John Galt is the fictional hero of “Atlas Shrugged,” Ayn Rand’s epic novel published in 1957. I first read Atlas Shrugged in college in 1974, and have just recently reread it after 35 years. For me, no other novel comes close to conveying the objectivist philosophy better than this book does.
John Galt epitomizes all that is glorious of capitalism in its purist form — innovation, self-reliance, and freedom from government interference. How would Galt view the current state of Greece, the Euro and the EMU’s intervention, or the more activist policies of global central banks? I have no idea but my limited knowledge of Objectivism is similar to my view of Ron Paul’s platform which are mostly favorable.
Would John Galt be more disturbed by the thousands of governmental regulations, or the government’s bailout of too-big-to fail ? Would he have greater dislike for the “Occupy Wall Street, or the “parasites” who “earned” huge bonuses after their banks were bailed out? I suspect that he would have little respect for the realities and compromises within both political parties.
In the end it’s up to each of us to determine who John Galt is themselves. For me, Ayn Rand wrote and prophecized over fifty years ago the great dilemma of our modern society. Ultimately we will be judged by history as to how we respond in answering that important question.