Saturday, September 15, 2007
Fifty Years of Riveting Reading
Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged was published fifty years ago October 12th. I first read the novel in 1966, having already enjoyed her second novel, The Fountainhead. I was driven to learn more. I attended an NBI (Nathaniel Branden Institute) Basics of Objectivism lecture series in Hollywood, then I began to cast about for like-minded individuals. At the time, there seemed to be very few, but as time passed, I located some libertarian meeting groups and met some libertarians who were not objectivist-oriented, as well as many who were.
Over the years, I've met and become friends with many objectivists and many libertarians who found their way to liberty-oriented philosophies by other means.
Today's (Sept 15th) New York Times published a story, in its Business section, about Atlas Shrugged and how it has influenced many CEO's and top businessmen to get to where they are today. After the horrible review NYT gave Atlas Shrugged at the time of its publication, this story seems rather a turnabout.
It's kind of gratifying to see that, after all the scandals and peccadilloes, the Times has finally come to terms with Atlas Shrugged.
I read Atlas Shrugged every couple of years, partly to satisfy my craving for the portrayal of successful rebellions against the parasitical political class, and partly to renew in my mind the way the world might be and ought to be. I'm very much looking forward to the upcoming movie, even realizing that movies often don't measure up to the level of the novels from which they're developed. Athas Shrugged has some good people involved in its development, so I'm optimistic.
"In the name of the best within us....."