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Atlas Shrugged Still A Book Business People Mistake For Serious Philosophy and/or Literature

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In other New York Times gold this weekend (we know, #1 and #3 on the New York Times top-10, but both stories are especially cringe-worthy), the paper is gearing up for the 50th anniversary of the publishing of Atlas Shrugged. Guess what? There are some business people who think Atlas Shrugged qualifies as a real book, or something more than popular fiction.
Could an article for once stick a fork in Rand? A lot of books are popular. We’re sorry, but if Atlas Shrugged (or objectivism) is serious philosophy, then The Da Vinci Code is serious theology.
There’s no shame into admitting you read Atlas Shrugged in high school and got a bit of an over-ambitious upper-middle-class hard-on for your world conquering prospects. But it’s a phase you grow out of. Then again, some people still dress as elves (we live for LARP), some have a copy of Atlas Shrugged in their corner offices. A few years later and most people who grew up in bubbles (suburbanites) can laugh while admitting that they skipped the insufferable 200 page John Galt speech (in the same way you can laugh at how you thought your “Rage Against the Machine” albums were capturing your upper-middle-class teen angst).
It certainly takes that very misplaced “Big Hitter” hubris to find Rand’s work a viable replacement for Cialis, and it glorifies the denial of any real social responsibility or civic duty, so it’s no surprise that Rand’s work is popular in the corporate sector (also it takes an incredibly high I-banking analyst threshold for pain to suffer through the aforementioned speech).
There’s no shame in admitting a past affection. A lot of people got Nietzsche wrong (batty people in coffee shops, the Nazis), but it amazes us that people still find “inspiration” in Rand’s silly one-dimensional characters. Scratch that, they don’t. A few rich people, some people in neocon think tanks and Alan Greenspan (pictured, and yes, that pretty much sums up the Wall Street Journal editorial page) don’t constitute much of a consensus, despite the efforts of institutes devoted to spread Rand’s work and act eerily mystical about the batty trainwreck of an individual that was Ayn herself.
Ayn Rand’s Literature of Capitalism [New York Times]


(Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons)

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