Why There Never Was A Sequel To Atlas Shrugged
Posted by Phoenix Woman on November 17, 2013
Some of you may be wondering why Ayn Rand (real name: Alisa Rosenbaum) didn’t continue her epic story of John Galt and his epic system-smashers as they prepare to be the rulers of a society from which they absented themselves, causing it to fall into a chaos they think they will easily be able to exploit.
A Daily Kos diarist explains:
There’s just one teeny-tiny little problem: Rand never really follows up on the logical consequences of total societal collapse, at least not explicitly. The world Galt plans to return to is one where nothing works any more. Millions have died in starvation, civil strife, disease outbreaks, and worse. Where there isn’t total anarchy, there are pockets of petty tyrants and warlords ruling over neo-serfs; feudalism is perhaps the best possible outcome for many as desperate people trade away everything for a little security and a bare hope of survival – but nothing more.
There’s no power grid, no transport systems, no web of laws to keep order, no education system, no healthcare… It’s the world of Mad Max It’s the embodiment of the conservative’s Hobbesian world view, where life is nasty, brutish and short.
And that’s on a good day.
Rand doesn’t dare look too closely at the objective cost of what it would take for John Galt’s vision to be realized, the tremendous toll of lives, loss of resources, and damage it would take generations to undo. John Galt, with his superior morality backed by his superior intellect (and his magical free energy machine) has coldly calculated this is the price that must be paid – and he’s good with that.
Because, after all, the victims have only themselves to blame for not bowing to the unassailable rightness of his views, backed up by the entire power of the Natural Order of Things (as explained by Galt at length in the book.) Besides – Galt had to destroy the world. It was a simple case of self-defense. It’s kind of hard to turn it into a Happy Ending if you include all the nasty details though.
It’s a fantasy world, and it’s easy to see why it still appeals to certain types. People with power fantasies, egomania, and a certain kind of paranoia about the world not recognizing just how special they are, live and breathe this stuff. The blood, the bodies – not their problem. These guys nearly wrecked the world back in 2008 and yet you can read something like this in 2013, and it’s not snark. (And what kind of a name is Harry Binswanger? I swear you can’t make this stuff up.) The people currently doing their best to destroy government today are all on board with it. They don’t see the inherent contradiction in destroying something to ‘save’ it. They believe!
By the way, Anton Szandor Lavey (real name: Howard Levey), founder of the Church of Satan and a fixture among the Hollywood set, admitted freely that he took his basic schtick from Ayn Rand. From Joe Carter (via Crazy Eddie):
Perhaps most are unaware of the connection, though LaVey wasn’t shy about admitting his debt to his inspiration. “I give people Ayn Rand with trappings,” he once told the Washington Post. On another occasion he acknowledged that his brand of Satanism was “just Ayn Rand’s philosophy with ceremony and ritual added.” Indeed, the influence is so apparent that LaVey has been accused of plagiarizing part of his “Nine Satanic Statements” from the John Galt speech in Rand’s Atlas Shrugged.
Devotees of Rand may object to my outlining the association between the two. They will say I am proposing “guilt by association,” a form of the ad hominem fallacy. But I am not attacking Rand for the overlap of her views with LaVey’s; I am saying that, at their core, they are the same philosophy. LaVey was able to recognize what many conservatives fail to see: Rand’s doctrines are satanic.
Res ipsa loquiter.
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