Thursday, March 5, 2009

Are we living in Atlas Shrugged?

By David Weigel

Rep. John Campbell (R-Calif.), who gives his departing interns copies of Ayn Rand’s novel “Atlas Shrugged,” told me today that the response to President Obama’s economic policies reminded him of what happened in the 51-year-old novel.

“People are starting to feel like we’re living through the scenario that happened in ‘Atlas Shrugged,’” said Campbell. “The achievers, the people who create all the things that benefit rest of us, are going on strike. I’m seeing, at a small level, a kind of protest from the people who create jobs, the people who create wealth, who are pulling back from their ambitions because they see how they’ll be punished for them.”

In Rand’s novel, creative people (the “Atlases” of the title) are hounded and punished for their labor by an oppressive, socialistic state. In response, they retreat from society to a hidden enclave where they watch civilization’s slow collapse.

How far, I asked Campbell, are we from the final chapters of the novel? “We’re still a ways away,” he said. “That will happen when people expect that there ought to be a recovery going on, and it isn’t going on.”


Lee said...

I'm not an end-of-timer in the common definition, but I do believe America's best days may well be gone. How can we look at so many examples of socialism and not run in the opposite direction? The entire EU has turned into a welfare state. Our government run health care programs are nothing to brag about and yet we want expand the concept. Yes, Ayn Rand saw the future.

VoteNovember2008 said...

Ditto on Ayn Rand, she was the future and we are reaping it! I'm not buying in to doomsday, but we are all going to experience a different America. I'm thinking Johnny Cash's decision to wear black may not be far off from what we may all end up wearing in mourning a Nation lost. We are living in some very sad times. VN8

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Rand Should be required reading for any neo-liberal in America today. Like Lee, I'm on the same page. As a productive world leader, the US is ready for the fork test. We'll be the same welfare state that Europe is within 20 years. What I find laughable is most liberals don't have an answer when asked what it is about Europe that they are so jealous of. No intelligent answer. The "common market" failed. As an example, good ideas like the IAEA have wonderful looking documentation and charter, but their oversight is corrupt and nowhere near the standards the USNRC has. There are other clear examples. Europe, for the most part, is right up BO's alley ... style over substance.

Personally, I don't WANT to be a European, and honestly, I have the same disrespect and disdain for them that they do for me and my country.

VoteNovember2008 said...

Stick a fork in it, OM1. We can lose hope, it's really all we have left! VN8