Monday, October 27, 2008

Pulling a Ragnar Danneskjöld

Instapundit recently published a blog post asking if it is time for Americans to pull a "John Gault" and go on strike against a prospective Obama administration and Congressional Democratic supermajority. For the few readers who may not understand the allusion; John Galt withdraws from a socialist society and convinces other thinkers and doers to do the same. The United States is crippled not only because of the redistributive policies followed by the various State and Federal governments, but because the very people who's productivity and effort provides the funds and motive power to the State are no longer there.

Ragnar Danneskjold is one of the strikers, who takes more positive action, rather than passively withdrawing from society, he becomes a pirate and actively destroys "gift ships" that the United States sends to the various People's States around the world (although he makes a point of avoiding confrontations with the United States Navy and Coast Guard, since they are performing their proper roles). This is direct action against the philosophy of "spreading the wealth" by preventing it from being used to subsidize or otherwise support other "looter" regimes. In on of the great scenes of the novel, Ragnar Danneskjold seeks out one of the non strikers; Hank Rearden, and offers him some comfort as the looming forces of the State increase the pressure on him. As partial restitution for the hardship and suffering Rearden has suffered at the hands of the State, Danneskjold offers repayment in gold of Rearden's income taxes.

We can do the same. If governments or the State want to "spread the wealth", it is quite reasonable to ask; "why not to us?" Readers are urged to think of the example of Ragnar Danneskjold and use the various mechanisms the State has or will offer to request your income tax back. If the State offers funds to start a new business or hire employees, plug into that program for the amount of your income tax. Rebates for going green? How green can you go (up to the maximum amount of your taxes). American readers will have somewhat different calculations to make, income taxes might not rise initially under an Obama administration, but withholdings like FICA will go up, and probably by dramatic amounts.

Here is how another correspondent puts it:

A REVERSE-JOHN-GALT? Tom Spaulding writes: "So, if Obama actually wins this election and delivers on even half of his promises, I'm vacillating on whether to pull a reverse John Galt and plug IN to the system. . . . So I mean to look into every government assistance program Obama/Pelosi/Reid provides or funds. Even if I don't sign up, at least I'll have an idea where my money is going to. But if I do take an occasional sip from the public teat, consider it my own way of 'spreading the wealth' back around to me."

Piracy may be profitable and fun during the Obama administration. With luck, we can strike the "Black Flag" in 2012.


Anonymous said...

I can't help but think that Ayn Rand's crazy pirate would spare any ships sending stuff to Holy Israel... Cheers.

This Atlas Shrugged book looks more and more like a crude parody each time I read about it! And to think that many see it as holy writ. Anton LaVey sure did when he borrowed its contents for "The Satanic Bible" and his Church of Satan.

Zip said...

Hey Anonymous, why don't you read it for yourself? At least then you might be able to make up your own mind without having others feed you the story their way.

I'm not saying that you would like it, or even accept the propositions in it but at the very least you could argue your points in a way that makes sense.

I mean look at your post... Anton LaVey, seriously? Is the bible responsible for the Jonestown massacre?

There are some people, Objectivists call them Randroids, that never get past the point of quoting Atlas or Ayn Rand and never do any first handed thinking about the philosophy but they normally don't last long. The next flashy ideology comes along and they disappear.

If you take the time, and make the effort to read Atlas for yourself, feel free to come back and talk about it.

P.S. I would actually encourage you to read "The Virtue of Selfishness" first, then read Atlas.