If you doubt the prescience of Ayn Rand, turn to page 744 to read about a doctor who no longer practices his profession. When asked why, he replies “I quit when medicine was placed under State control many years ago. Do you know what it takes to perform a brain operation? Do you know the kind of skill it demands, and the years of passionate, merciless, excruciating devotion that go to acquire that skill? That was what I would not place at the disposal of men whose sole qualification to rule me was their capacity to spout the fraudulent generalities that got them elected to the privilege of enforcing their wishes at the point of a gun.” If you don’t think vast numbers of doctors feel this way, you have not spoken to any. If ObamaCare goes into effect as passed in 2010, you will soon see droves of doctors living by this creed, and the medical care that most Americans receive will come at the hands of graduates from schools in Indonesia, Mexico, and India because America will not be able to replace the retired doctors quickly enough.
The book, which is sometimes a love story and sometimes a thriller, expresses Ms. Rand’s philosophy on the greatest issues that you will ever face as an individual, and that we will ever face as a society. Each week, my son and I cherished the opportunity to discuss issues that are timeless and yet have never been as relevant as they are today. And each week, I saw the boy who used to ride on my shoulders become a true man, not only in body and age, but in mind.
Reading Atlas Shrugged remains a daunting task. Reaching page 1,000 provides you with certain self-satisfaction, and completing the book brings a feeling of euphoria. Sharing such a vital book with a loved one made the effort totally worthwhile, and absorbing again the philosophies of Ayn Rand made this an experience that will live with me forever.
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