Daniel Kuehn, March 15, 2012:
My reaction to the story itself (I’ve only read the first 100 pages or so of the book, and that was many years ago) was the same as the suspicions about it that I shared on here a couple months back after seeing the trailer: Ayn Rand really reaches for the low-hanging fruit with this story, and yet somehow it’s an epic libertarian tale.
Think about it – who are the “bad guys” in Atlas Shrugged?: Blatantly corrupt businessmen and politicians. A lobbyist. Obnoxious dead-beat family members. A wife that insults you to your face. These are the bad guys.
Who are the “good guys” in Atlas Shrugged?: Innovative entrepreneuers. The people with a can-do attitude. The creative people who just want to earn money and make a better life for themselves.
You don’t have to be an Objectivist or a libertarian to be on the same page as Rand on this one!
Anyway – I thought the movie was entertaining enough. It’s a story about entrepreneurs who withdraw from society when they don’t think they can earn a profit anymore, and it’s a story that criticizes the rentier class which doesn’t build and create things for the money they enjoy. What Keynesian wouldn’t enjoy a movie like that???
Paul Krugman, December 28, 2010:
Paul Ryan requires that his staffers read Atlas Shrugged. I mean, I was inspired by Isaac Asimov, but I don’t think I’m Hari Seldon — whereas Ryan, it seems, really does think he’s John Galt.Time to bring out the classic quote:
There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.
Future historians will giggle at our expense.
I’m giggling already, but I’m sure I must have misunderstood what Krugman really meant here. Apparently I do that a LOT.