Monday, January 19, 2009

Love, Sacrifice and Need



I am currently reading Atlas Shrugged again. Atlas Shrugged was the seminal novel by Ayn Rand that helped to shape and define the Libertarian movement. (Although, Ayn Rand always considered herself to be an Objectivist, not a Libertarian.) Atlas Shrugged is considered to be one of the most influential novels of the 20th century. It falls into the must read category.

The novel is set in America during a time of economic decay. As the economy falters, the government intervenes with more programs and controls. These controls further damage the economy which leads to even more government controls. The government is always preaching about the need for sacrifice and the public good. Sound familiar? We are now living this novel.

However, while the novel did deal with economic matters, the prime focus was on the spiritual. For just as we have looters and moochers in the economy, we have people who loot the spirit. These are the people that claim that their “need” is justification for their claim on a man’s life.

One of Ayn Rand’s key concepts was “Sanction of the Victim.” The premise is that evil is a parasite on the good and can only exist if the good tolerates it. The question is – what if those who produce cease to allow their work and life to be looted? What if we should shrug off the notion that life is to live for others?

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