Atlas Shrugged Ayn Rand


The story of Atlas Shrugged dramatically expresses Rand’s ethical egoism, her advocacy of “rational selfishness”, whereby all of the primary virtues and vices are applications of the function of reason as guy’s standard tool of survival (or a failure to apply it): rationality, sincerity, justice, independence, integrity, efficiency, and pride. Rand’s characters often personify her view of the archetypes of numerous schools of approach for living and operating in the world. Robert James Bidinotto wrote, “Rand rejected the literary convention that depth and plausibility demand characters who are naturalistic reproductions of the kinds of people we satisfy in everyday life, uttering daily discussion and pursuing daily worths. However she likewise turned down the concept that characters need to be symbolic instead of sensible.” [22] and Rand herself specified, “My characters are never ever symbols, they are simply men in sharper focus than the audience can see with unaided sight. … My characters are individuals in whom particular human qualities are focused more sharply and regularly than in average people”. [22]

In addition to the plot’s more obvious declarations about the significance of industrialists to society, and the sharp contrast to Marxism and the labor theory of value, this specific conflict is used by Rand to draw broader philosophical conclusions, both implicit in the plot and through the characters’ own declarations. Atlas Shrugged caricatures fascism, socialism, communism, and any state intervention in society, as allowing ineffective people to “leech” the hard-earned wealth of the productive, and Rand competes that the result of any person’s life is simply a function of its capability, and that any individual might conquer unfavorable situations, offered ability and intelligence. [27]

Sanction of the victim

The principle “sanction of the victim” is defined by Leonard Peikoff as “the determination of the great to suffer at the hands of the evil, to accept the function of sacrificial victim for the ‘sin’ of creating values”. [28] Accordingly, throughout Atlas Shrugged, many characters are frustrated by this sanction, as when Hank Rearden appears duty-bound to support his family, in spite of their hostility towards him; later, the concept is stated by Dan Conway: “I suppose someone’s got to be compromised. If it turned out to be me, I have no right to complain”. John Galt even more describes the concept: “Evil is impotent and has no power however that which we let it extort from us”, and, “I saw that evil was impotent … and the only weapon of its accomplishment was the determination of the good to serve it”. [29]

Government and service

Rand’s view of the ideal federal government is expressed by John Galt: “The political system we will build is included in a single ethical facility: no guy might acquire any worths from others by resorting to physical force”, whereas “no rights can exist without the right to translate one’s rights into truth– to think, to work and to keep the results– which indicates: the right of property”. [30] Galt himself lives a life of laissez-faire industrialism. [31]

At the end of the book, when the protagonists prepare yourself to return and claim the wrecked world, Judge Narragansett prepares a brand-new Change to the United States Constitution: “Congress will make no law abridging the liberty of production and trade“. He is likewise “marking and deleting the contradictions” in the Constitution’s existing text. This implies that the lead characters intend to hold a brand-new Constitutional Convention to which Narragansett’s proposed changes would be presented. In truth, currently while isolated in their valley, they had actually taken the act of minting gold coins bearing the inscription “United States of America – One Dollar” indicating that they concerned themselves as the genuine government of the United States.

In the world of Atlas Shrugged, society stagnates when independent productive companies are socially demonized for their accomplishments. This is in contract with an excerpt from a 1964 interview with Playboy publication, in which Rand states: “What we have today is not a capitalist society, however a blended economy– that is, a mix of liberty and controls, which, by the currently dominant trend, is moving toward dictatorship. The action in Atlas Shrugged occurs at a time when society has actually reached the stage of dictatorship. When and if this takes place, that will be the time to go on strike, but not till then”. [32]

Rand also portrays public option theory, such that the language of selflessness is utilized to pass legislation nominally in the public interest (e.g., the “Anti-Dog-Eat-Dog Rule”, and “The Equalization of Chance Expense”), but more to the short-term advantage of unique interests and federal government companies. [33]

Residential or commercial property rights and individualism

Rand’s heroes continuously oppose “parasites”, “looters”, and “moochers” who demand the benefits of the heroes’ labor. Edward Younkins describes Atlas Shrugged as “an apocalyptic vision of the last stages of dispute between two classes of humankind– the looters and the non-looters. The looters are supporters of high tax, huge labor, government ownership, federal government costs, federal government planning, regulation, and redistribution”. [34]

“Looters” are Rand’s depiction of bureaucrats and federal government officials, who seize others’ profits by the implicit threat of force (“at the point of a weapon”). Some authorities execute federal government policy, such as those who confiscate one state’s seed grain to feed the starving residents of another; others exploit those policies, such as the railway regulator who illegally sells the railway’s supplies for his own earnings. Both use force to take residential or commercial property from the people who produced or made it.

“Moochers” are Rand’s depiction of those not able to produce worth themselves, who demand others’ earnings on behalf of the needy, but resent the talented upon whom they depend, and appeal to “moral right” while enabling the “legal” seizure by governments.

The character Francisco d’Anconia suggests the role of “looters” and “moochers” in relation to cash: “So you believe that money is the root of all evil? … Have you ever asked what is the root of cash? Cash is a tool of exchange, which can’t exist unless there are products produced and males able to produce them. … Cash is not the tool of the moochers, who declare your item by tears, or the looters who take it from you by force. Cash is enabled just by the males who produce.” [35]

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