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Anyone read the Fountainhead

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Zorth41, Mar 17, 2014.

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  1. Zorth41


    Dec 28, 2013
    anyone ever read the Fountainhead, if so, what did you think?
  2. BioDriver

    BioDriver A Cinderella story

    Aug 29, 2008
    I gave up halfway through and thought Ms. Rand was full of it.
  3. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    I was going to, but we were out of toilet paper, and I really needed my phone book.
  4. Hamlet7768

    Hamlet7768 Here to chew gum and rock. Still have gum.

    Jun 5, 2011
    No, and I have no interest to. I have a strong dislike for Ms Rand based on everything I have read about her philosophy.

    mellowinman, you must have an iron arse to wipe it with book pages.
  5. JennySuzuki


    Dec 18, 2013
    I did. I also read _Atlas Shrugged_.

    My basic thought boils down to: Ayn Rand was a terrible human being, but her opposition to Communism is understandable given her early experiences.
  6. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    The whole thing? I read it when Reagan got elected, and the Wall Street Journal said that his people were all followers of Rand. But I couldn't get through John Galt's speech.
  7. Hobobob

    Hobobob Don't feed the troll, folks.

    Jan 25, 2011
    Camarillo, CA
    As with all things, I can't stay on board when someone takes an idea to the extreme. I totally understand 'looking out for no. 1' and think it's a big part of being happy and healthy, but it needs to be balanced with a healthy sense of empathy and generosity as well.
    Then there's the matter of her actual ability as a writer... Ugh.
  8. Goatrope

    Goatrope Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2011
    Sarasota Florida
    I'm a fan. Liked Atlas Shrugged better, but enjoyed both. If you're not a fan, then by no means should you attempt to read Anthem.
  9. DerHoggz

    DerHoggz I like cats :| Banned

    Feb 13, 2009
    Western Pennsylvania
    We had to read Anthem for HS English.
  10. GKon

    GKon Supporting Member, Boom-Chicka-Boom

    Feb 17, 2013
    Queens, NY
    I read "Atlas Shrugged" and "The Fountainhead". I enjoyed both and, at the time, really liked the general message I got out of the books. Mainly, work towards your goals if you expect to achieve them, and, don't expect something for nothing, or something just because other people around you have "it".

    Mind you, this was 20+ years ago that I read them, so I may not be remembering everything down to the last detail.
  11. Goatrope

    Goatrope Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2011
    Sarasota Florida
    That's certainly in the message. I liked the quality of the main characters in that they were creators rather than takers, and held true to their principles no matter the personal cost.
  12. GKon

    GKon Supporting Member, Boom-Chicka-Boom

    Feb 17, 2013
    Queens, NY
    I'm glad to know I wasn't off the mark. :)

    I also remember, when I read them, thinking that it was a great way to go forward in life-to hold true to your principles and work towards your goals, never settling for less. I found it inspiring.

    I was then, and still am, confused at to all the negativity I found pointed in Ayn Rand's direction. I can honestly say that I have never actually dug much deeper to find out why that was/is.

    Would anyone care to elaborate?
  13. I'll try.

    As someone who has never read Ayn Rand anything, I think a lot of the negativity about her is spread easier amongst those who, like me, have never read her stuff. From what I understand, besides a message of relying on one's self and to try hard at everything and take no "handouts", there is a message of anti-collectivism and that rubs a lot of people the wrong way. Some things in life can only be accomplished through a collective, like carrying a piano up a flight of stairs.

    I was turned off to the idea I once had about trying her stuff to see what the hubbub was all about, but when I found out she went on Government "handouts" (Medicare, etc) towards the end of her life after railing against such things in her works, I decided against it. Anyone who preaches to live one way and then doesn't themself... I've got better ways to waste my time than reading what a hypocrite thinks.
  14. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    I think it's one thing to motivate individuals with stories of personal heroism and quite another to believe that it can be the sole basis of a society. Also, there seems to be a tendency among her followers to worship the successful as if they achieved their success without "handouts." That's just an unrealistic picture of a modern society and economy. Suffice to say that it requires being extremely selective about what constitutes a handout. The resulting message is: "We want our handouts, but you must be a hero and give up your handouts."

    Personally I can't claim that her writings motivated me. I would have been compared to Hank Rearden, as I'm a successful inventor and industrialist. But nobody from the government ever tried to prevent me from being more successful. And I can't pretend to have achieved my success without "handouts." For instance, I'm indebted to both my parents and the National Science Foundation for my education. I work for a corporation.

    Finally, it amuses me but I can't see it as a problem, that many of her followers conveniently overlook her opinions about religion.
  15. jmlee

    jmlee Catgut? Not funny. Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2005
    Halifax, Nova Scotia
    Read it 30 years ago and it's stayed with me--not as any sort of arch-capitalist, pro-fascist rant, but as a portrayal of Howard Roark as a driven, destructively self-absorbed artist who had the sort of tragic flaw that would have interested Shakespeare. If you've wondered why some artists who are really successful are complete ***holes, this book sheds some light.
  16. 1958Bassman


    Oct 20, 2007
    So, you see SS and Medicare as handouts, even though employees/employers pay into the SS fund and Medicare premiums are taken from their SS benefits?

    I would have a problem if she had come here illegally and never paid into the system, wrote and talked about it being a bad thing and then was jumping at the chance to collect.
  17. Mcgiver69


    Sep 28, 2005
    She railed against those programs and called the people who relied on them "Takers". That's why people called her hypocrite.

    Another issue is the relations she had with one of the members of her inner circle where she demanded him to have an affair with her and asked his wife to let that happen because she didn't have anyone in her life. She ended up breaking that marriage and later he dumped her for a younger woman. she then confronted him for being selfish. Again wasn't that another of the points she made? That you should pursue your own happiness without caring for anyone else?

    That's what usually rubs people the wrong way about her.
  18. No, as someone who is on SSD and has worked and paid into the system his entire life, I don't see Medicare or SS as handouts. That's why I put the word "handouts" in quotes.

    Sheesh. Relax.
  19. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    I do like "Anthem," and "2112," by Rush.

    Neil Peart was better with words than poor Ayn.

    Seriously; that woman is to literature what the classic Tampa Bay Buccaneers were to offense. Paint drying has 1,000 times more entertainment value.
  20. wild4oldcars


    Jan 22, 2012
    Garner, NC
    I got about halfway through, but I am by no means a reader. I did read anthem, though, and I thought it was quite interesting. I am a fan of the darkness of the subject matter, but some of the actual literature was a snoozefest. Id rather just listen to Anthem and 2112.

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