Atlas Shrugged

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William R Thomas


William R Thomas has written on topics in politics, ethics, and epistemology, and has spoken internationally on the theory of individual rights and Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism. His works include Radical for Capitalism, and, as editor, The Literary Art of Ayn Rand. He is the director of programs for The Atlas Society.

Atlas Shrugged: A Philosophical Thriller

Atlas Shrugged: A Philosophical Thriller

This audio program discusses the meaning of the term "philosophical novel" and explains the essentials of the powerful combination of plot and ideas that make Atlas Shrugged a remarkable achievement. It concludes with an overview of the fundamental ideas of Ayn Rand's philosophy and the three-groups-to-two overall plot structure of the novel. (Originally presented at The Atlas Society's 2006 Summer Seminar. The first of a six-part series.)

Outline

Ayn Rand's Philosophical Stunt Novel

Ayn Rand's Philosophical Stunt Novel

October 2007 -- Ayn Rand called Atlas Shrugged a “stunt novel.” She meant that it is a rollicking entertainment: a mystery novel with dramatic twists and revelations, a satirical burlesque of collectivist and irrationalist culture, a heroic quest, and a steamy romance novel with plenty of rough sex.

Fight Club: How Bad Politics Turn Good Neighbors into Rivals

Fight Club: How Bad Politics Turn Good Neighbors into Rivals

THERE’S A CIVIL WAR RAGING IN MY TOWN. On the Public School Front, my side (call us the “Alliance for Choice”) was recently crushed by the Egalitarian Axis in the Battle of the Universal Pre-K Lottery. Before the battle, well-meaning educated, liberal urbanites were able to say they were committed to public schools, while escaping from the worst urban school blight through competitive magnet schools and the like.

Fight Club: How bad politics turns good neighbors into rivals

Fight Club: How bad politics turns good neighbors into rivals

THERE’S A CIVIL WAR RAGING IN MY TOWN. On the Public School Front, my side (call us the “Alliance for Choice”) was recently crushed by the Egalitarian Axis in the Battle of the Universal Pre-K Lottery. Before the battle, well-meaning educated, liberal urbanites were able to say they were committed to public schools, while escaping from the worst urban school blight through competitive magnet schools and the like.

Freedom, Achievement, Individualism, Reason: Objectivism

Freedom, Achievement, Individualism, Reason: Objectivism

December 2004 -- "My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute." —Ayn Rand, Appendix to Atlas Shrugged

How Can One Create a Harmony of Interests Among People?

How Can One Create a Harmony of Interests Among People?

Question: How there can be a harmony of interests among people. Aren’t there all kinds of conflicts of interests?

Individual Rights: The Objectivist View

Individual Rights: The Objectivist View

Spring 2009 -- The Declaration of Independence states that the purpose of government is to secure the rights of man. Most Americans know and assent to the stirring words:

"We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness."

Interview with Screenplay Advisor David Kelley

Interview with Screenplay Advisor David Kelley

Editor's Note: David Kelley is the executive director of The Atlas Society (TAS), and film producer John Aglialoro is a trustee of the Society. TAS is the publisher of The New Individualist. This interview first appeared in the Spring 2011 print edition of The New Individualist.

TNI
:
What was your role in preparing the script for the Atlas Shrugged movie?

Myth: Ayn Rand Was a Conservative

Myth: Ayn Rand Was a Conservative

Ayn Rand has been a major inspiration for the Tea Party movement, which has swept a new generation of Republicans and self-described conservatives into power. Rand herself is often called “right-wing.” And her most famous defender, Alan Greenspan, was a consultant to Republicans and was nominated to chair the Fed by President Reagan.

Myth: Ayn Rand was for Dog-Eat-Dog Selfishness

Myth: Ayn Rand was for Dog-Eat-Dog Selfishness

Many people still think Ayn Rand advocated a take-what-you-want-and-damn-everyone-else kind of selfishness.  

For example, Chicago Tribune movie critic Michael Phillips shared this impression on April 14, 2011 while reviewing Atlas Shrugged Part 1: