Refusing Impact: Aesthetic Economy and Given Time


Reading the 1200 closely printed pages of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged—in other words, wasting a great deal of time that might have been used more productively—is a reminder that the politics of refusal are not the preserve of the Left. “Refusal” might at first seem an odd term to associate with Rand, who champions greed, selfishness, and material success over what she sees as a wasteland of lumpen, non-productive whingers. Yet her epic free-market fantasy centers on a utopia populated by refuseniks—industrialists, bankers, academics, engineers, artists—who have fled to a secret anti-commune to escape a regime bent on destroying the American economy through its utilitarian, bureaucratic, and welfare-based directives, all of which are designed to serve a coterie of muddleheaded, puritanical conformists.

Read Article On Muse