Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand: Part 2, Chapters 7-8 Essay

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Atlas Shrugged

What is the Moratorium on Brains? Is there a similar moratorium currently?

In the novel Atlas Shrugged, author Ayn Rand discusses a dystopian condition which she calls the "moratorium on brains." By this, Rand refers to the death of individualism and individual thought. Instead of supporting unique thinking and the power of invention, the corruption of the government and the social hierarchy in its entirety has changed the national landscape. People who thought for themselves and tried to define their selves as individuals disappear entirely or they simply vacate their jobs and get replaced by sinister people who will neither question the authority figures nor try to differentiate themselves. Those who remain behind understand that they are discouraged from thinking or using their minds in any capacity other than to perform regular ordered tasks throughout the day. They are being shackled intellectually by the government and thus are never able to transcend above their stations and achieve individual satisfaction.

The term "moratorium on brains" can be applied to any situation where the individual is ordered to behave and to speak in a certain way. Any time where individual speech and individual thought is derided by the majority population the moratorium on brains is in action. Right now in the United States of America, there is a contentious presidential election on the horizon. Never before have the two sides, Republican and Democrat, seemed so divided and by extension never have the people been so at odds. Those who support the Republican nominee Mitt Romney do not understand how people can support the Democratic nominee Barack Obama and vice versa.

Instead of using logic or statistics to back their arguments about why they support one candidate over the other, conversations have descended into stereotypes. For example, there are advertisements from the Democratic campaign which argue that voting for Mitt Romney will somehow reset the social structure of the country. One noticeable one warned people to set back the clock's an hour on Saturday and not set back feminism 50 years on Tuesday.
Obviously this is highly specious reasoning. Social structure is based on a plethora of things, primarily the cultural and moral perspective of the majority population. Which party is in control of the White House simply cannot reevaluate the social normative. However, when that point is made to an Obama supporter, the arguments are ignored and the false assertions restated. Similarly, those who support Mitt Romney claim that voting for Obama will lead to continued economic crises and perhaps even the very end of the country. Just as the Democrat arguments were invalid, so too are these assertions made by Republicans and Romney supporters. In most instances neither of the sides is willing to admit the fallacies of their party. Very few people if any are thinking logically about who they will vote for but are instead focused on the stereotypes and propaganda that they see on their television sets.

This is indicative of a larger problem in the world, people listening to hype and propaganda rather than doing research, learning all the sides of an issue, and making decisions based upon reason and logic. Moratoriums on brains are occurring in all facets of life: car purchases, credit card applications, and the way they vote for office or how they vote on issues. There are even smartphone applications which tell you how to vote based on your party. This allows the voter to just look at their phone and check the right box rather than perform individuals thinking and processing. The moratorium on brains is very real and very dangerous.

2. Chapter 8: Describe the love referred to in this chapter. Is this type of love prevalent in current society; if so, provide an example.

The love that is described in chapter eight of the second part of the novel….....

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