Friday, October 12, 2007

Atlas Shrugged?

Today, October 12, marks the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged. It was a huge, hotly debated bestseller in its day, and its sales have held steady ever since. According to a 1991 report by the Library of Congress, Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand is second only to the Bible in the influence it has had on readers' lives.

I must confess! I passed through a rather intense Ayn Rand phase in my own philosophical journey. At that point, all around me, I was hearing the words: “Atlas Shrugged changed my life.”

Rand was from a educated, prosperous Soviet family who suffered terribly under communism. Her lifelong hatred for communism was superseded only by her love for the United States. She loved its skyscrapers, its technology, its machinery, its individualism, its energy. She was a thorough bred Aristotelian both in word and deed.

Unfortunately for Rand, she loathed religion as much as she hated communism. Being a fool for Christ myself, I was saddened to discover that she saw Christianity as the religion of fools and slaves. The woman was audacious in her worldly wisdom. For example, when faced with the writings of C.S. Lewis, Rand declared him to be a “driveling non-entity,” a “mediocrity,” and “scum.” (see, 1 Corinthians 4.13)

In place of Christianity, Rand, the antichrist, heralded objectivism - with objective reason as its god! Rational, responsible and principled individualism was her philosophy for living. In and of itself, objectivism is very compelling. It promotes values like love, friendship, wealth, and comfort. It respects science, technology, and innovation. It emphasizes reason and clarity. It values purposefulness, achievement, and success. It reveres passionate living, and pursing the greatest heights. All good things but meaningless without a knowledge of Jesus Christ and the power of his resurrection.

So instead of glorifying and enjoying God, Rand set personal happiness as the extreme goal and objectivism as the philosophy that gives you the tools to figure out how to achieve it. Consequently, Atlas Shrugged turns out to be no more than diddly squat in light of the ultimate influence of the Bible.

Jesus Hugged!

enjoy, ron

1 comment:

Dennis E. McFadden said...

You and the former Fed Chair were Ayn Rand fans, huh? Yikes! Pretty scary dealing with the likes of the princess of darkness herself. Greenspan even sent that famous letter to the editor of the NY Times defending his partroness. The severity of her selfism always struck me as suffocating.