What are some of the criticisms of Atlas Shrugged
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4.0 out of 5 starsInteresting but unstructured
Reviewed in Germany on October 5, 2012
First of all: the title is misleading. This (as the author himself says) is not the usual litany of the economic and demographic decline of the West. But the claim to present undesirable social or philosophical developments is also not fulfilled. Rather, the author contrasts the prevailing culture with the philosophy of objectivism, often using current examples or individual topics. In part, it actually explains which mistakes are made, why the prevailing opinion is inconsistent, not thought through or simply immoral, or why we have distanced ourselves from better morals and philosophy. On the other hand, his ideas, such as radical individuality, his ideas on human and animal rights and his economic ideas go far beyond what "The West" represents or has ever represented. His ideal of a liberal, democratic society is exactly that, an ideal that has never been achieved.
But if you keep in mind that you are reading a philosophical polemic, not an analysis, then the book is worthwhile and interesting. The author gives his opinion on a variety of topics from the point of view of objectivism, explains the logic behind it, gives current or personal examples and further literature. Provocative, sometimes sarcastic, sometimes emotional, but always thought through and written in a very entertaining way.
Of course, you can tell that the work comes from the author's blog: Some topics (such as the question of rights) are actually presented as a coherent text with extensive arguments, while others are only dealt with with individual contributions without much context. The "common thread" of objectivism of which the author speaks is sometimes thinly spun. It's not bad, but it's a little confusing.
Conclusion: Interesting and instructive, but partly unstructured and not quite what you would expect.
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