But the thing is, he’d been reading Ayn Rand’s famous novel for about three days now, and it was beginning to look like the damn thing would NEVER end! He was reading it on a kindle, so he just kept flipping and flipping…’his weak, drooping chin…her fearless ice blue eyes…the outline of her flawless body in that sharply tailored business suit..’ yeah yeah yeah but who did she shack up with in the END?
So he shrugged. What he SHOULD have done was press the Go To button on his kindle and then skip straight to the end, replete with vision of capitalist saints marching back into the world to restore the rule of righteous self interest.
Atlas Shrugged is the novel that apparently serves as the right wing economists’ bible. Novel? I always thought it must be an economic tome along the lines of Das Kapital or whatever Milton Keynes wrote – but no, it’s a novel, and not only that, but something of a bodice ripper. It concerns the life and times of one Dagny Taggart, lissome railroad heiress, who’s loved by three (or it could be four) ruggedly individual, stupendously handsome, fearlessly competent entrepreneurs. And of course, she is one herself.
It’s set in maybe the late 20th century, when the big end of town is under siege from puling bureaucrats and do-nothing incompetents, who keep making rules to stifle business under the guise of serving the public good. They insist on passing things like the ‘Equality of Opportunity Bill’ legislating that rich businesspeople have to produce less (so that less successful businesspeople can have a go) and enforcing the establishment of model workers’ factories while the real ones stagnate and die, leaving humanity hopeless and starving.
If that’s not enough, there’s also the mystery of the disappearing billionaires – where are the rich guys going, one by one? Atlantis, that’s where – a hidden valley with a big golden dollar sign as its monument, in which former bank chiefs happily grow and sell cabbages and the word ‘give’ is outlawed.
Fair enough. I see what she means. Give any entity a line of unearned credit (ie, taxes) and they’ll abuse it, a bit. Competence isn’t forged by working in a sinecure (the public service) though it isn’t precluded there, either. On the other hand, no ideology is completely true, and this one is no exception. The unfettered pursuit of self-interest isn’t going to bring about a capitalist paradise any more than ‘to each according to his need, from each according to his ability’ worked out in communist Russia.
Anyway it was a long, dull, silly and not particularly well-written book, and I STILL don’t know who Dagny ended up shacking up with!