Thursday, March 5, 2009

Atlas Shrugged {revisited}

Way back in October I wrote this about the book Atlas Shrugged. It's even more relevant today, so I'm reposting it:

51 years ago Ayn Rand wrote Atlas Shrugged. It’s a huge book—over a thousand pages. If you haven’t read it, you won’t have time to finish it before the election. Oh, but if you could…

Atlas Shrugged is a morality play on the dangers of corporate welfarism, and the socialist mindset. Sound familiar? The book promotes the right of individuals to hold onto their own earned wealth and property. “Taxation is theft” resounds throughout Rand’s novel. The plot highlights the struggle of entrepreneurial producers against regulations and lobbyists favoring government intervention.

Rand’s entrepreneurs in Atlas Shrugged are high achievers with lofty principles. They are competitive, creative geniuses who create new products, and manage their businesses efficiently. They are not the evil robber barons—so often portrayed in today’s media. Atlas Shrugged explains that these folks’ risky and personally financially-dangerous decisions are what fuels economic progress. The novel’s protagonist Hank Reardon actually defends his capitalist philosophy in court by saying, “I refuse to apologize for my ability—I refuse to apologize for my success—I refuse to apologize for my money.” I say good for him.

Today the political environment is fostering class warfare. Politicians are constantly demonizing successful business leaders. The ones who take the leap of faith, risk it all, put their reputations, their financial well-being on the line for an idea, are no longer held up as examples of men and women using their talents, but rather as greedy, money-grubbing, capitalists (said with a sneer), ripping the public off with their golden parachutes, their cost-cutting, their quest to bring more to the bottom line.

51 years before today, Atlas Shrugged asked this timely question, `what would happen if the innovative entrepreneurs and businessmen--after decades of being vilified and regulated--started to disappear?’

Hmmmmm…imagine if under the weight of government’s meddlesome intrusion, all (or even some)of the free thinkers and innovators like Walt Disney, Warren Buffett, Sam Walton, Henry Ford, Ray Croc (McDonald’s), Russell Simmons, Steve Jobs, Thomas Edison, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos (Amazon.com), August Busch, etc. etc. were squashed and squeezed to the point they said it’s just not worth the trouble any more and they went underground.

Basically, that’s the plot of Atlas Shrugged. One of the main characters, John Galt, is the inventor of a super motor that will revolutionize business. Are his efforts heralded as a huge success? Does he gain great notoriety for his invention? Great wealth? Is industry changed forever? Nope. When the company owners decide to run the factory, "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need", Galt convinces the world's top capitalists to go on strike against their increasingly socialistic government.

Ayn Rand describes a political system that mandates sacrificing for others. Now, before everyone writes a comment telling me that we all must sacrifice, please reread that last sentence. The key word there is “mandates”. Rand postulates that such mandates lead to a dysfunctional society of deadbeats and bleeding-heart do-gooders (she calls them "looters") who are corrupted by benefits and unearned income. How are the benefits and unearned income paid for? By taxing productive citizens, of course…and by extension, taxing the most productive, most successful citizens the most.

Particularly ironic in light of this month’s financial bailout of banks and other lending institutions, is Ayn Rand’s projection that America would eventually collapse under the weight of an increasing government takeover of the economy.

Read it. It’s so relevant and a subject so worth having a dialogue about.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hello everyone! Who knows where to upload the film Avatar?
I even bought the film Avatar for a SMS to http://rsskino.ru/kinofilm/avatar.html , the link was, but download fails, the system will boot quite strange cocoa something.
Men, advise where to normal as quickly download film avatar?

Anonymous said...

I sell a boat-program which will help you to outwit auction and to win, initially the boat was created for the Scandinavian auction http://internet-aukcion.ru/ but now the program can work with similar auctions: gagen ru, vezetmne ru and with ten.
The program-boat stakes for you, i.e. for this purpose it is not necessary to sit constantly at the monitor. The boat can set time when it is necessary to stake, thus you as much as possible will lower expenses for rates, and as much as possible increase the chances of a victory.

The price of the program a boat for the Scandinavian auctions 20$

For the first 10 clients the price 15$

To all clients free updating and support.

Behind purchases I ask in icq: 588889590 Max.

Anonymous said...

[b]Set software LoveBots v 5.2[/b]

All for a mass mailing dating http://24lux.ru/

The script is written in php5

Features:

[i]registration, account activation
manual input captures, or the solution through antikapchu
filling data accounts:
- Gulf desired photo
- Инфы about yourself
- Diary
- Sexual preference[/i]

gulyalka on questionnaires spammer on lichku
- Randomization Posts: replacement of Russian letters in Latin analogues

optimized to work in a continuous loop
check-activation-filling-spam check ..

Updates and support free of charge.

Price per set 100 wmz

For the first 10 buyers price 70 wmz (your feedback on the software).

For shopping I ask in icq: 588889590 Max.

Scrin program:

[IMG]http://i066.radikal.ru/1002/9d/a7a68e8c96ee.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i054.radikal.ru/1002/19/9db76967c0e5.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://s003.radikal.ru/i202/1002/24/20716e86512e.jpg[/IMG]

Flooding in the subject no! Write to feedback after the purchase.