Celebrate the Real Labor Day

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“Fairy tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” — G.K. Chesterton

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On September 2, 1946, Ayn Rand begin writing Atlas Shrugged. A number of fictional occurrences, significant to the plot, took place on that date in the novel, and among many Randians, this is Atlas Shrugged day.

It took Rand slightly longer than a decade to complete this magnum opus, but it has endured for more than half a century without ever being out of print. Two of the three films dramatizing the novel have been completed, and a third is in production. It took so long to reach the silver screen (her other great novel The Fountainhead was released as a film six years after its publication) because of its epic scope, but also because its theme and philosophy run counter to the prevailing Hollywood ethic.

It may seem ironic to some that this year September 2 falls on Labor Day. The view of the so-called labor movement in this country, and everywhere else, is mostly contrary to Rand’s vision.

In a larger sense, however, labor is not merely the physical act of human muscles, which can only produce the standard of living characteristic of a medieval blacksmith. It is the thought products of the creative mind that allows those muscles to exercise a power that is (conservatively) a trillion or more times the slightest movement of a human thumb and forefinger.

Happy Labor Day and Happy Atlas Shrugged Day. Would that they could stay together.

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