Atlas Shrugged LO9874/Hitler

Carol Sager (
Tue, 10 Sep 1996 12:41:44 -0400

Replying to LO9835 --

Responding to Grover Partee (comments below)

One of the most significant and most frightening learnings that comes
from studying Hitler is that if you tell a lie loud enough, long enough,
and to enough people it becomes a "truth."

I understand your comments about the need to examine an "ends justify
the means approach" and paternalism. However, given Hitler's intent (and
Galt's), it is hard to see how using Hitler as an example counters in
any way the philosophy espoused in Atlas Shrugged. Evil intent cannot be
dismissed and "tools" derive their meaning from the people who use them.

Carol Sager, Sager Educational Enterprises
Critical Linkages II Newsletter; 21 Wallis Road,
Chestnut Hill, MA 02167; V.(617)469-9644; Fax(same)-9639

Grover Partee wrote:

> -- pseudo-quote --
> . . . Hitler collected up the finest minds in the world and bound them
> together in a common cause of huge scope and import. He was, obviously, an
> inspirational leader as well as an individual innovator - bearing the mark
> of both these types of genius. By bringing these people together, in fact,
> innovation after innovation resulted, so much so that the characters in
> the novel treat the innovations quite "matter of factly" - Little doubt
> that Adolf Hitler had formed the epitome of the Learning Organizations.
> -- end pseudo-quote --
> Hmm. OK, I'll agree that "finest minds in the world" may be a bit of a
> stretch and we have to set aside our usual convention of considering an
> "innovation" as some sort of step forward. The Blitzkreig is, I believe,
> so considered by military theorists, but few people today are willing to
> accept Auschwitz as any sort of step forward. But, with those provisos,
> is the above not essentially true?

The concern I have is not that John Galt did bad things or was not
successful or that Objectivism is essentially evil. Rather I would
arguethat the tools presented in Rand's and Braden's philosophy lend
themselves as easily -- perhaps even more so -- to a totally
self-centered andself-serving, amoral aquisition of power and wealth to
the detriment ofothers and to the detriment, if need be, of our

> If we're going to learn, however, we need to understand
> that (1) we are not going to be taken care of (i.e., John Galt is not
> coming to save us) and (2) we have no business taking care of others
> (i.e., we aren't John Galt either.) Care taking is just being a "good
> Daddy."

Carol Sager <>

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