Thursday, April 16, 2009
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Getting back to Ayn Rand, Robert Tracinski reports in his article "Atlas Shrugged Sales Overturn Policy Calculations" that instead of people snubbing Ayn Rand's works they're flocking to her books, Atlas Shrugged in particular. Her 52 year old novel suddenly jumps onto the best seller list! As Tracinski says:
Instead of Atlas dying he is being reborn.
And the left should be demoralized. Six months ago, they had grounds to believe that the financial crisis, given the appropriate "spin," could be exploited to give capitalism a bad name. It was a dishonest attempt, given the role of the Federal Reserve, the US Treasury, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Community Reinvestment Act, and a whole constellation of federal alphabet agencies in causing the crisis and making it worse. The sales of Ayn Rand's novels are by far the strongest indication that the attempt to pin the crisis on the free market isn't working.
Instead, many people are convinced that the current crisis is a real-life parallel to the events in Atlas Shrugged, in which the power-hungry villains are always blaming businessmen for the disastrous results of the politicians' own interventions into the economy. The public reaction is similar to that of a businessman who recently sent me a note about Tim Geithner's grab for wider powers to seize businesses: "These guys are sounding like the villains from an Ayn Rand novel." Similarly, a blogger recently recounted his conversation with a fellow lawyer who is shutting down his successful independent firm because of the new taxes planned for him by the Obama administration. Referring to the signature catchphrase of Atlas Shrugged, he concluded: "Who is John Galt? Why, it looks as if we all are."