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What Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” Teaches Us About the Insufficiency of Good Intentions

What Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” Teaches Us About the Insufficiency of Good Intentions

The book is an extended lesson in what happens when we focus only on what we see.

The search for the Great American Novel should have ended in 1957 when a Russian immigrant named Ayn Rand published Atlas Shrugged. Arresting in its breadth, depth, and style, Atlas Shrugged is a manifesto on politics, philosophy, and economics wrapped up in a compelling narrative featuring larger-than-life (and smaller-than-life) characters.

Atlas Shrugged has shaped the worldview of many devotees of liberty, and it surged in popularity in the wake of the recent financial crisis since it became clear that the government’s response to crisis and recession would not be to learn from its mistakes and recede but to expand its reach.

I first read Atlas Shrugged during my fourth year of graduate school. On one hand, I wish I had read it much earlier. On the other, I feel like I appreciate it on a much deeper level than I would have had I read it in high school or college. Atlas Shrugged is my favorite novel for two reasons.

Atlas Shrugged has shaped the worldview of many devotees of liberty, and it surged in popularity in the wake of the recent financial crisis.

The Beauty of Human Potential 

The first is its treatment of human potential. Atlas Shrugged is a brilliant exposition of the things that are made possible by the rational, thinking human mind. A lot of things that we take for granted are the product of free markets harnessing the power of free minds. Something as mundane as a hot cup of coffee, for example, embodies innumerable decisions by innumerable people, each with their own specialized knowledge. We see what happens throughout the book when people are unshackled and allowed to pursue their own goals. Production increases. Lives are saved. Life is meaningful.

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What are Human Rights? Do They Include Property & Class?

What are Human Rights? Do They Include Property & Class?

The real definition of a human right is a right that is believed to belong justifiably to every person. The United Nations defines Human Rights as:

Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, whatever our nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, or any other status. We are all equally entitled to our human rights without discrimination. These rights are all interrelated, interdependent and indivisible.

1-Politics

The question is simply this: why is discriminating against class acceptable, as advocated by Karl Marx, which has become fundamental in politics as with Hillary in the States or Hollande in Europe? Those of us who are producers are looked down upon by the state as a possession as in Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged”. The G20 is on a witch hunt to track down every person to find where they have any money stashed. This greed of politicians to fund their mismanagement of the state violates our HUMAN RIGHTS.

We are economic slaves who are unable to be free because we cannot live in peace. We are not always free to resign our nationality and the United States claims that human rights include “nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, or any other status.” Class is a status.

What the G20 has agreed to violates the Universal Declaration of Human Rights supported by all countries. Article 2 states:

Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

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