Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Last week I wondered whether it was time to re-read Atlas Shrugged, noting that it had climbed to #150 on Amazon.com. No longer. As of this writing it is ranked #142. That is astonishing for a book that is more than 50 years old and not otherwise accompanied by some big media event (such as a movie release). For example, George Orwell's contemporaneous anti-Communist (but socialist) classic 1984, which is taught far more often in school, is ranked #1799.
Anyway, I'm wondering if people are buying Rand's magnum opus after watching our politicians on television. You know, for the verisimilitude. Or to brush up on their arguments. Or perhaps to know when to quit themselves. Or for emotional release. I picked the book up a couple of days ago for the first time in twenty years, and would say that there is merit to all four reasons.
Perhaps some of the interest stems from reports that Angelina Jolie planned to play Dagny Taggart in the movie. (I wouldn't hold my breath. In the motion-picture industry, "Atlas Shrugged" has been in "development hell" since the early 1970s.)
DEC, the Jolie story is at least a year old. There has not been much on the story, just the occasional blurb, in months. I think it is the rhetoric coming out of Congress, which reminds people of some of Rand's charicatures.
Just completed - will the lights go out in NYC due to no power (note the price of gasis climbing and nobody is whining in the media)or will the iranians dump an EMP hit on theeastern seaboard. The end state is the same.
Thanks idiots in America for electing Mr. Thompson.
Be very afraid.
It's fascinating, but a lefty friend gave the book as a gift to one of my children not to long ago. When I couldn't resist asking him why that particular book, he responded that he thought the example of individuals (that dreaded word!) resisting social compulsion to conform is a lesson everyone should learn. It wouldn't suprise me to see that the politics of the Amazon buyers similarly are across the spectrum, and people aren't necessarily emphasizing the same lessons from the work.
The John Galt plan:
“The John Galt plan will reconcile all conflicts. It will protect the property of the rich and give a greater share to the poor. It will cut down the burden of your taxes and provide you with more government benefits. It will lower prices and raise wages. It will give more freedom to the individual and strengthen the bonds of collective obligations. It will combine the efficiency of free markets with the generosity of a planned economy”
Unfortunately the Audacity of Hope is # 35 and Dreams of from my Father is # 23 on the Amazon list, so even if 1984 is out it seems the Chicago Way is still way out in front.
Not a raging endorsement of the discriminatory abilities of the average Amazon ranker if you ask me.