Individualism In Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged

1089 Words5 Pages
Rand v the field Contrary to Ayn Rand’s idea expressing a lack of necessity for government action in the market, one need only to look to the theory of Keynes to see that governmental interaction within the market is necessary. In this paper, I will explain Ayn Rand’s view on the importance of individualism and limited government as conveyed through the actions of the protagonist of Atlas Shrugged and describe the appeal offered by this view, but then demonstrate why this view is more disastrous than the author can atone for. Rand’s disdain for governmental involvement stems from the belief that it hinders production and creates what democracy was designed to prevent, domination by corrupt leaders. But the author’s view of complete laissez…show more content…
Dagny Taggart, the heroine of the novel, is Rand’s ideal capitalist. Dagny’s decision regarding the rail orders paints an accurate picture of the protagonist. Dagny invests in rails from Hank Rearden instead of ordering from Orren Boyle because Rearden delivers his product and Boyle does not. Similarly, Dagny chooses to provide freight service to the productive Ellis Wyatt and the Colorado industrialists but not to the impoverished and unproductive economy of socialist Mexico. These actions highlight Rand’s emphasis on individualism and portray Dagny as Rand’s model of the spirit and practice of capitalism. The heroine believes in industrial production and profit — hard work and earning large amounts of money, regardless of consequences other people may face as a result. Making decisions based solely on production and efficiency are hard to argue against if one believed in the system of capitalism. The emphasis on individualism does not represent the issue I have with Rand, as most of the pro capitalist authors discussed in class have no issue with making self interested decision fueled by the desire earn profit. The apparent issue partitioning Rand from those authors is the disproportionate amount of weight Rand gives to individualism and selfishness as necessary elements for an ideal

    More about Individualism In Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged

      Open Document