As Atlas Shrugs

In 1957 American novelist Ayn Rand W released her third novel, Atlas Shrugged W. At the time, Rand was a controversial figure due to her philosophical ideas regarding ‘morality without religion’ which she labeled ‘Objectivism’.В  Ayn Rand’s opinions of religion versus atheism unfortunately led to a heated controversy that quickly overshadowed one very important, and maybe the most important aspect of her novel Atlas Shrugged, the rise and fall of American Capitalism W. In Atlas Shrugged, Rand rightly places the Capitalists of America in their role as the vaunted Greek Titan, Atlas, who supports the world on his shoulders. The American Capitalists create a prodigious amount of wealth which also enables their working class employees to realize their dreams. As Capitalist wealth increases, so too does the size and power of the American government. As the size of government increases it seeks to find favor with other world governments and does so by taxing the American Capitalist and giving these other countries large amounts of money. The Capitalists continue creating and spreading wealth, all the while, ‘parasites’, including the American government, attach themselves to ‘the teat of Capitalism’. Among the parasites that cling to Capitalism are what Ayn Rand refers to asВ  ‘looters’ and ‘moochers’. The looters come in the guise of both companies and government entities that take money and other assets rightly owned by the Capitalists and then redistribute this ‘bounty of Capitalism’ to companies and individuals from which the government seeks favor or loyalty. Moochers also come in many forms but mostly they take their toll on the Capitalist companies by insisting that the government and the Capitalists owe them an ‘entitlement’, something they didn’t work for, but none-the-less deserve as if it were a birth right. Eventually, the burden of the looters, the moochers and the enormous socialist W government becomes so great that the Capitalists decide they have no recourse but to stop creating and producing. There simply is no motivation for them to carry the burden of the world on their shoulders, thus, Atlas shrugs. As might be expected, ‘the world’, which by now reviles Atlas, proclaims that Atlas has shirked his duty, he is, they contend, morally obligated to support them. Almost immediately, society begins to crumble and poverty and destruction reign supreme. Justifiably, the government, the looters and the moochers are the first to feel the result. I don’t know about you folks, but to old W. W., all of this sounds eerily like the situation that Lady Liberty finds herself dealing with today. Even now as Atlas shrugs, the incoming Barack Obama administration is proudly proclaiming how much more debt it intends to heap upon the backs of Atlas. Barack’s fellow Socialists happily exclaim that ‘he will only tax the top 5 percent of earners’, after all, the Socialists agree, the defiled rich can afford to pay a lot more than they already do. The moochers too are rallying in force and screaming loudly that they ‘deserve’ more. “Certainly”, they say, “the Capitalist have no right to make so much money”. The Socialist sympathizers and even the guilt ridden middle class agree, “Of course, this is only right. Let’s spread the wealth around and be fair to everyone”. Meanwhile, the looters are busy chipping away at Atlas every chance they get. Heads of some of America’s largest companies climb into their corporate jets, fly to Washington, hold out their tin cups and proclaim that they too need a helping hand. They, after all, have obligations to meet with the labor unions that supply their workers. Still, the majority of Americans believe things will be much better as soon as the hated Bush administration finally steps down from office and the Socialists have even more control. Is it too late to turn the situation around? Can we somehow find a way to shore up Atlas while free enterprise loving Americans renew our belief in the Capitalist system and find some way to convince the millions of looters and moochers in our presence that Capitalism will ultimately provide more for them than the false god of Socialism?A wise and learned friend suggested to me the other day that maybe it’s time for Atlas to enjoy a really nice, long shrug. Maybe some of these looters and moochers will fall off the back of Atlas. Perhaps America should feel the pinch of money not flowing freely through the hands of Capitalism. Possibly, if Atlas shrugged long enough and deeply enough, some of those who worship at the alter of Socialism would begin to question exactly why the esteemed socialist government they place so much value in would no longer be able to provide for them. Folks, less than one half of the people who voted in the past presidential election knew enough or cared enough to realize the importance of keeping Capitalism alive and well in this country of ours. More than one half of the voting public chose to be led by the most left wing Socialist administration ever to exist in this country. Think about that, and while you’re at it, think about what you can do to change this situation.