Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Next Meeting: September 29th from 6:00pm - 7:30

In this next meeting we will be covering: Pages 127 - 185
*Part 1: Chapter 6: The Non-Commercial
*Part 1: Chapter 7: The Exploiters and the Exploited (A)

As usual we will be meeting in the Arts Building room AR298
Feel free to e-mail me any questions or ideas at

Here are some discussion questions we will be using:

Chapter 6: The Non-Commercial

Section 1 (127-57) * What is the Equalization of Opportunity Bill? What is its analog in today's laws? Why is it so unjust? Why can't Rearden take it seriously? (130)

* What kind of philosophy does Dr. Prichett espouse? How do his comments about the nature of man and about standards relate to his support for the Equalization of Opportunity Bill? (131-3)

* Why is Dagny disappointed with Hank's response to her at the party? Why does he respond the way that he does? (137-8, 149-51)

* Why is Rearden so angry at the presence of Bertram Scudder? Why does Lillian respond the way that she does to his anger? Why did she invite Scudder? (139)

* Why does Rearden actively hate Francisco D'Anconia, whereas he cannot think much about Bertram Scudder? (140)

* How does Francisco explain the failure of the San Sebastián Mines to Jim? What kind of moral principles did Francisco adhere to in building the mine? (143)

* How does Hank Rearden reveal his view of the world in his conversation with Francisco D'Anconia? What is the difference in their basic outlooks? Why does Francisco warn Hank against the sin of forgiveness? (145-9)

* Why does Dagny want the bracelet of Readen Metal from Lillian? Why does Lillian trade it with her? Why does Hank respond the way that he does? (155-7)

Section 2 (157-61)

* What is Lillian's view of sex? Why does it torture Hank? Is he right or wrong to accept that torture? (158-60)

* Why does Hank now find it impossible to have sex with Lillian? What has changed for him? (160)

General: * What is the significance of the title of this chapter?

Chapter Seven: The Exploiters and the Exploited (A)

Section 1: 162-72
* How are the interests of all the producers in harmony, even though competitors? Why do they help each other? (163, 165-6, 168-9)

Section 2: 172-8
* What do Jim Taggart and Dagny Taggart focus on in their car ride to the New York Business Council? What does that tell us about their ideas and values? (172-5)

* Why does Dagny refuse to debate the question "Is Rearden Metal a lethal product of greed?" )175)

Section 3: 178-82
* What is the fundamental difference in manner between Hank Rearden and Dr. Potter of the State Science Institute? How is Dr. Potter like James Taggart? Why does Rearden refuse to sell Rearden Metal? (178-82)

Section 4: 182-5
* Why is the State Science Institute's statement on Rearden Metal so unjust? If Rearden Metal is good, why can't the statement be refuted? (183-5)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Next Meeting: September 22nd from 6:00pm - 7:30

On Tuesday we will be coversing Part 1 chapters 4 and 5 (pages 64 -126)
Go here to read the full schedule:

Don't forget we are now in the Arts Building in room AR298, here is the link to our directions:
Here are a few of the discussion questions we will be going over:

Chapter 4: Immovable Movers

*Why would Mcnamara quit when he has everything going for him?

*What is revealed about Jim & Betty’s character the morning after they sleep together? What moves Jim?

*What is the purpose of the National Alliance of Railroads? Anti dog-eat-dog?

* What does Jim's reaction to the San Sebastián nationalization tell us about his character? Is Dagny right to think that Jim can only draw one conclusion from the debacle? Has she defeated Jim?

* Why does Dagny Taggart want Dan Conway to fight the Anti-Dog-Eat-Dog Rule? At what point does she realize that her attempt is futile? Why? What has actually defeated him?

* How does the conversation between Hank and Dagny differ from the earlier meeting between Jim, Orren, et al?

* What is the significance of the title of this chapter?

Chapter 5: The Climax of the D'Anconias

*What could Jim’s “New Weapon” be?

* What does Francisco mean when he says that the only real aristocracy is the aristocracy of money? Is he right?

* How did Francisco manage to swindle Jim and his friends? How did that amount to tearing the lid off of hell?

* What is the significance of the title of this chapter?

If you have any questions regarding the ASRG make sure you sign up for our google group here:

Also, if you are interested in learning more about objectivism in a seperate meeting (tuesday 7:30-9:00pm) e-mail me at

Friday, September 11, 2009

Next Meeting: September 15th from 6:00pm - 7:30

This will be the first Atlas Shrugged Reading Group discussion. We will discuss the first three chapters: Session 1: September 15th 2009: pages 1-63*Part 1: Chapter 1: The Theme*Part 1: Chapter 2: The Chain*Part 1: Chapter 3: The Top and the Bottom

Don't forget to look at the new directions, we are now in the Arts Building room AR298
here is a link to the page with directions:

Here are some of the questions we will be going over in our discussion group:

Chapter 1: The Theme

* What is the state of the world in the opening scenes of Atlas? How does AR convey that? How is the world of Atlas similar to and different from the world of today?

* What does Jim Taggart reveal about his character in his conversation with Dagny about ordering rail from Hank Rearden? Why does he dislike Rearden so much? What are his worries about Rearden Metal? Are those right?

* What is Dagny's attitude toward's Jim's hatred of Rearden? What does that indicate about her character?

* What is the significance of the title of this chapter?

Chapter 2: The Chain

* Why does Rearden reject the idea of anyone else giving him the spark necessary to continue his work? How does that contrast with Eddie Willers?

* When Hank returns home after pouring his first heat of Rearden Metal, what does he want from his family? What does he get instead? Why? What is his response?

* Does Hank have an obligation to support his family? Does he owe them any affection or attention? Why or why not?

* What is the significance of the title of this chapter?

Chapter 3: The Top and the Bottom

* Orren Boyle claims to be a defender free markets (45)? Is that right? Is the only justification for private property the public interest, as he claims? How is he like some businessmen today?

* What do Jim and others gain by claiming the mantle of public good? Is it just material wealth — or something more? Why do they proclaim the necessity of sacrifice of some people to others (47-48)?

* What is Dagny's experience in her rise to her present position? What were the obstacles in her path? Why was she so frustrated by the experience? What does she want from her fellow men? Why?

* What is the significance of the title of this chapter?

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Next Meeting: September 8th from 6:00 - 7:30PM

In the next meeting we will be discussing Ayn Rand's Speech to the graduates of West Point entitled: Philosophy: Who Needs it?

Many people think of philosophy as a study solely in the purview of intellectuals who wear robes and sit in ivory towers—as superfluous to the everyday life of most men. Is this true? In this meeting we will discuss whether you need philosophy and whether it can benefit your life, regardless of whether you plan to be an academic or a salesman.

Having established why we all need philosophy, we will briefly discuss Ayn Rand’s own philosophy, Objectivism, which she presented as a “philosophy for living a good life.”

“A philosophic system is an integrated view of existence. As a human being, you have no choice about the fact that you need a philosophy. Your only choice is whether you define your philosophy by a conscious, rational, disciplined process of thought and scrupulously logical deliberation—or let your subconscious accumulate a junk heap of unwarranted conclusions, false generalizations, undefined contradictions, undigested slogans, unidentified wishes, doubts and fears, thrown together by chance, but integrated by your subconscious into a kind of mongrel philosophy and fused into a single, solid weight: self-doubt, like a ball and chain in the place where your mind's wings should have grown.”
—Ayn Rand , “Philosophy: Who Needs It.”

Materials to be Discussed:

1) Philosophy: Who Needs it?

*Full text of the Essay is online here:

*Or listen to it online here:

2) Introducing Objectivism

*Text found here:

*Audio found here:


Atlas Shrugged Reading Group schedule and details

The Auraria Campus Objectivists hold weekly Atlas Shrugged discussion groups on the Auraria campus every tuesday from 6:00-7:30pm. For more information regarding directions go HERE.


As millions of readers have discovered, Atlas Shrugged is precisely the kind of novel you cannot put down.

Atlas Shrugged sweeps the reader into its own world of larger-than-life characters—including the productive genius who becomes a worthless playboy and the great industrialist who doesn’t know that he is working for his own destruction. The story is a mystery about a man who said that he would stop the motor of the world—and did. Society disintegrates, food shortages spark riots, factories shutdown by the hundreds. Is this man a vicious destroyer—or the greatest of liberators? What is the motor of the world? What is required to restart it?

The parrallels of the book to the world of America today are astounding, and have led to record breaking sales for Atlas Shrugged since it's debut in 1957

There is also a scholarship for an essay contest of winnings up to $10,000 for this book!


The specific room will be announced at the outset of every week, and so you must be on the google group's mailing list. We will meet in the Tivoli Student Union on the Auraria Campus. To become a member of the google group click HERE or e-mail and request to be placed in the group.


Participants can be anyone with a serious interest in reading the book and discussing with others. It is not necessary to have read the book before, but it does help if you have read it.

There will be certain rules discussed at the beginning of each meeting. Namely, no one will be allowed to interupt others, one person talking at a time. And we will not tolerate any ad hominem attacks on group members. These talks must be kept curteous and respectful or the infringing person shall be asked to leave. We wish to openly and safely discuss Atlas Shrugged, and bad behavior will not be tolerated.


The following schedule is using the 25th Anniversary Edition of Atlas Shrugged

Session 1: September 15th 2009: pages 1-63
*Part 1: Chapter 1: The Theme
*Part 1: Chapter 2: The Chain
*Part 1: Chapter 3: The Top and the Bottom

Session 2: September 22, 2009: Pages 64 - 126
*Part 1: Chapter 4: The Immovable Movers
*Part 1: Chapter 5: The Climax of the D'Anconias

Session 3: September 29, 2009: Pages 127 - 185
*Part 1: Chapter 6: The Non-Commercial
*Part 1: Chapter 7: The Exploiters and the Exploited (A)

Session 4: October 6, 2009: Pages 185 - 252
*Part 1: Chapter 7: The Exploiters and the Exploited (B)
*Part 1: Chapter 8: The John Galt Line

Session 5: October 13, 2009: Pages 253 - 309
*Part 1: Chapter 9: The Sacred and the Profane
*Part 1: Chapter 10: Wyatt's Torch (A)

Session 6: October 20, 2009: Pages 309 - 378
*Part 1: Chapter 10: Wyatt's Torch (B)
*Part 2: Chapter 1: The Man Who Belgonged on Earth

Session 7: October 27, 2009: Pages 379 - 438
*Part 2: Chapter 2: The Aristocracy of Pull
*Part 2: Chapter 3: White Blackmail (A)

Session 8: November 3, 2009: Pages 438 - 495
*Part 2: Chapter 3: White Blackmail (B)
*Part 2: Chapter 4: The Sanction of the Victim

Session 9: November 10, 2009: Pages 496 - 566
*Part 2: Chapter 5: Account Overdrawn
*Part 2: Chapter 6: Miracle Metal

Session 10: November 17, 2009: Pages 567 - 632
*Part 2: Chapter 7: The Moratorium on Brains
*Part 2: Chapter 8: By Our Love

November 24, 2009 - January 26, 2010: Winter Break

Session 11: February 2, 2010: Pages 633 - 697
*Part 2: Chapter 9: The Face without Pain or Fear or Guilt
*Part 2: Chapter 10: The Sign of The Dollar

Session 12: February 9, 2010: Pages 699 - 751
*Part 3: Chapter 1: Atlantis

Session 13: February 16, 2010: Pages 752 - 815
*Part 3: Chapter 2: The Utopia of Greed

Session 14: February 23, 2010: Pages 816 - 863
*Part 3: Chapter 3: Anti-Greed

Session 15: March 2, 2010: Pages 864 - 936
*Part 3: Chapter 4: Anti-Life
*Part 3: Chapter 5: Their Brothers Keeper (A)

Session 16: March 9, 2010: pages 936 - 999
*Part 3: Chapter 5: Their Brothers Keeper (B)
*Part 3: Chapter 6: The Concerto of Deliverance

Session 17: March 16, 2010: Pages 1000-1069
*Part 3: Chapter 7: This is John Galt Speaking (A)

March 23, 2010: Spring Break

Session 18: March 30, 2010: Pages 1000 - 1069
*Part 3: Chapter 7: This is John galt Speaking (B)

Session 19: April 6, 2010: pages 1070 - 1125
*Part 3: Chapter 8: The Egoist

Session 20: April 13, 2010: Pages 1126 - 1168
*Part 3: Chapter 9: The Generator
*Part 3: Chapter 10: In the Name of the Best Within Us