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Producers Vs. Looters And Parasites

Themes in Atlas Shrugged

Producers vs. Looters and Parasites

By David Kelley

The producers in Atlas Shrugged represent the culmination of Rand's artistic goal to portray the human ideal; and their conflict with looters and parasites is the fullest statement of what she saw as an eternal conflict in human life. This lecture will discuss that conflict as the master theme of the novel, encompassing all the other thematic elements, along with Galt's strike as the master plot.

This audio program, sutiable for those new to Rand's ideas, includes discussion of:

  1. The eternal conflict
  2. Plot implementation: The strike and the collapse
  3. Characterization: Producers, looters, and the worlds they make
  4. The meaning of the strike

DOWNLOAD: Accompanying PowerPoint presentation.

Note: This audio program is the second in a 6-part series, "Atlas Shrugged as a Philosophical Novel," presented at The Atlas Society's 2006 Summer Seminar. The other programs in the series are:

Part 2: Reason vs. Anti-Reason
Part 3: The Pursuit of Happiness
Part 4: The Unity of Mind and Body
Part 5: Trade vs. Power 

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David Kelley earned his Ph.D. in philosophy from Princeton University in 1975, and later taught cognitive science and philosophy at Vassar College and Brandeis University. His articles on social issues and public policy have appeared in Harper's, The Sciences, Reason, Harvard Business Review, The Freeman, and elsewhere. His books include  Unrugged Individualism: The Selfish Basis of Benevolence; The Contested Legacy of Ayn Rand; The Evidence of the Senses; and The Art of Reasoning, one of the most widely used logic textbooks in the country. Kelley is founder and chief intellectual officer of The Atlas Society.