Friday, August 31, 2012
#shrugging Reading Atlas Shrugged with the RNC
Here's the thing: reading Atlas Shrugged has helped me understand why Obama's line "You didn't build that" touches a very raw nerve in the Republican party. At least in this first part of the book, our heroine Dagny Taggart's whole goal is to build something--a railroad--that everyone around her is trying to stop her from building. And though I find the descriptions of her single-handedly building a railroad with apparently unlimited financial resources on an impossible schedule completely preposterous, the point Rand makes is that you can build it; it's just that the government won't let you.
Last night, I got to the point where the John Galt line has been completed and will run for the first time (chapter 8, if you're wondering). Here's the line that leapt out at me:
"[T]he sight of an achievement was the greatest gift a human being could offer another."
The greatest gift! No wonder the convention highlighted the theme.
More thoughts on this as I continue, but Shrugged has been worth reading so far just for that.