AllAfrica.com has a new article in which a Nigerian native sizes up his country, and its politicians, somewhat through the lens of Atlas Shrugged.
When I read the article at lunchtime, I stumbled over the phrase “disintegration of rational inquiry” — but I think the author is referring to the modern era’s decreasing respect for rational inquiry.
One of my favorite authors, Ayn Rand, taught the virtue of selfishness and the disintegration of rational inquiry. Her best seller Atlas Shrugged is however one book that I return to every now and then. The book was written in 1957. Ayn Rand, a Russian migrant that lived in the USA and became a house-hold name for her teachings on objectivism, was probably the best known and perhaps widest read philosopher of the 20th century. She was a woman of substance.
Years ago when I first read Atlas Shrugged I immediately contextualized it in Nigeria . But little did I know that a stalemate would result from a warped definition of objectivity, a dire need for a political philosophy and a shrug by an Atlas – Umaru Musa YarAdua. Atlas Shrugged is for me a book for all times. It groups objectivism, self-interest and capitalism all in one. In plain text, according to Ayn Rand herself – nature is to be commanded and must be obeyed, or wishing won’t make it so; you can’t eat your cake and have it too; man is an end himself; give me liberty or give me death.
Nigeria witnessed the disintegration of rational inquiry recently when Patricia Olubunmi Etteh’s power rangers insisted that she would be judge in her own case. Looking at what transpired in that dark period of the House of Representatives that culminated with the death of Dr. Aminu Safana, one would expect nothing to follow but recall, to rid the house of the pea brains that turned it into a house of horror. To think out of the box is one thing. But to think stupidly out of the box in order to justify the unjustifiable, for whatever reason, is sure enough reason for an elected representative to be shown the way out.
See the full article for more.