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View Diary: Let's ALL go Galt (67 comments)

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  •  One of the weird fallacies of Atlas Shrugged (32+ / 0-)

    is that inventors, people like this:

    The fallacy of the plot of "Atlas Shrugged" is that ideas for inventions are more important than reality.  Inventive ideas are nothing without using someone else's labor and skills to build, maintain, operate and sell the real world version.
    ... that the inventors of original products are the ones who make the big profits in "Real" capitalism.

    Which is pure bullshit.  It's the Bain Capital vultures who make the big money.  It's the coke-snorting pinstripe suit-wearing Wall Street leeches like Lawrence Kudlow that make the big money.

    In Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand has this impressive background story of Henry Reardon, the guy who invents Reardon steel, a blue metal alloy stronger than any other known metal, and all the labor, personally standing in front of those hot forges, falling down from lack of sleep, night after night until he comes up with just the right formula.

    And then two asshole competitors (I can't remember their names right now) come along and get the federal government to break his patent so they can first make their own Reardon steel, and then to just take over his corporation.

    The fact is, those asshole competitor types are the very people that the Republican right are most concerned for.  People who actually invent new products that help mankind get the shaft, and some corporation that ponies up political donations reaps the profit.  

    So whatever economic system Ayn Rand was afraid of losing, it sure as hell wasn't the one Republicans have foisted on us.  Halliburton: CEO becomes Vice President, starts a war to make his old board members richer.  Blackwater: Step-daddy is a long time major donor to the Republican Party and former head of the RNC.  Enron... Well, you know.

    In the real world, people like John Galt would be spuriously sued for patent infringement by Halliburton, face an uphill battle before a pro-business (haha) court system to prove his innocent, and then in a settlement, he would be bought out for pennies in a deal that also makes them owner of all future inventions of his.  

    Atlas Shrugged is such a clueless joke.

    •  Your take is much closer to what I recall from (3+ / 0-)

      reading Atlast Shrugged more than a decade ago than the diariast's hyperbolic lampooning of it.  The way the diary came across to me was that it was the progressive version of the right wing characterization that all Democrats, even DLC types, are communists.

      I mean take a look at this sentence:  "Galt & Co. seem to think it happens by magic"  It's a such a parody of what people like Edison, Jobs or, Reardon actually think it's silly. (Not that the first two were Objectivists but they are real life examples of those who Rand likes to exalt.)

      This is not meant as a defense of Rand.  One DKOS reader nailed it on the head years ago when they said that Atlast Shrugged was "intellectual masturbation" that largely appealed to young, white males.  My point is merely that you don't have to distort (or erroneously state) Rand's philosophy in order to counter it.

      We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

      by theotherside on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 07:31:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually, Edison stole most of his 'inventions' (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        and sued everyone for patent violations.  Apple used sweatshop workers to make Jobs rich.  All those iPads didn't make themselves.

        Galt & Co wander into the desert, with no visible means of garbage disposal.  Then he sketches the symbol of the currency of the government and people he is abandoning as his triumphant middle finger.

        That is magical thinking.

        Jesus died to save you from Yahweh.

        by nolagrl on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 10:11:23 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thank you. You prove my case! (0+ / 0-)
          dison stole most of his 'inventions' (1+ / 0-)

          and sued everyone for patent violations.

          Yup.  So who is the John Galt there?  This is what is so stupid about Ayn Rand's fetishization of capitalism as engine of invention.
        •  Not to get into a pissing contest (0+ / 0-)

          but your diary and your comment here seems to make clear that you misunderstand the last 130 years of history regarding moving society forward through harnessing the power of science and technological improvement.

          You seem to exalt the worker.  I have no problem with that but to value that relatively low value-add person over the person that came up with the idea, honed it, developed it and built the process to bring to an economically advantageous position is extremely misguided.

          The magical thinking is thinking that the production line that the Apple "sweatshop" worker works on would have been built without Jobs.  In the last 130 years or so, Edison and Jobs are indispensable but your highly valued line worker is, relatively speaking, lost in the shuffle.

          Reality is a bitch.  And it is best to develop policies that encourage the Steve Jobs of the world while protecting the line worker on one of Steve Jobs' creations.

          To put it in the lexicon that might drive it home, the world is desperately hoping for a technological salvation to the climate change threat that we are living under.  We need to empower and reward the most agile minds that are willing to work on this issue.  If they happen to develop something to mitigate the disaster we are facing then they should be rewarding far more so than the person that ends up working on the production line that implements the technological innovation that makes the change that we need.

          I would like a reply because I'm interested in dialogue but I don't expect one because your position (from what you have written thus far) is pretty indefensible.

          We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

          by theotherside on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 01:49:22 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Because I'm sure you'll enjoy it I thought (0+ / 0-)

          I would pass along an article right up your alley:

          Yep, all the best minds of the last 500 years were nothing but hacks and their work was stolen from the proletariat.  Who would have thunk it?  

          (For those that aren't quite following this relatively poorly received diary, there is little doubt that humans build upon the knowledge of prior or contemporary humans.  The question is who improves the human condition more and the diariast wants to argue that the line worker improves it more than the inventor who dramatically improved the light bulb, the computer or any other technological invention.)

          Were these innovators angels?  Hardly.  They were quite human.  But they were instrumental in advancing the human condition far more than the average people who were lucky enough to be hired to fulfill the promise of the innovators.

          We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

          by theotherside on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 03:29:45 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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