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My Remarks on ATLAS SHRUGGED (<—plus my reading of an excerpt from Galt's Speech)

The theme of Atlas Shrugged is the role of the rational human mind in human existence. By the story and by the philosophy expressed in Galt’s speech, the rational mind is portrayed as in fact a feature of individuals. Only individuals have minds and wills, and only individuals create and make possible human life, its continuance and its betterment. The mind in the context of society is the greatest opportunity for raising life of human kind to greater heights, but only if the human mind and power to venture upon its innovations is left free from governmental suppressions and takeovers and only if such private ventures are not artificially buoyed by government. The great traditional opponents of reason, in the sense defined by Rand, are mysticisms: The spiritual mysticism of religion on the one hand or the materialist mysticisms of Marxism and Behaviorism on the other; both are opponents of the individual embodied mind and indeed of human life on earth, in the view of Rand in this work. Rand proposed in this work a new fully natural morality for human life in which the cardinal virtue is rationality and in which each individual treats each recognizing that “By the grace of reality and the nature of life, man—every man—is an end in himself, he exists for his own sake, and the achievement of his own happiness is his highest moral purpose.” The importance of the theme of Atlas Shrugged is mainly for personal life, in casting off mysticisms and their false moralities and in embrace of the new morality designed for living and enjoying yourself. There is importance also for the necessary social condition for making such individual lives, and that is the importance of making individual rights the premiere value of politics.*

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