- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 21, 2009


In regard to Scott Galupo’s article entitled “Conservatives and ‘Atlas Shrugged’ ” (Plugged in, May 15), I will give Mr. Galupo the benefit of the doubt and presume he has not actually read the book. Otherwise, he could not describe such a romantic, fascinating, fast-paced thriller as “turgid” and “tedious.” Indeed, at age 12 (!), I read the 1,100-page story in (almost) one sitting.

I have other criticisms of Mr. Galupo’s piece. The most significant is that he appears to have no clue why “Atlas Shrugged” is so influential. It is not because of the book’s radical glorification of human progress, as interesting as it is. Rather, it is the vivid and terrifyingly accurate depiction of how capitalism can fall that draws readers. The book is popular today precisely because it mirrors what we face if President Obama’s policies are put in place. It is no surprise that book sales go up whenever the federal government takes control of something.

Mr. Galupo believes that conservatives have adopted a “blinkered escapist fantasy” to hide from the real problems of the world and ignore the role of the private sector in our current difficulties. He may be surprised to learn that even conservatives recognize fiction when they see it. It is the metaphor of John Galt’s withdrawal that intrigues us; the “what if” thought puzzle is an excellent tool for understanding the consequences of economic actions. We do not waste time blaming the private sector for government’s heavy hand.

My final complaint is that Mr. Galupo offers no solutions of his own. He merely criticizes conservatives for clinging to a fantasy instead of facing reality. We all await his grand scheme for utopia on tenterhooks.



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