If You Never Read Atlas Shrugged, Here’s a Preview

According to KIRO 7, Boeing is threatening to take jobs to other states after machinists rejected an offer guaranteeing jobs building the new 777X airliner for eight years. In exchange, new workers would have had to give up guaranteed pensions.

If Boeing honors its threat, Seattle’s soon to be first Socialist city councilmember has a solution you might expect from someone like her: steal Boeing’s property.

As noted in the report, city councilmember-elect Kshama Sawant told a crowd of union supporters, “The workers should take over the factories, and shut down Boeing’s profit-making machine.” She also stated that, if Boeing does indeed move out, it will be an act of “economic terrorism” because it would devastate the state’s economy.

Here’s the brilliant idea.

Great political strategy: No new airplanes in the fleet for you! But you’re just a cog, and what’s a few million dead citizens among friends and for the greater good, anyway? I’m getting bored of fewer and fewer airline disasters and mass murdering regimes. How about you?

I have to admit that I actually love this sort of news, and it’s not by any means because Rand was prophetic, or anything. She merely connected logical dots. I loath Shiite Objectivists. I also greatly appreciate Rand’s contribution. I know. There’s no middle ground—you’re for us or against us; pick sides. Thanks, but no. I’ll struggle to muddle on in life, deluded in the fantasy that it’s possible to read a great work of literature and take it for was and move on.

I kinda got early on that her characters in AS were intended to be archetypes. That was the point and to me, the brilliant part of the book; because if you read We the Living or The Fountainhead, the former had full character development with all the good & bad, strength and weakness, and the latter prefigures AS…but not exactly, because Howard Roark is no John Galt, even remotely.

On the other hand, if anyone ever tells you they’ve read AS more than once? Run away.

Anyway, I love this sort of news because it gives me hope that humanity might actually make it. No better way to cure idiocy than put it in a headline.

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  1. phreebie on November 24, 2013 at 23:00

    I think you give her too much credit. She’s simply trying to get votes. Whether Boeing stays or goes is completely irrelevant to her, but the machinists will likely stay and many of them will continue to vote, whether they have jobs or not.

    Still Boeing are acting like assholes> So pack up your shit and go to another state. Not likely – too much capital tied up in Seattle, too much capital needed to start up elsewhere, would impact executive bonuses. The threat is hollow.

    Everyone knows it, but some blame the management, some the employees – cue knopfler guitar riff.

  2. Richard Nikoley on November 24, 2013 at 23:18

    But I’m not giving her any credit.

    I do understand your point though, which I take to mean that it’s all basically a circus show. It’s been 30 years since I drove by that airfield and factory complex next to I5, and it was importantly impressive then.

    Point taken. If Boeing wants to move, best to either just do it, or really mean it if it’s a poker chip.

  3. […] If You Never Read <em>Atlas Shrugged</em>, Here's a Preview | Free The Animal […]

  4. AndrewS on November 25, 2013 at 08:47

    Boeing already has engineering in other states. They’re not threatening to shut down everything in Washington state; just the 777X factory. Headquarters will still be there, as will other factories. They can’t move to SC in a year, but they can move bit by bit. Whenever a factory needs to be retooled, they can just shut it down and sell it off instead, especially if the machinists continue to demand above-market rates.

    This isn’t a hollow threat, nor are they being assholes. The machinists are being petulant children, and Comrade Sawant is woefully ignorant of business practices.

  5. Los on November 25, 2013 at 11:17

    Boeing already moved their Headquarters to Chicago years ago.

    “We’re more than 170,000 professionals on 5 continents, in 70 countries, making products that fill more than just the skies”

    Overall, Washington is a better state to do business than South Carolina, but for Boeing regulation is the key factor and in that department South Carolina is much better than Washington. People will move to S.C for the jobs.


  6. bob r on November 25, 2013 at 11:40

    phreebie : “Still Boeing are acting like assholes> So pack up your shit and go to another state. Not likely – too much capital tied up in Seattle, too much capital needed to start up elsewhere, would impact executive bonuses. The threat is hollow.”

    Spoken like someone who doesn’t have a clue. The significant “capital” (that can’t be moved) is the final assembly building and the wing tooling. In the grand scheme of things, buildings just are not that expensive and the 777X is going to have carbon fiber reinforced plastic wings — i.e., the wing tooling will be completely new and it really won’t change much in price on the basis of where it is built. Take note of the 787 wings: they are built in Japan and *flown* to the final assembly plants (Everett or Charleston).

    AndrewS: “Whenever a factory needs to be retooled, they can just shut it down and sell it off instead, especially if the machinists continue to demand above-market rates.”

    “Selling off” the 777 final assembly building is not remotely feasible. Check out this Google satellite picture of the factory. Note the scale. That is one *very* large building — one of the largest in the world (at one time it *was* the largest building, by volume, in the world). Final assembly for all 747’s, 767’s, and 777’s, along with final assembly of most 787’s takes place in that building. Wing assembly for 747’s, 767’s, and 777’s is also done there. They could however consolidate other operations into that building if the 777 was no longer being built in it.

    “This isn’t a hollow threat, nor are they being assholes. The machinists are being petulant children, and Comrade Sawant is woefully ignorant of business practices.”

    Concur as to the “threat” and as to Comrade Sawant’s business acumen.
    As to the characterization of the management and the machinists, I think the publicly available information is inadequate to reach a conclusion either way. From what I have heard it sounds like the “machinists” (really IAM) were being asked to take significant pay cuts. Lacking the knowledge the management has as to projected sales and costs it is impossible to make a judgement as to whether the offer was “reasonable” — and the IAM members have about as much information as you or I could have which means it all comes down to do you “trust” what the management says.
    Personally, I trust the management about as far as I can throw a 747. The management is also engaging in rent seeking which I personally consider to be morally repugnant.

  7. Thane Eichenauer on November 25, 2013 at 21:02

    Any book worth reading is IMO probably worth reading twice. I read Atlas Shrugged when I was 18 around 1985. I found the story to be very compelling. I never was terribly interesting in being part of the Objectivist club.

  8. Richard Nikoley on November 25, 2013 at 21:24


    I actually do want to read AS again. I got a start on that a few years back and noted interest as it had been so long. I did have a desire to be part of the Oist club, but that because the change was so profound. It was like being back in a fundamentalist baptist church.

    When I read it the first time I was on vacation and poured through it. Exclusive activity for several days. Really the best way to do it, so next time, I’ll make sure it’s the same way.

  9. Woodchuck Pirate on November 26, 2013 at 09:38

    Logical dots:

    There is nothing innocent about socialism.

    The mixed economy model is not capitalism, it is socialism.

    No valid philosophy can’t be practiced to the nth degree.

    Pragmatism is aversion to principle.

    Communism is established by force whereas socialism is established by vote; their destination is identical and it is called despotism.

    Petitioning the government to take money by force in order to fund your noble deeds is not charity, it is theft.

    Charity is not a legitimate role of government.

    Anarchy is not a campaign.

    No gods, no masters.

    Ego is always dysfunctional; collective ego is collected dysfunction.

    Misanthropy remains rational.

    Every union member in the USA is a criminal facilitating force against individuals and deserves to die of bone cancer.

    Woodchuck Pirate
    aka Raymond J Rauper Jr USA

    May we live in interesting times.

  10. matthew on November 26, 2013 at 17:31

    Reading through AS for first time as I type. People say Ayn Rand and act as if it’s a curse word, as if they understand her philosophy.

    The funny part is that most of these people couldn’t even name the philosophy (objectevism, I’m sure most think libertarian or conserv.), and most have not read the book.

    The Amazing part of AS is that it so well characterizes the archetypical person who will feel free to rip apart a book which they have not read. I cannot get over how well she is characterizing and predicting her critics, even 60 yrs later.

    That being said, only a fool would take this book as prescriptive to the lettern like all great works its a parable woven into an especially intriguing plot.

  11. Richard Nikoley on November 26, 2013 at 18:36


    There you go, Matthew. Archetypical characterization was the whole point and she has been excoriated for decades over an artistic device only a philosopher could pull off.

    That’s why it took 13 years to write it.

  12. pzo on December 2, 2013 at 05:31

    Ayn Rand is to the right what Karl Marx is to the left. Both are nuts. Both are wrong.

    Rand is the product of reacting to the Bolsheviks “nationalizing” her father’s business. But she had no issue in using the socialistic state to get her higher education. Or, years later, using her socialistic Social Security and Medicare benefits.

    I have no idea to what extant Marx may have been a hypocrite, but Rand most certainly was. I find hypocrites lower scum than liars, which Jesus did, too. Guess I’m in good company.

    @Woodchuck Wow. You sound like Marxism/Leninism but for the right. Democratic socialistic state are despotic? Oh, yes, all those dictators in Scandinavia, I forgot.

    Every known hunter-gatherer group, extant or extinct, is egalitarian and communistic. So, why is paleo diet good but paleo social structure bad?


  13. Woodchuck Pirate on December 2, 2013 at 06:21


    A conscious person realizes anarchy is not a campaign.

    No gods no masters.

    I see no evidence in your post that you want freedom, rather you appear to pontificate socialism.

    I am not an altruist and therefore don’t seek the conversion of others.

    I am inclined to respect your right to suffer.

    The intrinsic deceit of posturing socialism as “selflessness” while labeling one as a “hypocrite lower than liar”, for accepting so-called “benevolent statist benefits”, reveals altruism the philosophy of death for what it always is; the archetypical witchdoctor-tyrant alliance. Restating my position, I am not an altruist and therefore do not seek your conversion; you deserve to continue your irrelevant campaign of lies and hypicrosy.

    Hypocrisy is the act of pretending to have beliefs, opinions, virtues, feelings, qualities, or standards that one does not actually have.

    Have a very nice day.

    Woodchuck Pirate
    aka Raymond J Raupers Jr USA

  14. Woodchuck Pirate on December 3, 2013 at 04:45

    “In the depths of status quo despotism, the cannibals attempt every scheme to differentiate their level of dysfunction, citing mysticism and pragmatism as table manners. As if table manners make the good cannibal.” – Woodchuck Pirate

    “Eating The Cannibals” – from “The Devil You Know” by Heaven And Hell

    I’m sure you’ve never had this meal before
    We’re still open, stay and have some more
    It’s been raised upon your body and your soul
    Total control!
    Plenty of seating
    You know that you’re eating the cannibals!

    Taking till you’ve got no more to give
    Building boxes where you used to live
    The word out on the street is no delay
    Do it today!
    Come to the meeting
    It’s true that we’re eating the cannibals!

    Eating the cannibals!

    Don’t close your eyes
    We’ll come while you’re sleeping
    You reach for the skies
    Now we are calling
    It’s all falling down

    Come on in, we love our clientele
    You’re here to taste the vengeance, so you shall
    It’s been raised upon your body and your bones
    But now you’re not alone!

    Enough with the greeting
    ‘Cause soon you’ll be eating the cannibals!

    Eating the cannibals!


    Woodchuck Pirate
    aka Raymond J Raupers Jr USA

    May we live in interesting times.

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