After about 3 months of holding onto it, savouring pages, characters, abandoning it to get over an emotion and coming back wanting a closure, I have finally completed the book Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. Here’s my ode to a book, I refused to read faster to finish and to the author, who doesn’t cease to intrigue me.
Atlas Shrugged – Objectivism vs Alturism
The reason I picked up Atlas Shrugged was not because of the umpteen controversies that surrounds it, but just for the author. Well, it would be fair to say, I was oblivious to the controversies surrounding it. Are you confused? 🙂 Atlas Shrugged is supposed to be the foundation of Ayn Rand philosophies, Objectivism, the preferred way of life. I guess this debate over Alturism & Objectivism can never end.
For the one’s who aren’t understanding it. Here is sorta definition to it!
Alturism: It means that man lives only for the sake of others and in their service. His highest moral duty, virtue and value is self-sacrifice.
Objectivism: In Ayn Rand’s words, “My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.”
Coming to the book, it’s the story of men with the objectivism philosophy fighting a society that majorly believes in Alturism and their fight for survival. This book was my introduction to the two philosophies, of which I believe in parts. Yes I believe in Objectivism, but with a touch of Alturism. Is that possible? Well I feel, a middle ground is where an ideal livelihood lies in.
Ayn Rand Will Always Make You Think
The books of Ayn Rand, may it be The Fountain Head or Atlas Shrugged, both has men/women of skill, talent and ambition. Now this is what makes it exciting. Maybe because, I dream of being like them, ambitious and successful. Of course rich too! 😉
It’s not just that, but the author kindles your mind and heart to think. We are always thought that boasting about achievements or capabilities is not right. Being modest is what is considered a virtue. I quite agree to it, but then again not acknowledging and accepting, you are capable of doing things, have talent is a must. This is where Ayn Rand pricks the point. It’s never good to boast am the best at it, until you really are. It’s never good to allow someone who isn’t talented nor has the capabilities as you to rule over you, just for the sake of being modest.
I think it’s a thin line here. But I find myself leaning more towards Objectivism, because I strongly believe in talent and capabilities. Both of which driven by passion and the love for it. Yes, you should do things for the mankind, but not at the cost of yourself, especially when the mankind, feels they are in no part of this effort but deserve the glory.
Talent, capabilities, knowledge is to be respected, not used for everyone else’s benefits but the one who has them.
Read the Book
Atlas Shrugged has been a light for me throughout my 3 month struggle. A struggle for the need for work, to quench the ambition and the believe that work brings me a satisfaction that cannot be replaced. If you relate to what am saying, read the book. Ayn Rand, sure makes it a bit of a stretch in certain parts of the book, which will want to make you to abandon Atlas Shrugged. But don’t, read the book.
For the ambitious, for the one’s who love to create, to run or take a responsibility, Atlas Shrugged will be a feeling you would not want to give up. Ayn Rand is an author who will strung the right chords and reinforce the beliefs you carry. Onjectivism is good, but when it isn’t an extreme, where it doesn’t make you pseudo proud of egoistic. Like they say, too much of anything is toxic.
The point is BE HUMAN. BUT NOT A FOOL!