A very different kind of striking...!

For once this isn't reference to an article or story describing a new way for employees to protest against the actions of employers.

It's actually about a (so far, anyway) fictitious form of striking (a mass lockout would probably be a more appropriate term) written about by Ayn Rand, and commented on in yesterdays' Guardian.

The article details a surge of interest in Rand's (a key writer on radical individualism, extreme self-interest and laissez-faire capitalism) book called Atlas Shrugged.

The book itself is (according to the article as I've read one of her books before but not this one) about:

A vision of a world in which the "men of the mind" - inventors, entrepreneurs and industrialists - withdraw their labour from a society intent on bleeding them dry with taxes and regulations.

Furious at being exploited by the government on behalf of the masses, who are described as "parasites" and "moochers", the striking capitalists retreat to a camp in the mountains of Colorado, protected by a special holographic shield.

Starved of their genius, society collapses and wars break out until eventually bureaucrats are forced to beg the rebels' leader, John Galt, to take over the economy.


It's hinted in the article that this could become a reality given the dire state of the global economy.

For me it's just what big capitalists want everyone to believe - that they are indispensable and we owe them everything.

The truth is somewhat different and it'll be some time before anyone goes begging to the so-called captains of industry!

See Look out for number one - America turns to prophet of self-interest as crash hits (by Oliver Burkeman) if this one takes your fancy.

7 comments:

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