For the third time in less than a week, I’m forced to invoke a book that I actually didn’t really like. Atlas Shrugged is a classic that made some great points about free market capitalism and personal responsibility, but it was a militantly anti-Christian story that glorified “enlightened” thinking outside of Biblical doctrine. Still, there are things that we can take away from it that are worth noting.
If you haven’t read it, I wouldn’t recommend it. Over the years it’s been put on a philosophical pedestal and glorified by many political pundits, particular Libertarian-leaning fiscal conservatives, but in my humble opinion it was above-average at best. Nonetheless, here’s my spoiler alert. I’ll be going into details about the ending which was utterly ludicrous in any reality other than three:
- If the world descends into a dystopian vision due to industrial economic collapse not brought on by war or natural catastrophe, the book’s end is viable.
- In a post-apocalyptic world that attempts and fails to properly rebuild, the end is viable.
- In the 2016 election where conservatism is tossed to the wolves, the end is applicable.
Obviously, I’m focusing on the last reality since it’s our reality.
Leave, Regroup, Rebuild
In Atlas Shrugged, the people who have the skills, gumption, and ambition to succeed are the people who can save the collapsing socialist society around them. Unlike the realities we’re seeing around the world and the one that is emerging in America, the socialism described in Atlas Shrugged is hidden and subtle. It’s wrapped in a faux-totalitarian government that has embraced the ideas of crony capitalism without the benefits of a capitalistic engine upon which to mooch.
The capitalists, represented in Atlas Shrugged as industrialists and practical scientists, leave. The best minds are plucked from the world suddenly and completely. John Galt, the ideological leader of the movement, takes the people who can preserve society and hides them away in a mini-utopia off the map where they build a working community separate from the outside world.
They live for themselves and believe two concepts: paraphrasing, they will demand nothing of any other man and they will not accept demands from any other man.
The near future that they see is one where the world essentially collapses and falls back 100 years. Without the industrialists, trains will be replaced by horse and buggy. Electric light will be replaced by lanterns. Infrastructure will collapse. Dog will eat dog. When everything is so bad and the government is completely abolished, they will reemerge and rebuild.
This is the model that conservatives must adopt, though not as dramatically and without the deadly repercussions. We fill the role in the real world that the industrialists and practical scientists filled in Ayn Rand’s world. Through conservatism, the GOP has harnessed our proper and righteous mentalities in their campaign slogans while simultaneously acting against our precepts. Just as the “looters” in Atlas Shrugged took from the industrialists, the Establishment has taken from conservatives their “fair” share of political power while refusing to actually embrace the solutions that conservative politicians, pundits, and wonks have recommended.
For centuries in Atlas Shrugged, the looters took from the industrialists and accepted the benefits of their brainpower, then used it against them to promote an agenda that was contrary to the industrialists’ strengths and values. For decades, the Establishment has held the mantle of conservatism while engaging in tactics to take conservatives down.
It’s time to depart. It’s time to leave the GOP. It’s time to take our ideas and talents to our own political party utopia and let the liberals in both parties battle to see who can do the most harm to the country, Unlike the industrialists in Atlas Shrugged, we will not wait for the collapse before we start taking action. We will regroup as quickly as possible under a new conservative party and begin preparations to rebuild conservatism and therefore America itself.
It won’t be easy. When reading Atlas Shrugged, one is left with the feeling that everything would be fine and that the industrialists will be able to essentially reverse the apocalypse. Our situation as conservatives is the opposite. What we’re about to go through with the next liberal President isn’t necessarily going to be the apocalypse, but we’ll need all of our talents, effort, and the grace of God in order to pick up the pieces from the messes the liberals make. New parties have failed since the 19th century. We only have two things going for us:
- Never since the 19th century has there been a more suitable moment to galvanize conservatives behind a new party. The GOP has abandoned us with the expectation that we’ll return because we always do.
- We’re in the right. They, both major parties, are in the wrong.
By taking advantage of this unique political atmosphere and applying the principles of velocity and exceptionalism, defying the odds of building a new party can be achieved. Like the industrialists in Atlas Shrugged, we will allow the political landscape to hit rock bottom before bringing our ideas back to the table in a new and controlled manifestation. Conservatives will finally be able to call the shots. That’s the only way for America to see it’s brightest days once again.
The GOP will learn a lesson from this experience, but it won’t be what they expect. They’re looking for conservatives to come running back to Trump if he wins or to the Establishment if he loses. We will do neither. They must be made to realize that we will no longer answer to the demands of the GOP, nor will we demand that the GOP appease us. Through a clean break, we’ll be able to heal conservatism and the nation quicker while building a stronger foundation around conservatism.