- Atlas Shrugged is a novel by Ayn Rand, first published in 1957 in the United States. Rand’s fourth and last novel, it was also her longest, and the one she considered to be her magnum opus in the realm of fiction writing. The book explores a dystopian United States where leading innovators, ranging from industrialists to artists, refuse to be exploited by society. The protagonist, Dagny Taggart, sees society collapse around her as the government increasingly asserts control over all industry (including Taggart Transcontinental, the once mighty transcontinental railroad for which she serves as the operating executive), while society’s most productive citizens, led by the mysterious John Galt, progressively disappear. Galt describes the strike as “stopping the motor of the world” by withdrawing the “minds” that drive society’s growth and productivity.
Movie trailer for Atlas Shrugged:
Short version of the Atlas Shrugged book: the world works because some brilliant smart people make it turn. Being smart is not good enough. The hard labor of the working class is meaningless without brilliant smart people to direct them and to do most of their thinking for them. The core theme can be summarized by economist Milton Friedman’s mantra of ‘Greed is good’. In Atlas Shrugged the brilliant smart people, like demi-gods, put greed to work and withdraw its productivity when it suits them.