Who is John Galt?

The alteration of the past is necessary for two reasons, one of which is subsidiary and, so to speak, precautionary. The subsidiary reason is that the Party member, like the proletarian, tolerates present-day conditions partly because he has no standards of comparison. He must be cut off from the past, just as he must be cut off from foreign countries, because it is necessary for him to believe that he is better off than his ancestors and that the average level of material comfort is constantly rising. – 1984, George Orwell.

The political rhetoric of the free world has taken on a particular tone in the past year or so that has reached some sort of zenith in the 2012 State of the Union Address. The fearless leadership of the mighty Western World have all told us that they feel our pain, they know that money is tight, that Joe Average is doin’ it tough and then in the next breath they have invoked those golden days of the prosperity that our forebears enjoyed, when there were two cars for every garage and everybody had a good job, a color TV and enough to eat every day. If only we can find that elusive spirit, the get it done attitude that built our great nations we could dig our way out of the horrendous financial hole that we have gotten the world into and life will be all hunky dory once again. But is this true? Were those golden days, now obscured by the mist of time and distorted by rose colored glasses, really all Happy Days? Even if they really were (which they weren’t), is it possible to return to such a state of naiveté? Is it even desirable?

In his State of the Union Address, Barack Obama held up the America of the 1950s as a gilt example of how great America can be. He conjured images of optimism, self confidence, a patriotic belief in freedom and called for a return to a fairer past. But this image of America owes more to films like American Graffiti than to any historical records. In fact America in the 1950s had more fear than optimism and having learned so much from the McCarthy era our elected leaders have never let up. Freedom in the golden past was more a case of being free to agree with the government or to be labeled as a communist and face persecution at the hands of the faceless men of government. Would an African-American have viewed the United States of the 1950s as a fair America in which they had an equal hand? What part of the black rights movement did Obama miss the point of? In fact the only group for whom the 1950s could be viewed as being a golden age was the politicians who, for a short time could seemingly do no wrong. But after that they apparently could do no right. That is because they began to do too much.

Government should do for people only what they cannot do better by themselves, and no more. – Abraham Lincoln

During the State of the Union Address Obama made a point of declaring his belief in these words of wisdom from one of his most illustrious predecessors in his office. But has he really upheld their intention? These words were indeed spoken by a Republican, as Obama pointed out, but Lincoln wouldn’t have been a front runner in the 2012 GOP race. He was almost as unpopular with his own party as amongst his opponents because he was unwilling to stick his nose in the trough with the rest of them. Honest Abe was elected to his presidency at a time when many others paled at the tribulations that faced the United States and his own party was almost expecting him to fail. Lincoln was vexed by the choice between the tragedy that the division of his precious Union would be and the evils that the fiat money that he printed to save it would inflict. Yet, in the very next breath, Obama told us all of the things that government was doing for the people; all of the publicly funded initiatives that his huge government has set in motion to make life better for us all. We have traded the freedom that Lincoln defended for us all for the modern cult of the greater good.

The greater good has become the paragon of political rhetoric. European currencies were destroyed for the good of the common man, to make the intricacies of European business fairer for all, to level the playing field. The developed economies of the Western world have spent their wealth on leveling the playing field, on trying to bend the world into a fair place for everyone. We have developed huge social welfare economies, paid for with fiat money that is created out of thin air to make sure that nobody has to suffer from poverty and the inflation of the currency has just pushed more people onto the bread lines. We send money to foreign countries to feed their starving poor and only end up propping up military juntas and despotic dictatorships that further exploit the poorest and most vulnerable. Universal health care is a laudable ambition but that doesn’t make it achievable and even trying has shipwrecked the largest and most robust economies that have ever existed, and in the end it has degenerated the quality of care that is available to anyone without money. Obviously more of the same isn’t the solution.

Yet that is exactly what is promised to us. The blueprint for recovery is to borrow more, to tax the people more vigorously and in ever more imaginative ways and to go on increasing government involvement in everything. After decades of trying to control interest rates, commodities prices, and every other part of the supply and demand chain that is the economy, all without any success, we are again asked to believe that more of the same will fix it. The Western world’s foreign policies haven’t made less war or famine or poverty, there hasn’t been a marked decrease in suffering because the UN sticks its nose into the business of every country in the world. Social welfare and the nanny state haven’t reduced the unemployment rate or made it any easier to be poor and poorly educated. Keeping the poor, paying for doctors and investing in banks and automobile manufacturers has emptied the treasury while the infrastructure of Western culture that the government is intended to preserve has crumbled. In order to make the world a fair place for everyone we have given up our freedoms. Our efforts for the common good have almost universally made things worse.

You have heard it said that this is an age of moral crisis. You have said it yourself, half in fear, half in hope that the words had no meaning. You have cried that man’s sins are destroying the world and you have cursed human nature for its unwillingness to practice the virtues you demanded. Since virtue, to you, consists of sacrifice, you have demanded more sacrifices at every successive disaster. In the name of a return to morality, you have sacrificed all those evils which you held as the cause of your plight. You have sacrificed justice to mercy. You have sacrificed independence to unity. You have sacrificed reason to faith. You have sacrificed wealth to need. You have sacrificed self-esteem to self-denial. You have sacrificed happiness to duty. – Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand

The promises from our leaders everywhere in the world are just rhetoric. Meaningless. World leaders have no answers, so where will the solution emerge? Will it? In her novel 1957 Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand described a world where the pursuit of the common good had reduced the world to three classes of people, producers, looters and the politicians that did the looting. While Rand’s objectivism is far too black and white to be practical her description of a worldwide economic collapse on the back of a universal social safety net, an expanding government and artificially manipulated commodities markets bears an uncanny resemblance to the current state of the world. Her hero, John Galt, is the solution but in the real world we are stuck with the rhetoricians and the common good.

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About dgmattichakjr

D G Mattichak jr was born in 1963 in Syracuse New York and immigrated to Melbourne Australia with his family in 1972. He was educated in one of Melbourne’s exclusive private schools before studying art at Preston Technical College. D G Mattichak jr has been a student of the occult arts since the early 1980s and has become well known in Australian magickal circles and, in recent years, around the world due to a string of essays on a variety of occult subjects http://www.scribd.com/dmattichak/shelf . He discovered the “key to the order & value of the English alphabet” from Aleister Crowley’s Book of the Law in 1983 and has since used this English Qabalah to unlock the secrets of Thelemite magick. Success in these methods admitted him to the highest levels of attainment in various Hermetic disciplines and until recently he has been passing on his knowledge to private students, many of whom have gone on to become notable occultists in their own right. After almost three decades of study and development D G Mattichak jr has finally been able to distil his knowledge of magick and Thelema into a book- A Comment on the Verses of the Book of the Law, the first in a planned series of books on Hermeticism and Thelemite magick, revealing, for the first time in over a century, the secrets of magick that have been hidden in Crowley’s magnum opus, the Book of the Law. D G Mattichak jr currently lives in Melbourne Australia with his artist wife Michelle and their two cats. He has had a long career as an al a carte chef in Melbourne’s vibrant hospitality scene and now spends his time writing blogs on cooking, writing and, in the guise of Master Ankh af na Khonsu, about magick. He is also one of the founding members of the Mt Franklin Annual Pagan Gathering and regularly contributes to its official website http://mountfranklinannualpagangathering.blogspot.com/ as both an administrator and as an author. D G Mattichak jr’s first book Loot was released in 2009. His books are available through amazon.com at http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias=stripbooks&field-keywords=D G Mattichak&x=13&y=20 .
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3 Responses to Who is John Galt?

  1. Ed Hurst says:

    Well done. John Galt is the parable for what we all could do, but won’t, because we fear too much losing things with no price tag. The manipulators have succeeded in creating the fear which makes us a herd ready for slaughter.

  2. Pat Garcia says:

    Hi,
    I took the time to look at your website this morning and I read the column, Who Is John Galt?

    I have read several books from Ayn Rand starting with The Fountainhead, Atlas Shrugged and We The Living. Even though I don’t agree with all of what she wrote, I am an admirer of her philosophy and your depiction of our times as being similar to what she describes in Atlas Shrugged has got me thinking again.

    I don’t believe that more government spending will help anyone. Quite the contrary, that will take away the drive for people to fight their way out of their own misery. Struggle is important for the human spirit. Nothing that we achieve easily or which is given to us brings long lasting satisfaction. When we rise above, in spite of the obstacles and the struggle to achieve, we find our happiness, in my opinion.

    I must admit here that I am a Christian and I see Christianity different than it is being touted in Rand’s book The Fountainhead or Atlas Shrugged. No where is in the Bible does it say that we must live from the government.

    Also, my experience, (I came out of the ghetto and was the first Afro American in an integrated school in my city) is that once given fair laws, for example the chance that I was given to get the same quality of education as the caucasian children and many other children who had lighter skin than I, that the spirit within any person will want to reach out for its purpose in life and succeed at something and not desire a government hand out. Unfortunately, we are creating a population of haves and have nots like in many of the European countries. I know, I see it right here in Germany where I live. (I am an Amercian, born and raised in the USA).

    Finally, the Euro is, in my opinion, one of the worst mistakes that has been made in Western Europe. It was decided upon in Germany by the parliment, even though the majority of the German people were against it. We are now experiencing the fall of the Euro in Europe or the fall of Europe. One thing is certain, the problems that the Euro was supposed to solve were not solved. The problems have only increased.

    Thanks for the very informative article. I enjoyed reading it and am very happy that you responded to Micki and offered your help as well as listed your website.

    Have a great weekend.

    Ciao,
    Patricia

    • Thanks Patricia! I agree with you that more of the same, bigger government, more bail outs, more hand outs, isn’t any solution at all. Unfortunately at some point it has to fall over like a house of cards and of course the poorest and most disadvantaged will suffer the most. The situation in Europe is frightful and I can’t see a way out for many countries like Greece.
      Ayn Rand was a bit black and white in her thinking for me to be on board but she was right about material affairs. We need to go back to doing the things that did work and stop experimenting with the things that don’t.
      Welcome aboard, I hope that I keep you entertained and informed. Great comment.

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