Excerpt from John Galt's Speech:
As the plot unfolds, Galt is acknowledged to be a creator and inventor who symbolizes the power of the individual capitalist. He serves as an idealistic counterpoint to the social and economic structure depicted in the novel. The depiction portrays a society based on oppressive bureaucratic functionaries and a culture that embraces the stifling mediocrity and egalitarianism of socialistic idealism. In this popular mass ideology, the industrialists of America were a metaphorical Atlas of Greek mythology, holding up the sky, whom Galt convinces to "shrug," by refusing to lend their productive genius to the regime any longer.