As global recession has taken a stranglehold on the world economy we have seen the vast majority of markets struggling. However, there are markets which buck the trend with goods growing in demand. Perhaps one of the most interesting of these is that sale of the 1957 novel ‘Atlas Shrugged’ by Ayn Rand.
Since the beginning of the economic crisis, Atlas Shrugged has climbed more than 500 places on the Amazon rankings, even overtaking contemporary bestsellers such as Barack Obama’s ‘The Audacity of Hope’. It is still ranked as one of the most influential books of all time alongside The Bible. Bearing in mind The Communist Manifesto is currently ranked 140,414 bestseller in the Amazon lists, the rise of Ayn Rands magnum opus poses some serious questions.
The fact that Atlas Shrugged is still so influential shows that capitalism is still holds an allure for many people. Rand's controversial philosophy of objectivism cannot be ignored and certainly has practical applications at the current time. With over 2 million unemployed in the UK perhaps it is time we should be allowing firms to utilise human capital with the aim of increased profits and self interest rather than imposing tighter and more stringent regulation that leads to an inevitable loss of efficiency for the economy. As we have seen during the expenses scandal, MPs clearly favour self-interest, but only under immoral and fraudulent circumstances that benefit them – why can't they extend greater freedoms to the economy allowing it to get back on it’s feet?
How will we drag ourselves out of recession? Who is John Galt?