PostHeaderIcon Who is John Galt?

As a welcome refresher appropriate for the mood I am in, here is a well-done, and extremely condensed, version of the core 90 pages of Atlas Shrugged:

John Galt’s Radio Address to the Nation

For twelve years you’ve been asking “Who is John Galt?” This is John Galt speaking. I’m the man who’s taken away your victims and thus destroyed your world. You’ve heard it said that this is an age of moral crisis and that Man’s sins are destroying the world. But your chief virtue has been sacrifice, and you’ve demanded more sacrifices at every disaster. You’ve sacrificed justice to mercy and happiness to duty. So why should you be afraid of the world around you?

Your world is only the product of your sacrifices. While you were dragging the men who made your happiness possible to your sacrificial altars, I beat you to it. I reached them first and told them about the game you were playing and where it would take them. I explained the consequences of your ‘brother-love’ morality, which they had been too innocently generous to understand. You won’t find them now, when you need them more than ever.

We’re on strike against your creed of unearned rewards and unrewarded duties. If you want to know how I made them quit, I told them exactly what I’m telling you tonight. I taught them the morality of Reason — that it was right to pursue one’s own happiness as one’s principal goal in life. I don’t consider the pleasure of others my goal in life, nor do I consider my pleasure the goal of anyone else’s life.

I am a trader. I earn what I get in trade for what I produce. I ask for nothing more or nothing less than what I earn. That is justice. I don’t force anyone to trade with me; I only trade for mutual benefit. Force is the great evil that has no place in a rational world. One may never force another human to act against his/her judgment. If you deny a man’s right to Reason, you must also deny your right to your own judgment. Yet you have allowed your world to be run by means of force, by men who claim that fear and joy are equal incentives, but that fear and force are more practical.

You’ve allowed such men to occupy positions of power in your world by preaching that all men are evil from the moment they’re born. When men believe this, they see nothing wrong in acting in any way they please. The name of this absurdity is ‘original sin’. That’s inmpossible. That which is outside the possibility of choice is also outside the province of morality. To call sin that which is outside man’s choice is a mockery of justice. To say that men are born with a free will but with a tendency toward evil is ridiculous. If the tendency is one of choice, it doesn’t come at birth. If it is not a tendency of choice, then man’s will is not free.

And then there’s your ‘brother-love’ morality. Why is it moral to serve others, but not yourself? If enjoyment is a value, why is it moral when experienced by others, but not by you? Why is it immoral to produce something of value and keep it for yourself, when it is moral for others who haven’t earned it to accept it? If it’s virtuous to give, isn’t it then selfish to take?

Your acceptance of the code of selflessness has made you fear the man who has a dollar less than you because it makes you feel that that dollar is rightfully his. You hate the man with a dollar more than you because the dollar he’s keeping is rightfully yours. Your code has made it impossible to know when to give and when to grab.

You know that you can’t give away everything and starve yourself. You’ve forced yourselves to live with undeserved, irrational guilt. Is it ever proper to help another man? No, if he demands it as his right or as a duty that you owe him. Yes, if it’s your own free choice based on your judgment of the value of that person and his struggle. This country wasn’t built by men who sought handouts. In its brilliant youth, this country showed the rest of the world what greatness was possible to Man and what happiness is possible on Earth.

Then it began apologizing for its greatness and began giving away its wealth, feeling guilty for having produced more than its neighbors. Twelve years ago, I saw what was wrong with the world and where the battle for Life had to be fought. I saw that the enemy was an inverted morality and that my acceptance of that morality was its only power. I was the first of the men who refused to give up the pursuit of his own happiness in order to serve others.

To those of you who retain some remnant of dignity and the will to live your lives for yourselves, you have the chance to make the same choice. Examine your values and understand that you must choose one side or the other. Any compromise between good and evil only hurts the good and helps the evil.

If you’ve understood what I’ve said, stop supporting your destroyers. Don’t accept their philosophy. Your destroyers hold you by means of your endurance, your generosity, your innocence, and your love. Don’t exhaust yourself to help build the kind of world that you see around you now. In the name of the best within you, don’t sacrifice the world to those who will take away your happiness for it.

The world will change when you are ready to pronounce this oath:

I swear by my Life and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, 
nor ask another man to live for the sake of mine.

Found at: Working Minds (link to original editor broken)

3 Responses to “Who is John Galt?”

  • Excellent and posted.

  • Troy says:

    You know that I agree completely. Were I younger and in better health, I would quit this nation in a heartbeat. My most probable destination would be New Zealand, a nation large enough to be livable but not large or strategic enough to attract predator nations.

    Yes, I know that they practice some forms of socialism there but I could live with their kind. What they have not done is to turn themselves into a “freeloader nation” as have America and much of Europe. A form of socialism where virtually all pay in and virtually all benefit can actually work without destroying its host. Socialism becomes a deadly cancer when it become redistributive.

    I wish I could at least convince my children to leave.


    • Wow, what a trip down memory lane your comment generated for me. I have known a lot of Kiwi’s, and have considered that myself. One in particular came to mind, who had me almost convinced. I was living on my yacht at the Waikiki Yacht Club in the early ’90s, when I met this young boat builder and his wife. Initially, my yacht was a just real estate decision.

      Property was so expensive, that I couldn’t afford to buy a house, so when our nest became empty, we bought the $125K yacht, which we could write off as a demonstration platform for my Marine Electronics business, and the slip rental was much less than a condo. The problem became, most of our neighbors were cruising sailors, and we got the bug for a ’round the world cruise.

      So, I sold the business, retired at the age of 45, and spent a year getting my yacht ready for the ordeal. I loved the S/V Westwind, which was essentially a ketch rigged, open center cockpit, motor-sailor; not exactly a blue water cruiser. It had been used for a TV series back in the ’70s called, “Westwind to Hawaii.” Unwilling to give up the comfort, and a 200 mi cruising range at hull speed through the doldrums on engine power alone, I hired the Kiwi to build a hard dodger over the cockpit with side curtains, and replace all of the far too large cabin windows with bullet proof 1/2″ Lexan.

      Meanwhile, I ripped everything out of the engine room, painted it white, and started over; with a brand new 100 hp Perkins diesel, and a separate little Chinese diesel driving a massive 12v alternator. Of course, I installed all new plumbing, and backups for my backups of all new huge bilge pumps. Somewhat an expert on 12VDC, I had an impressive bank of 8D gel cell batteries, and two redundant 3KW inverters to make 120V AC. I could go for days without charging batteries, and top them off quickly when I did start an engine.

      Naturally, I put every conceivable electronic toy aboard. Intending to spend long periods very far away from repair shops, redundancy was the watchword. There were two small radars, two autopilots, two depth sounders, VHF & SSB marine radios, a couple of gps navigators (at ~$2K ea. back then) with a video plotter, two laptop computers, and, of course, my ham radio gear, which I had modified to also work as backups for the marine radios.

      Sorry for the diversion… anyway, by the time the construction project was completed, the Kiwi, our ladies, and I were good mates. We had a standing invitation to drop in for a month or so or our way through the Pacific, so they could show us around NZ. We promised and fully intended to do it. but my lady got cold feet before we could start the adventure of my lifetime. I still kick myself for not just going alone; but we sold the yacht moved to the Sierras, and became cattle ranchers instead… C’est la vie.

      Then, the mention of living in a moderately socialistic country, reminded me of my year as a fully documented immigrant in Rhodesia, which could have been accurately labeled such at the time. It was during an economic boom time, and the beneficiaries were mostly the free medical care and public schooling for the poorer native population, so I didn’t mind it at all. I do recall choking on having to get a government license to buy a shortwave radio RECEIVER of all things, but it, and my license to buy and carry a pistol, were readily available across the counter at a local government office, without nearly the fuss of a CCW permit here. I think it was more of a revenue scheme, than big brother.

      Since I emigrated there after an aborted effort to emigrate permanently to the Seychelles Islands (where I had worked for two years as a civilian on a U.S. Air Force satellite tracking station a few years earlier) that brought another flood of old memories; but I will spare you for now. Perhaps later I will ruminate about them in a post when I am bored with politics, as I seem to be today. Thanks for the memories. â—„Daveâ–º

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