Today as I write this it’s April 15th. Traditionally, this is the date that personal income taxes are due in the U.S.
Which makes it very interesting timing for the first theatrical release of a movie based on Ayn Rand’s famous novel Atlas Shrugged.
How so? In this country we have had a long tradition of rewarding the efforts of brilliant thinkers and producers in society.
It’s the engine of capitalism and the principles of liberty which have enabled the “common man” time and again to start and build a successful business, often from scratch, and enjoy the fruits of their labor.
It’s the reason immigrants have come to our shores for centuries to create a new life for themselves and their families.
And it’s the reason we have, by far, the largest economy in the world.
Without capitalism and liberty which provided opportunity and freedom to enjoy the rewards of creating value, many of the great inventions of the 19th and 20th centuries may never have become what they are today. Think of a world without the automobile, the telephone, the television, the computer or even the incandescent light bulb (oh wait, that world’s probably not far off).
The bottom line is free enterprise is responsible for many of the most astounding advances in human history. But our thinking as a country has changed. Now more than ever, a growing segment of our society believes “the rich” have a responsibility to take care of the “less fortunate.”
But what happens when such a large segment of our population believes that it’s someone else’s responsibility to provide for their well being, their material needs, or even their own happiness that it causes a change in government and society so profound that it no longer remains profitable for those few who create value to bother?
That’s the concept explored in Ayn Rand’s book. And I’ve personally found it to be the most profound book I’ve ever read. If you’re wondering what this has to do with back pain or your health, I’ll just say much more than you think.
I don’t want to spoil the storyline of Atlas Shrugged for you if you’ve never read it before because you really should read it.
Or listen to it.
Or, at the very least, go watch the movie.
And discover for yourself: Who is John Galt?