Atlas Shrugged Revisited
What We Should Have Learned, but Didn't


by Dan Elkins

© 2015 Dan Elkins
344 pages

ISBN 978-0-578-17295-8 (paperback)

Inquiries should be directed to
Dan Elkins
P.O. Box 1961
Dewey, AZ 86327-1961
dwelkins2@cs.com
 
   

From the Preface --

Reading Atlas Shrugged three years ago had a profound effect on me. I couldn’t believe that a novel published in 1957 had accurately predicted what I was witnessing, firsthand, more than half a century later. I do remember having had a somewhat similar reaction to Robert Bork’s commentary on the nature and status of the nation’s social decline, in his book, Slouching Towards Gomorrah (Regan Books,1996). But while that book was a real eye-opener and truly insightful, it was a work of nonfiction that chronicled, rather than predicted, the conditions it addressed. Its message was straight-forward, needing no interpretation. It explained situations about which many or most of its readers were already aware, but in a way that presented the documentary evidence they needed to validate the concerns they were having about the current state of the country and of the disturbing course it was on.

What makes Ayn Rand’s fictional work so extraordinary is its storyline and character development. They identified and fully described the three distinct segments of society whose moral code, attitudes, and behavior had caused, or at least contributed to, most of the social ills about which Judge Bork would write decades later. They enlightened me on the nature and thinking of these groups, and how they have unleashed the social, economic, and political forces that currently threaten the very foundations of our Republic. I learned, through the novel, that those who produce the world’s wealth and value are under constant attack from these groups, who employ a vast array of tactics, techniques, and weapons to misappropriate major portions of that wealth and value. These three groups are the looters, who take their unearned shares by theft, force, or intimidation—the moochers, who use guilt or pity to extort their shares—and the mystics, who manipulate and incite moochers, by filling their heads with all sorts of insane ideas. These mystics also provide a cover of legitimacy for the evil actions of both looters and moochers, while eagerly looting sizeable shares of wealth and value for themselves.

 

About the Author --

Dan Elkins retired from the Unites States Navy in September 1994, at the rank of lieutenant commander. His final four years of active duty were spent as an instructor of resource management at the Joint Military Intelligence College (now the National Intelligence University) and the Joint Military Intelligence Training Center, both in Washington, D.C. Six months after retiring, he founded DWE Enterprises, an Alexandria, Virginia consulting firm, through which he offered on-site training and consulting services in the management of intelligence resources to organizations throughout the defense and intelligence communities and the private sector. In November 2008, he sold his training operations to the Intelligence and Security Academy, in Reston (now Arlington), Virginia, and joined the faculty of that institution. He did, however, retain ownership of the DWE Press, a publishing firm he founded in 2004, for the purpose of commercially publishing and distributing copies of the first edition of Managing Intelligence Resources. This book was a modified and updated version of a government publication he had authored in 1992 and subsequently updated five times through 1997. The success of this effort warranted the updating and publishing of the second, third, and fourth editions of the book, in 2006, 2010, and 2014, respectively. Mr. Elkins holds a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish (1975) and a Master of Business Administration in Finance (1980), from Lowell State College and Lowell University, respectively (each a predecessor of what is now the University of Massachusetts at Lowell). In addition to the four editions of the publication mentioned above, he is the author of three editions each of that book’s two predecessors—Financial Management of Intelligence Resources: A Primer and An Intelligence Resource Manager’s Guide.


     

 


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