Ms Rand is, of course, no longer among the living yet her most successful work lives on. Just the other day I was listening to Andrew Wilcow on Sirius while driving through northern Wisconsin. A gentleman called in asking Andrew if he had read this amazing book entitled, “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand. Mr. Wilcow, of course, indicated he was familiar with the book and listened and agreed to the notion of the prescience of Ayn Rand vis-a-vis what is currently happening here in America.
I have not only read Rand, I have studied much of her writing. There is much to agree with; some may not appreciate the way that she said things but often times the truth gets sullied by the perceptions and preconceptions of those hearing it, choosing not to believe based upon said emotion rather than an objective analysis. Well, Ayn Rand had much to say about many things and I would put forth that she has nailed the current sub-prime mortgage crisis.. Just read what she wrote and I think you too will agree that there are bold and immutable truths to which she adhered and to which we all still have a great deal to learn about. By the way, Atlas Shrugged turns 50 this fall… It’s about time we all re-learned (or simply learned) those immutable truths it contains.
Money is the barometer of a society’s virtue. When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion—when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing—when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors—when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you—when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice—you may know that your society is doomed.
Money is so noble a medium that it does not compete with guns and it does not make terms with brutality. It will not permit a country to survive as half-property, half-loot.
Whenever destroyers appear among men, they start by destroying money, for money is men’s protection and the base of a moral existence. Destroyers seize gold and leave to its owners a counterfeit pile of paper. This kills all objective standards and delivers men into the arbitrary power of an arbitrary setter of values. Gold was an objective value, an equivalent of wealth produced. Paper is a mortgage on wealth that does not exist, backed by a gun aimed at those who are expected to produce it. Paper is a check drawn by legal looters upon an account which is not theirs: upon the virtue of the victims. Watch for the day when it bounces, marked: ‘Account overdrawn.’
When you have made evil the means of survival, do not expect men to remain good. Do not expect them to stay moral and lose their lives for the purpose of becoming the fodder of the immoral. Do not expect them to produce, when production is punished and looting rewarded. Do not ask, ‘Who is destroying the world?’ You are.