Dagny Taggart Goes To War

By Katie Kieffer

Lipstick and heels.

Image credit: “profumo di donna / scent of a woman” by Dario-Jacopo Lagana’ on Flickr via Creative Commons.

Dagny Taggart is not just the entrepreneurial heroine of Ayn Rand’s magnum opus novel, Atlas Shrugged. She is the inspiration of real women everywhere who are taking up her shield and fighting her battle for freedom using the weapons of entrepreneurship, education and free speech.

The media continually talks about the “war on women.” What the media never admits is that the government is waging a war against women through unjust force.

The government’s “weapons” include: domestic drones that violate women’s private property rights; unconstitutional taxes and regulations that make it nearly impossible for women to achieve their dreams; healthcare legislation that forces women to overpay for sub-par healthcare and the Federal Reserve’s unconstitutional monetary policies that inflate women’s money.

Weapon of entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship is currently endangered in America. Hudson Institute Economist Tim Kane published a report this month showing that the number of new startups has dropped to record lows due to taxes and regulations. To work for oneself is to be quintessentially free. Therefore, a society that is free must encourage entrepreneurs.

In the book, Dagny holds a press conference to announce the opening of her new line on the Taggart Transcontinental, the John Galt Line. A reporter asks her: “Do you want us to quote all the things you said?” Dagny responds: ‘“I hope I may trust you to be sure and quote them. Would you oblige me by taking this down verbatim?” She paused to see their pencils ready, then dictated: “Miss Taggart says—quote—I expect to make a pile of money on the John Galt Line. I will have earned it. Close quote. Thank you so much.”’

Do you think Dagny would let the media’s obsession with a fake war on women get her down? No way. She would shine light on the true war on women—the unconstitutional government mandates that squeeze entrepreneurs out of business.

Despite frustration and physical exhaustion, Dagny persists in running a profitable business. By working hard to earn her living, she benefits society without trying. She rapidly transports freight, employs men, and provides efficient, safe and comfortable transportation to travelers who would otherwise drive covered wagons.

If you are a woman, I hope that Dagny empowers you to take steps on local and national levels to fight for free enterprise and squash the media’s conception that profit is evil and women are victims.

Weapon of education

Educate yourself. And by “educate,” I do not mean enroll in a costly MBA program with elitist professors who may never have worked in the private sector.

Go rogue with your education. Read Rand’s novels and Henry Hazlitt’s Economics in One Lesson to understand capitalism without a boring textbook. Read the Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson to learn that a college education is not necessary for success—only freedom and hard work are. Read the Constitution and The Federalist Papers. Read the history of the Roman Empire to see how similar we are to Rome right before she fell and how to avoid her tragedy.

Next, educate the women around you. Encourage your friends to become profitable entrepreneurs, start an educational website, or begin hosting a regular brainstorming happy hour.

Hurdles like government regulations can distract us from our goals. But challenges make us stronger, more patient and more resilient. As women, we need to focus on the power within ourselves to overcome our hurdles and achieve happiness. And in order to find happiness, we must fight for freedom. This is a peaceful fight that begins with educating ourselves and then taking action steps toward our dreams.

Weapon of free speech

Free speech is an important weapon in the battle for freedom. Losing free speech would be equivalent to running out of ammo in a gunfight; as long as we have free speech, there is still time to fight.

Ayn Rand was once asked this question: “Do you think the time has come for the artists, intellectuals and creative businessmen of today to withdraw their talents from society?”

Rand responded: “So long as men can speak and write freely, so long as there is no censorship, they still have a chance to reform their society or to put it on a better road. When censorship is imposed, that is the sign that men should go on strike intellectually, by which I mean, should not cooperate with the social system in any way whatever. …[Until then] the right ideas, the right philosophy, should be advocated and spread. …In any historical period when men were free, it has always been the most rational philosophy that won.”

The movie Atlas Shrugged Part II premiers in theaters across the nation this month. Let’s channel Dagny as inspiration and build profitable companies, educate one another and speak out against unconstitutional government regulations.

C’mon girls. We have a war to fight.

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  1. JStew49 says:

    I haven't read Atlas Shrugged, however, due to the recent interest I did read a commentary on the book. I will read it. The thesis of the book is so similar to the political situation we are in now. Let's hope it doesn't get so bad that the successful people move out of the country.

  2. Lodzia says:

    Another great post!
    Love your writing, Katie.

  3. Peyton says:

    AWESOME column! Katie, you are such a great writer. Keep it up!

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