This article is about the novel. For the film adaptations, see Atlas Shrugged (film series). Atlas Shrugged First edition Author Ayn Rand Country United States Language English Genre Philosophical fictionScience fictionMystery fictionRomance novel Published 1957 Publisher Random House Pages 1168 (first edition) OCLC 412355486 Atlas Shrugged is a 1957 novel by Ayn Rand. Rand's fourth and final novel, it was also her longest, and the one she considered to be her magnum opus in the realm of fiction writing.
Atlas Shrugged includes elements of science fiction, mystery, and romance, and it contains Rand's most extensive statement of Objectivism in any of her works of fiction. The book depicts a dystopian United States in which private businesses suffer under increasingly burdensome laws and regulations. Railroad executive Dagny Taggart and her lover, steel magnate Hank Rearden, struggle against looters who want to exploit their productivity, including Dagny's brother and Hank's wife.
As Dagny and Hank fight the looters' efforts to control their business operations and confiscate their production, they realize a mysterious figure called John Galt is convincing other business leaders to abandon their companies and disappear. While investigating a strange electric motor found in a ruined factory, Dagny finds a sheltered valley where Galt and the missing businessmen have been hiding.
Galt is leading a "strike" of productive individuals against the looters. The strike escalates when Galt announces his views in a radio address, leading to a collapse of the government. The novel ends with the strikers planning to build a new capitalist society based on Galt's philosophy of reason and individualism. The theme of Atlas Shrugged, as Rand described it, is "the role of man's mind in existence".
The book explores a number of philosophical themes from which Rand would subsequently develop Objectivism. In doing so, it expresses the advocacy of reason, individualism, and capitalism, and depicts what Rand saw to be the failures of governmental coercion. Atlas Shrugged received largely negative reviews after its 1957 publication, but achieved enduring popularity and consistent sales in the following decades.
 History Context and writing Rand's stated goal for writing the novel was "to show how desperately the world needs prime movers and how viciously it treats them" and to portray "what happens to the world without them". The core idea for the book came to her after a 1943 telephone conversation with a friend, who asserted that Rand owed it to her readers to write fiction about her philosophy.
Rand replied, "What if I went on strike? What if all the creative minds of the world went on strike?" Rand then began Atlas Shrugged to depict the morality of rational self-interest, by exploring the consequences of a strike by intellectuals refusing to supply their inventions, art, business leadership, scientific research, or new ideas to the rest of the world. Rand studied operations of the New York Central Railroad as research for the story.
To produce Atlas Shrugged, Rand conducted research on the American railroad industry. Her previous work on a proposed (but never realized) screenplay based on the development of the atomic bomb, including her interviews of J. Robert Oppenheimer, was used in the portrait of the character Robert Stadler and the novel's depiction of the development of "Project X". To do further background research, Rand toured and inspected a number of industrial facilities, such as the Kaiser Steel plant, rode the locomotives of the New York Central Railroad, and even learned to operate the locomotive of the Twentieth Century Limited (and proudly reported that when operating it, "nobody touched a lever except me").
 Rand's self-identified literary influences include Victor Hugo, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Edmond Rostand, and O. Henry. In addition, Justin Raimondo has observed similarities between Atlas Shrugged and the 1922 novel The Driver, written by Garet Garrett, which concerns an idealized industrialist named Henry Galt, who is a transcontinental railway owner trying to improve the world and fighting against government and socialism.
In contrast, Chris Matthew Sciabarra found Raimondo's "claims that Rand plagiarized ... The Driver" to be "unsupported", and Stephan Kinsella doubts that Rand was in any way influenced by Garrett. Writer Bruce Ramsey said both novels "have to do with running railroads during an economic depression, and both suggest pro-capitalist ways in which the country might get out of the depression. But in plot, character, tone, and theme they are very different.
" Atlas Shrugged was Rand's last completed work of fiction. It marked a turning point in her life—the end of her career as a novelist and the beginning of her role as a popular philosopher. Publishing history Random House CEO Bennett Cerf oversaw the novel's publication in 1957. Due to the success of Rand's 1943 novel The Fountainhead, she had no trouble attracting a publisher for Atlas Shrugged.
This was a contrast to her previous novels, which she had struggled to place. Even before she began writing it, she had been approached by publishers interested in her next novel. However, her contract for The Fountainhead gave the first option to its publisher, Bobbs-Merrill Company. After reviewing a partial manuscript, they asked her to discuss a number of cuts and other changes. She refused, and Bobbs-Merrill rejected the book.
 Hiram Hayden, an editor she liked who had left Bobbs-Merrill, asked her to consider his new employer, Random House. In an early discussion about the difficulties of publishing a controversial novel, Random House president Bennett Cerf proposed that Rand should submit the manuscript to multiple publishers simultaneously and ask how they would respond to its ideas, so she could evaluate who might best promote her work.
Rand was impressed by the bold suggestion and by her overall conversations with them. After speaking with a few other publishers, of about a dozen who were interested, Rand decided multiple submissions were not needed; she offered the manuscript to Random House. Upon reading the portion Rand submitted, Cerf declared it a "great book" and offered Rand a contract. It was the first time Rand had worked with a publisher whose executives seemed truly enthusiastic about one of her books.
 Random House published the novel on October 10, 1957. The initial print run was 100,000 copies. The first paperback edition was published by New American Library in July 1959, with an initial run of 150,000. A 35th-anniversary edition was published by E. P. Dutton in 1992, with an introduction by Rand's legal heir, Leonard Peikoff. The novel has been translated into more than 25 languages.
[note 1] Title and chapters The working title throughout her writing was The Strike, but Rand having thought this title would have revealed the mystery element of the novel prematurely, she was pleased when her husband suggested Atlas Shrugged, previously the title of a single chapter, for the book. The title is a reference to Atlas, a Titan described in the novel as "the giant who holds the world on his shoulders".
The significance of this reference appears in a conversation between the characters Francisco d'Anconia and Hank Rearden, in which d'Anconia asks Rearden what advice he would give Atlas upon seeing that "the greater [the titan's] effort, the heavier the world bore down on his shoulders". With Rearden unable to answer, d'Anconia gives his own response: "To shrug". The novel is divided into three parts consisting of ten chapters each.
Robert James Bidinotto said, "the titles of the parts and chapters suggest multiple layers of meaning. The three parts, for example, are named in honor of Aristotle's laws of logic ... Part One is titled 'Non-Contradiction' ... Part Two, titled 'Either-Or' ... [and] Part Three is titled 'A Is A', a reference to 'the Law of Identity'." Synopsis Setting Atlas Shrugged is set in a dystopian United States at an unspecified time, in which the country has a "National Legislature" instead of Congress and a "Head of State" instead of a President.
The government has increasingly extended its control over businesses with increasingly stringent regulations. The United States also appears to be approaching an economic collapse, with widespread shortages, constant business failures, and severely decreased productivity. Writer Edward Younkins said, "The story may be simultaneously described as anachronistic and timeless. The pattern of industrial organization appears to be that of the late 1800s—the mood seems to be close to that of the depression-era 1930s.
Both the social customs and the level of technology remind one of the 1950s". Many early 20th-century technologies are available, and the steel and railroad industries are especially significant; jet planes are described as a relatively new technology, and television is significantly less influential than radio. Although other countries are mentioned in passing, the Soviet Union, World War II, or the Cold War are not.
The countries of the world are implied to be organized along vaguely Marxist lines, with references to "People's States" in Europe and South America. Characters also refer to nationalization of businesses in these "People's States", as well as in America. The economy of the book's present is contrasted with the capitalism of 19th century America, recalled as a lost Golden Age. Plot See also: List of Atlas Shrugged characters As the novel opens, protagonist Dagny Taggart, the Operating Vice President of Taggart Transcontinental, a railroad company established by her grandfather, attempts to keep the company alive against collectivism and statism amid a sustained economic depression.
While economic conditions worsen and government agencies enforce their control on successful businesses, the citizens are often heard repeating the cryptic phrase "Who is John Galt?", in response to questions to which the individual has no answer. It sarcastically means: "Don't ask important questions, because we don't have answers"; or more broadly, "What's the point?" or "Why bother?". Her brother, James Taggart, the railroad's president, is peripherally aware of the company's troubles, but seems to make irrational decisions, such as preferring to buy steel from Orren Boyle's Associated Steel, rather than Hank Rearden's Rearden Steel, despite the former continually delaying delivery of vital rail while the latter delivers on schedule.
In this as in other decisions, Dagny simply continues her own policy amid others. She is nevertheless disappointed to discover that the Argentine billionaire Francisco d'Anconia, her childhood friend and first love, appears to be destroying his family's international copper company without cause by constructing the San Sebastián copper mines, despite the fact that Mexico is under a Communist government that is planning to nationalize the mines.
She soon realizes that d'Anconia is actually taking advantage of the investors by building worthless mines. Despite the risk, Jim and his allies at Associated Steel invest a large amount of capital into building a railway in the region while ignoring the more crucial Rio Norte Line in Colorado, which has been threatened by the rival Phoenix-Durango Railroad after the former began transporting supplies for Ellis Wyatt, who has revitalized the region after discovering large oil reserves.
Dagny minimizes losses on the San Sebastian Line by pulling obsolete trains on the line, which Jim is forced to take credit for after the line is nationalized as Dagny predicted. Meanwhile, in response to the success of Phoenix-Durango, the National Alliance of Railroads, a group containing the railroad companies of the United States, pass the "anti-dog-eat-dog" rule prohibiting competition in economically-prosperous areas while forcing other railroads to extend rail service to "blighted" areas of the country, with seniority going to more established railroads.
The ruling effectively ruins Phoenix-Durango, upsetting Dagny. Wyatt subsequently arrives in Dagny's office and presents her with a 9-month ultimatum: if she does not supply adequate rail service to his wells by the time the ruling takes place and rail service would be temporarily suspended, he will not use her service, effectively ensuring financial failure for Taggart Transcontinental. In Philadelphia, Hank Rearden, a self-made steel magnate, has developed an alloy called Rearden Metal, which is simultaneously lighter and stronger than conventional steel.
Rearden keeps its composition secret, sparking jealousy among competitors. Dagny opts to use Rearden Metal in the Rio Norte Line, becoming the first major customer to purchase the product. As a result, pressure is put on Dagny to use conventional steel, but she refuses. Hank's career is hindered by his feelings of obligation to his wife, mother, and younger brother. After Hank refuses to sell the metal to the State Science Institute, a government research foundation run by Dr.
Robert Stadler, the Institute publishes a report condemning the metal without actually identifying problems with it. As a result, many significant organizations boycott the line. Although Stadler agrees with Dagny's complaints over the unscientific tone of the report, he refuses to override it. Dagny also becomes acquainted with Wesley Mouch, a Washington lobbyist initially working for Rearden, whom he betrays, and later notices the nation's most capable business leaders abruptly disappearing, leaving their industries to failure.
The most recent of these is Ellis Wyatt, the sole founder and supervisor of Wyatt Oil, who leaves his most successful oil well spewing petroleum and fire into the air (later named "Wyatt's Torch"). Each of these men remains absent despite a thorough search by politicians. Having demonstrated the reliability of Rearden Metal in a railroad line named after John Galt, Hank Rearden and Dagny Taggart become paramours, and later discover, amongst the ruins of an abandoned factory, an incomplete motor that transforms atmospheric static electricity into kinetic energy, of which they seek the inventor.
Eventually, this search reveals the reason of business-leaders' disappearances, when Dagny pursues a scientist to "Galt's Gulch", where the character John Galt is leading an organized "strike" of business leaders against the government. Reluctant to forsake her railroad, Dagny leaves Galt's Gulch, but Galt follows Dagny to New York City, where he hacks into a national radio broadcast to deliver a long speech (70 pages in the first edition), to explain the novel's theme and Rand's Objectivism.
 As the government collapses, the authorities capture Galt, but he is rescued by his partisans, while New York City loses its electricity. The novel closes as Galt announces that they will later reorganize the world. Themes Philosophy Main article: Objectivism (Ayn Rand) Author Ayn Rand used the novel to communicate many of her philosophical ideas. The story of Atlas Shrugged dramatically expresses Rand's ethical egoism, her advocacy of "rational selfishness", whereby all of the principal virtues and vices are applications of the role of reason as man's basic tool of survival (or a failure to apply it): rationality, honesty, justice, independence, integrity, productiveness, and pride.
Rand's characters often personify her view of the archetypes of various schools of philosophy for living and working in the world. Robert James Bidinotto wrote, "Rand rejected the literary convention that depth and plausibility demand characters who are naturalistic replicas of the kinds of people we meet in everyday life, uttering everyday dialogue and pursuing everyday values. But she also rejected the notion that characters should be symbolic rather than realistic.
" and Rand herself stated, "My characters are never symbols, they are merely men in sharper focus than the audience can see with unaided sight. ... My characters are persons in whom certain human attributes are focused more sharply and consistently than in average human beings". In addition to the plot's more obvious statements about the significance of industrialists to society, and the sharp contrast to Marxism and the labor theory of value, this explicit conflict is used by Rand to draw wider philosophical conclusions, both implicit in the plot and via the characters' own statements.
Atlas Shrugged caricatures fascism, socialism, communism, and any state intervention in society, as allowing unproductive people to "leech" the hard-earned wealth of the productive, and Rand contends that the outcome of any individual's life is purely a function of its ability, and that any individual could overcome adverse circumstances, given ability and intelligence. Sanction of the victim The concept "sanction of the victim" is defined by Leonard Peikoff as "the willingness of the good to suffer at the hands of the evil, to accept the role of sacrificial victim for the 'sin' of creating values".
 Accordingly, throughout Atlas Shrugged, numerous characters are frustrated by this sanction, as when Hank Rearden appears duty-bound to support his family, despite their hostility toward him; later, the principle is stated by Dan Conway: "I suppose somebody's got to be sacrificed. If it turned out to be me, I have no right to complain". John Galt further explains the principle: "Evil is impotent and has no power but that which we let it extort from us", and, "I saw that evil was impotent .
.. and the only weapon of its triumph was the willingness of the good to serve it". Government and business Rand's view of the ideal government is expressed by John Galt: "The political system we will build is contained in a single moral premise: no man may obtain any values from others by resorting to physical force", whereas "no rights can exist without the right to translate one's rights into reality—to think, to work and to keep the results—which means: the right of property".
 Galt himself lives a life of laissez-faire capitalism. At the end of the book, when the protagonists get ready to return and claim the ravaged world, Judge Narragansett drafts a new Amendment to the United States Constitution: "Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of production and trade". He is also "marking and crossing out the contradictions" in the Constitution's existing text.
In the world of Atlas Shrugged, society stagnates when independent productive agencies are socially demonized for their accomplishments. This is in agreement with an excerpt from a 1964 interview with Playboy magazine, in which Rand states: "What we have today is not a capitalist society, but a mixed economy — that is, a mixture of freedom and controls, which, by the presently dominant trend, is moving toward dictatorship.
The action in Atlas Shrugged takes place at a time when society has reached the stage of dictatorship. When and if this happens, that will be the time to go on strike, but not until then". Rand also depicts public choice theory, such that the language of altruism is used to pass legislation nominally in the public interest (e.g., the "Anti-Dog-Eat-Dog Rule", and "The Equalization of Opportunity Bill"), but more to the short-term benefit of special interests and government agencies.
 Property rights and individualism Rand's heroes continually oppose "parasites", "looters", and "moochers" who demand the benefits of the heroes' labor. Edward Younkins describes Atlas Shrugged as "an apocalyptic vision of the last stages of conflict between two classes of humanity—the looters and the non-looters. The looters are proponents of high taxation, big labor, government ownership, government spending, government planning, regulation, and redistribution".
 "Looters" are Rand's depiction of bureaucrats and government officials, who confiscate others' earnings by the implicit threat of force ("at the point of a gun"). Some officials execute government policy, such as those who confiscate one state's seed grain to feed the starving citizens of another; others exploit those policies, such as the railroad regulator who illegally sells the railroad's supplies for his own profit.
Both use force to take property from the people who produced or earned it. "Moochers" are Rand's depiction of those unable to produce value themselves, who demand others' earnings on behalf of the needy, but resent the talented upon whom they depend, and appeal to "moral right" while enabling the "lawful" seizure by governments. The character Francisco d'Anconia indicates the role of "looters" and "moochers" in relation to money: "So you think that money is the root of all evil? .
.. Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can't exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. ... Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears, or the looters who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men who produce." Genre The novel includes elements of mystery, romance, and science fiction.
 Rand referred to Atlas Shrugged as a mystery novel, "not about the murder of man's body, but about the murder—and rebirth—of man's spirit". Nonetheless, when asked by film producer Albert S. Ruddy if a screenplay could focus on the love story, Rand agreed and reportedly said, "That's all it ever was". Technological progress and intellectual breakthroughs in scientific theory appear in Atlas Shrugged, leading some observers to classify it in the genre of science fiction.
 Writer Jeff Riggenbach notes: "Galt's motor is one of the three inventions that propel the action of Atlas Shrugged", the other two being Rearden Metal and the government's sonic weapon, Project X. Other fictional technologies are "refractor rays" (to disguise Galt's Gulch), a sophisticated electrical torture device (the Ferris Persuader), voice-activated door locks (at the Gulch's power station), palm-activated door locks (in Galt's New York laboratory), Galt's means of quietly turning the entire contents of his laboratory into a fine powder when a lock is breached, and a means of taking over all radio stations worldwide.
Riggenbach adds, "Rand's overall message with regard to science seems clear: the role of science in human life and human society is to provide the knowledge on the basis of which technological advancement and the related improvements in the quality of human life can be realized. But science can fulfill this role only in a society in which human beings are left free to conduct their business as they see fit.
" Science fiction historian John J. Pierce describes it as a "romantic suspense novel" that is "at least a borderline case" of science fiction. Reception Sales Atlas Shrugged debuted on The New York Times Bestseller List at #13 three days after its publication. It peaked at #3 on December 8, 1957, and was on the list for 22 consecutive weeks. By 1984, its sales had exceeded five million copies.
 Sales of Atlas Shrugged increased following the 2007 financial crisis. The Economist reported that the 52-year-old novel ranked #33 among Amazon.com's top-selling books on January 13, 2009, and that its 30-day sales average showed the novel selling three times faster than during the same period of the previous year. With an attached sales chart, The Economist reported that sales "spikes" of the book seemed to coincide with the release of economic data.
Subsequently, on April 2, 2009, Atlas Shrugged ranked #1 in the "Fiction and Literature" category at Amazon and #15 in overall sales. Total sales of the novel in 2009 exceeded 500,000 copies. The book sold 445,000 copies in 2011, the second-strongest sales year in the novel's history. Contemporary reviews Atlas Shrugged was generally disliked by critics. Rand scholar Mimi Reisel Gladstein later wrote that "reviewers seemed to vie with each other in a contest to devise the cleverest put-downs"; one called it "execrable claptrap", while another said it showed "remorseless hectoring and prolixity".
 In the Saturday Review, Helen Beal Woodward said that the novel was written with "dazzling virtuosity" but was "shot through with hatred". This was echoed by Granville Hicks in The New York Times Book Review, who said the book was "written out of hate". The reviewer for Time magazine asked: "Is it a novel? Is it a nightmare? Is it Superman – in the comic strip or the Nietzschean version?" In the National Review, Whittaker Chambers called Atlas Shrugged "sophomoric" and "remarkably silly", and said it "can be called a novel only by devaluing the term".
 Chambers argued against the novel's implicit endorsement of atheism and said the implicit message of the novel is akin to "Hitler's National Socialism and Stalin's brand of Communism": "To a gas chamber—go!". The negative reviews produced responses from some of Rand's admirers. Alan Greenspan wrote a letter to The New York Times Book Review, in which he responded to Hicks' claim that "the book was written out of hate" by calling it "a celebration of life and happiness.
Justice is unrelenting. Creative individuals and undeviating purpose and rationality achieve joy and fulfillment. Parasites who persistently avoid either purpose or reason perish as they should." In a letter to the National Review (which they did not publish), Leonard Peikoff wrote, "... Mr. Chambers is an ex-Communist. He has attacked Atlas Shrugged in the best tradition of the Communists—by lies, smears, and cowardly misrepresentations.
" There were some positive reviews. Richard McLaughlin, reviewing the novel for The American Mercury, described it as a "long overdue" polemic against the welfare state with an "exciting, suspenseful plot", although unnecessarily long. He drew a comparison with the antislavery novel Uncle Tom's Cabin, saying that a "skillful polemicist" did not need a refined literary style to have a political impact.
 Journalist and book reviewer John Chamberlain, writing in the New York Herald Tribune, found Atlas Shrugged satisfying on many levels: as science fiction, as a "philosophical detective story", and as a "profound political parable". In a tribute written on the 20th anniversary of the novel's publication, John Hospers, a leading philosopher of aesthetics, praised it as "a supreme achievement, guaranteed of immortality".
 Influence and legacy Notable figures who have expressed admiration for Atlas Shrugged include (clockwise from upper left) economist Ludwig von Mises, commentator Glenn Beck, politician Paul Ryan, and Justice Clarence Thomas. Atlas Shrugged has attracted an energetic and committed fan base. Each year, the Ayn Rand Institute donates 400,000 copies of works by Rand, including Atlas Shrugged, to high school students.
 According to a 1991 survey done for the Library of Congress and the Book of the Month Club, Atlas Shrugged was mentioned among the books that made the most difference in the lives of 17 out of 5,000 Book-of-the-Month club members surveyed, which placed the novel between the Bible and M. Scott Peck's The Road Less Traveled.Modern Library's 1998 nonscientific online poll of the 100 best novels of the 20th century found Atlas rated #1, although it was not included on the list chosen by the Modern Library board of authors and scholars.
 Rand's impact on contemporary libertarian thought has been considerable. The title of one libertarian magazine, Reason: Free Minds, Free Markets, is taken directly from John Galt, the hero of Atlas Shrugged, who argues that "a free mind and a free market are corollaries". In 1983, the Libertarian Futurist Society gave the novel one of its first "Hall of Fame" awards. In 1997, the libertarian Cato Institute held a joint conference with The Atlas Society, an Objectivist organization, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the publication of Atlas Shrugged.
 At this event, Howard Dickman of Reader's Digest stated that the novel had "turned millions of readers on to the ideas of liberty" and said that the book had the important message of the readers' "profound right to be happy". Former Rand business partner and lover Nathaniel Branden has expressed differing views of Atlas Shrugged. He was initially quite favorable to it, and even after he and Rand ended their relationship, he still referred to it in an interview as "the greatest novel that has ever been written", although he found "a few things one can quarrel with in the book".
 However, in 1984 he argued that Atlas Shrugged "encourages emotional repression and self-disowning" and that her works contained contradictory messages. He criticized the potential psychological impact of the novel, stating that John Galt's recommendation to respond to wrongdoing with "contempt and moral condemnation" clashes with the view of psychologists who say this only causes the wrongdoing to repeat itself.
 The Austrian School economist Ludwig von Mises admired the unapologetic elitism he saw in Rand's work. In a letter to Rand written a few months after the novel's publication, he said it offered "a cogent analysis of the evils that plague our society, a substantiated rejection of the ideology of our self-styled 'intellectuals' and a pitiless unmasking of the insincerity of the policies adopted by governments and political parties .
.. You have the courage to tell the masses what no politician told them: you are inferior and all the improvements in your conditions which you simply take for granted you owe to the efforts of men who are better than you." In the years immediately following the novel's publication, many American conservatives, such as William F. Buckley, Jr., strongly disapproved of Rand and her Objectivist message.
 In addition to the strongly critical review by Whittaker Chambers, Buckley solicited a number of critical pieces: Russell Kirk called Objectivism an "inverted religion",Frank Meyer accused Rand of "calculated cruelties" and her message, an "arid subhuman image of man", and Garry Wills regarded Rand a "fanatic". In the late 2000s, however, conservative commentators suggested the book as a warning against a socialistic reaction to the finance crisis.
Conservative commentators Neal Boortz,Glenn Beck, and Rush Limbaugh offered praise of the book on their respective radio and television programs. In 2006, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States Clarence Thomas cited Atlas Shrugged as among his favorite novels.Republican Congressman John Campbell said, for example, "People are starting to feel like we're living through the scenario that happened in [the novel] .
.. We're living in Atlas Shrugged", echoing Stephen Moore in an article published in The Wall Street Journal on January 9, 2009, titled "Atlas Shrugged From Fiction to Fact in 52 Years". In 2005, Republican Congressman Paul Ryan said that Rand was "the reason I got into public service", and he later required his staff members to read Atlas Shrugged. In April 2012, he disavowed such beliefs however, calling them "an urban legend", and rejected Rand's philosophy.
 Ryan was subsequently mocked by Nobel Prize-winning economist and commentator Paul Krugman for reportedly getting ideas about monetary policy from the novel. In another commentary, Krugman quoted a quip by writer John Rogers: "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." References to Atlas Shrugged have appeared in a variety of other popular entertainments. In the first season of the drama series Mad Men, Bert Cooper urges Don Draper to read the book, and Don's sales pitch tactic to a client indicates he has been influenced by the strike plot: "If you don't appreciate my hard work, then I will take it away and we'll see how you do.
" Less positive mentions of the novel occur in the animated comedy Futurama, where it appears among the library of books flushed down to the sewers to be read only by grotesque mutants, and in South Park, where a newly literate character gives up on reading after experiencing Atlas Shrugged.BioShock, a critically acclaimed 2007 video game, is widely considered to be a response to Atlas Shrugged.
The story depicts a collapsed Objectivist society, and significant characters in the game owe their naming to Rand's work, which game creator Ken Levine said he found "really fascinating". In 2013, it was announced that Galt's Gulch, Chile, a settlement for libertarian devotees named for John Galt's safe haven, would be established near Santiago, Chile, but the project collapsed amid accusations of fraud and lawsuits filed by investors.
 Film and television adaptations Main articles: Atlas Shrugged: Part I, Atlas Shrugged: Part II, and Atlas Shrugged Part III: Who Is John Galt? A film adaptation of Atlas Shrugged was in "development hell" for nearly 40 years. In 1972, Albert S. Ruddy approached Rand to produce a cinematic adaptation. Rand insisted on having final script approval, which Ruddy refused to give her, thus preventing a deal.
In 1978, Henry and Michael Jaffe negotiated a deal for an eight-hour Atlas Shrugged television miniseries on NBC. Michael Jaffe hired screenwriter Stirling Silliphant to adapt the novel and he obtained approval from Rand on the final script. However, when Fred Silverman became president of NBC in 1979, the project was scrapped. Rand, a former Hollywood screenwriter herself, began writing her own screenplay, but died in 1982 with only one-third of it finished.
She left her estate, including the film rights to Atlas, to her student Leonard Peikoff, who sold an option to Michael Jaffe and Ed Snider. Peikoff would not approve the script they wrote, and the deal fell through. In 1992, investor John Aglialoro bought an option to produce the film, paying Peikoff over $1 million for full creative control. Producer John Aglialoro released the first film in a three-part adaptation in 2011.
In 1999, under Aglialoro's sponsorship, Ruddy negotiated a deal with Turner Network Television (TNT) for a four-hour miniseries, but the project was killed after the AOL Time Warner merger. After the TNT deal fell through, Howard and Karen Baldwin obtained the rights while running Philip Anschutz's Crusader Entertainment. The Baldwins left Crusader and formed Baldwin Entertainment Group in 2004, taking the rights to Atlas Shrugged with them.
Michael Burns of Lions Gate Entertainment approached the Baldwins to fund and distribute Atlas Shrugged. A draft screenplay was written by James V. Hart and rewritten by Randall Wallace, but was never produced. In May 2010, Brian Patrick O'Toole and Aglialoro wrote a screenplay, intent on filming in June 2010. Stephen Polk was set to direct. However, Polk was fired and principal photography began on June 13, 2010, under the direction of Paul Johansson and produced by Harmon Kaslow and Aglialoro.
 This resulted in Aglialoro's retention of his rights to the property, which were set to expire on June 15, 2010. Filming was completed on July 20, 2010, and the movie was released on April 15, 2011. Dagny Taggart was played by Taylor Schilling and Hank Rearden by Grant Bowler. The film was met with a generally negative reception from professional critics, getting an 11% (rotten) rating on movie review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, and had less than $5 million in total box office receipts.
 The film earned an additional $5M in DVD and Blu-ray sales, for a total of about half of its $20M budget. The producer and screenwriter John Aglialoro blamed critics for the film's paltry box office take and said he might go on strike, but ultimately went on to make the next two installments. On February 2, 2012, Kaslow and Aglialoro announced Atlas Shrugged: Part II was fully funded and that principal photography was tentatively scheduled to commence in early April 2012.
 The film was released on October 12, 2012, without a special screening for critics. It suffered one of the worst openings ever among films in wide release: it was 98th worst according to Box Office Mojo. Final box office take was $3.3 million, well under that of Part I despite the doubling of the budget to $20 million according to The Daily Caller. Those figures should be treated as tentative as the Internet Movie Database estimates Part 1 budget at $20 million and the Part II budget at $10 million, while Box Office Mojo says Part 1 cost $20 million and Part 2 data are "NA".
 Critics gave the film a 5% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 21 reviews. The third part in the series, Atlas Shrugged Part III: Who Is John Galt?, was released on September 12, 2014. The movie opened on 242 screens and grossed $461,197 its opening weekend. It was panned by critics, holding a 0% at Rotten Tomatoes, based on ten reviews. See also Aristotelianism Industrial Revolution Objectivism and libertarianism Romanticism Notes ^ According to the Ayn Rand Institute, Atlas Shrugged has been translated into Albanian, Bulgarian, Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Icelandic, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Marathi, Mongolian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, and Ukrainian.
 References ^ Rand 1997, p. 704 ^ Shermer, Michael (2008). The Mind of the Market. Times Books. p. XX. ISBN 0-8050-7832-0. ^ Jones, Del (September 23, 2002). "Scandals lead execs to 'Atlas Shrugged'". USA Today. Retrieved October 22, 2013. ^ a b c d "History of Atlas Shrugged". Ayn Rand Institute. Archived from the original on February 10, 2014. Retrieved April 18, 2012. ^ Rand 1997, p.
392 ^ Rand, Ayn (1986). Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal. Signet. p. 150. ISBN 0-451-14795-2. ^ a b Branden 1986, p. 291 ^ Rand 1997, pp. 311–344, 566–578, 617; Rand 1995, pp. 188–193, 311, 378, 381–383, 457–459 ^ Rand, Ayn, "Favorite Writers", reprinted in Schwartz, Peter, edit., The Ayn Rand Column, Second Renaissance Books, 1991, pp. 113–115. ^ Raimondo, Justin (1993). Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement.
Center for Libertarian Studies. ISBN 1-883959-00-4. ^ Sciabarra, Chris Matthew (March–April 1999). "Books for Rand Studies". Full Context. 11 (4): 9–11. ^ Kinsella, Stephan (October 2, 2007). "Ayn Rand and Garet Garrett". Mises Economics Blog. Ludwig von Mises Institute. Archived from the original on June 27, 2009. Retrieved October 7, 2009. ^ Ramsey, Bruce (December 27, 2008). "The Capitalist Fiction of Garet Garrett".
Ludwig von Mises Institute. Retrieved April 9, 2009. ^ Younkins 2007, p. 1 ^ Gladstein 2000, p. 28 ^ Ralston, Richard E. "Publishing Atlas Shrugged". In Mayhew 2009, pp. 123–124 ^ Ralston, Richard E. "Publishing Atlas Shrugged". In Mayhew 2009, pp. 124–127 ^ a b Ralston, Richard E. "Publishing Atlas Shrugged". In Mayhew 2009, p. 130 ^ "Foreign Editions" (PDF). Ayn Rand Institute. Retrieved September 18, 2017.
^ Burns 2009, p. 149 ^ a b c Bidinotto, Robert James (April 5, 2011). "Atlas Shrugged as Literature". The Atlas Society. Retrieved October 10, 2017. ^ Younkins, Edward W. "Atlas Shrugged: Ayn Rand's Philosophical and Literary Masterpiece". In Younkins 2007, pp. 9–10 ^ Stolyarov II, G. "The Role and Essence of John Galt's Speech in Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged". In Younkins 2007, p. 99 ^ Peikoff, Leonard.
"Introduction to the 35th Anniversary Edition". In Rand, Ayn (1996) . Atlas Shrugged (35th anniversary ed.). New York: Signet. pp. 6–8. ISBN 0-451-19114-5. ^ Leonard Peikoff, "The Philosophy of Objectivism" lecture series (1976), Lecture 8.  ^ Rand 1992, p. 1048 ^ Rand 1992, p. 1062 ^ Gladstein 1999, p. 54 ^ "Ayn Rand interviewed by Alvin Toffler". Playboy Magazine. discoveraynrand.
com. 1964. Archived from the original on March 12, 2009. Retrieved April 12, 2009. ^ Caplan, Bryan. "Atlas Shrugged and Public Choice: The Obvious Parallels". In Younkins 2007, p. 215–224 ^ Younkins, Edward W. "Atlas Shrugged: Ayn Rand's Philosophical and Literary Masterpiece". In Younkins 2007, p. 10 ^ Rand 1992, pp. 410–413 ^ Gladstein 1999, p. 42 ^ a b McConnell 2010, p. 508 ^ a b Rubin, Harriet (September 15, 2007).
"Ayn Rand's Literature of Capitalism". The New York Times. ^ Hunt 1983, pp. 80–98 ^ Riggenbach, Jeff. "Atlas Shrugged as a Science Fiction Novel". In Younkins 2007, p. 124 ^ Riggenbach, Jeff. "Atlas Shrugged as a Science Fiction Novel". In Younkins 2007, p. 126 ^ Pierce 1989, pp. 158–159 ^ Branden 1986, p. 299 ^ "The Atlas Shrugged Index". Freakonomics Blog. The New York Times. March 9, 2009.
Retrieved March 9, 2009. ^ "Atlas felt a sense of déjà vu". The Economist. February 26, 2009. Retrieved March 9, 2009. ^ "Atlas Shrugged Sets a New Record!". Ayn Rand Institute. January 21, 2010. Retrieved January 12, 2009. ^ "Atlas Shrugged Still Flying Off Shelves". Ayn Rand Institute. February 14, 2012. Retrieved January 1, 2015. ^ Gladstein 1999, p. 118 ^ Woodward, Helen Beal (October 12, 1957).
"Non-Stop Daydream". Saturday Review. p. 25. ^ Hicks, Granville (October 13, 1957). "A Parable of Buried Talents". The New York Times Book Review. pp. 4–5. ^ "Solid Gold Dollar Sign". Time. October 14, 1957. p. 128. ^ a b Chambers, Whittaker (December 8, 1957). "Big Sister is Watching You". National Review. pp. 594–596. ^ Martin 2000, p. 47 ^ Mayhew 2009, pp. 145–146 ^ McLaughlin, Richard (January 1958).
"The Lady Has a Message ...". The American Mercury. pp. 144–146. ^ Chamberlain, John (October 6, 1957). "Ayn Rand's Political Parable and Thundering Melodrama". The New York Herald Tribune. p. 6.1. ^ Hospers, John (October 1977). "Atlas Shrugged: A Twentieth Anniversary Tribute". Libertarian Review. 6 (6): 41–43. ^ "Bible Ranks 1 of Books That Changed Lives". Los Angeles Times. December 2, 1991.
^ Headlam, Bruce (July 30, 1998). "Forget Joyce; Bring on Ayn Rand". The New York Times (Late East Coast ed.). p. G4. ^ Yardley, Jonathan (August 10, 1998). "The Voice of the People Speaks. Too Bad It Doesn't Have Much to Say". The Washington Post (Final ed.). p. D2 – via ProQuest. ^ "100 Best Novels". Random House. Retrieved February 1, 2011. ^ "Prometheus Awards". Libertarian Futurist Society.
Retrieved October 10, 2017. ^ a b "Hundreds Gather to Celebrate Atlas Shrugged". Cato Policy Report. November–December 1997. Archived from the original on April 20, 2009. Retrieved April 14, 2009. ^ "Break Free! An Interview with Nathaniel Branden" (PDF). Reason. October 1971. p. 17. ^ Branden 1984 ^ von Mises, Ludwig. Letter dated January 23, 2958. Quoted in Hülsmann, Jörg Guido (2007). Mises: The Last Knight of Liberalism.
Auburn, Alabama: The Ludwig von Mises Institute. p. 996. ISBN 978-1-933550-18-3. ^ a b c d Edwards, Lee (May 5, 2010). "First Principles Series Report #29 on Political Thought". The Heritage Foundation. Retrieved August 8, 2013. ^ "How About A Mini Atlas Shrugged? — Nealz Nuze On". Boortz.com. December 18, 2008. Retrieved September 12, 2009. ^ Brook, Yaron (March 15, 2009). "Is Rand Relevant?".
Wall Street Journal. ^ Thomas 2007, pp. 62, 187 ^ Moore, Stephen (January 9, 2009). "Atlas Shrugged': From Fiction to Fact in 52 Years". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved January 14, 2014. ^ Chait, Jonathan (December 28, 2010). "Paul Ryan And Ayn Rand". The New Republic. Retrieved February 9, 2013. ^ Krugman, Paul (December 28, 2010). "Rule by the Ridiculous". The New York Times. Retrieved February 9, 2013.
^ Costa, Robert (April 26, 2012). "Ryan Shrugged Representative Paul Ryan debunks an "urban legend"". The National Review. Archived from the original on October 29, 2013. Retrieved June 6, 2013. ^ Krugman, Paul (August 9, 2013). "More on the Disappearance of Milton Friedman". The New York Times. Retrieved August 19, 2013. ^ Krugman, Paul (September 23, 2010). "I'm Ellsworth Toohey!". The New York Times.
Retrieved August 9, 2013. ^ White, Robert (2010). "Endless Egoists: The Second-Hand Lives of Mad Men". In Carveth, Rod; South, James B. Mad Men and Philosophy: Nothing Is as It Seems. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons. pp. 79–94. ISBN 978-0-470-60301-7. OCLC 471799585. ^ Sciabarra 2004 ^ Perry, Douglass C. (May 26, 2006). "The Influence of Literature and Myth in Videogames". IGN. Retrieved October 7, 2007.
^ Bodzin, Steven (March 2014). "Libertarians Plan to Sit Out the Coming Collapse of America...in Chile". Mother Jones. ^ Hutchinson, Brian (September 26, 2014). "'Freedom and liberty' not enough to save Galt's Gulch, Chile libertarian community from bureaucracy and internal dissent". National Post. ^ Cheadle, Harry (September 22, 2014). "Atlas Mugged: How a Libertarian Paradise in Chile Fell Apart".
Vice. Retrieved August 22, 2016. ^ Morla, Rebeca (December 23, 2015). "Defrauded Investors File Lawsuit to Recover Galt's Gulch Chile". PanAm Post. Retrieved August 22, 2016. ^ Britting, Jeff. "Bringing Atlas Shrugged to Film". In Mayhew 2009, p. 195 ^ a b c Brown, Kimberly (January 14, 2007). "Ayn Rand No Longer Has Script Approval". New York Times. Retrieved June 21, 2009. ^ McClintock, Pamela (April 26, 2006).
"Lionsgate Shrugging". Variety. Archived from the original on April 29, 2009. Retrieved June 12, 2009. ^ Fleming, Michael (September 4, 2007). "Vadim Perelman to direct 'Atlas'". Variety. Retrieved June 21, 2009. ^ Fleming, Mike (May 26, 2010). "'Atlas Shrugged' Rights Holder Sets June Production Start Whether Or Not Stars Align". Deadline.com. Archived from the original on May 29, 2010. Retrieved May 28, 2010.
^ Murty, Govindini (July 21, 2010). "Exclusive: LFM Visits the Set of Atlas Shrugged + Director Paul Johansson's First Interview About the Film". Libertas Film Magazine. Retrieved August 26, 2010. ^ Kay, Jeremy (July 26, 2010). "Production Wraps on Atlas Shrugged Part One". Screen Daily. Archived from the original on July 30, 2010. Retrieved July 29, 2010. ^ "Atlas Shrugged: Part I (2011)". Internet Movie Database.
Retrieved January 1, 2015. ^ McNary, Dave (June 14, 2010). "Cameras role on 'Atlas'". Variety. Archived from the original on June 19, 2010. Retrieved June 14, 2010. ^ "Atlas Shrugged Part I". Rotten Tomatoes. San Francisco, California, USA: Flixster, Inc. Retrieved December 12, 2011. ^ "Atlas Shrugged: Part I (2011) – Daily Box Office Result". Box Office Mojo. Seattle, WA: IMDb (Amazon.com, Inc).
Retrieved November 19, 2011. ^ "Atlas Shrugged: Part I". The Numbers. Retrieved September 21, 2014. ^ Keegan, Rebecca. "'Atlas Shrugged' producer: 'Critics, you won.' He's going 'on strike.'". Los Angeles Times. ^ Bond, Paul (February 2, 2012). "'Atlas Shrugged Part 2' Starting Production in April". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 2, 2012. ^ "Atlas Shrugged Movie (Official Website)". October 12, 2012.
Retrieved October 12, 2012. ^ Gille, Zac (October 17, 2012). "One of Worst Opening Weekends Ever at Domestic Box Office: Atlas Shrugged Part 2". Alt Film Guide. Retrieved February 8, 2013. ^ "Atlas Shrugged: Part II (2012)". Box Office Mojo. November 29, 2012. Retrieved October 23, 2013. ^ Soave, Robby (October 12, 2012). "Producer promises 'much richer production' for 'Atlas Shrugged: Part II'". The Daily Caller.
Retrieved February 8, 2013. ^ "Atlas Shrugged: Part II (2012)". Rotten Tomatoes. January 4, 2013. Retrieved January 4, 2013. ^ Bond, Paul (March 26, 2014). "'Atlas Shrugged: Who Is John Galt?' Sets Sept. 12 Release Date (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 21, 2014. ^ "Atlas Shrugged Part III: Who is John Galt?". Movie Mojo. ^ "Atlas Shrugged: Who is John Galt?". Rotten Tomatoes.
Retrieved September 21, 2014. Works cited Branden, Barbara (1986). The Passion of Ayn Rand. Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company. ISBN 0-385-19171-5. OCLC 12614728. Branden, Nathaniel (Fall 1984). "The Benefits and Hazards of the Philosophy of Ayn Rand: A Personal Statement". Journal of Humanistic Psychology. 24 (4): 29–64. doi:10.1177/0022167884244004. Burns, Jennifer (2009). Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right.
New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-532487-7. OCLC 313665028. Gladstein, Mimi Reisel (1999). The New Ayn Rand Companion. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-313-30321-5. OCLC 40359365. Gladstein, Mimi Reisel (2000). Atlas Shrugged: Manifesto of the Mind. Twayne's Masterwork Studies series. New York: Twayne Publishers. ISBN 0-8057-1638-6. OCLC 43569158. Hunt, Robert (1983).
"Science Fiction for the Age of Inflation: Reading Atlas Shrugged in the 1980s". In Slusser, George E.; Rabkin, Eric S. & Scholes, Robert. Coordinates: Placing Science Fiction and Fantasy. Carbondale, Illinois: Southern Illinois University Press. pp. 80–98. ISBN 0-8093-1105-4. Martin, Justin (2000). Greenspan: The Man behind Money. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Perseus. ISBN 0-7382-0275-4. Mayhew, Robert, ed.
(2009). Essays on Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books. ISBN 978-0-7391-2780-3. OCLC 315237945. McConnell, Scott (2010). 100 Voices: An Oral History of Ayn Rand. New York: New American Library. ISBN 978-0-451-23130-7. OCLC 555642813. Pierce, John J. (1989). When World Views Collide: A Study in Imagination and Evolution. New York: Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-313-25457-5. Rand, Ayn (1992) .
Atlas Shrugged (35th anniversary ed.). New York: Dutton. ISBN 0-525-94892-9. OCLC 60339555. Rand, Ayn (1995). Berliner, Michael S, ed. Letters of Ayn Rand. New York: Dutton. ISBN 0-525-93946-6. OCLC 31412028. Rand, Ayn (1997). Harriman, David, ed. Journals of Ayn Rand. New York: Dutton. ISBN 0-525-94370-6. OCLC 36566117. Sciabarra, Chris Matthew (Fall 2004). "The Illustrated Rand" (PDF). The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies.
6 (1): 1–20. JSTOR 41560268. Archived (PDF) from the original on October 12, 2012. Retrieved April 15, 2011. Thomas, Clarence (2007). My Grandfather's Son: A Memoir. New York: Harper Perennial. ISBN 0-06-056556-X. OCLC 191930033. Younkins, Edward W., ed. (2007). Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged: A Philosophical and Literary Companion. Burlington, Vermont: Ashgate Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7546-5533-6.
OCLC 69792104. Further reading Branden, Nathaniel (1962). "The Moral Revolution in Atlas Shrugged". Who is Ayn Rand?. Book co-authored with Barbara Branden. New York: Random House. pp. 3–65. OCLC 313377536. Reprinted by The Objectivist Center as a booklet in 1999, ISBN 1-57724-033-2. Michalson, Karen (1999). "Who Is Dagny Taggart? The Epic Hero/ine in Disguise". In Gladstein, Mimi Reisel & Sciabarra, Chris Matthew.
Feminist Interpretations of Ayn Rand. Re-reading the Canon. University Park, Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania State University Press. ISBN 0-534-57625-7. Wilt, Judith (1999). "On Atlas Shrugged". In Gladstein, Mimi Reisel & Sciabarra, Chris Matthew. Feminist Interpretations of Ayn Rand. Re-reading the Canon. University Park, Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania State University Press. ISBN 0-534-57625-7.
External links Wikibooks has a book on the topic of: Atlas Shrugged Wikiquote has quotations related to: Atlas Shrugged Atlas Shrugged (Centennial Edition) at Google Books Atlas Shrugged on Goodreads Free Online CliffsNotes for Atlas Shrugged Website dedicated to Atlas Shrugged Timeline of major events in the novel Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest Atlas Shrugged study guide, themes, quotes, literary devices, teaching resources v t e Ayn Rand Bibliography Novels We the Living (1936) Anthem (1938) The Fountainhead (1943) Atlas Shrugged (1957) Ideal (2015) Non-fiction books For the New Intellectual (1961) Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology (1979) The Art of Fiction (2000) Essay collections The Virtue of Selfishness (1964) Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal (1966) The Romantic Manifesto (1969) The New Left: The Anti-Industrial Revolution (1971) Philosophy: Who Needs It (1982) Screenplays Red Pawn (1932) Love Letters (1945) You Came Along (1945) The Fountainhead (1949) Theatrical plays Night of January 16th (1934) Ideal (1934) The Unconquered (1940) Other The Early Ayn Rand (1984) Letters of Ayn Rand (1995) Journals of Ayn Rand (1997) Objectivist periodicals Philosophy Objectivism Objectivism and libertarianism Objectivism and homosexuality Objectivism's rejection of the primitive Randian hero Influence The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies Objectivist movement List of people influenced by Ayn Rand Objectivist Party Biographical depictions Ayn Rand and the World She Made Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical The Ayn Rand Cult Goddess of the Market Judgment Day The Passion of Ayn Rand (book) The Passion of Ayn Rand (film) Who Is Ayn Rand? Film adaptations The Night of January 16th (1941) We the Living (1942) The Fountainhead (1949) Gawaahi (1989) Atlas Shrugged (film series): Part I (2011), Part II (2012), Part III (2014) Theatrical adaptations The Unconquered (1940) The Fountainhead (2014) Characters List of Atlas Shrugged characters John Galt Authority control WorldCat Identities VIAF: 194773875 GND: 7592844-9 BNF: cb160962496 (data) Retrieved from "https://en.
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Have you ever felt the longing for someone you could admire? For something, not to look down at, but up to? Atlas Shrugged is a novel by Ayn Rand, first published in 1957 in the United States. It was Rand's fourth, longest, and last novel, and she considered it her magnum opus in the realm of fiction writing. Except as otherwise noted, page numbers correspond to the hardcover Random House edition (1957) Part One: Non-Contradiction Chapter One: The Theme He liked to observe emotions; they were like red lanterns strung along the dark unknown of another's personality, marking vulnerable points.
Chapter Three: The Top and the Bottom She was twelve years old when she told Eddie Willers that she would run the railroad when they grew up. She was fifteen when it occurred to her for the first time that women did not run railroads and that people might object. To hell with that, she thought—and never worried about it again. Chapter Four: The Immovable Movers There is no necessity for pain—why, then, is the worst pain reserved for those who will not accept its necessity?—we who hold the love and the secret of joy, to what punishment have we been sentenced for it, and by whom? p.
67 ; thoughts of Dagny Taggart Chapter Five: The Climax of the d'Anconias "It is not advisable, James, to venture unsolicited opinions. You should spare yourself the embarrassing discovery of their exact value to your listener." Chapter Six: The Non-Commercial "Man? What is man? He's just a collection of chemicals with delusions of grandeur." p. 131 ; Dr. Simon Pritchett to a group of guests "I don't like people who speak or think in terms of gaining anybody's confidence.
If one's actions are honest, one does not need the predated confidence of others, only their rational perception. The person who craves a moral blank check of that kind, has dishonest intentions, whether he admits it to himself or not." p. 146 ; Francisco d'Anconia to Hank Rearden Chapter Seven: The Exploiters and the Exploited "Contradictions do not exist. Whenever you think you are facing a contradiction, check your premises.
You will find that one of them is wrong." p. 199 ; Francisco d'Anconia to Dagny Taggart He saw for the first time that he had never known fear because, against any disaster, he had held the omnipotent cure of being able to act. No, he thought, not an assurance of victory—who can ever have that?—only the chance to act, which is all one needs. Now he was contemplating, impersonally and for the first time, the real heart of terror: being delivered to destruction with one's hands tied behind one's back.
Chapter Eight: The John Galt Line She thought: To find a feeling that would hold, as their sum, as their final expression, the purpose of all the things she loved on earth . . . To find a consciousness like her own, who would be the meaning of her world, as she would be of his . . . No, not Francisco d'Anconia, not Hank Rearden, not any man she had ever met or admired . . . A man who existed only in her knowledge of her capacity for an emotion she had never felt, but would have given her life to experience.
p. 220 ; thoughts of Dagny Taggart "Inasmuch as the formula of Rearden Metal is my own personal secret, and in view of the fact that the Metal costs much less to produce than you boys can imagine, I expect to skin the public to the tune of a profit of twenty-five per cent in the next few years.""What do you mean, skin the public, Mr. Rearden?" asked the boy. "If it's true, as I've read in your ads, that your Metal will last three times longer than any other and at half the price, wouldn't the public be getting a bargain?""Oh, have you noticed that?" p.
235 ; Hank Rearden and nameless boy at press conference Wasn't it evil to wish without moving—or to move without aim? p. 241 ; thoughts of Dagny Taggart Chapter Nine: The Sacred and the Profane "Do you know what that banquet was like? It's as if they'd heard that there are values one is supposed to honor and this is what one does to honor them—so they went through the motions, like ghosts pulled by some sort of distant echoes from a better age.
I . . . I couldn't stand it." p. 276 ; Hank Rearden to Dagny Taggart Chapter Ten: Wyatt's Torch "Don't ever get angry at a man for stating the truth." p. 297 ; Dagny Taggart to Hank Rearden "I am leaving it as I found it. Take over. It's yours." p. 336 ; sign left by Ellis Wyatt at the foot of the burning hill of Wyatt Oil Part Two: Either-Or Chapter One: The Man who Belonged On Earth "You see, Dr.
Stadler, people don't want to think. And the deeper they get into trouble, the less they want to think. But by some sort of instinct, they feel that they ought to and it makes them feel guilty. So they'll bless and follow anyone who gives them a justification for not thinking. Anyone who makes a virtue—a highly intellectual virtue—out of what they know to be their sin, their weakness and their guilt.
" "Miss Taggart, do you know the hallmark of the second-rater? It's resentment of another man's achievement. Those touchy mediocrities who sit trembling lest someone's work prove greater than their own—they have no inkling of the loneliness that comes when you reach the top. The loneliness for an equal— for a mind to respect and an achievement to admire. They bare their teeth at you from out of their rat holes, thinking that you take pleasure in letting your brilliance dim them—while you'd give a year of your life to see a flicker of talent anywhere among them.
They envy achievement, and their dream of greatness is a world where all men have become their acknowledged inferiors. They don't know that that dream is the infallible proof of mediocrity, because that sort of world is what the man of achievement would not be able to bear." "I'd take no pride in any hopeless longing. I wouldn't hold a stillborn aspiration. I'd want to have it, to make it, to live it.
" p. 368 ; Hank Rearden to Dagny Taggart Chapter Two: The Aristocracy of Pull "There was a time when men were afraid that somebody would reveal some secret of theirs that was unknown to their fellows. Nowadays, they're afraid that somebody will name what everybody knows. Have you practical people ever thought that that's all it would take to blast your whole, big, complex structure, with all your laws and guns—just somebody naming the exact nature of what it is you're doing?" "So you think that money is the root of all evil? Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can't exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them.
Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value. Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears or of the looters, who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men who produce. Is this what you consider evil?" p. 410 ; Francisco d'Anconia to Bertram Scudder "Have you ever looked for the root of production? Take a look at an electric generator and dare tell yourself that it was created by the muscular effort of unthinking brutes.
Try to grow a seed of wheat without the knowledge left to you by men who had to discover it for the first time. Try to obtain your food by means of nothing but physical motions—and you'll learn that man's mind is the root of all the goods produced and of all the wealth that has ever existed on earth." p. 410 ; Francisco d'Anconia to Bertram Scudder "But you say that money is made by the strong at the expense of the weak? What strength do you mean? It is not the strength of guns or muscles.
Wealth is the product of man's capacity to think. Then is money made by the man who invents a motor at the expense of those who did not invent it? Is money made by the intelligent at the expense of the fools? By the able at the expense of the incompetent? By the ambitious at the expense of the lazy? Money is made—before it can be looted or mooched—made by the effort of every honest man, each to the extent of his ability.
An honest man is one who knows that he can't consume more than he has produced." pp. 410-411 ; Francisco d'Anconia to Bertram Scudder "Money demands that you sell, not your weakness to men's stupidity, but your talent to their reason; it demands that you buy, not the shoddiest they offer, but the best that your money can find. And when men live by trade—with reason, not force, as their final arbiter—it is the best product that wins, the best performance, the man of best judgment and highest ability—and the degree of a man's productiveness is the degree of his reward.
This is the code of existence whose tool and symbol is money. Is this what you consider evil?" p. 411 ; Francisco d'Anconia to Bertram Scudder "Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver. It will give you the means for the satisfaction of your desires, but it will not provide you with desires." p. 411 ; Francisco d'Anconia to Bertram Scudder "Money will not purchase happiness for the man who has no concept of what he wants; money will not give him a code of values, if he's evaded the knowledge of what to value, and it will not provide him with a purpose, if he's evaded the choice of what to seek.
Money will not buy intelligence for the fool, or admiration for the coward, or respect for the incompetent. The man who attempts to purchase the brains of his superiors to serve him, with his money replacing his judgment, ends up becoming the victim of his inferiors. The men of intelligence desert him, but the cheats and the frauds come flocking to him, drawn by a law which he has not yet discovered; that no man may be smaller than his money.
Is that the reason why you call it evil?" pp. 411-412 ; Francisco d'Anconia to Bertram Scudder "Let me give you a tip on a clue to men's characters: the man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it. Run for your life from any man who tells you that money is evil. That sentence is the leper's bell of an approaching looter. So long as men live together on earth and need means to deal with one another—their only substitute, if they abandon money, is the muzzle of a gun.
" p. 412 ; Francisco d'Anconia’ to Bertram Scudder "In a moral society, these are the criminals, and the statutes are written to protect you against them. But when a society establishes criminals-by-right and looters-by-law, men who use force to seize the wealth of disarmed victims—then money becomes its creators' avenger. Such looters believe it safe to rob defenseless men, once they've passed a law to disarm them.
But their loot becomes the magnet for other looters, who get it from them as they got it. Then the race goes, not to the ablest at production, but to those most ruthless at brutality. When force is the standard, the murderer wins over the pickpocket. And then that society vanishes, in a spread of ruins and slaughter." p. 413 ; Francisco d'Anconia to Bertram Scudder "When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion—when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing—when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors—when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you—when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice—you may know that your society is doomed.
" p. 413 ; Francisco d'Anconia to Bertram Scudder "When you have made evil the means of survival, do not expect men to remain good. Do not expect them to stay moral and lose their lives for the purpose of becoming the fodder of the immoral. Do not expect them to produce, when production is punished and looting rewarded. Do not ask, 'Who is destroying the world?' You are." pp. 413-414 ; Francisco d'Anconia to Bertram Scudder "Until and unless you discover that money is the root of all good, you ask for your own destruction.
When money ceases to be the tool by which men deal with one another, then men become the tools of men. Blood, whips and guns—or dollars. Take your choice—there is no other—and your time is running out." p. 415 ; Francisco d'Anconia to Bertram Scudder "Madam, when we'll see men dying of starvation around us, your heart won't be of any earthly use to save them. And I'm heartless enough to say that when you'll scream, 'But I didn't know it!'—you will not be forgiven.
" p. 415 ; Francisco d'Anconia to nameless woman with earrings Chapter Three: White Blackmail "There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kinds of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted—and you create a nation of lawbreakers—and then you cash in on guilt.
Now that's the system, Mr. Rearden, that's the game, and once you understand it, you'll be much easier to deal with." "When you felt proud of the rail of the John Galt Line," said Francisco, the measured rhythm of his voice giving a ruthless clarity to his words, "what sort of men did you think of? Did you want to see that Line used by your equals—by giants of productive energy, such as Ellis Wyatt, whom it would help to reach higher and still higher achievements of their own?""Yes," said Rearden eagerly.
"Did you want to see it used by men who could not equal the power of your mind, but who would equal your moral integrity—men such as Eddie Willers—who could never invent your Metal, but who would do their best, work as hard as you did, live by their own effort, and—riding on your rail—give a moment's silent thanks to the man who gave them more than they could give him?""Yes," said Rearden gently.
"Did you want to see it used by whining rotters who never rouse themselves to any effort, who do not possess the ability of a filing clerk, but demand the income of a company president, who drift from failure to failure and expect you to pay their bills, who hold their wishing as an equivalent of your work and their need as a higher claim to reward than your effort, who demand that you serve them, who demand that it be the aim of your life to serve them, who demand that your strength be the voiceless, rightless, unpaid, unrewarded slave of their impotence, who proclaim that you are born to serfdom by reason of your genius, while they are born to rule by the grace of incompetence, that yours is only to give, but theirs only to take, that yours is to produce, but theirs to consume, that you are not to be paid, neither in matter nor in spirit, neither by wealth nor by recognition nor by respect nor by gratitude—so that they would ride on your rail and sneer at you and curse you, since they owe you nothing, not even the effort of taking off their hats which you paid for? Would this be what you wanted? Would you feel proud of it?""I'd blast that rail first," said Rearden, his lips white.
"Then why don't you do it, Mr. Rearden? Of the three kinds of men I described—which men are being destroyed and which are using your Line today?"They heard the distant metal heartbeats of the mills through the long thread of silence."What I described last," said Francisco, "is any man who proclaims his right to a single penny of another man's effort." "All your life, you have heard yourself denounced, not for your faults, but for your greatest virtues.
You have been hated, not for your mistakes, but for your achievements. You have been scorned for all those qualities of character which are your highest pride. You have been called selfish for the courage of acting on your own judgment and bearing sole responsibility for your own life. You have been called arrogant for your independent mind. You have been called cruel for your unyielding integrity.
You have been called anti-social for the vision that made you venture upon undiscovered roads. You have been called ruthless for the strength and self-discipline of your drive to your purpose. You have been called greedy for the magnificence of your power to create wealth. You, who've expended an inconceivable flow of energy, have been called a parasite. You, who've created abundance where there had been nothing but wastelands and helpless, starving men before you, have been called a robber.
You, who've kept them all alive, have been called an exploiter. You, the purest and most moral man among them, have been sneered at as a 'vulgar materialist.' Have you stopped to ask them: by what right?—by what code?—by what standard?" p. 454 ; Francisco d'Anconia to Hank Rearden "The worst guilt is to accept an undeserved guilt." p. 455 ; Francisco d'Anconia to Hank Rearden "Your own moral code—the one you lived by, but never stated, acknowledged or defended—was the code that preserves man's existence.
If you were punished for it, what was the nature of those who punished you? Yours was the code of life. What, then, is theirs?" p. 455 ; Francisco d'Anconia to Hank Rearden "If you saw Atlas, the giant who holds the world on his shoulders, if you saw that he stood, blood running down his chest, his knees buckling, his arms trembling but still trying to hold the world aloft with the last of his strength, and the greater his effort the heavier the world bore down upon his shoulders-what would you tell him to do?""I .
. . don't know. What . . . could he do? What would you tell him?""To shrug." p. 455 ; Francisco d'Anconia to Hank Rearden Chapter Four: The Sanction of the Victim "I thought that any human being who accepts the help of another, knows that good will is the giver's only motive and that good will is the payment he owes in return. But I see that I was wrong. You were getting your food unearned and you concluded that affection did not have to be earned, either.
You concluded that I was the safest person in the world for you to spit on, precisely because I held you by the throat. You concluded that I wouldn't want to remind you of it and that I would be tied by the fear of hurting your feelings. All right, let's get it straight: you're an object of charity who's exhausted his credit long ago." p. 469 ; Hank Rearden to Philip Rearden "Who is the public? What does it hold as its good? There was a time when men believed that 'the good' was a concept to be defined by a code of moral values and that no man had the right to seek his good through the violation of the rights of another.
If it is now believed that my fellow men may sacrifice me in any manner they please for the sake of whatever they believe to be their own good, if they believe that they may seize my property simply because they need it—well, so does any burglar. There is only this difference: the burglar does not ask me to sanction his act." p. 477 ; Hank Rearden to panel of judges "If you choose to deal with men by means of compulsion, do so.
But you will discover that you need the voluntary co-operation of your victims, in many more ways than you can see at present. And your victims should discover that it is their own volition—which you cannot force—that makes you possible. I choose to be consistent and I will obey you in the manner you demand. Whatever you wish me to do, I will do it at the point of a gun. If you sentence me to jail, you will have to send armed men to carry me there—I will not volunteer to move.
If you fine me, you will have to seize my property to collect the fine—I will not volunteer to pay it. If you believe that you have the right to force me—use your guns openly. I will not help you to disguise the nature of your action." p. 479 ; Hank Rearden to panel of judges "I refuse to accept as guilt the fact of my own existence and the fact that I must work in order to support it. I refuse to accept as guilt the fact that I am able to do it and to do it well.
I refuse to accept as guilt the fact that I am able to do it better than most people—the fact that my work is of greater value than the work of my neighbors and that more men are willing to pay me. I refuse to apologize for my ability—I refuse to apologize for my success—I refuse to apologize for my money. If this is evil, make the most of it. If this is what the public finds harmful to its interests, let the public destroy me.
This is my code—and I will accept no other." p. 480 ; Hank Rearden to panel of judges "If it were true that men could achieve their good by means of turning some men into sacrificial animals, and I were asked to immolate myself for the sake of creatures who wanted to survive at the price of my blood, if I were asked to serve the interests of society apart from, above and against my own—I would refuse, I would reject it as the most contemptible evil, I would fight it with every power I possess, I would fight the whole of mankind, if one minute were all I could last before I were murdered, I would fight in the full confidence of the justice of my battle and of a living being’s right to exist.
Let there be no misunderstanding about me. If it is now the belief of my fellow men, who call themselves the public, that their good requires victims, then I say: 'The public be damned, I will have no part of it!'" p. 481 ; Hank Rearden to panel of judges "He was seeing the enormity of the smallness of the enemy who was destroying the world. He felt as if, after a journey of years through a landscape of devastation, past the ruins of great factories, the wrecks of powerful engines, the bodies of invincible men, he had come upon the despoiler, expecting to find a giant—and had found a rat eager to scurry for cover at the first sound of a human step.
If this is what has beaten us, he thought, the guilt is ours." p. 483 ; thoughts of Hank Rearden "Love is blind, they say; sex is impervious to reason and mocks the power of all philosophers. But, in fact, a man's sexual choice is the result and the sum of his fundamental convictions. Tell me what a man finds sexually attractive and I will tell you his entire philosophy of life. Show me the woman he sleeps with and I will tell you his valuation of himself.
[...] He will always be attracted to the woman who reflects his deepest vision of himself, the woman whose surrender permits him to experience—or to fake—a sense of self-esteem. The man who is proudly certain of his own value, will want the highest type of woman he can find, the woman he admires, the strongest, the hardest to conquer—because only the possession of a heroine will give him the sense of an achievement, not the possession of a brainless slut.
" pp. 489-490 ; Francisco d'Anconia to Hank Rearden "Let a man corrupt his values and his view of existence, let him profess that love is not self-enjoyment but self-denial, that virtue consists, not of pride, but of pity or pain or weakness or sacrifice, that the noblest love is born, not of admiration, but of charity, not in response to values, but in response to flaws—and he will have cut himself in two.
His body will not obey him, it will not respond, it will make him impotent toward the woman he professes to love and draw him to the lowest type of whore he can find. His body will always follow the ultimate logic of his deepest convictions; if he believes that flaws are values, he has damned existence as evil and only the evil will attract him. He has damned himself and he will feel that depravity is all he is worthy of enjoying.
" p. 490 ; Francisco d'Anconia to Hank Rearden Chapter Five: Account Overdrawn “The nation which had once held the creed that greatness is achieved by production, is now told that it is achieved by squalor.” Chapter Six: Miracle Metal "We don't have to go to extremes," said Mouch hastily. "We don't want to frighten people. We want to have them on our side. Our top problem is, will they .
. . will they accept it at all?" Chapter Seven: The Moratorium on Brains "What I actually am, Mr. Rearden, is a policeman. It is a policeman's duty to protect men from criminals—criminals being those who seize wealth by force. It is a policeman's duty to retrieve stolen property and return it to its owners. But when robbery becomes the purpose of the law, and the policeman's duty becomes, not the protection, but the plunder of property—then it is an outlaw who has to become a policeman.
" Chapter Eight: By Our Love "Dagny, you're more fortunate than I. Taggart Transcontinental is a delicate piece of precision machinery. It will not last long without you. It cannot be run by slave labor. They will mercifully destroy it for you and you won't have to see it serving the looters. But copper mining is a simpler job. D'Anconia Copper could have lasted for generations of looters and slaves.
Crudely, miserably, ineptly—but it could have lasted and helped them to last. I had to destroy it myself." "It seems monstrously wrong to surrender the world to the looters, and monstrously wrong to live under their rule. I can neither give up nor go back. I can neither exist without work nor work as a serf. I had always thought that any sort of battle was proper, anything, except renunciation.
I'm not sure we're right to quit, you and I, when we should have fought them. But there is no way to fight. It's surrender, if we leave—and surrender, if we remain. I don't know what is right any longer.""Check your premises, Dagny. Contradictions don't exist." p. 618 ; Dagny Taggart and Francisco d'Anconia "We never demanded the one payment that the world owed us—and we let our best reward go to the worst of men.
The error was made centuries ago, it was made by Sebastian d'Anconia, by Nat Taggart, by every man who fed the world and received no thanks in return. You don't know what is right any longer? Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish—we, the men of the mind.
It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world—but we let our enemies write its moral code." p. 619 ; Francisco d'Anconia to Dagny Taggart Chapter Ten: The Sign of the Dollar "Well, there was something that happened at that plant where I worked for twenty years. It was when the old man died and his heirs took over. There were three of them, two sons and a daughter, and they brought a new plan to run the factory.
They let us vote on it, too, and everybody—almost everybody—voted for it. We didn't know. We thought it was good. No, that's not true, either. We thought that we were supposed to think it was good. The plan was that everybody in the factory would work according to his ability, but would be paid according to his need." pp. 660-661 ; Jeff Allen to Dagny Taggart "What's whose ability and which of whose needs comes first? When it's all one pot, you can't let any man decide what his own needs are, can you? If you did, he might claim that he needs a yacht—and if his feelings are all you have to go by, he might prove it, too.
Why not? If it's not right for me to own a car until I've worked myself into a hospital ward, earning a car for every loafer and every naked savage on earth—why can't he demand a yacht from me, too, if I still have the ability not to have collapsed?" pp. 661-662 ; Jeff Allen to Dagny Taggart "It took us just one meeting to discover that we had become beggars—rotten, whining, sniveling beggars, all of us, because no man could claim his pay as his rightful earning, he had no rights and no earnings, his work didn't belong to him, it belonged to 'the family', and they owed him nothing in return, and the only claim he had on them was his 'need'—so he had to beg in public for relief from his needs, like any lousy moocher, listing all his troubles and miseries, down to his patched drawers and his wife's head colds, hoping that 'the family' would throw him the alms.
He had to claim miseries, because it's miseries, not work, that had become the coin of the realm—so it turned into a contest between six thousand panhandlers, each claiming that his need was worse than his brother's. How else could it be done? Do you care to guess what happened, what sort of men kept quiet, feeling shame, and what sort got away with the jackpot?" p. 662 ; Jeff Allen to Dagny Taggart "Drink, of course, was what we all turned to, some more, some less.
Don't ask how we got the money for it. When all the decent pleasures are forbidden, there's always ways to get the rotten ones. You don't break into grocery stores after dark and you don't pick your fellow's pockets to buy classical symphonies or fishing tackle, but if it's to get stinking drunk and forget—you do." p. 664 ; Jeff Allen to Dagny Taggart "Any man who tried to play straight, had to refuse himself everything.
He lost his taste for any pleasure, he hated to smoke a nickel's worth of tobacco or chew a stick of gum, worrying whether somebody had more need for that nickel. He felt ashamed of every mouthful of food he swallowed, wondering whose weary nights of overtime had paid for it, knowing that his food was not his by right, miserably wishing to be cheated rather than to cheat, to be a sucker, but not a blood-sucker.
He wouldn't marry, he wouldn't help his folks back home, he wouldn't put an extra burden on 'the family.' Besides, if he still had some sort of sense of responsibility, he couldn't marry or bring children into the world, when he could plan nothing, promise nothing, count on nothing. But the shiftless and irresponsible had a field day of it. They bred babies, they got girls into trouble, they dragged in every worthless relative they had from all over the country, every unmarried pregnant sister, for an extra 'disability allowance,' they got more sicknesses than any doctor could disprove, they ruined their clothing, their furniture, their homes—what the hell, 'the family' was paying for it! They found more ways of getting in 'need' than the rest of us could ever imagine—they developed a special skill for it, which was the only ability they showed.
" p. 664; Jeff Allen to Dagny Taggart "God help us, ma'am! Do you see what we saw? We saw that we'd been given a law to live by, a moral law, they called it, which punished those who observed it—for observing it. The more you tried to live up to it, the more you suffered; the more you cheated it, the bigger reward you got." p. 665 ; Jeff Allen to Dagny Taggart "Nobody can divide a factory's income among thousands of people, without some sort of a gauge to measure people's value.
Her gauge was bootlicking. Selfless? In her father's time, all of his money wouldn't have given him a chance to speak to his lousiest wiper and get away with it, as she spoke to our best skilled workers and their wives. She had pale eyes that looked fishy, cold and dead. And if you ever want to see pure evil, you should have seen the way her eyes glinted when she watched some man who'd talked back to her once and who'd just heard his name on the list of those getting nothing above basic pittance.
And when you saw it, you saw the real motive of any person who's ever preached the slogan: 'From each according to his ability, to each according to his need'." pp. 667-668 ; Jeff Allen to Dagny Taggart (describing Ivy Starnes) "The guff gave us a chance to pass off as virtue something that we'd be ashamed to admit otherwise. There wasn't a man voting for it who didn't think that under a setup of this kind he'd muscle in on the profits of the men abler than himself.
There wasn't a man rich and smart enough but that he didn't think that somebody was richer and smarter, and this plan would give him a share of his better's wealth and brain. But while he was thinking that he'd get unearned benefits from the men above, he forgot about the men below who'd get unearned benefits, too. He forgot about all his inferiors who'd rush to drain him just as he hoped to drain his superiors.
The worker who liked the idea that his need entitled him to a limousine like his boss's, forgot that every bum and beggar on earth would come howling that their need entitled them to an icebox like his own. That was our real motive when we voted—that was the truth of it—but we didn't like to think it, so the less we liked it, the louder we yelled about our love for the common good." p. 668 ; Jeff Allen to Dagny Taggart "What good would our need do to a power plant when its generators stopped because of our defective engines? What good would it do to a man caught on an operating table when the electric light went out? What good would it do to the passengers of a plane when its motor failed in mid-air? And if they bought our product, not because of its merit, but because of our need, would that be the good, the right, the moral thing to do for the owner of that power plant, the surgeon in that hospital, the maker of that plane? Yet this was the moral law that the professors and leaders and thinkers had wanted to establish all over the earth.
If this is what it did in a single small town where we all knew one another, do you care to think what it would do on a world scale?" p. 669 ; Jeff Allen to Dagny Taggart "'I will put an end to this, once and for all,' he said. His voice was clear and without feeling. That was all he said and started to walk out. He walked down the length of the place, in the white light, not hurrying and not noticing any of us.
Nobody moved to stop him. Gerald Starnes cried suddenly after him, 'How?' He turned and answered, 'I will stop the motor of the world.' Then he walked out." p. 671 ; Jeff Allen to Dagny Taggart Part Three: A is A Chapter One: Atlantis "Miss Taggart, we have no laws in this valley, no rules, no formal organization of any kind. We come here because we want to rest. But we have certain customs, which we all observe, because they pertain to the things we need to rest from.
So I'll warn you now that there is one word which is forbidden in this valley: the word ‘give.’" She smiled. "I know, this is a place where one employs nothing but aristocrats for the lousiest kind of jobs.""They’re all aristocrats, that's true," said Wyatt, "because they know that there's no such thing as a lousy job—only lousy men who don't care to do it." p. 721 ; Ellis Wyatt to Dagny Taggart "What's wealth but the means of expanding one's life? There's two ways one can do it: either by producing more or by producing it faster.
And that's what I'm doing: I'm manufacturing time.""What do you mean?""I'm producing everything I need, I'm working to improve my methods, and every hour I save is an hour added to my life." pp. 721-722 ; Ellis Wyatt and Dagny Taggart "Here, we trade achievements, not failures—values, not needs. We're free of one another, yet we all grow together. Wealth, Dagny? What greater wealth is there than to own your life and to spend it on growing? Every living thing must grow.
It can't stand still. It must grow or perish." p. 722 ; Ellis Wyatt to Dagny Taggart "There is only one kind of men who have never been on strike in the whole of human history. Every other kind and class has stopped, when they so wished, and have presented demands to the world, claiming to be indispensable—except the men who have carried the world on their shoulders, have kept it alive, have endured torture as sole payment, but have never walked out on the human race.
Well, their turn has come. Let the world discover who they are, what they do and what happens when they refuse to function. This is the strike of the men of the mind, Miss Taggart. This is the mind on strike." p. 738 ; John Galt to Dagny Taggart "We've heard so much about strikes, and about the dependence of the uncommon man upon the common. We've heard it shouted that the industrialist is a parasite, that his workers support him, create his wealth, make his luxury possible—and what would happen to him if they walked out? Very well.
I intend to show the world who depends on whom, who supports whom, who is the source of wealth, who makes whose livelihood possible and what happens to who when whom walks out." p. 741 ; John Galt to Dagny Taggart "I quit when medicine was placed under State control, some years ago. Do you know what it takes to perform a brain operation? Do you know the kind of skill it demands, and the years of passionate, merciless, excruciating devotion that go to acquire that skill? That was what I would not place at the disposal of men whose sole qualification to rule me was their capacity to spout the fraudulent generalities that got them elected to the privilege of enforcing their wishes at the point of a gun.
I would not let them dictate the purpose for which my years of study had been spent, or the conditions of my work, or my choice of patients, or the amount of my reward. I observed that in all the discussions that preceded the enslavement of medicine, men discussed everything—except the desires of the doctors. Men considered only the 'welfare' of the patients, with no thought for those who were to provide it.
" p. 744 ; Doctor Thomas Hendricks to Dagny Taggart "I have often wondered at the smugness with which people assert their right to enslave me, to control my work, to force my will, to violate my conscience, to stifle my mind—yet what is it that they expect to depend on, when they lie on an operating table under my hands? Their moral code has taught them to believe that it is safe to rely on the virtue of their victims.
Well, that is the virtue I have withdrawn. Let them discover the kind of doctors that their system will now produce. Let them discover, in their operating rooms and hospital wards, that it is not safe to place their lives in the hands of a man whose life they have throttled. It is not safe, if he is the sort of man who resents it—and still less safe, if he is the sort who doesn't." p. 744 ; Doctor Thomas Hendricks to Dagny Taggart Chapter Two: The Utopia of Greed "We do not hold the belief that this earth is a realm of misery where man is doomed to destruction.
We do not think that tragedy is our natural fate and we do not live in chronic dread of disaster. We do not expect disaster until we have specific reason to expect it—and when we encounter it, we are free to fight it. It is not happiness, but suffering that we consider unnatural. It is not success, but calamity that we regard as the abnormal exception in human life." "Every man builds his world in his own image.
He has the power to choose, but no power to escape the necessity of choice. If he abdicates his power, he abdicates the status of man, and the grinding chaos of the irrational is what he achieves as his sphere of existence—by his own choice." p.791 ; Dr. Hugh Akston to Dagny Taggart "Did it ever occur to you, Miss Taggart, that there is no conflict of interests among men, neither in business nor in trade nor in their most personal desires—if they omit the irrational from their view of the possible and destruction from their view of the practical? There is no conflict, and no call for sacrifice, and no man is a threat to the aims of another—if men understand that reality is an absolute not to be faked, that lies do not work, that the unearned cannot be had, that the undeserved cannot be given, that the destruction of a value which is, will not bring value to that which isn't.
The businessman who wishes to gain a market by throttling a superior competitor, the worker who wants a share of his employer's wealth, the artist who envies a rival's higher talent—they're all wishing facts out of existence, and destruction is the only means of their wish. If they pursue it, they will not achieve a market, a fortune, or an immortal fame—they will merely destroy production, employment and art.
A wish for the irrational is not to be achieved, whether the sacrificial victims are willing or not. But men will not cease to desire the impossible and will not lose their longing to destroy—so long as self-destruction and self-sacrifice are preached to them as the practical means of achieving the happiness of the recipients.""No one’s happiness but my own is in my power to achieve or to destroy.
" p. 798 ; John Galt to Dagny Taggart "I started my life with a single absolute: that the world was mine to shape in the image of my highest values and never to be given up to a lesser standard, no matter how long or hard the struggle." p. 812 ; Dagny Taggart to John Galt Chapter Three: Anti-Greed "People think that a liar gains a victory over his victim. What I've learned is that a lie is an act of self-abdication, because one surrenders one's reality to the person to whom one lies, making that person one's master, condemning oneself from then on to faking the sort of reality that person's view requires to be faked.
And if one gains the immediate purpose of the lie - the price one pays is the destruction of what the gain was intended to serve. The man who lies to the world is the world's slave from then on." Chapter Four: Anti-Life She had learned, in the slums of her childhood, that honest people were never touchy about the matter of being trusted. p. 876 ; thoughts of Cherryl Taggart "All of you welfare preachers—it's not unearned money that you're after.
You want handouts, but of a different kind. I'm a gold-digger of the spirit, you said, because I look for value. Then you, the welfare preachers . . . it's the spirit that you want to loot. I never thought and nobody ever told us how it could be thought of and what it would mean—the unearned in spirit. But that is what you want. You want unearned love. You want unearned admiration. You want unearned greatness.
You want to be a man like Hank Rearden without the necessity of being what he is. Without the necessity of being anything. Without . . . the necessity . . . of being." "Guilt is a rope that wears thin." p. 895 ; James Taggart to Lillian Rearden Chapter Seven: "This is John Galt Speaking" "For centuries, the battle of morality was fought between those who claimed that your life belongs to God and those who claimed that it belongs to your neighbors—between those who preached that the good is self-sacrifice for the sake of ghosts in heaven and those who preached that the good is self-sacrifice for the sake of incompetents on earth.
And no one came to say that your life belongs to you and that the good is to live it." pp. 1011-1012 ; John Galt (radio broadcast) "Man's mind is his basic tool of survival. Life is given to him; survival is not. His body is given to him, its sustenance is not. His mind is given to him, its contents are not. To remain alive, he must act, and before he can act he must know the nature and purpose of his action.
" p. 1012 ; John Galt (radio broadcast) "To arrive at a contradiction is to confess an error in one's thinking; to maintain a contradiction is to abdicate one's mind and to evict oneself from the realm of reality." pp. 1016-1017 ; John Galt (radio broadcast) "Devotion to truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.
" p. 1017 ; John Galt (radio broadcast) "The man who lets a leader prescribe his course is a wreck being towed to the scrap heap." p. 1020 ; John Galt (radio broadcast) "When I disagree with a rational man, I let reality be our final arbiter; if I am right, he will learn; if I am wrong, I will; one of us will win, but both will profit." p. 1023 ; John Galt (radio broadcast) "Force and mind are opposites; morality ends where a gun begins.
" p. 1023 ; John Galt (radio broadcast) "Achieving life is not the equivalent of avoiding death." p. 1024 ; John Galt (radio broadcast) "You seek escape from pain. We seek the achievement of happiness. You exist for the sake of avoiding punishment. We exist for the sake of earning rewards. Threats will not make us function; fear is not our incentive. It is not death we wish to avoid, but life that we wish to live.
" p. 1024 ; John Galt (radio broadcast) "The good, say the mystics of the spirit, is God, a being whose only definition is that he is beyond man's power to conceive—a definition that invalidates man's consciousness and nullifies his concepts of existence. The good, say the mystics of muscle, is Society—a thing which they define as an organism that possesses no physical form, a super-being embodied in no one in particular and everyone in general except yourself [.
..] The purpose of man’s life, say both, is to become an abject zombie who serves a purpose he does not know, for reasons he is not to question." p. 1027 ; John Galt (radio broadcast) "It's not a sacrifice to renounce the unwanted. It is not a sacrifice to give your life for others, if death is your personal desire. To achieve the virtue of sacrifice, you must want to live, you must love it, you must burn with passion for this Earth and for all the splendor it can give you—you must feel the twist of every knife as it slashes your desires away from your reach and drains your love out of your body.
It is not mere death that the morality of sacrifice holds out to you as an ideal, but death by slow torture." p. 1028 ; John Galt (radio broadcast) "From the rites of the jungle witch-doctors, which distorted reality into grotesque absurdities, stunted the minds of their victims and kept them in terror of the supernatural for stagnant stretches of centuries—to the supernatural doctrines of the Middle Ages, which kept men huddling on the mud floors of their hovels, in terror that the devil might steal the soup they had worked eighteen hours to earn—to the seedy little smiling professor who assures you that your brain has no capacity to think, that you have no means of perception and must blindly obey the omnipotent will of that supernatural force: Society—all of it is the same performance for the same and only purpose: to reduce you to the kind of pulp that has surrendered the validity of its consciousness.
""But it cannot be done to you without your consent. If you permit it to be done, you deserve it." p. 1044 ; John Galt (radio broadcast) "Power-lust is a weed that grows only in the vacant lots of an abandoned mind." p. 1045 ; John Galt (radio broadcast) "You propose to establish a social order based on the following tenets: that you're incompetent to run your own life, but competent to run the lives of others—that you're unfit to exist in freedom, but fit to become an omnipotent ruler—that you're unable to earn your living by use of your own intelligence, but able to judge politicians and vote them into jobs of total power over arts you have never seen, over sciences you have never studied, over achievements of which you have no knowledge, over the gigantic industries where you, by your own definition of capacity, would be unable successfully to fill the job of assistant greaser.
" p. 1049 ; John Galt (radio broadcast) "The man who refuses to judge, who neither agrees nor disagrees, who declares that there are no absolutes and believes that he escapes responsibility, is the man responsible for all the blood that is now spilled in the world. Reality is an absolute, existence is an absolute, a speck of dust is an absolute and so is a human life. Whether you live or die is an absolute.
Whether you have a piece of bread or not, is an absolute. Whether you eat your bread or see it vanish into a looter's stomach, is an absolute." p. 1054 ; John Galt (radio broadcast) "There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil." p. 1054 ; John Galt (radio broadcast) "In any compromise between food and poison, it is only death that can win.
In any compromise between good and evil, it is only evil that can profit." p. 1054 ; John Galt (radio broadcast) "Live and act within the limit of your knowledge and keep expanding it to the limit of your life." p. 1058 ; John Galt (radio broadcast) "Learn to distinguish the difference between errors of knowledge and breaches of morality. An error of knowledge is not a moral flaw, […] a breach of morality is the conscious choice of an action you know to be evil, or a willful evasion of knowledge, a suspension of sight and of thought.
That which you do not know, is not a moral charge against you; but that which you refuse to know, is an account of infamy growing in your soul. Make every allowance for errors of knowledge; do not forgive or accept any breach of morality." p. 1059 ; John Galt (radio broadcast) "The modern mystics of muscle who offer you the fraudulent alternative of 'human rights' versus 'property rights,' as if one could exist without the other, are making a last, grotesque attempt to revive the doctrine of soul versus body.
" p. 1062 ; John Galt (radio broadcast) "Only a ghost can exist without material property; only a slave can work with no right to the product of his effort. The doctrine that 'human rights' are superior to 'property rights' simply means that some human beings have the right to make property out of others; since the competent have nothing to gain from the incompetent, it means the right of the incompetent to own their betters and to use them as productive cattle.
" p. 1062 ; John Galt (radio broadcast) "The only proper purpose of a government is to protect man's rights, which means: to protect him from physical violence. A proper government is only a policeman, acting as an agent of man's self-defense, and, as such, may resort to force only against those who start the use of force. The only proper functions of government are: the police, to protect you from criminals; the army, to protect you from foreign invaders; and the courts, to protect your property and contracts from breach and fraud by others, to settle disputes by rational rules, according to objective law.
" p. 1062 ; John Galt (radio broadcast) "You called it selfish and cruel that men should trade value for value—you have now established an unselfish society where they trade extortion for extortion. Your system is a legal civil war, where men gang up on one another and struggle for possession of the law, which they use as a club over rivals, till another gang wrests it from their clutch and clubs them with it in their turn, all of them clamoring protestations of service to an unnamed public's unspecified good.
You had said that you saw no difference between economic power and political power, between the power of money and the power of guns—no difference between reward and punishment, between purchase and plunder, between pleasure and fear, between life and death. You are learning the difference now." pp. 1065-1066 ; John Galt (radio broadcast) "The evil of the world is made possible by nothing but the sanction you give it.
" p. 1066 ; John Galt (radio broadcast) "In the name of the best within you, do not sacrifice this world to those who are its worst. In the name of the values that keep you alive, do not let your vision of man be distorted by the ugly, the cowardly, the mindless in those who have never achieved his title. Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads.
Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it's yours.
" Chapter VII ("This Is John Galt Speaking"), p. 1069 ; John Galt (radio broadcast) "I swear—by my life and my love of it—that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine." p. 1069 ; John Galt (radio broadcast) Chapter Eight: The Egoist "Never think of pain or danger or enemies a moment longer than is necessary to fight them." p. 1092 ; John Galt to Dagny Taggart Chapter Nine: The Generator "Get the hell out of my way!" p.
1125 ; John Galt (television broadcast) About Atlas Shrugged From almost any page of Atlas Shrugged, a voice can be heard, from painful necessity, commanding: "To a gas chamber — go!" Atlas Shrugged is not merely a novel. It is also — or may I say: first of all — a cogent analysis of the evils that plague our society…. You have the courage to tell the masses what no politician told them: "You are inferior and all the improvements in your conditions which you simply take for granted you owe to the effort of men who are better than you.
" Ludwig von Mises, letter to Rand (23 January 1958), quoted in Mises: The Last Knight of Liberalism (2007) 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. External links