The Beginning of Infinity is a great book.
Ever since I read it, I’ve been trying to find ways for that book to change the way I live my life. I’ve even become involved in some online communities involving followers of that book. I should have known better.
It seems that the people who take The Beginning of Infinity seriously are, well, rather screwy. Their ideas lead to horrible outcomes, including things like letting people die on the street if they can’t afford health care.
Just for the record, I’m NOT in favor of letting people without health care die. In fact, I think everyone should pay taxes for health care and everyone should have whatever health care they need. Now that I’ve labeled myself as a bleeding heart leftist commie liberal, release the hounds.
The Beginning of Infinity is a great book. But if reasoned, rational logic leads you to such an awful place as the followers of BoI have reached, then either:
1) they’ve all made a mistake
2) there’s something wrong with reasoned, rational logic
I hope it’s 1, because it would be quite inconvenient to live in universe 2.
What does all that have to do with Howard Roark? I feel right now exactly as I did when I finished reading The Fountainhead. For the first half, maybe more, of that book, I felt it was the greatest thing I’d ever read. I thought Howard Roark was the perfect hero, and the only way to be. Then Ayn Rand took Roark to her logical conclusion. And ruined him for me. It’s exactly the same as the BoI followers. If Roark at the end of the book was the only logical result of Roark at the beginning of the book, then there’s something wrong with logic.
(By the way, the BoI community is also a big fan of Ayn Rand. I should have known better.)
In fiction, I have no choice. How can I argue with a fiction author? She can do anything she wants. All I can do is throw the book across the room (which I did).
At least with The Beginning of Infinity I do have a choice. I’ll read it again and try to figure out how its logical message can lead so many people to such a horrible place. I really hope I don’t end up throwing it across the room.