What Would Ayn Rand Do About the Euro Crisis?

One man’s crusade to have Germany read Atlas Shrugged—and abandon its indebted neighbors
Rand's libertarian call to arms could help Angela Merkel shrug off euro-zone burdens, says the book's new German publisher Illustration by Steve Caplin

The plot of Ayn Rand’s controversial 1957 novel Atlas Shrugged couldn’t be more relevant to Germany as the European financial crisis unfolds—or so contends a young Munich executive, Kai John, who has published a new translation of the libertarian classic. In the novel, the brightest and most productive citizens (i.e. the Germans!) deeply resent having to support the weaker members of society and rebel, leaving society in tatters, a fate that could befall the Continent if Angela Merkel and the German parliament refuse to bolster the European Union’s straggling economies. A series of bailouts has left John, 36, a vice president at a multinational financial services company, feeling like Rand’s hero, John Galt: “The time is here to make Germans aware that collectivism has its limits.”

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