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Friday, August 28, 2009

Could Atlas Shrugged Work Today?

Speaking of Ayn Rand, what of the Atlas Shrugged model of revolution? Is it more or less feasible than the Harold Covington model? More or less feasible than the Turner Diaries?

The essential premise of Atlas Shrugged is that without a small group of elites working night and day to advance and uphold modern civilization, it would all very quickly devolve back into the Dark Ages. The infrastructure would decay right alongside the philosophy, the technology would reverse right alongside people's virtue. Simply by stepping aside for a brief moment, elites could make their point to the astonished masses about how necessary they were, who would then beg for the elites to come back and set things right on the elite's terms. After this brief strike of the elites, civilization would return and the people would forevermore be grateful towards their betters.

This is hopelessly optimistic thinking. There are a million holes I can poke into this theory, but the first one that comes to mind is that Mexico is not currently in the Dark Ages. China went full blown communist, and yet it did not enter the dark ages. Heck, even Nigeria isn't in the dark ages anymore. The fact is, even in a horribly run society, infrastructure and technology can be maintained indefinitely. Cuba may be putting around in 1950's cars, but it is in fact still driving cars around. A torturous existence, worse than nothing, a net negative life, can be maintained indefinitely, sometimes it falls (like the USSR), but sometimes it doesn't. What if the elites went on strike, and people just struggled through it, soldiered on, and lived in wretched but stable conditions forever?

The next question is why would the elites ever rebel? They're the ones rolling in wealth, status, and power. It makes no sense for elites to have any qualms with present day society. Sure, in Atlas Shrugged, communism made it impossible for the elites to get ahead, but today's model is not communism, it's a plutocracy. People with money make the campaign donations that elect the politicians of their choosing. Said politicians turn around and give cushy favors and taxpayer dollars to the rich businessmen who supported them. Rinse, cycle, repeat. Elites, the money aristocracy, have no reason to bite the hand that feeds them. Today in America, the top 1% have a larger share of America's wealth than anytime in the last century at least. They are getting more powerful, richer, not weaker or poorer. It is the same for Mexico or any other tin-pot dictatorship. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer -- the poor never rule in any of these places. Though communism might be inherently unstable, plutocracies are extremely stable. The powerful are already in power, and they use their power to ensure they will stay in power. It's not that difficult a concept to maintain.

Plus, the elites of Atlas Shrugged thought too highly of themselves. There are more than enough smart people to fill all leadership roles in business, art, science, and government. Just look at the resumes of some of these high schoolers being rejected by Harvard. Perfect SAT's, 4.0 GPA's, tons of extra-curricular awards and olympiads, straight 5's on their AP tests. There is a vast, untapped sea of talent that our job market simply can't or won't support. Many of these people end up janitors or clerks because there is simply nothing society will pay them to do. If a thousand 'elites' whisked away one day to a secluded village in Colorado, ten million equally qualified elites, or barely less qualified elites, would be scrambling to get into those jobs, and would fulfill them just as well as the previous holders, or close enough to just as well, that nobody could tell the difference. There are more people with law degrees than can get law jobs, more people with engineering degrees than can get engineering jobs, and more people with science degrees than can get research grants. As technology improves, this situation will only get worse. Imagine some genius invents an easier coding language that makes it ten times as fast and simple to make a new computer program. What will happen to all the computer science majors who made a living writing code? You guessed it, nine in ten will be fired. In a world of massive unemployment, it's impossible for a strike to succeed. The same innovations in farming that reduced farm workers from 90% of the population to 1%, the same innovations in manufacturing that replaced blue collar workers with automated machines, will sooner or later replace high-end thinking jobs as well. Machines will be better at proscribing diseases based on people's symptoms than doctors, for instance (because their memory can be enormous and it never fails)-- they will also be better at performing the surgery. (Machines' hands don't shake and they don't get tired.)

The truth is, a human being is lucky to get a job, any job, in the world of today. Far from people needing our work, mental or physical, all essential jobs were filled eons ago, and most of what people do is worthless make-work. Vanity jobs that achieve nothing but our own self-esteem. For instance, anyone who makes less than 10 dollars an hour may as well not even work -- their work is so worthless it obviously shouldn't be done in the first place. Anyone receiving their money from the government is equally worthless work -- if the private market found no use for the job, then the job has no use period. For the last twenty or so years, however, these are the only two areas where job growth occurred -- shit jobs and endlessly inflated bureaucracies. In France it's something like for the last FIFTY years there hasn't been a single new job made in the private sector. After all, how much work is there really left to do in a society full of computers and machines?

The Industrial Revolution figured out how a single person working with a machine could make a thousand times as much cloth/needles/etc than the economy could the day before. Suppose people really wanted 20 times as many clothes as they currently had -- that would still require 49/50 of all textile workers to be laid off. The steam engine meant all manual labor became worthless, and a single liter of oil can generate as much work as 2400 hours of manual labor (or some ridiculous number like that, the point is the same regardless.) Farm labor, mining labor, all labor is now redundant.

But setting this aside, let's assume that all the elites at once went on strike, and they did this out of an idealistic urge to see the triumph of truth and justice, and no amount of money, wealth, or status could divert them from this sacred cause. The revolution would still fail. Why? I present to you South Africa!

In South Africa, blacks have managed to destroy their infrastructure, become the most violent country on Earth, infect around 1/4 of the population with the lethal AIDS virus, and in general dive directly back into the Dark Ages. Have they repented of their mistakes? Have they asked for whites, the elites, to take back over and set it all straight again? Have they learned the error of their ways? Has suffering made them realize that their betters really do deserve power? Of course not. Because hatred and envy are far more powerful emotions than self-interest or greed. Blacks would rather die than admit they were wrong. They would rather starve to death or die of AIDS than see a white person back in power. They would rather anarchy prevail than white men impose law and order. The whole dream that people will 'come to their senses' if you just let them suffer a while is again, hopeless naivety. As though communists were ever interested in material well being. As though communists' one goal hasn't always been to tear down their betters and destroy, out of pure envy, anything they themselves could not create. Communists, South Africa, is now better off than before. According to the human heart, it is better to be the King of Hell, than the servant of Heaven. King of a Dunghill, over lapdog of a Palace.

The real ending of Atlas Shrugged should have been something like this, "John Galt makes his speech, the government tells him to piss off, everything wrong about today is due to the legacy of capitalism, and everything will be perfect soon enough, the people agree and vote in yet another communist democratically for the next election, ad naseum." Do you really think people are reasonable? That people are intelligent? Only one in a thousand people are as intelligent John Galt's target audience. Only one in a thousand people even have sufficient grasp of the English language, sufficient capacity for logic, to even understand what he is saying. Even if they all agreed with him, it wouldn't change a thing. The envy and hatred of the remaining 999/1,000ths would simply tear us all limb from limb.

A revolt by the elites, for the elites, is a non-starter. It cannot happen.

Look at all the successful revolutions in the past 300 years! The Russian Revolution, done in the name of the poor -- Peace, Land, Bread. The French Revolution, done in the name of the poor -- Liberty, Equality, Fraternity. The American Revolution, done in the name of the middle class -- Life, Liberty, and Property. The Cuban revolution, Che Guevera and all that crap. Mao's revolution with his little red book, declaring peasants to be the true proletariat. And the National Socialist revolution, that proclaimed: Ein Reich, Ein Volk, Ein Fuhrer! Has there ever been a libertarian revolution in history? No. Has any successful revolution tried to appeal to the rich? No. Has every successful revolution been populist? Yes. Should we also bear a populist revolutionary message? YES! Who could have ever imagined a mass movement based on the one in a thousand intellectual and his right to amass wealth into an ever-more-concentrated singularity? The right for J.P. Morgan to own the world. Oh, sure! Let's all rally behind this! I can hear the pitchforks gathering now!

Whether we succeed or fail, it is clear what our slogan must be, the only slogan that has the tiniest sliver of a chance at success, something as simple and populist and broad and appealing and welcoming as the slogans that came before:

We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.

A revolution that anyone with a clean soul can accept and be a part of. A community that looks down on no one, cuts through all class divides, and tells someone they can have a purpose, a place, in our community however humble they might be. That all they are required do to be our equal, all they are required to do to be our comrade, our brothers -- is fight for the homeland. The white homeland our children can run and play in without fear. The white homeland with white picket fences and blonde flowing hair and white wedding dresses and peaceful white doves and pure white rainbows floating in the sky! This is it! This is the place you belong! This is where you can truly be someone! This is the future you were indispensable for making come true! This is the grave we will always, always, gather by, remember and honor -- every year a memorial to the independence you won will sing and surge through the line of your descendants for a thousand generations. God bless such a life! God bless such a death! God bless such a cause!

Now, a slightly different question might be asked: If Atlas Shrugged can't possibly be a blueprint for our revolution, could it still be our blueprint for living before the revolution? For instance, would it be wise to stop working, so that our tax dollars no longer support this Zionist Occupied Goverment? Would it be wise to stop marrying, until the marriage laws of old are returned and adultery and divorce banned? Would it be wise to stop voting, because democracy is a sham and doesn't deserve an ounce of legitimacy? Would it be wise to stop listening to the Television, because you know everything it says will always and only, ever be lies? Would it be wise to refuse to have children, because their fate outside our Homeland is a fate worse than death, and we should never bring another child onto the earth until we finally have a safe place to raise them again? Would it be wise to stop volunteering for the army, because this nation no longer deserves to be defended? Would it be wise to stop giving to charity, because no one has spared us any charity in ages? Would it be wise to stop attending church, since all they ever preach is poison?

This question is nettlesome. Yes, by completely withdrawing from the outside world, by completely withholding your services from the world, you help to weaken its foundations. At the same time, you weaken us even more. If we don't have children, who will teach racism to the next generation? If we don't make money, who will fund our revolution? If we don't join the army, who will know how to fight? If we don't live and act like winners, who will be convinced we are? So there are arguments for both sides. I still think the best thing to do in this inverted, insane world, is become rich, marry, and have lots of kids. We don't know when, or if, the revolution will ever get off the ground. It may not occur during our lifetime. In which case, we will have to lead normal everyday lives, our entire lives. The thought is disgusting, it's traumatic, but there it is. Someone has to carry the torch onwards to the next generation. For anyone in a position to do so, what can I say? Duty is heavier than a mountain, death is as light as a feather.

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