Saturday, November 3, 2012

I'm Thinking I'll Go On Strike

Pam and I watched Atlas Shrugged Part 1 last night on Netflix and then I stayed up and watched the bio doc on Ayn Rand's life, AYN RAND & THE PROPHECY OF ATLAS SHRUGGED. The trailer of which is linked here:

The documentary is worth watching and explains the dangers of the tendencies of our government, regardless of the party, to move toward socialism, principally because of our Christian foundations surrounding "guilt" and what we are taught about sacrifice to help the less fortunate. What is amazing is that she, an immigrant from Communist Russia in 1926, saw the U.S. Government going in the same direction as Communism and wrote three novels about the dangers. It seems a classic case of right intention, wrong consequence, or doing the wrong thing for the right reason.

The last novel was Atlas Shrugged that came out in 1957. At that time, of course, the U.S. was in a period of prosperity and no one would believe her. In the last few years, however, I guess the book has been extremely popular... like the rise in gun purchases. Will the U.S. be the first nation in human history that pulls itself back from the brink of destruction? Time will tell.

This trailer from the documentary is a good summary of her philosophy and of the book. One problem that gave her fits in 1957 when Atlas Shrugged was released is her use of the word "selfishness." Being a Russian immigrant her use is an equivocation with how contemporary Christians typically define the word. Thus, her philosophy and her concept of "the virtue of selfishness" can appear to offend Christians until they understand that Rand is talking about the love of self and the Christian concept of dignity, not the sinful nature of demeaning others for self aggrandizement.  Her philosophy, also called Objectivism, can be defined as a way to perceive Natural Law, and therefore it is a foundational way to understand Christian philosophy without using Christian jargon. Here are a couple lines for the Wikipedia article:
Rand characterized Objectivism as "a philosophy for living on earth," grounded in reality, and aimed at defining human nature and the nature of the world in which we live.

 My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute. (Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged.)
I commend the trailer that links above, and the book Atlas Shrugged. I read it once in high school but didn't understand it until recent years. I've repurchased and will read again.

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