I didn't realize that this thread (which I started after reading 1/2
or the book) would continue with such extreme viewpoints. Now that
I've just completed the book and have integrated many of the thoughts
in the book, let me share with you my viewpoint(s).
1. We have to recognize the society Ayn Rand was flourishing in at
the time of writing. I'm not a historian, but wasn't the late 50's
early sixties a time of socialism vs capitalism. Unions being formed
and socialist governments (mainly USSR) taking control. The vision
Ayn saw and postulates against in the book is the "Peoples' United
States". She takes the takeover by governments and the regulation of
output by any one person excelling any others to an extreme to share
her points. If, as the socialists were saying at the time, every man
is equal and deserves the same rewards as the next. No one person, no
matter how valuable, not matter how intellegent or productive,
deserves to outshine others. This is the philosophy that Rand was
against in her book.
2. She recognized the value of the individual, and the importance of
every individual to excell at their own best. To become the best they
can be! I'm not yet an expert on Rand, but from that book, I saw an
individual Galt, who saw the potential future and took action...he
contacted some of the people who were intelligent, productive, and
valuable to themselves and hence to society. He shared with them his
vision and they agreed to leave society for an ideal society formed of
people who shared this vision. Galt spent only one month a year in
the ideal society, the other 11 he spent in the real world.
3. Very few people are truly unselfish. People give to charity to
feel better about their own lot, and not feel guilty about their
wealth vs the have-nots. What Rand said is that's ok. It's ok to be
selfish, and recognize it. When people really start to recognize that
they get more back when they give to someone else, that's the real
4. The Learning Organization Galt created, was demonstrated by the
end of the book when all the group leaves the ideal society to rescue
Galt. It was an organization of free-will, of reward for results,
Someone used Adolph Hitler as an example of a learning organization
like the one Galt created. Hitler did not create a learning
organization. He created a disciplined organization who would do
anything (literally) because of the fear for their own futures.
People were not rewarded for learning. People were actually told not
Hitler tried changing the world by direct action (war) on the world.
Galt just removed the most productive people in the society. The
producers. And society crumbled on its own.
I look forward to reading the Fountainhead.
Helping people help themselves
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