… if I agree with Dagneyism or The Shrug™.*
Yeah, this video is old news; but it’s fundamental to grasping the philosophical chasm we face at this point in American history, if not World history:
Clearly, The Ash Heap of History™ needs another addition.
~ vid ~
The jackassery of the Obama puppet show and its peanut gallery made me think of these:
“He didn’t invent iron ore and blast furnaces, did he?”
“Rearden. He didn’t invent smelting and chemistry and air compression. He couldn’t have invented his Metal but for thousands and thousands of other people. His Metal! Why does he think it’s his? Why does he think it’s his invention? Everybody uses the work of everybody else. Nobody ever invents anything.”
She said, puzzled, “But the iron ore and all those other things were there all the time. Why didn’t anybody else make that Metal, but Mr. Rearden did?”
“I quit when medicine was placed under State control, some years ago,” said Dr. Hendricks. “Do you know what it takes to perform a brain operation? Do you know the kind of skill it demands, and the years of passionate, merciless, excruciating devotion that go to acquire that skill? That was what I would not place at the disposal of men whose sole qualification to rule me was their capacity to spout the fraudulent generalities that got them elected to the privilege of enforcing their wishes at the point of a gun. I would not let them dictate the purpose for which my years of study had been spent, or the conditions of my work, or my choice of patients, or the amount of my reward. I observed that in all the discussions that preceded the enslavement of medicine, men discussed everything – except the desires of the doctors. Men considered only the ‘welfare’ of the patients, with no thought for those who were to provide it. That a doctor should have any right, desire or choice in the matter was regarded as irrelevant selfishness; his is not to choose, they said, only ‘to serve.’ That a man who’s willing to work under compulsion is too dangerous a brute to entrust with a job in the stockyards – never occurred to those who proposed to help the sick by making life impossible for the healthy. I have often wondered at the smugness with which people assert their right to enslave me, to control my work, to force my will, to violate my conscience, to stifle my mind – yet what is it that they expect to depend on, when they lie on an operating table under my hands? Their moral code has taught them to believe that it is safe to rely on the virtue of their victims. Well, that is the virtue I have withdrawn. Let them discover the kind of doctors that their system will now produce. Let them discover, in their operating rooms and hospital wards, that it is not safe to place their lives in the hands of a man whose life they have throttled. It is not safe, if he is the sort of a man who resents it – and still less safe, if he is the sort who doesn’t.
[insert more quotes to the point of inserting half of The Book™]
Or, you could kick things off by reading Hayek. It’s a lot shorter, but there is a danger of going down the slippery slope to von Mises, etal. Still, that’ll probably take less time than reading Atlas Shrugged, I guess; but Rand certainly describes the enemies of freedom and individualism better than anyone I’ve ever read.
Does anyone know of a novel that makes the point of Atlas Shrugged but with a third of the words and with a realistic, non-fantasy solution?
* Sorry, but if you haven’t read The Book, my point may be obscure. *sigh* I started highlighting quotes in the actual printed book, but that used up all my highlighters. Besides, it still requires reading or listening to The Book™ to understand it’s point. Once one has done that, though, the quotes are eerily prescient for Obamunism’s/Progressivism’s America (or, in the case of the Soviet Union, deriviative). The Shrug™ is a powerful concept; but in reallity, it devolves into just another fantasy.