Friday, August 31, 2012

#shrugging Reading Atlas Shrugged with the RNC

I watched the Republican National Convention through the filters of Twitter and blogs, and then I read a little of Atlas Shrugged. And I have to say, it was illuminating to juxtapose the two.

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.

1 comment:

piman said...

They belive the rich should get everything. The nonrich get to serve the rich. I was looking at the delegates. That is not the Americans I see every day. My America is diverse, not entirely white...Enjoy the fiction!