Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Dammit, Just Go Already!

Seems like the whole "Going John Galt" meme currently going around the interwebs is not so new after all (we've already commented a few months back). Take this heart-rending story from all the way back in post-Enron 2002, where businessmen in Kansas were apparently feeling so victimised they had to form a kind of Randian support group - where they "fantasized of a modern-day strike of thinkers and creators".
"We are the producers of society," says Will Koch, CEO of a development company that owns the Holiday World & Splashin' Safari theme park in Santa Claus, Ind.

That was seven years ago. When will all these wannabe-John Galts get around to actually leaving?


Red Grant said...


Red Grant said...

Red Grant said...

Still the classic James Bond to judge all the rest!

Where is the James Bond for Objectivists?

physhy said...

The randians resort to the strike? An organized-labor action? Does this not undercut the essence of individualism?

The sense of irony is missing - because it would bring down the whole structure.

Is there no room in their world for a notion of "productivity" that includes influencing others through reason, and through doing?

Kelly said...

I don't think I want to live in a world where there is no "Holiday World & Splashin' Safari theme park". I say give them whatever they want.

Anonymous said...

When will all these wannabe-John Galts get around to actually leaving?

Never. "Going John Galt" is a fantasy that people of the libertarian persuasion console themselves with.

Also, this is the internet, where someone can pretend to be as rich as they want. Gosh Darn it, most of the people saying this are making minimum wage and are too maxed out to quit their jobs, never mind "Go John Galt".

Michael Prescott said...

I don't think I want to live in a world where there is no "Holiday World & Splashin' Safari theme park". I say give them whatever they want.

LOL. This made me wonder what Ayn Rand would have said ...


Galt steered the sedan around a wide curve, through a sun-flooded glen lined with aspens. Dagny leaned back, surrendering to the warm current of air that kissed her face. Then suddenly she jerked upright in her seat.

"Stop the car! Oh, please stop!"

Chuckling, Galt shifted into park. Dagny threw open the passenger door and leaped out, took two quick steps forward, then stopped, gazing in astonishment at the tall, gaunt figure who stood before her on the side of the road.

"It's you, isn't it?" she whispered. "You're here in Galt's Gulch, too."

"Why, yes, Miss Taggart," the man said with a knowing smile.

"You know me?"

"We all know you, if only by reputation. But I'm surprised you know me."

"Of course I do. You're Will Koch, CEO of Holiday World & Splashin' Safari, the last of the fully rational theme parks."

Will Koch inclined his head gravely.

"I used to go there every summer," Dagny said breathlessly. "I would ride the giant water slide and swim in the endless pool - always wearing my Holiday World water wings, of course. It was my refuge from the looters and the hell they'd made of the world."

"As it was meant to be," Will Koch said. "We had a strict no-looters policy. Anyone who had accepted government funds for any reason was barred from admission. I refused to allow my water slide and the other attractions, the products of my intelligence and my dedication to reality, to serve the amusement needs of the parasites and moochers. But when the government told me I had to stop screening visitors and admit anyone with the money to pay - regardless of the source of that money - then I knew I would have to close the park. It was the hardest decision I've faced in my life. I'm honestly not sure I could have gone through with it on my own. But that night, as I sat alone on one of the giant lily pads long after the park had closed, out of nowhere he appeared." He nodded toward Galt, still seated behind the wheel of Midas Mulligan's roadster. "By the time he finished speaking to me, dawn was breaking ... and my decision didn't seem so hard anymore. I took a last walk through the Jungle Jim Maze and left that park and never looked back."

"But how can you stand it?" Dagny moaned. "Leaving it all behind?"

Will Koch smiled, a radiant smile of morning, the smile of a child awakening on a perfect summer day. "Oh, but I didn't, Miss Taggart. I brought it all with me. The plans, the blueprints, the marketing strategies, all of it." He tapped his forehead. "I carry them here. And now, here in this valley, I'm building a new Holiday Park and Splashin' Safari theme park, a recreation place for the men of the mind - and only for the men of the mind. It will be my gift to the producers of society, and my monument to them - a more lasting monument than anything I could have built in the looters' world. It's the proudest accomplishment of my life. Would you like to see it?"

"Yes, please, very much."

"It's right over there," he said, pointing to a small mud hole, three feet wide and six inches deep, ringed by disorderly piles of sapling branches.

"Oh." Dagny felt a brief plunge of disappointment. "It's a bit small, isn't it?"

"Well, what the hell do you expect? I'm a CEO, Miss Taggart. I've never worked with my hands in my life. I don't have a clue how to actually build anything. I got the job because I know how to schmooze the shareholders at the annual meeting. That's how all of us got our jobs. Besides, it would take a small army of construction workers to build an actual theme park, and we have no construction workers in Galt's Gulch. No sanitation workers, either - but that's another story. You don't really believe that a handful of disgruntled corporate executives could build a theme park, much less a whole community, without the proper equipment, training, or skills, do you? Only a small child would buy a crazy story like that."

"Yes," Dagny said, accepting the hard, bright logic of his words. "Yes, of course you're right."

Will Koch smiled. "So ... would you like to go for a dip?"

Anonymous said...

yay physhy, seems like we've found someone to take over the slack now that i've stopped posting. i'll post again on my 25th birthday, if not before, which would mark the day that, if, like Ayn Rand I were to have an affair with a man 25 years younger than me, he would finally be born. i'm just a sucker for landmarks of the passage of time (i posted again during the superbowl because i realized with a start that it had been more than a year since i started - and abandoned - my blog)