Ok, so it took me about 7 months to read the behemoth 1959 Ayn Rand classic, Atlas Shrugged, but it is finished.
A blog about the 1,200 page Atlas Shrugged won’t do it justice (see the cliff notes, but even these are long). I do know many-an-entrepreneur have attributed their theory, outlook and success to the book. For me, it has definitely shaped and helped redefine values I have for business. The book is primarily about unabashedly being proud of running a business and contributing to society. The struggle in the antagonist(s) in the book have the theory that corporations have a civic duty to support the general public. The antagonists (government and lobbyists) are referred to as the “looters” in the book. The argument is that without businesses, without the talent of business owners of the private sector, what would the public be without them? They, in fact, do support the general public in the fact that they exist and provide value to society. The looters in contrast, want something for nothing, they expect these business owners to continue to produce, even though they tax them to the hilt, put on unnecessary restrictions to make it difficult.
The looters find out the true value of the private sector, when one by one, they withdraw themselves from society. They soon realize they need the very people they persecuted for the “good of the people.” As the nation crumbles and riots, the looters realized they themselves are the enemy.
Overall, I think it’s a great book and a must read for any business owner. Sure, the political implications are put on pretty thick, and can be very eye-opening depending on what side of the fence you’re on. But I recommend it nonetheless.