Ayn Rand’s Capitalist Paradise Lost: The Inside Story of a Libertarian Scam
The fallacy of the libertarian construct of “Prime Movers’ is demonstrated every time you pass a graveyard. Because inside that graveyard are bound to be a few corpses of people who once thought that they were indispensable prime movers, and that things would just inevitably collapse without them. Once you grasp how our self appointed “alpha class” can succumb to the self delusion that they are individually indispensable it’s also clear why they are such easy marks for con men. The ever delicious irony of how these Captains of industry got hoodwinked makes for a great read.
Ouch. Paging Dr. Freud.
In Rand’s novel the great, throbbing “motor of the world” (it’s made of executives, remember?) retreats to an Atlantis-like idyll known as “Galt’s Gulch.” Without their ingenuity and drive the nation descends into chaos, leading many long pages later to their triumphant return and anointment as leaders of a new libertarian order.
Which gets us to the fraud charges now swirling around a venture called “Galt’s Gulch of Chile.” Its website is currently down, but it’s still being promoted as a real-world retreat for the world’s movers and shakers. “Yes, you read that right,” the organizer chirps cheerily. “Those who become one of GGC’s Founders will be paid back … within three years of the consummation of their Founders Club participation (please contact GGC for the fine print and T&Cs).”
In what should be an unsurprising outcome, it didn’t turn out very well. That news comes (via Metafilter and Gawker) from a blogger named Wendy McElroy, who writes that she bought some property in Galt’s Gulch with her husband and then learned that it never had legal rights to the property in the first place. A visit to Chile revealed that many of the area’s local vendors had also been defrauded by the Galtians.