Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged is, thanks to the wonder of multiple additions, right now numbers 1, 6, and 8 at Amazon.com’s list of best-selling fiction in the U.S.
This is hard to figure. The novel is set during a world economic collapse, like — gee — today! So maybe readers see a parallel between Rand’s bleak future and our present-day economic collapse and series of seemingly endless government handouts to failed corporate giants.
This is doubly ironic.
The solution Rand puts forward to an evil socialist state in Atlas, the value at the core of her Objectivist philosophy, is “rational selfishness”.
, the creation of wealth at the expense of all else. I suspect that the incestuous Wall Street/Beltway daisy chain would buy into that concept wholeheartedly.
It’s a delicious coincidence that one of Rand’s foremost disciples and principal economic adviser was Alan Greenspan — the same Greenspan whose inflation of the dot-com, equity, and real estate bubbles caused this economic mess in the first place.
What’s disturbing is that some Christians seem intrigued by the idea of “going Galt”, withdrawing from society like the title character of Atlas to deprive government “looters” of their productivity — in the hope that the country will more or less go to hell.
Yes, fine, I want to keep the fruit of my labor, and I’m angry that taxpayers are being robbed to prop up wealthy bankers. But not so much that I’ll buy into the humorless preaching of an atheist demagogue like Ayn Rand.