More on Atlas Shrugged

by bdhesse

I continued reading Atlas Shrugged today. I haven’t read it in a while since I’ve been sick. But there was one bit that stuck with me.

In the story, the people have been convinced not to trust a new kind of steel. Dagny is relying on this steel to bring her family’s company back from the brink of bankruptcy. As a result, she goes to talk to the head of a science foundation, since his group had a lot to do with people’s mistrust of the steel.

While talking to the head, he claims that people don’t like truth and rationality, and, as such, don’t know what’s good for them. I always distrust people who say that people don’t know what’s good for them, because it is a sign that they wish to implement a dictatorship. But I also really dislike the idea that people don’t like truth and rationality. I think in general people care more about truth than they do about rationality, but I don’t know of many people who don’t hold both in high regard. We like knowing how and why things happen. Sure, some people aren’t very good at using their rationality, and we’re all irrational at some points, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t value rationality. But then, that’s just more that makes this story unrealistic: everybody but Dagny seems to hold the most extreme views possible. Nobody is a moderate. Even Dagny isn’t very moderate.

On a side note, I have about a month left before that scholarship is due and I have no idea if I’ll manage to finish the book. It’s really a very painful read.