Monday, November 26, 2012


Photo: Slate

We recently watched part one of Atlas Shrugged on Netflix.  I noticed afterward that there was a related  program entitled Ayn Rand and the Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged and thought that might also be interesting.  I started watching it and was fascinated by Rand's life and the background of her writings.  As I watched, I found myself being convinced that individuals should be equal, and that one individual shouldn't have to sacrifice for the comfort of others.  I was buying into the idea that alturism was bad.

Then it hit me as I recalled getting up at 6:00 each morning with the baby, being bitten while nursing, cooking, cooking, cleaning, and cleaning, that individual equality -- equal give and take -- is not like that at all in a family, especially a young one.  I don't think a family could function if everything were equal.  My kids and house would be a wreck if I didn't disregard my personal comfort and take care of them.  We'd also be destitute if my husband didn't personally sacrifice "his" income for the benefit of the family.

So, it's nice in theory that we should all be equal, and it should be possible with adults, but with a family, altruism must rule or the family falls apart.


JM said...

I think service is key to ALL good relationships, regardless of age and circumstance. Understanding, sacrifice, love, and forgiveness, are the qualities that bring people close. "Fair" does not mean "same". Ayn Rand's type of philosophy breeds nothing but selfish competition and discontent.

Interestingly, after completing this novel and declaring herself "the most creative thinker alive" Ayn Rand suffered from severe depression.

Her sense of reason rejects all forms of faith and embraces the worship of self at all costs.

I am currently, albeit slowly, reading "Atlas Shrugged" and I look forward to reading more of her works, over time. This is not to gain insight so much as it is to understand the modern philosophies that plague us. My sense is that this type of philosophy is dealing out depressed and isolated individuals in a world full of busy, bossy, selfish, bodies.

Ayn Rand died lonely and alone and beholding to the institutes, egos, and opinions of others. What a sad and a poignant warning, if we are so inclined to heed it.

JM said...

Here is a great synopsis of Ayn's basic philosophy and ideology.

This is certainly information to be aware of not necessarily to embrace. I would hope people could be more than this.