Atlas Shrugged, Part 2

Well, I finished the book.  I was driven to finish the book.  I will admit I skipped over the 65-page-or-so speech of John Galt because I wanted to get the end and I figured I had already heard most of that speech throughout the book, but I will probably go back and re-read it intently to see if I missed anything.

There’s a lot of descriptive narrative in the book, almost too much for my taste, but I could have a short attention span.  It is amazing to me how far down human nature can and will go.  The people in Atlas Shrugged seemed to have lost their minds because they could no longer think for themselves.  Government had taken over doing their thinking for them.  Is our country in danger of doing the same?  I fear there are plenty of people out there who want someone else to think for them, to do for them. Today’s generations are not those who grew up as my grandparents did who struggled during the great depression and worked hard for what they gained, who took personal responsibility.

Once a people start denying personal responsibility, they start denying their own reality.  I personally believe the spiral is only downward from there.  Deception, lying, stealing are symptoms of this lack.  Take for instance the road comissioner who puts in a culvert for the local bank president on that man’s personal property, then bills the township for the cost of it, or the township trustees who say nothing but give their approval  for payment.  Or the same man, paying workers at his private business by billing  the same township coffers.  What is to be done about it by the few who even care?  What about those in the position of authority who could, but refuse, because they want re-election, to do anything about a candidate who doesn’t even live in the township for which he wants to hold office? Or the states attorney who won’t prosecute certain “crimes”, lest it ruin his re-election chances? This is the premise of Atlas Shrugged, as the corruption and cronyism continues to spread and there are fewer and fewer with a mind and the courage to stop it, because they don’t think they can or they no longer care.  And it can only get worse from here.  Emboldened by the fact that no one is stopping them, how much longer before a worse crime is committed, before someone’s life is taken?  It’s a pessimistic world Ayn Rand paints.  And every place where evil is unchallenged and justice is not upheld becomes that world where no one is truly free.

“The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”–Edmund Burke


6 thoughts on “Atlas Shrugged, Part 2

  1. Just picked up the book yesterday. It’s huge! Will be bringing with on vacation. I am excited to start reading as your book reviews have whetted my appetite. Thanks for the heads up on this one!

  2. Hey Patty, I just wanted to tell you that the scenarios I wrote about in that last paragraph are all happening here in my own world! In my township. They are not specifically mentioned in the book…they are really happening here in my neck of the woods. But I mention them because they go right along with the book…

  3. I read all of Rand’s works when I was a kid. She had a profound effect on my thinking to say the least. As you say, our society has in many ways lost it’s collective ability to think and discern, it’s one of the reasons we are in such peril. Great blog! Could you follow me at mine?

  4. Hi Left Coast Rebel, Thanks for reading and leaving a comment. Glad to hear everyone on the “Left Coast” isn’t Left! Of course we knew that after the Prop 8 votes came in. I checked out your blog…really good and lots to read and look at. I couldn’t find a feed button for some reason, but I’ll link ya’ on my sidebar. Reciprocate?
    I think I will have to look in to getting the rest of Rand’s books. She’s pretty wordy…..though….

  5. Hey Kathy,

    Great review of Atlas! I couldn’t agree more with everything you said. I wanted to write about it when I finished, but couldn’t think how to do it. You’ve done a great job, highlighting the themes without giving away anything. (She is wordy, and I too skimmed much of that last speech–:)

    Great post; and I know exactly what you mean about cronyism. It is rampant. Makes me wonder if politics attracts the dishonest, or turns the honest into dishonest. With a few exceptions, of course.

  6. Hey Pup, I’ve been thinking about you this week, checking your blog…but I guess you have been otherwise engaged. Now that I’m finished with the book, I miss Dagny too (I saw you wrote that on another blog).
    Now I’m reading Liberal Fascism. Wow, so many words I have to look up and try to get a feel for. Glad to see you back online.

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