Archive for March 7th, 2009


A lot of people don’t get John Galt…

March 7, 2009

I’m continuing in my “Atlas Shrugged” vein here for a while. I’m about three-quarters of the way through the audio book.  I’ve noticed that a lot of the stuff I’m reading shows a very imperfect understanding of the themes of the book. An article in the New York Times gives a number of writers’ comments on “going Galt.” Most appear to not have read the book.

I’ll probably do a few posts on these themes.

Here are a few of them: basic lassez-faire capitalism versus socialism; socialism as a means of controlling the populace; the importance of individual freedom; propaganda and memes as tools to control the populace, and the importance of high achievers to the overall well-being of humanity.

First, John Galt is about independence. Not that people must exist in a vacuum – Rand knew that was ridiculous, and talks about the interdependencies of businesses a lot in the book. There’s a whole section about the lack of rail cars making it impossible to move the wheat from Minnesota, causing a cascading set of through the eastern half of the country.

Still, it means that a person should be able to stand on his or her own two feet. To do this, we need to make sure we don’t create obstacles to their progress. That’s about it…and that’s what capitalism and individual freedom are all about. Individual freedom to excel, without being held back, is what has driven this country since its founding. More than any other place in the world the people who came to America did so to do what they wanted to without interference. Now we find ourselves in an increasingly restrictive nanny state, and finally, some people are complaining and refusing to be a part of it. Yes, that’s a “tea party” in concept.

Please remember that the reason some people are now criticizing the book is not because it is flawed or poorly written – it’s because they know it is dangerous to their goals.

To be continued…