Saturday, December 26, 2009
Lessons from John Galt
Recent headlines seem lifted directly out of an Ayn Rand novel. President Obama decries the “fat cat bankers on Wall Street”. Harry Reid attacks insurance companies for making too much profit. House Democrat leaders call Tea Partiers “Racist, Nazi, Gun Nuts”. How about this nauseating statement made by Army General George Casey after the Muslim terrorist attack on Ft. Hood? -- "As great a tragedy as this was, it would be a shame if our diversity became a casualty as well"
Each of these headlines might well have been uttered by an Ayn Rand character. Rand, whose father’s pharmacy was confiscated by the Soviets during the communist revolution of 1917, and who came to America in 1926, seems uniquely able to speak to us about the inverted morality of our times. Virtue is to be apologized for. Depravity commands respect. Success is cast as evil and punished while failure is blamed on others and rewarded. Rand’s insights into the psychological state of collectivists—those who demand that we sacrifice our individual freedom and happiness for the sake of the state—explain what often seems incomprehensible to thinking people.
An epic demonstration of the inverted morality that Rand described was on display in Copenhagen last week as the world’s worst most evil dictators—Mugabe and Chavez—partnered with the world’s most visible and misguided progressives—Al Gore, Gordon Brown, Barack Obama—in an orgy of depravity. Sadly, even the Pope lent his moral support to the lunacy, saying, “Industrialized nations must recognize their responsibility for the environmental crisis, shed their consumerism and embrace more sober lifestyles.”
John Galt, the industrialist hero of Rand’s 1957 masterpiece, Atlas Shrugged, refers to those in power who stripped men of their minds, wealth and freedom, as mystics. The mystics of spirit were the religious leaders of centuries past who proclaimed that faith is superior to reason. Galt is no fan of these mystics but it is the mystics of muscle—the progressives who force us to submit to their version of the common good—that Galt despises.
And Barack Obama is a mystic of muscle in its purest form, able to corral the worshipping media, the always superficial Hollywood elites, America hating academics, state-sponsored capitalists (e.g., Goldman Sachs), and grant hungry “scientists” & environmentalists hoping to cash in on a trillion dollar loot of the American people called global warming. These are the pillars of deceit Obama used to get elected. This was how he convinced enough of us to give up our minds for the the mystical concept that Rand called the collective. True to form, Barack, master of the mystics of muscle, has used his power mightily to loot from the producers, and hand it to the parasites, crooks and undeserving (read; SEIU, ACORN, UN Climate Fund, General Motors).
John Galt leads a revolt by the productive class and outlines Rand’s philosophy in his 60-page radio address. Here, he explains how human beings—alone among life forms—can choose to be mindless: "A living entity that regarded its means of survival as evil, would not survive. A plant that struggled to mangle its roots, a bird that fought to break its wings would not remain for long in the existence they affronted. But the history of man has been a struggle to deny and destroy the mind."
Sad to say, for a movement powered by the mindlessness, there is plenty of fuel to sustain “hope and change”:
* Who but the mindless can believe that government run health care will reduce costs and improve care while covering more people?
* Who but the mindless can believe that this President is now serious about reducing the deficit after shattering spending records during his first year?
* Who but the mindless can take seriously the sham “jobs summit” held by a President whose every policy is a lesson in job destruction?
* Who but the mindless can believe Obama’s lie that “Cash for Clunkers” which cost taxpayers $24,000 per car was successful?
* Who but the mindless would not outraged that our government has reneged on its promise pay back the unused TARP fund to taxpayers?
* Who but the mindless would not question the morality that the world’s finest health care, which has extended and improved human life in unimaginable ways—conceived and produced by countless unsung heroes in the private sector—should magically be transformed by Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi into a “human right”, taken over by the state and rationed out as they please?
The assault on reason by our President and Congress goes on ad infinitum. It is mindlessness that elected “hope and change” and mindlessness that sustains it. Ayn Rand recognized that the greatest struggle on earth is that between the individual and the collective, and to submit to the collective, the individual must lose his ability to think for himself. Howard Roark, hero of The Fountainhead explains: "The mind is an attribute of the individual. There is no such thing as a collective brain."
The last thing a mystic of muscle wants is for us to start using our minds to uncover their fraud. Galt gets to the heart of the evil of progressive demand that we all serve the state when he says: "By the grace of reality and the nature of life, man—every man—is an end in himself, he exists for his own sake, and the achievement of his own happiness is his highest moral purpose."
The Socialist Revolution Has Come to America
The socialist revolution has come to America. It has been a long time coming. On Christmas Day 1991, the Soviet flag flying over the Kremlin came down — the Cold War was over. In the United States, the political left, dismayed from the collapse of its great patron, retrenched and transmogrified with the times, choosing for their president a free-trading, welfare-reforming moderate.
But this was but a feint; the era of big government was not over. The left had not learned its lesson, had not abandoned its dreams of absolute control. It seethed and stewed … and waited.
The new century dawned in fire when the twin towers came down. America lashed out, sending large armies into Asia and Arabia. Like all wars, fortunes waxed and waned. But the iPod generation has not the capacity to endure the waning. By the time Mesopotamia was stabilizing, it was too late; the American public had abandoned the war it had once supported. The commander-in-chief who took America into battle with Congress and the people behind him left office ridiculed and reviled.
Many will tell you that it was the financial crisis that led to the election of Obama in 2008. It is certainly true that John McCain’s erratic response to that meltdown did nothing to enhance his chances. But the Republican goose was cooked long before Lehman by years of war, seemingly endless reports of our soldiers struggling valiantly to hold back chaos in faraway lands for reasons that were growing less clear by the day, and a Republican president who seemed frighteningly inarticulate and uncomprehending throughout. The public had simply had enough.
Into this breech stepped a charming, charismatic, seemingly moderate Democrat (he even promised tax cuts!). Barack Obama made everyone feel good — about him, about themselves, about themselves for supporting him. And America wanted, needed to feel good again; they had spilled too much blood, had too much of their own blood spilled, in the preceding eight years.
A Republican Party in tatters, a nation exhausted and desperate. Are there any other conditions under which the American people could have turned to a man like Barack Obama? For just under the smooth, smiling facade lurked a man of deep allegiance to the radical left, counting among his associates both an avowed terrorist and a raving, racialist preacher.
But Americans didn’t want to hear it and the media obliged them. The ideologue was soon ensconced in the White House, where he acted swiftly to upend the entirety of American society through a comprehensive, two-pronged assault:
1. The government moved to take greater control of medical care and thus one-sixth of our entire economy. The excuse? Some people don’t have insurance, don’t you know? What are the details? Good question: specifics hatched in back rooms behind closed doors, utterly incomprehensible bills that may as well be carved in hieroglyphics. What will it mean for you? Why, whatever they want it to mean, of course.
2. Efforts to criminalize a particular naturally occurring compound, CO2, picked up pace. Why have they so singled out this substance? Because it is a byproduct of work and, indeed, life itself — every time you turn on your heater, every time you drive to work, every time you sit down to eat: don’t you know these sinful behaviors must be curbed, because you are “poisoning the planet” with your every move?
Success in this double strategy would amount to nothing less than a socialist revolution. A revolution of legislative opacity and bureaucratic fiat, to be sure, but a revolution just the same, for there is literally no part of your existence they couldn’t justify controlling under the cover of “health care” and “emissions” reform. Resistance would be met at first with peaceable punishments, fines and such. But the history of such revolutions shows that, sooner or later, they enforce their dictates with bars and boots.
Think it can’t happen here? History is littered with the wreckage of free states that gave way, sometimes with a scream, often with a whimper, to autocracy and absolutism. The city that gave birth to the world’s first and greatest republic was also home to Caesar and Mussolini.
America is not immune to these forces. The tides of history are inexorable and sooner or later pull every edifice into the sea.
More Irish Bishops quit over child abuse scandal (about time): "Two more Catholic bishops have resigned in Ireland in the wake of a devastating clerical child abuse inquiry. Eamonn Walsh and Raymond Field bowed to weeks of criticism and pressure, Sky News reported. They announced during Christmas Eve midnight Mass services across Dublin that they planned to quit their posts as auxiliaries in the archdiocese. They are the latest senior clerics to stand down after Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin James Moriarty and Bishop of Limerick Donal Murray resigned over the damning Murphy report. It exposed the Catholic hierarchy's shocking inaction and cover-up of paedophile priests over decades. Bishops Walsh and Field announced their resignations in a statement as church services took place around the country. "As we celebrate the Feast of Christmas, the Birth of our Saviour, the Prince of Peace, it is our hope that our action may help to bring the peace and reconciliation of Jesus Christ to the victims/survivors of child sexual abuse," they said. "We again apologize to them." The bishops added: "Our thoughts and prayers are with those who have so bravely spoken out and those who continue to suffer in silence." The Murphy inquiry, based on a sample 46 priests, revealed a catalogue of paedophilia and subsequent cover-ups over three decades because the Catholic hierarchy was obsessed with secrecy and was effectively granted immunity by the police."
U.S. job market still not improving for 2010: "The prospects for significant job growth in 2010 are dim and the unemployment rate could still be in the 10 per cent range this time next year, economists say. Growth of three per cent would be far slower than is usual after a steep recession, but it would be slightly stronger than the 2.8 per cent average of the past 20 years. Above-trend growth "never felt so bad," wrote economists at JP Morgan Chase. "Growth will not be boomy. And growth will not go far in returning the economy to healthy levels of activity." According to the median forecast of economists surveyed by Blue Chip Economics, about 1.1 million nonfarm payroll jobs will be created next year. The consensus expects the unemployment rate to be 9.9 per cent a year from now in the US. Typically, after such a steep recession, job growth would snap back quickly as firms ramp up production to meet the desires that were repressed during the downturn. This time, however, the lingering impact of the financial crisis will mean less consumption, less investment, and less hiring than normal. Economists at Goldman Sachs figure the unemployment rate won't peak until the middle of 2011 and will drop back to 10.5 per cent by the end of 2011. That's at least two more years of remarkably high unemployment."
Canadian court increases libel protections: "The Supreme Court of Canada strengthened protections for journalists and bloggers in a pair of rulings, hailed as a victory for press freedom in a country with especially stringent libel laws. Tuesday’s rulings involving the Toronto Star and Ottawa Citizen newspapers, created a new responsible journalism defense giving reporters more leeway to pursue controversial stories as long as they are deemed to be in the public interest.”
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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)
Posted by JR at 11:19 AM