For me, Dorothy Parker summed up everything that needs to be said about Ayn Rand’s tribute to greed, Atlas Shrugged:
“This is not a book that should be set aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.”
Atlas Shrugged is a fantasy of what Rand thought would happen if the “creative elite” (i.e., privileged industrialists, businessmen, etc.) abandoned the sissified, liberal proles and went off to form their own society in a canyon in Colorado. The media has been making a big deal over the 50th anniversary of its publication, and not without good reason — it’s been very influential in the intellectual development (such as it is) of the conservatives that run the Republican party nowadays. The message of Rand’s Objectivist philosophy is that the ultimate social virtue is selfishness, which weeds out the weak and allows the strong to rise to the top of society. In other words, it’s not just acceptable to fuck over your fellow human being; it’s a moral duty. Rand’s children have given us New Orleans and Iraq, two open petri dishes for the theory of eliminating governmental regulation and infrastructure in favor of the genius of private enterprise.
Now playing: Blondie – Hanging On The Telephone