WASHINGTON: Who is John Galt? Why should I care?
John Galt is a character in Ayn Rand‘s second novel, 1957’s “Atlas Shrugged.” The novel is set in an America whose society is controlled by oppressive bureaucratic functionaries and whose culture embraces mediocrity in the name of egalitarianism.
You should care because the novel describes the end result of the collectivist philosophy. It describes the de-evolution of America’s capitalist society into a dystopian, globalist world whose politics are rooted first in socialism, then in communism.
Atlas Shrugged warns that Collectivism by any name is rooted in Communism
Collectivism is the political theory most aligned with communism. It is the idea that people should prioritize the good of society over the welfare of the individual. A collectivist society puts the whole of society over the needs, or abilities, of the individual.
It is the political ideology espoused by Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other left-leaning politicians. Including the Democrat’s presumptive nominee, Joe Biden.
The question, “Who is John Galt?” is asked throughout the first three-quarters of “Atlas Shrugged”. We learn that Galt is a philosopher and inventor. He believes in the power and glory of the individual and the human mind. More importantly, he believes in the rights of individuals to use their minds to the benefit of themselves.
When an individual produces a needed commodity, that person should benefit from the profits of his or her work. Society benefits from having access to the needed commodity. As society benefits, it becomes stronger. As society becomes stronger, individuals become stronger. Their lives become stronger. Ultimately, the country becomes stronger.
The agenda of Donald Trump mirrors the philosophy of John Galt.
America’s eighty-year journey down the collectivist path.
America’s journey towards communism’s little sister, socialism goes back at least as far as Franklin D. Roosevelt and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Both the 32nd president and his wife were well-known socialists. Collectivism in American began with Roosevelt’s New Deal and developed through the globalist agenda of the Obama administration, a period of time spanning over 80 years.
From 1981 to 1989, President Ronald Reagan offered the only truly pro-capitalist, pro-American agenda in that 80-year period. Every other administration in that period moved America closer to a collectivist, and globalist, society to one degree or another.
The goal of those eight decades of subversion of American principles has been to transform America into a socialist state, as a precursor to making it communist. The goal is to destroy the grand experiment of the Founding Fathers, whose wisdom gave us the great republic known as The United States of America.
Destroying America is what collectivism is all about. And it is what Rand warns us against in “Atlas Shrugged”, moving the reader to wonder, Who is John Galt?
Ayn Rand and Atlas Shrugged
Ayn Rand lived through another nation’s political shift to collectivism. Rand was born and raised in Russia in 1905. In March of 1917, Alexander Kerensky overthrew the ruling Russian monarchy in what is called the February Revolution.
As a 12-year-old girl, Rand saw Vladimir Ulyanov, who took the revolutionary name Lenin, overthrow Kerensky’s provisional government.
Lenin’s Bolsheviks began occupying government offices in Saint Petersburg in November, 1917. They arrested members of the government, and Bolshevik leader Leon Trotsky announced their “intention to seize power.”
Over the next four years, Lenin’s brutal “war communism” campaign of forced collectivization of Russian industry led to the execution and imprisonment of millions of people. Stalin’s subsequent collectivization of Soviet agriculture in the late 1920s led to the starvation of many millions more. It was not even close to the socio-economic equality and peace, bread and land equally for all people that Lenin’s government promised.
Under Tsar Nicholas II, Russia was a prosperous state with a stable economy.
With the onset of World War I, Russia was attacked by the Germans, leaving the state in economic chaos. After three years of war, the people, disenchanted with the monarchy, were ready to embrace Lenin’s lies and the Bolshevik revolutionaries.
Rand was an eyewitness to the slaughter of the aristocrats and capitalists who had begun to transform the Russian empire into a modern country. They destroyed the country’s producers and brain trust in an effort to bring all Russians to the same level of poverty and sameness.
This is what Marxism does: It brings everyone down to the same level of misery, except for the party leaders, who are always special.
In this case, misery was easily achieved. Much of the country was starving under this new leadership. Working conditions were oppressive, and most Russians lived in small, unsanitary apartments without running water or heat.
Rand watched as private property was confiscated and divided among the collectives across Russia. When Lenin finally wrestled total power for the Bolsheviks, she watched in horror as he slaughtered his enemies, real and imaginary.
Only then did the truly heinous atrocities begin.
Under the Bolsheviks, religion was swept away. The new god was Marx. With his death in January, 1924, Lenin became the messiah. Non-believers became non-people. Under Stalin, Lenin’s prophet, the Soviet Government seized almost all the food in Ukraine and deported the most successful peasant farmers – the Kulaks – to Siberia and Central Asia. It purposely starved to death 11 million Ukrainians in the Holodomor, crushing even the scent of opposition to Soviet power.
Stalin despised Jews. Some of Lenin’s closest confidants had been Jews, and the tight-knit religious traditions of believing Jews held no room for a Bolshevik prophet. Rand, born Alisa Zinovyevna Rosenbaum, fled Russia in 1926, along with thousands of fellow Jews, landing on Ellis Island, New York.
It was here that she experienced real freedom for the first time.
And too soon, she saw Franklin Roosevelt unravel some of that freedom. A nation shaken by the Great Depression turned to socialism for succor. As subsequent administrations continued to impose more draconian regulations on business, she formed her philosophy of objectivism.
Atlas Shrugged is a cautionary tale, more than six-decades old.
The story is about capitalist railroad magnate Dagny Taggert. It is about big government run amok. The government wants to take control the railroad that her father, Nathaniel Taggart founded. Dagny Taggart, the VP in Charge of Operations, finds herself fighting her less-than-capable brother, James.
One of her greatest observations about man, and possibly her brother’s failings, is that
“The sight of an achievement was the greatest gift a human being could offer to others.”
Atlas Shrugged is the story of the economic carnage that can be wrought by a federal government that takes control over all aspects of a capitalist society. The book’s title refers to the New York City statue, Atlas. Atlas is a bronze statue in the Art Deco style located in Rockefeller Center, within the International Building’s courtyard. In Greek mythology, Atlas was a titan condemend hold up the celestial heavens for eternity. Atlas stands at the ends of the earth in the extreme west.
Atlas Shrugged warns us of today’s liberal power grab
It is a tale of caution against present-day politicians such as former President Obama with his ties to globalists such as Valarie Jarrett, and more dangerously, George Soros. He travels to Cuba to stand in allegiance to communist dictator Raul Castro, who continues to oppress the Cuban people under his rule.
It’s a story of caution against people like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who joins Bernie Sanders to demand that America become socialist.
We have seen modern-day Bolshevik revolutionaries like the destructive forces of Occupy Wall Street and the masked ANTIFA protesters who took to the streets in violence.
We have seen the anger of women, the first line of change in any government, against President Trump and a Christian nation that shies away from the mass destruction of the unborn.
The combined forces shaping an ever more socialist America parallel the novel with its warnings against collectivism and an ever more intrusive government imposing so many rules and regulations on private businesses.
Who is Donald Trump?
After almost 90 years of ever-increasing socialism creeping into American politics, with its burdensome laws and regulations hindering capitalism in America, along comes a non-politician who knows business from the inside out, Donald J. Trump.
He is intelligent, worldly, individualistic and proudly American. As Taggert says:
“You don’t have to see through the eyes of others, hold onto yours, stand on your own judgment, you know that what is, say it aloud, like the holiest of prayers, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. “
Trump’s only reason for becoming President was to better the lives of our nation’s citizens. Like Atlas Shrugged’s hero John Galt, Donald J. Trump seeks to bring about a new capitalist society, based on his philosophy of reason and individualism.
The question Ayn Rand may ask today is “Who is Donald Trump.”
This article the collaborative effort of writers Joseph Ragonese and Jacquie Kubin
Lead Image : Atlas Shrugged Facebook Title Page Wallpaper – BY Neo23X0
By Another Believer – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=36373989