Brad Harrington

Reviewing Atlas Shrugged:

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For those of you who've been wondering where I've been hiding, I've been busy on the upcoming production of Cheyenne's newest newspaper, "Liberty's Torch." First issue due out on September 2nd, "Atlas Shrugged Day" - and what could possibly be more appropriate than to write a review of "Atlas Shrugged" for that issue?

REVIEWING ATLAS SHRUGGED: "THIS IS JOHN GALT SPEAKING"

By Bradley Harrington

“I swear - by my life and my love of it - that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.” - Ayn Rand, “Atlas Shrugged,” 1957 -

In Atlas Shrugged, Rand depicts what happens when the producers of the country decide they’ve had enough of producing in the midst of a half-socialist, half-fascist political system where their only role is to continue to serve as the exploited and unacknowledged serfs made to pay for it all.

Tied by a twisted tangle of non-objective rules and regulations designed to foster the growth of the Entitlement State - one in which producers have to beg for permission to produce from those who produce nothing but impediments to production - those producers speak the two words that no thug or beggar can ever withstand: “I quit!”

And, since it is the producer who makes all looting and mooching possible through their prior productive efforts, the collapse of society rapidly accelerates to the point that it crashes - upon which time, at the end of the book, the producers, led by the book’s hero John Galt, return to society to re-establish Constitutional law and individual rights.

While Atlas Shrugged is chock-full of political drama, however, don’t make the mistake of assuming it’s mainly about politics, for its thrust and theme is much wider and deeper than that. In Rand’s own words, it deals with “the role of the mind in man’s existence” - and, “as a corollary, the presentation of a new ethics - the morality of rational self-interest.” (Ayn Rand, “Is Atlas Shrugging?”, 1964.)

Consequently, it is not merely arbitrary political power that Rand targets, but the underlying idea that makes that power possible: the belief that it is proper to enslave some men at the point of a gun for the benefit of other men. It is the idea of self-sacrifice that Rand blows sky-high, asserting instead the primacy of the individual human being’s right to their own happiness for their own sake, without the good that they might be doing for others acting as the justification for their continued existence.

It is nothing less than man’s right to life that Rand succeeds in reclaiming from the tidal wave of irrational “philosophy” swamping our world today - and if you don’t think it’s possible to accomplish that task through a fiction novel, you’ve got another think coming. A magnificent tribute to that which makes human life possible, Atlas Shrugged is, in the words of the blurb off its cover, a novel about “the murder - and rebirth - of man’s spirit.”

And today, 54 years later? One can only reflect on the incredible potency of the power of ideas when one hears our current crop of political looters speak of the need for “shared sacrifice” as the solution to all of our problems. Mr. Thompson, America’s Head of State in Atlas Shrugged, couldn’t have said it better.

And how much longer can we expect producers to continue shouldering their enforced burdens while the flotsam and jetsam of the Entitlement State - the concrete-bound savages devoid of any understanding of principles, concepts, values or absolutes - begin rioting in the streets? One only need observe England’s recent upheavals to comprehend the magnitude of the forces we have let loose on the world - and to grasp the fact that it is happening here in the United States as well, and for exactly the same reasons.

And the signs are growing abundantly clear that our own real-life producers have just about had their fill. If the ever-increasing worthlessness of our phony paper dollars and our anemic economic growth under the lashes and leashes of the looters is not enough to convince you of what happens when you turn off man’s mind, then chew on this as well:

“In the battle of environmentalists against business that began years ago in the United States, one of its latest victims is Birmingham, Alabama, coal mine owner Ronnie Bryant.” During a public hearing, Bryant sat still for two hours of castigation, and then had the following to say: “My only idea today is to go home. What’s the use?...Basically, what I’ve decided is not to open the mine. I’m just quitting.” (“Environmentalists halt plans for new coal mine,” New American, July 26th.)

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is “John Galt speaking” - but you’ll need to read that for yourselves.

--

Bradley Harrington is the publisher of Liberty’s Torch. He can be reached at publisher@libertystorch.us.

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Excellent, Brad. I think this will arouse your reader's interest just enough to make him want to go out and buy a copy of Atlas Shugged and find out for himself.

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Excellent, Brad. I think this will arouse your reader's interest just enough to make him want to go out and buy a copy of Atlas Shugged and find out for himself.

Thanks Brian! One can only hope. Brother, we are running out of time!

Regards,

Brad

timeforeverymantostir@yahoo.com

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Excellent, Brad. I think this will arouse your reader's interest just enough to make him want to go out and buy a copy of Atlas Shugged and find out for himself.

"This is John Galt speaking" was originally his statement of principles, explaining (in the radio speech) the theme of the novel -- the role of man's mind in human existence. That was a major point of your own preceding the Bryant quote. But at the end you revert to the "quitting" theme that was part of the plot but which is widely misunderstood as the point of the novel. Can you end on the actual theme and tie that in with more than just "quitting" in Byant's statement that you say at the end is "John Galt speaking"?

What are your intended readership and means of distribution for "Liberty's Torch"?

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Excellent, Brad. I think this will arouse your reader's interest just enough to make him want to go out and buy a copy of Atlas Shugged and find out for himself.

"This is John Galt speaking" was originally his statement of principles, explaining (in the radio speech) the theme of the novel -- the role of man's mind in human existence. That was a major point of your own preceding the Bryant quote. But at the end you revert to the "quitting" theme that was part of the plot but which is widely misunderstood as the point of the novel. Can you end on the actual theme and tie that in with more than just "quitting" in Byant's statement that you say at the end is "John Galt speaking"?

What are your intended readership and means of distribution for "Liberty's Torch"?

Hmmmm...VERY thoughtful reply, emv. As usual. You don't speak much - but when you do, I listen. Your suggestion has much merit. It's funny you should mention that; as I was writing the piece, I DID have a little more to say about Bryant's quitting and some of the implications...but I was already at 750 words, the max for a normal commentary that I would have sent out in the past, and I figured I had already pretty much made my point, so I left it at that.

And I did, indeed, send the piece out to my old commentary list of newspapers around the country, just for fun; but the Torch is MY paper, and my piece can be as long as I damn well want it to be.<smile> I believe I will take your suggestion to heart and add another graf. Let me chew on it a bit, and I will post the addition/modification.

Intended readership for the print edition will be the residents of Cheyenne and Laramie County here in Wyoming, and that's where the paper will be physically distributed; the means of distribution will be the bed of my truck to various stands/shelves around the town/county; but, with the national and international thrusts I am including in the editorial/commentary sections, the whole world is my oyster online. <bigger smile>

Thanks for your thoughts,

Brad

timeforeverymantostir@yahoo.com

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I wish you all the very best in your venture Brad. I hope they appreciate you the way they should, if they respect liberty.

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Excellent, Brad. I think this will arouse your reader's interest just enough to make him want to go out and buy a copy of Atlas Shugged and find out for himself.

"This is John Galt speaking" was originally his statement of principles, explaining (in the radio speech) the theme of the novel -- the role of man's mind in human existence. That was a major point of your own preceding the Bryant quote. But at the end you revert to the "quitting" theme that was part of the plot but which is widely misunderstood as the point of the novel. Can you end on the actual theme and tie that in with more than just "quitting" in Byant's statement that you say at the end is "John Galt speaking"?..."?

Hmmmm...VERY thoughtful reply, emv. As usual. You don't speak much - but when you do, I listen. Your suggestion has much merit. It's funny you should mention that; as I was writing the piece, I DID have a little more to say about Bryant's quitting and some of the implications...but I was already at 750 words, the max for a normal commentary that I would have sent out in the past, and I figured I had already pretty much made my point, so I left it at that.

And I did, indeed, send the piece out to my old commentary list of newspapers around the country, just for fun; but the Torch is MY paper, and my piece can be as long as I damn well want it to be.<smile> I believe I will take your suggestion to heart and add another graf. Let me chew on it a bit, and I will post the addition/modification...

Since you already described the theme, you may be able to bring it back in at the end with the emphasis you need with only a sentence (or half sentence).

Also I just noticed that you cited your source of the Bryant story as The New American (John Birch Society). The original source was linked here on the Forum by Carlos (and in the article you cited).

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I wish you all the very best in your venture Brad. I hope they appreciate you the way they should, if they respect liberty.

Thanks Arnold. I think I'm gonna have to drag most people into it, kicking and screaming. There's always a substantial withdrawal period upon removal of the government tit. <slurp> :)

Brad

timeforeverymantostir@yahoo.com

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Excellent, Brad. I think this will arouse your reader's interest just enough to make him want to go out and buy a copy of Atlas Shugged and find out for himself.

"This is John Galt speaking" was originally his statement of principles, explaining (in the radio speech) the theme of the novel -- the role of man's mind in human existence. That was a major point of your own preceding the Bryant quote. But at the end you revert to the "quitting" theme that was part of the plot but which is widely misunderstood as the point of the novel. Can you end on the actual theme and tie that in with more than just "quitting" in Byant's statement that you say at the end is "John Galt speaking"?..."?

Hmmmm...VERY thoughtful reply, emv. As usual. You don't speak much - but when you do, I listen. Your suggestion has much merit. It's funny you should mention that; as I was writing the piece, I DID have a little more to say about Bryant's quitting and some of the implications...but I was already at 750 words, the max for a normal commentary that I would have sent out in the past, and I figured I had already pretty much made my point, so I left it at that.

And I did, indeed, send the piece out to my old commentary list of newspapers around the country, just for fun; but the Torch is MY paper, and my piece can be as long as I damn well want it to be.<smile> I believe I will take your suggestion to heart and add another graf. Let me chew on it a bit, and I will post the addition/modification...

Since you already described the theme, you may be able to bring it back in at the end with the emphasis you need with only a sentence (or half sentence).

Also I just noticed that you cited your source of the Bryant story as The New American (John Birch Society). The original source was linked here on the Forum by Carlos (and in the article you cited).

Excellent! And thank you...Somehow I had missed McElroy's piece. I'd much rather quote HIM than the New American.

Brad

timeforeverymantostir@yahoo.com

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Live long and prosper.

\\//

ruveyn

<smile> As a youth, and a complete fan of Spock in particular and Star Trek in general, I trained my hands to make that "V." Took me a while, but all of my fingers still remember how to sit still while I spread them in the middle. Thanks!

Brad

timeforeverymantostir@yahoo.com

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