E28 - Motive Power


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By Jonathan Seyfried. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Jonathan begins this episode with a review of a recent book on economic systems: Is Capitalism Obsolete?: a Journey Through Alternative Economic Systems by Giacomo Corneo. This episode kicks off the discussion of Chapter 4 of Part 1. The title of the chapter, The Immovable Movers, carries allusions to Ancient Greek philosophical traditions connected to the creation of the cosmos. Jonathan explains some of the connections to Aristotle, Parmenides, and Thomas Aquinas. Following that, Jonathan explores the question of achievement and symbiosis as they relate to human nature. The first paragraph of the chapter brings up questions about the definition of motivation. When we see Dagny's frustration with the New Jersey locomotive company, we have to wonder how much of the interpersonal problem is rooted in face-saving and how much of the problem is rooted in a lack of empathy. After discussing MacNamara's disappearance, Jonathan analyzes Dagny's moment of despair as it relates to the theme of motion. As Dagny walks along the city street, she sees a book advertisement that has a simplistic attack on "a businessman's greed." Jonathan presents some context for the word greed in American culture by referencing the movie Wall Street and the character Gordon Gecko. Dagny's last view on the street captures Rand's critique of a leisure culture that thrives on personal sadness.
My five themes to explore in this podcast's close read of Atlas Shrugged are:

  1. What is human nature?
  2. Straw-man arguments and their impact on the world Ayn Rand creates.
  3. Dagny Taggart as a true hero.
  4. How empathy can be de-legitimized.
  5. What is Capitalism and what is wrong with it?

Questions or comments? Email me at: socialistreads@gmail.com
Learn more about Jonathan Seyfried at their website, https://jonathanseyfried.art
If you'd like to support my creative work, please visit my Patreon page. (http://patreon.com/jonathanseyfried)
The intro/outro music was composed by John Sib.
The podcast theme image was created by Karina Bial.

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