Glenn Reynolds had a post yesterday referencing the uptick in sales of Ayn Rand’s classic novel Atlas Shrugged and Friedrich Hayek’s classic booklet on political/economic philosophy The Road to Serfdom.
[Welcome, fellow Instapundit readers....And thanks for the link, Professor!]
[Thanks to Never Yet Melted for the excellent graphic!]
This is wonderful news, perhaps a day late and a dollar short, but it at least shows some mental activity in the sleeping giant of the American polity. Both books should be on the required reading lists for incoming college freshman classes, but it appears from what I hear through the grapevine that far more young skulls full of mush are being injected with the Alinsky collectivist philosophy through the supposedly “autobiographical writings” of The One…..President Barack Obama.
You see, what is happening is that through the “economic emergency,” Obama is trying to implement Rand’s fictitious “Directive 10-289,” which is what the the combination of “stimulus package,” unsupervised TARP bailouts, “Cap and Trade,” and “Health Care Reform” equal when they are rammed down your throats without discussion (or even the reading of the details) by your supposed “representatives” in the national government. Here is Directive 10-289 (h/t outdoorsunlimited.net)
“In the name of the general welfare to protect the people’s security, to achieve full equality and total stability, it is decreed for the duration of the national emergency that-
Point One: All workers, wage earners, and employees of any kind whatsoever shall henceforth be attached to their jobs and shall not leave nor be dismissed nor change employment, under penalty of a term in jail. The penalty shall be determined by the Unification Board, such board to be appointed by the Bureau Of Economic Planning and National Resources. All person reaching the age of twenty-one shall report to the Unification Board, which shall assign them to where, in its opinion, their services will best serve the interests of the nation.
Point Two: All industrial, commercial, manufacturing, and business establishments of any nature whatsoever shall henceforth remain in operation, and the owners of such establishments shall not quit, nor leave, nor retire, nor close, sell or transfer their business, under penalty of the nationalization of their establishment and of any or all their property.
Point Three: All patents and copyrights, pertaining to any devices, inventions, formulas, processes, and works of any nature whatsoever, shall be turned over to the nation as a patriotic emergency gift by means of Gift Certificates to be signed voluntarily by the owners of all such patents and copyrights. The Unification Board shall then license the use of such patents and copyrights to all applicants, equally and without discrimination, for the purpose of elimination monopolistic practices, discarding obsolete products and making the best available to the whole nation. No trademarks, brand names, or copyrighted titles shall be used. Every formerly patented product shall be known by a new name and sold by all manufacturers under the same name, such name to be selected by the Unification Board. All private trademarks and brand names are hereby abolished.
Point Four: No new devices, inventions, products, or goods of any nature whatsoever, not now on the market, shall be produced, invented, manufactured or sold after the date of this directive, The Office of patents and Copyrights is hereby suspended. (Added later in chapter: All “research departments, experimental laboratories, scientific foundations” will be closed except for government-operated facilities.)
Point Five: Every establishment, concern, corporation or person engaged in production of any nature whatsoever shall henceforth produce the same amount of goods per year as is, they or he produced during the Basic Year, no more or no less. The year is to known as the Basic or Yardstick Year is to be the year ending on the date of this directive. Over or under production shall be fined, such fines to be determined by the Unification board.
Point Six: Every person of any age, sex, class or income, shall henceforth spend the same amount of money on the purchase of goods per year as he or she spent during the Basic Year, no more and no less. Over or under purchasing shall be fined, such fines to be determined by the Unification Board.
Point Seven: All wages, prices, salaries, dividends, profits, interest rates and forms of income of any nature whatsoever, shall be frozen at their present figures, as of the date of this directive. (But taxes will be allowed to increase as needed for the public good)
Point Eight: All cases arising from and rules not specifically provided for in this directive, shall be settled and determined by the Unification Board, whose decisions shall be final.
“How is the emergency to end if everything is to stand still?”
– Fred Kinnan, Atlas Shrugged
If you think my assessment is hyperbolic, read this Michelle Obama address from well over a year ago, interspersed with Hugh Hewitt’s commentary, to see what has been obvious to many of us for a very long time. The choice in the last election was between individual liberty and government-enforced collectivism. And some of you just weren’t paying attention. You wanted someone who could “make the trains run on time,” and you got yourself your own Mussolini….your “imaginary hip black friend.” Ayn Rand could have used this Michelle Obama quote in her novel, more than half a century ago. The Alinskyites work slowly, but they grind very thoroughly, while the rest of us are out trying to live the lives of freemen. Michelle Obama, speaking at UCLA, February, 2008:
Barack, as Oprah said, is one of the most brilliant men you will meet in our lifetime.
Barack is more than ready. He’ll be ready today, he’ll be ready on day one, he’ll be ready in a year from now, five years from now – he is ready.
That is not the question. The question is: What are we ready for?
Wait, wait, wait – because we say we’re ready for change, we say we’re ready for change, butcha see, change is HARD.
Change will always be hard, and it doesn’t happen from the top down.
We do not get universal health care, we don’t get better schools because somebody else is in the White House. We get change because folks from the grass roots up decide they are sick and tired of other people telling them how their lives will be – when they decide to roll up their sleeves and work.
And Barack Obama will require you to work.
He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism, that you put down your division, that you come out of your isolation, that you move out of your comfort zones, that you push yourselves to be better, and that you engage.
Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual – uninvolved, uninformed…
Someone I know was trying to justify voting for Obama the other night by saying “well, someone had to do something.” I was nearly speechless, but had the presence of mind to respond that jumping off a cliff is certainly “doing something.”