An Evaluation: Ayn Rand’s "Atlas Shrugged"


As I’ve said in earlier posts and comments on various blogs, I’ve been reading Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. Well, I’ve finally finished it—all 1,089 pages of it.

The book is about the struggle of “producers”, those who create and produces ideas, goods and services—for their profit, versus the “looters” and “moochers”, those who would take the earnings from the producers because it is their “right” to subsist on the efforts of others.

It is a classic depiction of our current welfare state. It illustrates a government run by oligarchy for the “public good”, regardless whether the public want it, and where corruption is official policy. Here is a partial plot summary from wiki. “Atlas Shrugged portrays fascism, socialism and communism – any form of state intervention in society – as systemically and fatally flawed.”

The novel is prophetic, depicting a future that may not be far away. In Atlas Shrugged, those who produce are taxed to provide for others because the needs of the public (“moochers”) overrides the needs of those whose earnings are taken by the government. Sycophantic corporations who cannot make profits subsist by “bailouts” while those corporations and individuals who do not subscribe to the welfare state go bankrupt or are severely constrained. The “good ol’ boy” networks support those who cannot at the the expense of those who can.

Who does this remind you of? Citibank? GM and Chrysler? Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae? Pelosi, Reid, Dodd, Rangle, Geithner, Obama?

As the economic and political environment deteriorates, the producers “go on strike” and begin to quit, retire or disappear.

This sorta reminds me of the recent Tea Parties—a revolt, not on taxes, but on spending! The left doesn’t or won’t understand our position. They call us racists, but many blacks attended the Tea Parties as well as Hispanics, Asians and whites. They say, “We won , live with it!” They think that contrary views are unpatriotic and treasonable, but when they opposed Bush and provided aid and comfort to our nation’s enemies, they were being patriotic and expressing their 1st Amendment rights.

I would hope that our increasing protests prevent the future of the country depicted in Atlas Shrugged. The Tea Parties are just the early signs that will give birth to a conservative opposition to the democrats in their race to Marxism. We want liberty from big uncaring government trying to force our square pegs into their round holes. We want liberty from confiscatory taxes to support those unwilling to support themselves. We want liberty from those who creep into our country to steal the fruit of our labor and earnings. We want liberty from those who think they have a right to take without achieving, that their need outweighs ours. We want liberty to work, to achieve, to create, to produce without constraint from a parasitic government.

We want Liberty!

And that is what scares those in government; those who can’t achieve, create, produce without stealing from those who can.

The coming months will be interesting.

UPDATE: Apparently some folks are already “going John Galt.” Here’s a report on the effect. (h/t to Instapundit.)

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