coming soon to a comedy venue near you for ayn rand open mic night!What the hell is going on over at the Guardian, you might be wondering, given that they recently let former Bush speechwriter Josh Treviño post an 18-paragraph column explaining why he wrote a 23-word tweet, over a year ago, that expressed nonchalance at the idea of the IDF killing novelist Alice Walker? (Hint: it has to do with Rick Perry and “adhering to our enemies.”) Has the Guardian been purchased by Rupert Murdoch? Is it killing itself softly? No, it has not, and no, it is not! It turns out — and we don’t know how we didn’t realize this earlier — the “Comment is Free” section is really a “Comedy is Free” section and has simply been mislabeled. We know this is the case because the “Comedy is Free” section currently includes a column bit called Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged: a paean to American liberty: Rand’s ideas appeal to millions of Americans besides Paul Ryan because they promise freedom from welfare enslavement by someone named Don Watkins, who is a fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute.

Atlas Shrugged is a hymn to the American spirit…. [Atlas] shows that capitalism is a win-win system where all individuals are free to pursue their happiness. It shows that it is right for individuals to be concerned with their own happiness. And it shows that those who seek to “tread on you” – to control your life, redistribute your wealth, and mortgage your future – are morally wrong. 
It’s no accident, then, that Ayn Rand’s immense popularity in America has not crossed over to Europe. It’s for the same reason that Europeans largely embraced the government’s post-financial crisis interventionist policies – from bailouts to stimulus spending sprees to vast new regulatory powers – while Americans rebelled. Whatever motto best captures the European attitude toward life, “Don’t tread on me” is not it….

Yes — have you been to Iceland, for example, where they welcomed governmental and IMF post-financial crisis intervention? Well, ok, fine. We haven’t either. But we are sure that the Icelandic people are suffering mightily under the heavy weight of socialized medicine and nine months’ paid parental leave at 80% salary. Don’t they realize how much Freedom they are missing out on?? Also, we did not know this, but helping other people and helping yourself are totally mutually exclusive and diametrically opposed courses of action.

To succeed in this task, Rand argued, Americans would need to question and reject the alien idea of altruism. Altruism is the Old World doctrine that it’s your duty to live for others and renounce your own self-interest. In one form or another, this moral doctrine has been the justification for every welfare program. Other people need money for their retirement or healthcare, it’s claimed, and therefore they’re entitled to that money from you. The individual’s pursuit of his own happiness versus altruism – this is the choice facing America.

We are VERY excited about this new “Comedy is Free” section at the Guardian, and can’t wait to keep you posted when other comedians start posting their columns bits therein! But for now, we will leave you with the following words of wisdom, courtesy of Paul Krugman: There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.

[The Guardian]

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  • You would think that the "Ayn Rand Institute" would actually be more than a sandwich board.

    • thatsitfortheother1

      Atlas Schleppt.

      • If it was the Sally Rand Institute, he'd be carrying giant fans.

        • GlowneyHouse

          Sally Rand understood the bubble economy before anyone else.

    • TootsStansbury

      It's much more! It comes complete with a twit attached!

      • thatsitfortheother1

        Twit samwich.

        Now I haz hungry.

    • HobbesEvilTwin

      no, a sandwich board is about right — You can fit everything intelligent that Ayn Rand ever wrote on a sandwich board *

      * if you use a really large font

    • Exhausted66

      It's more of a Get Your Own Sandwich board.

    • redarmyzombie

      I dunno, that might be all they could afford with their Welfare payments…

    • Naked_Bunny

      Ayn used up all the words in Atlas Shrugged.

  • Atlas Shrugged is a hymn to the American spirit

    Sir, I believe you misspelled "hrmh"…

    • elviouslyqueer


    • Monsieur_Grumpe

      I always thought it was Haaaaaaaaaarumphhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!11!
      My mistake.

      • I meant it more like "hmmmmmmmmmmm" but in a disdainful, judgemental way.

        • sewollef

          I'd rather go with the more common or garden — and decidedly working class: "shut up prick face you're talking shite", variety.

          • sullivanst

            I'm personally a fan of "fuck off you wanker".

  • DaSandman

    So when do we start to work on freedom from enslavement by our billionaire overlords?

    • Sorry you can't, those billionaires have the right to pursue their happiness, and if you don't think their happiness means your happiness then you can go suck on a bag of altruistic rat dicks.

    • SorosBot

      Please; this is Libertarian "freedom", which includes the "freedom" of billionaire overlords to enslave the rest of us; you see, for Randroids "freedom" really is slavery; it's the "freedom" of the superior Übermenschen to do whatever they want, and control all their inferiors who do not have "freedom" except to serve the Masters.

    • Boojum

      See, my happiness involves me and my friends forming a "government" that sets "rules" that we agree to live by. One of those rules is that we get to take the money away from obscenely rich scroatbags. So, since it makes us happy, it is morally right!

  • Estproph

    "[Atlas] shows that capitalism is a win-win system where all individuals are free to pursue their happiness."

    It makes me happy to sell melamine-tainted food that causes cancer, and I bet it makes you happy to get cancer from the exposure! See? Win-win!

    • "melamine-tainted food" — what is that, food handled by a Negroidal person?

      • kittensdontlie

        Just anyone who isn't as white as Calista Gingrinch. In her defense, her hairdo is a perfect shield from the sun's damaging rays.

    • mavenmaven

      I'll bet if someone looked at those companies, I'll bet they were probably Bain supported pharma companies (the ones with the melamine tainted toothpaste and heparin).

    • An_Outhouse

      Hey, that food tasted 'good', had an infinite shelf life, and was cheap. What the hell more do you want?

  • And it shows that those who seek to “tread on you” – to control your life, redistribute your wealth, and mortgage your future – are morally wrong.

    So we're talking multinational corporations, aided by megamarketers and investment banks. Right?

    • noodlesalad

      If you're not a multi-millionaire straight white man, you're also talking about the GOP.

    • jodyleek

      Robber barons are people too, my friend.

  • ChernobylSoup

    We're going to open our arguments by positing that a certain novel "shows that" something or other? Well, hell, let's get started. What say you, commenters?

    • Yea, that's like fourth grade book report level writing, to be sure.

      "The Phantom Toolbooth" shows us that you can travel through space and time if you have a humungous dog and some spare change…

      Aw, crap! I have to write another 477 words!

    • noodlesalad

      "Where the Wild Things Are" shows that, in a totally free-market system without any regulations, a meritocracy will naturally arise whereby the most talented individual (Max) becomes recognized for his talent and promoted to managerial level, only to realize that the proletariat will inevitably eat him.

      • I'll have the Traffic Manager under glass, and a side order of the Chief Stenographer, please.

    • eggsacklywright

      "Ulysees" shows us it's been a long day.

    • SorosBot

      Well a certain video game rather easily proved that Libertarian ideology doesn't work in the real world and would quickly turn to shit, but then it was well-written unlike any of Rand's books.

      • thatsitfortheother1

        Worked great in the frontier in the 1800s. Of course, the 40 acres were a gift from the government. Mmmm, and so was the mule.

      • SigDeFlyinMonky

        "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" shows that organized religion stffles progress, hereditary privilege empowers dolts and no country ever progressed without a patent office.

      • BoatOfVelociraptors

        Damned splicers.

    • GunToting[Redacted]

      I learned more about quantum physics by reading "Cosmic Banditos" than I did in any physics class I ever took. Sadly, the previously reclusive author has resurfaced and has shown himself to be a raving Birther-Truther end-times nutball.

      Sometimes people should just stay gone.

      • SoBeach

        Ah, someone else who's on his mailing list. Sometimes months and months go by without one of his "Perspectives" emails, but they're always worth the wait.

        I'll say this about the guy — he will admit it when he's proven factually wrong. After one of his mid-2000s truther rants I emailed him to point out that one of his "smoking gun" bits of evidence — something about jets being scrambled before the first plane hit the tower — wasn't so much proof of a massive government conspiracy as it was proof that we have multiple time zones in this country. He retracted that particular claim right away.

    • Angry_Marmot

      The Jungle Books show us that gold is more poisonous than a cobra, that it takes a pack to rear a child, socialism is the way to go in a time of drought and monkeys are asshats who would do well on a reality show.

    • Lascauxcaveman

      Go Dog, Go shows that the secret lives of dogs involves driving around in little red cars, playing baseball and having big parties in trees. Also, when they are tired, they can sleep 17-across in a really huge superwide bed.

    • Tommy1733

      "Atlas Shrugged" shows us through its continuously ironic tone, that to fail to care about your fellow man in the name of selfishness is wrong, and that the role of any modern government must include the care of its less fortunate citizens.

  • arihaya

    Don't be too harsh. Let's think positively, maybe Grauniad employing Josh Treviño is just like Colbert inviting Orly Taitz, you know, juts for the lulz.

  • SorosBot

    "Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged: a paean to American liberty: Rand’s ideas appeal to millions of Americans besides Paul Ryan because they promise freedom from welfare enslavement"

    JESUS LEARN WHAT FUCKING WORDS MEAN YOU IDIOTS. Ayn Rand's and Paul Ryan's ideas do not promise liberty and freedom, but the opposite. Welfare enhances freedom, you tools; and free market ideology has nothing to do with liberty, it does not promote it, in fact allowing the corporations to run amok and severely damages liberty for the rest us.

    Property "rights" are not true liberty, morons, and the ironically-named Libertarianism is an ideology that is completely opposed to actual liberty and freedom! Oh and guess what, Rand's idea that government should not help its citizens but in fact just let the poor starve in the streets is fucking hugely morally wrong; it is in fact a completely immoral ideology, and for someone who promotes this evil view to claim the moral high ground is just sickening.

    Motherfucking shitheads.

    • Nice rant. You had me at "JESUS LEARN WHAT FUCKING WORDS MEAN YOU IDIOTS." The rest is gravy.

    • sullivanst

      Randians' notions of political philosophy got frozen at the age when they first read her drivel, and never developed to the point of realizing that where individual rights are in conflict, there is a legitimate role for collective intervention to ensure the minimum net reduction of global rights in the resolution of that conflict. This is the major reason that "objectivism" and humanism reach such starkly different conclusions despite beginning from similar principles. Well, that and the mindless promotion of the right to exclusive private property up to the level of equality with the right to life.

      But then, what do you expect from those who worship at the altar of a woman who idealized a particularly brutal murderer?

    • PsycWench

      If a very intellectually advanced toddler wrote a book justifying his snatching the best toy horse away from the other kid, these people would buy it.

  • It’s no accident, then, that Ayn Rand’s immense popularity in America has not crossed over to Europe.

    Possibly because they've had their fill of fascist dictatorial rape-mongers over the past few millenia, but hey, I could be wrong.

    • thatsitfortheother1

      Or that most of them finish school.

      • sewollef

        Most of us did finish school.

        My high school English teacher [a strong socialist], gave me a reading list of books that she "demanded" I read before I reached age 18.

        The list was over 75 books long and, from memory, included most of the Steinbeck books, Upton Sinclair, John Reed, most of Orwell's books, Garcia Marquez, Trollope, Chekov, Dostoyevsky, Hugo, Voltaire, Hemingway, Somerset Maugham, and many others.

        Amongst that list, was The Fountainhead…. and to this day, it's the only book I've refused to read in full. She was a heartless bastard, that nevertheless took advantage of the Bolsheviks opening up Russian universities to women, and despite her atheism, had not a shred of humanity in her bones.

        That, and damn, she was ugly.

        • thatsitfortheother1

          That's a pretty good list. Even if you did not like Steinbeck's story line here or there, it is pretty hard to ignore the beautiful way he put words together.

    • sullivanst

      That's a big part of it, but also having emerged from numerous different iterations of systems based on slavery or its close analogs, they've also realized that money is not happiness, it is a tool which can sometimes be used to increase happiness, and as such they have decided to prioritize increasing quality of life over increasing nominal monetary wealth.

      • I think this above anything else explains the disparity in thinking in Western cultures: we pretended to be free, and even that was limited to white men with jobs but no property, while our counterparts in Europe *knew* they were never free and actually did something about it.

        It would explain why Americans fear their government but European governments fear their citizens.

    • i also think rand's twisted extremism could only be the result of experience with fascist dictatorial rape mongers.

      and could only appeal to the immature, testosterone laden american chicken hawks who've never had such experiences. it's their porn fantasy: defending their freedom in a way they've never had to – and never actually could or would if it was under real threat.

      (well not unless they figure out how to get off their hooverounds)

    • An_Outhouse

      There's a reason that bitch didn't stay over there.

    • Bezoar

      Also in Europe they know that incredibly good bread, cheese, and wine can be amazingly affordable. Supply your own friend to share them with and boom, happiness.

    • Millennial Malaise

      Whatever they're reading in their cushy European safety net, it's not Ayn Rand.

  • NorthStarSpanx

    Americans would need to question and reject the alien idea of altruism. Altruism is the Old World doctrine that it’s your duty to live for others and renounce your own self-interest.

    Well, this does not jibe with Sarah Palin's "Servant's Heart" meme.

    • Altruism is an entitlement.

      So Jesus was a welfare-statist?

    • SigDeFlyinMonky

      Looking for coherent rational thought in the thicket of shopworn, hackneyed shibboleths propounded by the loyal party cadres of the Publicans is a fool's errand.

    • davidcmoisan

      "Servant's Heart"

      (You have that wrong: _You_ are supposed to be the "servant". FTFY.
      Be a good little drone and don't question, and Sarah will let you have…your starbursts?)

    • doloras

      The fact that Christianity (even the most backwards-assed Pat Robertson brand) is a religion of sacrifice for the greater good and therefore diametrically opposed to Objectivism is the unspoken cancer at the heart of the Republican project.

  • BoatOfVelociraptors

    I thought Germany was known for doing the treading, and in the case of the Gadsden flag, it was European countries like England doing the treading with their Hessian squads.

    Not so much "Don't tread on me", as it is "We tread on you".

  • arihaya

    Atlas Shrugged is a hymn to the American spirit

    more like funeral hymn to the recently deceased spirit of America

    • SorosBot

      Since when is "the American spirit" "being a giant selfish prick who the world would be much better without"?

      • LetUsBray

        The 1980 election?

  • MacRaith

    OK, Randites, repeat after me:

    Capitalism is an economic system, not a religion.
    Capitalism is an economic system, not a religion.
    Capitalism is an economic system, not a religion.

    • mbobier

      But — but — what do we do with the temples with the giant money clips hanging over the altar, then? Not to mention the tiny golden dollar signs around the Randians' necks, and the choir rockin' out to Material Girl and Money Honey….

    • SorosBot

      Ah, but the Libertarian view of it, with the One True Free Market and Its Great Prophet, Ayn (along with lesser prophets adopted by certain sects recently, like Ron, Rand and Paul), and the rejection of all facts that contradict the dogma, is a religion.

    • Lemme know when we get around to getting us some "capitalism", will ya?

      Cuz right now, we got none. We got an oligarchy.

  • The individual’s pursuit of his own happiness versus altruism – this is the choice facing America.

    In other words Kill the Oldz, but if someone mentions socialized medicine scream DEATH PANELLZZZZ!!!1!1

  • thatsitfortheother1

    "expressed nonchalance at the idea of the IDF killing novelist Alice Walker?"

    Well, Angel Moroni has been busy lately.

  • MinAgain

    "Altruism is the Old World doctrine that it’s your duty to live for others and renounce your own self-interest."

    So Old World essentially means the Gospel? Huh. I sometimes wonder how these people keep their heads from exploding.

    • Terry

      Remember, the fundies think they found a loophole that excuses them from all that feed-the-hungry, clothe-the-nekkid, heal-the-sick, comfort-the-prisoners stuff.

    • jodyleek

      Okay, so he hates the Old World doctrine. Does that mean he loves the New World order? I haz a confused.

  • slithytoves

    It's long been my experience that when somebody is in a win-win situation, someone else is in a lose-lose.

  • His other sign says: "Get a Brain Morans."

    • thatsitfortheother1

      Looks like the guy's dad, alright. Needs to work on his zpelling, though.

  • noodlesalad

    Geez, I wish I had gotten a columnist job when I was a no-nothing college student who never had to work a day in his life or worry about preschool for my kids or what to do with a sick parent who was 63 years-old and suffering from a heart condition. God, I hate these self-righteous fuckers. They're the type of people who say "there, but for the grace of god, go I" and then pile on the misery.

    • SorosBot

      It's got to be an easy life, getting on the wingnut welfare train; and never facing true unemployment or shit jobs, they never have to face the facts of life that prove how intellectually bankrupt and vile their pseudo-philosophy is.

      One of my old college roommates and best friends was a Libertarian for a time – until he was unemployed for a few months. That set him straight, and he's been a liberal ever since.

      • noodlesalad

        Reality has a liberal bias – fact.

  • John Rogers is the author of the Atlas Orc quote, not Paul Krugman. He is also the discoverer of the Crazification Factor (27%) and the creator of the TV show Leverage.

    • doloras

      I base my life on Parker's example.

  • Terry

    "Atlas Shrugged is a hymn to the American spirit"

    No, it isn't. It's a piss poor novel that attempts to make grand excuses for a person wanting to be a selfish bastard with no involvement or investment in the community around him or her.

    • PsycWench

      Plus it's a 250 page story that somehow fills about a thousand pages. Or maybe it just seemed that way the one time I tried to read it.

    • elgin_pelican

      No, John Ashcroft wrote that hymn to the American spirit. "Let the eagle sooooar…cover up those nips, me hearties……."

  • Jus_Wonderin

    On "The Diane Rehm Show" yesterday I listened to a discussion of her "philosophy". As an atheist she abhored Reagan's coupling of Religon and Politics. She may very well have accepted SSA and Medicare in her later life.

    And, Paul Ryan has taken a small step back from tauting how her works and thoughts have influenced him.

    BTW: There are violent rapes in Atlas Shrugged and another of her works?????

    • noodlesalad

      Violent, sure, but are they legitimate?

      • GregComlish

        In Ayn Rand's fantasy, powerful men cannot be denied. They earn consent through pure willpower and concentrated egoism. The strong seize control of the weak because they are superior beings. They are powerful because they are selfish and other people don't exist for them.

        Ayn was so into this fantasy that she literally wrote fan girl letters to William Edward Hickman, a famous serial child killer who shocked the nation with his sadistic murder/dismemberment of an innocent 12-year-old girl:

        I don't begrudge anybody their sexual fantasies, but they are no basis for a system of government.

    • Stevola

      The Fountainhead. But they weren't legitimate rapes.

    • Fountainhead is the most well-known

      As Sparks Notes put it: Roark then rapes her like “a master taking shameful, contemptuous possession” of a slave.

      Barbara Cartland would gag.

    • widestanceromance

      SSA and Medicare were OK–for her, just not for anyone else, since they'd be robbing her of her liberty if they got it, too.

      • MinAgain

        Well, that is the Republican way. I was listening to NPR this morning, and the reporter was speaking with a cattle farmer who said he was voting for Romney, because the government had gotten too big. The reporter then asked him if he was receiving farm subsidies. His answer? "Yes, but they're not that big a part of my operation."

        • widestanceromance

          I heard that, too! I loved when he dismissed "ObamaCare" by saying he 'made' loving children who know he's there for them until the day he dies, and they'll take care of him if he needed nursing home care. . .missing a logic screw there, eh, Buddy?

    • jodyleek

      Well, as long as the rapist was doing what made him happy, we shouldn't tread on him with goobermint regulation. Besides, if you feel empathy for the victim, it's just Old World doctrine mucking up your thinking.

    • PsycWench

      Don't tread on a man's ability to engage in surprise sex.

      • davidcmoisan

        That's what Akins really meant "legitmate rape" to be: One who does it on another is "legitimate". Right?

  • Atlas Shrugged

    Most christianist wingnutz like Lyin' Paul Ryan think the title should be "Jesus Shrugged".

  • eggsacklywright

    Rand's believers are intellectually and emotionally 14-year-olds.

    • thatsitfortheother1

      My favorites are the ones waiting for a seat at the Republican table, even though their circumstances mean they will never earn more than ten dollars an hour.

      I guess it's no worse than jeebus.

  • azeyote

    all praises and worship to the wonkers for finding humor in the rand beast – besides her looks of course

  • Goonemeritus

    I’m getting a little tired of people in GB always pointing out how fat and stupid Americans are. It’s especially hurtful because we are so fat and stupid.

    • thatsitfortheother1

      Back hand them a dentistry joke. (I lived there for 6 years.) Or how they can be such bad cooks when France is only 17 miles away.

      • sewollef

        Hey! I have great teeth thank you… and France is 22 miles away. That five miles makes a BIG difference…

        • thatsitfortheother1

          Ehem, my bad, 34km. No offense, I love the Brits. But when the game is cultural relativism, I am armed and snarky.

      • HistoriCat
      • viennawoods13

        England… if you like the weather you'll LOVE the food!

  • Terry

    "There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs."

    Great quote, but I don't think Krugman said it. I think it was someone named John Rogers.

  • "The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness." — John Kenneth Galbraith

    • larrykat

      Oh, is that good.

  • Jus_Wonderin


    Read the text about the guy who does take "handouts" but wants to cut other folks "handouts". Geez, the hypocrisy.

    • I listened to this on my way to work today…I think my stereo will need a new faceplate.

    • widestanceromance

      Me, too and I hope all of us heard that.

      Who could not have thought, 'hmm, there's some Wonkette bait right there' upon hearing it?

    • PubOption

      The reporter should have asked if they listened to Rush Limbaugh.

      • Jus_Wonderin

        Greene did ask if this person saw a “contradiction” in what he was saying. Contradiction? What about Fn hypocrisy???

  • EatsBabyDingos

    And which bitch did Jesus slap?

    • thatsitfortheother1

      All of them, Katie?

  • Terry

    The comments section over at the Guardian is fabulous. Well worth a read.

  • mavenmaven

    Keeping in mind that Ayn Rand was herself, in every way, of the Old World…
    And that the next book on that limited GOP bookshelf is the "austrian economics"

  • SorosBot

    By the way, was the rape than Ayn Rand loved to celebrate in her books legitimate rape?

    • no_gravity

      Was any babby produced? If so, then no, not legitimate.

    • sullivanst

      No because that slut enjoyed it. Duh!

  • larrykat

    I am halfway through the tedious, cartoonish Atlas Shrugged… I am forcing myself to continue. That anyone with half a brain would take Rand's straw-men and simple, fallacious dichotomies serious just astounds me. If this book, as he says, is the main reason Paul Ryan "got into politics", he should be put in an asylum because the cheese fell off his cracker long ago.

    • GunToting[Redacted]

      I can't remember what blog I read it on, but they made the point about paying attention to someone who bases their entire political outlook on a NOVEL. They made the thought experiment something like "Could you imagine what would happen if a liberal quoted Frodo's speech on the dangers of power when talking about military action?"

    • MosesInvests

      You want a quote from a novel to influence political thinking? How about this one?
      "…He deserves death." "Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement." The Fellowship of the Ring, J.R.R. Tolkien.

      • viennawoods13

        That's my favorite!

    • viennawoods13

      Try Anthem. It's much shorter and sums up her repellent philiosphy very well. Oh, and my favorite part (as in it made me throw the book at the wall when I read it in Gr 11): when the man and his "Golden One" escape the nasty socialist hive-mind city and find a house in the country, they enter and he goes nuts over the library with books! ideas! whilst the chick goes nuts over the clothes.
      I'd call Rand a cunt but that's an insult to cunts.

      • larrykat

        I particularly liked the parts where Dagney wants Reardon to "take her" and how she "wants him to see her waiting on him." Rand was one crazy, self-loathing twat. (There, I didn't denigrate the c-word again.)

      • doloras

        Or just listen to Rush's _2112_, which is Anthem with a prog-metal soundtrack.

  • Judging by world events, I think Atlas has been helpless in some sort of chronic Giggle fit the last dozen years or so. Nonetheless, Sociopaths everywhere rejoice, individually, at Don Watkins glad tidings. Sociopaths, Unite!

  • no_gravity

    Does anyone really care who John Galt is? I've never made it past page 10 or so, so I have no idea.

    • thatsitfortheother1

      Ernest Hemingway she wasn't.

    • I skipped to the end, where I was surprised that the last line was "Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown."

      • no_gravity

        Did anyone get slapped saying Mother/Daughter, Mother/Daughter? Cause if so, I may read that last page.

    • larrykat

      I am 45% of the way through on my Kindle, and we still only have little clues who the fuck he is. He's really kind of a prick-tease I guess.

  • Guppy

    Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged: a paean to American liberty: Rand’s ideas appeal to millions of Americans besides Paul Ryan because they promise freedom from welfare enslavement

    Ah, the usual right-wing obsession with colons…

    • James Michael Curley

      And what fills colons?

  • PsycWench

    Do these people realize that there is a phrase in the Constitution about providing for the common welfare? Would they then realize that their holy trinity of the Constitution, Ayn Rand's works and the Bible just DO NOT WORK TOGETHER?

    • SorosBot

      No, they just pretend the Constitution enshrines their ideology into law even though it clearly doesn't; along with the common welfare clause they think that "The Congress shall have Power … To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes" actually means that Congress is not allowed to regulate commerce.

    • James Michael Curley

      Some recent Ayn (as in swine) Rand advocates I have met are sentient enough to also philosophize Adam Smith as part of their pantheon of heroes of freedom. I love quashing their enthusiasm with the statement that our founding fathers were well aware of Adam Smith and eschewed his "Wealth of Nations" theories in writing the Constitution. After they are down I like to kick them with the fact that Adam Smith was then charged with establishing the Bank of England and instituted the first 'income tax' on corporations.

      • MosesInvests

        Adam Smith also wrote the right to own slaves into the charter for the Carolina colony.

        • James Michael Curley

          Didn’t know that, thanks.

  • ThundercatHo

    You know how about 450 years ago a bunch of fundamentalist Christians piled into a leaky boat and went out into the wilderness? Why can't that happen here and now?

  • Tundra Grifter

    Is the Ayn Rand Institute the place to work for people who can't cut it at R. Bent Bozo the Turd's "Media Research Center"/Newsbusters website?

  • DahBoner

    That guy with the sign looks like he's pursueing his own happiness.

    That's why he needs the track shoes and doo rag.



  • Tundra Grifter

    According to its website, the Ayn Rand Institution is a 501(c)(3) non-profit. The ten "selfish" reasons to donate money to it include:

    "I want to defend free markets and the moral virtue of making a profit. I want to liberate businessmen from the shackles of government regulation so that I can benefit from the innovation and prosperity of a free economy."

    I know I'm old enough to know better, but the utter, complete lack of self-awareness on the part of so-many "conservatives" (reactionaries) continues to astonish me.

    Why isn't the Ayn Rand Institution a healthy, for-profit enterprise? Didn't she collect royalties from her books? Or has her philosophy been dope-slapped by the invisible hand?

  • SigDeFlyinMonky

    If the human race lived by Rand's precepts from the beginning the leopards and hyenas would have left our bones bleaching in the sun on the plains of Africa.

  • not that Dewey

    Ana Marie Cox is a libertarian now? Who knew.

  • mocasdad

    Two colons in the same article title? They may need to tighten up the hiring guidelines over there at the trailer housing ARI.

  • I am sure that Don Watkins is a fine fellow indeed.

  • pinkocommi

    New Republitard slogan that encapsulates all of its major policy points – No altruism.

    It is frightening that there are people out there who think this sounds good. But perhaps I will reconsider my position when my baby needs a diaper change or wants to breast feed. Take care of yourself, you parasite!

  • An_Outhouse

    Shorter Don "tiny penis" Watkins: 'Maybe its something in the water.'

  • [Atlas] shows that capitalism is a win-win system where all individuals are free to pursue their happiness. It shows that it is right for individuals to be concerned with their own happiness. And it shows that those who seek to “tread on you” – to control your life, redistribute your wealth, and mortgage your future – are morally wrong.

    Here's a pro tip: if you are talking about a work of fiction, "shows" is not the word to use. "Shows" implies a factual framework that is necessarily not met by fictional characters acting in a fictional setting in accordance to an author's whims. The most a work of fiction can do is argue, claim, or suggest. When you say a science fiction story shows, demonstrates, or proves something, you're essentially imputing to that science fiction story all the inerrance and factuality that people normally grant to religious texts: you are, in effect, Scientology.

    Also too, Atlas Shrugs doesn't even do a terribly great job at making any of those arguments, dumbass.

  • An_Outhouse

    My neighbor liked to target practice at all hours of the day and was really treading on my peace and quiet. So I blew him away. Now its much less noisy. Thanks, Ms. Rand!

  • Boojum

    Y'all are missing the hidden point. If "do as thou wilt is the whole of the law," there is nothing that prevents us from getting together and acting in our own interest in confiscating the munnies of the billionaires and distributing it to ourselves. So, who's with me!

    • HistoriCat

      Logical conclusions have a liberal bias.

  • Toomush_Infer

    I hope this is the reap what you sow part of Ryan/Rands' career…..

  • MosesInvests

    The Lord of the Rings shows that elves are immortal and that hobbits are more resistant than humans to the influence of magic rings created by Dark Lords.

  • blitzgal

    "[Atlas] shows that capitalism is a win-win system where all individuals are free to pursue their happiness."

    Unless you're a chick. Then you're just there to be sexed, possibly without your consent.

  • The only thing that Atlas actually "shows" is that Ayn Rand couldn't critically think her way out of a paper bag. For those seeking the longer version:

    BTW, I wonder if Don Watkins graduated high school this year or if he still has a couple of years to go.

  • ttommyunger

    Some folk are just a little too desperate for heroes. I'm talking to you, chain-smoking, hypocritical atheist cunt with bad teeth and worse breath.

  • barto

    Kudos for correct spelling, Mr. Too-Dumb-to-Know-When-I've-Been-Had man!

  • Willardbot9000_V2.5

    For all the "brilliance" Ayn Rand for real Americans it's not exactly like she came upon some Earth shattering truth or anything. All the bitch did was take what Marx wrote, hold it up to a fun house mirror and write the opposite. Instead of a dictatorship of the proletariat (because they're morally and ethically superior) she wrote about a "free" dictatorship of the industrialists (because they're morally and ethically superior). Communist emphasize utilitarianism, Rand emphasized individualism. Communists believed that women should dress humbly, Rand believed women enjoyed rape and sex should be a business transaction. Communists emphasized public life in communities, Rand emphasized privacy and selfish disregard for neighbors. The list goes on and on…just opposite land. At least when Aristotle wrote his differing philosophy from Socrates, etc. it wasn't based upon opposite land but required actual deep thought. In the end, Rand was just pissed her father's pharmacy was made a state asset and never got over it…not exactly grounds for some great philosopher. Plus, she was authoritarian as hell with her followers and a massive hypocrit to boot…

  • Willardbot9000_V2.5

    The popularity of Ayn Rand amongst 'real Americans' to the exclusion of everyone else just proves a couple of things: 1) real philosophy is HARD…it's why most fourteen year olds (right about the Rand age…) can't handle Kant, or Aristotle or even Satre but they can handle Rand, 2) real Americans are really stupid with how they distill Marx. I'm not saying Marx was the greatest thing ever and his philosophy was doable for organizing a nation but most of these idiots process Marx by reading Rand and since Rand herself was infantile they have an ultra-simplistic narrative. In fact, I'd say objectivism which is supposed to be the opposite of Marxism (in a simplistic way) shows that Rand herself didn't have a handle on Marx or utilitarianism and she damn sure didn't understand altruism…but that's aside from the point. Randroids are idiots who live in bubbles…

  • KeepFnThatChicken

    Atlas Shrugged is a testimony to how awesome it is to fuck everyone, including Francisco D'anconia and a married Hank Rearden. It spells out the obvious harmfulness of being a mooch, though it doesn't address why Dagny's impotent brother still maintains any authority with the railroad, because he's a simpering, whiny trust-fund babby. It outlines the beauty of being Rush Limbaugh, because Rush (portrayed by John Galt for an entire goddamn chapter) also never shuts up. It holds inviolate the right to do with one's personal property, even at great risk to other people, when Wyatt impersonates a terrorist and bombs the fuck out of — get this — an oil field.

    Also God is only mentioned in the entire three-volume book when Dagny is getting freaky on, oh, everyone, because QED, she's a slut.

    Finally, it is excellent for science fiction, because the whole narrative relies on a person who invented a perpetual motion machine. If you thought the idea of a godless capitalist society was excellent, wait until you get to the part where they break the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

  • Baba_NinjaCat12

    In a nation where capitalism is a win-win system, has billionaires and is likely to surpass the USA as a global economic power exist. It's the People's Republic of China.

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