Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Do A John Galt

This article says it. Read down to the "What To Do" topic.

My phrase is, Do a John Galt. For those who have read "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand, you understand. Don't contribute to the madness and persuade every person of intelligent bearing that you know to also defer.

It's hard to run a country or a company without good ideas. What the right has shown is that they are masters of fear and divisive tactics, but have yet to offer a single good idea for improving the lot of the global society in which we live, or even the American society in which we work. They manage but they do not create. They harvest but they do not plant. They share everything but the profits and the power.

Better a small farm than a collective.

Pull the plugs and do whatever you can to make your life and the lives of those you truly care about better. Organize around your self-interests and come to understand what Rand called "the virtue of selfishness", that is, don't accept the guilt trap offered so often to recruit you to do work for those who do not have any interests beyond their own at heart. If they have a real interest in you, work with them. Do as you wish to be done unto on the first move, then as done unto for every move after that. It is the classic tit for tat strategy proven time and again to be the most effective way to survive and prosper.

They made the mess. Let them clean it up.


Anonymous said...

Interesting comment, however you've managed to turn Ayn's wonderful book on its head.

"Atlas Shrugged" documents what happens when America's political leaders embrace Socialism - the country's thinkers and business leaders withdraw to a hidden Utopia, refusing to see their achievements taken advantage of by the "looters." One by one they disappear from society until in the end only one is left.

Comparing this to the recent election in America is misleading - the party that was defeated (the Democrats) represent Socialist views while most business leaders are members of the Republican party.

One of the best quotes in the book illustrates how you've turned this analogy on its head:

"Let me give you a tip on a clue to men's characters: the man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it."

"Run for your life from any man who tells you that money is evil. That sentence is the leper's bell of an approaching looter."

Sound familiar? Recall the class baiting/warfare that the Democrats always use during campaign season.

Who is John Galt? Remember his infamous radio speech: "I swear by my Life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for the sake of mine." This is not the type of individualism one typically finds in a party that believes in raising taxes on the job providers and providing welfare to illegal aliens.

Anonymous said...

"Comparing this to the recent election in America is misleading - the party that was defeated (the Democrats) represent Socialist views while most business leaders are members of the Republican party."

You have to laugh at those Americans, calling the Democrats Socialists :)

Joshua Allen said...

What is new about this strategy? The Democrat politicians have spent the past four years complaining about what miserable failures the Republicans are, and positioning themselves to profit politically by blaming Republicans if anything went bad for the country. Instead of realizing that we face bigger enemies than each other, and rolling up their sleeves to pitch in any way possible, the Democrat leaders gave a clear signal that "we can't do crap about the country's problems unless you throw out George Bush".

I think that strategy failed, and will continue to fail going forward. I totally understand the 'Galt' instinct, but I don't think we collect votes or inspire confidence in voters by threatening to take our toys and go home. Voters want to know that the politicians really care about them.

len said...

1) The point Rand was making is that one should not be hooked by the 'do for others while they do unto you' strategies of socialism. I'm not a socialist and neither are most Democrats. You're using your code words again. Doesn't work here. It works on some of the people some of the time, but not here. I like money. I earn it. I choose what I wish to do with it. It will mostly be on local causes because the Federal cause is now in the hands of people with far more money than I have. I highly encourage you to send as much of it as you can to the Beltway. Enjoy!

2) What one can do is realize that enlightened self-interest includes taking care of what one has the power to take care of, but only if one so chooses. I do not choose to help advance the agenda of the extremes of the far right. I choose to help others understand the impact that agenda will have including the loss of their jobs. Unfortunately just as manufacturing caught on too late, so will most of the engineering sector that sits in their office listening to Rush. I lived through the years of the right wing demogogues in Alabama. That you choose to emulate them is fascinating but not very progressive but entirely up to you. That you can use the code words to convince others to do so is just politics and not very fascinating, but that is the game you play.

3) The agenda of the right wing and the evangelicals has included such things as outlawing abortion. Granted, there are extremes in either party, but the so-called political capital of George W. Bush was loaned to him by the extremists and now they want their value for their votes. Much luck with Hannity now that he expects you to deliver.

Other things such as claiming that global warming is just 'climate change' and offers opportunities such as getting new northern sea lanes are also off the plate. I'm not into waiting for the waters to rise and flood downtown New York or Los Angeles, but hey, if that floats your boat, have at.

I find it fascinating that the two OCONUS groups that celebrated the victory of George W. Bush are a) The Indian nationals who need outsourcing to prosper and b) The Russian mafia who need G.W.s nod and wink to continue to pillage the Russian economy. That's fine. They don't vote in the midterms but they will send you our money to keep you in power, so I guess they are, as the Saudi royals, ready to sign your loyalty oaths just to get into a 'public event'. I'm not.

Just not interested in helping. Y'all get on with your agenda, fire as much of your staff as you feel you must, and do what you can to find those who will help advance your cause. It's siesta time for the 49% that don't support you.

Ciao Babies.

Anonymous said...

Note that prominent Kerry supporters included Bin Laden, Al-Qaeda, North Korea and others of their ilk (almost forgot to mention Hollywood).

len said...

And that's the kind of silliness I and others want to distance ourselves from. Election tactics where those kinds of accusations and innuendo are used to tar a man who has served this country long and honorably are despicable. Anonymous is a good login for the cowards of the world.

Kerry served. Bush deserted. Cheney ducked out. I know it, you know it, the whole world knows it.

Robert Koberg said...

Were you gone before you were back? Was this post before your capitalist pig employers sent you to the XML conference?

Oh, and isn't that Sam's song a frank zappa cover or was it frank sinatra? :)

len said...

Now now. I've never been against capitalists or pigs unless they were into manifest destiny and calvinism. I like to make money and I've a lot of love for porking around.

As to "Sam": definitely Sinatra. Zappa was an overeducated elitist snob who hated folk rock and thought 122/7 was a fine time signature even if he couldn't play it. Old blue eyes was a bar singer and loved a good tune regardless ("When I was seventeen...") of genre. Same as me. Just richer and more famous and porked around even more.

I need to post Track 13. As the lady said, people who shock easily should be shocked more often.

Anonymous said...

To that other Anonymous, YOU are turning her book on its head...

Ayn Rand would hardly approve having a deeply religious christian like Bush in office who appoints (incompetent) people to government offices based on what good christians they are. Look at his Supreme Court nominees. Or his FEMA director. Katrina hitting New Orleans is a more watery, southern version of what happens to New York and America in general in Atlas Shrugged. You could do a whole essay on the parallels.

As for looters, you haven't noticed the middle class being strip-mined by Bush and his buddies? Does the word Haliburton mean nothing to you? Or Tamiflu/Rumsfeld? The "conservatives" can side with the looters just as easily as those darn "liberals." The looting started when Bush came into office and hasn't stopped since.

Ayn Rand's concern was over the spread of the rise of Communism in the 20th century as exemplified in Russia, China, Eastern Europe, and Southeast Asia (let's not forget Pol Pot eh) This was a reaction to something evil, world-threatening, and genocidal Taking her stance against left-wing fascism and applying it to today's Democratic party is like taking Churchill's views on Nazism and applying it to say, the Eisenhower presidency.

While she does rage against collectives quite a bit, like the failed auto company that causes such a strong reaction in John Galt, she also goes on to great length about cronies in government and business getting together to loot the country, which is how everything actually falls apart in the end... it isn't the socialist collective auto company that ruins the world, since there's a perfectly good auto maker in Colorado to run it out of business and make more cars.

It's the looters making back-room deals that have nothing really to do with socialism. Well, what do you think has been happening since Bush-Cheny stole their first election? Since they stole their second?

If anyone is going to save us from the looters at this point it is the Democrats, who are now factoring in the Republicans stealing a couple million in fraudulent/omitted votes as a given in their strategies for the next presidential election.

When Ayn Rand makes reference to ancient civilizations going for hundreds of years like the Egyptians, Persians, Ptolmeys, Selucids, and so on, she could be just as easily be talking about CEO's who take hundreds of millions in salary, bonuses, and stock options while getting rid of employee pensions, cutting or outsourcing jobs, and running their companies into the ground... yes even the stockholders lose in the end. ...or mining companies that find a way to leech gold out of ore with cyanide but cause a greater dollar value of damage to the surrounding area with the cyanide than they made with the gold! They aren't creating wealth, they aren't MAKING MONEY,the Ayn Rand ideal, they are actually destroying wealth while finding a way to concentrate whatever wealth remains in their own hands... one of Ayn Rand's ultimate sins... thinking looting dollars is the same as creating wealth.

And Len obviously gets Ayn Rand's most central idea, that of GIVING VALUE FOR VALUE as the highest good a human being can experience.

Ayn Rand wasn't even averse to charity per se, but it had to be value being given to the benefactor as a recognition of something of value in that person, not because of an absence, a need. So for instance public education is okay with the objectivists because there is something of value in the child being educated, the education is of value, and the child's value increases as a result of the education. The concepts of the Democratic party are in line with these values.

Anonymous said...

I apologize for again posting to such an old part of the blog but this is just too good.

"As a senior White House aide once confided to writer Ron Suskind:

"The aide said that guys like me were 'in what we call the reality-based community,' which he defined as people who 'believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.' I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. 'That's not the way the world really works anymore,' he continued. 'We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality – judiciously, as you will – we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors … and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do'"

If you go back and read the looters' talk about reality along with Rand's narration, I'm sure you'll discover that the above is looter talk through and through. That's where our president and his administration is at.

Anonymous said...

The previous poster is absolutely (in the Randian sense) correct. The current administration is the very embodiment of the "politics of pull" in Atlas Shrugged; the ideological envelope that they choose to package themselves within is irrelevant,and merely a function of present culture (it was, after all, a novel).

This administration's sole agenda from day one was to redistribute wealth and ultimately eliminate the middle class of the United States in order to achieve absolute political dominance and thereby loot the country, if not the world. Anyone who cannot comprehend this is either a looter themselves or another sucker blinded by diversionary ideological side issues such as gay marriage (who cares) abortion (so what) flag burning (big deal) demonization of anything "liberal" (grow up, and read some books instead of watching Fox 'News'), etc., etc....

Face it, low-level NeoCons...you have been PLAYED. Why in the world would you ever have thought that the people who covet billions & absolute control would ever have YOUR best interests at heart? Wake up, dummies.

Atlas Shrugged said...

I am objectivist."Do a John Galt" -Yes,I understand it and thank You.
My English not is very good,but I am learning.I am from Poland.If You would like,bring the contact with me on email annaewat@op.pl I want to talk about Ayn Rand and her ideas.
This is my blog:

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