I never much cared for Atlas Shrugged. I don't mind her philosophy of Objectivism, I simply think the writing could have been better, and at times she was overly-detailed. I think I ended up disliking it for the same reason as Battlefield Earth, Les Miserables, and any book in Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. A book isn't necessarily better because you make it 1200 pages long instead of 300.
As far as my personal politics go, since it may affect my judgement of the book, I'm a social liberal, but I am fiscally conservative. Or to put it simpler, do what you want, just don't ask anyone else to pay for it.
her novels are "transcendantally awful", and while he has "some appreciation for the virtues of selfishness", he sees "no need for essays advocating the need for selfishness, I don't know what your impression has been, it requires no further enforcement". Although I completely agree with him, the argument could be made in response that it is the false virtues of altruism, of self-sacrifice to the mob and of one's personal talents and hard work being sacrificed for the good of those who are undeserving which the virtue of selfishness answers. My argument is that there is a vast middle ground between the one extreme of losing the self entirely and the other extreme which Rand advocates of losing all others purposely for the benefit of just the self. Hitchens makes the point well, because it seems the de facto result of altruistic religions is the complete opposite, the self-serving insanity of complete and utter selfishness! It is hard to understand how anyone who thinks this through can come to the same conclusion that Rand does, that we should behave just like the corrupt priests and politicians. Hello! What separates those moralities from a sense of decency and obligation to our fellow man?
Colbert has said a lot worse things about AR, if I'm not mistaken. This wasn't one of the better videos, certainly it wasn't one of the better Colbert videos because he hardly even shows up in it. Mostly its the other guy talking, but, he does make sense too.
Would most Americans prefer to give up a little GDP growth to gain a lot of security? Is a mixed economy with business regulations and progressive taxation better for the society than a pure capitalism would be? I think yes and YES.