Friday, September 18, 2009

Newsweek's Ralph Nader-John Galt Comparisons

By Joseph Kellard

Newsweek features a review on Ralph Nader’s new book that draws comparisons to Ayn Rand and Atlas Shrugged.

“During our real-life moment—when center-left health-insurance-reform proposals generate comparison to Nazism—Nader's dramatic imagining of an even bolder progressive revolution doesn't look irrationally exuberant as much as obstinately out to lunch. The irony is that Nader has become a Galt-like figure himself, preferring to go on strike from an imperfect two-party system rather than live in it. Utopianists of all stripes should take a hard look.”

Below is a reply I dashed off early this morning and left in the comments section. It looks like my comment is the first to appear there. So get in while you can.


At the end of his book review, Seth Colter compares Ralph Nader to John Galt, the hero of Atlas Shrugged, in that Nader goes on strike from “an imperfect two-party system.” But in reality, Nader is nothing more than a poser, trying to disguise that he’s an outgrowth of the individual rights-destroying, altruism-worshiping political left that has long dominated the Democratic Party (as well as the GOP). So, Nader brands his politics by a different name, but his so-called ideas and solutions are fundamentally not different than the Dems: use state force to make others, esp. the wealth producers, act according to your leftist ideals.

Unlike Nader, John Galt was a productive genius who upheld each individual’s right to be free from force to pursue the right to his own life, liberty and happiness. Unlike Nader, who rose to notoriety as a “consumer advocate,” Galt understood and championed this fundamental fact: before you can consume, you must produce. Galt was, in effect, a “producer advocate.” Nader’s politics consists of forcing the producers to give to those who put consumption before production – that is, the parasites – to, in effect, force the producers to live for the parasites.

I recommend Newsweek readers shrug off any interest in Nader’s tired, unjust philosophy of altruism and statism and bask in Ayn Rand’s innovative philosophy of Objectivism, as projected in her greatest novel, Atlas Shrugged, in which the producers – [the] individuals who hold up the world – are properly glorified and the Nader-like parasite-advocates are exposed as the evil men they really are.

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