Wingnuts of the World Unite!

by Henry Farrell on March 4, 2009

Some people “are laughing”: at wingnuts who are ‘going Galt’ by signing up for Medicare early. Me, I think it’s wonderful that the right is discovering the joys of solidaristic (well, sort of) strike action. So much so that I’m “asking readers to encourage the leaders of this movement”: (Facebook group1 – I hope but don’t know whether this link will work for everyone) to take the obvious next step.

The ‘Go Galt, Go!’ Manifesto

We proudly salute “Dr. Helen,” Glenn Reynolds, and Michelle Malkin, for identifying the only possible response to Barack Obama’s victory – ‘going Galt.’ By withdrawing their creative and intellectual achievements from the economy and stopping tipping waitstaff, the schmibertarian right can surely bring the parasites and Democrats to their knees. We look forward to these three thought leaders striking the obvious first blow, by refusing to blog for the ungrateful masses and withdrawing to a secret compound until the world capitulates to their demands! Only a universal wingnut blogging strike can bring the moochers to their senses. John Galt lives!

1 We also have a “Crooked Timber group”: by the way.



Paul 03.04.09 at 2:33 pm

Political poppycock! If true Malkin et al sound like sore losers or worse .And I might add foolish !


StevenAttewell 03.04.09 at 3:39 pm

Of course, I find it highly ironic that their idea is to collectively join a government health insurance program – oh no, what ever you do, conservatives, please don’t move us towards universal health care!


John Emerson 03.04.09 at 4:18 pm

I am most interested in hearing Amy Jayne’s point of view.


roger 03.04.09 at 4:45 pm

This is an excellent idea, but if I were Dr. Helen, I’d bring along a food taster – Malkin is, shall we say, a competitive Randian diva. Other cool things they could do: work on a Randmobile, modeled on the batmobile; demand that their loyal followers show Obama what is what by refusing his stinkin’ tax cut and paying higher taxes; and joining forces with the Penguin. Or have they done the latter?


Michael Bérubé 03.04.09 at 7:21 pm

I don’t know whether they believe that the Penguin is a true conservative.


dr ngo 03.04.09 at 8:37 pm

I wasn’t aware that you could “start Medicare early”! I’ve just turned 65 and signed up, much to my relief – I wasn’t well insured before, and it cuts down billing hassles – but if there was any way to do it before this year, I missed it. And it has nothing to do with whether you’re working or not, unless you’re covered by health insurance through your work.

Now one does have the option of starting Social Security payments as early as age 62 – which I opted for – or as late as 70 – which is recommended, FWIW – but these would constitute a relatively small fraction of the retirement resources of the population we are talking about.

It is possible I just don’t know what’s what in this area. OTOH, it’s possible they don’t, and are just blowing smoke through some orifice or other.


Phil 03.05.09 at 12:21 am

Wouldn’t ‘going Galt’ mean shutting up? In which case I’m all for it.


notsneaky 03.05.09 at 12:23 am

Ha ha, you’re friends with a monkey!


Righteous Bubba 03.05.09 at 12:40 am

Wouldn’t ‘going Galt’ mean shutting up?

Possibly, but there’s an 80 page speech to get through first.


Zaid 03.05.09 at 3:30 am

They’re trying to crash the system by joining the most successful universal healthcare system we have at earlier ages to help us bargain down prices?



giotto 03.05.09 at 6:53 am

So, the Galts are thinking they will withdraw their expertise from the economy, and this will make the economy collapse? Just like in the book?? Why didn’t we think of this sooner. If they had withdrawn their expertise ten years ago, maybe he economy wouldn’t have collapsed.


Fledermaus 03.05.09 at 6:54 am

If only there were some valley they could move to. In, say, southern california.


Daniel Ferreira 03.05.09 at 9:58 am

“Who is Dr. Helen?”

No seriously, who the hell is she? – I asked myself only this morning. I really hadn’t the faintest idea. Which, even now, makes me even more terrified of her plot. The relative obscurity of this she-Galt is yet another chilling parallel to the hero of the prophetic 1300 pages masterpiece.

My feeble moocher mind recoils at the ominous sight of the now certain downfall of Socialist America, and manages to find fleeting comfort by revisiting a cliché of another atheistic tale: “The most merciful thing in the world… is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents” – an equally visionary, albeit far less talented writer than Ms. Rand, once proclaimed.

And merciful it is indeed, for it is this same inability that prevented me from discerning, since the 4th of November until this very day, the circuitous chain of events that inexorably links Dr. Helen, Michelle Malkin, and Glenn Reynolds self-imposed income reduction to the assured annihilation of our world.

Fellow parasites of the overmen, the origin of our ills is well known. As a dog often perishes from disease after affectionately licking the corpse of a recently dead relative, so too our twin species, Homo moochicus and Homo looticus, contracted a fatal illness because we couldn’t control our base inclination towards vain, misplaced, immoral concern for the destitute. These people were, we recognized too late, naught but walking cadavers, hopelessly beyond our help, whose sole purpose was to test the fiber of our noble selfishness. We failed.

Now that the the end is near, we must at least make a closing effort to understand the error of our ways. Let us draw upon the weak power of our uncreative minds to answer this question: which disturbance was the tipping point that has waken the Great Laissez-Faire Gods from their slumber? Was it the insolent 3.6% raise in the income tax? Is hubris to be found in the impious practice of economic necromancy, through which we raised the New Deal abomination? Assist me, brothers!

Wait! What was that?

It… it’s them! For the love of Kucinitch! I can’t bear it! They… are…shrugging…


ajay 03.05.09 at 10:12 am

11: I know the area you mean, and I agree, but technically that’s a “fault line”. Sorry to nitpick.


jussumbody 03.05.09 at 12:33 pm

If they REALLY want to go Galt, I think living in the shadow of an active volcano would be better than the wimpy San Andreas fault. One like Mt St Helens was, but without the monitors.


Steven Hart 03.05.09 at 1:06 pm

Personally, I always thought Atlas Pouted or Atlas Held His Breath Until He Turned Blue would have been a more appropriate title for the novel, but I’ve never had much use for Randian notions of how the world works – for my money, The Fountainhead is the only film that can rival Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments for chuckles and guffaws . . .


Michael Bérubé 03.05.09 at 1:35 pm

If only there were some valley they could move to. In, say, southern california.

They can take the Galt Train!


Slocum 03.05.09 at 1:56 pm

Wouldn’t ‘going Galt’ mean shutting up? In which case I’m all for it.

Oh no–of course not. It would mean working less or not at all and having much, much more time for things like blogging. That’s sort of the point, isn’t it? And I wonder who’s going to be the first enterprising refusenik to get a book contract to write about ‘going Galt’ for a year (you know, in the same vein as people with book contracts to write about making their family give up toilet paper or eating only meat they shoot themselves — or both).


dsquared 03.05.09 at 1:59 pm

No, I don’t think you’re right on that, Slocum – there were artists and composers in Galt’s Gulch and they went “on strike” by refusing to continue to share their works with the looting, mooching society. It would actually be quite feasible to create a “virtual Galt’s Gulch”, whereby all wingnut blogs were password protected (possibly with that phrase about “live my life for another man”), although this would presumably have an effect on advertising revenue.


dsquared 03.05.09 at 2:03 pm

By the way, Atlas, of course, carried the heavens on his shoulders, not the earth as Francisco d’Anconia claims. That’s the whole point of that episode in the labours of Heracles, and in any case, if he was carrying the earth, what would he stand on?


belle le triste 03.05.09 at 2:10 pm

presumably he could stand on the heavens, but he would have to be upside down


belle le triste 03.05.09 at 2:11 pm

or be carrying it with his feet


Preachy Preach 03.05.09 at 2:31 pm

Atlas played keepy-uppy


Matt Heath 03.05.09 at 3:26 pm

He could stand on the turtle


Slocum 03.05.09 at 3:30 pm

No, I don’t think you’re right on that, Slocum – there were artists and composers in Galt’s Gulch and they went “on strike” by refusing to continue to share their works with the looting, mooching society.

Oh, I understand — but the meme spreading around the intertubes shouldn’t be taken so literally (after all, how many of those talking about ‘going Galt’ do you think have actually ever bothered to wade through Atlas Shrugged?) Think ‘Galt-lite’ or maybe ‘Galt the Slacker’.


Phil 03.05.09 at 4:06 pm

Or ‘Galt that I think sounds good but has no actual relevance to what I’m talking about’.


virgil xenophon 03.05.09 at 6:44 pm

“Galt the Slacker”

I LIKE that! Got a REAL MENTAL PICTURE of that….mheh.

Damn you Matt Heath! Beat me to the punch. ‘Cept you forgot that it’s the plural–as in “turtles all the way down.”


Ginger Yellow 03.05.09 at 6:51 pm

Dear John Galts,

Would you kindly take your hard-earned wealth and use it to build a utopian paradise under the seas? There you would be free to earn the fruits of your labour without the Marxist man in Washington plucking them from you to give to the lazy poor. What’s more, you could use the abundant Adam to fulfil your transhumanist dreams. What could go wrong?


Frank Fontaine


Martin Bento 03.05.09 at 8:05 pm


Amy Jayne who? Googling she seems to be a military families advocate. You’ve been saying, I think half-seriously, this whole thing could be a “Galtian ratf*ck”, though I’m not sure what you meant, as I have remained unwashed by Atlas. Is this what you meant?


Alex 03.06.09 at 2:23 pm

All that time I spent looking forward to the troll bunker party post-election… but the actual outturn has been slower, less dramatic, but much more unnerving than I expected.


David 03.06.09 at 4:39 pm

I did read (almost) the entirety of “Atlas Shrugged.” I read it in one marathon 24 hour period before the start of my senior year in high school. Read nearly every word, too, until I got to the speech (christ, radio? A real forward thinker). I read 3 or 4 pages, skimmed a bit and then skipped to the last 3 or 4. I can’t possibly have missed anything of significance. I’ve never been tempted to reread it and it obviously failed to have an impact on me (my lesser mind, I suppose), much like organized religion and cults in general (except Macintosh, of course. what OS would Ayn use?). As I’ve said, no one over the age of 20 should expect to be taken seriously if they are reading this stuff.


HCG 03.09.09 at 4:04 pm

Joined the Facebook group – thanks for setting it up! (More fun even than 1,000,000 Strong Against Officers Leaving Meryton!) (which is really for Jane Austen fans).

It appears, however, that some of your FB members are taking the whole thing seriously?

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