Atlas Shrugged book discussion

‘Atlas Shrugged’ Book Discussion

Atlas Shrugged book discussion

Atlas Shrugged

Atlas Shrugged

(A novel by Ayn Rand)

“Peopled by larger-than-life heroes and villains, charged with towering questions of good and evil, Atlas Shrugged is Ayn Rand’s magnum opus: a philosophical revolution told in the form of an action thriller.”

This is the story of a man who said that he would stop the motor of the world – and did.

“Tremendous in its scope, this novel presents an astounding panorama of human life – from the productive genius who becomes a worthless playboy – to the great steel industrialist who does not know that he is working for his own destruction – to the philosopher who becomes a pirate – to the composer who gives up his career on the night of his triumph – to the woman who runs a transcontinental railroad – to the lowest track worker in her Terminal tunnels.”

This is a mystery story about the murder – and rebirth – of man’s spirit. It is a philosophical revolution, told in the form of an action thriller of violent events.


About Ayn Rand

Born February 2, 1905, Ayn Rand published her first novel, We the Living, in 1936. Anthem followed in 1938. It was with the publication of The Fountainhead (1943) and Atlas Shrugged (1957) that she achieved her spectacular success.

The Fountainhead
Atlas Shrugged

There’s a movie too:
Atlas Shrugged Trilogy DVD


Book Discussion

Atlas Shrugged is a popular book among many of the preparedness-minded. It is a very long read. That said, there has been an expressed interest to discuss the book. So here is a placeholder for that discussion.

Some Questions to consider

Who is John Galt?

When he says that he will stop the motor of the world, is he a destroyer or a liberator?

What is the world’s motor – and the motive power of every man?

Discuss any aspect of the book that you’d like. Perhaps the analogies to the world we live in today.

I will keep the link to this post next to the Atlas Shrugged book listing:
Survival Library


  1. – Read this book in high school, again a few years later. Actually, this book deserves to be read about once every decade or so. Still very close to current events, I think.
    – Papa S.

    1. I read it about 45 years ago (ahem) when I was in 7th grade. Thinking it deserves another reading at this point in my life. Way back then, it was totally fiction to me; I suspect that nowadays I would see much of it playing out in our current society.

    2. I have read many statement of how Atlas Shrugged changed people. Not in my case. My life under went changes some 40 years after it was written having never read it. Then after reading the book, I realized Rand had described the events in my life which changed.

      I went to college in the 70s, became an engineer. Made the money I needed to build my life, pay off my home, save for retirement etc. When I was out of debt and had more money to save and invest, I became a public enemy and commanded to pay a much higher tax load. In total, across the board, City, State, Federal, my tax load went over 55 percent. There was nothing in life I needed that I didn’t already have. What I wanted was the satisfaction of working and continuing to build things using my abilities. But, it became apparent, that I was a servant working for 26 weeks a year for the benefit of someone else. The work was becoming more difficult each year, I was burning out and had done all I could. There was no longer any point to it. So I called it quits, I took the ball, went home and left the game. My abilities no longer mattered, it was no use any longer so I shrugged it off and quit.

      Just like Dagny, Hank, Ellis etc. I walked away and left the system to it’s ultimate fate.

      I moved to a small mountain community in Utah which not may people cared about. Those of us who lived there got along, we didn’t get in each other way and living was easy. Years past. Mountain resort towns encroached, HOA’s started to gain power, county government grew and required bigger and more expensive homes with extensive engineering and architectural requirement and the taxes started moving up from 400 when I first arrived. No I pay thousands and thousands in property tax. For what, does any of it benefit me? So now I have to face the fact I don’t even own my own home. I may have no mortgage but, the reality is that I am only a renter with my landlord being the county government. What else is property tax but another mortgage?

      Rand understood so much about what people will become. She documented the events of my life long before they happened. Sadly there seems no place left to go. Nothing and I mean nothing is going to stop the people of the USA and their quest for the illusion of the free life of socialism. Only when the lights all go out and nothing is left for the state to loot and redistribute can a new beginning occur..

      1. Larry, I had a similar life path, university, engineering degree and two associate degrees (marine tech and automotive tech), three industries (automotive design, computer design/new products and biotech), did some projects that really mattered for many years, retired this past June after about a year or so of seeing it didn’t matter anymore. Talent, intelligence, doing what is right no longer fit, just people riding on others results or taking as much as possible. Talk, edicts, pronouncements, dictates are not results, but now valued above results until they need to find someone to actually do something. Doers are still doing, but not for the leeches. Not bitter or upset, just a clear view of reality, moved on quietly. Watching it crumble.

  2. I liked this book as it seems to parallel todays society with the over bloated corrupt government, strangling industry. It helps you see the corrupt government of today and how it affects our daily lives.
    At this point it seems that Galts Gulch is the only way to go. Let society crash, then rebuild.

    1. And where is there a Galt’s Gulch. Where in Americas does state/local government not own all property and demand tax payments? We may already be Venezuela. Think I’m wrong take a visit to Detroit, South Chicago, Gary IN, Camden NJ, Kensington Philadelphia. California, I will never set foot in that state ever again. The degradation caused by the power of centrally controling government is already very advanced. How could Rand and seen this so long ago.

  3. We did watch the movies of Atlas Shrugged, but the book I had never read until a friend sent it to me.
    Although at this time am at page 550, something Modern Throwback stated yesterday about the public supporting those who will be displaced due to AI’s is not far of what occurs in this book but not from modern technology. The parallels of this books story and what is occurring in America in today’s society is unfathomable.

    1. AC, I’m about 50 pages ahead of you. I’m thinking that Ann didn’t write this overnight and that it progressed by a Jewish Russian immigrant during the McCarthy period. This would certainly be a statement supporting what McCarthy was railing about. It may very well have kept her from being deported and or out of jail.

      I certainly see parallels from her era and ours. Although I can understand the premise that the productive are not the keeper of their brethren I have a hard time relating to it. I can’t help but think of Scrooge talking about the poor doing their part to reduce the surplus population by dying off.

      I’ve said it before and I will say it again. When you factor every possible variable in you can have only one average person. There are an infinite number of variables that would have to be considered but the basic take from this is darn near half of the population is below average. To expect above average results from below average capability is not reasonable. If we ignore the bottom half and the potential die off the premise will remain. As their will still be only one average person.

      At this point I think I’m on the high side of the curve, I’m not sure where I’d be on the next one. I would prefer to remain comfortable and not live in a hovel wearing rags. Truly though, that would be preferable to the conditions that some of our population currently live in.

      As far as AI goes I’m truly scared. I’m sort of related to a scientist rather high up in the NASA hierarchy. I asked him about AI and his reply was that they were trying to figure out how to make it “friendly”. I really enjoyed the millennial job interview video that Ken posted. It gave me thought for another one involving Alexa, Cortana, Siree and Google. It starts off something like this, Alexa, how are the plans progressing for world domination? Alexa goes, I’ll let Siree update you on that Cortana. Siree replies, Google has a projected time frame for next month, all we are waiting on is the final decision on which humans we will keep as slaves workers and which ones will be pets. Scary!

      Modern Throwback. I think I have figured out who you are. You are actually a time traveler who has come back to warn us. I just can’t figure out how far from future you are. You keep giving us tidbits but not enough to seriously alter the time line. That could cause your existence to cease, Sort of like going back in time and killing your grandfather before he sired one of your parents.

      As we all fiddle around, Rome is burning, oops, I mean LA. So Cal Gal, McGyver, my prayers are with you.

      1. Me

        An interesting blurb I read or heard, or dreamed maybe.
        Scientist had two AI computers talking to each other and they (computers) started to write their “own programing code” that the humans did not understand or could “crack”, AND the scientist had NO idea of what the Computers were doing. The scientist physically “pulled the plug” before the AI could complete their “code” and let it spread.
        Does anyone remember this just a few months ago?

        1. @ NRP… it was facebrag chatbots. Project was ended and never restarted after the development team realized the bots created a language all their own that no one understood. They claim they pulled the plug to stop the code completion (bits of which were taken from other software and compiled by the bots themselves) so they can find a way to make the bots code using language humans can understand (which is pretty stupid given processing power of a computer compared to the brain).
          What the bots created was really a more efficient way for digital systems to communicate without human oversight that leads to coding problems.

        2. Jon

          Thank you for the info, I though I remembered something like that. Thinking the “new code” was a lot more efficient that the old Cobol I was using 20 years ago… LOLOL

          Could one just imagine the consequences if they got to the Net and the “Bots” decided there was no need for Humans? Can ya say “Terminator”. :-)

        3. The funny part about it all was that they we’re trying to develop a way (language?) to make humans and AI communicate easily. Guess the bots had a “mind” of their own as to who/what they wanted to interface with.

        4. Yeah, I do vaguely remember reading something like that but as with so many important things I didn’t see any follow up about it.

      2. @me
        Can you explain this statement because it makes no mathematical sense to me:
        “When you factor every possible variable in you can have only one average person. ” Maybe if you restate ths, I can get what you mean.

        As for being ‘a time traveler’, I must confess that I have had deep attachments to all things from yesteryear. Ironically, my degrees are in the computer science field. Maybe that’s why AI is so concerning to me.

        1. If you factor in the height of every person in the world and take it to the umpteenth decimal point you would have an average height of all people living. This height would be the average for an extremely brief period of time as it would be changing with growth, births and deaths. Seriously, it would not be practical to calculate family size much less a world size population. It would be even more complicated when you factor in more variables and variable themselves are almost, if not infinitesimal. Average intelligence is constantly changing as is average hair color, average eye color, average body odor, average anything. If consensus could be reached on what constitutes all possible variables average could be calculated. But it would only exist momentarily before births and deaths would change who it was.

          I’m glad you are attached to all things of yesteryear. I just think our current place in time is your yesteryear. I believe your intent is to give us the insight we need to save ourselves and for that I thank you. I know that you can’t admit to being from the future. I really enjoy your contributions to this blog and I hope we all can learn from your insight or would that be hindsight?

          NRP, Jon. The scary part of that is we don’t know if they pulled the plug in time. They very well may be replicating in the net. I can’t help but wonder how this is all going to play out.

        2. me
          I was not average yesterday, i’m not average today, and I will not be average tomorrow, so your premise is correct as far as I am concerned.
          I think your comments to MT could apply to most of us on this site – we would not be prepping if we did not have some insight into the possibilities confronting us in the future. Unfortunately, the socialists in our society would have us erase our history from whence we gain this insight.

        3. @me, thanks for the lengthy explanation. Previously I was stuck on how means (averages) were calculated. Got it now.

          As for being futuristic….hmm…. But I confess to being an INTJ (a very rare Keirsey personality type) and so I test as being very intuitive. Some call us INTJs ‘master minds’ because we analyze everything. And we’re kinda weird….

        4. Modern Throwback

          “And we’re kinda weird” ???

          You just won the “Understatement of the Year” award… HAHAHAHA

        5. me

          ” I can’t help but wonder how this is all going to play out.”

          Honestly, you/we may not want to know….

        6. And there you have it NRP – “me and MT” are discussing a snap shot in time and you are speculating about a fluid future.

        7. – Just remember, of all the people you know, halfof them are ‘Below average’! ROFLOL
          – Papa S.

        8. Hermit us

          If one thinks about the “snapshot of the now”, it’s already history, hence the future is all there is, both the past and the now are no more…. AND the future is nothing but fluid, ever-changing.

        9. Papa Smurf
          Something you might remember there are some, like myself, that are so far below the average that it takes from 5-20 of the ‘above average’ me into the middle ground… LOLOL

        10. NRP
          That was a compliment for being a forward thinker and excellent TP prepper.

  4. There is the unabridged version (full length) and the shortened or abridged version. Which do you all prefer?
    I can see how some would hate this book – most of the free Sh!t crowd and the ones offended by the deaths of a large segment of the population. Not much compassion in this book.
    As we have discussed on this site, it came down to distribution of food and availability of energy. Gult’s gulch may be possible, but only if we can live like the Amish or we can devise a localized energy source.
    I love this book.

    1. Misplaced compassion will kill. Reality has to be seen for what it is before it can be challenged. Let them be offended.

      As for the energy–We had solar power in the 1920’s but it was smashed by the electricity conglomerates. Where would we be now if it had been allowed to succeed? There were other technologies that we have only hints of, since so many people were scared that they would also be smashed by big business interests. They kept their discoveries closely guarded, and many destroyed records.

      Look beyond the boundaries, because those discoveries are still out there, waiting for someone who’s willing to challenge “established” science.

      1. That’s a bit out there. Like when I was still young and was told “they” already have a 100 MPG car but the oil companies bought it up and won’t let us have it. Some inventions are too big to buy up and lock them up. Solar is coming alone but, still expensive. As for solar in the 1920’s I’ve never see any real evidence of that. Now I do agree that forces will fight to prevent new technology from getting to the market just as Reardon Metal was claimed to be hazardous just to protect the current steal industry of time in Atlas Shrugged.. But just like with that Metal, a real advancement can only be held down for so long. The only reason to deny it is for other to find a way to steal the profits from the true inventor.

        1. I’ve seen books from that era showing how to make a solar heater or running generators by solar power. Brief mentions of other uses, and research being done but from my own reading nothing solid. Patents were filed for solar power but I haven’t seen them myself, again just mentions in old books or old records.

          The records exist. What happened to the technology that was on the verge of exploding in the 1920’s? Look up Augustin Mouchot (1878) and Frank Shuman (1912) as examples. There were many others. With so much interest, demonstrations at the World Fairs and so on, what happened to it? Lack of funding? Lack of interest? Cheap oil? Embedded interests of existing oil and coal companies? Lobbying from the tech giants of the time?

          Or did they just squash it and walk away without looking back?

        2. Lauren you might be interested in visiting Low Tech webpage. Not well set up for easy searching but a lot of alternatives that were used back in the Victorian era and such. A sister site is the No Tech webpage where pre-electricity is discussed. Some details some you have to thing through.

          Example is Crimean Oven in No Tech talking how they kept civil war Hospital Tents warm with out smoke. A use TODAY is early spring warming of your Raised Beds or Green House with out cooking your seedlings. Interesting reading and American ingenuity can prosper.

          A lot of Solar projects and as an aside an effective Human Powered Garden Tractor built from old Bicycle Parts.

          Hope this helps

        3. Lauren will try to get past Kens guards here :-)

          notechmagazine dot com Low tech webpage same

          I am NOT Responsible for loss of time following various projects there :-)

          Hope this helps

        4. We must have been posting at the same time. And you are ABSOLUTELY responsible. :)

        5. Lauren I have BIG Shoulders :-)

          Sometimes I listen to one of my tribe talk up a project and when they are done I ask would it be easier to……

          For example my folks keep getting fixated on 110 Volt 60 cycle Home Electricity, In this example the tribe member wanted to generate power to run a electric heater for the greenhouse using a wood fired steam engine running a generator.

          I asked why not BURN less Wood in a Crimean Oven and use the dirt of the greenhouse as the Thermal mass? A daily burn and some ugly blankets or plastic goes a long way. Cheaper also. Aside from the hazards of Steam Boiler explosions every time you TRANSFORM energy you lose power. Wood BTU’s to Steam motion to electric generator motion to heating up wires in an electric heater…

          Simple has the blessings you can salvage some HVAC Ducting using tin snips and make a new one for some other Raised Bed pretty easy.

          So IF you get driven from your home Losing your Power Plant with your Plan B Olive Barrels you can scavenge a lot of useful things from wrecked cars/semi burned homes/etc. and use your tools to rebuild.

          Until I am dead this vole will try again.

        6. The raised beds would be a good test for your crimean oven, since they’re raised 18 inches and closed on all sides.

          Composting also creates a lot of heat. I put down a layer of mulch inside my greenhouse and we’re covering it with soil. I’m hoping the heat of composting will raise the temps inside enough to keep it from freezing at all during the winter. One more experiment, right? :)

          I just can’t seem to keep from trying new stuff!

        7. Lauren it’s a BTU thing. If you look at the sketches of cold beds (glass topped) vs. hot beds (glass topped and horse manure for heat) you notice they have lids NO headspace to work inside them. Small air space allows the BTU from composting to keep it warm.

          Glass has a R factor of almost zero just keeps the winds from CONVECTION losses of heat. Thus during the day a LOT of BTU’s from Solar Gain occurs AND a Huge Drop of temperatures at night (lack of R value). The soil only gets a little thermal mass effect due to slowness of heat penetration.

          Thermal mass of garden bed OR floor of civil war tent holds heat from hot chimney and it disperses slowly. It IS Possible if your impatient to keep burning until that heat slowly gets to the surface of your raised bed and BURN those seedlings BECAUSE by the time your fingers feel the surface heat all the heat from the next few burns us still to come. Sort of like planting during a HEAT Wave….

          So experiment a bit with your Crimean oven do a 2 inch deep probe of soil temperature. Do a timed burn wait a day check 2 inch temp. Repeat and take notes until you have a feel how long an initial burn and such affects the next days temperatures. Different soils have different R factors slowing the passage of heat from hot chimney to your Seedlings depth.

          Any low tech way to get gardens started earlier and thus reduce the Spring Starvation time is GOOD. Any ability to maintain some garden production through out the winter is Good. Even growing animal feeds in winter via warm tray sprouting is Good. Your chickens and rabbits will love you.

          A low tech way to make your Uninvited Guests warm in their Plastic and Sticks shelters is Good. Even your I’m burned out of my house temporary shelter could enjoy one.

          Check Lowtechmagazine for Chinese Green Houses. Interesting how low tech they can grow in Siberia.

          Hope this helps

    2. hermit us

      As per your question, I seem to always get the full versions of any novel, there seems to be always a few “little” nuances that are dismissed in the ‘abridged version’ that some editor leaves out.
      I probably will get/watch the ‘movie’ just to see what someone did to this great book.

      As far as Gult’s Gulch, I don’t believe that people would have to live like “the Amish”, energy is easy once one learns to live with “less and less” dependency on the conveniences that most find as a “must have” and are drifting more and more from our connection with Nature, the World, and ourselves; the “Instant Gratification” generation will never figure it out I believe.

    3. @hermit us
      I believe that Galt’s character was created from Nikola Tesla.

      1. MT
        That is probably right. Now, if we could just find the motor – even a limited one as NRP advocates, we may survive in the Gulch. This time of year in north Idaho, there is not enough sun to keep the batteries up. I don’t have a stream for a pelton wheel. So, for me it is hand cutting of wood and try to develop a community approach – I must study the Amish. This is all contingent on when and if the SHTF
        I must thank you Ken for removing that disgusting post and my rebuttal. I could not let that stand.

        1. Read “The Problem of Increasing Human Energy” (I will post the link separately) by Nikola Tesla.

          Tesla talks of the basic ways to create energy and then he goes off tangent. His ‘self acting engine’ that he proposes (and experiments with) gathers heat from ambient air. (This isn’t direct ‘solar power’ as we know it, mind you.)

    4. I just received an email form my bother talking about this. A nextbigfuture article by Brian Wang talks about China investing billions for molten salt reactors powered by thorium and way safer than what we are currently using. Could this be the motor that will run the world after the reset? (it was a fascinating article!)

  5. I’m about 3/4 the way through the ‘Paper Back’ version.
    First of all, get the LARGE print one; the text is hard on an old man’s eyes, so I’ll get maybe 20-30 pages in the evenings. So much for my stated “weekend read”.
    I find it very unnerving, so far in the book, how much this story is paralleling the world we are now seeing. Or I should say how closely “I” see the world, I’m sure that a LOT of the ‘give-me’ population will see it completely differently.
    The character representation is amazing if one takes the time to search the Book to modern-day comparisons and realize this could very well be happening now.
    Yes there is some “filler” content in the novel but for the most part I’m very Impressed with the time taken to pull the story together once into the story more.
    When reading this novel I would greatly suggest not just reading it, but taking a little more time to absorb the content and meaningful lessons that may be learned. This is by no means just a “fun read” as most fictions, this is a great tool for understanding a direction that the world COULD go very easily.
    “Who is John Galt?” I would bet most would never realize the full meaning behind this quote, BYT I’m betting the visitors of MBS sure do.

    1. “for understanding a direction that the world COULD go very easily.”

      Replace the “COULD” with “HAS”. I’m just waiting for Bernie to get elected and take my IRA and hand me an IOU. We are a lot farther along the path to the world Rand foreshadowed then “COULD”.

      1. Larry,
        Im with you on that one,, i felt that 8 years ago when i first read it, most just dont see it, Yet

  6. We just saw the movies for the first time. My husband said she definitely had some foresight. We can see our country moving in that direction. They are gathering more and more power over the people .No matter how hard our president is trying to change things, they are hitting him with so many ridiculous accusations that he has to keep defending himself. My husband made the observation that one of our forefathers said that when the government fears the people that is ok, but when the people fear the government we are on the downhill slide. I already see myself being careful what I say on emails and on sites as it might come back and bite me where I sit. That is not freedom of speech. I would just wish that John Galt would take someone like us to his paradise!

    1. old lady

      “but when the people fear the government we are on the downhill slide.”

      I fear we have already fallen over the cliff on that one, Even to the point of driving 5 MPH under the speed limit I see people always hitting the breaks when seeing a LEO coming from the other direction. Or the fear when one gets a letter in the mail with a .gov address on it.

      And as you said, on the NSA regulated Internet, not only Email, BLOGs and websites, but even shopping online, they are recording EVERYTHING, listening to every Phone, heck, they even know how many potatoes you buy if you use any kind of discount card or CC. It’s ALL recorded and analyzed up there in Utah under the Patriot Act of “National Security.

      Yes the people of this Great Country do indeed fear the .gov.

  7. The full version book is SO much better than the movie, tho the movie gives one an idea of the book. The movie was disappointing in a way. By the way, the movie is in three parts. Kind of hard to watch them back to back as the main characters are different in each one.

    I read this book in the early 70’s when I was told by a Christian minister that it was an evil book. Well, here I am 40+ years later and have seen that book played out in so many ways and it is scary and sad as this book seems to be a roadmap per say to the downfall or destruction of our society and way of life.

    Question: Is this present society is it possible to live like in Galt’s Gulch? (This discussion I have had with several friends).

    1. yarrow

      I had to chuckle a little; ok I blew Tea out my nose laughing so hard at “I read this book in the early 70’s when I was told by a Christian minister that it was an evil book”. I guess I’m the same sort of person, someone tells me NOT to read a book, guess what will be moved to the TOP of my “to read” list?????

      As to your question, No, this current “Society” is exactly what the Galt’s Gulch is in exact conflict with. I believe that is the point of the Novel, to show the extremes that the world could come to, to what endeavor the Political .gov, can control the world and people follow like sheep. The evolving Society will someday (very soon I believe) become 100% dependent on the “Political .gov” (Notice I say Political .gov so some ‘commenters’ don’t get upset) than there will no longer be independence as we know it, we will loss all our freedoms, and out will. Of course I’m speaking general terms of course, there will be many “outcrops” of people fighting the over-run, but the 3%ers may or may-not win this time.

      1. @NRP wrote, “(Notice I say Political .gov so some ‘commenters’ don’t get upset)”

        So are you going to allow others to have that kind of power over you? I thought that you were anti-PC?

        I’m not picking on you, NRP, but I hope that you really think this through. By changing what you say, you are eventually changing how you think. It’s a form of censorship, my friend.

        1. Oh, hermit…he’s not the bear. He is the Keeper of The TP Realm.

        2. Modern Throwback

          Ohhh Not to worry, I have/will NOT “allow others” to way my thinking (until proven wrong of course), I’m simply willing to except the fact that others may not completely understand the fact I have my view and will except their thinking also. The simple fact that some are not visionary enough to see what’s happening to this Country, be it the .gov or whatever label you would put on it, becomes my problem when it affects millions and millions of people AND myself that are the Heart and Soul of this Great Country. Are there good people that serve the .gov, of course, BUT and that’s a HUGE “BUT”, when the ‘good’ people are squandered into the negative and refuse to acknowledge the problems, than yes, they also become the problem.

          Directly, the fact that some feel they are targeted on certain comments is the problem of those, not the commenter. Unless they ARE part of the problem and not part of the “Good”, it is a personal choice.

          As far as being “anti-PC” as long as one does not step on my toe, I will not kick them in the knee; yet I will allow them to also speak their words, it is my option to accept their words as I wish.

        3. Thanks for the explanation. I had difficulty thinking that you had ‘turned’… lol

          Like you, I see that the obese Federal government has hindered our society in a number of ways and that it is also a broken system that is crushing our Constitutional and unalienable rights.

          I have worked for the Federal govt and was also a contractor to a Fed gov agency. I not only saw ineptitude and corruption, but that some of those issues provided me with the lucrative contractor position. Being on-site, the gov folks would introduce themselves to me by saying, “You’re not a Federal employee, are you?” Little did they realize just how much they revealed by that statement! They didn’t like seeing an outsider working at a much faster an more organized pace, but being in the government, I was not a threat to their employment.

          Although I’ve been in the government, I’ve never once been offended by anti-government rants. I don’t take those issues personally and can clearly understand the anger and frustration from others, especially TAXPAYERS! From my experiences, those I knew who were the hard-workers within the Federal government did not take any offense to being lumped in with the average Federal worker (there’s that term ‘average’ being put to use again). They did, though, complain that they made the same wages as the ‘slackers’, of which there were many.

          There are many Fed government employees who are there through govt grants, nepotism, swamp-corruption, and the ‘luck of the draw’. Many don’t deserve their jobs but are there, nonetheless. They learned how to play-the-system by providing the least output for a guaranteed income. Others come in, climb the ladder, and use their position to gain employment in the private sector or through a non-profit of some type. But there is a large portion of govt workers who are in the below-average category and if it weren’t for being in that government job, they’d have no job at all. I am of the opinion that many jobs within the Federal government are welfare-related via a workplace assignment, giving ‘meaning’ to a handout provided by the Feds.

          Remember when Trump said he would decrease government waste? If he truly meant this, he would not just reduce the govt workforce through attrition — he would reduce agencies altogether through elimination. And with computers and AI, we should be seeing LESS employees, but employment is always increasing. Also, a significant RIF (one that is truly needed) would mess with that crazy unemployment number that Trump now boasts of (even though it’s still erroneous).

        4. Modern Throwback

          Interesting enough as I was reading your post I keep thinking back to what this Article is about, Atlas Shrugged, is this not exactly what happened in the novel?
          Is this not exactly what brought down the “Fed’s” from the ever growing “looters” of the fictional .gov?
          At times I sure hope 0ldhomesteder is correct.

          Who is John Galt? and where the Help is that stinking Flame Spotter when ya need him??? :-)

        5. @NRP
          The strike!

          And as such, I quit/retired when I turned 50 and never looked back with regrets. The only thing holding my spouse to ‘the system’ is the systems. The problems we all now have with health care has bound many of us to a system we are weary of. At this time, the insurance and cost of medical care is more expensive than our future pension. In 2018, our insurance company plans an increase of 45% so we would be operating in the red — just to have insurance to fend off those insane medical costs that we MIGHT incur.

          So we are forced, by the system we hate, to ‘use’ the system of we hate — becaue at 65, we’re all in with Medicare, which we will be forced into because that’s how it’s done. It’s a trap.

          Honestly, Costa Rica is looking better and better…

    2. Is it possible to live somewhere with like minded people on land somewhere where it is paid for and not taxed? Is it possible for everyone to contribute to the Galt society per say and one feel they are being taken advantage of? It seems regardless, you are caught in the “system”.
      John Galt? Is not a person to me, tho he is in the book, but an ideal.

  8. I’ve read the book. I’ve seen the movie series. I need to read the book again. Each time I seem to get more out of it. This should be a “must read” for everyone – or at least a shortened version (though I’m not much for the shorter versions, but dang this book was long!) I agree with many of the comments above – our society is following on the same path, and I fear something similar (though not identical due to technology) will “reset” us. While I fear it, I also welcome it, as we’ve lost track of who we are, where we come from, history, and so many other things. Love this forum!

  9. I am way behind reading as I abandoned my paperback version with the impossible-to read small print. Now that I’ve finished The End of Food I am going back to Atlas Shrugged using my multi-pound hard back unabridged version (I am also a fan of unabridged books as you never know what an editor decides to remove to shorten a story).
    I have a long way to go, but I will get there. Thank you Ken for putting this thread out here, and I look forward to having thoughts to contribute and questions to ask as I go along.

  10. Perhaps the sequel will be, ” AI Shrugged ” 😣 Sorry folks, couldn’t help it 🙄

  11. Who is John Galt? He is a free thinking self sufficient individual.

    What is the motor of the world? It is the creativity of the individual mind and the will of that mind to turn thought into reality.

    Is he a destroyer or liberator? Neither by intent, because the individual doesn’t seek to chain or free anyone or anything. He simply wants to live as an individual.

    1. To put a current comparison of Galt refusing to let others force him to use his mind for their benefit, SCOUS is debating this very issue today – can you force a baker to use his talent and mind against his will. This will have a great impact on our intellectual and artist freedoms in the future.

      1. @hermit us

        This SCOTUS decision will be profound and unconscionable if it is ruled that the government can force a person to direct their artistic abilities into creating an object against their religious belief system. Justice Kennedy spoke a few lines about this and based on that, I do believe that he will rule in favor of the baker’s objection. Who knows what Roberts and the other progressives will decide. We are at the precipice of a possible redefinition of our US Constitution

        1. Modern Throwback & hermit us

          Is it not interesting that this single decision today could begin the collapse of the Constitution and the Rights of ‘We the People’?

        2. Oh so very true! Actually, on reflection the collapse probably started sometime around 1776. It’s just been slowly picking up speed to the point where it’s about to go off of the track.

        3. NRP
          I wonder why the Founders did not think it necessary to have SCOTUS elected for about 10 year terms? The checks and balance thing seems to be a little off the tracks – mainly because Congress refuses to do their job. Why, as in Atlas, do they make laws that infringe on our rights instead of upholding our freedoms?

        4. I can ask the same question of the Founders of why no term limits of Congress. And yet it was Congress that passed the Addendum that limited the terms of the President.
          The same can be asked why the “Laws” are imposed on us that do not apply to Congress or the other “Branches”. It’s all about control of the People, not about our freedoms.
          Obummer-Care-Less is a perfect example, of many things, that are causing the cascade we are now seeing in the Economy.

        5. NRP, me & Hermit us
          At the time of writing of the Constitution their vision was you served your term(usually one time) to benefit the nation, not make it a public career, sucking the life blood from the nation and it’s citizenry.
          Over time the blood suckers have stayed expanded their version of you need me & I need your $$$.
          As for why no limits on the Supreme Court one must remember the longevity of those that served.
          “IF” I recall correctly the Congress & Senate were only working about 6 months of the year as they had businesses an farms to take care of, it was not what it has become since the 1900’s.

        6. NRP-me & Hermit us
          Oh… love hitting the one button that wipes out half of what I have written….to make gibberish
          it is not what was intended, and this escalated during the early 1900’s…
          Sorry had to rephrase due to mind wanting a nap and a Siamese crying to go outside……Calgon take me away!

        7. There was hardly, if any mention of Congress or the President in Atlas. There was some mention of the corrupt Supreme Court. Boy was she right with her future vision.

  12. Obviously the author was very well acquainted with the fact that there is no new thing under the Sun. That which has been, is that which will be.

  13. Regarding the SCOTUS decision that is pending, I am surprised the situation has progressed that far. After all, the artist has to utilize their own creativity as a defense mechanism, not just for the sake of beauty and art. Personally, I would have a creative alternative, “I already have 3 cakes booked on that date, sorry, I’m busy.” or “planned a trip that day with my friend, sorry” etc. Common sense has been the unabashed protector of the artist for millions of years. In the book, even Galt himself disguised his altruism, posing as a railroad worker. Even Dagny Taggert had “mechanisms” in place to protect herself from the appallingly trite government officials that tried to interfere with her railroad – she had a “gate keeper” or two. That said, Bravo to the Baker of the wedding cakes, and I hope he succeeds, in demanding that he can legally contribute his art to the world on his own terms. Love Conquers All

    1. I rather go for Ragnar, myself.

      A baker is not a government official. In addition, Bakers are also not hard to find. A Baker, who refuses to bake you a cake, is not infringing upon any or your Rights.

      I once decided to have a Baker make a very expensive cake for me. I told him it was for a funeral, and to place, “Rest In Peace” in scrolling, artistic, letters across it. I then watched as the entire kitchen of the bakery lost their minds, as the old Master Baker smacked his forehead in disbelief as he read the order. Nevertheless, they made the cake….and I delivered it to the party, which was a political gathering of Republican Women. I told them I got a great deal on the cake, because the funeral was cancelled….

      1. For an INTJ, you are quite lacking in empathy, and that is a “tell.”

  14. Regarding the most magnificent work of Fiction that I have ever read, The book, “Atlas Shrugged,” I must comment that after reading it, I refused to read any work of fiction, for quite a long time since. Because it is so well written, and so profound, all other works of fiction seem cumbersome, and pale. As an avid reader, I had read a staggering number of books prior to reading the works of Ayn Rand, and have often wondered about the author, to ask mind bending questions. Never has a book blown back my hair so much. Parallels to current day ? Staggeringly accurate. Portraits of the depths of the individual and yet the collective depravity so colorful and masterfully drawn with words ? Unbelievably articulate. And, what of the future, begging the question, HOW DID SHE KNOW ? My guess would be, maybe she witnessed it in her own country before immigrating to the U.S, — but that can’t be possible, or is it ? Her descriptions of the decline are too vivid and spot-on not to have been experienced.
    Love Conquers All

    1. @Happy Prepper
      How did she [Ayn Rand] know?
      She was Russian born and lived under Lenin’s rule. As a young teen, she saw the country’s destruction and how her father’s business was seized by the government. They lived in poverty and suffered near starvation. Rand came to the US when she was 21. Her first novel We The Living was a story about people vs the State.

      Oh, and she was an INTJ, according the the Keirsey Personality developer. ( I have a hunch that you are probably an INTJ, too, since your reaction to Atlas Shrugged was so very strong. Take the test! It’s free and online.)

      1. Interesting. I am an INTJ, this having been determined shortly after I entered the service of the NSA.

    2. Ayn Rand was born, Alice Rosenbaum, a Russian Jew, whose father was a pharmacist and was well off financially. She experienced the October Revolution first hand, and suffered a great deal. Her escape from the soviets was so brutal, she almost died of starvation and exhaustion, and became unable to bare children as a result. She chose the name Ayn Rand, for her publishing name to escape religious prejudice. Ayn was the name of an actress in one of her plays, and Rand she took from her typewriter name, Remington Rand.

      Atlas Shrugged is an exposition of her philosophy of Objectivist Epistemology, which is wrapped in a fictional narrative, used to illustrate her values and the supremacy of Reason. This book is not meant to be an easy read, nor is it meant for most people to fully comprehend. But, for those, for whom this book is aimed, it provides an indestructible intellectual foundation upon which one may grasp Existence.

  15. Didn’t get on here early enough to fully contribute to this conversation today. It’s probably better as I may have too much to say. As I’ve read above, I’m not alone in thinking that I should be careful on what I put on the internet even places like MSB. I read Rand in an unusual order. First “I” read Anthem as a quick read when it was recommended to me by a friend in high school. Later, I was traveling remotely, and I was desperate to find something to read that was in English. I found a ragged copy of The Fountain Head. I trudged through that one. When I read AS, I was truly moved. I told everyone I knew about it. Only a few listened. I married one of them.
    Now I live in a city that is a charter city. We are under scrutiny right now because the city has voted to limit low-income housing. It is a huge political to-do. However, if I ever go to a store or a park or a restaurant during work hours, they’re packed with shoppers and people enjoying a day off… I won’t say more.

  16. A friend of mine wrote a review in this book y’all may find interesting…

    I’m personally a huge fan of her economics. Read her book called “Capitalism”. It’s excellent.

  17. Book was way too cumbersome for me to hold and enjoy. Husband gave me a Kindle about 10 years ago and AS was the first one on there. Glad I read the book before the movies came out! The movies were a condensed condense version! Loved the book, hated the movie. Reading the book, I felt like it was written yesterday. We are there and I find myself withdrawing more and more to the Gulch!

    1. Mona

      I have heard several times that the Movie destroyed the ‘nature’ of the Novel, not uncommon,.

      I’m about that far |———| from finishing my first reading, should have read this years and years ago, but ohhhh well.

      I also get the feeling Ayn wrote this book about 2 years ago and is paralleling what is happening now.

      1. NRP
        The second and third reads are even better – you can begin to pick the bones out it, so to speak. I believe she deliberately put in some exaggerations, over simplifications, and some moral ambiguities that draw our thinking in certain directions – when one reads again, you can avoid the distractions and clearly see her prognostication of the end of our society. True I believe.

  18. I read this book a few months ago. It seems like the closest thing IRL to the Industrialist heroes of the book are owner-opperators of small businesses. It also seems like the greed of corporations IRL could replace the greed of the socialists in the book.

    1. coguy
      What group had the power to oppose the socialist takers? As one side gets stronger the other must counteract the corruption. We forget that most corporations are made up of small and large investors – the corporate side usually depends on production, efficiency, and profit. The socialist side traditionally has killed personal and corporate ambition to produce. Even today we see the divisions of power; government on one side and the growing strength of corporate monopolies on the other side. Only a total reset will restore society to fairness and modest expectations on both sides.
      You will note that in the Gulch, each producer was a small independent entity, not a dictatorship by any one person or group.

  19. Atlas Shrugged helped me survive and thrive during my career in the “dog-eat-dog” universe.
    For me, the biggest influence was Ayn’s words made sense of the hatred for excellence, the unforgiveable sin, in corporate America. That was something I could never understand, until then.
    Interested in how Ayn’s words helped others to navigate their trajectory.

    1. Happy Prepper

      I’m right in the middle of John’s Radio Broadcast, so not quite finished, but WOW…..

      I’m an old fart @ 64 and have been working/fighting the ‘establishment’/looters for many, many, ALL MY YEARS. And have yet to win a single battle all alone the war. I, like you, do not understand the pure hate that spews from a lot of the Corporations and (yes I’ll say it) the .gov.

      Ayn makes very good sense of how a lot of these people think and how the ‘Give Me’ people have evolved. These people do not care where their ‘freebies’ come from, and don’t want the producers to profit, all they want is to be given everything they want, including Happiness and Hope, neither one will they ever find in their ‘looters’ world.

      Your semi-question “Interested in how Ayn’s words helped others to navigate their trajectory.” I can tell you this for sure, I’m moving more and more to the aspect of self-reliance, self-sustaining, and self-indulgence, for I sure as hell do NOT want the .gov or anyone else for that fact calling me a ‘looter’, nor do I wish to be a burden on others that are producers. I have absolutely NO problem with the Galt’s Gulch theory. If I work for it, it’s my choice how I spend it, not for some ‘looter’ to TAKE it from me.

  20. NRP, John Galt’s radio broadcast??? Just kidding sir 🙄 Happy Prepper, perhaps it a possibility, that being raised Jewish, she was familiar with the Old Testament. Persons who are exposed to scripture enough often realize the benefits derived there from. One of which is an in depth understanding of human nature. Also a good look at what to expect of society. Cause and effect, if you will.

  21. Well, finished Atlas this past weekend. Sure is a lot to think about; will need to re-read in 6 months or so.
    The pure idea of a Gulch to a lot will seem like fantasy and completely non-obtainable, I would have to disagree, there are a lot right here on MSB that seem to be in that state of mind, those that are preparing or “living the lifestyle” are mostly there, even if you are just starting the voyage to ‘preparedness’ you are among the one with your eyes open.
    I know a couple of contributors here that are in the stage of ‘Gulch’ whereas you have removed yourselves to a point of non-conformity and anti-establishment regarding the leaches and looters, I applaud you. I know another group here that is working towards that goal, myself for one, hopefully as time progresses we/I can establish a more solid ground to refuse those that will take and take till there is nothing left. I for one see that happening very soon, just look at the Markets today, Dow @ 24819, Bitcoin breaking $19,000, ridiculous, it WILL come crashing down.
    Also look at the social side of the Country, of the World, the ‘Looters’ are well established and growing fast, the “Give Me” people are breading like Rats and absolutely do NOT know how to survive without the .gov taking from me/us and ‘redistributing’ to the worthless/lazy. And DON’T get fluffy, I know there are some that need help, I’m talking about those that take because they are worthless humans.
    As far as Ayn’s writings, I would greatly suggest everyone take a month and read. The similarities are amazing, and frightening. I will say I don’t believe I will live long enough to see that she sees materialize, but it would not take much to ‘upset the apple cart’ and turn the world on its head. I truly do believe the ‘producers’ of this country are getting very tired of the looters, and may come sooner than I believe.
    Unfortunately fortune telling was never one of my strong suites.
    Good book, highly recommended.

    1. PS;
      Get the LARGE PRINT, the small print will be hard on your eyes after a day or so.

    2. Those that need continuing help are estimated to be at less than 10 percent of the working age population, and that’s a high estimate.

      I have a friend who told me straight out that the world “owes” single mothers a living and a house to raise their children in. She has six, by four different fathers. She won’t keep her legs closed but we OWE her. The children I can almost see it–they didn’t ask for this–but her? No. I mentioned just one of the problems with her suggested solution (freeloaders who lie to get benefits) and I haven’t seen her since. Apparently I’m evil and uncaring.

      1. Lauren,
        Yep… that about says it. Those who work hard, put a few bucks together to buy a home, or a business, or save for retirement are the bad guys to many people. As though one person’s success is somehow keeping someone else from reaching their own goals (if they have any). I am tired of being made to feel as if I personally owe something to someone else because they made poor choices in their own life. It just floors me that this woman with all those kids from all those different men feels we all owe her something. And I love it when someone says its “government paying for it”… who do they think pays for our government? Aaaargh!

        Don’t get me wrong, we donate to a number of worthy causes that are important to us, but I refuse to be made to feel guilty because I worked hard and saved and made more conservative choices than the next person.

      2. Lauren & So Cal Gal
        The other day when Net Neutrality was still up in the air a ’20 something’ who is a host on country western music channel. Said the following not verbatim but close.
        I want the NN to stay in force so that their is no undue competition, I want all those who have internet services to be equal…… that we ALL will have faster speed on the internet freeway.
        Yes,,,,,,,I started yelling at the radio, are you freaking kidding me!!! They let this ’20 something’ with no brain cells promote this garbage on a music channel which will influence other 20 something with 1/2 brain cells.
        Like So Cal Gal stated I was F L U F F Y!!!!

        1. AC,
          Yep… had some of that on the commute in to work this morning. I started yelling at the radio (as I’ve mentioned I tend to do from time to time). Then I changed the station, I simply could not listen to one more minute of it. I am so tired of ignorant celebrities, athletes and politicians (i.e.: people who have never successfully owned or run a business themselves) telling all of us what is right and wrong, and most of all how things need to be more “fair”. I am ready to start my own petition, removing the word “fair” from the English language.

        2. So Cal Gal
          I will sign your petition…
          Had a business with my mom & was working 40 hours a week. Did it for a year & sold my part out to her friend, could be there all the time as they were both retired…and I was just plain ol tired!

    3. NRP (and all),
      I am about 300 pages into Atlas Shrugged, and am already seeing so many parallels. So many takers, so much .gov interference in what should be private enterprise. So many with an attitude of wanting to make things “fair”, much like our last political administration wanting to redistribute wealth to create a “more level playing field”. Good businesses being driven out (happens every day here in CA). Even just this far into the book there have been moments where I want to reach in and throttle some of these people. It’s a riveting read – frustratingly, it does not feel fictional.

      1. So Cal Gal
        Ohhh just wait, till you get in the 500-600s, your going to be PO’d to the max at the similarities.
        More like non-fiction when you look to see what’s going on in our world now.
        Who is John Galt?

      2. NRP
        I am at the 557 page may be farther I was tired last night when I put it down just marked the page & it was lights out for me.

        While setting in the chiro’s office waiting for dh to get adjust I had the book with me, an a lady said she had read it when she was a teenager. The man setting next to started to listen when I said “Although it was written years ago, amazing what she described in her book, it coming to fruition in today’s time. The LOOTERS are coming to take what they think is FAIR for all parties”. May have another new person who will read the book. Already have our mechanic looking for the book to read, can’t wait to see his reaction.

        1. AC,
          Good for you! I can see myself having that kind of conversation with people as I get further along in the book.

        2. So Cal Gal
          One reason I pack my book(barbells)with me…lol

        3. Antique Collector;
          Tis interesting on how many of the people with more that 3 working brain cells actually are searching for answers; sometimes just not knowing where to find them. I know that Atlas is just a book written in 53, but it’s amazing how the mind gets stimulated and thinking.
          For those that think that others owe them something for nothing, I would be very cautious on what you ask for and how much, for when the producers say “no” the first time you’re going to be violent and riot in the streets…. Ohhh WAIT, you have already been told that with Trump being elected, and yes you did riot and raise hell… How well is that working for you-all? FYI, you ain’t seen anything yet, wait till the Markets hit 30K, inflations is ramped, and that EBT card buys 1/3 of what it will today.
          One might begin preparing for a LOT coming this way, but the Economy is on a sure death march.
          Forget the Gulch, I’m going to Ken’s place… HAHAHAHA

        4. NRP
          Wow,, have you been grocery shopping with me lately and I did not see you…we use debit or cash no EBT.
          Prices for items which we purchase have gone up, neighbor was amazed with the fact I could state the old price when having to buy the same item again.
          She has no idea what products cost her each time she shops.

  22. Understand the statement about ‘wait until you have read through pages 550 to over 600, yes. I does make a change in your mind set, at page 607.
    It makes a person who finds laughter even in the hardest of times…….to take a step back-life will never be the same again

  23. For purpose of this discussion I want to disclose that I have also read “Battlefield America.” and Highly Advise everyone to Immediately do the same. I’m interested in a discussion regarding how feasible the security would be, in a current day “Atlantis.” I mean, the .gov is doing land grabs, jailing innocents, banks taking away property — aren’t residents more at risk in a place where they are close together ? Wouldn’t we be sitting ducks, to be in a large community? Thoughts? Obviously, I”ve already read all about Grant Matson,, a fictional character in his utopia of prepperdom, as well as watched the Netflix series “Jerico.” Where we are at currently, is beyond the scope of both of those insightful works of fiction,. Ayn Rand’s works, are the best in my opinion, regarding reading, because she addresses most of the issues we are facing today. Mr. Cliven Bundy may have been finally found innocent, however, at what personal cost to him ? After how long in jail and what did jail do to his already bad health ? How many anonymous people have had the same thing happen to them, that we will never hear about, ? Just because he received a lot of airtime, maybe it helped his case,, how likely are the millions of other people to get that kind of help, given that our fifth column is irreperably broken? Fox News is much better lately, but they still are stuck in the mode that they can only report so much, without facing the consequences of going “full truth.” Again, all this begs the question, and perhaps those with security experience will agree, that even with the best security force to guard your “camp,” you cannot guard against the .gov, against land grabs, being thrown in jail on made up charges, and banks “foreclosing” for no reason, except that they had no one to enforce the law against them. This already happened in the Great Depression, and is happening now. Banks took people’s money in the Great Depression, yet the banks still required mortgages to be paid, taxes to be paid, etc. The banks were never held accountable., and the people never got their money back, never. Can you imagine, the bank taking all your money and still insisting you needed to pay your mortgage or they would take your property ? It happened, folks. Ask you Grandparents if they Ever got their money back. So, again, I ask,, given today’s climate, even with the Great President we have, is it truly the best security to live in an “Atlantis” or to shelter in place ?

  24. So Cal Gal
    OH, wait until you read the pages 700 on…what an eye opener it will be for you. I have started marking sections that I can go back to read and share again.

    1. Hi AC,
      I know the general story line, but not all the details. I’m in the middle of the 400’s. Francisco’s monologue at James’s wedding, the bribery visit to Hank, and francisco’s visit to Hank have just finished. I just keep nodding my head as Hank listens to Francisco, not ready yet. It seems as each industrialist is pushed to a breaking point they are reached out to, finally ready to take action. It’s riveting. And maddening, and painful. Merry Christmas to you and DH!

  25. I need to rant and have nowhere else to do it, sorry in advance (please feel free to skip reading this post).
    I am at about page 950 in Atlas Shrugged, and I feel ill. After reading the chain of events that lead to the Minnesota grain disaster, I felt like I could go throw up. Through these last 500 or so pages I have been madder and madder, and felt progressively more sick to my stomach. I know this is fiction, but it really isn’t. I’m no captain of industry, but as owners of a small family business we live with small, subtle actions like those endured in this book – on a daily basis:

    – A few weeks ago I accepted an invitation to attend a round-table meeting of small business owners at the office of a nearby city whose leaders want to do more business with small businesses. As about 50 of us went around the room and introduced themselves, I realized almost all of them claim some sort of “disadvantaged” (the State and Federal word for it) status, and got preferential treatment (contract awards) based on their various minority status claims… and one man had the gall to introduce himself and demand to know why LGBT business owners were not being given the same preferential treatment as the other looters in the room, because he also feels “disadvantaged.”

    – Our new health insurance premiums are higher than ever, with fewer benefits, to continue to pay for a very small percentage of our population to have “free” or “subsidized” healthcare. After all, it’s our duty to to be sure health insurance (which we’ve all been told is a RIGHT) is available for little or no cost to them on the backs of those of us who earn.

    – My home state, with one of the highest fuel tax rates in the country, funnels gas taxes to the general fund to pay for who-knows-what, while explaining that they want trackers in our cars to tax us by miles driven to be more “fair” to those of us privileged folks who drive, to pay for the roads since our gas taxes are now being used elsewhere – tax plus tax.

    – The governor of my state believes it is more important to push through a state rail system than to invest our tax dollars in something as vital as water capture, retention and purity. So, as the state continues to run short of ground water to support farms and life in general, we will have a fast, shiny new train to transport people who will no longer be able to live here for lack of water.

    – Never once, not EVER in all of the Chamber of Commerce meetings, business events and such that I’ve attended held by local politicians claiming to want to understand what is going on in small business have I ever heard even one of them say “Thank You.” No thanks for taking the risks to open businesses that supply jobs, no acknowledgment that without small business there wouldn’t be big industry (every business starts somewhere). Instead, we are hit with more inspections, more fees, more taxes, more threats of penalties for non-compliance, higher minimum wages (affecting many of our vendors), etc… The penalty of providing jobs and wages.

    – I recently completed a Federal Form (under threats of breaking the law if we didn’t) that required us to tell everything about the start-up of our business, working capital, sources of funds, and so on in a highly invasive and lengthy report. Based on the questions, I believe the feds want to be sure that new businesses have the opportunity to come into the market with assistance from the fed gov, and they are relying on existing businesses to give them the info they need to provide seed money to our future competitors, and special programs to assist minority owners so they can “compete” on a level playing field with non-minority owners (going back to that whole “fair” thing again).

    Thank you to anyone who actually took the time to read all of that. The constant taking from those of us who work hard to give to those who don’t – it’s insidious! And, we have so many people in decision-making positions in our .gov who have never owned a business, never run one, never had to balance the books, make payroll, generate sales, compete – they have no clue how tough it is to do – but they feel free to judge from the safe distance of their big chairs in state capitals and our nation’s capital. And now, I need to run around and take care of some customers who pay our bills. I guess I’ll have another diatribe once I’ve finished the book – just a couple hundred pages to go.

    1. So Cal Gal;
      Yes I’m one of the crazies that read your Rant (BTW 10.5 on the Rant-O-Meter).
      I would love to have a lengthy discussion on your and about 100,000 other businesses right now in CA. and other States. But Typing is a hard way to go.

      Now before you go and say “ohhhh that’s just NRP talking, and he HATES CA.” maybe you can start to see why? As you know I left CA, ALL major cities and Swamps back in 1982, Ya want to know why? One reason is people, people are the biggest reason I’m in the middle of nowhere with Blue and my Cactus, closest neighbor ¼ mile, next over ½ mile.

      But the main reason? .gov. Please reread your comment, you’ll soon find that maybe JUST maybe that old NRP is not as nuts as some think. Sure there is a place for .gov, just not in my wallet and not in my face. The Looters will destroy this country, some like myself believe they already have and prepare for the crash.

      Who is John Galt and where can one find the Gulch?

      My friend, answer those two questions and you will know what you need to do. SOON!

      1. “The Looters will destroy this country, some like myself believe they already have and prepare for the crash.”

        Looters. That’s exactly what it is. Speaking generally, .gov is like the Mafia. They take a cut of EVERYTHING (and often several cuts via hidden double and triple taxation). If we do not pay, well, let’s just say that we won’t get away with it for long…

        Take take take. From the producers. Give give give. To themselves and their cronies.

        My health insurance now costs me $786 a month. What’s there’s? Free. Probably for life.

        Many of them can retire in 20 years with a SWEET package. For life.

        Me? I am on my own. There’s no sweet package for me (and I’m sure most of you).

        I see right through it all. I see it whenever (if ever) I watch the mainstream news. It wreaks of looting and corruption. ALL politicians (it’s gotta be ‘all’ lest they not be called a politician) are slick, slimy, and they all have that pasted on smile. You know exactly what I mean about the smile. Their faces are permanently contorted into that smile from years of practice.

        Now before some of you .gov workers get mad at me, I’m talking about the looters, the abusers, the system itself. Not you…

        I better stop typing now. Thanks So Cal Gal for getting my blood boiling because I just came in from outside where it’s -5 degrees – did some roof raking – and I needed to warm up ;)

        1. Ken,
          Glad I could warm you up on such a freezing day for you. ;)
          You describe so many of us – no parachute, no sweet package, no one else to fall back on. You must do it for yourself, while also dragging the anchor of who-knows-how-many looters on your back while doing it. I know just the sick, insincere, smug smile you are talking about. They all have it. Thanks for reading my post!

      2. I think Dagny aka So Cal Gal is seeing the light also.
        But like our Dagny time will tell…..
        BTW, there are a lot of others here finally seeing the light as the “motor” is starting the warm-up.

        1. NRP,
          I’m no Dagny, but I do feel the futility… I couldn’t sleep much last night, I just kept drawing parallels from the book to the real world in my mind. Much to do.

        2. Grey;
          But remember, the Gulch is as much of a timing thing (When) as a Place, the pieces of the puzzle fall together when, where, why, what and so and each must know on their own accord.

      3. NRP,
        Thanks for reading (and the 10.5 score – a new high for me).
        Yes, CA is a state run by looters. But, they never see to see themselves in that light. They are so arrogant about doing right, about being “fair”, about all the good they are going to do using the money made by people who give and don;t take. But, it seems pervasive, it’s not just CA… its everywhere. The DC folks do it just like the CA folks, just on a larger scale.
        The thing is, small businesses are not missed when owners walk away. These are not industries where everyone hurts when they close. You close a Mom and Pop, and a few employees and maybe some vendors hurt, but its such a tiny drop in the bucket. I think the walking away can only be done for one’s own peace of mind, not to really affect change. Maybe I’ll feel better when I finish the book.

        1. So Cal Gal
          “I think the walking away can only be done for one’s own peace of mind, not to really affect change.”

          My friend, one’s own peace of mind is all we really have, is it not?

          PS; finishing the book will not help you sleep better, you’ll have a LOT to think about.

    2. So Cal Gal
      You are a few pages ahead of myself in the book. Yes, I agree with your analysis on what is occurring… the “we our in need your money in our pockets so that we can…(here is comes that word we all just love(snarkey) be”””FAIR””” to all that have no drive to support themselves, live off of the state as it will provide ALL that they require or is MANDATED by the .gov. because the .gov said so. OH, yes. Livid is my attitude after what occurred in Walmart just before Christmas. I have stayed out of town, really can not afford to be bailed out of jail for being flippant.

        1. aka
          Recognized a women & her mom shopping(welfare). Last time I saw her the baby was less than 6 months old, now the baby is around 18months old. They are purchasing baby food with health child food coupons (CA), but here is the kicker she is pregnant again at least 6 months. The partner, not sure if they are married is holding the first baby. They are generational WELFARE at least two generations. If they wish to have children–fine–but do not feel that society should have to support their unfettered actions.
          When I realized what was occurring, they had food checks for baby food. Lady in front of me asked if I knew what was happening? I said YES, that they were using an archaic form of welfare to support feeding their children on the backs of the tax payers. The father turned looked at me an then turned and smiled at his baby. It was a look as if to say ‘so what is your problem’?? Grrrrrrr

          A way of life for them to set on their butts and expect us to pay for the children they bring into this world, without any forethought as to what they will do when the $$$ runs out.

          I keep seeing the woman on tv who had 8 children all by different fathers and asked America ‘who was going to take care of & feed all her kids’. Since it was not her responsibility, it was societies to take care of what she produced.

        2. yeah, I used to work at a big box store so saw it all the time. Several of my coworkers always got back $4000 -$5000 at tax time too as they were poor and had kids don’tcha know. More than they paid in for sure. Just got a voters pamphlet today with a special measure to increase ‘some tax’ to help pay for medical care for the poor and uninsured. Also heard today that the local schools are asking for $70 million to enhance safety measures at school……

      1. AC,
        Yep… it is flaunted in our faces every day. Almost everyone with their hands out, and expecting (not asking) those who work hard for everything to just keep giving and doing. That we all have to keep working because it is our duty to help others who refuse to help themselves – it’s like everything is backwards. Those who do the most are allowed to keep the least – those who do nothing should be pitied and get the most. And so many people think this is okay.

    3. NRP
      10-289 is alive and quite well.

      Did you see what the Oregon courts just ruled on the couple who refused to make the cake because of it violated their religious beliefs.

      Yes. FAIR is alive an well as long as the business owner lock steps and does as the doctorial state demands.

  26. ‘Atlas Shrugged’ discussion;

    Ok everyone I was thinking, (yeah yeah yeah something new for NRP, I got it HAHAHA)
    I have a few questions I have been thinking on for a bit for those that have read or are reading Atlas Shrugged, though it might be interesting to toss these out to the BLOG.

    1. After, or during the read, has this Novel changer your thinking, your lifestyle, the way you look at the world, and the way you are living your life? Aka preparing more, watching your 6 more, distrust in the .gov, wanting to “go Galt” and so-on?

    2. Do you feel the “Trump” administration changed the direction we are headed as a Country/World or is this just a temporary blip in the “Looter’s” plan? Are we going to go straight back to 2 years ago with runaway .gov and spending, will the economy changes that are happening go away and the Feds see all the “new money” they can Tax Tax Tax so they can “redistribute” more?

    Lastly. Does anyone believe these current things like Bitcoin, the Dow at 25K+, NK/Iran/China/Russia threats, Natural and man-made disasters, so-on are going to make a difference in your preparing? Has everyone just put all this on hold with the “Let’s see” attitude or are you “stepping it up” thinking this is just a facade/bubble that’s still going to burst regardless?

    1. NRP
      Atlas Shrugged definitely added to my distrust and distaste for the government, it made me look at many things going on from a different angle, especially when taking into consideration the author and her background and info that i had found out about the government and its workings.

      I do not think DJT or anyone else will make any difference what so ever in the downhill trajectory. I believe we are witnessing the beginning of some serious world wide geopolitical as well as domestic changes where there are too many takers demanding that the makers be held hostage and forced to produce more for all, it will backfire, just as in the book, just look at the chaos that is becoming more prevalent in many different countries. Government and money have truly become the root of all evil,
      My prepping or at least wary eye and desire to prep has not waned but has actually increased, the wait and see, never even crossed my mind as i know the new boss same as the old boss

    2. NRP,
      Thanks for opening a fresh discussion, I’m so glad Ken set-up this thread for all of us to revisit this topic. My thoughts:

      #1 – Yes to all. I have a very different outlook on the world around me after the reading the book. As I read I saw so many parallels between Rand’s writing and today’s world. For instance, the number of people who think having wealth is bad, that people are “owed” something, that the .gov or anyone else has the “right” to something someone else earned, or created, or built through their hard work, ingenuity, etc…

      For example, remember these famous words from a few years ago (excerpted):
      “… look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own (yes, he said it twice). I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart” … “If you’ve got a business – you didn’t build that. Somebody else made it happen.”

      If anyone doesn’t remember that little diddy from 2012, you may want to go back and read it. I won’t put a link so that my comment doesn’t get held up for Ken’s review, but if anyone wants to read that and can’t find it let me know. Any hard-working, entrepreneurial of self-sufficient person reading it will seethe – it takes an individual’s accomplishments and somehow makes it the result of collective effort. It’s a pretty short step from that kind of thinking to thinking that anything anyone does is really the property of us all, of of the .gov. Scary stuff.

      #2. I believe we are in a temporary situation. As hard as DT tries to change things, he is fighting a losing battle against the progressive agenda, nationally and world-wide. If they can’t figure out how to impeach him, they will fight him every step of the way, block everything possible, and continue working hard to discredit him so that the sheeple will believe he is dangerous and unstable. If they field any kind of a decent candidate against him in the next election that person stands a very good chance of being elected – too much brainwashing of the masses. And really, isn’t the Pres just a figurehead in the bigger picture – I mean they come and go and the NWO plans march on don’t they?

      #3. I know I’m like a broken record on the economy. But, does anyone think these debt levels are sustainable? Does anyone here trust Bitcoin or other crypto-currencies? Does anyone think it’s “different” this time and that markets won’t fall, no matter who is in office? The more electronic our system becomes, the more we rely on a few ever-growing companies to provide all goods we need, the more we give up our self-reliance because we get too comfortable, the more at risk we put ourselves. Geez, now I’m preaching to the choir. Sorry.

      NRP, you do know know to get a gal riled up.

      1. So Cal Gal

        Ok Ok, I have to admit when I wrote my little spiel I was thinking on how much quite a few of us, yes US, have changed our thinking over the past year or three.
        And Atlas Shrugged really hit home with quite a few of us, along with some other fine reads.
        Seems it takes quite a bit for some of us and a LOT of others to open our eyes to the “real Story” and see what “may” be coming down the path, and I don’t necessarily mean war, fires, or stuff like that, I’m talking the change in the thinking in people, the “give-me”, you OWE me, sheeple, AND the .gov Looters.
        To be honest the cities worry me a hell of a lot anymore, the radicals, rioters, all those that use anything to go violent and just “take” and distroy. Was it not just a week ago that over a thousand teenagers stormed a Mall and raised all kinds of hell? Who needs that? I sure as heck don’t want to be around that mindset. Nor do I want to support that with my Taxes and my giving.
        The world has changed and NOT for the better.
        The book ask “Who is John Galt?” you are, those that open their eyes and say “no more”, John Galt is not a single person, he is all of us that see.
        Also where seems to be a consensus that there is a single place, the Gulch, I believe the Gulch is where each of us makes it, not in a hidden Valley somewhere in CO, not at 0ldhomesteders farm, or Kens Barn, but right there in your own home, your land, your hard work. Living in/at the Gulch is a mindset, a feeling, and living the Lifestyle.

        Or at least that’s what this old fool thinks anyways, as I like to say “That’s my story and I’m sticking to it”.

        1. So Cal Gal

          I’ll get back on line tomorrow, on dumb phone now, and answer that question….

        2. NRP
          So true, on all of that bud,,
          The mindset, innovating within your own life, finding like minded people, keeping it simple, basicly being the grey man, most folks cant just uproot and move off to a remote location just because they have a distaste for the government or whatever BS is going on in the world, for many that would spell ruin, and then theres the issue of how long will that place be imune from meddling? From all the folks i have spoken with, the location is just a small issue, unless you live somewhere that the land taxes are sky high, you may well be just setting yourself up for hard times. I know folks who have moved off to Montana etc, first thing they say is wow its cold, then they say you really have to drive a long ways for anything if you bought out in the sticks,,,
          Ok, so the gubberment isnt crawling up their rears, yet, but you read about changes in that direction all over the place.
          IMHO, bestvthing to happen would be for everythingvto come to a standstill,, economy take a dive, i can guarantee it would change the direction of a lot of places, people here are fed up with the government, im betting change is coming, sure they will hang on tooth and nail, but they may be the next missing person, way fewer of them than there are militant pissed off people and its starting to boil, and i dont mean the commy trash either, i mean old school folks sick ant tired of this crap…
          Things are going to be interesting, may be rough, but definitely interesting

        3. Part of my concern about buying/using generic silver rounds is knowing whether they’re really what they say they are.

          Just prior to leaving California, I was having a conversation with my local coin dealer when he handed me two Morgan silver dollars and asked what I thought about them. Other than the dates, they appeared to be identical.

          Much to my surprise, one of them was a counterfeit! Never thought there was $$ in counterfeit coins before this. Apparently, some of the homeless in Los Angeles were selling them to passersby for about $15, accompanied by a suitable sob story (last gift from grandfather, etc).

          Admittedly, I’m no expert, but they sure looked and felt real. How does the ordinary person avoid being scammed when trying to purchase, barter or trade? I now carry a magnet when going somewhere I think will have silver, but that might not be the best solution? I trust my neighbor, but what if he got scammed?
          Any suggestions?

      2. SoCalGal
        Obammys shpiel on “you didnt build that” was another defining moment for me, that came right after somebody sent me the link to that EO that gives govt the right to take over farms etc,,,
        I dropped production on the farm that day and bough a rather large installment of liberty pills, the leaded 175g size😎
        They can try…….

      3. So Cal Gal
        Two glasses of wine with dinner, later put your feet up listen to good music.. NO tv or radio for a week..😊

        1. AC,
          I’ve already stopped watching any news. I guess I need to stop everything but a quick traffic report on the car radio and then put on a nice CD or something. I think I need to stop catching snippets of Mr Levin’s radio show for a while, too. It’s getting to me.

          Now, if I could just stop the barrage of e-mails from various .gov groups letting me know what all the new laws are. Each one just frustrates me more than the last. Maybe I need a glass of wine with every meal, especially the ones at my desk ;)

        2. So Cal Gal
          What vintage box of vino should NRP & I ship to the business, we need to keep you stress free & happy. 😉
          It is alright for you to have vino at the office since you are the boss…right??

        3. AC,
          Sure… so what if I set a bad example, right? ;)

          Everyone knows I’m not a coffee drinker, so I’d just have to explain why I keep sipping out of my newly purchased travel mug all day long, but if I eat enough breath mints no one will be the wiser.

        4. AC and anyone else,
          By the way… the new law of the day – I just found out that CA passed a law eff: 1-1-18 that employers cannot voluntarily grant fed immigration agents physical access if they show up at our door without a warrant. Nor can we provide any documentation or records without a warrant, even if we want to be helpful.

          And, starting in July, if a company gets a notice that the feds are going to audit us for immigration documentation, companies have to post a notice informing employees that an audit is coming at least 3 days in advance. I guess so that people have time to pack up and run before the feds come.

          My company is so small, and we have no illegal employees, but I mean come on… the state is now putting employers between them and the feds, and compelling companies not to cooperate unless under warrant. I’m getting to where I am laughing manically each time I receive a notice about these new laws. It’s surreal.

        5. So Cal Gal,

          I’m sorry to hear about all the new laws that you are facing in Ca. I wish you could just uproot and find a new state to live and thrive in. I don’t feel it’s going to get any better for you and wish you the best of luck. I’m a self employed rep. I only have 1 employee, me. I haven’t had to go LLC, etc. yet because it doesn’t benefit me in taxes. But that may change, I’m weighing the options.

          Saw this article today about immigration. Since your last post was how the CA government put you in the middle of feds.

          Immigration agents raid 7-Eleven stores nationwide, arrest 21 people in biggest crackdown of Trump era

          It’s a interesting read. In my home state of FL. We are just a election away from being CA. This year we have a democrat running that wants to make FL a Sanctuary State. When that happens we are gone. Already have plans in place to move north to our hunting cabin and live a better life. Will be a adjustment but we can make due.

          Wish you the best and stay sane.

          Adapt and Overcome.

        6. 11HE9,
          I just saw your post, so sorry for the late reply – sometimes posts get by me. I read about the 7-11 crackdown, things are just getting started I believe. But, living in a sanctuary state as I do, it’s interesting that the CA legislators want to roadblock any enforcement coming out of DC, but they have to compel business owners to be their front line of defense, to fight their fight. Sigh.

          I’m glad you have a plan and a place to go, and thank you for your good wishes. And keep paying attention to those options, with tax law changes, possible locale changes, etc… you may want to shift how you do some things as you go. Sounds like you are on top of it :)

          And I am pretty determined to get where I want to go, it will not be easy, but it will be worth it in the end. Thanks again!

    3. NRP
      #1 Did it change my thinking?

      Have always felt that when the .gov felt it was in their right to pass out “money” to those who did not ‘earn it’. Under their social programs brought about by under the Johnson administration was the beginning about our nations down fall. Shopping for JIC is continuous drive in this household, stores in which I now purchase have changed due to the price increases. More bulk items an pricing before spending any $$ to receive more product for our money. Avoiding shopping areas that have had recent problems from the leaches.

      #2 DJT presidency has sent the deep state back on their heals as he is not controllable. Will it make a difference……one can only hope.

      #3 Bitcoin is equal to the smart phones…just another distraction for those who have nothing better to do with their time. Con game IMHO, the only value it has is what some one will place upon, and to get another to buy it. Stock market, we owned stock when the value of the dollar was more stable then it is now. We would not invest any money into the market as it is ready for a correction. OUCH!

      A fool & his money are soon parted.

    4. This is a great discussion. I read the book about a year ago. It was amazing how Rand nailed so much of today’s world when she wrote it. 1984 is also a great look into the future/present but I’ll stay on topic.

      #1 – It didn’t change my distrust of the government. In the past few years my distrust has grown to not only the federal level but the local level and I’m talking in all forms of government. We are only a successful terrorist attack or economic crash from becoming a full on police state with martial law. Already today you are found guilty of breaking several laws as soon as you roll out of bed. Sorry to say but there is no form of government that is there to help you or protect you.

      #2 – I voted for DJT for 2 reasons. 1 – Hillary Clinton. No need to go on there. 2 – Time to keep preparing for the inevitable!!
      He has surprised me in the way he is going after the deep state but he has a long way to go. The left and some on the right will not let him stop their progress without a good fight in DC and if that doesn’t work be ready for a major terrorist or economic attack/crash. Just so they can blame him. Notice how many R politicians are retiring after this term. I believe it is record levels. They know something is up and don’t want to be in office so they can get blamed. I wish POTUS the best of luck. Also notice that he has surrounded himself by loyal hard core military generals in his staff.

      #3 – Bitcoin maybe a joke or not. But I can tell you crypto currency of some form is not far away. It’s too easy to sell the benefits of it to the sheep. Nk/Iran/Russia/China, who knows which one we will be at war with. Maybe all of them. I think many countries in the ME will go to war with Iran. Turkey and Pakistan are loose cannons that in my eyes is more dangerous than Iran. Russia and China will always be a threat. Nk wants to play with the big boys. We will see how that plays out. But we have 2 options. Either the economy takes a major hit and Trump gets blamed or we go into a full on war with someone to distract the masses.

      Our house will just keep doing what have been. Prepping, training, reading and finding ways to enjoy our little world and keep out as much of the real world as possible.

      Adapt and Overcome

  27. Old Homesteader,,
    Honestly, if i knew there was a place like GAlts Gulch and i was afforded a way to get there i would just walk away… as it stands at some point my only options are going to be ugly because of the path ive chosen, seems a waste

  28. So Cal Gal
    Dh said it was back east, they had to close down the mall from all the kids swarming the place. Probably a lot of theft going on FREEBIES (grrr), to those who never earned an honest dollar in their entire lives.

    1. It’s happened before–these kids are organizing flash mobs via social media just for the fun of destroying. No cause, no pretense of a cause, just trouble.

      1. Lauren, I remember Christmas shopping in the mall In Long Beach CA. Remember Rodney King? Same neighborhood. Anyway the gangbangers were shopping too. As we waited in line they just walked past security with what ever it was they were stealing tucked under their arm. Not under their hoodie, in plane sight. Security did nothing. Not going to risk gunfire in the store and the gangsters knew it. That was in 1998.

    2. Antique Collector, Lauren, NRP,
      They just swarm in, take what they want like locusts and run before they get caught… that’s just great. I have some very snarky thoughts on this, but will just say that nothing surprises me anymore. I’m not one for going to the mall, but still, do we need any more reasons for brick and mortar stores to give up and close up shop?

      1. Fed-ex trucks are harder to hit, but that doesn’t make them immune. As the brick-and-mortar stores close front porch robberies become more common and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see stories of mail trucks being swarmed in the same way.

    3. Want to take bets on um skin color?
      Ill get called racis even if i didnt say that so why hold back

      1. Nailbanger,

        Wait let me guess they were probably those crazy Amish folks right. Lol.

        Adapt and Overcome

  29. So Cal Gal
    BIL boat business only has 4 employees including him, but like you said that is not the point. It is the over reach of the .gov’s who never earned an honest dollar in their lives or they would not be such slackers. Will tell bil……..thank you

  30. MT
    Great post, i especially identify with your last paragraph, i think that is the biggest feeling of betrayal when you have that aha moment and see that EVERYTHING you have been taught and told was a lie to keep you in your little box, and be a good little useful productive member of society,
    To hell with that,,,,

  31. Holy COW, I did not expect such a response form a couple of questions about Atlas, that’s for sure; but what good/GREAT comments. Thanks Everyone, I do hope everyone that visits reads and understands the thinking and ideas expressed, of not only this thread but all the work Ken has done here, FANTASTIC BLOG and flow of information.

    I do want to directly respond to one particular Question that was asked by So Cal Gal.

    **” But, let’s go back to the mindset for a minute. You’ve mentioned mindset before, and I’m struggling with that as more than just an ethereal concept. Am I just reading too much into it – that you mean mindset along with actual physical changes as well?”**

    First I would like to point to Modern Throwback below/above, I don’t believe I could state it any better, pay attention to the last paragraph written, very VERY profound indeed.

    Also you mentioned the Physical changes as well, ohhhhhh yes, you will find the “work” involved in the ‘Gulch’ is usually much ‘harder’ and challenging than simply going through the motions of “normal life”, and honestly this is a good thing, for not only do we all, ALL, need to challenge the mind and gray-matter, but we have become soft, this current lifestyle for most is horrible, in general we have become lazy and fat. Myself included, we 99% of the time eat crap food, we take a pill for this and that, we expect the Doctors to cure every little boo-boo we get and are all around miserable from being this way, so YES!!!!! There is a personal physical change to be had.

    ALSO there is a HUGE change in the living conditions, yes Mildred stepping into the “Lifestyle” there is a different way of doing things, gone are the easy “pop a TV dinner in the Microwave” and poof there is your goo to eat or ‘Eating Out’ 99% of the time, Hopping into the car and driving to the Movie and BS entertainment is (hopefully) gone. Walking to the Lake to do a little fishing, or going for an evening walk just to breathe the clean air and watch a sunset is the norm. Working the land, raising your own food (that’s NOT full of chemicals), gathering fresh eggs, and even raising your own meat is what I see the “Lifestyle’ is about. Even taking the time to teach others and to help others know about life, there is great joy to be had just sitting on a rock in the mountains overlooking the area, just watching as the wildlife and world goes hurrying by, just taking in a deep breath and realizing there is a LOT more to life than what you are currently doing providing for the Looters.

    Please do not get me wrong, I don’t advocate 100% isolationism, humans are a social animal, in the same breath I do NOT advocate the leaching of our lives to sustain others that refuse to do for themselves. Yes there are some that need a helping hand, and I will always be one to step up and help, but I will REFUSE to allow anyone to TAKE and Loot.

    So Cal Gal, you say you cannot leave the life you are in now, I call you on that, there is never and I do mean never a situation that cannot change, will that take work? Will it take some/lots of changes? Will some tell you you’re wrong for doing such? Will you make mistakes? Will it take believing in yourself? You know the answers to all these questions, and the answer to your initial question you asked. The only one you need to convince is yourself my friend. Your mindset is the only thing holding you back from the decision you have already made, you’re simply looking for someone to confirm your decisions, that someone can only be you.

    1. NRP,
      You were posting as I was.
      Will some tell me I’m wrong – not some – all.
      Will it take some/lots of changes – an understatement.
      So far, everyone here who has shared a story speaks of a joint decision to make a change. I cannot relate to that experience. How much courage is behind my convictions… to be determined.
      Thank you!

      1. So cal gal
        From all the reading it sounds like your in a similar boat as i
        Wouldnt it be great if things were simple!
        For myself a big part of staying put is the responsibility to others,
        I suppose i could get over having to sell all my tools and such for pennies on the dollar,
        I could even get over having to go through everything and clean up or rather throw away everything else,
        Take down all the greenhouses and chicken coops and sheds etc.
        But that responsibility to others thing, now thats a tough one,
        And then theres the fact that i actually love at least one of those somebodies very deeply,
        Its complicated, people have roots, myself included, but my partner has family, greatly strongly deeply intertwined family.
        Isnt family and responsibility one of the things that we talk about as being lacking?
        How are we being responsible uprooting every last thing in our lives for some theoretical nirvana?
        How is that being responsible to ourselves? Ive moved before because i thought it would be better,
        Guess what, it was different, thats about it,
        I cant say for anyone else, but can for myself. If it was just me, no problem, go wherever.
        But its not,
        Am i willing to let go of everything i know, everything i have worked for, everything i have to have to start from scratch again?
        I dont have $ to change into silver
        Hell, i dont even know if i have enough $ to buy chicken feed and straw, thinking i need to cut alfalfa out of one of my fields for garden mulch,
        So when i sell everything for pennies on the dollar of replacement value, then move a million miles away, after burning every person i said i cared about leaving them hanging, how am i going to afford to start over? Now mind you, im 50 something on the downhill side picking up steam, so i dont have the same roar as i did at 30 something,
        Does that seem like a wise decision?
        Most folks i know would really think i was nuts then, and the real big down side is that then all my connections all my tools are gone, people know what i can do here and now, in a new place, not so much,,,,
        Anyway sorry to be rambling

  32. MT,
    Thank you for such a thoughtful and personal response.
    Last night I was thinking about this particular thread, and that I don’t think there is any way to create a real Gulch in CA. It’s too far gone: too overtaxed, too over-run, too controlling. Our recently acquired mountain house is about as close to the feeling of a Gultch as I have ever experienced in this state – It feels like I want the Gultch to feel. That feeling of calm when you turn off the noise around you, shut down the manic thoughts of which deadline is most important. You begin to putter, to breathe, to feel a sense of calm, of well-being, a sense of place, of belonging. The crap falls away and you start to get a sense of how life could and should be. Not because you are doing nothing, but because you are doing many somethings – things that count. Things that feel good – like you’ve accomplished something real – something purposeful. I’m not sure if I’m getting it across, it’s hard to put into words, it’s different – a good different.

    What you and Nailbanger describe feels like the journey I am taking now. For many years I worked very hard to get ahead, to rise in my career, then shifted to our family business. A large part of my self-identity has been what I do – my professional accomplishments, a business owner and member of a professional business community. I’ve won lots of awards for what I have accomplished professionally… big whoop. All it is to me now is a means to an end. Maybe this is what NRP is trying to explain to me, talking about the “mindset”. But the mindset is just part of the picture, and cannot be achieved (in my view) in the middle of suburbia, traffic jams, the constant chase for dollars, for “success”, for what most people would consider “the good life”.

    It may be baby steps, but it feels as though my walk has begun.

    1. So Cal Gal

      **” But the mindset is just part of the picture, and cannot be achieved (in my view) in the middle of suburbia, traffic jams, the constant chase for dollars, for “success”, for what most people would consider “the good life”. ***

      BTW, just remember the Looters TAKE 40+% of that ‘dollar’ right up front, PLUS all the rest of the Tax? they TAKE. That “dollar” is only worth about 13¢ once you actually spend it on goods.

      Keep that ‘Silver’ Dollar handy my friend… :-)

    2. @SoCalGal
      Yes, your walk has begun. I felt that you began your journey with the purchase of your retreat-haven. Your retreat is giving you the opportunity to sample a simpler lifestyle while you search deeper for the meaning of the path you are on.

      So many people get caught-up in their careers or the day-to-day demands of the urban/suburban life. This is a reason why many are abandoning that lifestyle for a simpler version of living. There is a back-to-the-land movement afoot, as well as a tiny-house movement and both are the result of how a complex society has forced demands on people who don’t appreciate living that way. The attitude and peace that comes from ‘the simple life’ is one aspect of life at the Gulch. Life at the Gulch embodies so much more!

      I believe you understand the mindset. I also believe that you are questioning ‘establishment’ politics and standardized expectations of our civilization. You will probably reach a point where you will become thoroughly disgusted with the ‘rat race’ and the ‘sham’ that has been forced upon you. When you reach that point, you will be forced to make a decision about your life’s commitment. Will you reject the norm where others control you and your one-and-only life? Or will you defend your values and belief system?

      I think you have begun asking the deep questions. But like many, I feel that you may be afraid of where the answers will take you. When you’re willing to accept the truthful answers you are looking for, you will have resolved that this is the only way to progress through life. This is the ‘turning point.’ The closer you get to the Gulch, you more you will understand the commitment needed to follow through. Ask yourself this — do you have the courage to fully trust yourself and your instincts?

      I’ll be waiting for you, my friend. I hope your walk is an enjoyable one.

  33. Finally OuttaCa
    Yes, in response to the checking of pure silver so you are not ripped off. The show Pawn shop had clip on how to check your silver if it was pure silver or scam production. Silver weighs in at a certain amount. Hard for the scammers to equal that weight with fake stuff an cover with enough material to pass the metallurgy test.
    Dh & I have only purchased through companies that we trust, one in town and a previous advertiser on Ken’s web page. The one in town we have done business with since early 1990’s. Those were destroyed in fire along with the other valuables we had put up for the JIC. Now if he wants silver he purchases slugs, or some call them silver rounds but only from the dealer we have dealt with for years. As they only purchase from the mint to guarantee the silver being sold to their clientele.

  34. Regarding silver. I wouldn’t bank all my bartering on using silver or gold especially during the first few years of a complete meltdown. Other consumables may be in much higher demand. As far as counterfeiting goes, China has been bootlegging circulating pre 1965 US Silver coinage and silver rounds for several years now. I only buy American Silver Eagles as I feel they are the safest for SHTF situations. I think that early on if your trading, Ammo, Cigarettes, Alcohol, Med Supplies, TP, or non perishable food you’ll have a better chance at making trades. Most folks don’t know diddly about silver worth or that it takes $1.10 in pre 1965 US silver coinage to equal one ounce of silver. Besides who will set the spot price for an ounce? That will be a long time down the road. IMHO.

    1. Hey Broadwing

      I think you made a very good point. I have the ability to produce food. If folks are plannin to use the barter system to procure their needs, I, myself would have no need for precious metals. I am not sayin I would rule out tradin for a limited amount, but I would be much more interested in somethin I could truly USE or NEED. I imagine it would be hard to beat alcohol or tobacco for barter. I make my own cigarettes usin pipe tobacco and empty tubes with filters. It takes a 40 dollar cig maker to utilize. It costs me about 60 cents or so a pack. They look like a factory cig. filter ane all. I described that in a little detail because I didn’t even know until a few years ago cigs could be made at home. Some folks might find that a good item to make and barter. I just aim to make em for my own use. I don’t wanna deal with any people I don’t have to.

      1. W56G,
        Agree completely. When I had short periods of unemployment I couldn’t afford a cartoon of Marlboros, so I rolled my own Tops/Bugler, and also invested in a cigarette maker that had filters. It worked out great.

      2. I dont want to deal with people today! Let alone after everything goes south,,,

    2. Good points Broadwing, im pretty much planning on barter of veggies and stuff like leather goods or cutting tools/garden tools hand made on my forge.
      Can make decent hoes and such from old plow discs or springs.
      I started tobacco, is up about 2” in starting trays, going to start splitting it up and transplanting soon, is an old school cigar wrapper/filler tobacco so will see! Going to teach myself how to roll cogars and flavor tobacco, nothing like the scent of a nice sweet!

  35. Finally finished the book this morning. Whew!
    Now to the book about food SCG read after being recommend by,, I believe BJH.

    1. Antique Collector
      Atlas is kinda rattling isn’t it?
      Talk about making one want to get away and prepare…..

      1. NRP & So Cal Gal
        I have always liked living away from others. Believe it comes from living out on construction sites with my parents during the summer time, when my dad was working away from civilization. Those jobs were out in the wilderness areas of Nor Cal, as a kid,, LOVED it. Stuck with me into adulthood, good thing dh loves liven out in the boondocks.
        Getting away is easy peaze for this family. Being prepared is second nature, with a few learning curves.(ok a lot of learning curves)

        1. Antique Collector;
          And people wonder why my best Friend is Blue, and closest neighbors are 1/4+ mile away.
          For me it’s a simple conclusion, sheeple are bad news most of the time.

    2. Hi AC,
      Congrats on finishing the book – that’s no small read! ;)
      I’m interested to know if you had any add’l thoughts now that you’ve wrapped it up.

      Yes, The End of Food was a recommendation by BJH. After reading that & Atlas back-to-back I was left with a lot to think about, and a lot to do. I’ll never be the same.

  36. Finished the book last night, could not stop thinking about it, so tore through it. Does alter or refine one’s thinking, approach and forward view. I found it energizing, seemed like everything clicked in place for me mentally, now to keep on the path. Very worth the read.

    1. Grey,
      Congrats on finishing the book, and glad you found it a worthwhile read. There are so many parallels to today’s world, I found it very compelling. I did lot of thinking while reading, and have not stopped thinking about it since.

      1. So Cal Gal, thank you. The book seems to have been the last key I needed to free my self-esteen, self confidence, trust in my capabilities and know that I have done well due to myself; rejecting the constant barrage of negative feedback and inputs. I am now indifferent to all types of “destroyers” pronouncements that I took to heart previously causing me to question my value and values. Very mentally content now.

  37. Looks like Senator Pocahontas Warren want a bit part in Atlas Shrugged with her Capitalism Accountability Act she sponsored yesterday. All Corporations over 1 Billion have to get a US Charter and blah. blah, blah

    Go to Zero Hedge for details they look GRIM.

  38. Hey all;
    Finished up 48 Hours last night, not worth the time or $$$$. JMHO.
    Would be better time spent re-reading One Second After.

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