Atlas Shrugged was carried out as a growth and elaboration on the ideas provided in Ayn Rand’s previous best-selling novel, The Fountainhead. The themes of specific liberty and the significance of efficient imagination would be further expanded on in this subsequent, a lot longer novel, however in Atlas Shrugged the focus would be more on the entire system than on individual experiences. It is partly the story of a transcontinental railway, however that organisation’s decrease is implied to work as an illustration of what would take place if America welcomed the worths of moral relativism and communism.
In Leonard Peikoff’s introduction to the novel, quotes from Rand’s journal reveal the intention of the author. The theme of the book was to be “What takes place to the world when the Prime Movers go on strike.” (ix) What is indicated by this is that main ways of production, particularly the leaders of business and market (and in particular cases, art), would refuse to work under a collectivist system which no longer respected home rights, individual freedom, and had pertained to value human need rather than human accomplishment. Rand paints an image of an America rapidly degenerating from capitalism into a really authoritarian type of communism.
Several characters are swept along in this development, most significantly Dagny Taggart, the female Operating Vice President of a transcontinental railway. She gradually begins to see the despondence of working under such a government, and she satisfies several people who have chosen to go on strike from this system. John Galt, a brilliant physicist who has actually developed a motor which works on fixed electricity from the environment, has founded a concealed valley neighborhood in Colorado of like-minded individuals. Their society is bent on damaging the outside world by getting rid of the efficient leaders of industry and letting the world’s economy grind to a grinding halt. They achieve success, and in the end of the unique John Galt makes a long radio address discussing the mistakes of the government policies of collectivism and the welfare state. In the end the looter federal government falls, and Dagny and the rest emerge from the secret valley to reconstruct the world under the concepts of objectivism.
The unique takes place over the duration of just a couple of years, but it attempts to include a whole society in a peaceful communist revolution. There are a terrific lots of characters, from the top of society and market to the most affordable day laborers, and the individual experiences are related in order to explain Rand’s opinion of the damage the policies of communist and redistributive federal government can trigger to a culture. Individuals who are most able to produce goods and services, devoted researchers, and those who can finest handle big business concerns are Rand’s heroes, and their freedom to produce and “develop happiness” are considered moral imperatives. It is a book less about people than about ideas, although the story of Hank Rearden (a steel executive) and Dagny Taggart’s struggles to maintain their businesses inhabit much of the novel. John Galt, the phsysicist and mastermind behind the strike which stopped the motor of the world, is represented as the objectivist superman, who values fair exchange and specific accomplishment above all other values. It has actually not run out print given that its look in 1957, and is considered “Among the most prominent organisation books ever composed” (NY Times).