陈凯论坛 Kai Chen Forum 不自由，毋宁死! Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death! 陈凯博客 Kai Chen Blog: www.blogspot.com 陈凯电邮 Kai Chen Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 陈凯电话 Kai Chen Telephone: 661-367-7556
资本主义的伟大英雄们 Capitalist Heroes
资本主义的伟大英雄们 Capitalist Heroesin 陈凯论坛 Kai Chen Forum 不自由，毋宁死! Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death! Fri Oct 14, 2011 11:12 am
by fountainheadkc • 1.370 Posts
Capitalist Heroes - “Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand
安. 兰德的"Atlas Shrugged" - “无奈大力神”是一部褒扬资本主义伟大道德精神与伟大的个体主义的颂歌，是一部划时代的、反潮流的阐述资本主义道德理论的巨著。 五十年后的今天，这部小说巨著仍旧，并与日俱增地发挥着它的巨大影响，弘扬着美国的伟大个体精神与资本者们的不倦的向上的创造精神。 我在此向热情地各位推荐这部伟大的巨著小说。 --- 陈凯
Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" is an epic novel that depicts the great individual spirit of the capitalists and the struggle of the capitalist creators against the socialist destroyers. It was and still is against the ethos of our times that somehow capitalism is only a necessary evil and socialism is an ideal state that humans have yet to grasp and make work. Fifty years have passed since its publication. "Atlas Shrugged" has become more and more popular and influential in America and in the world, for it tells the truth. This great novel will continue to sing in praise of the great human individual spirit and creativity, for only the individual is the fountainhead of human progress. I hereby again highly recommend this great novel to all of you. --- Kai Chen
If you have not read Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" http://www.google.com/products?hl=en&q=A...d&um=1&ie=UTF-8, you should read it now. It will clear your vision and cleanse your soul. Fifty years after its publication, this great novel with it romantic depiction of the capitalist heros continues to guide American society toward an individual-based capitalist direction. It has become the second most influential book in America, right after the Bible.
I am very proud to have translated Ayn Rand's "Anthem" into Chinese: http://www.youpai.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=1788. I hope you will enjoy the translation. "Anthem" indeed inspired me to write my own memoir "One in a Billion - Journey toward Freedom, the Story of a Pro-Basketball Player in China": http://www.authorhouse.com/BookStore/Ite...okid~42719.aspx. I hope everyone of you who reads these books will grasp the essence of them and draw strength and inspiration from them.
Best wishes to you all and may God bless you. Kai Chen
Wall Street Journal Runs Kelley Tribute to Atlas Shrugged!
(On October 10, 2007--the 50th anniversary of the publication of Atlas Shrugged--the Wall Street Journal published "Capitalist Heroes," Atlas Society founder David Kelley's tribute to Ayn Rand's great novel!)
The Wall Street Journal [/size]
[size=24]Capitalist Heroes [/size]
By DAVID KELLEY
October 10, 2007; Page A21
Fifty years ago today Ayn Rand published her magnum opus, "Atlas Shrugged." It's an enduringly popular novel -- all 1,168 pages of it -- with some 150,000 new copies still sold each year in bookstores alone. And it's always had a special appeal for people in business. The reasons, at least on the surface, are obvious enough.
Businessmen are favorite villains in popular media, routinely featured as polluters, crooks and murderers in network TV dramas and first-run movies, not to mention novels. Oil company CEOs are hauled before congressional committees whenever fuel prices rise, to be harangued and publicly shamed for the sin of high profits. Genuine cases of wrongdoing like Enron set off witch hunts that drag in prominent achievers like Frank Quattrone and Martha Stewart.
By contrast, the heroes in "Atlas Shrugged" are businessmen -- and women. Rand imbues them with heroic, larger-than-life stature in the Romantic mold, for their courage, integrity and ability to create wealth. They are not the exploiters but the exploited: victims of parasites and predators who want to wrap the producers in regulatory chains and expropriate their wealth.
Rand's perspective is a welcome relief to people who more often see themselves portrayed as the bad guys, and so it is no wonder it has such enthusiastic fans in the upper echelons of business as Ed Snider (Comcast Spectacor, Philadelphia Flyers and 76ers), Fred Smith (Federal Express), John Mackey (Whole Foods), John A. Allison (BB&T), and Kevin O'Connor (DoubleClick) -- not to mention thousands of others who pursue careers at every level in the private sector.
Yet the deeper reasons why the novel has proved so enduringly popular have to do with Rand's moral defense of business and capitalism. Rejecting the centuries-old, and still conventional, piety that production and trade are just "materialistic," she eloquently portrayed the spiritual heart of wealth creation through the lives of the characters now well known to many millions of readers.
Hank Rearden, the innovator resented and opposed by the others in his field, has not created a new type of music, like Mozart; rather he struggled for 10 years to perfect a revolutionary metal alloy that he hoped would make him a great deal of money. Dagny Taggart is a gifted and courageous woman who leads a campaign -- not to defend France from England on the battlefield, like Joan of Arc -- but to manage a transcontinental railroad and, against impossible odds, to build a new branch line critical for the survival of her corporation. Francisco d'Anconia, the enormously talented heir to an international copper company, poses as an idle, worthless playboy to cover up his secret operations -- not to rescue people from the French Revolution, like the Scarlet Pimpernel -- but to rescue industrialists from exploitation by ruthless Washington kleptocrats.
Economists have known for a long time that profits are an external measure of the value created by business enterprise. Rand portrayed the process of creating value from the inside, in the heroes' vision and courage, their rational exuberance in meeting the challenges of production. Her point was stated by one of the minor characters of "Atlas," a musical composer: "Whether it's a symphony or a coal mine, all work is an act of creating and comes from the same source: from an inviolate capacity to see through one's own eyes. . . . That shining vision which they talk about as belonging to the authors of symphonies and novels -- what do they think is the driving faculty of men who discovered how to use oil, how to run a mine, how to build an electric motor?"
As for the charge, from egalitarian left and religious right alike, that the profit motive is selfish, Rand agreed. She was notorious as the advocate of "the virtue of selfishness," as she titled a later work. Her moral defense of the pursuit of self-interest, and her critique of self-sacrifice as a moral standard, is at the heart of the novel. At the same time, she provides a scathing portrait of what she calls "the aristocracy of pull": businessmen who scheme, lie and bribe to win favors from government.
Economists have also known for a long time that trade is a positive sum game, yet most defenders of capitalism still wrestle with the "paradox" posed in the 18th century by Adam Ferguson and Adam Smith: how private vice can produce public good, how the pursuit of self-interest yields benefits for all. Rand cut that Gordian knot in the novel by denying that the pursuit of self-interest is a vice. Precisely because trade is not a zero-sum game, Rand challenges the age-old moral view that one must be either a giver or a taker.
The central action of "Atlas" is the strike of the producers, their withdrawal from a society that depends on them to sustain itself and yet denounces them as morally inferior. Very well, says their leader, John Galt, we will not burden you further with what you see as our immoral and exploitative actions. The strike is of course a literary device; Rand herself described it as "a fantastic premise." But it has a real and vital implication.
While it is true enough that free production and exchange serve "the public interest" (if that phrase has any real meaning), Rand argues that capitalism cannot be defended primarily on that ground. Capitalism is inherently a system of individualism, a system that regards every individual as an end in himself. That includes the right to live for himself, a right that does not depend on benefits to others, not even the mutual benefits that occur in trade.
This is the lesson that most people in business have yet to learn from "Atlas," no matter how much they may love its portrayal of the passion and the glory possible in business enterprise. At a crucial point in the novel, the industrialist Hank Rearden is on trial for violating an arbitrary economic regulation. Instead of apologizing for his pursuit of profit or seeking mercy on the basis of philanthropy, he says, "I work for nothing but my own profit -- which I make by selling a product they need to men who are willing and able to buy it. I do not produce it for their benefit at the expense of mine, and they do not buy it for my benefit at the expense of theirs; I do not sacrifice my interests to them nor do they sacrifice theirs to me; we deal as equals by mutual consent to mutual advantage -- and I am proud of every penny that I have earned in this manner."
We will know the lesson of "Atlas Shrugged" has been learned when business people, facing accusers in Congress or the media, stand up like Rearden for their right to produce and trade freely, when they take pride in their profits and stop apologizing for creating wealth.
Mr. Kelley, author of "A Life of One's Own: Individual Rights and the Welfare State" (Cato Institute, 1998), is the founder of The Atlas Society.
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