Read her post here, and then come back for my counter below. I posted it as a comment today, but I doubt she has the balls or intellectual capacity to allow it through moderation—the “too mean/too nasty/stop pointing out I’m stupid!”-hamster logic of a woman.
This is the kind of stupidity feminism hath wrought.
God, this is dumb. You fail so hard. You must be a woman.
1. You admit you that “I still haven’t read Atlas Shrugged.” And yet you discern from only the first page that, in Atlas Shrugged, “Rand chose Atlas for her Titan because the image of Prometheus would destroy her entire argument. Cherry-picking the evidence, she took traits from both brothers, combining the (incorrect) image of Atlas holding the world on his shoulders with Prometheus’ compassion.”
Um, what? What proof do you offer that Rand painted her “Atlas”-folk as compassionate?
In fact, Rand never said Atlas ever acted out of compassion. She deplored charity, compassionate religions (well, all religions), and altruism. She was a very strong proponent of the notion that people should act selfishly.
Nowhere does Atlas Shrugged say that Atlas acts out of compassion. And your ignorant statement that it does only underscores your assertion that you haven’t read it. If you’re going to make a statement about what a piece of writing says, you have to read it first.
In other words, your criticism as to why Rand didn’t name it Prometheus Unchained is completely invalid.
2. To start, Atlas isn’t carrying the world on his shoulders. He’s carrying the sky
—Yawn. Weak criticism. Common artistic interpretations of Atlas are of his holding the earth on his shoulders, and most people who are not Ancient Greek scholars/heavily into ancient Greek myth study would make that error. Given that the metaphor is well understood (“having the world on your shoulders”), it’s pathetic of you to require it of Rand. Are you going to require it of the thousands of artists who created images of Atlas holding up globes?
What is more, think of the metaphor of Sisyphus. If we describe a task as “Sisyphean”, does that mean we think it’s a punishment for betraying the trust of someone, or murdering houseguests? No? Because that’s what Sisyphus did to earn his torments. But artistic interpretation and common usage have both come to use the phrase “sisyphean” as merely a task that is endless, monotonous, burdensome, and pointless.
Unless you’re going to start scolding and dismissing thousands of artists (poets, prose writers, sculptors, painters, musicians, etc.) who have used these commonly accepted meanings of the Atlas and Sisyphus myths, I’d suggest leaving the cheap-grad-school-like nitpicking behind on this one.
3. Disregarding the myths, she created a new one, where Atlas’ punishment is self-inflicted, the result of a societally-created belief in the virtues of compassion.
—Wrong again, stupid.
Atlas’s punishment in Rand’s world is that he holds up the burdens of the entire world—the finance, the innovation, the tax burdens, the governments, the technology, everything.
Rand didn’t believe everyone was the same or equal in ability or importance. Rand believed that there were some incredibly smart, incredibly talented people whose accomplishments and self-interest benefited society greatly—and without these few, the vast majority would founder. Call it her own version of the Great Man Theory.
In Rand’s world, it is their self-interest that supports the world and its burdens—but if the world asked too much of them, they will show the world who supports whom.
Again, like an idiot, your arguing that Rand claimed these Great Men had compassion or should have it. Nothing of the sort.
4. Atlas can’t shrug, because if he somehow managed it, Zeus would come by and stick the heavens right back on his shoulders.
—-Except that the world trembles, and, if done completely, it falls crashing down.
The point of Rand’s story is what happens if Atlas (again, using the common artistic metaphor of holding the world on his shoulders) momentarily “shrugs.” He could shrug the world off his shoulders completely, thereby bringing it crashing down. Or he could just give a minor shrug—causing the world to rattle, shake, and its inhabitants to fall down in stupor and terror.
Which is the point of Rand’s story—which you could see if you’d even bothered to do a modicum of research of even the base plot outline (or, you know, like an intelligent person, read the book).
When the Atlases of the story—the genius, self-interested capitalists–shrug, they merely refuse to work anymore due to onerous social and governmental requirements/punishments. In the story, the economy and transit of the US grind to a half–because it was precisely the Altases who kept them going.
Yes, in the myth, Zeus may come back and “force” the world back on Atlas’s shoulders—but, should Atlas not be pleased with his burden, the people of the world will be punished again, as he will “shrug” again when Zeus is not looking, causing the world to fall apart again (and this will result in fewer sacrifices for Zeus and the gods, who need the people’s sacrifices to survive).
And here we see another meaning of the metaphor of the shrug. When a person “shrugs”, they express a disinterest or uncaring and dismissive attitude towards a subject. “Atlas Shrugs” also means the self-interested “doers” of Rand’s world simply do not care if the world falls apart due to their actions—they “shrug” at the problems, and are only self-interested. As they accomplish their goals in “going Galt”, we can see that “shrugging” at the problems of the world in pursuit of your own goals is a positive in Rand’s book.
I realize this is a bit beyond you, since you’re too ignorant to read something you’re criticizing , but the point isn’t that Zeus would put the globe right back on Atlas’s shoulders.
The point of the title-metaphor is at least two fold: to show what happens when common people punish society’s producers for no crime, and to show the attitude that the producer’s should have towards such punishers.
5. this is the same woman who went on Medicare late in her life, but did it under a false name; to admit she needed help from the government would have been to admit the flaws in her ideas.
Here’s where you show yourself to be truly dumb. And I’ll bet you think this is a “strong” criticism.
Home mortgage deduction: Let’s say a person hates the home mortgage deduction tax deduction that we get from the IRS. This person thinks it’s both inefficient and a revenue killer for government, and that it screws up the housing market (even more than Fannie Mae,/Freddie Mac/FHA loans/and Al Sharpton already have). This person rail against it and think says publicly and loudly that we should abolish it.
Does he need to forgo the tax deduction on his next tax bill to prove he’s not a hypocrite?
This person identified what he sees as a flaw in the system. He believes that if everyone had it taken away, the country would be better off. However, given that such a flaw still exists the next time he does his taxes, his forgoing it would do nothing. Those people he hates would use it, become richer, and market would still be screwed up, and his energies would be diverted from railing against the inefficiency to earning money to make up for the loss of not applying for the tax deduction. His actions do nothing but punish him from feeding at the tragedy of the commons.
This man’s taking the mortgage deduction does not affect his credibility.
Hypocrisy would be saying that something is morally or legally evil/wrong, being “caught” doing it, and yet claim the same punishments he put on others should not be put on him.
Like that fine lefty Eliot Spitzer.
A poor person can recognize that the Welfare State keeps many poor from moving up. However, he can still collect from it while railing against it. A great-scoring hockey player can recognize the stupidity of the penalty shot format in a tied game and holler against it at union meetings, but still can participate in it while it is part of the rules. A lawyer could think that the Fifth Amendment is a ludicrous idea and should be abolished, but still advise his clients to take it on the stand while it is still good law.
Perhaps this kind of nuanced, deep thinking is beyond someone with the simplistic brain of a “stealing money good/rich people are evil” mindset. But…
It is not hypocritical to take advantage of a (legal) flaw in the system that you’ve noted should be removed.
Kindly go light yourself on fire. And next time you open your fat, hairy trap about something, make sure you know what you’re talking about first.