The delusion is the notion that anything of value could be created by the single man of genius alone in his fortress of solitude, or that genius goes unrecognized because of the philistine masses. The simpler truth is that value is created through interaction, the building of relationships, and the collaboration of diverse talents.
In essence, Rand advocated an inverted Marxism. In the Marxist analysis, workers produce all value, and capitalists merely leech off their labor. Rand posited the opposite. In Atlas Shrugged, her hero, John Galt, leads a capitalist strike, in which the brilliant business leaders who drive all progress decide that they will no longer tolerate the parasitic workers exploiting their talent, and so they withdraw from society to create their own capitalistic paradise free of the ungrateful, incompetent masses. Galt articulates Rand’s philosophy:
The man at the top of the intellectual pyramid contributes the most to all those below him, but gets nothing except his material payment, receiving no intellectual bonus from others to add to the value of his time. The man at the bottom who, left to himself, would starve in his hopeless ineptitude, contributes nothing to those above him, but receives the bonus of all of their brains. Such is the nature of the "competition" between the strong and the weak of the intellect. Such is the pattern of "exploitation" for which you have damned the strong.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Control Galt Delete
I actually overheard someone at work today saying that they'd spent the weekend reading Atlas Shrugged. So, this was timely: