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The Leader Approved Guide To Goin' Galt

04/09/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

When Ayn Rand's allegorical novel Atlas Shrugged was first published in 1957, it imagined a scenario where the "producers" of society, the creative geniuses whose innovation is the engine that runs capitalism, are led by John Galt, to go on strike against the "looters and moochers", the parasitical slugs who shun them yet coast off their hard work. These supermen withdraw from society, enjoy a perpetual energy machine, watch society crumble, and have rough sex. Since then, Rand's novel has become something of a touchstone for lonely, angry high school kids, those who haven't matured past lonely, angry high school kids, and the guy who has been running our economy for the last few decades. Some see the enduring popularity of Atlas Shrugged as a testament to Rand's convincing thesis that any state intervention in the economy or society is doomed to fail, while others (i.e. me) see it as a testament to the number of people in our society who literally think the world would fall off its axis without them.

It should come as no surprise that Rand's work, well not her book so much--it's over a thousand boring, boring pages--but rather her fantasy of "Going Galt" by removing yourself from society and thus punishing everybody for their lazy, altruistic impulses, and failure to recognize your genius, that has come back in vogue now that Obama is demonizing the rich and productive by raising their taxes a brutal 3%. Fortunately, unlike the Rapture, Singularity, or similar right-wing escape fantasies, "going Galt" doesn't depend on waiting around for Jesus or Science to smite your enemies. First coined by Dr. Helen Smith, who when pondering an impending Obama victory, asked her readers--who, strangely, all seem to make over 250 grand a year--when it was "time to go Galt." For those who don't know Dr. Helen Smith is a "forensic psychologist"--i.e. works in the criminal justice system--and is married to one Glenn Reynolds, aka Instapundit, the popular glibertarian blogger, who is a law professor at the state-run University of Tennessee. Despite their chosen careers as parasites and collectivists, both Dr. Helen and Reynolds, from their perch at "Pajamas Media" (now accepting donations, Section 8 vouchers, and food stamps), have given voice to the legions of sales reps, middle managers, financial executives, corporate lawyers, and PR consultants, who like John Galt, are fed up with being regulated and taxed for all their indispensable labor, and have now decided to strike back at the government by voluntarily becoming less productive and thus robbing the socialist tyrant of both their funds and more importantly their visionary and clearly irreplaceable skills.


These deliberate attempts to make less money are the result of either a fierce and dogged dedication to the principles of rational self-interest and free market capitalism, or a complete misunderstanding of how the income tax system works. Like the "Tea Party" protests that have cropped up on the Internet and across America, I don't care where this new found sense of rebellion on the right comes from, because I'm all for it. The right in America desperately needs to turn on, tune in, and drop out for once, and I would like to do anything I can to help them out now that wishing for the collapse of your society and government truly is patriotic. Besides, the best form of civil disobedience these suburban Sandinistas could muster was choosing to stiff waiters by leaving them an annoying note instead of money, no really, I'm not kidding.

As someone who traffics in contempt for broad swathes of humanity and has spent much of the last eight years openly cheering the rapid decline of the American empire, or as Instapundit might say, "on the other side," I feel it's my duty, as a mere professional courtesy, to share with the moribund right-wing some fun and easy ways to goof off, hate on the government, play-act rebellion, and just freak out the squares now that they've realized the futility of working a 100 hours a week at some bullshit corporate job. Here is the Leader's list of "The Three R's of Revolution" that will, hopefully, help others Go, Go, Gadget Galt.

Recreation: Now that you've got all this extra time on your hands you can indulge many favorite activities you never had time for in the past. Writing about the coming Galtian mass exodus of the productive classes from society, Lisa Schiffren of the National Review says that golf, "a time-intensive sport that the hard-working have eschewed for the past decade or two because it took too long--will make a comeback." I don't know what country-clubs Ms. Schiffren attends, but by my lights, the John Galts of America have never stopped playing golf, so how does one take a game popular among elites and turn it into an act of revolution against collectivism? Three letters: L-S-D. You think those greens look well groomed now? Just wait until they're undulating in sync with the beating of your heart.

Leftist moochers long ago discovered that there is no activity so mundane or boring that it can't be elevated to metaphysical heights with the help of psychedelics. If Acid is a little too heavy for you, Mushrooms work too, and you might realize just how ridiculous golf is and spend four hours laughing at the fact that you pay money to spend a nice day outside. Another word of advice, follow the naked Indian you'll encounter to the nearest Sharper Image and spend a few hours coming down inside one of their large, vibrating eggs, when a clerk asks if you plan on buying anything, start screaming about how you don't wish to subsidize anyone else through the transfer of wealth.

Redistribution: Now that you've figured out how to adjust your income to $249,999.99 a year, you'll probably be hungry for more, so now that the Socialist Beast has been deprived of your money, don't stop there, deprive everyone of everything. As one reader of Michelle Malkin writes, "I do some consulting on the side and the taxation on that income is unbelievable. So, to heck with this. I'm 'going Galt' on my consulting." It's just like Office Space, and something I've long preached: stop taking your job seriously. But don't just stop working, give away all your money and assets to someone richer, and therefore better, than yourself. It's the only sure-fire way to make sure the State won't re-distribute it to something useless and wasteful, like health coverage for a few million leeches. Making sure that all wealth is controlled by a tiny, dynastic elite is exactly what the free market is all about. Don't worry, it's not like anyone else can replace you. Your "consulting" job will be waiting for you once people realize the engine of capitalism can't run without you.

Removal: of yourself that is, when all else fails, it's not enough to merely remove your income and productivity by spending your days with a head full of acid wandering around the mall refusing to buy anything and ranting at strangers about how the top 2% pay all the taxes and support their indolent lifestyle, you need to remove yourself and your family from the country all together. You may not have known it this past decade, but America was just a few percentiles in our income tax structure from being a socialist nation. Unfortunately, leftists and liberals can threaten escape to communist countries like Canada or France, you need one with no federal taxation. I recommend Afghanistan or Somalia, both nations have nothing even close to a functional, centralized government.

(Special Bonus--Re-Runs: What else are you going to do all day now that you're holding society hostage by not doing anything? You can bear witness to the marvelous fruits of the capitalist system which produces bold and brilliant innovations like the Sham-Wow, Slap-Chop, and Snuggie.)

So there you have it, I don't think America, or the world for that matter, could survive for long without the efforts of such giants. I mean can you imagine where we'd be if the financial titans of Wall Street had spent the last decade just goofing off or simply not doing anything at all? As John Galt Says:

"If you saw Atlas, the giant who holds the world on his shoulders, if you saw that he stood, blood running down his chest, his knees buckling, his arms trembling but still trying to hold the world aloft with the last of his strength, and the greater his effort the heavier the world bore down on his shoulders--what would you tell him to do?"

I'd tell him to stop complaining, if he were more productive he probably wouldn't have such a shitty job.