Ayn Rand’s Literature of Capitalism
By HARRIET RUBIN
Published: September 15, 2007
New York Times
"One of the most influential business books ever written is a 1,200-page novel published 50 years ago, on Oct. 12, 1957. It is still drawing readers; it ranks 388th on Amazon.com’s best-seller list. (“Winning,” by John F. Welch Jr., at a breezy 384 pages, is No. 1,431.)
The 1957 novel was harshly reviewed and widely read.
The book is “Atlas Shrugged,” Ayn Rand’s glorification of the right of individuals to live entirely for their own interest."
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Why do reviewers, commentators, and writers of articles always miss the point? There is ultimately only one interest. To act in one's own true interest is to act in everyone's interest. To act in everyone's true interest is to act in one's own interest. We are all in this together. There is no seperation in spirit.
If an American entreprenuer sells in a free market an invention that makes her a zillion dollars, it is because people feel they are benefitting from the product and voluntarily want to pay for it. Everyone gains from voluntary association and voluntary trade.
If a misguided politician like Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton rewards laziness and lack of initiative by legislating social "safety nets" or "welfare programs," the result is far less willingness to work hard to get ahead, increased poverty, lowering of spirit, and finally robbery or drive-by shooting of Obama's or Hillary's daughter. Everyone loses when government ignores mother nature.
Mitt Romney was begged to uproot his family, move to Salt Lake City, and save the 2002 Winter Olympics. Was there personal hardship? You bet! Was there difficulty and struggle? Of course. Was it a sacrifice? Not at all. American heros do what they do for the benefit of course of themselves, but everyone ... because everyone includes themselves. Ayn Rand would not dismiss a truly great American hero like Mitt Romney. She would have enjoyed, for example, reading Mitt Romney: An American Hero
Yes, Ayn Rand emphasized living for one's own highest interest, even going so far as to imply she didn't really care if anyone else benefitted from her work. Nonetheless, she could not avoid the truth that if she lived her principle of rational self-interest, which others might call "spiritual Self-interest," everyone would benefit.
Years from now when America is rescued from the dark misery of leftist philosophy, and is experienced as a truly free country in which pain, fear, and guilt have practically disappeared because "do gooder" government intervention has disappeared, historians will look back on Ayn Rand's selfishness and say "Thank God!"
The device which prepares libertarians for success, A Course in Miracles, has this to say about everyone sharing the same spirit, and the illusion of sacrifice:
When you hear only one voice, you are never called on to sacrifice. On the contrary, by enabling yourselves to hear the Holy Spirit in others, you can learn from their experiences and gain from them WITHOUT experiencing them. That is because the Holy Spirit IS one, and anyone who listens is inevitably led to demonstrate His way for ALL. You are not persecuted, nor was I. You are not asked to repeat my experience, because the Holy Spirit which we SHARE, makes this unnecessary. But to use my experiences constructively for yourselves, you must still follow my example in how to perceive them.
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