In the beginning of June, I picked up one of my favorite books of all time to be read over the summer. It's the book that has most changed my life forever. And I suppose there's no point trying to make you guess what it is since I put the author in the title of this article.
Atlas Shrugged changed my life back in my early twenties. It made me understand everything. Before reading it I'd had no strong opinions about anything - and after, I was a libertarian and an anarcho-capitalist. No book had ever made me feel so warm and cozy and life-loving and energized and ethical as it. I finally felt like the world was inherently a good place, and that life was absolutely fair. It was my favorite book for a while - until I read The Fountainhead and liked it even more.
It's been the perfect summer reading, and since it's a long book, I've been immersed in it quite throroughly, so much so that half of everything I say out loud starts with Just like John Galt said -. I've also been thinking about buying a chicken and catching my own fish - so I'd avoid having to pay value added tax. I also cut ties to a relative who didn't respect man's life as an end in itself and who had a twisted idea of personal property.
But perhaps I'm brainwashed? Maybe reading Rand has made me cold and anti-social, while being warm and social have absolute value? How can you know if you really believe in objectivism, or if you've been manipulated?
The solution lies in how it makes you feel. Which is funny, because Rand advised to always make moral judgements based on your brain, instead of your heart.
What I mean is this: is the world a better place, do you think you're a better person, has your life become limitless, after reading Rand and seeing everything through the lens of her works? Or is everything worse, do you feel worse or smaller or an object, after reading them?
I don't expect everyone to understand objectivism. Some might even be to smart for it. I wouldn't know, though, since for me, it almost perfectly hits the sweet spot.