I hate to go all serious on everybody -- and I've seriously been trying to avoid politics -- but...
Look, if you're going to discuss a book or an author, or if you're going to use some character from a book or an author to back-up your point or to become your guiding philosophy to life, then is it asking too much that you actually have read and/or understand that author? Yeah, I'm talking to all of you Ayn Rand/John Galt morons out there.
For those who have missed out on this discussion let me try to summarize, briefly.
I've been reading from various sources that there are supposedly a lot of rich people/titans of finance/etc. who are preparing to take their money and go home and abandon all of us heathens to the hell being created by Barack Obama. And to back up, they keep quoting Rand and/or referencing her novel "Atlas Shrugged" and that book's most famous character, John Galt. But seriously, I listen to all of these morons and I wonder if any of them have actually read the book.
Because I have. And their comparison of her book to today's ongoing economic troubles are clearly off-base. Well, clear to anyone who's actually read the thing.
Before I go further, let me give you a bit of a primer on Rand and her so-called philosophy. This is only a half-assed primer because it's kind of tangential to my post, so excuse me if it's a bit fuzzy. I suggest that you use the Google if you really want to get to the nuts of it. But quickly...Rand believed that their are exceptional people, and that these exceptional people must be left alone to do whatever they want, whenever they want, without governmental or societal interference. This is to especially be applied to the financial and industrial sector because if let to their own devices, these exceptional people will become Titans of Finance/Industry who, by the sheer fact that they are exceptional, make the world a better place.
I have a good friend who is a rather smart and attractive woman, and we agree on lots of things and have lots of the same likes and interests. And she worships Rand. I read "The Fountainhead" because she wouldn't stop talking about the greatness of Rand. There was just one problem: Rand was a crappy writer. The so-called hero of "The Fountainhead" is an architect of great, outstanding talent who is destroyed by those who don't have his talent and by so-called critics who know he's a genius but who want to destroy him because he's too good for the masses. The book's poorly written, and it's got another basic problem: the hero is a prick. There's not a single likeable trait to this guy. (Plus, I took a little architecture back in the day, and what this genius was designing appeared, due to her crappy writing, to be those ugly concrete and steel boxes of the 50s that are currently associated with ugly government buildings).
But on to "Atlas Shrugged," which is the relevant book to this discussion. This book is actually decently written, though it's way too long -- editing can sometimes be a good thing. In this novel, the government has gotten so involved in business and finance and science and medicine and so on -- seemingly for the good of the people -- that the Titans start disappearing because they can't do what they want to do. The businesses are then left in charge of government flunkies and those flunkies of the Titans who just had absolutely no idea of what they're doing. So with all of the Titans gone, the world falls apart. People starve. There's no electricity. Train tracks fall apart. Crops can't grow. It's the end of the world as we know it. And the leader of this movement is a mysterious man named John Galt who's been recruiting all of the Titans to a valley surrounded by mountains and covered by a Romulan cloaking device where the Titans just work and await for the world to come calling. It's a pretty ridiculous story, but it's decently written, so you end up sticking with it.
Now here's why I think all of these morons who are going around talking about pulling a John Galt because of President Obama have never actually read the damn book. You see, these current so-called exceptional people, these so-called Titans, are the ones who have been running things, without government interference, for most of the past decade -- hell, Alan Greenspan was one of Rand's disciples.. They're the ones who created hedge funds, and the mortgage crisis, and who used their best instincts to create bigger SUVs. They're the ones who have created a cure for erectile dysfunction but still can't stop a common cold, much less cancer. It's not Obama or his policies that caused this mess. It's the Titans. Maybe if the government would have actually tried to exercise some so-called control over these so-called Titans back in the day, we wouldn't be in this spot.
So the premise that these John Galt-wannabees is going on about is all wrong. It's reversed. They were left alone. And this is the result of their being left alone to be exceptional. So go ahead and run off to mountain valley covered by the Romulan cloaking device. We don't need you, and we'll probably all be better off without you.
And please, if you're going to adopt a book character as your hero, read the damn book. Is that really too much to ask?
(And I need to interject at some point that "Atlas Shrugged" and the philosophy of that book should, in no way, be believed or followed by any rational person older than 16. It's world is so fantastical that I would more readily believe that the person in the office next me to is a Cylon -- it would be nice if a Caprica Six worked at my office, or maybe a Boomer model. And definitely that Lucy Lawless model.)