Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand's masterpiece celebrating capitalism and the individual, is a rare accomplishment. First published in 1957, it seems to have been written for today. Its villains stare up at us from our daily newspapers; its warnings are now headlines on the nightly news. Not only does Rand make the argument for free markets, sound money, and a minimal state, she lays out in gripping detail the corrupt logic of collectivism and the danger of a society whose motive powers are politics and "pull," not choice and merit.
Laissez-faire capitalism is not only the most productive organizing principle for a society; it is also the most preservative of human wealth and human dignity. The parallels between Rand's fiction and today's facts show us that the results of the policies and attitudes that helped create the recent economic catastrophe were foreseeable and inevitable. But a society that learns and understands the principles of freedom and equality before the law can reclaim what is being lost to the "looters" of the world.