Laars

Going Galt

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Day after day, the rights of the American citizen get violated by more regulations, taxes and unconstitutional acts. It seems to me that the elected president of 2012 (may it be - very likely - Romney or Obama) isn't going to change anything about America's policy of the last century (since 1913 when the Federal Reserve was founded). As sad as it may be, it looks like defenders for individual rights don't have much influence in today's American politics. What if Objectivists, instead of getting more influence in politics, focussed on starting a strike? In other words, what if we could persuade as much people as possible to 'Go Galt'? To fasten up (which can be done through politics and by minimizing the amount of taxes the government gets) the seemingly inevitable destruction of the United States so that a new country, based on individual rights, can emerge from it?

'' As I think about taking up blogging again, I’ve looked over some of the original documents with which I launched this site. All in all, I think it holds up pretty well, but there’s one change I’d like to make here: Where I say coordination is the key, I originally intended that to mean top-down consciously coordinated action. But upon reflection, I think effective coordination will actually manifest as a combination of some decentralized group activity and the largely uncoordinated modification of personal behavior. Still helps to try to set an example though!)

In Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, the novel’s hero John Galt leads a secret strike of the most productive citizens in an America where productivity and freedom is no longer valued. The strike is an act of rebellion and self-preservation, fueled by Galt’s crucial insight that their enemies’ only weapons are the ones the strikers produce for them. By recruiting more and more strikers, Galt precipitates the ultimate collapse of American society.

We in the US are living in precarious times. Productive men and women should be taking a good hard look at the sort of government and society they are being forced to support with their taxes. They should also honestly assess the likelihood of freedom’s fortune improving.

Unfortunately, the options open to those who would be free are limited. There is no political movement large enough to reverse the current political trends through peaceful electoral means, as the majority of Americans believe that they can vote themselves into prosperity by expropriating the property of others. Furthermore, there are no constitutional principles remaining to serve as a bulwark against the economic tyranny of the majority.

Productive men and women find themselves in this situation largely due to their own cowardice, too long hoping that someone else will make the case for liberty, while they continue to produce for their victimizers. This strategy, this wish, has not improved their lot. Instead, their victimizers now feel confident that they can take at will from the producers and expect no resistance.

The time has come to change that assumption.

America is not irredeemable. But America will not be inspired to change by would-be rebels without the courage to match their rhetoric. Producers must show that they are not willing to accept further encroachments on their freedoms, even at high personal cost.

To teach the victimizers an object lesson will require planning and coordination. I believe that a “job action” — a calculated work slowdown — undertaken by enough people will convince people that freedom’s benefits are no longer to be taken for granted.

But coordination is the key. Producers seek freedom, not martyrdom, and they are right to demand that their actions will not be in vain. Certainty that the current path is untenable does not assure that an alternate path cannot be worse.

Such is the mission of this project: To identify the most practical strategy for withholding liberty’s fruits from the world, to the end of showing the public that the destruction of liberty will no longer be tolerated. But developing such a strategy, designed to minimize personal risk, attract the greatest number of adherents, minimize defection/treason, discourage backlash, and ultimately inspire, is a task the difficulty of which can hardly be overstated.

Yet I don’t think there is a more pressing mission in the world at this moment. I invite you all to rise to this challenge, and to plan for the time when the freedom loving producers of the US will “go ‘John Galt’”. ''

http://www.goingjohn...oing-john-galt/

I was wondering what your opinions are on Going Galt.

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I was wondering what your opinions are on Going Galt.

For every Capitalist Hero that disappears 100 not so heroic but sufficiently competent person will step up for his job.

Under the current circumstances, Galt's strategy will fail.

The only way to bring the house down is to let it collapse of its own rotten weight.

ruveyn

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I was wondering what your opinions are on Going Galt.

For purposes of simply preserving sanity, many people probably will "Go Galt", but it won't and can't create the same nation-collapsing events as in Atlas Shrugged. Atlas Shrugged is not supposed to be a prediction of events that would follow if Objectivists today went on a strike.

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Under the current circumstances, Galt's strategy will fail.

And it's not even a "strategy" in that sense. Miss Rand didn't write about "Going Galt" in Atlas Shrugged to provide us with a blueprint or strategy for changing the culture, no more than Rearden's character was written to provide insight for metallurgists who may read Atlas Shrugged. It's romantic fiction.

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I'm not saying that, I was wondering if it would be good to fasten up the destruction (getting more and more socialist and statist) of America, so that the masses will realize that their rights are being violated, which will cause some kind of revolution. Another way would be that the government runs out of money because of the debt which makes it impossible to loan more money.

Again, I'm not stating that we should leave society and hide in a gulch, but it's about the idea of speeding up the process so that a real change will happen. Because it seems that our influence in politics isn't going to make a difference, only slowing down the inevitable process into socialism, collectivism and statism.

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In reading the above, I was reflecting on the meaning of "going Galt". Even taking the novel literally: the first action John Galt took was to speak to rational people he met individually to educate them on how their own highest virtues were being used against them and to point out that serving the society as it was only increased their own losses. He deliberately targeted well know peopel (for the most part) and that necessitated Galts Gulch.

Jesse Jackson unwittingly came near a truth that could be a powerful weapon in our culture wars. He said people were wrong about the "poor", that many of them worked hard. In that way that Black ministers preach that I found so annoying in the past he used a phrase repeated over and over again. They put the chocolate on your pillow when they turned your bed down last night, they work every day; they parked your car when you drove in here, they work everyday; they washed your linnens and cooked and served your food, they work every day.; you see them on the early bus with their fast food uniforms on, they work every day...and so on. Well, that's where I come from and he had me in tears. But then I realized the truth: I knew doctors who weren't worth the money they had and doctors who could never be paid enough; lawyers, janitors, parking lot attendents, wealthy business owners.

Think about this: who do the Progressives hurt more, the honest, working poor or people like me?

Going Galt should be a program of calling to the attention of every honest hard working person of integrity we can reach the nature of the threat to them.

I have only vague ideas about how you do this on a big scale. But I do it every time I have a discussion with someone I think will benefit. And I know that the message has got to get across to more than just the members of the financial and intellectual elite.

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I'm not saying that, I was wondering if it would be good to fasten up the destruction (getting more and more socialist and statist) of America, so that the masses will realize that their rights are being violated, which will cause some kind of revolution.

There is no guarantee that making things worse will cause a rebellion against the bad guys. Things are much worse than here in Cuba and North Korea and you don't see revolutions there.

The only thing speeding up the destruction will create -- for sure -- is more destruction.

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I'm not saying that, I was wondering if it would be good to fasten up the destruction (getting more and more socialist and statist) of America, so that the masses will realize that their rights are being violated, which will cause some kind of revolution.

I don't mean this in a rude way, but you do appreciate the full meaning of these words, right? "Destruction" here means people's lives, as in mine, or my eventual children.
Another way would be that the government runs out of money because of the debt which makes it impossible to loan more money.
Then tomorrow morning we'd all wake up with Zimbabwe trillion dollar bills in our wallets and discover we lost all of our life savings overnight. "Account Overdrawn" from Atlas Shrugged is not a desirable outcome, and would only be educational for people who come long after we're gone from this earth.
Again, I'm not stating that we should leave society and hide in a gulch, but it's about the idea of speeding up the process so that a real change will happen. Because it seems that our influence in politics isn't going to make a difference, only slowing down the inevitable process into socialism, collectivism and statism.

Thomas Sowell, in an interview, had a sobering comment on this exact notion: "there is such a thing as a point of no return". I would rather not probe where that point is with our own lives.

And like Betsy said, if things getting worse and a little "destruction" was all that was needed to give the "masses" a lesson, then every single citizen on the planet should have been a radical for capitalism by now.

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Thomas Sowell, in an interview, had a sobering comment on this exact notion: "there is such a thing as a point of no return". I would rather not probe where that point is with our own lives.

Dr Brook keeps making the point that if interest rates don't go up, and they must go up, then within fourteen years the entire federal government budget will go to four things: interest on the debt, social security, medicare and medicaid.

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One of the ways Schumpeter said capitalism sows the seeds of its own destruction, and nurtures them, is the comfort that is created for many of the members of the capitalist class who become, if not exactly complacent, so absorbed with the comfort of their prosperity that the edge is worn off their capitalist characteristics. The intellectuals, on the other hand, are always on the lookout for ways to undermine capitalism (for reasons Schumpeter accurately analyzes) and are provided with vast resources by the success of capitalism. It is no coincidence whatever that the growth and prosperity of the 1950s was followed by the acceleration in radicalism in the 1960s. European radicals found easy homes in American Universities and among their fellow travelers in Democratic politics and the GI Bill and growing belief in higher education provided them with materiel. Remember it took both the war and the economic crisis to precipitate the "tipping point" and it took 12 years of the Nixon/Carter Administration to get Americans to make a real change.

Where does that leave us today? The emergence of "Right Wing" talk radio, TV and the Tea Party indicates a disposition away from statism by a lot of people. But I think the future may look like things are emerging here in Michigan. I think Romney, the likely Republican nominee is very much like Snider here in Michigan. Both have business experience, both are "pragmatic", both will lean towards "free markets" and "capitalism" but still believe in a leading role for government, especially with the in control. So the likelihood is a mitigation of the growth of the welfare state, resulting in a restoration of comfort in the more or less prosperous middle class. So I think there will be a return to the statist path, just slowed somewhat. The Progressives have proven patient and diligent. They will continue to be funded directly and indirectly by productive people.

Here's a radical proposition: Want to precipitate a real "Galtian" moment? Campaign for and vote for Obama and the Progressives.

Meantime what we need is a nation wide virtual Galt's Gulch, with schooling for those who wish on how to undermine the existing order by contributing as little as possible to the worst parts of the existing order.

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It is a shame (but also a testimony to Miss Rand as a writer) that every individual (myself included) who reads Atlas Shrugged immediately feels the need to go on strike against "those damn looters" and "let it all collapse".

The fight between looters and capitalists has been going on since the dawn of humanity. There was probably a guy in the caves who justified not going hunting but eating mammoth anyway to be "fair".

She made a great point in her book, and it was a wonderful explanation of brain drain as occurred in her native Soviet Union (herself being the first example) and in my native France, where anybody topping a class in a somewhat scientific subject will probably be living in London, Switzerland or the US within a year of graduation. But the US IS Galt's Gulch. It remains the only country in the world - and I say this having visited, worked in or at least lived in over 40 countries spanning 4 continents from the lowest to the highest GDP per capita on the planet - that respects individual rights from an idealistic standpoint, and where the creation of wealth is quite literally the highest value one can obtain.

If you are indeed an exceptional entrepreneur or engineer, you should not "go on strike" but innovate ahead of the pack of rabid dogs so fast that they do not have time to impede you. Two examples are the internet, which is now so widespread that the most recent attempt to gain jurisdiction on it failed, and generally electronics, whose lack of regulation means Moore's law continues to show us how it's done. There were more media people present than protesters (of which there were 10) at the Apple protest in New York yesterday. No politician in his right mind will attack such a company.

Innovate, build, think, play the game and win. You are smarter than them.

And honestly, the trend has been in the right direction. Pre-Reagan/Thatcher, income tax rates in the civilised world were in the high 80s. Now they are 25% in the US to maybe 45% in Australia or 50% in Britain. And no serious politician is advocating communism anymore.

Have hope already. Look at Clint Eastwood - ignoring the Chrysler part of the now famous ad - he is in his late 80s, he is on the door of death, he has had an amazingly productive life which spanned some of the most troublesome times of civilisation, and here he is showing us his great optimism and hope for the future, and pointing out that it is up to us to get it done.

Sorry for lack of posts recently - been applying my own advice.

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But the US IS Galt's Gulch. It remains the only country in the world - and I say this having visited, worked in or at least lived in over 40 countries spanning 4 continents from the lowest to the highest GDP per capita on the planet - that respects individual rights from an idealistic standpoint, and where the creation of wealth is quite literally the highest value one can obtain.

I agree!

Yes, I know that very few people understand and apply that as a matter of principle, but so what? Cultural trends are made by minorities. That's US! The rest will eventually go along with us and not only because we persevere and refuse to compromise our principles. They will join us because the American sense of life and reality are on our side and that is a winning combo.

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They will join us because the American sense of life and reality are on our side and that is a winning combo.

What is the "American sense of life" these days (I know what it was when I was kid) and how many Americans have it? Is it possible that your are over optimistic?

ruveyn

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They will join us because the American sense of life and reality are on our side and that is a winning combo.

What is the "American sense of life" these days (I know what it was when I was kid) and how many Americans have it? Is it possible that your are over optimistic?

I am more politically active than most - 4300+ Facebook friends, tea parties, Republican party politics, etc, -- and among the people I deal with, the American sense of life is alive and well. These tough, independent-minded people are the ones who can change the world. The passive and unthinking will follow if we take the lead.

If I am being over-optimistic, I'll still fight for what I want. What's the alternative? Giving up? No way! I'll take a fighting chance to a sure loser any day.

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That was my experience going around the world. Everywhere, including in the US, there are passive people who just "wait for death". But in the US much more so than in any other place in the world, people are driven, to quote Thatcher in the movie that came out recently, "to just "do" something". I love hiring US citizens because they invariably work much harder and smarter, and tend to have higher standards.

It's a compound interest thing, every generation, the gap digs itself further. The brain drain continues unabated despite the best efforts of the media to portray discouraged Indian and Chinese students returning home to build their futures. I am myself waiting for the right moment and opportunity.

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