Thursday, March 05, 2009


Over at Atrios's place Thers notes that a Randroid has posted a seventeen-part dramatic reading of John Galt's famous (or so they tell me) speech in Atlas Shrugged. Punch line: part 17 has fewer thn 500 views.

...Ah, but let's not get too smug: Atlas Shrugged is #37 at Amazon right now. (Books don't generally sell in huge numbers -- a typical #1 New York Times bestseller might sell no more than 300,000 copies overall -- but this is an uptick.)

Elsewhere in Atrios-land there's a link to this:

In the past month, CNBC Mad Money host Jim Cramer has repeatedly characterized President Obama and congressional Democrats as Russian communists intent on "rampant wealth destruction." Specifically, Cramer has referred to Obama as a "Bolshevik" and said he is "taking cues from Lenin." Cramer has also used terms such as "Marx," "comrades," "Soviet," "Winter Palace," and "Politburo" in reference to Democrats and questioned whether House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is the "general secretary of the Communist Party."

What these people have cooked up -- I don't know whether they actually believe it or not -- is a "one drop" theory of communism, comparable to the "one drop" rule of racial categorization. Any adjustment in the current distribution of wealth, even to tax rates barely different from the Clinton era's in their progressivity, is indistinguishable from Marxism-Leninism. (Which defines Teddy Roosevelt as a commie.)

I've always believed it would be perfectly fine to let Randians and Paulbots opt out of having anything to do with the icky government. I'd be happy to exempt them from taxation.

... On the condition, needless to say, that the door musdt swing both ways. Drive on a road built with tax dollars? Pay. Walk on a government-funded sidewalk? Pay? Get mugged? House burning down? Dying of a heart attack? No cops, no firefighters, no government-funded emergency services unless you pay, pay, pay. All government services: a la carte.

You'll be billed directly for, say, your share of the cost of food safety inspections -- that is, unless you want to get your food from special John Galt Shoppes where you pays your money and you takes your chances.

(I'm sure this can all be accomplished via swipe card. The Rand crowd can pay private firms to run the swipe-card system. It has to be government-supervised, however -- and the Randians will pay 100% of the cost of that, since the rest of us don't want or need this.)

The "Galt-goers" fantasize that they'll (in Michelle Malkin's words) "cease productive activities in order to starve the government of revenue." Fine. Let's cease providing them any benefits paid for by government revenue -- unless they pay cash on the barrelhead. Deal?

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