Sunday, January 20, 2013

#18.15 Gleanings from the John Galt Speech – Part 15

John Galt continues,

Observe the persistence, in mankind’s mythologies, of the legend about a paradise that men had once possessed, the city of Atlantis or the Garden of Eden or some kingdom of perfection, always behind us. The root of that legend exists, not in the past of the race, but in the past of every man. You still retain a sense-not as firm as a memory, but diffused like the pain of hopeless longing-that somewhere in the starting years of your childhood, before you had learned to submit, to absorb the terror of unreason and to doubt the value of your mind, you had known a radiant state of existence, you had known the independence of a rational consciousness facing an open universe. That is the paradise which you have lost, which you seek-which is yours for the taking.

I note with some amusement that whereas Rand is usually clear about what must be earned, here she sees what is yours for the taking as if the fruits were free and ready to fall from the trees. Gone here is any idea about paying someone who deserves it for something they may have created.

Some of you will never know who is John Galt. But those of you who have known a single moment of love for existence and of pride in being its worthy lover, a moment of looking at this earth and letting your glance be its sanction, have known the state of being a man, and I-I am only the man who knew that that state is not to be betrayed. I am the man who knew what made it possible and who chose consistently to practice and to be what you had practised and been in that one moment.

Some would see this as offering transcendence as an alternative to slavery.

That choice is yours to make. That choice-the dedication to one’s highest potential-is made by accepting the fact that the noblest act you have ever performed is the act of your mind in the process of grasping that two and two make four.

Now if we could just get everyone to understand the fundamentals of usury and why all that's wrong in the world stems from it.

Whoever you are-you who are alone with my words in this moment, with nothing but your honesty to help you understand-the choice is still open to be a human being, but the price is to start from scratch, to stand naked in the face of reality and, reversing a costly historical error, to declare: ‘I am, therefore I’ll think.’

Being and having each precede thinking. Existence precedes identity. Knowing that you are and knowing what you have precede thinking about what to do with it.

Accept the irrevocable fact that your life depends upon your mind. Admit that the whole of your struggle, your doubts, your fakes, your evasions, was a desperate quest for escape from the responsibility of a volitional consciousness-a quest for automatic knowledge, for instinctive action, for intuitive certainty-and while you called it a longing for the state of an angel, what you were seeking was the state of an animal. Accept, as your moral ideal, the task of becoming a man.

You will have to do so while seeking the solution among the other John Galts in this world, rather than the horrible elites to whom you have habitually gone for “backing” or your attempt will be to no avail.

Do not say that you’re afraid to trust your mind because you know so little. Are you safer in surrendering to mystics [collectivists and globalists these days] and discarding the little that you know?

Clearly not, therefore,

Live and act within the limit of your knowledge
and keep expanding it to the limit of your life.

You're doing it for yourself and for any others whom you may wish to care for. If we all did this, what kind of world would we soon have?

Redeem your mind from the hockshops of authority.

Interesting use of the word redeem. We say instead, recognize from whence authority comes and whose interests it serves and begin to demand by the tens of thousands, by the hundreds of millions, that these banker / corporate interests be revealed for all to see and then let the exodus begin as most of the John Galts in this world would not willingly work for people who only seek to use them and then discard them.

Accept the fact that you are not omniscient,
but playing a zombie will not give you omniscience-

Hear that, zombies?

that your mind is fallible,
but becoming mindless will not make you infallible-

In order to accomplish anything at all some rational thinking is involved. Therefore, start consciously participating in your own thinking.

that an error made on your own is safer
than ten truths accepted on faith,
because the first leaves you the means to correct it,
but the second destroys your capacity to distinguish truth from error.

We always start from existence, identity, etc. You have and will encounter all kinds of attempts to befog issues, get you to pay attention to the irrelevant, etc. Don't be fooled or dissuaded but press right on through to the ultimate conclusions.

In place of your dream of an omniscient automation,
accept the fact that any knowledge man acquires is acquired by his own will and effort,
and that that is his distinction in the universe,
that is his nature, his morality, his glory.

Get back to basics and find satisfaction in what you accomplish.

Discard that unlimited license to evil which consists of claiming that man is imperfect.

The logic would be, since man is always imperfect, evil is allowed him.

By what standard do you damn him when you claim it [that man is imperfect]?

The question is only meaningful from the perspective of the elites who though being evil, do arrogate to themselves the right to determine what is perfect from imperfect, who may live and who must die.

Accept the fact that in the realm of morality nothing less than perfection will do.

This follows from the absolutes of existence and identity as clearly as night follows day, therefore good and evil are both comprehensible and real concepts. Crimes and justice become real as well.

But perfection is not to be gauged by mystic commandments to practice the impossible, and your moral stature is not to be gauged by matters not open to your choice.

We beg to differ, a moral code is simple that it be understood and easy to follow. The more extensions, excuses, etc. are added to it to allow certain exceptional people the right to break a moral code is where the code becomes impossible. Doing rituals for example are among the easiest things to get “the masses” to do, whether these be good rituals like group exercises or evil ones like preparing for war or preparing to steal someone's land, homes, businesses, etc.

Man has a single basic choice: to think or not, and that is the gauge of his virtue.

A fundamental definition here; whether one thinks rationally and well determines the virtue of one's actions, whether they could help being a little better with a little more thought, or not.

Moral perfection is an unbreached rationality-

Rationality sets the limits, once someone has leaped over the fence and decided to accept irrationality into the argument, one has just become immoral or perhaps amoral.

not the degree of your intelligence,
but the full and relentless use of your mind,
not the extent of your knowledge,
but the acceptance of reason as an absolute.

Nothing here is open ended except whatever reality demonstrates is true. Therefore everything else is fantasy and should be regarded as such.

Learn to distinguish the difference between errors of knowledge and breaches of morality.
An error of knowledge is not a moral flaw,
provided you are willing to correct it;
only a mystic would judge human beings by the standard of an impossible, automatic omniscience.

Rand does not exclude collectivists from this equation for they certainly have and do judge human beings by the standard of an impossible, automatic omniscience; their ideal vision of the ideal world which is irrational hence evil.

But a breach of morality
is the conscious choice of an action you know to be evil,

Known by some as iniquity; knowing that it was wrong and doing it anyway, like participating in usury.

or a wilful evasion of knowledge,
a suspension of sight and of thought.

Those who claim not to be directly responsible are not let off the hook.

That which you do not know,
is not a moral charge against you;
but that which you refuse to know,
is an account of infamy growing in your soul.

We do not honestly know how a philosophical materialist knows anything about soul, but we are aware from experience and knowledge what happens over time as a person deliberately evades knowledge, lest they be forced to accept responsibility. We wonder just how many who work for think tanks, foundations, NGO's etc. would feel knowing that they were part of essentially evil organizations that have caused more harm than good? Would they resign en masse as they should, or would they prefer continuing to participate in what, to growing numbers of people, will soon appear as bastions of evil?

Make every allowance for errors of knowledge;
do not forgive or accept any breach of morality.

Understand this well. It is pardonable not to honestly know, it is unpardonable to wilfully participate in activities known to be evil.

Give the benefit of the doubt to those who seek to know;
but treat as potential killers those specimens of insolent depravity who make demands upon you, announcing that they have and seek no reasons, proclaiming, as a license, that they ‘just feel it’-

Feelings are the easiest to manipulate. They are faster than thought and stronger too. But everyone needs one's feelings else one loses vitality. Believe me, everything is based on the play on feelings, how will seeing this or hearing that affect some presumably huge block of people to do or act in certain ways, usually to go out and buy something. But before they get you to jump, take a step back and apply reason and your mind may come up with a different course of action.

or those who reject an irrefutable argument by saying:
It’s only logic,’ which means: ‘It’s only reality.’
The only realm opposed to reality is the realm and premise of death.

Those who would evade this rational framework are those who seek exceptions for themselves, the elites, the super rich, those with the inside track, the “stakeholders” in things like the UN Agenda 21, etc. not the usual proponents of the old bourgeois morality being flogged here.

Accept the fact that the achievement of your happiness is the only moral purpose of your life, and that happiness-not pain or mindless self-indulgence-is the proof of your moral integrity, since it is the proof and the result of your loyalty to the achievement of your values.

Very well then, from a materialist standpoint, all else is unreal and therefore evil. You stick to ordinary worldly success and if you make it you deserve to be happy and should be by all rational standards. Many are at least this successful. Are they universally happy? They might be. But what accounts for those who aren't? Rand has an answer to that too.

Happiness was the responsibility you dreaded,

According to Rand and her followers, it takes real thought and real work, virtuous action, the creation and accumulation of value, etc. to be truly happy in this world.

it required the kind of rational discipline you did not value yourself enough to assume-

If you do not start from valuing yourself, than what good would all the rational discipline in the world provide you? Those who value themselves tend to show it in many particulars; how they want to appear in public particularly in discourse with others, etc. It's much more than mere appearances.

and the anxious staleness of your day is the monument to your evasion of the knowledge that there is no moral substitute for happiness,

So? One's happiness is really up to oneself.

that there is no more despicable coward than the man who deserted the battle for his joy,
fearing to assert his right to existence,
lacking the courage and the loyalty to life of a bird or a flower
reaching for the sun.

Leave it to Rand to make this kind of statement with as much flourish as possible; the loyalty to life of a bird or a flower which cannot be adequately expressed in any meaningful degree at the present moment. Those who do not actively pursue their happiness in this world are seen as despicable cowards. On the other hand she has already dismissed as immoral those who would sacrifice themselves in an act of bravery to help others. One can't have it both ways.

Discard the protective rags of that vice which you called a virtue: humility-

All that “I am not worthy” bullshit, get rid of it, she says.

learn to value yourself, which means: to fight for your happiness-and when you learn that pride is the sum of all virtues, you will learn to live like a man.

That's from a woman, OK?

As a basic step of self-esteem,
learn to treat as the mark of a cannibal
any man’s demand for your help.

... without compensation. How do you do that? You offer to accept whatever value someone's compensation is deemed worthy of your efforts. In a Value Unit based system, as with any other monetary system, if you spend Value Units you agree to accept Value Units in trade for your own goods and services. Galt / Rand really want you to accept the fact that you are worthy of being paid in value that you accept, not someone else's values that you are forced to accept, or doing something for nothing, as the bourgeois morality expects of you.

To demand it is to claim that your life is his property-

Who demands in this way and how many out there know that they actually DO claim your life and property as a claim on their debt? The more who know, the better. The more who will eventually say “I've had enough of you” and get up, walk out of their system and never return to it, the better too.

and loathsome as such claim might be, there’s something still more loathsome: your agreement.

So there, you have no excuse whatever if you are at all complicit in their schemes.

Do you ask if it’s ever proper to help another man?
No-if he claims it as his right or as a moral duty that you owe him.
Yes-if such is your own desire based on your own selfish pleasure in the value of his person and his struggle.

His struggle with or against what? What Rand wants her readers to think is that it is always wrong for one man to demand the help of another as a right. Doubtless those who paid her hope that you'll see them as in positions not to help anyone they do not feel like helping, or to give it something of a philosophical footing, to base one's aid for someone else as based on some selfish pleasure in the value of his person which sounds like, help them if you think they're sexy. Yes, with the elites it does work that way sometimes too, as these are the kind of people who may regard other human beings as their pets.

Suffering as such is not a value; only man’s fight against suffering, is.
If you choose to help a man who suffers, do it only on the ground of his virtues, of his right to recover, of his rational record, or of the fact that he suffers unjustly; then your action is still a trade, and his virtue is the payment for your help.

I believe that to Rand the enactment of some actual barter of value between people is to be encouraged. We in the E. C. Riegel camp really have to agree. If all that is granted each other free and for nothing were accounted for, people would soon begin to appreciate their own value more as they would have a means of measuring it. Doubtless, after all Rand took their money, she accepts their money as useful in this regard without questioning anything more about it. That's exactly what the money masters hope would be the response.

But to help a man who has no virtues,
to help him on the ground of his suffering as such,
to accept his faults, his need, as a claim-
is to accept the mortgage of a zero on your values.

In other words, you have given value for nothing in return, which to Rand and others and to the elites generally, is a mortal sin. When all is said and done, and this applies to the poor man more than the rich man, free values given are one thing, real values that are necessary for life may be another.

The poor man who finds himself without any virtues, nothing he does is any good, nothing he makes can be traded for anything he really needs, is at the bottom of the heap. There are far fewer of these unfortunates than Rand would like us to believe and they certainly do not account for the world's problems. Her solution ... let them go off somewhere and die quietly and leave the elites alone. Our solution, give them all what the community they live in regards as subsistence (money to spend, not ours but theirs) and they will no longer be poor, but actually contribute to generating demand for the natural abundance that results from rational activities of those who can and will take personal satisfaction in creating and producing, building value and wealth, etc.

As I said before, the producer who gets paid the same by the rich man or the poor man need not concern himself with from whom he received payment.

A man who has no virtues is a hater of existence
who acts on the premise of death;
to help him is to sanction his evil
and to support his career of destruction.

The first statement is clearly not always true.

Be it only a penny you will not miss or a kindly smile he has not earned,
a tribute to a zero is treason to life and to all those who struggle to maintain it. It is of such pennies and smiles that the desolation of your world was made.

Clearly not, as Rand would have us believe. The desolation she describes was the creation of those who achieved by cunning, by stealth and by intrigue what they could never have accomplished by outward shows of criminality; lying, cheating and stealing, with “always take” as their motto, the parasite class and all their paid minions. These people contribute NOTHING of value to anything, while they go about seeing whose fortunes they can ruin and whose assets they can take. So yes, tributes to zeroes is treason to life and certainly disrespect to all those who try and maintain their lives, chiefly in Rand's view, the John Galts of this world, which I remind you all certainly do not include the elitists operating above their heads.

Do not say that my morality is too hard for you to practice and that you fear it as you fear the unknown. Whatever living moments you have known, were lived by the values of my code. But you stifled, negated, betrayed it. You kept sacrificing your virtues to your vices, and the best among men to the worst. Look around you: what you have done to society, you have done it first within your soul; one is the image of the other. This dismal wreckage, which is now your world, is the physical form of the treason you committed to your values, to your friends, to your defenders, to your future, to your country, to yourself.

This is a wholesale assault on those involved in any way whatsoever with collectivism. Good! Ram it home!

We-whom you are now calling,
but who will not answer any longer-
we have lived among you,
but you failed to know us,
you refused to think and to see what we were.

... the John Galts living among and working for the elites with their various projects to remake the world to their liking, the giant collectivist concentration camp, the managed and nannied world for “the masses” not for them.

You failed to recognize the motor I invented-
and it became, in your world, a pile of dead scrap.
You failed to recognize the hero in your soul-
and you failed to know me when I passed you in the street.
When you cried in despair for the unattainable spirit
which you felt had deserted your world,
you gave it my name, but what you were calling was your own betrayed self-esteem. You will not recover one without the other.

Flamboyant prose for this particular fictional story, but the gem is self-esteem; we all need to start getting ours back and asserting it.

When you failed to give recognition to man’s mind and attempted to rule human beings by FORCE-those who submitted had no mind to surrender;

By deliberate design, they don't. What's worse is that it's hard to convince someone to give up their entire world view and recognize that the world view they've accepted and participated in, was actually something of someone else's creation, foisted on them deliberately, to promote certain political and social ends. That's hard for most people to accept, even though nothing else fits the facts of history as well.

those who had [their minds], were men who don’t submit.
Thus the man of productive genius assumed in your world the disguise of a playboy and became a destroyer of wealth, choosing to annihilate his fortune rather than surrender it to guns.

If you are among those pillars of the community I described earlier, those who have made fortunes through honest work and built themselves creditable businesses, perhaps you know of cases, they exist, where an industrialist or farmer deliberately ruined his plant or farm rather than surrender it in tact to the state or some bank or corporation.

Thus the thinker, the man of reason, assumed in your world the role of a pirate, to defend his values by FORCE against your FORCE, rather than submit to the rule of brutality. Do you hear me, Francisco d’Anconia and Ragnar Danneskjöld, my first friends, my fellow fighters, my fellow outcasts, in whose name and honour I speak?

More for the story than anything else.

It was the three of us who started what I am now completing.
It was the three of us who resolved to avenge this country and to release its imprisoned soul.
This greatest of countries was built on my morality-on the inviolate supremacy of man’s right to exist-
but you dreaded to admit it and live up to it.
You stared at an achievement unequalled in history,
and looted its effects and blanked out its cause.

Now just who is the you here? Galt's words would have you implicate the collectivist, but who paid for the collectivist? The same people who paid Rand to write Galt's words, so therefore who are those who stared at an achievement unequalled in history, and looted its effects and blanked out its cause? Surely by now, you know just who they are.

In the presence of that monument to human morality,
which is a factory, a highway or a bridge-
you kept damning this country as immoral
and its progress as ‘material greed,’
you kept offering apologies for this country’s greatness
to the idol of primordial starvation,
to decaying Europe’s idol of a leprous, mystic bum.

Lump traditional mystics in with the collectivist ones and you still need to answer who pays them to live as mystics. Nothing lasts very well on its own without being paid, so just answer the question. It's easy if you try.

This country-the product of reason-could not survive on the morality of sacrifice.

... and neither can you. We all recognize that in order to live in this world we must have money and we must be paid for what we do, everything would be much easier if people had their own money and didn't require it of those to whom it belongs, apart from the splitting of barter function that money chiefly serves.

It was not built by men who sought self-immolation
or by men who sought handouts.

But even before social welfare programmes, America was terrifically generous and did give handouts with the proviso that the people being bestowed these gifts, would begin to work and repay in value to society what they had received. Many, probably most of them did too. What I'm suggesting is that Riegel's idea concerning how to solve poverty was not new, only the recognition of the monetary aspect of the problem is really new. But giving someone a coupon to buy something is in fact giving away for free an actual value in trade and that concept is already pretty old.

It could not stand on the mystic split that divorced man’s soul from his body. It could not live by the mystic doctrine that damned this earth as evil and those who succeeded on earth as depraved. From its start, this country was a threat to the ancient rule of mystics. In the brilliant rocket-explosion of its youth, this country displayed to an incredulous world what greatness was possible to man, what happiness was possible on earth. It was one or the other: America or mystics.

Well yes and no. The mystics we fought against and have ever since, and they have largely won, were and are the mystics of money, who ushered in a collectivism designed to manage “the masses” while they remained on top. To accomplish all this they institute a debt based money system that bleeds the people dry of all extra money. They eventually take over the whole issuance of money as their right. They planned and financed war against us to attempt to have their way and succeeded because we never expected their treachery and most still don't see it. But little by little people are waking up. $A = $A+N%($A) is a lie!

The mystics knew it; you didn’t. You let them infect you with the worship of need-

No dammit, You [“the masses”] let them infect you with the worship of GREED-

Greed is that which comes of an insatiable appetite, what one consumes or acquires that one cannot possibly ever use, the extra to any one human being, fat, and most importantly that attained without having created any value in the exchange; by fraud, theft, extortion, what have you.

and this country became a giant in body with a mooching midget in place of its soul, while its living soul was driven underground to labour and feed you in silence, unnamed, unhonoured, negated, its soul and hero: the industrialist. Do you hear me now, Hank Rearden, the greatest of the victims I have avenged?

Yes, there used to be times in all the great nations that went through industrialization where those who set up and managed factories and did so with the support and eagerness of their workers and staff, were heroic figures. But what happened to them? They were badgered and bought out by those with “great pools of liquidity” that were created by those who managed to gain the monopolists control of the issuance of money. Blaming anything whatsoever on the poor or beggars is really beginning to stand as a pretty flimsy curtain behind which to hide the real villains of the piece. To be continued.

David Burton

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