Sunday, May 18, 2008

Atlas Shrugged

I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that I’ve just now, for the first time, decades late, read Ayn Rand’s classic novel ‘Atlas Shrugged’.

In a gripping epic story of the collapse of a prosperous modern civilization into a backward socialist dystopia, Rand expounds her economic, political and moral philosophy. Written in the middle 50's it’s still highly relevant. Actually, given the creeping socialism that’s gone on since, it’s even more relevant than ever.

It’s required reading for everyone, but especially for politicians, government bureaucrats and corporate executives.


hunter said...

It's my favorite book, I read it every two years of so, just to be reminded of what socialism can do.

Yes, it's even more relevant today than it was in the 50's. Socialized day-care, government funded HRC's, etc.

Anonymous said...

I read Atlas Shrugged during the Chrétien regime's "Billion Dollar Boondoggle" era. The current events of the day helped drive the prevailing message in Ayn Rand's book home.

Atlas Shrugged is a stark vision on the damage that socialism, with its moochers and looters can do to a society.

The similarities of some of the situations she describes and the current realities of Canada's welfare state are astounding.

Definately recommended reading for Jack Layton and Stéphane Dion - perhaps they'd renounce their socialist philosophies after reading it.

Grumpy Old Man said...

Great book, great ideas, but not a chance in hell of getting any leftwing moocher to read it. I first read it in my teens, have reread it quite a few times, and still think it's a great book.

However... every single time I debate with a member of the left and I mention something by Ayn Rand, their patented reply is "she was a facist Nazi Hitler supporter and I don't want to hear it!"

It makes it kind of hard to engage in a discussion with an attitude like that. Kind of like arguing with an Al Gore supporter...

Halfwise said...

Ever notice that having better factual arguments does not help when the opponent just wants to FEEL right?

It drives me nuts that the unintended consequences of well-meaning actions (ban DDT and let malaria spread; open up a safe injection site and attract more crime; promote biofuels and watch food prices soar) are dismissed by advocates who insist "we have to do something", always with someone else's money.

Ayn Rand was no perfect human being but she saw clearly, and she sure could call it as she saw it.

Anonymous said...

A wonderful book - can't wait for the film.

I have seen this author smeared so many times. For example in the movie Dirty Dancing there is an Ivy League student working as a waiter to pay for his tuition who brandishes a copy of The Fountainhead and says it is his favourite book. Needless to say he is the villain of the film, a self-centred guy who gets a girl pregnant and abandons her.

JR said...

Based on these comments perhaps I should be more than just slightly embarrassed about my retarded education. My 'excuse' (and further embarrassment) is that I was a knee-jerk neoliberal for too long.