Leitmotif

Reason as the Leading Motive

A Historic Achievement

Posted by Jerry on October 5, 2007

October 12, 2007 will be the 50th Anniversary of the publication of Atlas Shrugged. In commemoration, many have focused on the undeniable influence this book of unprecedented ideas has had on people across the globe. It marks the beginning of a whole new philosophic system that the world would encounter and have to confront.

Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged is also a grand act of justice.

In our times, practically every group, class, species, object, or cause has a moral champion. For example, the Earth has its environmentalists, the animals have Peter Singer, the working class has the Marxists, the lazy have their welfare Socialists, the destitute have Teresa’s daughters of charity, the altruists have Jesus.

But the men whom mankind need the most–for employment, investments, inventions, medicines, technology, construction, food, entertainment, i.e., for human survival itself–were historically ignored, even reviled. They were rarely given the recognition they deserve; instead, they these men are often the targets of verbal attacks, legal restriction, irrational lawsuits, public protests, denunciations, moral condemnations, and philosophic indifference.

Atlas Shrugged is an homage to these men; to signal to them that their work is being recognized, appreciated, and understood as being incredibly significant to human civilization. Indeed, it is intended to make them accept and realize the moral superiority of their actions.

“Atlas Shrugged is a historic act of justice, because it is an act of homage. It is a bestowal on the world’s thinkers and creators of the recognition, the gratitude, the moral sanction, which they rarely received but abundantly earned. [They] are the men who support life. They are the men who struggle unremittingly, often heroically, to achieve values. They are the Atlases whom mankind needs desperately, and who in turn desperately need the recognition–specifically, the moral recognition–to which they are entitled. They need to feel, while carrying the world on their shoulders, that they are living in a human society and that the burden is worth carrying.” — Leonard Peikoff 

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One Response to “A Historic Achievement”

  1. Thank you for this.

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