A Dose of Dystopian Utopia

I have read over 13 books in the past months and have not reviewed them. BAD 7aki. I have been partly busy, partly unmotivated and partly lazy 😀 .

I like to review my books so I can keep a history of what I read and also an account of what I thought of the book. I have discovered that while I am reading a book, keeping the idea of reviewing it in my mind, I absorb more and pay attention to more things. Funny eh. Before reviewing books I never remembered anything about them.

Today I will review the book Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand first published in 1957.

I came to know about this book from the modern librarys top 100 books and it was rated number one by readers.

As you know, Atlas is the Greek God who carried the weight of the world on his shoulders and this book discusses a dystopia where how all the smart and hardworking people are carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders and how all the lazy, unsuccessful “looters” are riding on the coattails of their success.

The Atlases of the world are considered cold hearted, calculating, greedy and the looters are portraying themselves as the ones looking out for the goodwill of society.

So what will happen if Atlas shrugs? The whole world will fall and crash so in this novel all the minds and the hard workers and the geniuses of the whole world decide to shrug , go on strike and disappear and leave the looters to fend for themselves.

I felt that this book is all about defending capitalism to the core; how competition leads to a better society, where a socialist society leads to the loss of ambition and consequently laziness. I do have to say that Ayn takes this idea too far in my opinion since she portrays capitalism as being pure and good all the time.

Some of my favorite quotes:

– Force and mind are opposites; morality ends where the gun begins

– “If you saw Atlas, the giant who holds the world on his shoulders, if you saw that he stood, blood running down his chest, his knees buckling, his arms trembling but still trying to hold the world aloft with the last of his strength, and the greater his effort the heavier the world bore down on his shoulders—what would you tell him to do?” ” To Shrug.”

– “Contradictions do not exist”. “Whenever you think that you are facing a contradiction, check your premises”. “You will find that one of them is wrong”

– The good, say the mystics of spirit, is God, a being whose only definition is that he is beyond man’s power to conceive- a definition that invalidates man’s consciousness and nullifies his concepts of existence. Man’s mind, say the mystics of spirit, must be subordinated to the will of God. Man’s standard of value, say the mystics of spirit, is the pleasure of God, whose standards are beyond man’s power of comprehension and must be accepted on faith. The purpose of man’s life is to become an abject zombie who serves a purpose he does not know, for reasons he is not to question.

– So you think that money is the root of all evil? Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can’t exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value. Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears or of the looters, who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men who produce. Is this what you consider evil?

This book is long, 1000+ pages and not for the faint of heart but REALLY GOOD. I do not agree 100% with the philosophy of it but I highly recommend you read it.

I shrug and give it a two thumbs up

For more book reviews go here.

 

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