Atlas Readies Shrug?

Sales of Ayn Rand’s classic novel Atlas Shrugged have gone through the roof since the election of Barack Obama. The Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights has announced:

Sales of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged have almost tripled over the first seven weeks of this year compared with sales for the same period in 2008. This continues a strong trend after bookstore sales reached an all-time annual high in 2008 of about 200,000 copies sold.

“Americans are flocking to buy and read Atlas Shrugged because there are uncanny similarities between the plot-line of the book and the events of our day” said Yaron Brook, Executive Director at the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights. “Americans are rightfully concerned about the economic crisis and government’s increasing intervention and attempts to control the economy. Ayn Rand understood and identified the deeper causes of the crisis we’re facing, and she offered, in ‘Atlas Shrugged,’ a principled and practical solution consistent with American values."

Atlas Shrugged is the novel that asks the question “Who is John Galt?” The character Galt is an inventor/engineer who represents the creative spirit of the American entrepreneur. Galt is the moving force behind the notion of Atlas shrugging: the people who actually run the economy and do the day to day work in America simply shutting the country down.

Rand’s point about the possible “shrug” of the entrepreneurial class (and she was right about this) is that governments cannot last without the productive input of the private sector.  Even socialist systems rely heavily on the black market for the production of needed goods and services.

The sales of a book do not necessarily mean that this Atlas we call America is preparing to shrug. But if American workers and business owners do finally shrug ... look out.

Hat tip: Jeanette

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