Ayn Rand is going to change the way you think. Forever.
One of the books that were on my list for a while was “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand, a philosophical novel that takes place in the fictional United States. For me, the novel was almost split in two worlds – the world of stupidity and evil that takes over the achievements of the successful and hard-working thinkers and the world of hard-working thinkers who do not care about that stupidity and move the world forward by bringing the innovation, re-defining the reality and shaping the future. There was a lot in that sentence so let’s slow down a bit and look into it in details.
On Key Thinkers and World Movers
Rand depicts in her novel a few people e.g. Dagny Taggart or Hank Readen who move the society and the world forward by bringing innovation. Not only you are going to admire these characters, not only they will constantly surprise you, you will want to be one of them.
The obstacles do not exist in their minds, they do not know the word “impossible”. They take the idea and chase it down until it becomes a reality that they want it to be. Hank Readen always wanted to create a metal that is better than steel. 10 years later – voila!By the way, he is also the self-made magnate and one of the best business people of his time.
Dagny Taggart, the vice-president of the railroad company who looks for the innovative engine for her trains, spends years trying to find the scientist whose prototype of the engine she found in the abandoned factory. Does she find him? I do not know yet, it is probably in the third or second parts of the book. The point is she does not give up, she keeps on looking because she knows the meaning of this invention not only for her company but for the whole world.
These people are dreamers and creators who take actions to create the future they want. Yes, they are also huge business owners that make tons of money and they do play into their own interests. But they are tireless tinkerers with no self-pity or complaints whom the society needs and who lead the society.
And Rand will make you want to be one of them.
Well, that is actually the point of her book as she herself said – “to show how desperately the world needs prime movers and how viciously it treats them”. And it does treat them viciously.
On The Social Intentions
The other half of the characters in Rand’s novel are people who seem to be fighting for the improvement of the society and who believe that the best way to do is to create some kind of socialism where everyone has equal opportunities and where everyone cares for the common good.
These ideas are moved forward by characters like Jim Taggart, the brother of Dagny. Although he keeps on saying that he cares about the common good and the spirit matters more than the material values, he keeps on stealing the achievements of his sister to look good and feel good. Double standard, huh?
The same double-standards can be found in other characters who represent the rest of the society. They want to have innovation and great life, but they try to equalize innovators who put a limitless amount of effor in what they do with average folks. They want to have equal oppotunities, but not to invest an equal amount of hard work. I guess that will not work but there are two more books where Rand will most likely prove this.
On the Duality of Worlds
These two worlds of key thinkers and people who “care” about common good are constantly colliding. How?
That you can find in the book. So if you want, grab a copy and you will be surprised, inspired and you will never think in the same way. Rand will change you forever.