My latest column is now up on AlterNet, 10 Things I Learned About the World from Ayn Rand’s Insane “Atlas Shrugged”. It’s a distillation of the ten most important lessons I’ve gleaned over the past year of reading and reviewing part I of Ayn Rand’s magnum opus in defense of capitalism. Read the excerpt below, then click through to see the rest:
Atlas Shrugged is a work of fiction, but as far as many prominent conservatives are concerned, it’s sacred scripture. Alan Greenspan was a member of Rand’s inner circle, and opposed regulation of financial markets because he believed her dictum that the greed of businessmen was always the public’s best protection. Paul Ryan said that he required his campaign staffers to read the book, while Glenn Beck has announced grandiose plans to build his own real-life “Galt’s Gulch,” the hidden refuge where the book’s capitalist heroes go to watch civilization collapse without them.
Reading Atlas Shrugged is like entering into a strange mirror universe where everything we thought we knew about economics and morality is turned upside down. I’ve already learned some valuable lessons from it.