Ayn Rand Warned Us. The lady's comment was so good that I simply had to make a comment of my own, which turned into the essay that follows her thoughts. She wrote...
I hate to admit it, but...I've never read "Atlas Shrugged." I own it but it's teeny-tiny print, it's the size of Dantes' Divine Comedy and she uses words that require even the most pedantic of polysyllabic wordsmiths to sit down with her book in one hand and Miriam-Websters' in the other! That and I seriously need new glasses! I did, however, watch the movie and as much as I was enthralled with the first installment, I was left terribly disappointed by Part II.
That said, I have made up for it by reading W.Cleon Skousens' "The Naked Communist" (ongoing) and George Orwells' "1984," three going on four times. Nothing so catchy as "Who is John Galt" (I still don't know) but when it comes to Authors' who seem to have written books whilst gazing into the future through a crystal ball...I'm pretty sure Skousen, Orwell and Rand shared some sort of magickal foresight that I'll never understand but will ALWAYS admire.
What I've learned is that regardless of the path, the end-game is ALWAYS the same: Communism. Yes, that's a harsh word, but if you put down Miriam-Webster and pick up a Thesaurus you will find that Liberalism - Progressivism - Socialism - Totalitarianism - Collectivism - Anti-Colonialism - even Democrat are just watered-down, more palatable terms for the ugly "C"-word. Communism.
This sounds really dark! It is. But as history has shown us, Communism (irrespective of the term you choose to use) DOES NOT WORK! The closer we get, the uglier it's going to be to defeat. So, my friends, prepare for the worst, hope for the best, stock up on canned foods, ammo and FIX BAYONETS! It looks like it will be a battle of wills and we need to be ready to DEFEND our RIGHTS, our LIBERTIES and our FREEDOMS by whatever means are necessary...
Now I'm going to read the "Cliff Notes" version of "Atlas Shrugged" because if the Commies don't kill me, NOT KNOWING "WHO IS JOHN GALT?" will...
One step at a time: Yes, I did resort to a dictionary on my first of six readings of Atlas Shrugged. One such word was psycho-epistemological. She had nothing but disdain for the likes of the philosophers Immanuel Kant and Friedrich Hegel as they both argued that the mind is incompetent and unable to actually understand reality, as in their opinion, truth is not a constant, and that facts are malleable, dependent upon one's perceptions and beliefs. She disagreed with their anti intellectual ravings and stated that truth and knowledge do exist and they originate in the mind; thus creating the term psycho-epistemology.
As for the movie; what a waste! The plot is there and no more. Ayn Rand developed the plot only as a medium with which to deliver her philosophy of Objectivism, (Largely disregarded in the movie). There are many speeches throughout the book about morality, a morality based not on the precepts of any religion but on the premise of man as a rational being. One such speech that Francisco d'Anconia made about money was many pages long, and the following is a link to that speech. It is so profound that Capitalism Magazine keeps it on file for all to read. (That speech)
(Note to KSW: If the print is too small click CTRL and +.)
I dare say that were Ayn Rand still alive she would be mildly irritated and/or amused by your comment about her 'magical' ability to foretell the future. Then she would launch into a long winded discussion on how a reasonably accurate forecast of the future is possible based on a knowledge of human nature and current events; apply reason to those happenings, and projecting a future scenario is really not all that difficult.
As for "Who is John Galt?" The two greatest compliments of my life was when two different people asked me if I was John Galt. I am afraid not; but I do subscribe one hundred percent to the philosophy put forth in the book. In Atlas Shrugged "Who is John Galt" was sort of an all purpose catch phrase for frustration, resignation, defeatism, evading responsibility, and such. Dagny Taggart, heroine of the story, hated the phrase because she rejected the defeatism that was overwhelming the world, and she fervently opposed the looters and moochers in Washington, determined to succeed in spite of their best/worst efforts to crush her spirit.
The character John Galt was a young man who could project a future of civilization leaning more and more toward collectivism and decided to stop the motor of the world by getting the men of the mind to drop out and refuse to continue in their roles as being the sacrificial goats of socialism.
To make a very long story fairly short; thanks to John Galt, men began to disappear. The great minds were dropping out, simply disappearing, and society was crumbling. Needless to say Dagny finally meets John Galt after crashing her aircraft in a little out of the way place in Colorado called Galt's Gulch. They have some very long intellectual conversations, but while she understands his motives she is still bound and determined to keep her railroad going in spite of the looters and moochers. Dagny, a strong willed woman, was not about to give up just because of a bunch of corrupt politicians.
After recuperating from her injuries it's back to work for Dagny. Society was crumbling and turning into what we see today in Detroit, but the more effort she put into keeping the nation afloat, the greater were the obstacles that the statists put before her. Finally she realizes that John Galt was indeed correct. If the world is to have a future it must first collapse and allow the looters to feed only on each other. She too stops trying to keep the old ways working. Let it fall, let it collapse, let it burn. Throw off the altruistic shackles that keeps a man tied to the ground and simply walk away, thus allowing a decadent philosophy to consume itself.
The book got its title from comparing Atlas, holding the world on his shoulders, to the men of the mind who have built and maintain the world. They were the ones who discovered how to control fire, and were rewarded for their efforts by being burned at the stake. They were the ones who invented the wheel and their reward was being torn apart on the rack. They were the ones who created everything that we have and are punished without end for their efforts. In the book the question was put forth about what should Atlas do when the world, existing due to his struggle of holding it aloft, appreciates him not and forever adds to his burden. The answer to the question was that Atlas simply needed to shrug off the burden and let the world fall.
It seems odd that corrupt politicians and an apathetic society just seem to be made for each other, but that is exactly what we have today. The bulk of our culture has embraced the collectivist philosophy that has seized control of this nation. Quite willing to sacrifice posterity as they see no further than next month's entitlements, they have long voted for those who promise them yet more of the wealth created by others. Such a widespread moral degradation must inevitably result in calamity, and odd though it may seem, I look forward to that day.
It has long been said that people never appreciate what they have until they lose it. Liberty must be appreciated or it will most assuredly be lost, as ours already has been. Now it is simply a matter of time before the ultimate collapse occurs and we either slip into a new dark age, or begin rebuilding based on a moral philosophy practiced today by far too few.
One of the main frustrations that I write about are those who still cling to a blind hope that we can somehow salvage what we once had. They, in their blindness fervently hope for better results in the next election. That blind hope is what has kept the system going, and with each passing year the enemies of freedom grow ever stronger. I have NO faith in any kind of a political solution.
I have dropped out of the political process other than my writing trying to get others to do the same. The longer the collapse is delayed, the worse it is going to be when it occurs. It matters not who is elected in 2014, the process will continue, and as for 2016; that election, if it occurs at all, is going to be a total farce. We saw the vote rigging in 2012 and that is when Americans should have taken to the streets. They did not as most are totally consumed with their apathetic demeanor, personal comforts, and safety.
The best thing that we can do is drop out, "Go Galt" as they say, and plan on surviving to await the rebuilding of what the Founders once gave us.
Note to KSW: I do not know if you have ever read anything by Ayn Rand, if not there is a short story named 'Anthem' listed below in Suggested Reading. I first read Atlas Shrugged when I was twenty four, and for the first time understood what is truly moral. In all honesty, when I completed it the first time I went into a terrible state of depression seeing the world as it is and knowing what it could be. The second reading set my course in life.
Ayn Rand taught me the difference between what is truly right and what is truly wrong. She taught me how to apply reason and reach for a better tomorrow. She showed me nearly fifty years ago the world that I see today and I honored this brilliant woman by naming my daughter Dagny Ayn.
Atlas Shrugged and the world of 2014 should be understood by all, for in that book Ayn Rand laid out the only reasonable approach, that being, stop playing the looter's game. Prepare for the collapse and try to prepare others. When I began writing five years ago on the internet I was hopeful that Americans would rise to fight tyranny. I was mistaken. We (The bulk of Americans) no longer have such courage. Those of us who do must accept what is coming, refuse to cling to the old ways, and convince others to do the same.
Perhaps those two people I mentioned earlier were correct. Maybe I am John Galt. In everything that I write I am applying his principles and methods.
Closing thought: John Galt's oath..."I swear by my life and my love for it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine."
Hopes and Dreams Versus Reality
Where Has All The Courage Gone?
Anthem Free Online
Where Liberty Is Buried In An Unmarked Grave
Americans Want Communism Parts (One), (Two), (Three), (Four)