John Galt, "Genocidal Prick"
…in Ayn Rand’s world, a man who self-righteously instigates the collapse of society, thereby inevitably killing millions if not billions of people, is portrayed as a messiah figure rather than as a genocidal prick, which is what he’d be anywhere else. Yes, he’s a genocidal prick with excellent engineering skills. Good for him. He’s still a genocidal prick.
What I Think About Atlas Shrugged – Whatever.
Cross-posted at Asymptosis.
in case you missed it, here’s a link to the background story on that:
I Was Shitting You People – A Message From Ayn Rand –
To Whom It May Concern: I gave my lawyer instructions to release this message after my death. A joke I concocted when I was a kid has gone way, way too far. The most important thing you should know is this: Nothing I have ever written was meant to be taken seriously.
That is tooo funny.
i didn’t much like Atlas Shrugged or the other one (i didn’t bother with the rest), but i don’t remember it well enough to know if Galt did more than withhold his services and those of the other first raters.
Don’t think this could happen in the real world, and it certainly doesn’t describe anything that has happened to cause the current malaise.
So I don’t think I can endorse “genocidal.” Unless you take the view that the rest of us really are second raters and can’t do without the boss.
Within the terms of the novel, I think the second raters are supposed to realize the error of their ways and ask the supermen and ladies to come back and pay them their marginal productivity rate.
I am not even sure if this doesn’t describe the Russia
that Rand was thinking of.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t like Rand, not as a philosopher, economist, or writer. And I think the people who do are idiots. But we ought to “fair” even about what she said if we are going to have a chance of educating those who fell for the joke.
The Galts will always be able to get soylent green. Will the 1% always find something to plunder?
The issue with Rand’s ideas is that the Bourbons and Tsarists tried it and things did not turn out so well.
As I’ve previously pointed out on my own blog, if all the 1%’ers “Went Galt”, the world wouldn’t notice for weeks, if not months. I work for a relatively small corporation where the CEO has an “open door” policy, but it doesn’t matter because I never see him — he’s always out playing golf with a potential investor, travelling to visit a possible overseas venture partner, or otherwise not in the office. I saw him today for the first time in over a week. If he “went galt”, my paychecks would still come in (payroll is done by a nice Asian lady in HR who isn’t a 1%’er), sales would still go on, product would still go out the door, engineers would still be hard at work on the next product lines, and it’d take us literally weeks to figure out that he and all the members of the Board of Directors were nowhere to be found.
Frankly, my guess is that the majority of the 1%’ers, being irrelevant parasites who’ve never done hard physical work in their entire lives, would starve to death within weeks of arriving at Galt’s Gulch.
– Badtux the Reality-based Penguin
(* who does think Scalzi is mean to Aspies though, Aspies aren’t sociopaths, they’re just different!).