No, we are not entering the time of Atlas Shrugged. No, Obama’s plan to deal with the economic melt down is not the same thing as the various acts passed during Atlas Shrugged. No, we are no about to enter a world dominated by socialism.
If you feel the need to drop out of society and move to a valley in Colorado, please feel free to do so. I will be understandably jealous.
Ayn Rand had some good ideas, but her premise is flawed. I think I explained in pretty nauseating detail a year ago why that is.
A society is comparable to an organism. It is the product of evolution. There is no guarantee of survival. A society has to do what it can to survive. The economy is an analogue of the circulatory system. Our economy had the equivalent of a heart attack. We can ignore it, and maybe, just maybe we will survive. Or we can try to fix it. When a person has a heart attack, the doctors first fix the problem via surgery and drugs, rest, rehab and so on. Long term, the patient needs to change his ways to prevent a follow on heart attack. Running is a great activity for long term cardiovascular health. But you don’t send a recent heart attack victim out to run a 5K.
For now, we fix the current cash flow issues. Long term, we fix the regulatory processes that lead to this state. We need neither laissez-faire capitalism nor centralized socialism, but a delicate, ever adjusting balance between them. Every element of society is looking out for its own good, even if that element might do so at the expense of society. As a society, we need to manage all of our resources. The government needs to walk the path between crushing individual initiative and allowing the decay of the regulatory structure that prevents corruption and theft. This will always be true. This is the balance between the static and the dynamic that defines life.