Monday, July 22, 2013

"Atlas Shrugged" All Over Again

Ayn Rand wrote her landmark book as fiction; but it has become fact. This is a partial description of her fictional “Starnesville,” home of the fictional “Twentieth Century Motor Company where an experiment in local socialism that mirrored what was happening world-wide caused the inventor (finally) of a “perpetual motion machine” to “withdraw from society” and begin calling upon other key people to “go on strike” and stop allowing themselves to be looted by the moochers of that society: “What isn’t dumped is stolen. Factories and homes have largely been stripped of anything of value, so thieves now target cars’ catalytic converters. Illiteracy runs at around 47%; half the adults in some areas are unemployed. In many neighborhoods, the only sign of activity is a slow trudge to the liquor store. Now have a look at the uncannily prophetic description of Starnesville, a Mid-Western town in Ayn Rand’s dystopian novel, Atlas Shrugged. Starnesville had been home to the great Twentieth Century Motor Company, but declined as a result of socialism:” Detroit is today’s Starnesville, and is crumbling to dust as we watch, as we all slow down to watch a wreck on the highway.

Further description of Starnesville fits Detroit today: “A few houses still stood within the skeleton of what had once been an industrial town. Everything that could move, had moved away; but some human beings had remained. The empty structures were vertical rubble; they had been eaten, not by time, but by men: boards torn out at random, missing patches of roofs, holes left in gutted cellars. It looked as if blind hands had seized whatever fitted the need of the moment, with no concept of remaining in existence the next morning. The inhabited houses were scattered at random among the ruins; the smoke of their chimneys was the only movement visible in town. A shell of concrete, which had been a schoolhouse, stood on the outskirts; it looked like a skull, with the empty sockets of glassless windows, with a few strands of hair still clinging to it, in the shape of broken wires.” Many people like to ridicule Ayn Rand, but she had an uncanny way of seeing what’s in our future while others refuse to believe it. It pains me to see this happening, and makes me glad I'm old enough that I won't have to live through what I know is coming. It does concern me that my descendants will have to live through it. You may think, "What's this doing in a blog about the Second Amendment?" Believe me, if such people come to power, your guns will be long gone. (London Telegraph/Daniel Hannan)

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