The OF Blog: Nationalize Atlas Shrugged?

Friday, March 06, 2009

Nationalize Atlas Shrugged?

This article on Whiskey Fire is amusing on so many levels:

Nationalize Atlas Shrugged

by va

Whether it is because they are stupid or they think we are, the U.S. Treasury refuses to take charge of failed financial institutions. The enormous losses of these institutions are being socialized, and the people responsible for those losses are not being held accountable. Recognizing that sad fact, I propose that we seek satisfaction where we can find it and nationalize Atlas Shrugged.

According to The Economist, sales of Atlas Shrugged have spiked recently; it is ranked #38 on Amazon, and sales hit an annual record 200,000 copies in 2008. It's basically the only product in sight for which demand is rising. We should therefore act quickly to capitalize on current public interest (plus there's going to be a movie in 2011?). Furthermore, since sales of Atlas Shrugged seem to increase when governments intervene in the market, we can project that they will skyrocket when the government intervenes in Atlas Shrugged, driving that much more money, paradoxically, into public coffers.

The nationalization of Atlas Shrugged may strike Americans as foreign, even Swedish or something. However, the nation is already subsidizing the book's dissemination. A banking company, BB&T Corp. of North Carolina, has given $30 million in grants in the last decade for various universities to teach the book. Most recently, in March, 2008, BB&T gave UT-Austin $2 million for a Chair in the Study of Objectivism. Then in October, BB&T took (wait for it) $3.1 billion in bailout money. It only seems fair for the nation to recoup some of its investment in future generations' Rand-inspired economic havoc by nationalizing Atlas Shrugged now.


Mark Newton said...

That is so, so funny. Dare you to mail it to a Mr. Goodkind.

Lsrry said...

If he had an email account available, I would!

By the way, congrats on it now being less than 3 months to publication day :D

Mark Newton said...

Thanks! I did ask for an ARC to be sent your way, but no idea if it has or not yet.

Liviu said...

Never ever understood how that book (Atlas) got the acclaim it did; to my mind it's just so bad as fiction that people had to have been starved of "message" books in its era. After some notoriety is achieved, the bandwagon effect takes hold, but I still do not get how it got there

This is not to dismiss "objectivism" per se with which I feel some affinity, though I find it very "unrealistic" in regard to human nature - same level of unrealism as Marxism and socialism though from the opposite pole.

Lsrry said...

It hasn't yet, but once it arrives, I'll be sure to let you know, as I certainly will place it on the "fast track" to be read within a week or so of its arrival!


I agree for the most part with you, except that I have some affinity towards Marxism, or rather towards the historical interpretative tools that Marxists have developed over the years; those are actually quite good. In personal beliefs, I'm more influenced by Liberation Theology than either Marxism or Socialism, not that this wouldn't get me in trouble with the Pope! :P

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