You Didn’t Say That, Somebody Else Did

The last time I read Atlas Shrugged was almost twenty years ago. I thought it was time for a reread. While reading it, I came across the following:

“Rearden. He didn’t invent smelting and chemistry and air compression. He couldn’t have invented his Metal but for thousands and thousands of other people. His metal! Why does he think it’s his? Why does he think it’s his invention? Everybody uses the work of everybody else. Nobody ever invents anything.” [p. 262 in the 35th anniversary edition]

This was said by James Taggart to Cherryl Brooks.

Rearden is, among other things, an inventor who has just created a new alloy that is much better than steel. The pretend capitalists of the world are not happy because he’s going to compete them into the ground with his Rearden Metal. Taggart is the nominal head of a railroad. In reality, his sister Dagny runs the railroad and he takes the credit for her success while constantly doing his best to undercut her; he himself has never done a worthwhile thing in his life.

Obama channeling Ayn Rand? How bizarre, even if he’s channeling a Rand villain.