Framing the Dialogue

Posts Tagged ‘atlas shrugged’

I Am John Galt

i am john galt“The reason to live Rand’s philosophy isn’t that it’s good for the world.  That’s altruism talking.  The reason is that it’s in your own best interest to live Rand’s philosophy.  Do you want to have integrity?  Do you want to devote yourself to creative, constructive work?  Do you want to be happy and wealthy as a result?…We’ll help you by showing you how others have done it, by profiling both the heroes who make our world great and the villains out to destroy it.”

Boeing Boeing Gone

I have not had the opportunity to see the movie interpretation of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged (i.e. the closest theater is about an hour away), but it feels more and more like I am living the story.  I’ve read the novel twice since my first time when I was awakened bythe vultures depicted by Rand.   It was hard to be disgusted by a parasitic nation that sucks the life out of productive people to prolong their reign.  It is hard to watch former great companies like Jack Welch’s General Electric mooch off of Obama to gain favor for their subsidiaries while, in my mind, pretending to be a capitalist company.  Businesses have always done this, but the level of government interference seems obscene.

Wyatt’s Torch

Part of my morning drive took me along a country road that would along a stream.  Homes were scattered along the road in pockets and shaded by rather large sycamore trees.  One drive home this spring as I approached this curvy stretch I heard a very loud blowing sound.  I had been traveling this way for months and had never noticed it before and wondered if it had always been there and I never noticed it because my car windows had been shut during the winter commutes.

Jon Galt, Jr.??

Ayn Rand’s famous character from Atlas Shrugged railed against big government and a nanny state.  Many of us find inspiration in his words and actions to bolster capitalism;

“I ask for nothing more or nothing less than what I earn. That is justice. I don’t force anyone to trade with me; I only trade for mutual benefit. Force is the great evil that has no place in a rational world. One may never force another human to act against his/her judgment. If you deny a man’s right to Reason, you must also deny your right to your own judgment. Yet you have allowed your world to be run by means of force, by men who claim that fear and joy are equal incentives, but that fear and force are more practical.”

The Fountainhead

So I was faced with one of the most famous books by one of my favorite authors; a book that was published seventeen years before I was born.  Me fear was that my expectations might be too great to live up to.  After all, I have listed Ayn Rand’s book, Atlas Shrugged as one of my all time favorites.

I took some time to select a week where I would have the time to spend with the book.  The Fountainhead  did not disappoint and it pulled me in from the very beginning.  Rand illustrates her belief in selfishness as the fountainhead of human progress through the struggles of Howard Roark, a masterful architect. 

Forgetting Nostradamus

I grew up in a one-income family.  My Father never turned down overtime when it was offered.  As part of his union package, he was paid a premium hourly wage.  If you fast-forward thirty years, my brother also had a job where he was paid premium wages for overtime.  The only real difference was that my brother calculated the point in which the higher wages and additional hours would push him into a higher tax bracket.

Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand

Update March 10, 2009:  Recent news releases show that the sales of Atlas Shrugged soared in 2008 and sales in the first weeks of 2009 are on pace to exceed last years’ record sales.  If you listen to talk radio, Ayn Rand’s book is mentioned every day. 

Update – December 10, 2008 :  I published this book review less than two weeks ago.  In the last two days I have heard Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Jim Quinn all talk about Atlas Shrugged.  A common thread of their comments was the fact that we seem to be living this book.  The names have changed, but the chill is there!