Going Galt

Anders Nygaard

Ayn Rand was her nom de plume, and she had Opinions. This author from
the interwar years has become a popular source of slogans for the U.S.
right. Presumably, Jesus had finally had enough, and wouldn’t play
with them anymore. Some are fond of calling her a philosopher (among
others, Norwegian politician Siv Jensen, who refers to her as a
favorite), but on this subject, scholars differ, sometimes with
unscholarly intensity.

One of the more recognizable lines of her followers is the slogan – or
threat – of “Going Galt”. For the uninitiated the nature of this
threat may seem somewhat obscure. However, for our purposes it is
sufficient to know that Rand uplifted the lone wolf, the free,
creative genius, as society’s real producer of value, and explored the
consequences of this idea in a series of novels. So: When the world’s
Galts decides to take the ball and walk away, the rest of us will be
left foundering, directionless and alone. What kind of society Those
who Move the World could conceivably build has most recently been
explored in the computer game BioShock.

In the following game sketch, players may explore what the acts
involved in cutting off all dependency on their fellow human beings
may entail. Apologies and the Obligatory Generic Parody Disclaimer
go out to the Objectivist purists, if you have stayed with us this

You need at least three players. One of the players are Mr., Mrs. or
Ms. Galt. The player can choose a first name, or use their own.

The game has five rounds, one for each of the steps in Maslow’s
hierarchy of needs. The other players can challenge Galt once each for
each step of the hierarchy. This is done by setting a scene where Galt
is dependent on someone else for his needs. Galt then gets to narrate
how he frees himself from this dependency using any and all of the
means available to him. When each round is finished, Galt can explain
how he or she can make do without other people helping to meet the
need currently under consideration. Remember that after the events in
the scenes you played trough earlier, no one can – or wants to – help
Galt with that particular need anymore. But as a superior human being
it is his moral right to use all of the assets available to him to get
what he wants. Because he is one of those rare people who creates and
brings something new to the world, it is, after all, in everyone’s
best interest that he gets what he wants. Incidentally, Galt’s player
also gets to decide what Galt’s assets are.

The steps of the hierarchy of needs are:

Self-realization: Other people often hold the key to the achievement
of your full potential. In what ways can you lose opportunities to
grow as a person?

Recognition: Most people feel a need to have the respect and goodwill
of others. People who do not respect you will often prevent you from
getting what you want. In what ways can you lose others’ respect?

Social needs: to listen to and participate in a group, to love
somebody, to be accepted, is necessary to stay alive and in good
health. Friends and acquaintances are the first safety net you hit
when society can not or will not help you. In what ways can you get
rid of this support?

Security: The true, creative man is strong enough to stand on his own
without other people, or government intervention like health care, law
and police, but supports himself as a free agent in a perfect free
market. How can you release yourself from the basic compassionate and
civic bonds that ordinary, non-productive people fall back on when
disaster strikes?

Physical needs: Everyone needs maintenance – air, food, water and heat
– to exist. Throughout human evolution, those who move the world have
been dependent, forced to submit to other people, to waste effort on
the needs of unproductive parasites to gain access to these
necessities. In what way can you make others keep these essentials
from you, so that you can truly live a life of freedom?

When Galt has found a way to meet this last requirement, leaving no
way in which those who are lower on the intellectual pyramid can deny
him anything, Galt has won, and the game is over.

4 thoughts on “Going Galt

  1. Funny coincidence. When writing this, I was listening to that one song by Rush that’s on an old Futurama show, because it’s stuck in my head.

    Eventually decided to make a spotify playlist, based on a html playlist you can probably google up.

    I can’t help thinking that those Futurama guys must have a deeply strange taste in music.

  2. Pingback: Game Poems | Play Free at Work

  3. Pingback: Welcome to Nørway | Nørwegian Style

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