Today in 1946, Ayn Rand began writing Atlas Shrugged, which would be published eleven years later. In addition to telling a fascinating mystery story about a man who would stop the motor of the world, this novel presents a new morality—a morality of rational egoism, value pursuit, and non-sacrifice—“a morality of Life.” An oath taken by the heroes of the story reads, “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.”
Atlas Shrugged has changed and is changing the world for the better. More fundamentally and more importantly, though, it has changed and is changing the lives of individuals. It has liberated countless men and women from the shackles of altruism, the morality of sacrifice; from the shackles of religion, the philosophy of faith; and from the blind chaos of subjectivism, the policy of emotionalism. Atlas has helped millions of people to think clearly about moral and philosophic issues and thus to live and love life to the fullest.
For this, I think all who have read the novel will join me in saying, “Thank you, Ayn Rand, for Atlas Shrugged.”
If you’ve not yet read the novel, today is a perfect day to start.