Last year, the Ayn Rand Institute was kind enough to send me a copy of “Atlas Shrugged,” the masterwork of that great prophetess of liberty and of free markets. I read all 1,100 pages in two days. For, although the novel has a powerful political message, and one that America is ignoring at her peril, it is also a gripping thriller, with a love story built in, set amid the inexorable decline of a nation made feeble-minded by socialism.
If you have not read “Atlas Shrugged,”you should. Just Google “Ayn Rand Institute” and order your copy now. Never has its message been more apposite. And, after you have read the book, watch the splendid three-movie series that brings it to life. All three movies can be seen on YouTube.
I shall not spoil the story for you by giving too much of it away. However, it is centered around the character of Dagny Taggart, who, with her inept brother James, has inherited from their father the largest transcontinental railroad in the country.
Dagny, the highly efficient chief operating officer of the railroad, has to try to keep it running as the country’s economic infrastructure crumbles under the heel of incompetent socialism. The decline accelerates as, one by one, the leading industrialists who had struggled to build up their empires and keep America on the move mysteriously disappear. Some of them destroy their mines or oilfields as they go.
The mysterious question on everyone’s lips, from the tramps in the gutter to the heart of politics, is, “Who is John Galt?” The question is answered, but not until toward the end of the book.
The head of state, “Mr Thompson,” is in all material respects identical to Mr. Obama: full of socialist waffle, dictatorial but relentlessly amateur. His sidekick, the oleaginous Wesley Mouch, a former Washington, D.C., lobbyist, bears striking similarities to Hillary Clinton.
There is also a “State Science Institute,” somewhat similar in its ideological approach to the Goddard Institute for Space Studies at NASA. Like the Goddard Institute, which the GOP would do well to defund entirely if it wins the coming election, the State Science Institute does not do science but hard-left propaganda.
Thompson and Mouch, working with acquiescent and more than somewhat crooked socialist billionaires such as James Taggart (think Gore, Gates, Steyer et hoc genus omne), set about dismantling capitalism and the free market and replacing it with a totalitarian command economy in which, one by one, the principal means of production, distribution and exchange are brought under the direct control of the useless Mouch.
Ayn Rand had clearly understood that the only difference between fascist socialism and communist socialism is that the former co-opts the support of those tycoons willing to work with the system, and the latter simply takes everything over. The dystopian and dysfunctional socialist state she envisions combines all the worst elements of national and international socialism.
The transcontinental passenger railways end up being nationalized, whereupon they fail. Coal mines and coal-fired power stations are nationalized and promptly shut down. Oilfields are nationalized and cease to function, or are banned from operating. Steelworks are nationalized and promptly fail to deliver any steel.
How prescient Ayn Rand has proven to be! Amtrak already exists today – a demoralized, useless, failing nationalized passenger rail network. Mr. Obama, in his openly declared war on coal, is shutting down the mines and coal-fired power stations, using half-baked, pseudo-scientific pretexts remarkably similar to those of the unspeakable Mouch, while mouthing platitudes that might have been lifted straight from Mr. Thompson’s fatuous speeches as recorded in Ayn Rand’s novel.
Steelworks and aluminum foundries have been driven overseas by the excessive energy price hikes inflicted on them by Mr. Obama in the name of “saving the planet” from the imaginary bugaboo of global warming.
As the collapse of today’s real-world America accelerates, will the brighter and less socialistic billionaires start to disappear, taking their expertise and their businesses with them?
The deadly answer is no, for in one respect Ayn Rand did not see what was coming. She did not realize that socialist totalitarianism, in its endless and increasingly desperate quest for some sort of justification, would co-opt and take over the environmental movement, turning it not merely into a national political force for destruction but a fierce, global tyranny.
The audit of socialist totalitarianism to date is as follows. Deaths in consequence of National Socialism and the resulting Second World War and Holocaust: 75 million. Deaths resulting from Communist socialism: at least 100 million and counting.
Deaths arising from environmentalist socialism: 40 million (chiefly children) killed by malaria as a direct result of the ban on DDT, 40 million from the socialists’ refusal to permit effective public-health measures against HIV during its earliest stages in the mid-1980s, and uncounted tens of millions more arising from their refusal to allow the 1.2 billion people who have no access to electricity to get it from cheap, reliable, clean, base-load, coal-fired power-stations.
Socialism kills, and preaches while it does so, and sneers and snarls at any who dare gainsay it until nearly all have been cowed into a fearful, cringing silence.
Prescient though Ayn Rand was, she could not have foreseen the sheer, staggering number of deaths caused directly by socialism in its various hateful, hate-filled forms over the past century.
And now these murderous creatures propose to establish no less than a totalitarian world government, with overriding powers of taxation, of regulation and of enforcement. There is to be a new climate court to bring to heel the few nations whose leaders have found the courage to speak out against the screeching harpies of environmentalist socialism.
In the past, those who wanted to escape national or international socialism could escape from Germany or Russia or China. But, when very nearly every nation on Earth has signed the new and tyrannous Treaty of Paris, where shall we go, those of us in whose breast still burns that flame of freedom?
This time, there will be no escape. So perhaps we should now do what John Galt did. We should quietly recruit those of the world’s movers and shakers who have not yet been infected with or tyrannized by the brutes who are the drivers of environmental socialism, and start to plan the overthrow of the world’s first totalitarian socialist regime. For it will rapidly come to be as hated as all of its predecessors, as the bankruptcy, disease, death and destruction that are the dismal handmaidens of socialism everywhere take hold throughout the globe. The reign of the monsters will be terrible, but it will be short.
This time next week, I shall report from Paris, where the instrument of global dictatorship will be signed – unless at this 11th hour we can stop them.
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