Who is John Galt?
A message from liberty candidate Art Robinson.
In her 1957 novel Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand explored the inherent conflict between the “men of the mind” – those who invent, build, and create the things that permit human beings to rise above the status of mere animal-like hunter gatherers with lives that are brutish and short – and Rudyard Kipling’s “Gods of the Market Place,” those who play upon the weaknesses of human nature to tempt men into a path of subservience to the state that leads to slavery for the men of the mind and for all mankind.
Ayn Rand’s men of the mind are a handful of heroic figures whose genius transforms technology and industry, and their enemies are condensed also to a few figures, epitomized by an allegorical Washington lobbyist – Wesley Mouch.
In Atlas Shrugged, the men of the mind go on strike. One by one they disappear, as cryptic signs appear that ask “Who is John Galt?” Galt, an especially talented man of the mind, is the leader of their revolt. Each man of the mind must decide whether he will continue to work for a world controlled by Wesley Mouch – and thereby provide technology for his enemies – or rebel and join John Galt.
We are now 50 years beyond Atlas Shrugged. No longer just an allegorical novel, the dilemma posed for the men of the mind is here, now, in real life. Congress is corrupt; Congress has largely discarded the U.S. Constitution; and the 300,000 laws and regulations that Congress has created in the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations are the chains that Congress and the lobbyists have prepared for the men of the mind and for all Americans. What is the response?
When Ayn Rand wrote her novel, the great flywheel of human progress powered by a century of American freedom seemed unstoppable. Yet, the statist chains that would be used to slow that flywheel and enslave Americans had already been forged and were beginning to have a noticeable effect. Rand had surely noticed them.
What would be the source of power to slow that flywheel and enslave the American people? Ayn Rand knew the answer – lobbyist Leslie Mouch and the U.S. Capitol building. The chains were formed by corruption of the U.S. Congress.
In all of recorded human history, only one nation has been built for and by the men of the mind – the Constitutional Republic of the United States. And that nation is being destroyed by their enemies.
What will they do? First, they continue to work. Many have moved their efforts abroad, where here and there they find temporary niches of greater freedom, even under totalitarian regimes.
Most have remained in the United States. Some of these – especially those in dynamic new industries such as microelectronics, which have developed so rapidly that statist repression has not yet caught up with them – are still relatively free. Those in older industries – such as medicine and energy – find their best efforts suppressed, but they are still able to make minor progress.
While our current men and women of the mind do understand that their freedom to work is under assault by government, which is now entirely in control of the likes of Wesley Mouch, they have made a mistake. They have tried to hire their own lobbyists and politicians, whom they hope will correct this problem. This has not worked. In Atlas Shrugged, the central hero Hank Rearden makes the same error. He actually hires Wesley Mouch.
There is only one way out of this dilemma. The men of the mind themselves must become the U.S. Congress, restore the Republic, and then keep that Republic secure and functioning. There is precedent for this. During its first 100 years, our Congress was composed mostly of citizen volunteers, who served short terms and then returned to their own work.
A Congress made up almost entirely of career politicians and lawyers who make unprincipled and unconstitutional deals with lobbyists to serve their own self interests has failed our nation. It cannot be relied upon to maintain American liberty and justice.
Our country has done the experiments. When men and women were set free, the result was American exceptionalism and the greatest expansion of prosperity in history. As central governmental power has become ascendant, individual freedom and prosperity have diminished. Freedom works... Slavery does not.
“Over-taxation, over-regulation, over-litigation, and over-indebtedness” are not just political slogans. They are the tools of tyranny!
The Robinson family enjoys, more than anything else, working productively. We are people of the mind. We work constantly; we think carefully; we occasionally invent something useful; we are like millions of other productive Americans; and we have little to no interest in politics.
Yet, if our house were on fire, we would fight the fire; if our country were invaded, we would fight the invaders; if one of us were ill, we would fight the disease; and since freedom is imperiled, especially our freedom to produce, we are fighting this oppression.
In 2010 and now 2012, we are doing something that we do not want to do, but we have no choice. Congress must be populated by honest productive Americans. Will we be among them? We don’t know. We do know that, by our efforts, we will set an example. Our Congress must change. It must be populated by the men of the mind.
In Defense of Our Constitution,