Up@dawn 2.0

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Ayn Rand's Written Works

“Man cannot survive except through his mind. He comes on earth unarmed. His brain is his only weapon. Animals obtain food by force. man had no claws, no fangs, no horns, no great strength of muscle. He must plant his food or hunt it. To plant, he needs a process of thought. To hunt, he needs weapons, and to make weapons - a process of thought. From this simplest necessity to the highest religious abstraction, from the wheel to the skyscraper, everything we are and we have comes from a single attribute of man -the function of his reasoning mind.”
― Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead

Ayn Rand’s first major success as a writer came with The Fountainhead in 1943, a romantic and philosophical novel she wrote over a period of seven years. The novel centers upon a young man named Howard Roark and his struggle against what Rand described as “Second-Handers”-those who attempt to live through others, placing others above themselves. The book was rejected by twelve publishers before one editor threatened to quit his job if his company did not publish it. Reading The Fountainhead gives you a feeling of frustration because no one wants to be daring and try Roark’s new building ideas which are actually brilliant and instead want to remain stuck in their own ways. Also he allows his “friend” to take credit for his incredible work since it is the only way for his ideas to become public. Thankfully in the end, after much frustration and struggle, his great abilities are finally recognized.

“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
“Who is John Galt?”

Now to my all-time favorite book; Atlas Shrugged. Published in 1957, Atlas Shrugged is considered to be Ayn Rand’s greatest work; her magnum opus. Rand described the theme of this novel as “the role of the mind in man’s existence – and, as a corollary, the demonstration of a new moral philosophy; the morality of rational self-interest.” It advocated Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism and expresses her concept of human achievement. The strongest characters in the book who work to maintain the world with their inventions and great businesses go on strike, and in John Galt’s words “stop the motor of the world”. With this strike Rand intended to illustrate that without the efforts of the rational and productive, the economy would collapse and society would fall apart. If you have not heard of or read this book, I highly recommend it.