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gio

Number of people in Atlantis

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I heard a lecture where Ayn Rand was answering a question where she was making a hypothesis about the number of people in Atlantis (it was about a thousand I think, but I have to check).

I can not refind it, does that tell you something?

Thank you.

Edited by gio

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  I found my answer in Ayn Rand Answers, page 75. She answered in 1972 in the lecture "A Nation's Unity".

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Of related interest:

In May of 1964, Rand wrote a letter to Prof. John O. Nelson at the University of Colorado. The letter includes the following paragraph:

“I must mention that Galt’s Gulch is not an organized society, but a private club whose members share the same philosophy. It exemplifies the basic moral principles of social relationships among rational men, the principles on which a proper political system should be built. It does not deal with questions of political organization, with the details of a legal framework needed to establish and maintain a free society open to all, including dissenters. It does not deal with specifically political principles, only with their moral base. (I indicate that the proper political framework is to be found in the Constitution, with its contradictions removed.)”

Letters of Ayn Rand,  Michael Berliner, editor (1995, 626)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Also relevant:

"Small and large organizations support themselves in entirely different ways. The theory [Olson's] indicates that, though small groups can act to further their interest much more easily than large ones, they will tend to devote too few resources to the satisfaction of their common interests, and that there is a surprising tendency for the 'lesser' members of the small group to exploit the 'greater' members by making them bear a disproportionate share of the burden of any group action."

From the publisher, concerning Mancur Olson's The Logic of Collective Action.

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In this book:

https://www.amazon.com/Ideas-Ayn-Rand-Ronald-Merrill/dp/0812691571/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1529846162&sr=8-5&keywords=ronald+merrill

there's a theory that Atlas Shrugged parallels the biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah.  The number of people in the valley is key to this theory.  I recall it being a worthwhile book, though it has been a long time (more than two decades) since I read it. 

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I’d forgotten all about that, Ninth. This speculation of Ron Merrill is on pages 61-62 of his book The Ideas of Ayn Rand (1991). It is disappointing to learn from Merrill that, in the Talmudic account, Sodom was not destroyed for the sodomy in the town. I’d hoped we’d find out some day what sexual inventions had caught on over at Gomorrah. By Merrill’s report on the Talmud, these cities were destroyed on account of collectivism, and in the case of Sodom, for “placing envy and equality above benevolence and justice.”

I didn’t find Ron’s speculation on some fun he thought Rand was having in placing some parallel particulars with the S&G tale in her story of the strike and withdrawal of good people to the Colorado refuge. In Ayn Rand Explained (2013, 120), Marsha Enright also did not find this speculation of Ron’s likely correct from his evidence brought forth.

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Galt's Gulch is not a very helpful literary device for explaining the Oist view of politics, to be honest. It confuses people (who don't understand the limitations of a literary device) into thinking Rand advocated anarchy (because Galt's Gulch didn't really have a government).

I don't know the answer to your question, Gio (I don't know about this Q&A), but I can't imagine Rand thought Galt's Gulch is a realistic, viable community. That notion contradicts her politics, imo (which is why, in Bodystun's quote above, she clarifies that it's not an example of Oist politics).

So the answer to the thread title is "the more people in Atlantis, the better, because it becomes harder to change through outside pressure...which is inevitable, in a free country (that's very different from Galt's Gulch...Galt's Gulch was in fact NOT free... private = not free)".

 

Edited by Nicky

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On 6/20/2018 at 8:34 PM, Easy Truth said:

What point are you trying to make?

Simply correcting someone who wrote about Atlas in a book that it is unlikely that a few dozen people could crush the entire American society.

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It might also be worth noting that there were different kinds of dropouts.  The people in Galt's Gulch, Dan Conway, the man who quit rather than order the Comet to proceed with a coal-burning engine, the man who lost concern for human life when his brother committed suicide, and the raiders were very different kids of dropouts, but they all stopped contributing their best productivity to the society.

It might also be worth noting that society was being crushed not just by people dropping out but also by the destructive effects of government interference.

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On 6/20/2018 at 1:31 PM, gio said:

  I found my answer in Ayn Rand Answers, page 75. She answered in 1972 in the lecture "A Nation's Unity".

32:30<--->37:30, both the question asked & the answer given (as relates to this thread).

On 6/20/2018 at 11:50 AM, gio said:

I heard a lecture where Ayn Rand was answering a question where she was making a hypothesis about the number of people in Atlantis (it was about a thousand I think, but I have to check).

I can not refind it, does that tell you something?

Thank you.

It informs me that 'the crow' is real.

Edited by dream_weaver

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It was a musing on "I can not refind it, does that tell you something?"

"The Crow" is why I have to listen to multiple recordings over again to try finding something again.  I generally don't remember everything I've ever heard and where, specifically, I've heard it.

In this case, I don't have the book, you mentioned. The lecture it came from happens to be available on the ARI site.

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