Episode 084: Safe for Work

Ever get the feeling that society is holding you back? Like a ball and chain are just wrapped around your ankles, and if you could only break free and be your own person, the world would miraculously become your sandbox? Well according to Ayn Rand, that ball and chain are nothing more than your own inhibitions. Success is there for the taking! Oh, but just remember to bring a plow.

This week on BF we tackle quite possibly the most controversial piece of philosophical literature ever to spend 50 years in development hell before they finally made a crappy movie out of it: Atlas Shrugged. Joining me to bite into this tasty morsel were recent Rand reader Jed Cummins and reliable Rand resister Kiki Canon. Ready for some self-interested Objectivismania? Well get on board!

This Week’s Post-show Song Pimpage: “The Trees” by Rush (suggested by @treycaliva)

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2 Comments on "Episode 084: Safe for Work"

  1. KevSaund
    14/02/2011 at 10:23 am Permalink

    I’m going to just post some of my comments here before actually listening to the episode. Sorry I couldn’t make it to join in the discussion on the actual episode.

    Since I submitted the link up there about Objectivism being a cult, I want to say I agree with the sentiment of the article, but I want to take ti one step further.

    Ayn Rand is a Drug. Her writings make you feel good as you’re reading them and the buzz can last anywhere from a few hours after you finish reading to weeks, months, or in rare cases, years. Her whole shtick is that human beings are awesome (although some are more awesome than others) and the books (at least Fountainhead and Anthem, I haven’t finished Atlas Shrugged) are meant to make you feel like you could go out and change the world. It allows you to shift the blame to others: government, religion and whatnot, for creating systems that are designed to hold you back. We can all be supermen! (yes I chose a specifically gendered term, because Rand’s depiction of women is problematic to say the least)

    But the thing is Everybody can’t be a superman. I suspect even Rand would admit this, probably lovingly embrace it, because it means that some people are better than others. And statistically speaking, any given reader of Rand is unlikely to be the World’s Best at anything, because there is likely someone better.

    The real problem is this: What is better? There isn’t an actual objective standard for what the best thing is, no matter how much Randies insist there is. It’s the whole Mac v PC issue, or even put more simply, it’s like saying Green Socks are better than Blue Socks. Some things really come down to opinion.

    I may have more to say after I actually listen to the episode. If if ever get around to doing that.


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