Atlas Shrugged LO9806

Thomas P Benjamin (
Sat, 7 Sep 1996 13:39:47 +0530

Replying to LO9708 requesting on views about the book

I was introduced to Ayn Rand 17 years ago by one of my US returned
Professors. He had suggested that I read The Fountainhead. I got hold of
Atlas Shrugged first, followed by Fountainhead. One of her books, the new
intellectual presents the essentials of Ayn Rand's philosophy.

I have enjoyed her presentation, was for a while an ardent admirer of her
work. Have experience, by attempting to imbibe some of her presenting
values in her work. I attempt below a brief summary of my current
opinion. Since my romance with Ayn Rands philosophy is history, I don't
remember too much of it to quote. Maybe I can pull out a few essentials
and try a general comment.

My experience with Ayn Rands philosophy is that it is at the tip of a
steeple, it makes sense, but needs a caution, which way does one slant.
Its right on if like Howard Roark one has imbibed a set of well rounded
and thought out values. For an average person, to reach the ideal is
difficult. Through her work I have gone through a period of atheism. I
found it difficult. The key in her work is the nature of self. For me
without Christ as the centre of that self, I ended up hurting others, not
my intention but the result.

For instance, Roark faces opposition by not thinking about them (his
opposition), I could not do that, as a human I react or draw the resources
of God and allow Him to take action.

In Atlas Shrugged there is a discourse on the meaning of money. In life I
have not experienced the ideal. Also, I ask the question to myself, what
has a millioner's son done to inherit his fathers wealth, has he laboured
more than the steward? However, I do see the point she makes and there are
elements that need to be attended to. If I have a socialistic tendency,
her work is a useful input to help my belief system to be more rounded.
My experience is that it is dangerous to be a capitalist of Ayn Rands
description without love in your heart.

There is discourse on each according to his ability and each according to
need. The dialogue was gripping. But in life, I found that the author
has led the reader through a thought process. I have a model more to my
liking. Dr. Stanley John a heart sureon has probably done the largest
number of valve surgeries in the world. If he was in America, he would
probably be a (dollor) millionaire. He said," my skill was given by God.
God has taken care of my needs". He used his skills to restore those God
had brought to him. This does not mean he didn't charge money. He served
in an institute started by an American lady 100 years ago in India. He is
now retired. He is not a millionair, but lives comfortably by our Indian
standards. Because of his attitude even a needy poor patient could get
the best skill at his/her disposal.

On the lighter side, there is a discourse on the meaning of sex in Atlas
shrugged. I was introduced to Rand's work book about the time I was
getting married. Two years later. In spite of Ayn Rand I married my wife
for what she is and not for what she reflects about me. (Ayn Rand's point
is taken). We have grown together, we are not the same as we were when we
were married. What should we do now? Change partners to reflect our

In short, I agree with her philosophy as long as the self in each one of
us as stated in her philosophy is Christ. She had said that happiness
comes from serving yourself and not others. She is right, only let that
self be Christ.There is much that we learn for LO through thoughtful
application of her work.

With best wishes.

Thomas P Benjamin

[Thomas P=B]


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