Friday, March 06, 2009

Who is John Galt?

While some people see the current crisis as the definitive refutation of Ayn Rand's ideas, sales of Atlas Shrugged are way up for the first part of the year. Now some people are apparently talking of "Going Galt" because of Obama's expansive "liberal" budget. I doubt anybody reading this will have read the book so I won't say what going Galt means, but it doesn't give anything away to say that to "go Galt" you have to see similarities between John Galt and yourself, which is ridiculous.

When I first heard of people saying this I cringed inside. Will Wilkinson, very amusingly, sets them straight.

By the way, Atlas buffs, the point of Atlas Shrugged is not that you are John Galt. The point is that you are not John Galt. The point is that you are, at your best, Eddie Willers. You’re smart, hardworking, productive, and true. But you’re no creative genius and you take innovation — John Galt — for granted. You don’t even know who he is! And this eventually leaves you weeping on abandoned train tracks.
I sure as hell am no Eddie Williers, even at my best.

He goes on to explain that his big worry is not people going Galt, but people going Stadler. I hadn't thought of it in those terms, but essentially I've also bemoaned people going Stadler, or just being Stadler. To find out what that means I guess you'll have to read the book.


Trevor Black said...

There are so many comments about Rand, it is probably time for me to read it. I was surprised that it was written in the 50s, but will bump it up my list...

Does this mean I am 'going Torr'?

mutt said...

of course I approve of people "going torr" though I don't know exactly what that would be.

Not sure how much I recommend atlas shrugged. I guess I'm glad I read it. it's long though.