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March 07, 2009

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And here I had thought "going Galt" meant releasing a self-indulgent forty-page paean to the virtue of grasping selfishness.

I suspect dear Helen is contemplating tossing tacky sculptures out of skyscraper windows to crash below symbolically but meaninglessly, or perhaps strolling along the lip of a stone quarry and gazing demurely upon the crotch bulge of the architect below, who is gazing demurely up her skirt while fishing for the viagra in his pocket, or perhaps she is wrapping her whimsical legs around the Chrysler Building and humping it --- only to return home to scribble pages of stultifying, shallow, overwrought prose.

I am happy to see some many Republicans go so public with their socail Darwinism. I'd be even happier if they decided to move to some other country.

But where could they move? Maybe Russia would suit them.

But where could they move? Maybe Russia would suit them.

Somalia.

When the people whose business practices created this mess "go Galt," they will not be missed. If they should ever find a spokesperson to deliver an interminable address over the radio a la John Galt, no one with any sense of history will be pining for a yet more looting of the economy by financial sector sharpies. Finally, I can't imagine John Galt inviting inconsequential pundits and hypocritical politicians to his capitalist paradise.

Not to my country, please. I've already had enough social darwinism to suit me these days.
By the way, I have also given up my job, am no longer "working for money" (ha, I never really heard the way that sounded before, it sounds.... cheap....).
I'm not a Republican though. And I'm not a Democrat either...

It's almost enough to make me think they're just posturing.

Ya think?

BTW, thanks for explaining what "going Galt" means. Cripes, they're going back to Ann Rand?

The notion is laughable when one considers that the "elites" complaining about excess taxes so often come by their money through corruption, and corporate compensation systems that are little more than a license to steal.

And, does anyone seriously think that the geniuses in the financial sector who have brought the world economy to its knees are "worth it?"

Given the state of the country's institutions, I thought anybody who mattered had probably "gone Galt" back in 1980...

"...in which protagonist John Galt leads the entrepreneurial class to cease productive activities in order to starve the government of revenue. (...)"

Well, since the main contingent of those agitating for a mass-movement to "Go Galt" seem mostly to be right-wing bloggers and suchlike - it raises the issue of what exactly "productive activities" they are threatening to cease.

I have no plans to go Galt, nor any plans to posture about going Galt. In fact, you can plan on me not going Galt for a number of years.

The purpose and nearly inevitable (according to Rand) consequence of "going Galt" was pretty much the complete collapse of society in the rest of the world, due to all of the really competent industrialists disengaging from doing anything productive. Some chosen subset got to settle in Galt's Gulch. I'm wondering what modern-day analogue of Galt's Gulch these people have in mind, and how they're going to cobble together the camouflage projector. Because it would be really cool, having one of those.

But me? I've got a mortgage and two kids to feed, and I work for an occasionally appreciative customer. Giving up what I do now and flipping hamburgers for a living would be stupid. Plus, I'm not a millionaire-industrialist, so me going Galt would be windmill-tiltish.

Thanks, Slarti, it's a great relief to know you're sticking with us. I've been desperately worried about it... ;)

Kind of OT, there's going to be one of those Tea Parties in Orlando soon. My wife wants to attend, and I'm going along for the ride. I'm planning on bringing a camera, and talking to some people to find out exactly what the tea-analogue is, as well as the Boston-Harbor-analogue.

I don't really understand this whole tea-party business yet. Hopefully I can get someone to explain it to me, there.

Oh, and maybe I'll bring some tea and cookies. That would be nice.

Thanks, Slarti, it's a great relief to know you're sticking with us. I've been desperately worried about it... ;)

Thanks, I think.

8p

Henry Farrell has an appropriate response, complete with Facebook group.

Slart, post some pictures here of the Tea Party, would ya?

I'm an American Indian buff and I want to see what kind of get-ups the beer-bellied white guys are in when they toss their starbucks into the fountain at EPCOT.

If you want analogues, just for fun, say "Smile for the IRS" as you click pictures with your camera. I suspect tea=camera, Boston Harbor=Gulf of Mexico, Slart=the bloody King would become the new analogue.

If they know their history, which I doubt. After all, we are talking taxation WITH representation.

Ask them why my taxes pay to keep me from buying a good Cuban cigar.

I hope Tea Partiers are wearing suncreen to protect me from paying for their melanoma therapy with my Medicare tax dollars.

Here's the analogue: The world's financial markets tossing funky worthless American paper mortgaging funky worthless Florida real estate (sold by the Tea Partiers to their fellow Tea Partiers with the wink of the liar and the through the gleaming tax deducted dental work of the unfettered capitalist cheat) into the world's oceans and having it wash up in soggy seawrack on the shores of the Tea Partiers tax sheltered 401Ks and IRAs.

Anyway, have a good time and be safe.

I sure hope all of the roads leading to the Tea Party are toll roads.

We are currently engaged in a two front war. I may not share the Right' more colorful description of these wars as a twilight struggle with worldwide Islamofascism, but they are unquestionably wars, and while we are currently extricating ourselves from Iraq, we are in fact increasing our troop levels and commitment to the war in Afghanistan.

So we are a nation at war, and "Going Galt" under these circumstances, particularly for heroic right wing warriors, carries a particularly pungent aroma. What would Churchill have said? Would he have understood their principled stand while preparing to fight on the beaches, only to find them demanding a tax cut first? Or what about DeGaulle? Would he have found Galt Valley to be located somewhere in the South of Vichy France?

The Bush administration's conduct of these wars without asking for sacrifices and contributions from the American upper classes whatsoever has lead to this historical moment where many of those on the right can make the hollow threat of "Going Galt" without seeing the irony of how such loose talk is completely at odds with the cheap symbols and slogans they have employed to build and maintain power over these many years. "Support the Troops" indeed!

The Republican Party has completely cast off and detached itself from any recognizable concept of the common weal. If wars aren't fought with other people's children and on money borrowed from the Chinese, they're outta here. Even a 4% increase in the top marginal tax rate is too much of a burden to them. DeGaulle, for the record, shot collaborators. Churchill would have sent them to the front.




I always liked DeGaulle.

Don't you have to be a captain of industry for your shrug to count as "going Galt?" To me, the use of the term here is a bit like calling a community yard sale a "merger."

Maybe they actually are aware that they do not personally produce anything of value.

How can we miss them if they won't go away?

hilzoy,

I think you are thinking too straight here. :)
Just consider this:
"We also have “gone Galt”. Hubby decided to retire and start Medicare instead of our original plan of waiting two years."
TBogg post

So following that logic, getting as much taxpayer money spent on oneself counts as "going Galt" too.

And in that sense Dr. Helen Smith and her husband Instapundit are already long-term insurgents. Everytime Dr. Smith writes a bill to a law enforcement agency, she gets paid with taxpayer money, right? And her husband is a law professor at the (public) University of Tennessee. Which I assume is at least partly funded by tax money?

So if they would give up their careers they would (cowardly) retreat from the good fight. :)
Same for Rep. John Campbell.

And there you have it.
Getting taxpayer money is okay if you have the right ideology. In all other cases it is of course still a waste of tax payer money.

tune in, turn off, go Galt.

it's the spoiled 40-something equivalent of threatening to take your ball and go home.

it might be the best thing the GOP can do for the economy, too; the sudden resignations of all those whiny babies will create job openings for people who aren't bothered by the prospect of getting $.61 instead of $.65 on their 250,000th dollar of W2 earnings.

The 'John Galt' discussion is just a distraction. The production side of the economy is in a coma because the financial market 'geniuses' have managed to blow up that critical part of our market mechanism. And neither the previous nor the current administration has done anything to help.

The last week to ten days have been particularly negative for the Obama administration. Almost nothing proposed relative to spending, new programs, or taxation has enhanced Obama's standing. This is blatantly clear in the administration's inability to put forth a plan for the financial sector that would instill any confidence anywhere. We need some focus. His first 100 days will seal his fate.

@ Detlef:

"Getting taxpayer money is okay if you have the right ideology get some of it. In all other cases it is of course still a waste of tax payer money."

Fixed.

I had not run acros Dr. Helen before, but following a link from DeLong I found an idiotic post of hers suggesting not tipping in restaurants as a way to protest against Obama.

Is she really involved in law enforcement, helping to determine whether people go to jail or not? Please let her quit. I'm confident our justice system will benefit, just the UT law school would if her husband resigned his tenured, government-paid job. Any bets on how likely that is?

The last week to ten days have been particularly negative for the Obama administration.

only for people who hate him already.

cleek,

I'm sure its my extremism that has blinded me to the miracles in process. Can you help me to see all the good things coming out of Washington?

It's been more than 6 weeks now! Why isn't the Dow back up to 14,000? We'd have been much better off with McCain. He may not be much of an economist but at least he'd've made sure we weren't managing any beavers or monitoring any volcanoes.

Can you help me to see all the good things coming out of Washington?

reversal of stem cell ban
SCHIP
Fair Play
dropping the emphasis on medical marijiauna raids
proposal on mortgages
tax cut for the lower and middle class

That's about one good thing every 10 days. More often, actually, as I think I've forgotten something.

Not tipping in restuaurants to protest against Obama?

Shhessh. She really does hate everyone not in her income bracket.

I've been thinking about those tea parties. For years the Republicans have claimed to be the party of the culture of life, more moral and more patriotic than Democrats, the people with the good traditional values.

So you'd think that, finding themselves on the outside, their "spontaneous, grassroots" protests would be orchestrated to assert those superior pro life values, no? You'd think that would spontaneously and grassrootly protesting the prospect of anti-life judges or spontaneously and grassrootly protesting the WallStreeters who screwed up our economy.

But no.
Instead their "spontaneaous, grassroots" protests are orchestrated to express disapproval of a small tax increase on the richest 5% and the prospect of government money being used to create jobs for the not rich! Meanwhile Kathleen Sibelious is going to skate right inot the Cabinet and the rightwing religious groups who are trying to oppose her are getting no help from the Republicans in the Senate.

I have long been my opinion that the common denominator amongst Republicans wasn't anything to do with being pro-life or pro-traditional values or pro anything really except the worship of money and the people who have lots of it.

100 days, huh? That's it. Wow. It sure does suck being a Dem.

"His first hundred days will seal his fate."

Mine and yours, too.

After that, only financial martial law will suffice.

At DOW 4000, the run on the banks begins.

The Galts and the Teapartiers could tell us where all of the money went that they funneled through the shadow banking system and the "investment bank" balance sheets that even Warren Buffet can't decipher.

But they won't. It wasn't meant to be found.

I'd hide the kids in the root cellar and get them started gnawing on the raw beets and rotten turnips so their jaws will be in shape to eat the millions of mortgage banker zombies and NRA shitheads and raving unAmerican filth Limbaughs and Malkins who will rove the landscape looking for more innocent Americans to consume.

Even the staunchest Christian fundamentalist will go back and read Darwin with fresh perspective when they witness what is coming.

The inimitable Roy Edroso:

This revives my hope that likeminded citizens will soon set up a Galt's Gulch somewhere in the desert and live off their stock portfolios. As they will on principle eschew water pumped by the government they have forsaken, this will give some of their ex-fellow Americans an opportunity to grow rich selling it to them.

These remarks are showing some high levels of bitterness and hate so I must assume that some of the commenters have had some very bad things done to them in their lifetimes from which they have not the means or abilities to recover. Get help, please.

Thanks for the psychoanalysis, Dr. Krauthammer. I'd say they're showing high levels of ridicule, but levels of hate lower than those required to refuse to tip minimum-wage workers.

And yes, we have had some very bad things done to us, and to the rest of the country, in recent years. It's going to take a long time to recover, if we manage it.

These remarks are showing some high levels of bitterness and hate

Toughen up. Getting your feelings bruised is not equivalent to hate. Mocking really stupid statements is all Americans' birthright.

And, yes, apparently your extremism HAS blinded you to reality...

Slart, post some pictures here of the Tea Party, would ya?

I'd have to give myself posting priveleges again, and before that, I'd have to learn how to give myself posting priveleges. I'm not sure it's worth the effort of having to reassure one commenter or another that no, I really don't hold the position that they're currently pinning on me.

I've seen folks post pictures as comments, but that fails a lot. We'll have to wait and see whether I get any decent photos and accompanying commentary to make it worth my while to come back, even if it's only to post that one thing.

One man's cool political activism idea is another man's WTF, I think. Name that after me, if it catches on.

The inimitable Roy Edroso

I live in Florida, so we could just build a cistern.

We also have a well, but we waste most of that watering the lawn and garden. Well-water in the deep south isn't automatically potable.

Feeling is a progressive characteristic, not for me. I'm only making observations.

Slarti -- alternately, you could ask a current FPer to do the honors, after transferring the files by email. win all around!

GOB: If you're only making observations in a balanced, objective way, could you please point to actual instances of the "hate" that is so pervasive?

Also, applying the same analytical methods, could you show linkage to probable past events in said speakers' lives?

Slarti: I'm your huckelberry

wonkie,

Not tipping in restuaurants to protest against Obama?

Shhessh. She really does hate everyone not in her income bracket.

Here's the link.

I enjoyed the comments also, especially those confidently predicting Obama's defeat.

OK, Eric, time for the teenage games again, eh?

I'm sorry, which teenage games were those?

spin the bottle? I'd say kick-the-can, but that was more pre-teen in my neighborhood.

GoodOleBoy strikes with 'I'm-above-all-this', only to have the blow parried by Eric's 'I'm-above-all-this-is-simply-meta-game-playing.'

What's the next play? Moralistic petulence has already been tried, and led to an interception. WWII references were pre-empted in hilzoy's initial post. Maybe some point about how liberals are hypocritical because they think we should try to be more understanding of group X, but they aren't willing to be equally understanding of rich people threatening to stop being quite as rich as they've been up till now.

It's looking grim.

I'm wondering how all the Malkinites and Limbaughvians and Plumberists manage to muster all this emotion when "feeling is a progressive characteristic". Maybe they're experiencing pon farr.

OK, Eric, time for the teenage games again, eh?

Asking for evidence is an adult response.

Refusing to give your evidence is a toddler's game.

If you make a claim, please be prepared to back it up.

The Republican Party has completely cast off and detached itself from any recognizable concept of the common weal.

I think that's about right.

I found an idiotic post of hers suggesting not tipping in restaurants as a way to protest against Obama.

Too funny. Now that's sticking it to the man!!

The 'John Galt' discussion is just a distraction. The production side of the economy is in a coma because the financial market 'geniuses' have managed to blow up that critical part of our market mechanism.

Actually, I think this is about right.

And neither the previous nor the current administration has done anything to help.

I think the current administration, in contrast to the prior one, is actually *trying* to do something to help. I just don't think it's been particularly effective yet.

That said, it's kind of early days.

This is blatantly clear in the administration's inability to put forth a plan for the financial sector that would instill any confidence anywhere. We need some focus.

I agree with this.

They appear to be afraid to take decisive action with the large investment banks, in spite of what appears to be their almost certain insolvency. Instead, they are pouring in money by the billions, and nobody knows where it's going.

Noone wants to face the elephant in the room -- the banks are broke -- and so Obama's actions so far do not inspire confidence.

I wish he would just take them over and get on with it.

His first 100 days will seal his fate.

Who knows, this could be true. If so, as John Thullen says, ours too.

If he fails to take decisive action soon, he may waste irreplaceable financial resources, and lose a lot of credibility. I don't know what happens then.

Back OT, I got nothing to say to folks who want to "go Galt" other than "goodbye".

I think we need to consider the possibility that anyone competent in the conservative movement has already "gone Galt", most likely years ago; they just never made a public announcement. That would certainly explain the level of leadership and discourse among those left behind.

Foo on all of you for being so negative. You should be ashamed of yourselves. I for one would like to congratulate our Galtian brothers and sisters for their emerging class consciousness and belated recognition that a labor strike is the most powerful tool of class warfare available to the struggling masses of doctors, lawyers, plumbers and dentists, and of course professionally accredited shrubbers (those who arrange, design, and sell shrubberies).

We should be showing solidarity with our brave comrades who are fearlessly risking life and limb marginal income above 250k to storm the barricades and strike a crushing blow against the corrupt and tottering edifice of Liberalfascist state capitalism, which even as we speak is strangling the productive forces of our society with its long green slimy tentacles and greedy suckers, which leave behind nasty red circular hickeys on the tender skin of the body politic that will chafe and itch for months unless they are soothed with a topical application of cocaine and single-malt scotch whiskey and tenderly bandaged with strips of cloth torn from used Louis Vuitton handbags (supplied by the Governor of Alaska, also).

My biggest fear is that our brave revolutionary comrades will be isolated and defeated piecemeal if they don't coordinate their work stoppages. They need a way to unify their actions so as to concentrate the effects of this labor strike and apply maximum pressure on our oppressors. If only there were some way for them to organize, to form a union... Alas, I fear that our Objectivist brothers and sisters have not yet attained the degree of class consciousness required for this level of collective effort. They need our help! I suggest we form a support group to assist them and show our solidarity with their cause. Perhaps something like the Union of Anarcho-Syndicalist Sympathizers Helping Objectivism to Lead Everyone to Sanity...

"Feeling is a progressive characteristic, not for me.-GOB

since feeling is first
by e.e. cummings

since feeling is first
who pays any attention
to the syntax of things
will never wholly kiss you;
wholly to be a fool
while Spring is in the world

my blood approves,
and kisses are a better fate
than wisdom
lady i swear by all flowers. Don't cry
—the best gesture of my brain is less than
your eyelids' flutter which says

we are for each other: then
laugh, leaning back in my arms
for life's not a paragraph

And death i think is no parenthesis

I for one would like to congratulate our Galtian brothers and sisters for their emerging class consciousness

Actually, I don't think they lack for class consciousness.

I say they should go and enjoy themselves. I'm sure there's a small hotel with a nice pool somewhere in the Cayman Islands that will be happy to rename itself "Galt's Gulch" in their honor.

Switzerland won't do these days, they're starting honor offshore requests for financial information.

Our captains of industry have worked hard. Time for them to kick back, relax, and have a few mojitos.

Did Atlas shrug? No, that was me.

Dan S., thanks for the cummings, that was lovely.

I occurs to me that this may be a business plan:

1. Convince competitors to go Galt.
2. Cheat like crazy, cornering the market in silly ideas.
3. Profit!

I occurs to me that this may be a business plan

You don't even need step 2.

@ That Left -

Its not nice to make people choke on their snack!!

You are very funny.

Of course, for satire to work, it has to be just this much away from the truth.

Great job. And thank you.

Tea parties? Is that like a tea dance for the really, really repressed homosexual male wing of the GOP?

Is a man not entitled to the sweat of his brow?

Personally I'm waiting for the underwater conservative utopia to be established in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. It's not impossible to build such a place at the bottom of the sea -- in fact, it may just be impossible to build it anywhere else.

My biggest fear is that our brave revolutionary comrades will be isolated and defeated piecemeal if they don't coordinate their work stoppages.

One word: Twitter.

it's the spoiled 40-something equivalent of threatening to take your ball and go home.

Ooh ooh, and since Atlas Shrugs looms so large in their mythology, it's like they're threatening to take the world away.

A good time for that ultimatum would've been before they wrecked it beyond repair, but hey, they think stiffing waitstaff is populist, so I guess they're operating on a level I'm not privy to.

Please tell me we haven't been getting our heads handed to us by people this asinine for the past however long it's been. I coulda sworn they used to at least have an air of malevolent efficacy.

Okay, fine, people being this asinine. I try to stay away from ad hominems but these Galt cats are just like, "hi, here's my bad side."

"I had not run acros Dr. Helen before,"

She's Mrs. Glenn Reynolds.

"I'd have to give myself posting priveleges again"

No, you'd just have to post the photos somewhere on the internets, and then link to them.

Like this:

Reading through this makes me wonder if blogging is meant for people to feel better all the time about their opinions through finding other people who share their opinions.
I no longer care whether anybody shares my opinions or not.
But I will observe that we need EVERYBODY in society in order for it to work well.
That includes all the Republicans/Democrats that most people on this blog love shooting down so much, ridiculizing, or whatever.
So, I try to follow the guidlines of asking myself "just what can I say, and how should I say it, so that the other guy (in the opposite camp) will LISTEN to me first off, and then maybe even consider what I'm saying if I'm really lucky ? (And, no it doesn't always work, obviously.)
I put getting listened to at a higher priority than being right. (What IS being right, anyway ? Somewhere a long time ago, someone said at a crucial moment, "what is truth ?"
Changing perspective that way has made my life much more interesting I must say.
Cheers.

Way way upthread GOB suggests that the bitterness and hostility behind our mockery of the Galtists indicates a bad experience with wealthy people for which we should be getting therapy.

Well, yes, we Americans have had a bad experience with wealthy people.

The Masters of the Universe who screwed up the banking and mortgage industries were wealthy. The people who were responsible for oversight and failed to do their jobs were wealthy. The politicians who removed the regulations which would have prevented the abuses were wealthy. As a matter of fact the politicians who thought it would be a good idea to cut taxes for the rich in time of war were wealthy. The TV talking heads who repeat mindless and false Republican talking points are wealthy. The only demographic left in the country (besides the hard core religious nuts and haters) who continue to support the Republican party are the wealthy. The over compensated exs who ran companies like GM into the ground are wealthy.

Those jerks threatening to go Galt claim that they are the producers and therefore better than everyone else and therefore so put upon if they have to pay a piddly-shit tiny tax increase to help out with a problem largely made by the political party and politicians they supported.

Mad? Damn right. But I don't need therapy. I need to see some Galtists jumping out of windows. The higher up the window, the better.

"I had not run acros Dr. Helen before,"

She's Mrs. Glenn Reynolds.

Yeah. I found that out. All the more reason to question her judgment.

I guess it doesn't count as "going Galt" if you get laid off, eh?

Somewhere a long time ago, someone said at a crucial moment, "what is truth ?"

WHAT is Truth? said jesting Pilate; and would not stay for an answer. Francis Bacon, Of Truth

IMHO, Pilate is possibly not the best source for wisdom on the relativity of truth.

Of course YMMV. ;}

Dan S -- Thank you for e.e.'s sweet, sweet words.

Debra -- To me, the purpose, and fun, of blogging is to challenge, cajole and conjure. Sometimes Truth gets in the way, which isn't a bad thing.

"Tea parties? Is that like a tea dance for the really, really repressed homosexual male wing of the GOP?"

Mythago, the term you are looking for is "tea room" as in "tea room trade", which is a reference to toilets and wide stances.

"....due to all of the really competent industrialists disengaging from doing anything productive."

Those wouldn't be the Galt-goers. Those are people that all these Galt-goers have been cannibalizing for the last 30 years.

I put getting listened to at a higher priority than being right.

So does Rush Limbaugh.

Putting anything at a higher priority than being is foolish. You're saying that it's ok to be wrong as long as you've got an audience.

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On July 30th, Conservatives are "Going Galt". On that date, we are asking Conservatives all across the nation to "Call in Conservative". On July 30th, Conservatives will not work, we will not buy. Instead, we will spend time with our families and friends. We will show President Obama and Congress who REALLY drives this economy. For more information on "A Day Without Conservatives please visit www.teapartynation.com .

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