I was reading a discussion on Atlas Shrugged and Objectivism in particular and it occurred to me that Rand’s doorstopper of a book had the right general idea (it’s hard to argue when you look at British Rail, or the growth in government bureaucratise) but it tended to take it too far. And then I started wondering …
John Galt is the mayor of a rural area or the governor of a single American state (we can sort of the exact details later). He and his party have near-complete control over the state; they rewrite the laws to prevent the decay of the country, at least in their state. Zero-tolerance policies for crime, limited interference (if any) in business, common sense laws, etc, etc. Francisco (the guy with the very long name) could be a businessman who moves his entire company into the state. The pirate could be a renegade (someone who believes in fighting the Feds, maybe a borderline terrorist) or someone who believes that they will have to fight sooner or later.
Dagny and Eddie might be ‘only sane men’ in government, trying to keep the overall country running. The ‘strike’ might be people moving to Galt-land rather than actually vanishing.
The basic point of Atlas Shrugged was that society had to be maintained to make it work (i.e. you have to do maintenance on your rails or you start having disasters.) That’s something the West seems to have forgotten how to do these days. Galt could be actually trying to do something about it. Actually, as wealth flows into Galt-land, the states bordering it will have to alter their own laws, or risk losing their own businesses and law-abiding citizens. This might set off the crisis in a more realistic manner.