A Cautious Man
March 12, 2009
Going Immobile
The latest right-wing rallying cry is "Going Galt". As one of our favorite right-wingers has explained it (via the NY Times Opinionator entry, "'Going Galt': Everyone's Doing It!" -

While they take to the streets politically, untold numbers of America’s wealth producers are going on strike financially. Dr. Helen Smith, a Knoxville forensic pathologist and political blogger, dubbed the phenomenon “Going Galt” last fall. It’s a reference to the famed Ayn Rand novel, “Atlas Shrugged,” in which protagonist John Galt leads the entrepreneur class to cease productive activities in order to starve the government of revenue.

Of course, the original character of John Galt didn't want to simply "starve the governent" for no good reason. In fact, as he set out in a long, tedious three-hour speech which is apparently the "hightlight" of the novel, govenment was simply taking from the "haves" and giving to underserving "have nots." (A "mini-version", that gives you a sense of the somewhat repetitive argument, is at this page.)

In other words, "If I can't keep it all, then I'm not going to try to earn any of it." Luckily, Stephen Colbert took on this phenomenon last night, summarizing the "Going Galt" movement as: "When millions are losing jobs, losing homes, and losing hope, there is nothing more important that putting yourself first."

Actually, there's something else that's bothering Mr. Galt (and Ms. Rand), which pervades the speech, as in this for example -

“The justification of sacrifice, that your morality propounds, is more corrupt than the corruption it purports to justify. The motive of your sacrifice, it tells you, should be love-the love you ought to feel for every man. A morality that professes the belief that the values of the spirit are more precious than matter, a morality that teaches you to scorn a whore who gives her body indiscriminately to all men - this same morality demands that you surrender your soul to promiscuous love for all comers."

That's correct, all these right-wingers are now taking their lead from a belief system which rejects the one with teachings like this -

If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal.

And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing.

If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, (love) is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth.



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