Special Government Shutdown Edition!
I told you that when the Ayn Rand philosophy is applied to governance, tragedy ensues. And so it has.
Here is the new introduction to the special edition:
Introduction to Special Government Shutdown Edition
As I write this, the United States of America are in the ninth day of the Federal “government shutdown.” A cable news ‘countdown clock’ just hit 8 days, 8 hours, 8 minutes and 8 seconds.
A week or so ago, when Ted Cruz of Texas was making himself a household name, he had a strange “non-filibuster filibuster” and, for twenty hours or so, he laid out his reasons for wanting to shut down the U.S. Government. The Congressional record recalls the fateful moment when Senator Cruz explained WHY this shutdown was necessary. He was going Galt. It was Wednesday, September 24, 2013:
“We are a nation that was founded on liberty,” Senator Cruz intoned, “Always defend liberty. You can’t go wrong with that as a mantra. In the interest of that, I would like to share a few excerpts of one of my favorite books, ‘Atlas Shrugged’ by Ayn Rand.”
This was not enough of a plug for Senator Cruz, however, who continued: “Let me encourage any of you who have not read ‘Atlas Shrugged’ to go tomorrow and buy ‘‘Atlas Shrugged’’ and read it. What is interesting is in the last 3 years sales of ‘Atlas Shrugged’ have exploded, because we are living in the days of Ayn Rand,” adding, “I will share a few excerpts that are all fundamentally about liberty and the liberty that ObamaCare infringes.”
And, after some filibustering that wasn’t actually a filibuster, Senator Cruz tipped his hand, quote:
“I want to point to some more excerpts from Ayn Rand that I think are relevant to the battle before this body. First, from ‘Atlas Shrugged:’ [sic]
We are on strike, we, the men of the mind. . . . We are on strike against self-immolation. We are on strike against the creed of unearned rewards and unrewarded duties…” [Congressional Record Vol. 159 WASHINGTON, TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2013 No. 127—Part II, page 57.]
He goes on, quoting from Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead to justify his notion, “on another level, we are facing an assault on liberty,” Ayn Rand’s notion of “freedom”—that the “men of the mind” are impeded by the ‘parasites’ and ‘moochers,’ and ought to be swept away by, essentially, Social Darwinism, et al, etcetera. The so-called “free market” that produced 1930s Gangland Chicago.*
[* You know: more or less what we’ve got now.]
But there is something monstrous in this, and it’s not as easy to articulate as you might think. The Ayn Rand types, the “Libertarian” True Believers have their rap down as pat as any Jehovah’s Witness that ever knocked on a suburban door on a Saturday morning. No: the trick is to find the core notion, and understand WHAT it is about that core notion that is fallacious, that is demonstrably, in the Real World, wrong.
That core is seldom debated and rarely even acknowledged. Rather than dive into a sea of tedious policy stances, we need to understand the core issue that drives the Beast that now threatens Washington, D.C., and, implicitly, the entire world—economy, military stability, geo-political alliances, commodities prices.
It is a dangerous notion and a notion which must be stripped bare to the impossible fantasy that it ultimately is.
This book focuses on that central, core issue, the issue that not only drives the Ted Cruzes and the Rand Pauls and the Paul Ryans; but which also drives the Koch Brothers* and their ideological fellow travelers.
[* Whom I have been covering for several years now, long before, as, this weekend, I had the astonishing experience of listening to United States senators, mainstream newspapers and television and radio news shows reading my own researches back to me.]
But, if it were JUST a refutation of Ayn Rand, this would only be interesting to those who hate Rand, or those who LOVE Rand, to see what the opposition to her philosophy was up to.
It has to be more, and it is: to define the nature of liberty, we must also define the nature of society, and the inter-relation of the “freedom” of the individual and the “regulation” (anti-freedom) of society. The author proposes to give you a definition that resolves this into the false dilemma it’s always been. And why the “key” notion of Ted Cruz’s and Ayn Rand’s and Charlie and David Koch’s notion of “liberty” is just hogwash.
Easy to see in your own life, real world, organic hogwash.
The key notion is “liberty.” Herein, not only will you understand why their definition of “freedom” is, as the title promises, “full of it,” but you will ALSO see the alternative means of understanding how liberty and freedom are inextricably tied to the health of the civilization that these are expressed in.
This is also a book about connectedness—how intimately and inextricably interconnected we are, and how THAT interconnectedness is truly what is threatened by Ayn’s virtue of selfishness. After all, consider what she felt ought to have happened to Native Americans since the coming of the European.
You see, you can be as free as you want, but in a Road Warrior world, you’d better be at least as good as Mad Max to make any use of that “liberty.”
So, this special, re-proofed and emended “Special Government Shutdown Edition” of Ayn Nation Under God.
Oh, and did I mention that it has great jokes?
Special thanks to Jayne Williams for her indefatigable proofreading
On sale for a limited time at a special super low Patriotic price!
Only 99 cents for the book that warned you about EXACTLY what Ted Cruz was up to!
YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BUY A KINDLE TO READ THE EBOOK! There is a FREE Kindle app for ANY platform you want to use it on!
Oh, and did I mention that it has great jokes?
A writer, published author, novelist, literary critic and political observer for a quarter of a quarter-century more than a quarter-century, Hart Williams has lived in the American West for his entire life. Having grown up in Wyoming, Kansas and New Mexico, a survivor of Texas and a veteran of Hollywood, Mr. Williams currently lives in Oregon, along with an astonishing amount of pollen. He has a lively blog His Vorpal Sword. This is cross-posted from his blog.