Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
Atlas Shrugged, written by Ayn Rand is a novel on the subject of human action on a grand scale. The author cleverly connects physical actions to essential values. Even though in this romantic novel, portrait of the mind and analysis are also discussed, the author’s main point lies with the subject of human action. She chooses and incorporates events and actions to present the theme which is the function of the human mind in an individual’s life. It is a tale of individuals in action. The author reasons in the basics in connecting all the concerns of the actions in the story. The interest of the author lies on the principles and concerns that may be articulated in action. The novel’s course of action is built on the incorporation of values and principles of the human mind and body. The author in this manner presents actions behind broad abstract ideologies.
The author introduces the conflict in the language of action. As a result, she creates a purposeful sequence of events. To achieve this end, the author depicts headstrong personas and the looters, characters in strong moral conflict with each other. The author by this means brilliantly communicates the course of conflict in action. The characters Dagny Taggart and Hank Rearden are themselves the main creative thinkers. The two philosophically oppose the looters, although in action they serve in the latter’s defense. Moreover, existentially, the two disagree with Galt and the rest of the strikers except that philosophically, they are in accordance with what the strikers are trying to fight for. Atlas Shrugged is a novel of human action wherein moral conflicts may not be separated.
The government wanted to restrict the production of the creative human mind (Rand 133). In opposition, the author stresses her stand opposing the kind of society that robs from an individual his or her right for the reduced benefits of the majority who decide not to achieve their maximum potential possible.
The looters are those who do not utilize their individual ingenuity or power to generate wealth. They are those who are completely reliant on the creative thinkers who then turned out to be the strikers of the human mind. The strikers on the other hand, are those people who formed, developed, and engineered the structure of the modern world. At that point where the creative thinkers abandoned society, society as it used to be fell down.
The moment an individual is not tested in accordance to his or her own personal abilities as well as creative potential, it will result in a significant decline in production. The absence of hope in attaining some meaning in an individual’s life work will bring about a kind of society that is brought down to a group of mindless workers subjected to a exploitive and tyrannical system of government.
The moment the ownership of the means of production is left to the government, there is no more incentive afforded to creativity. This will result in all things carried out to advance progress. The direction of the government which seizes power with an iron hand hinders the achievement of success by anyone who aims to prosper or benefit beyond the mask of the system’s intrusions and legalities.
The novel promotes the benefits and gains of a pure capitalistic society which aims to express and assert these standards concisely throughout the story, supporting the merits of capitalism as well as the power of the human mind (Rand 1067). The author regards capitalism from a moral standpoint which supersedes it for solely financial goals and in that case develops into a mantra for a philosophical lifestyle that stresses on logic, reason and mental power.
Atlas Shrugged recognizes an individual’s freedom of choice, freewill as well as his or her power to achieve the purpose for his or her existence. An individual possessing a rational mind may be able to decide on a purpose, take actions to realize that end, and discover or design a way to achieve it. An individual is capable of initiating and choosing the course of action he or she would want to take.
The novel presents and explains what is primary in studying human actions is the nature of an individual and that an individual’s distinctive mode of action includes rationality and free will. It portrays and describes that what is most important in analyzing human action which is that the nature of an individual and that individual’s means of action involves his or her freewill and rationality. The author portrays the individual as someone who posses a rational mind and freewill. The individual presented in the novel has the ability to shape his or her own purpose and goal. The author presents that the individual’s course of action requires deliberate, normative, and purposeful code of conduct.
The author depicts an individual as a human being with a rational mind who needs a moral system of conduct to serve as a guide for his or her courses of actions. She presents that the idea of value is the fundamental and influential component of his or her existence. The personas and sequence of events in the novel then illustrate the philosophical beliefs that influence the real human existence. The conflict that exists between the creative thinkers and the looters presents the battle between opposing principles and values. Since human values are concepts created out of interpretations, concretes are presented to the reader so that abstract values may appear to be valid for him or her.
The author depicts the heroes of the novel as they rise above the obstacles that come along their way. After all, it is them who set the world in motion and bear its burden over their shoulders. Taggart and Rearden are depicted as self-starters and the driving force of their individual pursuit of happiness. On the other hand, the producers are portrayed as the self-initiated people who regard their personal judgments and are only after their selfish gains. The heroes of the novel are exceptional characters who embody the individual as he or she could and ought to be.
The author cleverly incorporates the character’s internally consistent course of action, his or her judgment, as well as the words that accompany his or her intentions. The certain details that the character portrays are linked to broader fundamental concepts and more profound motivations of the person he or she is. An individual’s fundamental moral principles and ideas shape his or her character as well as encourage him or her to take action.
The characters in the novel are individuals in whom particular characteristics and actions are identified more consistently and strongly than in the average person. The author’s technique is to concentrate carefully on intentions, characters, and particularly actions that form differences in character. An individual’s actions constantly show important facets of his person for instance, the way he perceives life as well as his rational stand. By eliminating shallow aspects of a character, the author makes it clear that focus is not averted from fundamental goals and intentions. For that reason, the reader is able to obtain a clear and profound insight into the characters portrayed for instance, the self-made sufferer for a cause industrialist on blended moral values, Hank Rearden and the ultimate epic champion, Dagny Taggart, to name a few.
Taggart and Rearden are in opposition to the strikers because for one, Taggart abandons the strikers and responds to the real world for the reason that she believes she can rescue her railroad, along with her world all by herself. Rearden on the other hand, poses a threat to the strikers in action since he keeps on battling for his mills and unconsciously supports the looters’ administration. His main fault lies in his obedience to agree to the looter’s concept that he is compelled to rescue others. The moment Rearden ultimately surrenders this idea he was able to see the looters’ administration for what it really is and finally became one with the strikers he and Taggart initially opposed.
The novel is a study of the important creators who are able to perceive, create links and produce what was never before seen. It reveals that the human mind is the cause of the generation and preservation of wealth. The ardent creator is the engineer and noticeable hand that moves and shakes in markets. Consumption follows production. It relies on it. Acknowledging the integration of the individual’s body and mind, the author maintains that the logical, purposeful, and ingenious nature of an individual’s action is evident in the process of material production.
It also presents that the illogical looters require the support of rational individuals to achieve success in their undertakings. The moral system of unselfishness is applied against and assumed by the creative thinkers who are condemned for their success and riches. This is the punishment for the target of moral standard. To be able to get the creative thinkers and the rest of the rational individuals to withdraw their punishment of altruist principles, Galt reveals the altruist principles’ senselessness and failure to contend with reality by means of his convincing agreement and by staging the strike.
Hence, Atlas Shrugged stresses the value of rationality, freedom, and individuality. In it, the readers are able to obtain a novel understanding of the author’s philosophical as well as literary contributions to humanity and how their relevance to day to day life can develop an individual’s quest for learning using the comprehensive structure of the means of knowing by way of the realms of meaning.
Rand, Ayn. Atlas Shrugged. New York: Penguin Putnam, Incorporated, 1999.