Posted by: reformedmusings | March 6, 2009

Who is John Galt?

Stephen Moore of the Wall Street Journal wrote a brilliant piece in Atlas Shrugged: From Fiction to Fact in 52 Years. Please read it before continuing here.

Ayn Rand wrote from her experiences in the Russian Revolution and early Soviet Union. She hated socialism and collectivism and their inevitable destruction of human freedom and dignity. Like George Orwell, her writing would be prophetic for 21st century America. She was an interesting philosopher, developing the philosophy of Objectivism. While I’m not an objectivist by any stretch of the imagination, I do believe Rand did the world a great service by warning of the dangers of socialism.

As Moore graphically recounts, Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged is coming to life around us daily in the US. Obamessiah pretends his snake oil socialism will solve our economic ills, when in reality it’s doing exactly the opposite. That was Rand’s point in Atlas Shrugged. Socialism exactly like Obamessiah’s destroyed the country’s economy, just as it is doing in real life now. Just like in the book, Obama wants to punish the producers of wealth and transfer their hard-earned rewards to non-producing looters. With a combination of punitive taxation to destroy incentive and government propping up of financially failing companies and people, Obamessiah destroys  incentive to succeed as well as takes away the sting of failure. That’s a one-two punch for knocking out an economy and producing perpetual poverty.

So, who is John Galt? Wikipedia has an excellent summary:

An engineer by trade, Galt’s actions include withdrawing his talents, “stopping the motor of the world,” and leading the “strikers” (in this case the captains of industry) against the “looters” (in this case the mob rule of strikers and the common man). The storyline unfolds by exploring rumors and legends about the identity of Galt.

In Atlas Shrugged, John Galt courageously stands against the socialists who destroy America. The article points out about the question “Who is John Galt?”:

The phrase becomes an expression of helplessness and despair at the current state of the novel’s fictionalised world.

It’s not so fictionalized now. In the end, the socialists face their inevitable doom after destroying the country and turn to Galt to save it. But notice that during the socialists’ destructive reign, Galt stops producing. Bereft of incentives to succeed, he and his fellow captains of industry simply quit producing, hastening the inevitable economic collapse. This is a much broader and complex version of the tax system explained with beer. But it accurately reflects the net result of socialism on human beings. There has never been a successful socialist state-one that grows in economic power and personal freedom-in the history of the world. We will not be the first. The historical landscape is littered with the wreckage-human and economic-of socialism’s failures.

We see these events playing out today in Tea Parties around the country. Michelle Malkin wrote the excellent “Going Galt:” America’s wealth producers vs. wealth redistributors which tells the story well. Producers are already preparing to survive the socialist drought. Massive layoffs make the headlines every day. Rather than producing the ridiculous millions of jobs Obamessiah promised, even the threat of his socialist policies cause unemployment to continue to rise as producers move to contract and consolidate in the face of the coming punitive taxes. Why work harder and create jobs for the ungrateful if my reward is simply to keep less of my hard-earned wealth and just pay more taxes? Who needs the hassle? Kick back and enjoy what you can. History has shown again and again that when you kill incentives, you kill the production of wealth. Obama and his fellow socialists fail to grasp this most basic elements of human nature. As Moore observes:

When profits and wealth and creativity are denigrated in society, they start to disappear — leaving everyone the poorer.

The US became a great economic power and beacon of liberty precisely because it is a land of equal opportunity, not of equal outcome. Your outcome depends on your talents, your willingness to work hard and sacrifice to reach your goals. Those without the requisite talents, industry, and perseverance simply don’t achieve to the level of those who do. That’s been true since the beginning of mankind, and passing pork-laden, leftist-rewarding “stimuluses” and budgets with trillions of dollars of debt won’t change it. It will, however, bring out the John Galt in those of us who could produce wealth and grow the economy, but who will no longer bother. You can tax people into poverty, but you cannot make anyone produce wealth.

Obama’s consistent use of Rules for Radicals is also remarkably similar to the events in George Orwell’s Animal Farm and 1984. That should be a clear warning, as I remind you that Orwell wrote about the Russian Communist Revolution. As if to make Orwell’s point, the left’s cynical attempts to intimidate Rush Limbaugh and his listeners would have made Stalin proud. Opposition will not be tolerated, but will be squelched by any and all means available.

Obamessiah and his fellow socialists live in the make-believe la-la land of Edward Bellamy (Looking Backward) and Karl Marx, while their real world more closely resembles Animal Farm, 1984, and most recently, Atlas Shrugged. What starts with dreams of Bellamy and Marx always ends with the death camps and economic ruin of a Joseph Stalin. George Santayana once wisely observed that those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

Resist by being John Galt.



  1. […] So, who is John Galt? […]

  2. […] of those who don’t lead productive lives, you should return to productivity. Otherwise, the looters may not be able to enjoy their accustomed level of freeloading. […]

  3. […] of those who don’t lead productive lives, you should return to productivity. Otherwise, the looters may not be able to enjoy their accustomed level of freeloading. […]

  4. […] Who is John Galt? […]


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