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Happy Birthday, Ayn Rand

February 2nd, 2011 by Myrhaf · 1 Comment · Uncategorized

Alex Epstein finds something better than Punxsutawney Phil to celebrate today:

Most of us do not take much note when February 2 passes–and if we do, it’s just in reference to Groundhog Day. But February 2nd marks something much more important than a mythical, weather-forecasting rodent. It is the birthday of the late, great author and philosopher Ayn Rand, the woman who gave us “Atlas Shrugged” (1957), one of the most influential works of the 20th century.

Although “Atlas Shrugged” is a must read for everyone, it is particularly the case for anyone in the business world. If you ask any hundred successful businessmen chosen at random to name the book that has most inspired them, you will undoubtedly hear “Atlas Shrugged” repeated over and over. Why?

Because, in the form of a thrilling novel with inspiring heroes, “Atlas Shrugged” does something no other book has ever done: it presents the pursuit of profit, the essence of business, as a profoundly moral activity.

One Comment so far ↓

  • L-C

    I finished Atlas Shrugged exactly a week ago, unconventionally, several years after discovering and coming to agree with Objectivism. I found that knowing key points of the plot in advance did not spoil my enjoyment of the novel.

    I think it is the kind of work that enables one to look at one’s past career and be profoundly content with it, to say “I accomplished what I would never have been satisfied without having done”.

    Although Atlas Shrugged is the more complete and final presentation of her philosophy in action, The Fountainhead is not to be overlooked. It focuses more on the life and spirit of one character, and through its sense-of-life presentation of his struggle and ambitions, I believe it holds great potential to strike an accord with new readers who have only yet begun to take the step from defiant individual to integrated individualist.

    I was born several years after Ayn Rand died but everything I know about her tells me she was the prototypical individualist. Conformation, guilt and cynicism seem to have been, not only foreign, but alien to her from the time she learned how to read. Reality and the best life she could craft for herself in it were her concerns.

    Though in birthdate and place I am separated from her by 80 years and a continent, it is not difficult to feel a sense of kinship with that kind of soul. I, too, hope to one day see and reach those skyscrapers, so to Ayn Rand I’ll say: Thank you for the map.