Sunday, February 19, 2012

Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" Reviewed

Atlas Shrugged - An Absolute Page Turner that I Could Not Put Down

By Mark J. Donovan

Today I finally finished reading Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” magnum opus. It was an incredible book, albeit at 1,069 pages and size 3 font it was a bit tough on the eyes. The book was written in 1957, however the similarities of the characters and the “people’s state” of the United States and world, with today’s present political environment, is frighteningly familiar and uncanny. The basic premise of “Atlas Shrugged” is based around Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism. Objectivism is a viewpoint in which the individual thinking man acting solely upon himself to produce products and services, and resulting in achieving personal gain, is better overall for a society than a society mentally coerced and effectively physically enslaved to the concept of self-sacrifice for others.

As I read the book and watched the “Head of State” and his political self-sacrificing thinking political cronies develop new federal programs and initiatives to unsuccessfully pull a country out of its economic death spiral, I began to jot down just a few of the similar federal programs, plans, and acts our current political leadership has recently initiated, all in the name of fairness and to help the U.S. out of its economic and moral decay. Again, the similarities are uncanny…..

  • Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

  • American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

  • American Jobs Act

  • Mortgage Relief Plan

  • Making Home Affordable Initiative

  • Choice Neighborhoods Program

  • Promise Neighborhoods Program

  • Byrne Criminal Justice Initiative

  • Buffet Rule (Tax Fairness Act)

  • Shovel Ready Projects

  • Unilateral Disarmament

If you really view yourself as a thinking and objective man or woman, I highly recommend reading this book. It’s a page turner both from a riveting story line and from an intellectual enlightenment perspective. After reading this book, I can’t imagine how anyone could not feel changed in some way. I know I’ve been and I hope you’ll read this book…. “Who is John Galt?”


Unknown said...

Glad you liked it!

Please consider more carefully your point: "...the individual thinking man acting solely upon himself to produce products and services, and resulting in achieving personal gain, is better overall for a society...."

Ayn Rand's Objectivism doesn't justify a man's exercise of his own reason (thinking for himself) and acting freely on it BECAUSE it's better for society (though it is). That's more Adam Smith's argument.

Rather, Objectivism holds that it is moral for a man to live for his own sake, and he doesn't need to justify his life and actions as being for the sake of others. THEY are not the warrant for his being and the sanction of his life. He does not live for the Collective but for himself. He deals freely with other men as it suits him, neither sacrificing himself to others nor expecting they will sacrifice themselves to him. He trades value for value, both in business and in life, both in commerce and in his social life.

Thanks for sharing your experience with us!

TheBuilder said...

I do agree with you on your interpretation of Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism.

My description of Objectivism was attempting to put it in more of the vernacular.