October 14, 2007
Right Out of Atlas Shrugged

This story is amazing. Amazing in that it is right out of "Atlas Shrugged." As October 10th was the 50th Anniversary of the publication of Ayn Rand's opus, it's appropriate to look at her philosophy and her recognition of the abject failure of collectivism.

Zimbabwe is a perfect example of what happens when men are shackled, prevented from production and commerce, and personal freedom. Farmers fled. Production faltered. And now Mugabe's failed government has "allowed" the raising of bread prices, due to shortages. This would be humorous if it were not so tragic. Tragic because Ayn Rand specifically and meticulously showed us the implications of removing incentive, commerce and personal freedom from a people and their governance. Without a means of cooperative exchange, the only choice is the use of force. As such, Zimbabweans have been subjected to horrific abuse from roving gangs, military thugs and government force and draconian regulation of their commercial activities.

We should all read Ayn Rand and learn her lessons well. Because although it is easy to sit here in the United States and think that "Atlas Shrugged" was only a story that can never really happen here, if we allow Progressives to continue their advancement of statism and assault on our freedoms, "Atlas Shrugged" will eventually happen even here in the U.S.

For a more thorough understanding, read Atlas Shrugged if you have not already done so. And read Francisco's Money Speech excerpted from "Atlas Shrugged" as well if you don't understand why commerce and incentive are the basis of a free and peaceful society.

Posted by JeffB. at October 14, 2007 06:23 PM | Email This
1. "It only stands to reason that where there's sacrifice, there's someone collecting the sacrificial offerings. Where there's service, there is someone being served. The man who speaks to you of sacrifice is speaking of slaves and masters, and intends to be the master." - Ayn Rand

The Historic Significance of Atlas Shrugged


Posted by: Ragnar Danneskjold on October 14, 2007 08:02 PM
2. Thanks Ragnar. I had not see the Inverted post. I do however read Tracinski daily. The Historic Significance piece was excellent. I recommend Robert Bidinotto's blog as well. And he has a lot of good material on the 50th celebration in DC.

Posted by: Jeff B. on October 14, 2007 09:35 PM
3. While I am a huge fan of Ayn Rand and am absolutely convinced her portrayal of government and the slave/master attitude of the 'takers' is on the mark, I do part ways with her on the subject of faith.

This has been a huge debate point between my oldest son and I. Sadly, in my opinion, he is currently espousing her "objectivism". I think reading Atlas then all of rand was the impetus for him to major in philosophy. However, knowing they don't pay philosophers much these days, he became a lawyer. It's his goal to pay off those law school loans, then get his PhD in philosophy. I believe that he is still "searching" for his answers regarding faith and God and that as long as he is there is hope and optimism that he'll find his way back. Also, he's still young and single. As I informed him, his "faith view" will change dramatically when has his first child... which of course could be the reason he runs from marriage and is therefore denying me a grandchild! ;)

Anyway, I have to say I do agree with this essay published today:

The Legacy of Ayn Rand
By Chuck Colson
Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Yeah, yeah, it's Chuck Colson and his faith is now his livihood. I think he got the altruism message wrong though. I don't believe Rand espoused no altruism ever, I think she was fighting FORCED and INVOLUNTARY "atruism" by government fiat or PC guilt... you know, the exact opposite of what WVH believes.

Rand believed in 'exchanges that promote mutual advantage' and that does not exclude altruism.

When I give from my heart, VOLUNTARILY, I get back something personal to me and undefinable by anyone else. The fact that I don't "trade" for it, doesn't make it any less an 'exchange that promotes mutual advantage'.

Posted by: Ragnar Danneskjold on October 16, 2007 10:07 AM
4. Ragnar,

It's not Altruism if it is something you value. All human relationships, well at least the functional ones worth having, are trades. You value your son, or even someone else that you give to, and so what you get in return is the value of the relationship with that person. If you give and get nothing in return, then it's not worth it. Co-dependent relationships and giving to a bum on the street are acts of immoral sacrifice. There's nothing fairly traded. And I think you would agree that a charity like a bum that provides no value to you, isn't much of something worth giving to. Real charities offer at least some good and value. A church, a shelter, etc. Those are worth giving to. But the offer that gives for nothing in return is hugely immoral. And it is those immoral subsidies of nothing, and of failure that are the hallmarks of Progressivism.

Posted by: Jeff B. on October 16, 2007 04:27 PM
5. I agree about the bums! And I'm darn glad to call them that.

As far as something of value in return: I get PLEASURE of having done something I chose to do and I place great value on my pleasure.

Posted by: Ragnar Danneskjold on October 16, 2007 05:16 PM
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