Tuesday, May 12, 2009

What happens if Atlas shrugs?

The idea of Going Galt is more appealing to me every day as I am mystified by the actions of our government in the last 9 mos or so.

Going Galt comes from the book Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, where economic producers withdrew causing the motor of the world to stop. As an antil-socialist/communist, the book's theme that wealth producers force wealth redistributors and their supporters to suffer the consequences of their oppressive misuse of government is a wickedly delightful concept to me.

"Galt leads a revolutionary movement in which all the top leaders of the banks and corporations forsake their corporate jets and perks to work in diners or as subway repair guys. No they weren’t fired by Galt. Rather, Galt urged them to go on strike and withdraw their expertise from an increasingly socialist world. Deprived of the genius of their genius, the world economy collapses."- Tristero

One libertarian columnist ridicules Going Galt as the right's version of the left's "moving to Canada if Bush is reelected.". Except the left didn't follow through. Does the right have more doers and producers that mean what they say and say what they mean?

Only time will tell if our current political climate is going to save us all or bring about economic catastrophe of Gore-Inconvenient Truth-End Of The World proportions. Meanwhile, I am enjoying Atlas Shrugged and pondering ....

"Experts agree...is hopeless."

"By the way, Henry, do you mind if I ask you to give me the money in cash? You see, Friends of Global Progress is a very progressive group and they have always maintained that you represent the blackest element inn social retrogression in the country, so it would embarass us, you know, to have your name on our list of contributors."

"When people are unanimous, how does one man dare to dissent?"

"Her superiors, who held the authority, seemed afraid to exercise it, they spent their time avoiding decisions."

"economic self-sufficiency"

"It was said that the large, established railroad systems were essential to the public welfare; and that the collapse of one of them would be a national catastrophe; and that if one such system had happened to sustain a crushing loss in a public-spirited attempt to contribute to international good will, it was entitled to public support to help it survive the blow."

"I'll make sure I take the rest of you along with me."

"All that lunacy is temporary. It can't last. It's demented, so it has to defeat itself. You and I will just have to work a little harder for a while, that's all."

"Whatever we are, it's we who move the world and it's we who'll pull it through."

"It is not advisable to venture unsolicited opinions. You should spare yourself the embarrassing discovery of their exact value to your listener."

"There's nothing of any importance in life - except how well you do your work. Whatever else you are, will come from that."

"The code of competence is the only system of morality that's on a gold standard."

"They dislike me, not because I do things badly, but because I do them well."

"I am in a position to speak of large sums of money.
Government money."

"This is not the day for people who refuse to cooperate."

"Questions of truth do not enter into social issues."

"For thirteen years this Institute has had a department of research, which has cost over twenty million dollars and has produced nothing...you can imagine what the public reaction would be if an individual comes out with a product that revolutionizes the entire science and proves to be sensationally successful!"

"If we want to accomplish anything, we have to deceive them into letting us accomplish it. Or force them. They understand nothing else."

"Thought is the tool by which one makes a choice."

"No...not an assurance of victory - who can ever have that? - only the chance to act, which is all one needs."

"Maybe its something you've got that they haven't got."

"I'm entitled to my share."

"It seems to me that before we worry about giving some people a chance to expand, we out to give some consideration to the people who need a chance of bare survival."

"I am sure you wouldn't understand any consideration other than dollars and cents, but some people do consider their social and patriotic responsibilities."

"Either your good at running the mills or you're good at running to Washington."

"I can proudly say that in all my life I have
never made a profit!"

"Our plan? We put into practice that noble historic precept: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need. Rewards were based on need, and penalties on ability."

"People don't want to think. And the deeper they get into trouble, the less they want to think."

"There might be some sort of justification for the savage societies in which a man had to expect that enemies could murder him at any moment and had to defend himself as best he could. But there can be no justification for a society in which a man is expected to manufacture the weapons for his own murderers."

"Wealth is the product of man's capacity to think."

"An honest man is one who knows that he can't consume more that he has produced."

"Money will not purchase happiness for the man who has no concept of what he wants: money will not give him a code of values, if he's evaded the knowledge of what to value, and it will not provide him with a purpose, if he's evaded the choice of what to seek. Money will not buy intelligence for the fool, or admiration for the coward, or respect for the incompetent."

"The man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it."

"Money is the barometer of a society's virture. When you see trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion - when you see that in order to prodcuce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing - when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors - when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don't protect you against them but protect them against you - when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-scarafice - you may know your society is doomed."

"Whenever destroyers appear among men, they start by destroying money, for money is men's protection and the base of moral existence."

"When you have made evil the means of survival, do not expect men to remain good. Do not expect them to stay moral and lost their lives for the purpose of becoming fodder of the immoral. Do not expect them to produce, when production is punished and looting is rewarded."

"Throughout men's history, money was always seized by the looters of one brand or another, whose names changed, but whose method remained the same: to seize wealth by force and to keep producers bound, demeaned, defamed, deprived of honor."

"Yet through all the centuries of stagnation and starvation, men exhalted the looters, as aristocrats of the sword, as aristocrats of birth, as aristocrats of the bureau, and despised the producers, as slaves, as traders, as shopkeepers - as industrialists."

"Ultimately, "Atlas Shrugged" is a celebration of the entrepreneur, the risk taker and the cultivator of wealth through human intellect." - Stephen Moore

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