Atlas Shrugged a novel written in 1957 by Ayn Rand.
I read Atlas Shrugged in audible format after hearing Fellow podcasters Adam Curry and John C. Dorak banter back and forth about the book. John hates the book and Adam loved it. I have to admit that I love the book Atlas Shrugged. It is set in a dystopian United States, where many of society’s most prominent and successful industrialists abandon their fortunes and the nation itself, in response to aggressive new regulations, Put in place by an ever encroaching government trying to control more and more of people’s lives. Government regulations, Political Correctness, and an ever growing social welfare state. Make it so that if you want to run business or create something you have to play by the rules of government. If you don’t play by their rules. The government just keeps creating rules and regulations to make it harder and harder to do your business.
The ever encroaching government even goes so far as to tell the business that they have to pay everyone the same no matter what job is done. And makes it illegal for you to quit your job or change jobs without special permissions. And you cant fire somone who is doing a bad job. Because that would place undue hardship on there family.
As Atlas Shrugged opens, Dagny Taggart the Operating Vice President of Taggart Transcontinental a railroad company established by her grandfather. Attempts to keep the company alive against collectivism and statism. Her brother James Taggart the railroad’s President is peripherally aware of the company’s troubles. But seems to make irrational decisions such as preferring to buy steel from Orren Boyle’s Associated Steel. Rather than Hank Rearden’s Rearden Steel. Despite Orren Boyle’s Associated Steel continually delaying delivery of the vital rail. In this as in other decisions Dagny simply continues with her own policy. but is herself disappointed to discover that Francisco d’Anconia, her childhood friend and first love appears to be destroying his family’s international copper company without cause.
Hank Rearden a self-made steel magnate has developed an alloy called Rearden Metal. Now the most reliable metal in the world. But keeps its composition secret. Sparking jealousy among competitors. As a result pressure is put on Dagny to use conventional steel to force Hank Rearden to give up his compositions secret but she refuses. Hank’s career is hindered by his feelings of obligation to his wife, mother, and younger brother. Dagny also becomes acquainted with Wesley Mouch a Washington lobbyist initially working for Rearden whom he betrays. And later notices the nation’s most capable business leaders abruptly disappearing. Leaving their industries to failure. The most recent of these is Ellis Wyatt the sole founder and supervisor of Wyatt Oil who leaves his most successful oil well spewing petroleum and fire into the air “later named Wyatt’s Torch”. Each of these men remains absent despite a thorough search by politicians. While economic conditions worsen and government agencies enforce their control on successful businesses. the citizens are often heard repeating “Who is John Galt?” in response to questions to which the individual has no answer. It sarcastically means, “Don’t ask important questions, because we don’t have answers”, or more broadly, “What’s the point?” or “Why bother?”
Having demonstrated the reliability of Rearden Metal in a railroad line named after ‘John Galt’, Hank Rearden and Dagny Taggart become Lovers and later discover amongst the ruins of an abandoned factory an incomplete motor. That transforms atmospheric static electricity into kinetic energy of which they seek the inventor. Eventually this search reveals the reason of business-leaders’ disappearances, when Dagny pursues a scientist to ‘Galt’s Gulch’, where the character John Galt is leading an organized “strike” of business leaders against the government.
I love the book Atlas Shrugged I find it interesting, scary at times, and somewhat prophetic as to the current issues at hand in the United States. It makes you set back and think if the people who own business were allowed to run their companies without Stupid regulations. That hinder their ability to do what is best for there company. Like hire people and pay them what they are worth. Or how about if you and I didn’t have the regulations our employer had to deal with just to employ us. How much more money would we make. The book Atlas Shrugged is a look into our future. If we aren’t careful the government will just keep taking our personal liberties from us claiming that it is for our own good. They are protecting me from the big bad business man. The one thing I fear the most of all is these words. “Hi I’m From the Government and I’m Hear to Help!” Step Off G-Man I’m a Big Boy, Let me live my life take care of my Family without your Help.
If you received entertainment and/or value from The Creek Road Podcast, Please use our affiliate link on the right. It costs you nothing and will help us with the costs of our website, as Amazon pays us up to 10% of your total purchases, thank you.