Thursday, May 27, 2010

Running instead of shrugging

George Will has a great op-ed out today spotlighting the impact of Atlas Shrugged:
EXCERPTS: Before what he calls "the jaw-dropping” events of the last 19 months — TARP, the stimulus, Government Motors, the mistreatment of Chrysler’s creditors, Obamacare, etc. — the idea of running for office never crossed Ron Johnson’s mind. He was, however, dry tinder — he calls Ayn Rand’s "Atlas Shrugged” his "foundational book” — and now is ablaze, in an understated, upper-Midwestern way. This 55-year-old manufacturer of plastic products from Oshkosh is what the tea party looks like. . . .

The theme of his campaign, the genesis of which was an invitation to address a tea party rally, is: "First of all, freedom.” Then? "Then you’ve got to put meat on the bones.” He gets much of his meat from The Wall Street Journal’s opinion pages. And from a Wisconsin congressman, Paul Ryan, whose "road map” for entitlement reform Johnson praises. Health care? "Mitch Daniels has the solution.” Indiana’s Republican governor has offered state employees the choice of consumer-controlled Health Savings Accounts, and 70 percent of Indiana state workers now choose them.

"The most basic right,” Johnson says, "is the right to keep your property.” Remembering the golden age when, thanks to Ronald Reagan, the top income tax rate was 28 percent, Johnson says: "For a brief moment we were 72 percent free.” Johnson’s daughter, now a nurse in neonatal intensive care, was born with a serious heart defect. The operations "when her heart was only the size of a small plum” made him passionate about protecting the incentives that bring forth excellent physicians. . . .
Here's the comment on the piece that I posted on

The message of Atlas Shrugged is: Altruism doesn't work. Human beings ARE individuals and have the right to live their own lives for their own sakes AS INDIVIDUALS.

And human beings are capable of living their own lives and getting what they want without hurting others. They are not incompetent monsters by definition who need to be controlled and cared for by the government. Reality IS intelligible and human beings ARE capable of understanding it by means of their own minds - by using Reason.

This means human beings are capable of moral reasoning and can decide for themselves how to live their lives - to survive and even thrive - without the help of any outside agent, supernatural or otherwise.

It is rational self-interest - properly understood - that is the truly benevolent way for human beings to live with each other. NOT altruism.

THAT is the message of Atlas Shrugged and the ultimate meaning of Freedom.

Rob Abiera

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