18 August 2010

Who Is John Galt?

Since the Obama administration took office, "Atlas Shrugged" has been enjoying a renaissance with rising sales and library waiting lists, partly because it explains our current economic woes more straightforwardly than most of what we hear from today's experts. _IBD

What happened in Rand's narrative is coming to pass today, with an anti-business administration reviling private industry and capitalizing on crisis to expand and redirect investment within and between sectors of the economy — setting quotas, prices and compensation.

...The debt-financed Obama stimulus plan is not only failing to create jobs. It ratchets up systemic risk, inviting a currency crisis and bond-market collapse — from which recovery might be impossible. _IBD

Go to the AtlasShrugged.com website for more background on the book, the author, the philosophy, and the discussion revolving around an oversized novel published 53 years ago, in an entirely different world than the one we see today. Why were so many of the book's main themes replayed in the 1970's by the Carter administration? And why is the Obama administration picking up the failed banner that Jimmy Carter was forced to abandon?

You can pick up on plot summaries and book analyses online from SparkNotes and CliffsNotes. Eventually you may be able to see a movie version on the big screen, and documentaries may also help explain some of the ideas.

But those are all second-hand interpretations of what other people have to say about the author's intent. Regular readers of Al Fin will not be satisfied until they have read the original version in full. No, it is not a literary masterpiece. But when important ideas are being thrown about, one often adapts his critical meter accordingly. And honestly speaking, out of all the books you have read, what proportion were bona fide literary masterpieces? We read for many reasons, mainly to fertilise the mind.

If you are growing tired of the dunce-capped phantom of the Oval Office, and feel uneasy at the way the fundamentals of society (even the fundamentals of our civilisation) are deteriorating at an accelerating pace under the leadership of the O-P reich, you may want to reach out for more solid grounding and a longer range perspective. The Al Fin sidebar "Basic Reading" category provides links to various free online libraries for that purpose. But beyond the history and philosophy, sometimes a well-timed work of fiction hits the spot. For these times, I recommend Rand's Atlas Shrugged, and Orwell's 1984.


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“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

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