Moral Claim In Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged

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What happens when a particular moral claim is made in a morally defective culture? Ayn Rand explores this question through her novel Atlas Shrugged. Rand is a moralist, albeit of a very different kind than someone like Jonathan Edwards. She sets out a specific, rational morality that is based around human ability and explores the repercussions of moral claims in a society that has rejected rational right and wrong. The heroic characters of her work, particularly Francisco d’Anconia and John Galt, defend her moral code, one that is not muddied by the false virtue of unselfishness -- that of loving others more than oneself, or any self-consuming moral claims of collectivism. Instead, these characters speak of a new morality that is centered around the act of making money and values human ability. Today our moral attitude…show more content…
This moral attitude is born from twin obstacles -- the first being the tumultuous economy and the second is “the superior virtue of the oppressed” (Russell 58) This attitude manifests through surrender. Our volatile economy has caused us to distrust our ability to make money and instead encourages us to rely more heavily on the government to “bail us out.” Money is not the earned result of a capable individual, but instead the random blessing of fate or the government. This has caused the value of money to become weak in our minds. It no longer results from our ability to produce, instead it stems from our ability to prove our greater need, to prove that because of our greater oppression we deserve more benefits. It is a morality of “‘. . . pride in not caring to grant any justice to the able, where mercy to the needy is concerned’” (568). It antagonizes those who are have produced as immoral because they have money. Because money is viewed with suspicion -- if you have money you are either lucky or have cheated -- those who are wealthy are viewed as greedy and

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