Atlas Blogged #29: Rand tries irony

November 9, 2010

Part 29 of blogging my way through my first reading of Atlas Shrugged. You can find the first part here.

Chapter 29: The Generator

As civilisation continues to collapse in the absence of Richard Branson, Dr Stadler rushes to secure his own little dominion by laying claim to Project X, the ridiculous stationary weapon system derived from his state-funded scientific work. Unfortunately it’s already been claimed by Cuffy Meigs, a caricature of a petty dictator or strongman. They fight over it, Cuffy attempts to use it, but owing to his stupidity he blows it and Stadler right up.

Oooh, oooh, the scientist who worked for the State has had his own work turned against him because he gave it over to unworthy people. The IRONY. You see, only intelligent people can have access to technology, and they can only get it by buying it. By inference, all those poor people who get access to, say, the internal combustion engine by means of public transport also deserve to have it blow up on them.

The nefarious devils who run the US Government in AtlasWorld decide that the only way they can get John Galt to work for him is by torturing him – you know, replicating in an individual what they’ve done to an entire class of people.

You would’ve thought that Rand would have realised people might’ve caught on by now. It rather feels like she needed some padding for the end of her Stadler parable.

James Taggart finally catches on to his own pathetic nature, and goes catatonic. He is whisked away by his fellow straw men, and this short filler chapter ends.

Analysis

Seriously. There’s no need for this chapter. The whole point of the book is over now that Galt’s giving his speech, and Rand is using her last three chapters to wallop home her points with a giant hammer made of clumsy metaphors.

Part 30 is here.

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