Entry for January 18, 2008

These are my scattered thoughts about Atlas Shrugged. I would have liked to gather them more neatly, but I find that taking three graduate classes, TAing a class, trying to do research, having two cats, joining Jazz band, trying to be involved in church, and trying to finish a quilt just take up too much time and I’m afraid that if I let this wait any longer I’ll never write anything.

First, a short summary of the plot. The infrastructure in the US is coming to ruin because of excess government control and key brilliant people simply disapearing from the public. Without ruining the book, the premise is that if every person acted completely in their own interests without working for the public good that the economy and people would be healthier and happier.

There are parts of this idea that I agree with and parts of it that I disagree with. I agree that no society in which people are not willing to work to support themselves will work out. I kinda see this in Cleveland. There are plenty of jobs around here that I think that people could do if they stopped feeling sorry for themselves, complaining that everyone oppresses them, and being lazy. So point 1 would be: do something with your life, because other people aren’t going to do it for you.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself. Point 2: Do something with your life for the glory of God, not just for yourself. About the second bit of that, love your neighbor as yourself, point 3: Christians are called to assist others when they need help, so I can’t agree that any form of working for someone else is evil.

I think, from my own simple reading for pleasure, that Ayn Rand is all about the Ego. Man is the greatest thing ever. The summary of my thoughts on this would be to counter that with the fact that God should be the center of our lives.

That’s enough philosophizing, and I’d just like to say that I highly enjoyed this book. I didn’t really read it all, because there are a lot of speeches that go on forever and say the same thing over and over, but the plot was interesting.

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