Friday, 29 October 2010

Who is John Galt?

I would like to recommend an excellent book, "Atlas Shrugged" written by Ayn Rand in 1957. At that time the political landscape was very different, with communism in a position of larger power. Ayn Rand escaped the Soviet Union and fleed to the USA, this historical background makes the setting of the novel more understandable..

The book is a dark depiction of a world in crisis, where the USA is slipping into a communism-like state. Companies are being taken over by the government or run by a sort of government controlled corporate puppet regime. The book is about the contrast between need and ability, and the right of ownership of property and your own intellect. It is about those willing to live in or unable to revolt against such a system, and about those that are trying to revolt. It is about the contrast between those that produce and those that loot. It is a philosophical thriller, with many discussions on politics, market economics and the role of the state.

If you ask me to name the proudest distinction of Americans, I would choose- because it contains all the others- the fact that they were the people who created the phrase to make money. No other language or nation had ever used these words before; men had always thought of wealth as a static quantity- to be seized, begged, inherited, shared, looted or obtained as a favor. Americans were the first to understand that wealth has to be created.
(Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, 1957)

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