(a) The Good 🙂: This is by far the most entertaining book we’ve ever read explaining the evils of communism and the hypocrisy of most intellectuals. One can choose to dismiss these “big ideas” as adolescent, simplistic, or naive, but as the histories of various revolutions have shown, radical redistribution schemes make everyone poor–everyone, that is, except for those in power. (As a further aside, if intellectuals truly favored equality, why do so few (if any) of them refuse to accept prizes or literary awards? And why are academic intellectuals responsible for perpetuating the most feudal, archaic, and anti-egalitarian domain of the modern economy? Yes, we are referring to Academia!)
(b) The Bad 😦: Although the story is a compelling one, the bad guys in Atlas are uni-dimensional, mere straw men. As a matter of fact, we would love it if someone were to rewrite Atlas–but from the point of view of the looters!
(c) The Ugly 👿: John Galt’s speech is too damn long, and the rescue mission at the end is preposterous.
For the record, below is a complete compilation of our previous posts on Atlas Shrugged:
- Intro: Three original ideas in Atlas Shrugged.
- Original idea #1: The Logic of Robin Hood.
- Original idea #2: Trademarks and Coats of Arms.
- Original idea #3: Sex and the Market.
- Final thoughts: see items (a), (b), and (c) above.