Happy Atlas Shrugged Day, 2013

September 2 is Atlas Shrugged Day, the anniversary of the day (in 1946) on which Ayn Rand began writing the novel. September 2 is also a significant date in the novel, and the date on which the story begins.

I celebrate Atlas Shrugged Day by reading passages from the novel, often by opening the book to a random page. Every page is a great part of what I consider the greatest work of art and most advanced human achievement.

Here is a passage I opened to today:

He stood looking at the judges. There was no triumph in his face, no elation, only the still intensity of contemplating a vision with a bitter wonder that was almost fear. He was seeing the enormity of the smallness of the enemy who was destroying the world. He felt as if, after a journey of years through a landscape of devastation, past the ruins of great factories, the wrecks of powerful engines, the bodies of invincible men, he had come upon the despoiler, expecting to find a giant—and had found a rat eager to scurry for cover at the first sound of a human step. If this is what has beaten us, he thought, the guilt is ours.

—Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged (New York: Random House, 1957), p. 483 (Part Two, Chapter 4).