Should Freedom-Loving Americans Go Galt?
For those that haven’t yet read Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand’s last and best novel, the term “go Galt” or, as popularized on bumper stickers, “going Galt,” comes from it. In the novel (and I’ll avoid giving too much away), a group of the protagonists found their own hidden community in the hills of Colorado. That community has no real government and is instead governed by the idea that each individual is there to pursue the profit motive, be productive, and live out their life as they see fit. The point of the community is to withdraw from a corrupt, socialist-leaning society and no longer artificially preserve that society with their talents, tax dollars, or innovations.
Why We Might Need to Go Galt
In the past, such an idea as a large segment of society choosing to “go Galt” would have been absurd. For one, things weren’t that bad. Up until Obama, the government’s policies went back and forth but America was still united behind a common creed, the American Creed, and individuals were relatively free to see as they saw fit. There was no need to go Galt because society itself, while imperfect and a far cry from Ayn Rand’s vision as articulated in The Virtue of Selfishness, was relatively capitalistic.
With Obama, that started to change. Obamacare socialized medicine and, with it, about a fifth of the American economy. Welfare programs grew and grew, an ever-shrinking number of “producers” supporting an ever-growing number of “looters.” Meanwhile, regulations strangled the economy, corporatism replaced capitalism (especially in the financial world, where banks were bailed out with dollars stolen from the very taxpayers that those banks had almost crushed with their irresponsible policies), and the average man was increasingly sacrificed to the whims and preferences of the elites. Our world was not necessarily a Randian one from the later stages of Atlas Shrugged, but many aspects of it, especially regulations and the corporatism that came with them, were shockingly similar.
Then came Trump. He fought against the globalists, the elites, and the corporatists in a desperate attempt to preserve traditional American values. He fought for real capitalism instead of corporatism, free enterprise instead of excessive regulation, and for “producers” instead of “looters.”
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But such a state of affairs was intolerable to the elites. By hyping up the Covid plague and using our fear of it to crush the Trump economy, using voter fraud to give them an edge in the election, and weaponizing the bureaucracy and judiciary against Trump, they cast him out of office.
Now we have the most radically far-left administration yet seen in America occupying the White House. Biden might be senile and not as radical as some in his party, but those radical leftists have taken over. They’re now doing their best to stifle industry with ridiculous green mandates (as we saw with the Keystone XL pipeline), reverse wise Trumpian policies that protected the American worker and American enterprise, and generally attack capitalism. They want to raise taxes, increase the size of the regulatory state, and punish dissent. In short, they’re destroying America.
Should We Go Galt?
So, the average conservative should be worried. Biden is bad news for our way of life. But is deciding to go Galt the solution and, if so, what would it entail?
Going Galt Geographically
I believe that, geographically, at least, conservatives need to go Galt, albeit in a different way than in the book. Things have grown so bad, especially in certain blue states, such as New York and California, that conservatives need to leave them and head to pro-business, freedom-loving states where free enterprise and individual liberty are respected. I believe that by focusing on our own communities and preserving the American way of life at the state level, we can go Galt while also not surrendering the country to the radical left. But that doesn’t mean a full retreat into obscurity. Just a targeted move to a better area. That’s all that would be necessary to “go Galt” geographically.
For one, there’s no hidden valley we can retreat to and hide out until leftist policies cause the country to collapse. Everything has been mapped. There’s nowhere to hide.
But we can move to freedom-loving states and starve the blue and RINO states of the producers they need to keep going. Could California survive in its present state without mechanics or farmers? How would Wisconsin, Minnesota, or Pennsylvania handle large numbers of their citizens leaving, as Americans have done for our country’s entire existence, and heading to the West? Can New York and New Jersey survive yet more citizens fleeing to Florida?
So, rather than try to retreat to some hidden valley or sheltered mountaintop retreat, we should instead focus on establishing communities in states that still embody the American spirit. Move to a small town in Tennessee or Wyoming. Put down your roots in Texas, Florida, or Idaho. Live somewhere where the government that affects your life the most, the state and local government, respects your right to be free. Withdraw from “blue” society and rebuild your life in a community that, like Galt’s Gulch, allows you to live as a free man and live your life as you ought.
Going Galt Economically
The other, tougher decision is whether we should go Galt economically. Should we withdraw from the economy in the same way as the good guys in Atlas Shrugged?
In this case, I believe some moderation is called for. Were we to ditch every government-recognized business and only sustenance farm or work in a black-market, untaxed economy, our lives would be undeniably worse. There would be no freedom resulting from that, especially if we move to pro-liberty states, only constant worry about state scrutiny and the tragedy of lives wasted because of overly rigid ideology. Plus, because we’d have no money, the leftists would be able to buy almost any election they wanted, turning the whole map blue. it’s as impractical as it would be useless.
But we can ditch leftist businesses and work for, shop at, and invest in conservative ones. If you’re a businessman, no longer waste your talents at some woke corporation like Coke that forces you to attend racist anti-racism seminars and uses its declining profits to fund leftist causes. Instead, work for a conservative company. Or, better yet, start your own business and run it with conservative values in mind. Hire other freedom-loving Americans, buy from like-minded businesses, and, most importantly, avoid investing in woke companies.
By doing that, we’d partially be going Galt. When characters in Atlas Shrugged go Galt, they prevent their brains and earnings from being used to further socialist causes. While only working in red states for pro-liberty businesses wouldn’t perfectly mimic that, it would, I think, do a good enough job. The woke companies would crumble as they filled up with woke culture warriors rather than hard workers, their stock prices would decline as we withdrew our investment dollars, and by continually investing in our small businesses and using smart tax strategies we could avoid paying taxes to whatever degree is possible.
These are dark times. The American ethos of the halcyon days of our glorious past is long gone. Since the Progressive Era, it has steadily been replaced with socialist, statist policies. Yet worse, many private companies have bought into the woke nonsense and are using their power to silence dissent and further wokeism.
But all hope is not lost. If we freedom-loving Americans decide to go Galt, both geographically and, to some degree, economically, then we can push back against the left, limit our exposure to their horrible policies, and hopefully gather our strength so we can push them out of the government. Go Galt; you’ll be happier, free from worry about being canceled, and likely more successful. We don’t need to stop the motor of the world. We just need to stop the motor of the left.
By: Gen Z Conservative