Art Robinson in Corvallis, Oregon
The Facebook sidebar ad reads: “Who Is John Galt?” It takes you to this [emphasis is in original]:
Who is John Galt?
A message from liberty candidate Art Robinson.
In her 1957 novel Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand explored the inherent conflict between the “men of the mind” – those who invent, build, and create the things that permit human beings to rise above the status of mere animal-like hunter gatherers with lives that are brutish and short – and Rudyard Kipling’s “Gods of the Market Place,” those who play upon the weaknesses of human nature to tempt men into a path of subservience to the state that leads to slavery for the men of the mind and for all mankind.
Ayn Rand’s men of the mind are a handful of heroic figures whose genius transforms technology and industry, and their enemies are condensed also to a few figures, epitomized by an allegorical Washington lobbyist – Wesley Mouch.*
[* Note, I just noted in my upcoming ebook "Ayn Nation Under God" the intentional resemblance between "Mouch" and "mooch."]
In Atlas Shrugged, the men of the mind go on strike. One by one they disappear, as cryptic signs appear that ask “Who is John Galt?” Galt, an especially talented man of the mind, is the leader of their revolt. Each man of the mind must decide whether he will continue to work for a world controlled by Wesley Mouch – and thereby provide technology for his enemies – or rebel and join John Galt.
We are now 50 years beyond Atlas Shrugged. No longer just an allegorical novel,the dilemma posed for the men of the mind is here, now, in real life. Congress is corrupt; Congress has largely discarded the U.S. Constitution; and the 300,000 laws and regulations that Congress has created in the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations are the chains that Congress and the lobbyists have prepared for the men of the mind and for all Americans. What is the response?
When Ayn Rand wrote her novel, the great flywheel of human progress powered by a century of American freedom seemed unstoppable. Yet, the statist chains that would be used to slow that flywheel and enslave Americans had already been forged and were beginning to have a noticeable effect. Rand had surely noticed them.
What would be the source of power to slow that flywheel and enslave the American people? Ayn Rand knew the answer – lobbyist Leslie Mouch and the U.S. Capitol building. The chains were formed by corruption of the U.S. Congress.
In all of recorded human history, only one nation has been built for and by the men of the mind – the Constitutional Republic of the United States. And that nation is being destroyed by their enemies.
What will they do? First, they continue to work. Many have moved their efforts abroad, where here and there they find temporary niches of greater freedom, even under totalitarian regimes.
Most have remained in the United States. Some of these – especially those in dynamic new industries such as microelectronics, which have developed so rapidly that statist repression has not yet caught up with them – are still relatively free. Those in older industries – such as medicine and energy – find their best efforts suppressed, but they are still able to make minor progress.
While our current men and women of the mind do understand that their freedom to work is under assault by government, which is now entirely in control of the likes of Wesley Mouch, they have made a mistake. They have tried to hire their own lobbyists and politicians, whom they hope will correct this problem. This has not worked. In Atlas Shrugged, the central hero Hank Rearden makes the same error. He actually hires Wesley Mouch.
There is only one way out of this dilemma. The men of the mind themselves must become the U.S. Congress, restore the Republic, and then keep that Republic secure and functioning. There is precedent for this. During its first 100 years, our Congress was composed mostly of citizen volunteers, who served short terms and then returned to their own work.“We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force.” ~Ayn RandThere is only one way out of this dilemma. The men of the mind themselves must become the U.S. Congress, restore the Republic, and then keep that Republic secure and functioning.In Defense of Our Constitution,Art Robinson.
and so on and so forth.
You’d think that they’d know to either italicize or CAPITALIZE book titles. But I guess Robinson’s home-schooling schemes don’t cover that.
I’ve covered Art at length elsewhere (“The Switch Family Robinson” 22 April 2012, “Because ‘Cudgel For Growth’ Wouldn’t Sound as Warm and Fuzzy” 14 December 2010; “Peter DeFazio and the Daughters of Mercer” 22 October 2010, “Where Are All The Crusading Newspaper Editors?” 29 September 2010. etc. etc.) and there’s no need to go further here.
The “Atlas Shrugs movie II” drops on Friday, even though Part I was an epic fail, and even though the Randian Supergeniuses kept writing about what a “smash hit!” it was. See “If The Invisible Hand of the Market Bitch-Slapped You and You Didn’t Want to Hear It, Would It Make a Sound?” from 25 April 2011.
And Mitt’s in on the little PR con:
click for full size
But be of good cheer. I have a little rhetorical Molotov cocktail to toss this weekend. Conversion to various ebook formats is currently concluding, and I am in production for the audio book, so the blog may be on hiatus, or at least life support this week.
Which is quite a different thing than you’ve seen before. Taking Rand’s arguments as rational, this “single” — 25,000 words — systematically dismantles the Randian machine and exposes the underlying novelist’s “tricks” that sell it so successfully.
Inelegantly put, perhaps, but that’s what advertising and promotion requires. The reduction of cogency to a bumper-sticker. “Wagon Train to the Stars.”*
(* The sales pitch that was used to sell “Star Trek” to NBC.)
Actually, it’s more an intellectual romp across five years of blog posts (some of which you’ve seen … RIGHT HERE!) edited, polished and a dash of fresh basil added. It’s also funny. Meantime, the political campaigning for the Paul Ryan philosophy advertising campaign’s campaign is already underway, with this Goya-esque (inadvertently, I’m sure) exercise in Angry Oscar® Rampages at the Unisphere (of the 1965 World’s Fair in New York City):
This year’s fare …
Somehow I don’t think that’s going to be the DVD cover.
(Does anybody ELSE out there think that this is a movie promotion campaign without a movie, just the last one was? I mean, if you wanted to put an “idea” out there, what better way than to launch a big Hollywood PR campaign and get a lot of cross talk about it, even if nobody goes to see the cheaply made film, and it doesn’t make any money? That the movie itself is just a souvenir, and the real purpose was to get your attention? You can always get your zillionaire buddies to buy wholesale lots of the DVD and hand it out free to new members, and still make some side cash off of what is, in essence a public relations to sell the Ayn Rand cult-philosophy for longer-term goals? Naw. Didn’t think so. Never mind.)
Last year’s theatrical release poster
And, last year’s flop now as they were selling the DVD. Notice the much better box cover than movie poster?
the DVD box cover
Or, as Dave Friedman, the late ex-president of the former Adult Film Association of America was wont to remark: “You give me a good box cover and I’ll sell blank tapes.”
And meantime, Art Robinson continues his social media advertising on Facebook:
Old carnie tricks never die. They just get more media to play in.