Ayn Rand sets forth her philosophy of "objectivism." She shows it in this book, through one character named Peter Keating, an architect, who seemingly...moreAyn Rand sets forth her philosophy of "objectivism." She shows it in this book, through one character named Peter Keating, an architect, who seemingly achieve greatness by copying others but somehow give the illusion of originality and creativity. In order to achieve "greatness," Keating was literally willing to sell anything, including his wife. Thus despite wealth and apparant achievement, his life was empty. Rand begins to formulate her values that altruism is an evil because a society which seeks to achieve this must do so at someone's expense and therefore leads to collectivism. In the person of Ellsworth Toohey, a flamboyant newspaper columnist, she shows how the power hungry manipulate the masses by setting a standard of mediocrity which fosters collectivism. The hero, Roarke has a passion for his work and is uncompromising in his creativity in accomplishing his professional goals. He does not compromise these goals despite enormous pressures to do so. Rand believed that there is only black and white in moral issues; there is no gray.
The book is a powerful example of what choosing to travel the road less traveled can lead to...being alone sometimes poor, but also a sense of completeness of being in harmony with one's stated values. Powerful food for thought about how far one can go in living their ideals.
Favorite quote from the book, page 678: "Throughout the centuries,there were men who took first steps down new roads armed with nothing but their own vision. The goals differed, but they all had this one thing in common: that this step was first, the road new, the vision unborrowed, and the response they received - hatred"
"No creator was prompted by a desire to serve his brothers, for his brothers rejected the gift he offered and that gift destroyed the slothful routine of their lives. His truth was his only motive. His own truth and his own work to achieve it in his own way. A symphony, a book, an engine, a philosophy, an airplane or a building - that was his goal and his life. Not those who heard, read, operated, believed, flew of inhabited the thing he created. The creation, not the users. The creation, not the benefits others derived from it. The creation which gave form to his truth. He held his truth about all things and against all men.
His vision, his strength, his courage came from his own spirit. A man's spirit, however, is his self. That entity which is his consciousness. To think, to feel, to judge, to act are functions of the ego.
The creators were not selfless. It is the whole secret of their power - that is was self sufficient, self motivated, self generated. A first cause, a fount of energy, a life force, a Prime Mover. The creator served nothing and no one. He had lived for himself.
And only by living for himself was he able to achieve the things which are the glory of mankind. Such is the nature of achievement."
For me, like Atlas Shrugged, it was another book that helped me explore what I felt my own vision was and whether I had the courage to pursue it, as Roarke did. (less)
Ayn Rand's philosophy is known as objectivism. It is essentially having a objective reason and purpose for every action you commit.
Atlas Shrugged is...moreAyn Rand's philosophy is known as objectivism. It is essentially having a objective reason and purpose for every action you commit.
Atlas Shrugged is one of two major novels that outlines her entire philosophy while trying to show how it would be applied. As for the ideal itself, it is personified in the productive giants of (then) modern America. Dagny Taggart does railroads, Francisco D'Anconia does copper mines, Hank Rearden - steel. For centuries, men have asked what would happen if the working class went on strike; Miss Rand asks, what would happen if the men of industry went on strike.
What would happen if Atlas, a man whose shoulders held a world damning him a robber baron, shrugged?
For me, raised by a blue collar parent who saw the value of unions and the "little guy", it gave me the perspective of another side.
My takeaways were to realize that there are always multiple sides to a story and to dig a bit in my beliefs and paradigms before passing judgement. And after a liberal arts degree that explored several philosophers, it was another system of beliefs that got me exploring what, as a business person, were my own beliefs about the world we live in. (less)
I read the book as a part of a course that Gay and Katie Hendricks (Conscious Loving) conducted in Ojai California.
Undefended Love borrows a lot of i...moreI read the book as a part of a course that Gay and Katie Hendricks (Conscious Loving) conducted in Ojai California.
Undefended Love borrows a lot of ideas from Enneagram theory and from psychology. A primary assumption of the book is that in order for change to occur you must get beyond your compensatory personality into authentic emotional experience. It is only by being in the moment and feeling what is behind the personality that one can truly grow. It is a very transpersonal approach to development and the analogies and examples will be easy for the average person to identify with. (less)