Better Than “Atlas Shrugged” – “Alongside Night” And “A Lodging Of Wayfaring Men”

When I was a graduate student, I read “Atlas Shrugged”.  It was interesting.  It’s a viewpoint not normally mentioned in State brainwashing centers.

The ideas of “Atlas Shrugged” are a precursor to agorism.  It isn’t realistic for all the skilled workers to hide in a bunker somewhere.  You need to control some land, to grow food.  No matter how good your defenses, you cannot withstand an assault by the State military.

In a sense, productive workers are giving up.  In many jobs, it makes no difference if you are highly skilled.  In many jobs, workers do the minimum effort to get by, rather than trying their best.  That’s a type of “shrugging”.  When lots of people do that, it’s a huge drain on the economy.

While I was in grad school, there was an “Ayn Rand” discussion group on campus.  I thought “Atlas Shrugged was an interesting novel.  I should go to the Ayn Rand discussion group.”  I mentioned it to one of the other students, and he said “Don’t bother.  They’re a bunch of fruitcakes.”  He was correct.  They were a bunch of fruitcakes.  It was a crazy religious cult.

In an Internet discussion forum, whenever someone is named after an Ayn Rand character, they almost always are pro-State trolling.

When you base your philosophy on a dead person, that’s a serious problem.  Your ideas are frozen, based on what the idol said.  Ayn Rand is dead.  I can’t ask her what she thinks of agorism.  Even if she were alive and ridiculed it, that doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea.

I had the same problem on mises.org with the Austrian economists.  They said “Mises and Rothbard never wrote about the Compound Interest Paradox.  Therefore, the Compound Interest Paradox is false.”  They’re quoting the authority figure, rather than thinking for themselves.

Ayn Rand is also misquoted.  She said “All charity is evil.”  She may have actually believed this.  The correct answer is “State charity is evil.  Via taxes and State welfare, you force me at gunpoint to contribute to a charity.  It’s OK to contribute to charity, provided you do it voluntarily with your own money.”  Charity is evil, when the donation comes at the threat of violence.  Charity is OK, if you do it voluntarily.

Ayn Rand says “All charity is evil!”.  Ayn Rand says “The Welfare State is evil.”  Therefore, everyone who criticizes the Welfare State is cold and heartless.  It’s a classic logical fallacy.

Agorism is a natural extension of Atlas Shrugged.  That answers the question of “How do productive workers stop supporting evil, while still earning a decent living for themselves?”  Instead of retreating to a bunker, agorists develop an underground economy.  Free from the burden of taxation on regulation, they should be very productive.  Novels like Alongside Night and A Lodging Of Wayfaring Men are stories about agorism.

Many freedom activists get stuck in an intellectual trap.  They mindlessly follow an authority figure, without thinking for themselves.  These authority figures are Ayn Rand, Mises, Rothbard, Ron Paul, and others.  These people are attractive leaders.  They’re more in tune with the truth than most mainstream media personalities.  However, they still have flaws.  By religiously following an authority figure, you also can’t progress past their errors.  I read lots of different people, and combine the best ideas.  That’s the best way to think for yourself.

4 Responses to Better Than “Atlas Shrugged” – “Alongside Night” And “A Lodging Of Wayfaring Men”

  1. > In a sense, productive workers are giving up. In many jobs, it makes no difference
    > if you are highly skilled.

    I have found that working long hours and writing high quality software simply did not get me a better salary, nor did it provide any substantial job security.

    Time and time again I worked hard and made the right decisions, only to get screwed over.

  2. “When you base your philosophy on a dead person, that’s a serious problem. Your ideas are frozen, based on what the idol said. Ayn Rand is dead. I can’t ask her what she thinks of agorism. Even if she were alive and ridiculed it, that doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea.

    Just because a philosopher might be dead, doesn’t mean adopting said philosophy or parts of it is a serious problem. Ayn Rand couldn’t see the world without a State. She hadn’t arrived at the NAP (non-agression principle) and respect for property rights applicable to all, everywhere, at all times. If she did, then it would logically follow the State is immoral as it cannot exist without violating these two principles while those who the state rules are expected to adhere to them. Government tolerates no competition in fleecing the people.

    Just because Ayn Rand is not alive and did not ridicule agorism, doesn’t mean agorism is a good idea. Rationally consistent ideas that are testable and repeatable are valid regardless of who said them, alive or dead. Hitler can utter an idea and it might be valid, despite the fact the man was a monster.

    What I find amusing is most pro-State trolls denigrate Rand’s work without addressing the arguments she put forward at all. Just empty derision, sneering, and ad-hominem attacks.

    In order to teach people, they have to have the capcity for learning. This capacity is usually thwarted via the biases and bigorty of parents, government schools, and media. When expressing an idea to people is true, they evaluate that idea in the context of their current relationships with others and the costs of adopting that idea into their own lives. For example:

    1) If a religious person becomes an atheist, all of their relationships with their current religious friends or family would suffer, experience hosttility or aggression, and possibly even death.

    2) If a miltary person became anti-military where they come from a family that has strong miltary history within it, how would this person fare? Would they be Pat Tillmaned?

    Rand was brilliant. However, I do not dote on her work and her work alone. It was simply a lookout on the road to the journey of freedom.

    • You misinterpreted what I wrote. I’m referring people who exclusively follow Ayn Rand exactly. Did you ever go to an “Objectivist” meeting? I did once, in grad school, and it was like a crazy religious cult.

      It’s OK to use part of Ayn Rand’s philosophy and parts of other things.

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