Modern Parallels In 50-Year-Old Novel

Estimated reading time: 3 minute(s)

Altas Shrugged by Ayn RandI am currently reading a book from the 1950s called “Atlas Shrugged”. It’s a novel about government and business, and the various interactions between regulations and “the public good” versus free market (and individual freedom), capitalism and profits and such. It’s quite intriguing on many levels (also very long!)

I had heard Ayn Rand’s name mentioned a time or two—it’s quite a memorable name—but I actually decided to read her novel based on seeing that a friend on Facebook had “liked” a group titled, “Plugging the Gulf oil leak with the works of Ayn Rand.” (Really? That’s really worth “liking”?)

Sufficiently intrigued, I looked up some information on Rand, and discovered her most notable—and controversial—title was the fictional story, Atlas Shrugged. I borrowed a copy from the library and have been reading it over the past several weeks. (I got the audio book as that is my favorite way to “read” fiction…)

As I was listening yesterday, these paragraphs stuck out to me as amazingly parallel to current events:

They had not heard the text of directive #10-289, but they knew what it would contain. They had known it for a long time. In that special manner which consisted of keeping secrets from oneself and leaving knowledge untranslated into words. And, by the same method, they now wished it was possible for them not to hear the words of the directive. It was to avoid moments such as this that all the complex twistings of their minds had been devised.

They wished the directive to go into effect. They wished it could be put into effect without words, so that they would not have to know that what they were doing was what it was.

Nobody had ever announced that directive #10-289 was the final goal of his efforts, yet for generations past men had worked to make it possible, and for months past every provision of it had been prepared for by countless speeches, articles, sermons, editorials; by purposeful voices that screamed with anger if anyone named their purpose.

Replace “directive #10-289” with the health care bill, and remember things spoken by our politicians like: “…we have to pass the [health care] bill so that you can find out what is in it,” or, “…read the bill… What good is reading the bill if it’s a thousand pages and you don’t have two days and two lawyers to find out what it means after you read the bill?”

Fascinating. And I do believe it’s true that for many generations we have systematically removed God from the foundation of our country and our lives, and then the family—the one main social structure of our society—began to crumble. And add to that the various social agendas of the various political groups… yuck.

I know that Atlas Shrugged is just fiction, but those paragraphs just jumped out at me. Food for thought, and perhaps discussion.

(See ya in the comments…)


  1. Will do. I usually post wrap-up thoughts on the ol’ blog whenever I finish a book. But if I find something too intriguing not to post I’ll put it here again. Of course, we could always discuss over some ice cream at Chill & Grill … 😉


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.