Atlas Shrugged Study Guide

A huge sweeping book, which has never been out of print considering that its publication, Atlas Shrugged has become a part of the national dialogue about personal flexibility, economic policy, and political approach in America. There have actually been several popular magnate who have actually called her work personally prominent, the most popular among them the previous Chairman of the Federal Reserve Alan Greenspan. The working title of the novel was “The Strike”, and the total plot of the novel has to do with a group of individuals who prepare to stop the economic motor of the world in order to stop the collectivist policies of corrupt governments.

The book was written as a direct answer to Rand’s previous very popular novel The Fountainhead. In it is a complete description of Rand’s approach and the factors underpinning it. It was the last unique she wrote; after 1957 Rand only wrote non-fiction. It is about the victory of individualism, with a reasonable self-interest at the core of whatever a person should achieve. In her journals she wrote of this book that its theme was to be “What occurs to the world when the Prime Movers go on strike” (Rand ix). By producing a world in which specific people band together to stop the world’s motor, and eliminate the most crucial products of the human mind, the true pillars of society, Rand thought, could be exposed. And these were not religion or mysticism, however rather that flexibility of people to create the items of their own mind produces the most simply and thriving society on earth. All other societal systems, Rand argues, especially those with tenets of self-sacrifice at their core, are not life-affirming, however rather create cultures of unreasonableness and death.

The story is that of a male, John Galt, who chooses to drop of out productive society as a physicist and work for years, with the aid of his good friends, to eliminate the crucial methods of production from the world. He does this because he sees the government moving toward collectivist principles, and, Galt feels, the only way to stop it is to stop the motor of the world. He is helped by the richest copper beneficiary worldwide, Francisco d’Anconia, and a philosopher-turned-pirate, Ragnar Danneskjold. He satisfies and falls in love with the Operating Vice-President of a transcontinental train, whom he has a hard time convincing to drop out of the outside world to join his “strike”. She is sympathetic to his cause, but she is not prepared to leave her family business. Galt and his friends produce a secret world in a surprise valley in Colorado, waiting for the day that the looter government will stop working. When it finally nears collapse Galt attends to the nation with his manifesto of individualism and the virtues of selfishness.

The novel was an instantaneous success, triggering argument in all corners of the intellectual world when it appeared on the scene in 1957. A polemicist who might be vitriolic in her attacks on other thinkers, Ayn Rand developed as much interest in her book as the contents of it. It has been casually attacked by a lot of major philosophical schools of thought– although it has typically been disregarded since the viewpoint included in it exists by a non-academic in an unique type, instead of in discursive prose. Still, Atlas Shrugged presents perhaps one of the most widespread popular systems of viewpoint in America today, continuing to stimulate dispute after fifty years in print.

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