Monday, January 5, 2009

What I’m Reading

Atlas Shrugged (Centennial Ed. HC) is a literary treatise about those who work hard in the world and those who do not—and the ensuing consequences when the workers tire of the exploitation.

I’m reading the book again in light of the world’s current challenges, having first read it when I was about 14. At that age, I had no real comprehension regarding capitalism vs. socialism.

While I’m not an atheist as is the controversial Rand, my parents did teach me the reciprocity of value to be found in work. Their teachings and this book were instrumental in the formation of work ethics to which I adhere today.

Source: Catalog Card Generator at

The core of the story is enigmatic John Galt’s radio speech to the nation explaining the rationality behind the strike (“This is John Galt Speaking," part III, chapter VII) and serves as a summary of Rand’s
objectivist philosophy.

As we move forward to meet new challenges in 2009, I hope each of us remembers to value whatever constitutes our life’s work—and that it is treated with respect by others.



iSew said...

One of my favorite books...ever!! I must put it on my re-read list. Thanks so much for reminding me.

btw A friend of mine has this on his license plate frame....
"Ayn was right...Atlas Shrugged" haha

African Kelli said...

This is on my list to read this year. I loved The Fountainhead and am looking forward t it. Thanks for the review!

Thimbleanna said...

Ahhh Miss Junie -- You've hit upon one of my all time favorite books! I LOVE it. Happy, Happy re-reading!

shenry said...

What a book. I give it the highest praise that I can give to any book: Life changing. Any book that fundamentally changes the way I perceive the world is an amazing book. It's a bear to read though. It's so dense that I read had to take two breaks to read other books.

Michael M said...

Hi Junie,

Just browsing by, I caught your brief but delightful review, and was startled by the line saying you would like to marry capitalism to socialism. So I popped in to save you a whole lot of trouble, because that is what we already have in the US, Canada, Europe, etc. today. And what we have had nigh on a century or two. Actually, no country on earth has ever had a genuine capitalist government.

The capitalism in which a Howard Roark or John Galt would be satisfied is based on an ethical mandate that arises from recognizing the following:

1) The quality and quantity of our life depends on how well we utilize our minds and our bodies (our actions).

2) Since that is always a matter of choice, because we are volitional beings, every one of us is equally fallible.

3) Consequently, no one should ever be forced to act against his own judgment by the choices of another equally fallible person or group of fallible persons.

4) Since the only way to get someone to act against their own judgment is to use physical force or threat thereof, then the only right form of government would be one that is authorized to use its force only to prevent the use of physical force in the interrelationships among all persons.

Thus real capitalism is a government that does nothing else but guarantee that all exchanges of values, tangible or intangible, are voluntarily made.

This is in one sentence the primary principle of Rand's radical capitalism:

No person shall initiate the use of physical force to gain, withhold, or destroy any value created by or acquired in a voluntary exchange by another person.

You will never marry socialism to that. The core of socialism is the idea that a society (majority) may take values from one group (minority) under threat of force and give them to others when they can't think of another way to get what they want for whom they want.

Ultimately, there is only one basic alternative in politics - freedom or force. They are as diametrically opposed as life and death. And what would a marriage of those beget?

Robyn said...

June! Hey doll! I am back and happy that I am I see you are too! Lucky ducky me! Happy New Year to you and yours! And can you tell me how you put up your facebook logo?! That is wonderful! Love ya! And love the snow you got!

Anonymous said...

June, great advice and I can see how influential his writings were for you. You've done a splendid job sewing the thoughts together.