A very wise man once told a story to a class I taught. His father was driving and for some reason became fixated on a ditch ahead, one that was encroaching on the road. He kept watching the ditch, determined not to drive into it – and drove right into it because the ditch became all he could see.
This is a depressing day for most of us. We lost nearly every single important political race we were involved in – every race that had consumed our hearts and souls. We still control the House of Representatives, but that’s it. Each of our shining stars was tarnished and destroyed by the media and the Democrat machine. For a year, we underwent heavy assault. We were outgunned and outmanned. In the end, the liberals were able to write our stories for us.
This should not have been possible, and it was only possible because we allowed it. We saw the ditch – the liberals hurled insults and innuendos and lies at us. More space and time were taken up to call conservatives stupid and evil than to honest discussion of issues. In the end, we drove right into the ditch they dug for us, and here we are.
Now we have to get out of the ditch, fill it in to the degree possible. And go Galt, en masse.
Conservatives Going Galt
By now everyone should be familiar with the term “going Galt.” It is, of course, from Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, a book of at best middling skill but remarkable philosophical vision. In a collectivist society, John Galt refuses to allow his creative powers to be used for the society and to his detriment. Instead, he arranges a strike among those people whose skills and creative abilities power a government and social order that is harmful to them.
They all quit producing and withdraw to their own compound to wait out the inevitable fall of society. This is not evil; it probably minimized the damage. Such a society will fall eventually, no matter what. Rand, a Russian immigrant, knew precisely what happened under a government that believed “from each according to his abilities and to each according to his needs.” The most capable people shrug and drop out. They quit producing. Without their enormous productive capacity, the rest of society decays and falls into disorder.
In the stories of our real lives, the John Galts are, for the most part, not those at the top of companies, nor are they the ones at the bottom. They are, rather, the people in the middle. Without our middle class, our small-business creators and middle managers who do the real work, without the energetic churches and the TEA Party organizers, without the so-called bourgeoisie, both the other ends collapse.
Yet it is the middle class that is being destroyed today. The poor have more to fall back on than ever before; some estimates have the average resources of the poverty-level family calculated at around 60K per year. The wealthy are doing fine, as they usually do. But our country runs on the engine of the middle class, and they are the ones paying more in taxes and suffering from hidden inflation on basics like groceries, clothes, and gas. Meanwhile, they’re scrambling to replace lost income in order to keep from sliding down into poverty.
The middle class cannot realistically go Galt. We have families to feed. We are not prepared to go off the grid. But there are things we can do.
- Go to church, or start attending a church if you never have. Even if you’re not Christian. A good church will give you the social structure you need for self-discipline and encouragement, and will also give you an outlet for the next piece –
- Give only to causes you can control, and that are clearly conservative. Dump donations to United Way or to politicians who are not listening to you – and do not donate to large organizations like the RNC unless you have some direct control over what happens to your donation.
- Stop spending money; save instead, pay off debt, and invest your cash in something that is inflation-proof.
- If you have a small business, put money in automation, infrastructure, and marketing, not in new employees.
- Become politically active. Make your voice heard. Tell your story.
The point is control. We cannot let control of our resources slip from our hands any further than they already have. That means we need to keep our money, our labor, our ideas, and our words for our own use. Going Galt, you see, ultimately means controlling what happens to those things that we create.