Atlas Shrugged—America’s Second Declaration of Independence
By Onkar Ghate Recorded March 1, 2007
In 1776 Thomas Jefferson announced to the world America’s plans for independence. For the first time in history, there was to be a nation and a government dedicated to the individual’s rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. But from inception, and from both within and without, the ideals of the new nation were under attack.
Without a full justification of an individual’s moral right to pursue his own life and happiness—not serve his neighbors, God or country—the nation was vulnerable, and its founding principles were slowly chipped away. In 1957 the missing justification came with the publication of Atlas Shrugged. On this, the book’s 50th anniversary, we will examine the moral revolution launched by Ayn Rand, without which the political revolution of the Founding Fathers had to remain incomplete. We will see what this moral revolution has meant for America so far, and what it promises for the future. We will see why Atlas Shrugged should be considered America’s second Declaration of Independence—a declaration not of political but of moral independence.