enjoyed). My goal is to try to understand the struggle between individualism and collectivism with the help of the richness and clarity that Ayn Rand set forth in her magnum opus.

The novel is immense (1,200 pages) and structured in three Parts. Since I want to cover the people and the key moments where the looters and moochers clash with the producers, this project will take at least three shows. There are many stirring and some positively delicious passages, in addition to the timeless lessons on economics and human nature. I have to be selective about it, but there are many things for us all to savor even in the abbreviated format of a podcast.

If you have read and enjoyed Atlas Shrugged in the past, you might want to carve out some time to re-read it. There is always something new to learn, and of course the deep satisfaction of the demise of the collectivists and the transcendence of the individualists is an experience you'll never outgrow. (Imagine what it will be like someday experiencing it for real!)

If you've never read the book, I hope this series whets your appetite. Fair warning: I crash obliviously through any "plot spoilers" that may have existed in the novel when it was first released in 1957. Most people know the general story line today, but if you want to keep yourself in total suspense, set this show off to the side until you have read Part 1, Non-Contradiction.

And one last comment--I am sure that any academic scholars of Atlas Shrugged will find plenty to chuckle about when it comes to my analysis. Their comments are welcome, of course, but if anyone starts rattling off how I am "trapped in the Hegelian dialectic" and stuff like that it will whiz clean over my head, leaving nary a mark. Ignorance can be bliss in some matters. If I do reply, it will probably be to ask the status of your food security preps, in case they are, um, academic. Ignorance in that area may NOT be bliss.
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  7. Thanks for the podcast. Perhaps you might find these podcasts of value.

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