Did you ever notice . . .

An inordinate number of TeaPartiers and rightwingnutcases worship Ayn Rand and her ridiculous novel “Atlas Shrugged.”

The basic plot of “Atlas Shrugged” — and of all Rand’s writings — is that a small number of gifted people create everything of value in the world and the rest of us are parasites.  The title of “Atlas Shrugged” comes from the myth that Atlas carried the world on his shoulders, just as Rand’s heroes.  One day, all these brilliant, creative people decided to withdraw from the world and let us parasites destroy ourselves — that is, Atlas shrugged his shoulders and stopped carrying the world.

The hero of “Atlas Shrugged” is one John Galt, who leads all the inventors, producers, etc.

I have noticed something strange:  Every single person I know who swears by Ayn Rand thinks that HE is John Galt (I say HE because I don’t know any women who fall for this crap).  Not one thinks that he is one of those who will be left behind when Atlas shrugs.

Meanwhile:

There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged.

  • One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world.

  • The other involves orcs and a quest for a golden ring.

Further reading: