The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Tuesday, October 23, 2001

A quick synopsis of Atlas Shrugged

Someone on a mailing list I'm on asked for a synopsis of Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. Since I had read it (a few years ago) and no one else had yet written one, I decided to jump in and provide it. So, here for your reading enjoyment is my quick synopsis.

“Who is John Galt?”

“I dunno.”

“Oh Dagny!”

“Oh Hank!”

“Isn't unbridled capitalism and selfishness grand?”

“And aren't socalists, communists, Kantian philosophers and Shakespearean actors the epitomy of evil?”

“Oh Dagny! I want you to have my hot new metal for your railroad!”

“Oh Hank! I want your hot new metal. Give it to me! But first, let me expose my shoulders.”

“Who is John Galt?”

“I still don't know.”

“Oh Francisco, why did you let them nationalize your copper mines? You Socialist turncoat! Hank needs your copper for his hot new metal!”

“Oh Dagny, I did it to show how evil it is for government to nationalize industries. Don't you understand? Joh—Someone told me that it was in my best interest to let them see the folly of their ways.”

“I don't fully understand, but I still like you.”

“Care to expose your shoulders to me?”

“I like you, but not that much.”

“Who is John Galt, Dagny?”

“He was an engineer for a company, who, with his incredibly rational and objective mind, made a perpetual engine machine but his company went socialistic so he left taking his idea with him, and dropped out of society, Hank.”

“My God! He was a God!”

“I must find him!”

“Care to expose your shoulders to me?”



“Oh woe is me! Francisco disappeared! Hank disappeared! What else can go wrong?”

“Hi. I'm from the government. I'm here to nationalize your railroad.”

“Over my dead body.”

“Give up!”

“Never! I think I'll go look for Franscisco and Hank!”

“What happened?”

“Your plane crashed in the middle of the Rockies, Dagny.”

“Where am I?”

“A capitalists wet dream of a utopia. I didn't save you because I'm altrusitic. The price you have to pay is to bare your shoulders to me.”

“Who are you?”

“John Galt.”

“Oh God, I'm having an orgasm! Of course I'll bare my shoulders to you.”

“The country is in ruins! What ever shall we do?”

“Let's nationalize everything that hasn't been nationalized and go on television to tell people it's for their own good.”

“But we can't! Someone took over all television transmissions!”

“Hi. This is John Galt. Communism is bad. Socialism is bad. Kant is eeeeevil. So was Shakespeare. Greed is good. Altruism is bad. So is charity … ”

Five hundred thousand hours later …

“This is John Galt, signing off.”


“Isn't it wonderful? I showed the world how bad communism, socialism, Kantian philophies and Shakespearean plays are. Now the world as we knew it is dead! We can leave our Utopia and take over the world, Dagny!”

“Oh God, I'm having a orgasm! Here John, let me bare my shoulders to you.”

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