Monday, February 14, 2011

Atlas Shrugged (the novel), John Galt's speech

This is the fifth and final in my series of podcasts in which we review the struggle between individualism and collectivism with the help of the richness and clarity that Ayn Rand set forth in her magnum opus.

This show covers the famous (or infamous) John Galt speech, which takes place midway through Part 3 of the novel. It is supposedly three hours in length, but don't worry, I only read and comment on the best passages (in my opinion), so this show is only an hour long. (Only! you're saying....)

The John Galt speech is Rand's exposition of her philosophy of Objectivism. Not named as such in the novel or the speech, it is the celebration, and the declaration of the absolute supremacy, of reason over feelings, and over faith.

Rand spends a bit of time in the speech bashing religion--I skip those parts, as I think the peaceful coexistence of faith and reason under many practical circumstances has been adequately established. Nobody's perfect, not even Ayn Rand.

But the most delicious passages, where Galt thunderously delivers his contempt of Collectivism, shredding every corrupt nook and cranny of its bankrupt code, and exalts and explains the virtues of rationality, and the virtue of those who produce and trade freely--those passages are read aloud, for the pleasure they bring all of us who believe in Individualism, and more importantly, who understand rationally, with the help of Galt's speech, that individual liberty and responsibility for one's self is objectively the moral course for mankind.

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1 comment:

  1. With all due respect, sir, I disagree on the matter of the American attention span. The Americans who matter, who have always mattered, would not only sit through but stand up and cheer for the monument to man which is the Galt speech.

    Thanks,
    Rick Wilson,
    Reno, Nevada

    ReplyDelete