ATLES SHRUGGED, book of books!
I just finished reading this book thanks to PHP book of the month. This writing is hailed as the greatest fictional story about business and the best capitalism book of all time. There are lots of great points and thought provoking statements in this book. In many ways this book is amazing because the message and theme of this book is never expressed in our culture. This book also has a lot of mystery, deep characters development, rich dialog and contention that brings a lot of excitement.
The author grew up in a country that was taken over by Communism. She was studying at a school that literally the government came in and took over. She didn’t start out in Communism but was able to see what it changed about her country. Like most people that have the ability, she came to America to escape on the pretense that she was just visiting family and would be back. When she got here she planned to stay forever.
Now lets talk about concepts in the book. Her book was the precipice of a theology. She is a thought leader in political and self realization. She founded the concept of ethical egoism. The concept that being about yourself first and your own happiness is at higher value then being about others. Kind of like put your own life saving air mask on first so that you can be of help to others. My favorite line in the book was one of the characters telling another. “Whatever claim you may have on me, he said no human being can hold on another a claim demanding that he wipe himself out of existence.” This is kind of captures the essence of that concept.
The main contention of the story, the plot and setting that drove the story was the fact that government was taking over everything. The reason why that was allowed to happen though is a philosophy that had taken over the culture. Everyone had this mind set that it was in the best interests of everyone, in the goal of unity, fairness and the health of the public. In the book it happen in small stages, stages that finally had drastic consequences. I understand that you have to over exaggerate circumstances or a concept in a book in order to make your point and let’s say excite your reader. I feel this scenario was over extended as in it would never happen in real life but the point was well taken.
A big concept was, that people that use their minds and produce value won’t want to provide, if the government takes over what they produce or if the law doesn’t protect them from unfair claims against them. Some examples were a business man that lost a court case that demanded he give a loan to someone he didn’t choose or think deserved it. Could you imagine not being able to choose who you gave your money to? Then there were all these business that the Government demanded that they sell part of, in order to be fair to other business that were not doing as well. I don’t know how this differs exactly from when John D Rockfeller was forced to break up his company? It worked in his favor, he made more money than before. The problem is when in the book they tried to break up the profits and fund poor selling companies by taking from the high achieving companies. That didn’t work because the poor achieving companies were poor achieving because they were poorly efficient, causing them to go under even with the opportunity.
At the end the heads of the government was asking for advice on how to save the economy from a man who seemed to be an expert. The advice was to not have any regulations on business. Not to have any government, at all. I really don’t think that is the solution to anything, myself. I believe in a balance. There are certain things you don’t want to be privatized. For instance the fire department used to be private companies. When there was a fire the trucks would roll up and sit there until someone came forward and paid them to put out their fire. Many decided that was not a good solution to demand payment for that service and the government took over. In practice the government loves business because the more people that a business employees the more taxes there are for people to pay them. Robert Kiyosaki is quoted saying, “Rich people don’t pay taxes.” That is because there are many ways to legally avoid taxes. I even have products I offer for middle class now to do just that. Not all taxes but a good majority of them.
The main point of the book is well taken though. You can’t screw some to benefit others. It should be fair for everyone and whoever is producing more and doing more for society, they should be supported. The author was also a Atheist and had a negative outlook on religion. I think there are many benefits to serving others and not being completely self focused. Many top entrepreneurs state that wealth comes when you solve a problem to serve the most people. Tony Robins for instance, had devoted his life to that endeavor. I don’t think he would agree to all the concepts of this book. If he did he wouldn’t be dedicated to the career of helping the most people possible in his life. That endeavor has also helped him also acquire immense wealth.
Although there are many things in the book that are thought provoking and life changing. I can not buy in to everything that this book has to offer. I suggest anyone reading it should do so with a critical perspective and an open mind. How is this book over all? I still rate it amazing because agree or disagree it opens your mind to possibilities and new concepts. I suggest you read this book too and remember, “readers are leaders.”