Did Ayn Rand Write America’s Second Declaration of Independence?
On Independence Day, I recommend reading (or re-reading) the insightful essay by ARI’s senior fellow and chief content officer Onkar Ghate titled “Atlas Shrugged: America’s Second Declaration of Independence.” Ghate combines admiration for the Founding Fathers’ historical achievement with awareness of what the Founders left unsaid and undiscovered in the realm of morality.
Explaining how those shortcomings have permitted a steady increase in government power over the individual, Ghate highlights the groundbreaking work done by Ayn Rand in identifying the hidden moral principles underlying the original Declaration’s groundbreaking truths. From the essay’s first paragraphs:
For far more than just a story containing eerily similar events (the novel depicts the economic breakdown of the United States), Atlas Shrugged offers us an explanation for why the government’s power continues to expand and, even more important, a way out. It presents the ideas we must implement to reverse course. Indeed, in my estimation Atlas Shrugged is nothing short of America’s second Declaration of Independence.
To understand this radical claim, we need to begin by rewinding some 230 years, to the birth of the nation, to consider what the American Revolution accomplished and failed to accomplish.
Read the whole essay here, and have a happy Independence Day!