A few weeks back, I was sorting through a a box of old books and pulled it out. I took it to my chair after pouring myself a glass of Johnny Walker Black Label and started to read. I've been reading it now almost every evening when I get home from work and I am now kicking myself for putting it off for so long.
The book is incredible. Ayn Rand is a fantastic writer and the content of the story is relevant even to this day even though the book was published in 1957. I keep saying to myself I need to get on THR 2.0 and blog about the book. Today is that day.
I am about 30% though the book and ran across this passage last night that I found so true. It is Dr. Ferris explaining to Henry Rearden, the self made man of Reardon Steel, the reason government has laws as he ( Ferris) is attempting to blackmail Rearden into giving up Reardon Metal to the State Science Institute.
Did you really think we want those laws observed? said Dr. Ferris. We want them to be broken. You'd better get it straight that it's not a bunch of boy scouts you're up against... We're after power and we mean it... There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt. Now that's the system, Mr. Reardon, that's the game, and once you understand it, you'll be much easier to deal with.
There are many other speeches throughout the book I underlined as they are so clear in explaining the difference between free markets and government controlled markets. Not only is Ayn an amazing writer, her ability to predict the future we are in now is astonishing.