The Moral Revolution in Atlas Shrugged Kindle Edition
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Nathaniel Branden many years' later, stated in his introductory comment on this essay, "I have allowed this essay to be republished as originally written because Ayn Rand thought so highly of it as an introduction to her moral philosophy ..." ... and "a commentary on the historical and cultural significance of her ethics and the view of man which her ethics holds as a moral ideal" (from the preface).
Particularly striking, is his discussion, (only five years after the novel was published), of the largely hysterical and vituperative reaction of many reviewers (both Left and Right) toward Atlas Shrugged. Yet 57 years' later, having failed to quash the interest of the public in her philosophy, we find her opponents still unable to change tact and grapple with what she really said..,
An excerpt: "Ayn Rand's antagonists have unfailingly elected to pay her what is, perhaps, the greatest tribute one can offer to a thinker whom one opposes: they have all felt obliged to misrepresent her ideas in order to attack them.
No one has dared publicly to name the essential ideas of Atlas Shrugged and to attempt to refute them. No one has been willing to declare: "Ayn Rand holds that man must choose his values and actions exclusively by reason, that man has the right to exist for his own sake, that no one has the right to seek values from others by physical force -- and I consider such ideas wrong, evil, and socially dangerous."
When one considers the careful precision with which Ayn Rand defines her terms and presents her ideas and the painstaking manner in which each concept is concretized and illustrated -- one will search in vain for a non-psychiatric explanation of the way in which her philosophy has been reported by antagonists. Allegedly describing her concept of rational self-interest, they report that Ayn Rand extols disregard for the rights of others, brutality, rapacity, doing whatever one feels like doing and general animal self-indulgence. This, evidently, is the only meaning they are able to give to the concept of self-interest. One can only conclude that this is how they conceive their own self-interest, which they altruisitically and self sacrificially renounce. Such a viewpoint tells one a great deal about the man who holds it -- but nothing about the philosophy of Ayn Rand.".
This book helps to understand why.