by John Galt
June 25, 2014 22:00 ET
In the name of the general welfare, to protect the people’s security, to achieve full equality and total stability, it is decreed for the duration of the national emergency that:
Point One. All workers, wage earners and employees of any kind whatsoever shall henceforth be attached to their jobs and shall not leave nor be dismissed nor change employment, under penalty of a term in jail. The penalty shall be determined by the Unification Board, such Board to be appointed by the Bureau of Economic Planning and National Resources. All persons reaching the age of twenty-one shall report to the Unification Board, which shall assign them to where, in its opinion, their services will best serve the interests of the nation.
Point Two. All industrial, commercial, manufacturing and business establishments of any nature whatsoever shall henceforth remain in operation, and the owners of such establishments shall not quit nor leave nor retire, nor close, sell or transfer their business, under penalty of the nationalization of their establishment and of any and all of their property.
Point Three. All patents and copyrights, pertaining to any devices, inventions, formulas, processes and works of any nature whatsoever, shall be turned over to the nation as a patriotic emergency gift by means of Gift Certificates to be signed voluntarily by the owners of all such patents and copyrights. The Unification Board shall then license the use of such patents and copyrights to all applicants, equally and without discrimination, for the purpose of eliminating monopolistic practices, discarding obsolete products and making the best available to the whole nation. No trademarks, brand names or copyrighted titles shall be used. Every formerly patented product shall be known by a new name and sold by all manufacturers under the same name, such name to be selected by the Unification Board. All private trademarks and brand names are hereby abolished.
Point Four. No new devices, inventions, products, or goods of any nature whatsoever, not now on the market, shall be produced, invented, manufactured or sold after the date of this directive. The Office of Patents and Copyrights is hereby suspended.
Point Five. Every establishment, concern, corporation or person engaged in production of any nature whatsoever shall henceforth produce the same amount of goods per year as it, they or he produced during the Basic Year, no more and no less. The year to be known as the Basic or Yardstick Year is to be the year ending on the date of this directive. Over or under production shall be fined, such fines to be determined by the Unification Board.
Point Six. Every person of any age, sex, class or income, shall henceforth spend the same amount of money on the purchase of goods per year as he or she spent during the Basic Year, no more and no less. Over or under purchasing shall be fined, such fines to be determined by the Unification Board.
Point Seven. All wages, prices, salaries, dividends, profits, interest rates and forms of income of any nature whatsoever, shall be frozen at their present figures, as of the date of this directive.
Point Eight. All cases arising from and rules not specifically provided for in this directive, shall be settled and determined by the Unification Board, whose decisions will be final.
In the fictional work Atlas Shrugged, one could read the government decree above and reflect on how impossible that would be in modern American society; until now. The Bush-Obama administrations have brought the reality of this directive and many others into reality by creating blatantly unconstitutional laws and acts and failing to uphold their oath of office as have the members of the two political parties at almost every level of government.
Yet with technical innovation becoming an addictive and stimulative distraction, the American people continue to wear their index fingers and thumbs to the bone trying to plant crops in Farmville while their freedoms are restricted and capitalism is murdered in the name of the greater good instead of allowed to function as it should.
What does this have to do with the comparisons of Glenn Beck to the fictional character of “Hank Rearden” from the novel Atlas Shrugged?
Mr. Beck decided to defy the odds and create a multi platform broadcasting empire by ignoring traditional norms and performing the perfectly sane capitalist act of innovating. Instead of marrying his wagon to a “traditional” cable or broadcaster, Glenn realized that by using the internet and traditional A.M. radio the two platforms could be merged into a twenty-four hour hour print, spoken, and television network unified under the banner of The Blaze.
In the novel, Hank Rearden creates the ultimate metallurgical creation known as Rearden Steel. He fought to keep it as his own until in the end, he sacrificed his personal principles due to an affair to protect the real love of his life Ms. Dagny Taggart. This devotion to her and not his creation caused him to sign over his invention to the government and renounce all claims that he invented it. Will this happen to Mr. Beck? It is quite unlikely that it will be due to an affair, but the statements in the fictional Directive 10-289 above should act as a reminder to the reality we are now living, the perils which face all innovators in our current climate.
The long dark road into the Ayn Rand’s novel becoming a reality which could and probably would impact The Blaze, this website and broadcaster along with tens of thousands of other American institutions appears to be on a quiet bi-partisan track to pass the US Senate before or just after the November election. Earlier this year, Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) said the following in a news story by Joe Pompeo on March 21, 2014 via Capital New York:
“Yes. I think we are,” Schumer replied. “I think the odds of getting a shield law passed are very large. It’s very likely the Senate will pass a bill this year. … We have the 60 votes. I think we’re going to get the bill on the floor of the Senate and pass it.”
One sticking point in the bill was who is to be considered a “journalist” eligible for protection under the law, in a media environment in which news is being reported more and more by independent journalists and bloggers. The compromise, Schumer said, was that journalists “who have had some commercial relationship at some point in time” are protected. People who have never gotten paid for their articles are not.
Keller asked whether Julian Assange, proprietor of Wikileaks, would be protected under the law.
“If he had any commercial relationship as a journalist, yes,” Schumer said.
In other words, if as a blogger I have never been paid by a viable commercial journalistic enterprise as determined by an new, unknown government agency then my First Amendment protections do not apply; even I break one of the most spectacular news items in history. Conservatives argue that the Republican dominated Congress would never allow such a law to pass, then again the very grass roots activism which has angered the GOP with the Tea Party movement exists on talk radio, internet broadcasting, and via the pages of various news and commentary blogs throughout the web. The Republican leadership understands that they may never get a chance to silence talk radio and internet critics ever again and may indeed move with a majority of Democrats to solidify their hold on power by supporting such a measure.
The Blaze may indeed use paid journalists but they also face a danger from the Shield Law that the mainstream media is pressing Congress to pass. What if the unnamed government agency determines that The Blaze is an “entertainment website and thus not protected as a journalistic entity.” Based on the current hard feelings many Republican establishment politicians and consultants harbor towards Glenn Beck, that would not be a shocking decision and thus the road to Glenn facing the Rearden decision could quite possibly face his enterprise long before the 2016 election.
While the Shield Law as currently constructed appears to be a derivative right out of 10-289, the larger danger exists under the myth of income and broadcast inequality being promoted by the extreme left. In 2009, the first attempt to re-impose regulation of free speech under the auspices and control of the FCC started with the Durbin Amendment which contained this regulatory enforcement clause:
SEC.303B. Clarification of General Powers. (a) Certain Affirmative Actions Required – The Commission shall take actions to encourage and promote diversity in communication media ownership and to ensure that broadcast station licenses are used in the public interest. …
Thankfully it was defeated after an extensive amount of outrage from the conservative talk radio community and some fake indignation from the mainstream media.The theory being promoted now by the administration and its Progressive ilk is that talk radio bias and broadcast dominance along with a perceived disparity of conservative versus liberal websites on the internet is due to income inequality and of course racism, which inherently limits their ability to broadcast the viewpoints of the “minority” as they perceive it.
That defiance against talk radio still exists to this day even though the modified Fairness Doctrine attempt was before the Tea Party movement and elections of 2010, before The Blaze, and before the explosion in multi-platform media via television, computer, and smartphones took hold in American society. The current mindset of both political party establishment types is to not only minimize or destroy the grass roots movement, but as demonstrated by the Thad Cochran victory last night, to work together to destroy all opposition to their supremacy. The desire to usurp the First Amendment under the fallacy of income and societal inequality to achieve their political objectives.
Glenn faces a daunting challenge in the months ahead and I’m afraid he does not realize that by sticking to one set of principles dedicated to his vision of right and wrong, the elites will destroy and seize upon his perceived weakness by threatening to seize his empire probably by modifying or updating some version of Section 303B above by using the new bureaucracy under the Shield Law to enact restrictions on his ability to broadcast anything other than a national “swap shop” or other innocuous programming via any media platform. History will not dictate that his principles or concepts were wrong, but that to be just in a time of injustice is to act only in defiance of tyranny may well be a folly as support wanes with the ratings as the vilification of everyone’s efforts expands as each Progressive ideologue is empowered either financially or politically to openly attack all grass roots opposition.
In the end, I’m afraid that Glenn will learn, as Hank Rearden did, that his principles were right and just, but the evil facing our society knows no bounds. I hope for his sake that this does not happen because his innovation will be the future of media unless the government seizes control or nationalizes his enterprise. The only solution as I am afraid he will soon discover it was not that his fight to save America that was wrong, but to let if fail and be reborn under the leadership of the entrepreneurs and capitalists which are now disappearing right in front of everyone’s eyes.
The time to shrug is upon us my friends, to live and fight another day, while the beast starves itself to death.