A Modern Atlas Shrugged

The Government

The story of a modern John Galt from Atlas Shrugged. He (she) is attempting to build an alternative source of news in an era of the fake news of mainstream media. Not just an alternative TV channel but rather an alternative to the government forces. This Hero/Heroine of the story is not involved with the steel of railroads that Galt was involved in but rather the electricity and images of media.

This character is trying to represent (more than create) a side outside of the government narrative. This narrative is such a powerful narrative. It gains its power from the various mediums carrying government messages: the mainstream news media, entertainment, sports, education, technology. Among others. 

The government “broadcasts” out a common narrative 24/7. The government is involved in much more than simply defining boundaries for political debates between the two political parties. Much more than this is done. The national news media has become an arm of the government. This is the reality of the situation our hero/heroine thinks. As long as the battle can be seen as a war between two parties, the government will always win the battle. 

* * *

With the possession of popular culture under control of the government, it is difficult (and increasingly dangerous) to attempt creation of a message or medium against the government narrative. In fact, the simple act of creation of anything is dangerous to the government. OK perhaps as long as registered, listed or taxed by the government. A known commodity. But he/she felt the government saw creation of alternative narratives to theirs as their greatest challenge. Now a few months after the inauguration of the new president representing government.

Times are strange after a year of the worldwide pandemic and the new president representing government. In fact, there was not a better symbol/icon of the government than the new president of the nation. The current president sensed this true battle more than any other president in history. And this is why government had to work hard to quickly get rid of him at the election a few months ago. 

The bitter political battle today is caused greatly by two different media consumption groups. It is not that each gets fake news. It’s what they label what the other group (party) in society gets as their version reality as “fake” as opposed to their “real” view. It is not the forces of Republicans against Democrats but government against non-government forces. Socialist economics against capitalism. Equality promised by the government. Freedom the hope of those against the government. Equality against Freedom: a battle of the two great, paradoxical, founding symbols of America. Feminine equality versus masculine freedom. 

A Mythical Figure from Norway

He/she remembers the teachings of his/her famous old professor at UC Berkeley. Perhaps the greatest professor in the world in that obscure, berated topic called symbolism. He received the Pulitzer Prize while at Cal. But not in symbolism. Rather in General Semantics. Symbolism was not something for universities to associate themselves with. He/she had learned this early in their lives. It was far too big (and important) of a topic. It brought together so many different fields and areas of studies. It threatened other departments of the university. Was too multi-disciplined for the governmental mind-set of boxes of disciplines preached in all universities and educational institutions in the nation. All under the control of the government. 

He/she knew that the forces at play in the world were much greater than the labels of Republican and Democrat. More than anything else, these labels were created to keep at least two parts of society in perpetual battle with itself and never look outside of itself at another player called government. Sitting up in the stands, watching the battle on the field below. 

It is difficult because a large part of society is being “gaslighted” on mass scale. They are being given a version of reality against what they have experienced or seen on a person level. Experienced by themselves, through their own senses. Rather than filtered through the senses of the various media that infiltrate each micro-inch of the narrative of the world. Broadcast out to the world not through messages of those in government as much as the medium of those associated with government.

* * *

This was the real battle, he (she) knew. The battle between government and non-government forces. The popular propaganda was that the battle was really between big things like governments against governments in the form of nations against other nations. Or maybe, entire hemispheres of the globe like eastern and western cultures in battle.

The label of the two political parties is no more than appeasements to society to let them think they are choosing between two forms in society. They have the freedom of their choice between these two. The choice against society and government was never viewed as a real choice. This was the goal of government. To make sure that society never considers this new dynamic or really paradigm of the world to consider. The individual and the government. This is what it has really come down to our hero/heroine knows. 

He/she knew that it was important for the government to make sure the parties always fought and looked at each other on a level playing field, never looking up into the stands and watching the government watching them fight each other but being out of the fight themselves. It is important that the government convince society that the battle is always between two groups in society rather than a united society against the government. This is exactly what the government does not want and works with all its media to make sure it doesn’t happen. 

* * *

For purposes of trying to convince the individual voters of the nation. Might one ever label the great coalition of voters for our defeated president as the forces of Freedom in the nation at the present time as opposed to the forces of Equality. The non-government versus the government forces that battled for the soul and heart of the nation. 

The non-government forces have just lost after a bitter election. They valiantly challenged the election results and argued their case in the courts. As everyone knows, it reached the Supreme Court and was ruled in favor of the government. It was an unusual ruling for a non-government versus a government Supreme Court.

Now, two months into the new administration of the new President is wearing out as we all knew he was doing a year ago when he decided to run in the first place. He has appeared less and less and his few public appearances have involved muddled phrases and crazy images (“like someone on LSD” a recent columnist in some popular social media publication wrote). 

There are increasing challenges about his health on the floors of Congress. And, there is increasing attention (and security) on the woman Vice President of the nation. Of the government. There is beginning debates in the Senate on whether the President should be replaced by the Vice President. 

* * *

The hero/heroine of our story considers all of the above. 

This is the way things are today to our hero/heroine.

He/she had a goal of providing an alternative source of news from the government. This news is more than a simple channel on some television. It is an entire view of the world. All media forces work to confirm this one view. All media sources work in some way with the government rather than private industry. This is really the battle today in many ways our hero/heroine thinks.

It is much more than creating another TV network that linked together all who listened to non-fake news. Of course, the adjectives for “news” are defined by today’s view of news. Rather than a Walter Cronkite recital of things truly effecting the most people at the end of each day, the news today is focused on certain things, a congregation of various sources, cobbled together for a common view. The political winds and dynamics of this cobbled together mass always creating a narrative of the “common view.” Waving at us each day like blades of grass, blowing in the wind. All, put out by mainstream media (or fake news) today. Or really popular culture, or the overall manufactured view of reality. 

* * *

He/she looked out the window of the great home in the foothills of the chain of mountains above the California desert. It is a spectacular home. Three televisions are on in the background of his/her office. We can see and hear what the televisions are saying, their overall message. The person looking out the window might be the owner of this home. Might he/she be individuals or parts of a couple in our story?

* * *

Day after tomorrow, the defeated President has requested a meeting with our hero/heroine. He has heard about the massive directory assembled in the past year by this person as well as his blogs to his website. The defeated President is interested in his/her thoughts. They are different in that these thoughts do not see the battle between Democrats and Republicans but rather between government and non-government forces. 

The desert air has a pleasant warmth to this March in the California desert. They are meeting at a Mexican restaurant he/she suggested to him. It is a block off the fashionable El Paseo in Palm Desert. The Secret Service guys arrive at the restaurant he/she chose for the meeting. They examine the place with devices and flashlights. Then, the former President arrives at the restaurant.

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