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  1. Ghosts in Latin
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    Ghosts in Latin Senior Member

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    Ayn Rand - 'The Fountainhead'

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by Ghosts in Latin, Mar 6, 2009.

    Has anyone read this? I have yet to hear anyone's approval, or even recognition, when I mention the title.

    This is one of my absolute favorite books. I wish that the book I will be known for (and I will be known for a book) comes out to be like this.
     
  2. Anthem
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    Anthem Member

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    I have not read Foutainhead but I have read Anthem (no realtion to user name). I liked Anthem, the concept was inventive (even though the whole We instead I thing became annoying at times). The philosophical statements it put forth were provoking too even thought I do not agree with them completely.

    I've wanted to read Foutainhead or Atlas Shrugged but alas, I don't find myself having ten free years and magnifying glass anytime soon. Honestly, I think the bible is less wordy than Atlas Shrugged.

    Ayn Rand's philosophy has always had me in knots. I've never been sure wheter to agree with it or not. I mean it sounds very tempting the idea of caring about nothing but yourself but, at the same time traditional moralities ("Help your fellow man") poke at the back of my head. I know one point I absoulety don't agree with Rand on, that's her view of economics. Her extreme lasseiz-faire capitalism would end being just as corrupt as the communism she hates - the words would just be different instead of being owned by the government, you'd be own by x-leading industry. Really it'd her capitalism and communism would be the same thing for the average person just a few words swapped around. It's just as naive as communism in that her prays on the perfectibility of man. Man is imperfect, if man were perfect this would be a perfect world.
     
  3. Mercurial
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    Mercurial Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have not (yet) read Fountainhead , but I do recognize the title and the philosopher, and I'm familiar with some of Rand's ideas.

    An innovative thinker, that's for sure, and I do tend to agree with the philosophies, although, like Anthem, it does tend to confuse me more than enlighten me --which I find amusing. ;)
     
  4. Ghosts in Latin
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    Ghosts in Latin Senior Member

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    I'd have to agree with both of you in that I really don't agree with her philosophies, but I find them (and the way she depicts them in their ideal state) absolutely enrapturing.

    I have yet to read Atlas Shrugged or Anthem (I need to read more as it is), but I thoroughly enjoyed The Fountainhead.
     
  5. Agreen
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    Agreen Faceless Man Contributor

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    I was disappointed- her early novel We the Living is one of my favourites, so I had huge expectations for both The Fountain Head and Atlas Shrugged. Yet with both I was put off- I felt she was too heavy-handed in presenting her ideas, which I admit I strongly disagree with. As with Goodkind in his attempt to portray the similar ideas, I felt Rand made her characters unbelievable- perhaps indicating a weakness in the ideas on which they were based.
     
  6. december00
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    december00 Member

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    I enjoyed Fountainhead more than I did atlas shrugged, though both are a little too windy for what she has to say, she does say it well.
     
  7. CharlieVer
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    CharlieVer New Member Contributor

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    I never read Fountainhead. I've read Anthem (which was the basis of the progressive rock group Rush's 2112 album, my favorite group musically) and I've listened to the audio book abridged version of Atlas Shrugged.

    I disagree strenuously with her views presented in Atlas Shrugged. I find her views to be a straw-man argument against charity and giving, and a misrepresentation of economic theory, an overly simplistic representation of business practices. Her views have given rise to the "trickle down" theories that have truly harmed our nation. For her, the villain is government regulation and the hero is the business executive. In reality, government regulation is necessary and often, business executives are exploitative, greedy, and not very good at improving their businesses. Prior to government regulation of business, quite literally, there were businesses that had children working 20 hour days, 7 day weeks in coal mines. I do not share her hero-worship of the upper-level business executive, nor her fear of the practical application of government regulation on business.

    Left free and unfettered, Rand claims, the world will be lifted off the shoulders of Atlas, the CEOs and CFOs of the businesses of the world, and we will all have good jobs making good wages and the world will prosper, while regulated, the CEOs and CFOs will have the world on their backs. "Get out of my way," is the hero's mantra. In practical reality, left free and unfettered, the CEOs and CFOs will exploit the masses and will do what is good, neither for business, nor for the world, but for their own personal pocket books. These people do not say, "Get out of my way," they trample on the very workers on whom their businesses depend, and they laugh about it. Believe Ayn Rand, and bow to the Enrons of the world, because they are the result of Rand's philosophy.

    Charlie
     
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  8. xanadu
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    xanadu Contributing Member Contributor

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    The Rand Wars. No matter what side you take, you will lose, because everybody dies a bloody death when he/she gets involved.

    The Fountainhead is probably my second favorite book (the first being Atlas Shrugged). I love it. In my experience, just about everyone else hates it. Her philosophy is the basis of my own, though I don't know how much I deviate because I really don't care what her views are now that I've developed my own. Regardless, her style has always intrigued me as a writer and I find it as one of my biggest influences (early on, at least, before I became comfortable with my own voice).

    As strongly as I feel about the topics raised within her book(s), I tend to stay out of the discussions, mainly due to the fact that nothing will ever get accomplished because you either love it and get attacked for being selfish or hate it and get attacked for being against free will. It all comes down to your political views, which are different for everybody, and which is the reason that Rand discussions typically turn into wars; it's the same as discussing politics.

    To the OP, you're probably better off not mentioning the book to anyone unless you know that the ensuing conversation won't turn ugly. Because most often, it will. That's controversy for you.
     
  9. jack_is_cool
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    jack_is_cool Member

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    Sorry to be off-topic. I just wanted to say that that isn't really the meaning of her philosophy, Objectivism. Objectivists love, but not indiscriminately like altruists claim.

    I haven't read the FH, but I have read AS. Which is better?
     
  10. Anthem
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    Anthem Member

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    Oh I forgot, anyone who wants a good criticism of Rand's philosophy - just play Bioshock. That was the plot of the game, a Randist society under the sea where things went wrong.
     

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