Wednesday, January 07, 2004

A libertarian perspective

In Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged*, the rugged individualist hero and heroine opine upon the landscape:
The earth went flowing under the hood of the car. Uncoiling from among the curves of Wisconsin's hills, the highway was the only evidence of human labor, a precarious bridge stretched across a sea of brush, weeds and trees. The sea rolled softly, in sprays of yellow and orange, with a few red jets shooting up on the hillsides, with pools of remnant green in the hollows, under a pure blue sky...

Dagny leaned against the corner of the side window, her legs stretched forward; she liked the wide, comfortable space and the warmth of the sun on her shoulders; she thought that the countryside was beautiful.

"What I'd like to see", said Rearden, "is a billboard".
Then [Dagny] smiled. "But think of how often we've heard people complain that billboards ruin the appearance of the countryside. Well, there's the unruined countryside for them to admire!" She added, "They're the people I hate".
And no, she's not kidding - from skimming the book it would appear that neither Ms. Rand nor her characters have a sense of humor.

Also this is rather quaint:
...the diamond band on the wrist of her naked arm gave her the most feminine of aspects; the look of being chained.
pp 279-80 and 136 respectively

No comments: