Atlas Shrugged (and the UBERPOP/government conflict)

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Text transcription (literal):

The Constitutional Council recently validated the Thévenoud law, which banned UberPop. It was declared to be constitutional.

There is a book that can help you to understand a little better what Uber is up against; and to give you the overall context of this war between it and the government.

Atlas Shrugged

It is quite a surprising book that was written a very long time ago. It provides a fairly good understanding on what is happening in France or in other Western countries today. It’s Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged”

Basically, it’s a book called “Atlas Shrugged” released in the 1950s in the United States; and one of the greatest bestsellers of all time there.

There was a study done by the US Congress that found it to be the second most read book after the Bible in the United States. It is estimated that about 8% of Americans have read it, despite it being no small book.

It also has a very interesting history in relation to France and the French language considering it was not translated for over half a century, which is quite striking because it  has been translated into many languages, and yet it is a book that shaped American culture, which is a true icon today.

Hillary Clinton even said at one point, “Like everyone else, for a while I only read Ayn Rand.” This is to tell you to what extent this author of Russian origin is an icon in the United States.

There has always been for a very long time this gap between the fame of this book and its author in the United States and in the Anglo-Saxon world in general, and the fact that it is almost completely unknown in France.

When you read “Atlas Shrugged”, which was translated into French for the first time in 2011, you understand why.

It goes against everything we have been told; everything we have been told for years, from very early childhood at school. It goes against a lot of things that are considered the norm in France; and it counteracts those ideas a bit in a rather relevant, rather clever way.

Atlas Shrugged is quite over-the-top. I do not agree with everything that is written in it, but I find that it is an excellent opposition force in France, and in the French-speaking world in general, compared to other influences that there have been, and which are one of the causes of this lack of entrepreneurial mindset.

I think in particular that there has been a little too strong an influence of Marxism, of communism in France compared to other schools of thought, and that the ideas conveyed by “Atlas Shrugged” and the Libertalia movement, libertalianism, are a good counterweight to these ideas.

By having a little of these counterweights, it can help France and other French-speaking countries like Belgium; for example, to have a slightly more entrepreneurial mindset.

So, I strongly urge you to read “Altas Shrugged”, if you haven’t already done so. It’s a big book, but it’s a novel.

It’s a little hard to get into it, but once you get past the first thirty pages; you delve into the story and after that you can’t stop.

It really flies in the face of a lot of things we’ve been taught to be true; and in a quite relevant way. So, reading this book could be upsetting.

In fact, some of you probably won’t agree with everything, like me, but I think it’s really a very insightful book for understanding the struggle of Uber and other companies today, and for perceiving certain aspects of our society differently.

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