The book is an interesting thought experiment in what the world would look like if progressive ideas of government regulation and wealth redistribution were taken to the farthest extreme, but I hardly think it is a demonstration of the world mainstream leftists want.

Some on the far left—way past Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez—might find the looters’ policies intriguing. Likewise, some far, far to the right of Vice President Mike Pence might think Gilead of “The Handmaid’s Tale” looks like Utopia. That both sides attribute such dystopian dreams to each other is dramatically ridiculous. Both the “shruggers” and the handmaids should give it a rest.

“Atlas Shrugged” is an unvarnished appeal to selfishness. Galt’s is a world without empathy, a world without altruism. The “Shrugged” universe is a place where the pursuit of productive achievement is the final goal. In our real world, the American Dream feels out of reach for so many. As we become aware of how many of our countrymen are dying of drug overdoses and suicide, Rand’s philosophy feels especially callous and out of place.