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The PragerU Take on Ayn Rand

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Check out the brand new PragerU video on Ayn Rand. Watch the video or read the transcript below!

Script:

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Who is John Galt?

This is one of the most famous questions in modern literature. Even today, over 50 years after it was written, you’ll hear people asking it.

Why?

Because it recalls the riveting suspense story, heroic characters, and powerful ideas portrayed in the bestselling novel Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand.

Born in St. Petersburg, Russia on February 2, 1905, Rand became one the most celebrated authors and philosophers of the 20th century. Her most famous novels, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, still sell hundreds of thousands of copies every year around the world.

Rand lived through the early years of the Russian Revolution, saw her father’s pharmacy business confiscated by the Bolsheviks, and experienced the horrors of communism firsthand.

She longed to emigrate to America. In 1926, she did—and never looked back.

To Rand, the United States meant freedom. She saw the Founding Fathers as heroes. They created a country based on individual rights.

“Man’s right to his own life, to his own liberty, to the pursuit of his own happiness,” she said, means that every individual has a “right to exist for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself”—nor to the government.

The practical results of the American system, Rand said, could be seen in the skyline of New York City.

“America’s skyscrapers,” she noted, “were not built by public funds nor for a public purpose: they were built by the energy, initiative, and wealth of private individuals for personal profit. And, instead of impoverishing the people, these skyscrapers, as they rose higher and higher, kept raising the people’s standard of living.”

Rand advocated pure capitalism, which she described as a system in which “the government acts only as a policeman that protects man’s rights.” No bailouts, no special favors for big business, no government intervention into the economy.

When people are free to produce and trade, and when the government is limited to protecting rights, everyone benefits. Individuals thrive. Societies prosper.

How do we know this?

Compare freer, more capitalist societies to less free, more statist ones:

In Rand’s day —

America compared to the Soviet Union.

West Germany to East Germany.

More recently:

South Korea to North Korea.

Colombia to Venezuela.

Such differences were painfully obvious to Rand. So were their causes.

In Atlas Shrugged, she showed how easily a free society can collapse into a dictatorship. The heroine, Dagny Taggart, works tirelessly and brilliantly to save her family’s railroad business, while ever-increasing government interventions destroy businesses and crush the economy.

Meanwhile, one by one, the top producers across various industries mysteriously disappear. No one knows where they have gone. The only clue is a question they leave behind: Who is John Galt?

As the economy crumbles, how do politicians, bureaucrats, and academics react? They blame “the greedy businessman” and decry the profit motive and free markets. Their solution: more government intervention which, of course, only makes the problem worse.

Sound familiar?

Atlas Shrugged is a cautionary tale about pursuing equality over excellence—state control over free markets—but it’s also about the power of the individual and the power of reason.

The individual’s reasoning mind, Rand argued, is his tool of knowledge—his only means of understanding what is true or false, how the world works, what is good or bad for his life.

This is the theme of Rand’s work more broadly: In order to thrive, to achieve happiness, the individual must think for himself and live by the judgment of his own mind.

We'd love to hear your thoughts about this article. Please take a minute to share them in the comment section by clicking here. Or carry the conversation over on your favorite social network by clicking one of the share buttons below.


Chris is one of the World's Top 50 Speakers, member of the Motivational Speakers Hall of Fame, and one of Inc. Magazine's Top 100 Leadership Speakers. He considers it a privilege to be able to speak to people, help them lead successful lives, become extraordinary leaders and, masterful salespeople. Chris has authored twenty books with three million copies in print in 13 languages and over 450 articles on success, leadership, sales and motivation.



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The Post That Made Facebook Threaten One of America’s Top Motivational Speakers

Apparently you aren’t allowed to ask pointed questions that make the leftist overlords look bad.

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Apparently you aren’t allowed to ask pointed questions that make the leftist overlords look bad. Check out PolitiCrossing Founder and motivational speaker Chris Widener’s post that earned him the threat:

If Covid was so deadly, would Democrat politicians get caught without their masks dining at French Laundry? Or going maskless in their private jet terminals? Or at the ball games they attend? Would they really risk their very lives?

If the seas were really going to rise from global warming would Obama really own thirty million dollars of beach front properties?

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If this is so deadly, would they allow us to pack hundreds of people into an airplane eighteen inches from each other (yet require you to “social distance” while you get off the plane)? Would they allow thousands of people to use the same touch screen to check in in airports like I just did ten minutes ago?

You have been fooled my friends. Look at what they do, not at what they say. The biggest scams in human history are being pulled on us and half our country goes along with it because they have no discernment of right and wrong or truth and error. And worse, when you call them on their BS, they act indignant and curse and belittle you.

Why would they keep virologists from the best schools in America from getting their message out that this is a scam? Why would they keep you from using medications that have been around and safely used for decades?

We simply cannot continue to allow these shysters to harangue us into complicity. I for one will continue to fight until my dying day for truth against duplicitous manipulation.

If someone told a crowd of 1000 people that they have to shut down their businesses and stay home from school and wear masks or else ONE of those 1000 people would die in the next year, would you do it? Of course not. That’s the math, and only if you believe all the reported cases of death by Covid were actually true but of course we know that many deaths were categorized as Covid deaths but weren’t.

And yet that is exactly what we have done.

Why would they roll out a vaccine that doesn’t even keep you from getting Covid and has tons of side effects and roll out national marketing campaigns to pressure everyone to get it?

What’s really going on here?

It is time to put on your thinking caps, my friends. Just because someone in authority says something is true doesn’t make it so.

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Pay as You Go

We each benefit by pacing ourselves for the long haul.

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In 1900, the median age of Americans at the age of death was 49 years old. By 2018, life expectancy of Americans had jumped to above age 80. Career professionals, like nearly everyone else, are living to ripe old ages. As such, they need to pace themselves for the long haul. A personal story helps illustrate the point.

Machinists Know Best

I worked with my friend Peter, for Smyth Manufacturing Company, the book binding equipment manufacturer, the summer before we entered college. It was my only time in a job shop, and I learned many lasting lessons such as the importance of cleanliness in an industrial setting.

Before you left for the evening, you oiled your machine, wiped the floor and counters, and cleared away scraps and extraneous items so you could begin the next day without impediments. The craftsmen sometimes elaborately cleaned and reorganized items in the middle of the day as well, as they switched from one job to another.

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When you’re working with potentially dangerous industrial equipment, you can’t afford to have a stray bolt or paper clip lying around that could catch in a gear and fly across the factory floor into someone’s face.

Control the Immediate Environment

As deftly as these job shop professionals worked, they continually maintained control of their immediate environment because they understood its importance on many levels. In case you think they were being overly cautious or were paid some admirable hourly wage, guess again. These workers were paid by the piece, and they were known as “piece workers.”

Any one of them could have easily increased their output on a given day by slacking off on cleaning and maintenance procedures. After all, if you can turn out seven pieces in a day spending 30 percent of your time cleaning and maintaining, you might be able to produce more than 10 pieces if you completely concentrate on your output.

In the short-term, you could make more money. Longer term, you could injure yourself or others, create more waste, shorten the equipment’s life, or get fired.

A Primary Lesson

The lesson for us all is to “Pay as you go.” Clear the decks each night, arrive ready for the next day, and pace yourself for the long haul.

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