Atlas Shrugged-Directive 10-289

A few weeks ago I heard friends talking about a movie called Atlas Shrugged.  My Facebook friends commented about how the liberal Hollywood establishment panned the film. That is all it took to raise my ears. Anything that gets a liberal mad is fuel for my soul.

I procrastinated for days before I finally asked a friend to go see the film. My buddy Al immediately turned me down because he had read a review by Michael Medved who panned it.

I said,  “Thanks, I’ll save my money and read the book instead.”

The Frankfort library did not have the book on the shelf so I ordered it through the South Suburban Library System.

A week later, Atlas Shrugged arrived and I picked it up. Immediately, I knew why the movie is a dud. The book is two inches thick. I didn’t even know what it is about, and I could tell that no single two-hour movie can do the job of telling the story without omitting huge sections. This story can be a series similar to Dallas or Dynasty, but not a single movie.

It took me three weeks to read the story. I am not a fast reader, but the story held my interest and I could not put it down. Several times, my eyes grew weary and I fought off sleep.

The story Atlas Shrugged is definitely not a liberal favorite. The plot revolves around a socialist United States government that has hypnotized the people into believing that all industrialists are evil profiteers. Profit is evil in the possession of the profiteer. Profit is “greed” in the hands of the businessman, and belongs to the people. It must be diverted to “social good.”

Ayn Rand, the author, devised an amazingly complicated and entertaining plot and describes an advanced socialist progressive society well. Those governing want control of the minds of the people. Not because the governing wants to use men’s ideas beneficially, but rather so the people would not use ideas against the governing.

Government is comprised of a group of good old boys who all believe in the same principles of providing for social good. Their efforts become disastrous.  Only those who believed in themselves, and were in business to make a profit, actually provided goods and services that contributed to the social good. The “looters,” were just that, “looters” they contributed absolutely zero to the social good.  The more they looted, the more they needed to loot.

Miss Rand first published this book in nineteen fifty-seven, but I recognized elements of 2011 throughout. She used words like “greed,” to describe evil business. “Social good” was a euphemism for ”income redistribution,” and the government lived for taking control of, and regulating everything.

The story moves along at a fast pace, and except for a single chapter near the end, was totally entertaining. Ayn Rand tends to use too many words to describe her characters; I would have done the same story in one-third the pages. but I am not a writer.

I have inserted a page from the story describing how the actions of government made the economy crash further and further. Each time, the government reaction was more control. Each time the economy lost ground. The social good became poverty for the people. Their final action was called Directive Number 10-289, a list of wage and work controls that turned every one into a slave. Directive 10-289 became the straw that broke the camel’s back.

A single character named John Galt, an inventor, physicist, and businessman is captured and held hostage. He is literally their last chance to save the world. They need him to resurrect the business and industry to get the economy rolling again. Galt’s first recommendation is to cut taxes and to roll back regulations.

“No, no” responds the leader, “we can’t do that.”

Sorry folks, but Mr. Williams, the so-called leader, sounds like Barack Obama. He wants someone to save the economy for him without giving up an inch of his turf.

Atlas Shrugged may be Barack Obama’s playbook for hope and change. If you want to know where you fit into the plot, read the story and decide if you still want Obama’s version of America.

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