Atlas Shrugged

Jacob Pemberton By Jacob Pemberton, 19th Aug 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Reviews>Books>Dramatic Fiction

This is a review for the book Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.

Atlas Shrugged: The Story of Unabashed Self-Interest

Atlas Shrugged is a story of the selfish. Written in the 50's, the novel sparked massive controversy from every demographic of the country with the philosophy it put forth - objectivism. The story is realistic dramatic fiction, set in the lagging economy of an industrialized America, at the time of the height of the railroad business. This work is unapologetic in its praise for human ability and capacity to produce and succeed. Standing in stark opposition to the pervasive ideas of collectivism, mysticism, and denunciation of success as greed, the protagonists of the novel - Dagny Taggart and Hank Rearden - persevere in their attempts for economic success. While they succeed and their enterprise grows, the government coerces them into catering to those of lesser ability, limiting their production and crippling those who depended on them for economic purposes.
Gradually, the government imposes collectively more laws regulating business, explaining that the failure of their policies is due to the stubborn greed of businessmen and industrialists. They justify coercion and blatant theft covered in a veneer of political sophistication by stating that it is for the good of the public, while the unemployment rates of the country climb higher and business after business is forced to foreclose.
By the time the country is in a state of perpetual decay, a genius and successful businessmen - John Galt - emerges from hiding and excoriates the hypocrisy, lies, and misanthropic nature of those that run the government - haters of life, haters of success, deniers of man's ability to think, and leeches in the worst form.
When society and the government crumbles to dust, John Galt and many other like-minded individuals emerge from the ashes to resurrect the country under this creed: "I swear by my Life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for the sake of mine."

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