Goin’ Galt

I really don’t have the desire to get into Ayn Rand and all that–I long ago rejected her “philosophy” after reading The Fountainhead and loving it, and then reading Atlas Shrugged and realizing that I hated it about halfway through. This was 15 years ago or so. Now, people are talking about “going Galt” and I find as goofy now as I did then, but I have the added value now of being able to see that the people who are espousing these theories are right-wing goofballs. So it kind of reinforces why I hated it so much in the first place, before I actually knew or gave a shit about what right or left-wing even meant.

So I read this post by Matthew Yglesias this morning and thought it funny–in a sad way–and thought I would pass it on, and leave it at that. It’s a response to a really goofy column by Caroline Baum at Bloomberg.com in which she tries to go Galt with today’s headlines:

In Rand’s magnum opus, the “men of the mind,” as she calls the nation’s producers, quit. Literally. They walk away from the mines, factories and businesses they built as the government tries to deprive them of their wealth through increased regulation and taxation.

Can you just imagine all of these rich dudes sitting down and reading Atlas Shrugged and thinking “yeah, that’s what I’ll do!”? No, you can’t. Because they’re not. Sales of the book are up because not-so-rich dudes are buying it and thinking “yeah, that’s what I’ll do!” These are the same not-so-rich dudes who vote against their interests with the Republican party again and again. (I use “dudes” loosely, I’m sure there are women who share this same flawed way of thinking.)

I’ll sum up for you why “going Galt” is a fantasy philosophy inspired by a work of fiction that will never happen in real life:

The “men of the minds” who run everything and make all the money will never go Galt because they are too in love with the money they make to leave it. Let me know when the first man of wealth does it, I’ll eat my hat.

UPDATE:

By the way, this is for sure not the only reason Rand’s Galt is a fantasy. I could go on, but I’m gonna go all Galt and quit right now.

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