Spartacus: The Productive Class Goes to War, or “Atlas Shot Back”
Spartacus, author of this prescient piece from 2008, sends this sitrep:
Politically, America is going through incredible turmoil. The Democrats, holding the Congress and Presidency, and thinking they had a complete mandate to do anything they wanted because “we won,” stand in disbelief as Americans shout in rage against the healthcare bill and stimulus bill and other big government spending projects. The Republicans, not quite sure what to do with the Tea Parties, are caught in an internal civil war between the limited-government wing and the wing that says “moving to the Left has helped the Democrats; it’s a winning strategy, so let’s try it too!”
The interesting thing about this turmoil is that nobody outside the Tea Party movement quite knows who they are or what they want. Of course, persons who are comfortably ignorant of the facts apply their own opinions that the Tea Party movement is villainous because they defy the state, seditious because they exercise their right to free speech, and racist because the President is black (If you cannot follow the logic on that last bit, well, neither can I). Well, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, no matter how ill-informed. But one is not entitled to facts that do not exist.
I have spoken before local Tea Parties several times, so I have a little more information than most. What is the Tea Party movement? It is the members of the productive class shedding the guilt over their success imposed on them by the looter and parasite classes, and realizing they can no longer responsibly outsource their civic duties. For years, the vast majority of the productive class has been comfortable protecting Constitutional rights by sending a yearly check to the advocacy groups of its choice. For example, many in the firearms rights movement, when asked whether they support the right to keep and bear arms, say “of course I do! I’m an NRA member!” But when you politely aske “OK, but what do YOU actually do to protect that right?”, the answer is generally “I send my check in each year!”
The problem with that outsourcing phenomenon is when advocacy groups become so comfortable with their close relationship with government that they forget who they serve. The advocacy groups’ occupational hazard is to identify their interests with government instead of their members. And only an active membership that holds the advocacy group constantly accountable can do that – which rarely happens.
So now, the productive class realizes they are lied to and used by the media, they are lied and used by politicians/looters of both parties, they are lied to and used by the parasites who live off the productive classes’ earnings, and they must bypass the advocacy groups and protest directly. This is the great awakening of the productive class that we are seeing happen before our very eyes, their realization that they should not be held guilty for being successful and productive when others are not.
This was the basic premise of Atlas Shrugged (spoiler alert for those who have not read it: It is most certainly not about trains): The productive class sheds its guilt imposed by the weak, poor, lazy, etc., and go into hiding, basically removing their productive efforts from society so society can crash and burn and destroy the philosophy that man may live at his fellow man’s expense.
Some analogize the events in Atlas Shrugged to the events happening today. However, there is a fundamental difference. Our country was founded in resistance to tyranny; it is part of our Constitutional DNA. Americans are far more likely to fight back than become passive-aggressive. We are far more likely to struggle to find solutions than to watch the walls come tumbling down. Or at least warn the looters that, like tigers, we have claws we can unsheathe; hence the rapid growth of the open-firearm-carry movement, particularly those with rifles.
There are those who suggest the productive class should “go Galt” and withdraw their productive talents from society. That works at the macro-level, if a Henry Ford were willing to completely shut down his company, but good luck getting shareholders to approve such an action. At the micro-level, at the individual level, I suggest that “shrugging” is what has gotten us into the current mess at the Federal level. The productive class has shrugged off their civic duties for too long, and now they are taking the burden back on.
We don’t know how current events will currently play out. A sweeping Republican victory in the upcoming election is still not necessarily victory for the productive class; it just means the Congress might be willing to oppose the President on more big government programs (notice the use of the word “might” instead of “shall”). It just means one more set of politicians to keep an eye on. Therefore, it means the productive class must remain vigilant. This means remaining connected with fellow members of your tribe, continuing to network with like-minded folks, and keeping the heat on the government.
Shrugging off our civic vigilance is, after all, what has gotten us here.