One of the problem with analogies, metaphors, parables and the like: too many people try to parse the message right out of the simplicity.
A recent American Thinker article went from asking “Who is John Galt?” in the context of the book to “Who needs John Galt” when “going Galt” is happening just as Ayn Rand’s magnum opus “Atlas Shrugged” depicted. After chastising Galt “who abandons society, works surreptitiously to destroy it, and then delivers an ultimatum when that destruction is nearly complete”, the author plaintively asks ““Where is John Galt?”. Not Rand’s hero but a new John Galt, one who would “ ‘recruit’ the movers and shakers, the innovators and creators, and, authorized by them to speak for them, would give us fair warning today, before the damage is done, while there is still time to change course.”.
Where are Miles Standish and John Alden when you (don’t) need them?
Ayn Rand had the temerity to die before either the AT author or I had the opportunity to ask if she was still comfortable with her version of John Galt. I suspect she was – since her novel was set in the clunky mid-20th century, some vestiges of the honorable sanctity of Individualism were still in vogue.
What of today’s John Galt? Where is he? Who is he? When will this contradictory Messiah appear to speak for us all?
“My John Galt would tell us not what he and his ilk would do to us, but what we are doing to ourselves with the ever-increasing burden of regulations and taxes that we impose on the most creative and productive among us, making it increasingly difficult and ultimately impossible for them to create and produce the goods and services -- and above all, jobs -- on which our modern civilization depends.”
To borrow an old chestnut: What you mean “we”, Kemosabe?
Bulletin: You are your own John Galt. You may speak for yourself at any time – and should. You may chose to warn, advise, cajole those around you – or not. You can “Go Galt” – or not. You may choose to “lead, follow or get out of the way”. Rand said the Individual is “the smallest minority on earth”.
It is safe to say Sam Adams never read Atlas Shrugged, yet he infamously said: “It does not take a majority to prevail but rather an irate, tireless minority, who keep setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.” Strangely enough, anthropologist Margaret Mead may have been channeling some Sam Adams when she wrote: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.”
There’s the John Galt you’ve been waiting for: it’s you. The “smallest minority”, the “irate, tireless minority”, the smallest “group” of committed citizens is you. Freedom and Liberty cannot exist without Individual Responsibility. You are an Individual. Get off your ass and set some brushfires.