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Noam Chomsky said Ayn Rand was "... one of the most evil figures of modern intellectual history." Yet I find Atlas Shrugged an amazing book (and so do many others, like the man who recently drove around the US to spell out the largest book advertisement in the world). I re-read Atlas Shrugged (and The Fountainhead) whenever I need strength. So many people claim that it literally changed their lives based on what it taught them about philosophy (and specifically ethics), politics, and economics. (It also has good sex.) However, there are many others who hate Atlas Shrugged because it's probably one of the greatest critiques of socialism and fascism, and its ideas can be understood by someone without any economics background. That makes it a dangerous book. What did you get from Atlas Shrugged? How has it changed your life? What didn't you like about it?


According to a Library of Congress survey, Atlas Shrugged, published in 1957, may be second to the Bible as the most influential book read in America... Since the Obama administration took office, Atlas Shrugged has been making 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...

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

What holds back investment is uncertainty and fear stemming from an overbearing and free-spending government. Businessmen and investors would never attempt spending and borrowing their way back to prosperity. The debt-financed Obama stimulus plan is not only failing to create jobs. It also ratchets up systemic risk, inviting a currency crisis and bond market collapse - from which recovery might be impossible...

Rand warns us that government policies that engender entitlement and cause business owners to go on strike and withhold their capital are detrimental to the economy. What compounds this problem today is that an out-of-control profligate government that enlarges dependence also sets us up for a greater economic crisis than the last one.

Why 'Atlas Shrugged' is flying off the bookshelves


Original posting by Braincrave Second Life staff on Aug 27, 2010 at http://www.braincrave.com/viewblog.php?id=306

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