Monday, January 21, 2013

#18.17 Gleanings from the John Galt Speech – Part 17

John Galt continues discussing physical vs. mental labour,

This is mutual trade to mutual advantage; the interests of the mind are one, no matter what the degree of intelligence, among men who desire to work and don’t seek or expect the unearned.

This too is a LIE, the elites definitely do seek and expect the unearned, else they wouldn't have risen without effort and figured out how to stay there.

In proportion to the mental energy he spent, the man who creates a new invention receives but a small percentage of his value in terms of material payment, no matter what fortune he makes, no matter what millions he earns.

We just said this, so we agree except that Rand never ever bothers to disclose the role of the banker / financier in all of it.

But the man who works as a janitor in the factory producing that invention, receives an enormous payment in proportion to the mental effort that his job requires of him.

Note this fallacy as well, deliberately created out of imposed scarcity; Galt's (the elites') message is that the common labouring man should be damn glad to get whatever he gets from participation in whatever enterprise he serves because he receives an enormous payment in proportion to the mental effort that his job requires of him. Labouring men of the world, you've just been shit on!

And the same is true of all men between, on all levels of ambition and ability. The man at the top of the intellectual pyramid contributes the most to all those below him, but gets nothing except his material payment, receiving no intellectual bonus from others to add to the value of his time.

Oh yes he does if he's even half smart, they're called royalties and it's how many out of work actors and actresses earn lots of extra money from cameos on ads, etc.

The man at the bottom who, left to himself, would starve in his hopeless ineptitude, contributes nothing to those above him, but receives the bonus of all of their brains. Such is the nature of the ‘competition’ between the strong and the weak of the intellect. Such is the pattern of ‘exploitation’ for which you have damned the strong.

Actually the strong of mind would have NOTHING without those strong of body doing all the heavy lifting, so let's get that one perfectly straight. But we are further instructed to believe that the weak of body and strong of mind somehow deserve more payment than the even meagre remunerations given the physically strong. We believe the market, unfettered by all the ways it has been warped, should decide and in most cases physical work will have to be paid more than it is today across the board. We also have good reasons to doubt the real value of much that the physically weak and so called intellectually strong really produce. That too should ultimately be decided within a genuinely free market.

Such was the service we had given you and were glad and willing to give. What did we ask in return? Nothing but freedom. We required that you leave us free to function-free to think and to work as we choose-free to take our own risks and to bear our own losses-free to earn our own profits and to make our own fortunes-free to gamble on your rationality, to submit our products to your judgement for the purpose of a voluntary trade, to rely on the objective value of our work and on your mind’s ability to see it-free to count on your intelligence and honesty, and to deal with nothing but your mind.

But to suppose that any of this really works as advertised is a delusion. The reality is that all this is true until one gets to incorporation as a “limited liability” entity, which may then grow much larger than economic realities would normally permit and then becomes “too big to fail” as when becoming the only employer in a particular geographic area, etc. It doesn't matter then whether the enterprise is profitable or not, all that is a matter of accounting, which can be tweaked any number of ways to either show great profits or great losses, simply by reporting or not reporting actual expenses of doing business. Should the business have injured someone with their product, they can use their limited liability status to get around it. Otherwise they might have to close down or sell to someone else.

Such was the price we asked, which you chose to reject as too high. You decided to call it unfair that we, who had dragged you out of your hovels and provided you with modern apartments, with radios, movies and cars, should own our palaces and yachts-you decided that you had a right to your wages, but we had no right to our profits, that you did not want us to deal with your mind, but to deal, instead, with your gun. Our answer to that, was: ‘May you be damned!’ Our answer came true. You are [damned].

It's really important to point out here that only very occasionally did any inventor or potentate of business live in a palace, though they might have lived better than most, nor did most of them maintain yachts. But of course the elitists of whom we have spoken throughout this series, very often live in palaces and may even have several around the globe and might own fleets of yachts if they wished. We aren't here discussing the upper middle class John Galts of farming and industry. Rand would like them to think their enemies are those beggars with nothing and their political supporters in the “Robin Hood government” which does seek to take what belongs to you. No, your natural enemies are the robber barons above your heads with financial resources you could only dream of. Those are the sharks and you are their prey, since you have things they want to steal.

You did not care to compete in terms of intelligence-you are now competing in terms of brutality.

It's not that simple and never was. Everything is paid for one way or another, brutality included. Those who were brutal after the 1917 Bolshevik takeover of Czarist Russia were paid by the same banking interests that saw to it that the red experiment survived the inevitable white backlash, which was starved of funding until it crumbled away. In that period 60 million people were wiped out. Those who run the media would of course like the world to forget that this massive crime ever happened, but every ethnic Russian family knows damn well what went down there and if Americans are ever foolish enough to disarm, the same fate is planned for them too. We especially want the world to know how much the elitists HATE you and want you all dead.

You did not care to allow rewards to be won by successful production-you are now running a race in which rewards are won by successful plunder.

Your projection upon others is laid bare for all to see. It is the elitists who are the plunderers of any successful production.

You called it selfish and cruel that men should trade value for value-

We don't.

you have now established an unselfish society where they trade extortion for extortion. Your system is a legal civil war, where men gang up on one another and struggle for possession of the law, which they use as a club over rivals, till another gang wrests it from their clutch and clubs them with it in their turn, all of them clamouring protestations of service to an unnamed public’s unspecified good.

Which is why we cannot advocate any idea that any government anywhere deserves the role of issuing money. The “public interest” is at least as wide as what the two political parties decide it is in the American democracy sense. Sorry Bill Still and others. In order to get the government back into operating as a republic, its powers must be severely limited, which among other things would mean a non-debtor status for all governments and the end to central banking everywhere.

You had said that you saw no difference between economic and political power, between the power of money and the power of guns-no difference between reward and punishment, no difference between purchase and plunder, no difference between pleasure and fear, no difference between life and death. You are learning the difference now.

People would learn pretty damn quick if the John Galts just got together and decided they had had enough of the lies, cheating and swindling of the elites and their minions and just walked out on them.

Some of you might plead the excuse of your ignorance, of a limited mind and a limited range. But the damned and the guiltiest among you are the men who had the capacity to know, yet chose to blank out reality, the men who were willing to steel their intelligence into cynical servitude to FORCE: the contemptible breed of those mystics of science who profess a devotion to some sort of ‘pure knowledge’-the purity consisting of their claim that such knowledge has no practical purpose on this earth-who reserve their logic for inanimate matter, but believe that the subject of dealing with men requires and deserves no rationality, who scorn money and sell their souls in exchange for a laboratory supplied by loot.

Ah well, there is much of this. A certain government agency set up to study oceans and the atmosphere might certainly be counted among them as well as anyone who had anything to do with that massive mad scientist project up in Alaska known as HAARP.

And since there is no such thing as ‘non-practical knowledge’ or any sort of ‘disinterested’ action, since they scorn the use of their science for the purpose and profit of life, they deliver their science to the service of death, to the only practical purpose it can ever have for looters: to inventing weapons of coercion and destruction. They, the intellects who seek escape from moral values, they are the damned on their earth, theirs is the guilt beyond forgiveness. Do you hear me, Dr. Robert Stadler?

Another character was invented to represent the “scientist” who sided with those seeking more FORCE with which to coerce “the masses.” Wikipedia has this to say about him:

“Dr. Robert Stadler - A former professor at Patrick Henry University, mentor to Francisco d'Anconia, John Galt and Ragnar Danneskjöld. He has since become a sell-out, one who had great promise but squandered it for social approval, to the detriment of the free. He works at the State Science Institute where all his inventions are perverted for use by the military, including the instrument of his demise: Project X (Xylophone). The character was, in part, modelled on J. Robert Oppenheimer, whom Rand had interviewed for an earlier project, and his part in the creation of nuclear weapons. To his former student Galt, Stadler represents the epitome of human evil, as the "man who knew better" but chose not to act for the good.”

There are many ways in which “men of science” are coerced into serving evil. The results are just the same as they were in Rand's fiction.

But it is not to him that I wish to speak. I am speaking to those among you who have retained some sovereign shred of their soul, unsold and unstamped: ‘-to the order of others.’ If, in the chaos of the motives that have made you listen to the radio tonight, there was an honest, rational desire to learn what is wrong with the world, you are the man whom I wished to address. By the rules and terms of my code, one owes a rational statement to those whom it does concern and who’re making an effort to know. Those who’re making an effort to fall to understand me, are not a concern of mine.

We proclaim the same about our open criticisms of their institutions and their practices and as you will see, the enemies identified below can only possibly fit the elites and their supporters in and out of the governments they have turned into their debtors.

I am speaking to those who desire to live and to recapture the honour of their soul. Now that you know the truth about your world stop supporting your own destroyers. The evil of the world is made possible by nothing but the sanction to give it. Withdraw your sanction. Withdraw your support. Do not try to live on your enemies’ terms or to win at a game where they’re setting the rules. Do not seek the favour of those who enslaved you, do not beg for alms from those who have robbed you, be it subsidies, loans or jobs, do not join their team to recoup what they’ve taken by helping them rob your neighbours. One cannot hope to maintain one’s life by accepting bribes to condone one’s destruction. Do not straggle for profit, success or security at the price of a lien on your right to exist. Such a lien is not to be paid off; the more you pay them, the more they will demand; the greater the values you seek or achieve, the more vulnerably helpless you become. Theirs is a system of white blackmail devised to bleed you, not by means of your sins, but by means of your love for existence.


Do not attempt to rise on the looters’ terms or to climb a ladder while they’re holding the ropes. Do not allow their hands to touch the only power that keeps them in power: your living ambition. Go on strike-in the manner I did. Use your mind and skill in private, extend your knowledge, develop your ability, but do not share your achievements with others. Do not try to produce a fortune, with a looter riding on your back. Stay on the lowest rung of their ladder, earn no more than your barest survival, do not make an extra penny to support the looters’ state. Since you’re captive, act as a captive, do not help them pretend that you’re free. Be the silent, incorruptible enemy they dread. When they force you, obey-but do not volunteer. Never volunteer a step in their direction, or a wish, or a plea, or a purpose. Do not help a holdup man to claim that he acts as your friend and benefactor. Do not help your jailers to pretend that their jail is your natural state of existence. Do not help them to fake reality. That fake is the only dam holding off their secret terror, the terror of knowing they’re unfit to exist; remove it and let them drown; your sanction is their only life belt.

Agreed, again “come out of her, my people” is always the correct response. We might point out incidentally that in every totalitarian nation that has ever risen, there were refugees created who voted with their feet. We also appeal to all the thugs out there that have been hired to keep “the masses” in order; you'll have more friends among us than any payment you receive from them is worth, and no matter how well you serve them, they will never allow you to join them. Therefore walk away from them, do not participate in their secretly concocted evil plans for world domination and destruction of humanity. They care not for you. As soon as they have you liquidate some inconveniently located population, they will liquidate you. They do not care about you, after all to them, all you do is physical labour that's only worth whatever it takes to feed you.

If you find a chance to vanish into some wilderness out of their reach, do so, but not to exist as a bandit or to create a gang competing with their racket; build a productive life of your own with those who accept your moral code and are willing to struggle for a human existence. You have no chance to win on the Morality of Death or by the code of faith and FORCE; raise a standard to which the honest will repair: the standard of Life and Reason.

That's what we and many others are doing right now.

Act as a rational being and aim at becoming a rallying point for all those who are starved for a voice of integrity-act on your rational values, whether alone in the midst of your enemies, or with a few of your chosen friends, or as the founder of a modest community on the frontier of mankind’s rebirth.

Amazing that Galt / Rand saw this as necessary; a modest community on the frontier of mankind’s rebirth fits the present situation fairly well.

When the looters’ state collapses, deprived of the best of its slaves, when it falls to a level of impotent chaos, like the mystic-ridden nations of the Orient, and dissolves into starving robber gangs fighting to rob one another-when the advocates of the morality of sacrifice perish with their final ideal-then and on that day we will return.

We will return long before that happens which is why taking seriously the prospect of starting a new monetary system (the or an) VEN makes the most sense right now.

We will open the gates of our city to those who deserve to enter, a city of smokestacks, pipe lines, orchards, markets and inviolate homes. We will act as the rallying centre for such hidden outposts as you’ll build. With the sign of the dollar as our symbol-the sign of free trade and free minds-we will move to reclaim this country once more from the impotent savages who never discovered its nature, its meaning, its splendour. Those who choose to join us, will join us; those who don’t, will not have the power to stop us; hordes of savages have never been an obstacle to men who carried the banner of the mind.

If you are beginning to think this is all in Rand's mind, with her emphasis on the importance of thinking rather than doing, etc. you aren't alone. With the sign of the dollar as our symbol for one thing should ring hollow as should the sign of the euro, the yen, the whatever central bank issued “bad notes” are used in the exchange process.

Then this country will once more become a sanctuary for a vanishing species: the rational being.

I beg your pardon? Every country in the world has rational beings living in it, the one's that are the most chaotic have the most irrational beings living there, places like Somalia perhaps. As we said, what keeps a place civilized is that just about everyone acts in accordance with rational decisions and doesn't give the merest thought about some distant or unseen government demanding social order from them. People remain sane by being sane. There isn't any other reason. When a regime becomes totalitarian and starts bullying and killing its people, then people usually flee it and become refugees.

The political system we will build is contained in a single moral premise: no man may obtain any values from others by resorting to physical FORCE.

This is the first principle.

Every man will stand or fall, live or die by his rational judgement. If he fails to use it and falls, he will be his only victim. If he fears that his judgement is inadequate, he will not be given a gun to improve it. If he chooses to correct his errors in time, he will have the unobstructed example of his betters, for guidance in learning to think; but an end will be put to the infamy of paying with one life for the errors of another.

With the exception of the word betters, we are in general agreement, but it sounds more harsh than it needs to be and under a Value Unit system it will be anything but harsh. So, why is Rand and those who back her so angry about the poor?

In that world, you’ll be able to rise in the morning with the spirit you have known in your childhood: that spirit of eagerness, adventure and certainty which comes from dealing with a rational universe. No child is afraid of nature; it is your fear of men that will vanish, the fear that has stunted your soul, the fear you acquired in your early encounters with the incomprehensible, the unpredictable, the contradictory, the arbitrary, the hidden, the faked, the irrational in men.

Now that we know about it, and from whence most of it comes, perhaps we can.

You will live in a world of responsible beings, who will be as consistent and reliable as facts; the guarantee of their character will be a system of existence where objective reality is the standard of the judge.

Is this a hope, or an idealism? We will in future attempt to present some simple rules that make things a lot easier to understand from a money standpoint.

Your virtues will be given protection, your vices and weaknesses will not. Every chance will be open to your good, none will be provided for your evil. What you’ll receive from men will not be alms, or pity, or mercy, or forgiveness of sins, but a single value: justice. And when you’ll look at men or at yourself, you will feel, not disgust, suspicion and guilt, but a single constant: respect.

Respect is the most basic and fundamental emotion, part of that rational glue that for the most part keeps societies civilized.

Such is the future you are capable of winning.

It requires a struggle; so does any human value.

In leftist political literature going back almost 200 years one comes across the word struggle. We do not aim to struggle for anything against anyone. We believe that struggling against oppressors is pointless, one wins by demonstrating the facts of oppression and getting people who would not be oppressors themselves, but who are in their pay, to pull away from the real oppressors so that they are isolated. Then we go about building our own thing. If they resort to FORCE against us, why bother after all with the thugs that are paid to oppress us, why not challenge the very people at the top themselves and make matters personal? Those who pay have the say, so with what are the oppressors being paid? Follow the money, it will lead to the guilty every time.

All life is a purposeful struggle,

Rand is justifying this word. Life need not be a struggle of any sort, it can nevertheless be purposeful and active.

and your only choice is the choice of a goal.

No one needs to live by having some outrageous goal either. Games have goals and life is not a game to be won, it is to be lived, loved and experienced, etc.

Do you wish to continue the battle of your present
or do you wish to fight for my world?

We don't wish to fight for anything, but if our inalienable rights are stepped on, you better believe there will be a reaction.

Do you wish to continue a struggle that consists of clinging to precarious ledges in a sliding descent to the abyss, a struggle where the hardships you endure are irreversible and the victories you win bring you closer to destruction?

This pretty much describes the positions of the John Galts remaining in the system.

Or do you wish to undertake a struggle that consists of rising from ledge to ledge in a steady ascent to the top,

Here too, are we now open to someone's judgement that unless we're all mountain climbers of material success, we're nothing? Sounds like Galt / Rand are off to a grand start to resurrect something new to replace that which is old, without even guessing that most in this world don't need this kind of materialist ascension madness to be happy.

a struggle where the hardships are investments in your future,

and the victories bring you irreversibly closer to the world of your moral ideal, and should you die without reaching full sunlight, you will die on a level touched by its rays? Such is the choice before you. Let your mind and your love of existence decide.

I always cringe when the word ideal shows up as there has been so much evil done in the name of this or that ideal. Note here also the goal to ascend like Icarus to the loftiness of the sun as a goal. Fine for some maybe, but why prod everyone to become like this? Try running before you can fly, and walking before you can run. As it is, there are people who are still crawling, who the Rands of this world and their elitist patrons care nothing about. But E. C. Riegel had a different vision, one that makes far more sense for the poor than any collectivist nonsense devised by man in his inane attempt to preserve the world of scarcity to keep certain people in power longer.

The last of my words will be addressed to those heroes who might still be hidden in the world, those who are held prisoner, not by their evasions, but by their virtues and their desperate courage.

My brothers in spirit, check on your virtues and on the nature of the enemies you’re serving. Your destroyers hold you by means of your endurance, your generosity, your innocence, your love- the endurance that carries their burdens-

Our message to you is the same, though who your real enemies and destroyers are has been shown to be other than Rand says they are.

the generosity that responds to their cries of despair- the innocence that is unable to conceive of their evil and gives them the benefit of every doubt, refusing to condemn them without understanding and incapable of understanding such motives as theirs- the love, your love of life, which makes you believe that they are men and that they love it, too.

Their motives are not what Rand supposes because she has branded the wrong people. The motives of those who paid her are clear; they want to rule the world with an iron fist, they want to take from everyone without giving anything of value in return, to lie, cheat and steal as often as possible as if it is their right and instinct, the right of a shark among prey.

But the world of today is the world they wanted; life is the object of their hatred. Leave them to the death they worship. In the name of your magnificent devotion to this earth, leave them, don’t exhaust the greatness of your soul on achieving the triumph of the evil of theirs. Do you hear me … my love?

Spoken by a male character, words and emotions of a woman.

In the name of the best within you, do not sacrifice this word to those who are its worst. In the name of the values that keep you alive, do not let your vision of man be distorted by the ugly, the cowardly, the mindless in those who have never achieved his title. Do not lose your knowledge that man’s proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it’s yours. 

What flowery rhetoric! But this is all fiction. The reality it parodies is quite different as we all know. But if this exercise has exposed anything, it is how well the true nature of the elites and the kind of world they would like to see develop is infused in Rand's words. You are all now put on notice that these people are out there, have devised devious plans that go back centuries, have been behind every war in the last thousand years -at least- and have profited from every single one by backing both sides, etc. They have an insatiable itch for starting another war to keep us from finding them out and overthrowing their cursed rotten financial system.

But to win it requires your total dedication and a total break with the world of your past, with the doctrine that man is a sacrificial animal who exists for the pleasure of others.

Agreed, except who the others happen to be. The others are clearly the elites who live and plot way above our heads, not the poor who are in any case too poor to be able to do much of anything except try and figure out a way to stay alive.

Fight for the value of your person. Fight for the virtue of your pride. Fight for the essence of that which is man: for his sovereign rational mind. Fight with the radiant certainty and the absolute rectitude of knowing that yours is the Morality of Life and that yours is the battle for any achievement, any value, any grandeur, any goodness, any joy that has ever existed on this earth.

Lofty words, but what we intend is much simpler, more humble and practical; we start where each of us lives, in our own communities, dealing with our own people, determining among ourselves what to do, how to trade and how to build and grow what we want and need. We will all need something other than the usual money, that is for certain.

You will win when you are ready to pronounce the oath I have taken

at the start of my battle- and for those who wish to know the day of my return, I shall now repeat it to the hearing of the world:

I swear-by my life and my love of it- that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.

That another man is not someone who is poor or destitute but the man or woman who represents the elites who intend on using you with the promises of their money. You need your own money with which to make decisions, not theirs.

This brings our discussion of the ideas in the John Galt Speech to a close. Thank-you for your participation in this adventure by reading. Your comments are welcome. 


David Burton


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