Who was John Galt?

“Who is John Galt?”

No doubt all the parasites back in so-called “civilization” would be abuzz with variations on that question. John Galt didn’t care. In just a few short hours, he would have his vindication and his solitude. For–how long had it been? Weeks? Months? No matter, it was as though his whole life had led him to this point–for some time, Galt had been gathering up the best and brightest, whose lights had been dimmed beneath society’s overbearing bushels. The greatest in science and industry, the arts and agriculture: Today, they would finally begin casting society away and releasing themselves from its choking grip, leaving the parasitic masses to their own insipid devices.

The plan was flawless. Galt had procured a sailing ship, small and innocuous, which would whisk his luminaries away from the world of fools and freeloaders. Galt’s Gulch had been a pleasant enough stopgap, but it was still too connected. To truly withdraw, they would need an island, self-sufficient and seculded as he and his companions hoped to be. It was a trivial matter to find a mighty sailing man, another shining light in his own field, and together they found a tropical paradise, undiscovered by any previous human being, unrecorded on any map. Galt remembered when they first set down on its sandy beach, after confirming that it was the secret sanctuary they’d hoped it might be.

“What should we call it?” asked his First Mate.

“We?” Galt laughed. “My small friend, did not your taut sinews steer our vessel? Did not your steely eyes spot this land? Did not your keen mind set our course? Did not your years of experience guide us to this wondrous location? You should not give up the fruits of your achievements, my friend. The spoils go to the victor, not the victor’s passengers! You found this island, and so you shall be the one to name it!”

“In that case,” the mate said thoughtfully. “I suppose I should name it after myself, so everyone knows who found it.”

Galt slapped the mate playfully with his sailing cap. “Now you’re beginning to understand!”

That first round trip, including all the surveying to ensure that it carried the necessary provisions and was not likely to disappear beneath the waves or a flow of lava, took scarcely three hours. Though time was precious, three hours was a small price to pay for a freedom unlike any ever before experienced since that primordeal Prometheus had his invention of fire stolen by cave-dwelling parasites, resulting in that first detestable “community.” Or perhaps it went back farther, back to the oceans, back to the first fish to grow beyond the confines of his pond, to leave the waters behind. Surely it was that, or be devoured by hordes of ravenous minnows.

Galt laughed at the irony, for today just such a Minnow would allow these big fish to escape their suffocating pond. And at that moment, he saw the cars pull up, carrying his friends, his peers, itching to leave this world behind.

Of course, that freedom was still some ways off. The island had no amenities, no touches of the modern world that his kind had built, and those comforts would be forthcoming. John Galt needed only send a few short telegrams, make a few enticing offers, and his island paradise would have all the benefits–and none of the demerits–of the modern world. But his people deserved to see the island in its raw form, like ore before it is mind, like a blueprint before it becomes manifest in reality. Three hours hence would he get to the telegraph, and his plan would be almost complete.

John Galt stood at the edge of the dock, welcoming each passenger aboard, before following the Mate onto the ship himself. “My friends, we stand on the horizon of a new dawn. Today, we loose our chains, today we glimpse our freedom, today we achieve the dreams of our ancestors! Imagine those who came before us, the geniuses and inventors who longed to rid themselves of the fleas that infested their societies. Imagine if they had succeeded! The world we leave behind today would be without phones, without lights, without motorcars, bereft of the luxuries that they have plundered from our progenitors! They would be as primitive as they deserve to be.” There was a rumble of thunder. “Hear that? That is the sound of the boulder rolling away, my friends! That is the sound of our shackles hitting the ground. The weather may be getting rough ahead, but I assure you, far rougher weather awaits the society we leave behind, for they must ride out the storm without our help!” A cheer rose up from the crowd. Galt smiled.

“This is my ship, but I relinquish the notion of militaristic rank. I will not be your captain; I will not declare myself your superior. No, on this journey, I will be the “skipper,” for what are we doing if not skipping out on the obligations that society’s parasites have loaded onto our backs? For once, for the first time, I am among peers–my mate, of course, the mightiest of sailing men, a millionaire and his wife, a movie star, a professor, and Mary Ann–why, you might as well be Demeter for your skill in the fields! Today, my friends, my equals, we set forth for a new land. Today we set foot on the island that will soon be transformed into our individualistic utopia. Today, in this three-hour tour, we will build the foundation of a new life, and we will do it on a land named for this man here, who discovered it himself and earned his right to be among us!” He placed an arm around the mate’s shoulders. “Today, we journey to…Gilligan’s Island!”

2 Responses to Who was John Galt?

  1. omg I almost choked. I thought this was going to be about Reddit Island, but no. IT WAS BETTER. <3

  2. Bronze Dog says:

    I caught on that the mate would be Gilligan at the mention of minnows. I mentally went through the song’s casting call and snickered at “the millionaire and his wife,” imagining how things would really go for such a pair on a deserted island.

    You know, I think it’d be interesting to see the results of a simulated desert island experiment with devoted Randroids as one team. I’m pretty sure they’d screw themselves over, but I’m wondering what method of self-screwing it’d be.

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