Atlas Shrugged movie BOOKED at Fox Tower theater in Downtown Portland

Yesterday the distributor of Atlas Shrugged contacted me to say that our efforts to get the movie in Portland had paid off. He booked the movie into the Regal Fox Tower Stadium 10 theater in Downtown Portland for opening weekend, April 15-16-17th, and hopefully longer.

Regal Fox Tower Stadium 10 Theater

846 SW Park Avenue

Portland, OR 97205

Showtimes and ticket ordering details should be available soon.

If you want to follow the Portland debut details on Facebook, go here.

[UPDATE: As of Sunday, March 27th Atlas producers have created a proprietary “Demand It” link. If you’re in a city that hasn’t yet booked the movie for opening weekend, please go to the link below and “Demand” that it run in your city, if not opening weekend then shortly thereafter.]

Demand Atlas run in your city


Steve Buckstein is senior policy analyst and founder at Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research organization.

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  • Now can you get the Regal Cinema in Eugene to pick it up, too? We need help in this liberal bastion!

    • Steve Buckstein

      Diane, if enough people in Eugene “Demand It’ it may happen. Probably not opening weekend, but after that.

  • Diane, if you go to http://www.FightBackOregon.com, there’s a link in the Scroller at the top of the page to “demand” this movie in your zip code. Encourage your email contact list to do so. That’s one of the ways Steve made this happen.

    It’s going to be very interesting to see what is done with this novel. It’s a compelling story (although I personally like “The Fountainhead” better) even beyond the philosophy.

  • Diane, if you go to http://www.FightBackOregon.com, there’s a link in the Scroller at the top of the page to “demand” this movie in your zip code. Encourage your email contact list to do so. That’s one of the ways Steve made this happen.

    It’s going to be very interesting to see what is done with this novel. It’s a compelling story (although I personally like “The Fountainhead” better) even beyond the philosophy.

    • Buggy

      I did. Thank you. I also said it should be shown on OPB.

  • GS

    How did you do it? I want to push for it locally as well.
    Is there someone we can contact?

  • GS

    How did you do it? I want to push for it locally as well.
    Is there someone we can contact?

    • Buggy

      There is a link in the article that will take you to the page.

    • Steve Buckstein

      GS, please email me with your full name, city and any other information about groups you’re involved with locally that might promote the film. I can then suggest how best to “Demand It” there. The “Demand It” link is:
      https://cascadepolicy.org/links/2p

      My email is [email protected].

  • Jgreenman2

    Thanks Steve, Cascade Policy Institute, and to all those who posted the request on Eventful.

  • HiC

    This is great news. It has been a long time since we have seen a grassroots stir for a feature film.

  • Valley person

    Question. Since a key premise of Atlas shrugged, at least as I recall it, is that a handful of elites pulls society forward and the vast majority are basically dummies or leeches, where does that leave you all?

    • Comet

      If that’s what you remember from Atlas Shrugged, you might want to read it again. The leeches were the businessmen who were unwilling to compete, requiring government intervention to prop up their businesses. The book is about the ultimate effect of leech-driven political policies.

      • valley person

        I read Fountainhead and skimmed Atlas Shrugged, bot over 30 years ago. From both, what I picked up is that there are an elite few who make everything happen and a whole bunch of leeches, not just a handful.

        But even by your own description, if you added up every business person who benefits from government intervention, you would have all of Wall Street, the entire banking industry, the automotive industry, the steel industry, the railroads, the trucking industry, every farmer in the Midwest and most farmers in the federally irrigated west, every company that uses federal hydro-electricity, every barge operator and shipper who uses the Mississippi or Columbia….in other words, just about every business in America.

        I think hippie food cart operators in Portland would be just about the only non-leeches.

        • Comet

          Partially correct. The leeches/looters are the businesses who actively seek government intervention. Not those who passively benefit from some govt program while running a business.

          • valley person

            So a home builder or realtor, neither of whom would be in business but for multiple government programs that subsidize home ownership, would be passive unless they were members of groups who pay lobbyists to get favorable laws passed. And guess what? Just about every homebuilder and realtor pays dues into associations that do this lobbying. And so does every industry in the US, from oil companies (depreciation allowance) to banking (don’t even get me started). Pretty much the only people who don’t pay lobbyists are the food cart vendors.

            So looks like we are all leeches except for a few elites, just as I suspected.

            We need a new group. Americans Associated Reliant on Galt Handouts. Or AARGH for short.

          • David Appell

            Comet wrote:
            > The leeches/looters are the businesses who actively seek
            > government intervention.

            So then, a major corporation like GE is a leech, since they actively use lobbyists to convince the US govt to give them extreme tax breaks (NY Times, last week).

            GE pays no US taxes, despite $5.1B in US revenues.

            Of course, most major US corporations do the same — all of them have muscular lobbyists in Washington. Are they all “leeches/looters?”

            What then, is your proposed solution?

          • Plain Jane

            Yes, David, GE is a major leech as are most major US corporations. The right and left have much in common, so let’s stop bickering and work together! The proposed solution is to take power away from the federal government, the empire, and return it to the states, where legislators are closer to the people. If Oregon wants to become a little Switzerland, they could do it. If people in some other state prefer a different arrangement, perhaps a little more on the wild side, they could do it. The founders knew this would happen because men are not angels. Or as Frederic Bastiat wisely put it: “If the natural tendencies of mankind are so bad that it is not safe to permit people to be free, how is it that the tendencies of these organizers are always good? Do not the legislators and their appointed agents also belong to the human race? Or do they believe that they themselves are made of a finer clay than the rest of mankind?”

    • Steve Buckstein

      Valley, not quite. The premise as I understand it is that “men of the mind” are asked by the mysterious John Galt to go on strike and “stop the motor of the world” rather than let the “parasites,” “looters” and “moochers” benefit from the fruits of their labor. Nothing about the “vast majority” being “dummies or leeches.”

      Why not go to the movie and find out for yourself.

      • Valley person

        Aren’t the “men of the mind” the elites I’m talking about? I don’t recall that they constituted a majority.

        • Steve Buckstein

          I think your choice of terms is more consistent with a collectivist mindset, rather than an individualist one.

          Quoting from one site on collectivism:
          “The political philosophy of collectivism is based on a view of man as a congenital incompetent, a helpless, mindless creature who must be fooled and ruled by a special elite with some unspecified claim to superior wisdom and a lust for power.”
          source: https://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/collectivism.html

          Rand’s “men of the mind” may be a minority, but they don’t claim superior wisdom and don’t have a lust for power. I think those traits are largely reserved for many who seek political careers, rather than those who seek to voluntarily trade goods and services in the marketplace.

          • Valley person

            They don’t claim superior wisdom, yet they in effect go on strike so that the masses will fall apart and beg them to come back? That seems like people who think they are superior, and it seems to me Rands whole approach assumed superior individuals being held back by the masses. Or am I remembering the story wrong?

            An alternative view, neither collectivist nor individualist, is that people are social creatures as much or more than we are individual creatures, and that there is benefit in working together as well as in working alone. There is a dynamic tension between the two. Going all one way or the other is not optimal. Rand simply goes all one way. Its not better than communism.

          • Steve Buckstein

            Wisdom, as I understand it, is not a trait of any one group or class of people. I’m sure some “men of the mind” are wise; some probably aren’t. What they have in common in the book is that they are tired of sacrificing for those who have not earned what they want to consume and want to therefore take it from those who have earned or produced it.

            If absolute individualism is not better than absolute communism, then we’re talking theory. In reality there’s a spectrum, and what Rand is saying is that pure communism, even the version she saw as a child in Russia, is evil and destructive. The book shows what happens when our country moves in that direction. It offers a solution for “men of the mind” to reject that movement and show those who favor communism just what happens when everybody consumes and nobody produces. Of course it’s not absolute, but those who agree with the premise of the book believe we need to move back strongly in the individualist direction.

          • valley person

            We have rejected communism Steve. No one is arguing for communism. The political argument in this country is, or should be between the 40 yard lines. That is what I find odd about this obsession with Rand. Her world was at one goal line in opposition to the other goal line. But since the communist goal line no longer exists as an option, why do we need to trot Rand out? The only reason would be to oppose the center, mistaking it for the extreme left. Denmark is basically the modern day logical extent of socialism, and it is a free, prosperous nation of very happy, productive people living in a capitalist welfare state with near zero poverty. Who needs Rand when we only have Denmark to fear?

            The whole idea of Galt shrugging assumes such a thing as Denmark can’t possibly exist. They moved far in the direction Rand feared, but found a position on the spectrum well short of totalitarian communism. Men of the mind in Denmark (and all of western Europe for that matter) found a solution that balances individualism with communalism.

            Why do we need to “move back” to more individualism? What would we gain? What are the implications?

          • Steve Buckstein

            Not everyone has rejected communism. Talk hosts on KPOJ 620AM in Portland (yes, I do listen to that “progressive” station) seem to see communism as the ideal; socialism as “American” and anything more individualist as greedy capitalists running roughshod over society.

            I’m not “trotting out Rand.” Someone put up their own money to turn the book into a film trilogy; Part 1 debuting April 15th. The book still sells hundreds of thousands of copies a year, more than half a century after it first came out in 1957. A Library of Congress poll in 1991 found Americans view Atlas Shrugged as the second most influential book in their lives after the Bible. You may have only skimmed it over 30 years ago, but millions of others read it cover to cover and can’t wait to see it on the big screen.

          • David Appell

            Steve Buckstein wrote:
            > Talk hosts on KPOJ 620AM in Portland (yes, I do listen
            > to that “progressive” station) seem to see communism as the ideal;

            I sometimes listen to KPOJ too, and I have *never* heard them tout communism. Who exactly said what exactly that makes you think they did?

          • valley person

            I’ve listed to the morning segment once in a while and likewise never heard anyone touting communism. I don’t even hear that on KBOO anymore. I think Steve has defined communism down to democratic socialism.

          • Steve Buckstein

            I don’t have a source for my statement, although I am pretty sure that I’ve heard one or more hosts (local and national) on KPOJ describe communism as an ideal system. Not the totalitarian variety, but the theoretical system. I know Carl Wolfson has run a bumper maintaining that socialism is an American value, or something to that effect.

            I recall listening to a speaker years ago who said that liberals (now probably called progressives) believe that socialists have high expectations of human nature, while communists have exagerated expectations about human nature. They perhaps realize that communism will only work if we change human nature (the New Soviet Man) but they still see it as an idea to strive for.

          • David Appell

            In other words, Steve, you have no evidence that anyone on KPOJ has touted communism. This makes me believe it’s all in your mind…

            And anyway, what is so wrong about hoping that human nature will change? Look around you — human nature is giving us extreme war, genocide, extreme poverty, suffering, nationalism, etc. What is so horrible about hoping that all of this changes, the sooner the better?

          • Steve Buckstein

            I said that I don’t have a source for my statement. It was just my recollection.

            If you want to change human nature the way the Soviets tried, millions died in the failed attempt. Better to work with what we’ve got, which is a world of self-interested individuals who can and often do voluntarily cooperate with others.

          • David Appell

            No one — NO ONE — wants to do what the Soviets did. Come on — that was totalitarianism. No one wants to force anyone to do anything they don’t want to do, and it is unfair to judge an economic system based on such an experience.

            On the other hand, if a group of people, however small, however large, want to voluntarily band together and structure their economic system according to Marxist principles — what’s wrong with that? It has never been tried, and it’s not obvious it won’t work.

            Of course, in today’s age of extreme nationalism there is little opportunity to do so. But this age will not last.

          • Steve Buckstein

            No one wants to force anyone to do anything they don’t want to do…”

            No one? Tell that to people subject to the ObamaCare individual mandate coming in 2014. And, tell that to Valley Person who said here earlier that the majority wouldn’t let the Galts withdraw from society and stop producing as they did before.

            Your system is based on force, David. Force has always been with us and may always be with us, but that doesn’t make it moral, or right.

          • David Appell

            Steve Buckstein (unregistered) wrote
            > No one? Tell that to people subject to the ObamaCare individual
            > mandate coming in 2014. And, tell that to Valley Person who said
            > here earlier that the majority wouldn’t let the Galts withdraw from
            > society and stop producing as they did before.

            Right now your employer gets large tax deductions for providing you with health insurance. That is, taxpayers (including those with no health insurance of their own) are picking up part of cost of *your* insurance.

            How is that fair? You want to talk about “force” — it goes both ways.

            The problem with people like you is you are fundamentally greedy — you only see what things cost you, and not what others pay for your benefit. My taxes are higher because your health benefits are tax free. My taxes are higher because you get a tax deduction for your mortgage interest.

            — David

          • Steve Buckstein

            David, you know nothing about my personal financial situation. My employer does not provide me with health insurance – I pay for it myself.

            I have no mortgage so get no mortgage interest deduction.

            If you want to be part of the discussion here, please stick to the ideas, not personal attacks – especially when they are so far off the mark.

          • David Appell

            Steve, you still benefit from the mortgage interest deduction, since your landlord gets this deduction and can therefore charge you a lower rent than he otherwise would.

            The point is that you cannot act like you get no benefits from government, or are forced (with a gun to your head, as you seem to put it) to pay for services you do not receive. That’s simply comical.

            And if you *do* pay for your own health insurance, you know how much your premiums increase every year (10%? 20%? 30% or more?), and since your CPI salary doesn’t increase at that rate I’m sure you must wonder how much longer you can absorb such increases.

            Doesn’t that worry you? At what point will you have to drop your insurance? What will happen to you (and those who depend on you) then?

            Doesn’t this make you angry?

            Many people in the US have already had to drop their health insurance because they couldn’t keep up with the vast increase in premiums. Yet you don’t even seem to care about them at all.

            Then think about how those who live under a single-payer system don’t have to worry about this, as long as they pay their taxes, which certainly do not go up at the same rate at does health insurance in the US.

          • Valley person

            A clarification. Anyone can withdraw from our society and go live as a hermit, grow their own food, get off the grid, tune in and drop out. What a modern Galt can’t do is decide to not pay taxes if they earn sufficient income to be taxed. If they try that then yes, they can be forced to pay up or suffer the consequences. We have laws. You say force isn’t right, but neither is sponging.

          • valley person

            Bumper stickers aside, communism is a figment of the imagination. A boogieman. The idea was tried and failed and has been buried in the ash heap of history since 1990. In fact, as soon as the Berlin Wall was built to keep people in the future of communism was over. Randism was also tried and failed, otherwise known as the pre-welfare state gilded age. The Great Depression put an end to that experiment. People could not and would not live in a yo-yo economic world so they created unemployment insurance, social security, control over banking, and much else. Since then every modern society has settled on a combo system that has a varying degrees of economic freedom co-existing with varying degrees of economic security, all mediated by democratic systems. No one has gone back to pre-welfare state days, and for darn good reasons.

            Rands ideas are basically late 19th century crackpot idealism. Fine for debating societies, but totally impractical. No modern democratic society would opt for a system where economic security is entirely up to each individual. I suspect this is why “conservatives” have embraced “originalism” in the constitution. They need to take democratic decision making out of the picture to get us back to their ideal, pre-New Deal world. Its a fools errand because if you ever succeeded you would have mobs at the gate within days.

            The majority, leeches or not, will not let the Galts of the world go their own way.

            Rand produced literature…rather stiffly written as I recall it. She did not produce a useful blueprint for a society.

          • Steve Buckstein

            The majority, leeches or not, will not let the Galts of the world go their own way.

            What the Galts did in Atlas Shrugged was simply disappear and stop doing the work thay had done previously. Are you saying that the “majority” would force people to keep working, keep producing for the majority’s benefit? That’s the most scary thing I’ve seen in this thread.

          • David Appell

            Steve Buckstein wrote:
            > Are you saying that the “majority” would
            > force people to keep working, keep producing for the
            > majority’s benefit?

            Oh please. This is a comical view of the world, akin to something a 15-yr old would think.

            You write as if someone is going to put a gun to the head of someone else. Please.

            So the Bill Gates and Steve Jobs and Larry Pages of the world step aside and stop producing. The world would certainly get by. In just a few short years the world would catch up and the horrendous plebes would invent Windows or the iPod or ad-based searching. It’s certainly not as if many others weren’t already thinking along the same lines — these guys just happened to get lucky and were able to be first.

            In any case, some rich person out there would always fund places like the Cascade Policy Institute, paying people like you, Steve, to proclaim the superiority of their philosophy.

            Have you ever had to make it on your own wits, Steve?

          • Steve Buckstein

            Your personal attacks are getting tiring, David. I’ll simply say that I was promoting my philosophy long before anyone (rich or not) paid me one penny to do so.

            If you really believe that people only espouse ideas for money, then who’s paying you to post here? No reply required because I don’t assume that – I assume you have honestly held beliefs; I just wish you’d grant me the same benefit of the doubt.

          • David Appell

            Steve Buckstein wrote:
            > I’ll simply say that I was promoting my philosophy long
            > before anyone (rich or not) paid me one penny to do so.

            Maybe you were. That doesn’t change the fact that monied interests are now paying for you to advocate for them, and that they expect a certain tone and viewpoint from you. You know it and I know it — either you provide them with that viewpoint, or you will be fired.

          • Valley person

            No. I’m not saying that at all. I’m saying they can’t just decide to stop paying taxes unless they stop earning income. For Galt to truly drop out, I imagine he would reach his hermitage by using a public road, and if he buys gas he would have to pay that tax. And if he comes into town to buy groceries, well in many states that is taxed. So he would have to be a very determined individualist to truly avoid all of society and government.

            I used to be involved with the tattered remnants of a left wing hippie commune. They thought they could drop out and not support war, corporate America, etc. But they needed cars, store bought food, some income, medical services. It didn’t work out for them, nor would it for a modern Galt.

          • Anonymous

            Of course its difficult for any of us to avoid all public services such as roads. But paying a user fee (gas tax) to drive on a public road is quite different from paying exhorbitant taxes on high incomes.

          • Valley person

            I’ll add, I doubt there is a real world Galt we would actually miss. As a free market advocate, you should know that if there is a market for a product or service, someone will find a way to supply it. Galts problem is there are too many around with similar talents. Rands zero sum view notwithstanding.

          • Anonymous

            You may be right; others might very well fill in for some of the lost efforts of Galts. But they may not do so for long, and they may not be as beneficial to the economy because as the book lays out, the anti-market, anti-individual, anti-productivity mindset in the country will attack them as visciously as it did the Galts. The replacements may thus join the Galts in time, and even if they don’t society will be poorer than it would be otherwise.

          • valley person

            Of course, we don’t actually have an anti-market, anti-individual mindset in any case. So I guess Rands critique is moot. But even in the extreme case, that being communism, the black market flourished. People found all sorts of enterprising ways around the restrictions.

            What “exhorbitant taxes” on incomes are you talking about? Rich people in America pay a top rate of around 35%. Given the SSI and Medicare caps, middle income people pay as much or more percent of their income in taxes as does Warren Buffett or the Koch brothers.

            The Galt story is fantasy Steve. One could just as easily postulate all the liberal teachers and professors of the nation going on strike and refusing to educate the children of conservatives. In fact, hey, I might have the kernel of the anti-Atlas shrugged right there! “Teachers Shrugged.”

            And by the way, I don’t doubt your personal commitment to what you write here, regardless of who pays you to do so. I just disagree with you.

          • Anonymous

            Of course Atlas Shrugged is fiction. But, fiction with enough of a kernel of truth that it’s energized many people. Book sales apparently took off after President Obama took office and people saw that kernel in his administration’s actions.

            Sure, you might want to write an anti-Atlas Shrugged book. But not many books stand the test of time as Atlas has for over half a century. And, I’m not sure that liberal teachers refusing to education the children of conservatives would really be anti-Atlas. More likely, liberal teachers would go to great lengths to educate those students about the error of their parent’s ways. Of course, that wouldn’t be fiction since it’s happening already…LOL

            And, thanks for understanding that I (and countless others) on all sides of the political spectrum advocate our ideas because we believe in them.

          • Plain Jane

            Instead of seeing a spectrum from collectivist to individualist, how about a spectrum from authoritarian to nonauthoritarian? Whether collectivist or individualist, do we respond to others’ needs/demands based on coercion or consent? Yes, we are social creatures and there can be mutual benefit in working together, but this is only sustainable if we do so voluntarily. Rand’s heroes are merely withdrawing their consent and participation from a corrupt, controlling society, not forcing their views on others.

            We can’t ignore the need for an appropriate human-sized scale for any given system of societal organization. History shows that collectivism only functions as a voluntary system when the group size is small and the members have a genuine relationship with each other based on a common vision. I’m thinking of extended families, monasteries or co-ops, but perhaps a small country such as Denmark as well if there is a way to hold leaders accountable to the citizens. (Democracy fails that test, BTW.)

            However, without a basis in human-scale relationships, collectivism eventually must be enforced at the point of a gun. Furthermore, in a society which rejects the notion of any universal moral truths, I think we will have trouble agreeing on societal obligations. However, individualism’s strength is that it doesn’t preclude people organizing themselves voluntarily into groups to solve problems and take care of others. Self interest includes spiritual/psychological values, not just material wealth.

          • valley person

            Since modern conservatives (and certainly Randophiles) view taxation as coercion, there doesn’t appear to be room for debate. You say the mutual benefit of working together is only sustainable if we do so voluntarily, but the whole history of America and every other democratic society says otherwise. That a certain amount of coerced mutualism is not only sustainable over centuries, it is indespensible to sustaining society.

            Yes, sure, Rands heroes are merely saying enough, leave us alone. We want to live in your country, under your defensive umbrella, drive our cars on your public roads, hire workers educated at public schools, and all the rest, but without the burden of having to chip in to pay for any of this. And we also want to remake your society along our lines of thought. And therein lies the rub. We only have this one country. We can’t have one set of rules for Plain Jane and Steve and John Galt and another set for everybody else. We can choose libertarian world, or we can choose some level of mixed economy and coercion and keep adjusting that over time, democratically, as the situation warrants.

            The military is a pretty large collective that functions pretty well by the way.

            As for the “point of a gun.” Sure, if you don’t pay your taxes eventually you may have armed agents at your door. What is your alternative? Voluntary taxation? Good luck with that one.

            For Steve, I have to wonder about that 1991 poll. Atlas shrugged? Really? Just behind the Bible? I expect that if I walked down the street and asked people at random if they had ever heard of Atlas shrugged, 9 out of 10 would not even know what I was talking about. As for the Bible….one can only wish it had less influence, other than for the Sermon on the Mount that is. .

          • Steve Buckstein

            The source for my statement about Atlas Shrugged being the second most influential book behind (not just behind; it actually says a large gap exists between The Bible and all the other books on the list) is: https://www.englishcompanion.com/Readings/booklists/loclist.html

          • David Appell

            Steve, that is a very, very biased definition of collectivism. You are certainly smart enough to see that.

            What most progressives and liberals want is egalitarianism. We recognize that capitalism necessarily has winners and losers. Sure, capitalism is great for the winners, and for those like you who benefit from them (as you and the CPI are paid by them to proclaim their virtues). But look around you at all the losers of this system — the poor, the homeless, those without the medical care they need, without the food their children need.

            Do you really think the John Galt’s of the world got there only by their only drive and initiative? Do you think they have been helped by overall structure of society to which we all contribute? Did they get lucky by having the right parents or the right genes? Were they lucky in their timing? And even if so, do the Google founders of the world deserve $10B when people are dying miserable deaths around the world? Would your perspective be different if you were a poor African whose children had malaria instead of being a comfortable analyst in a corporate-backed think tank?

      • Valley person

        Aren’t the “men of the mind” the elites I’m talking about? I don’t recall that they constituted a majority.

      • valley person

        I may do that. But the term “men of the mind” implies this is a select group that is the motor of the world. By definition, this would be an elite minority. If the great majority were men of the mind who were all motors of the world, then the small minority that leeched off of them would not matter all that much would they? They could be brushed aside and just left to starve.

    • Rogerramjet1957

      It leaves me growing ever more tired of people who think they are entitled to the fruits of my labors. I prefer my own motivated self interests and leave you do seek after your own.

      • Anonymous

        You must be a Christian.

      • David Appell

        > It leaves me growing ever more tired of people who think
        > they are entitled to the fruits of my labors.

        So you have never benefited from the labor of others? You really exist out there all on your own?

        Did you go to a public school?

        Do you take the home mortgage tax deduction?

        If you break your leg and can’t pay for its repair, do you expect to be left alone along the side of the road?

        Did you pay for interstate highways you travel on, or was that a previous generation?

        Does your employer deduct the cost of your health insurance?

        Do I really have to go on?

        • Plain Jane

          David, just because the government demands to have a monopoly on many activities, doesn’t mean those activities couldn’t be accomplished in other ways. Presently, we don’t have a choice of private or public roads. Besides, the interstate highways were not created so that citizens could travel more freely but with military needs in mind. The citizen’s benefit is always secondary to the empire’s goals.

          There really is nothing new under sun, so I’ll defer to Bastiat again: “Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.”

          What is the state religion today? Progressivism – the product of 19th century elites who replaced belief in the supernatural with belief in their own superiority.

          • valley person

            Private roads were once the norm. But the road owners could not afford the upkeep even with tolls, so they turned those roads over to the government. Modern efforts to build & manage roads strictly through tolls, all private sector, have floundered. The only ones that pay off are those between major cities. The few that have been attempted in Oregon did not pencil out for the private developers. Government has a monopoly on some services because the private sector failed to provide those services initially at a level adequate to the need. Health insurance is the latest example of that.

            Arguing today about socialism is a canard. The alternative is not between socialism and capitalism but between varying mixtures and proportions of the 2. What I would argue is that modern day free market fundamentalists are about a century behind historical development of western societies. Its as if we could or should undo all the hard won economic security measures that have taken the harsh edges off of capitalism, from child labor laws to social security. Why they (you?) want to drag us back 100 years is a mystery to me.

            Progressivism is not a religion. Its a rational response to obvious market failures. Obvious to some of us anyway.

          • Plain Jane

            Yes, it’s hard for private interests to compete with the government’s unlimited funding and ability to obtain rights of way by force. Government transportation planning destroyed countless inner city neighborhoods with their eminent domain power, something that private road owners would not have been able to do. Government didn’t step in to correct market failure. Rather, private individuals in cahoots with politicians used government to create a monopoly for their own interests, i.e. corporatism. Government is currently trying to correct its own failures, such as too much reliance on autos and not enough mass transit, caused by political decisions to subsidize auto travel over other means. A private system based on consumer choice – not backroom political deals – would have avoided this.

            Health insurance is another area where government intervention has caused major failure by distorting prices and creating politically motivated mandates. Post WWII wage and price controls created an employment-based benefit system that was unstable. Then HMOs, Medicare and Medicaid made it worse. Before the 1970s or so, health insurance was used to cover catastrophic illness and hospitalization. It was affordable as were doctor visits – they even made house calls because consumers, not third parties, paid for it. Now “insurance” covers sore throats and heartburn relief, while at the same time bean counters tie the hands of doctors to provide high-quality care to the seriously ill. Government lacks a rational means of determining correct prices so its costs always skyrocket.

            I consider Progressivism a religion because it sprang from the 19th century pietistic Protestant tradition which lusted after control over every aspect of American life. They replaced their belief in the supernatural with a fantasy of creating heaven on earth, managed by Progressives, of course. They were True Believers who eventually brought us Prohibition, wars to make the world safe for democracy, eugenics and the banksters of the Federal Reserve – all still plaguing us in one form or another. It is the Keynesian system they eventually imposed – not market capitalism – that is now imploding.

          • Valley person

            Jane, private companies, including toll road builders, railroads, and utilities can obtain rights of way by force. Just ask those in the path of the proposed LNG pipeline, or those in the path of the proposed toll road in Texas.

            Governments do not have unlimited funding. Only the federal government has a theoretical ability to print as much money as it needs or wants, but as a practical matter even it is limited.

            I agree, government highways destroyed many inner city neighborhoods. But neighborhoods eventually found ways to fight back politically and legally. For a local example, in the 1970s Portland neighborhoods prevented a new freeway from being built and opted for light rail. The passing of the National Environmental Policy Act (big government) put a stop to ramrodding projects through places without proper review and avenues for appeal.

            Consumer choice depends on the transportation options that are provided. No one can choose rail if there isn’t any, and no one can choose driving unless a highway is provided. Government policy determines the available choices when it comes to transportation, and the market operates within that playing field. I think the Romans were the first to build public roads. Once they did that people could choose to walk or ride a horse. But absent any roads, they had to stay in the village. (What have the Romans ever done for us?)

            Yes, government policies have constrained health insurance markets. But that doesn’t mean an absence of policies would result in a well functioning free market. Health and ability to pay for expensive medical care are unrelated. I have a friend with a daughter born with CF, a death sentence without hundreds of thousands of dollars in care. No insurance company would go near them in an unregulated market. Old age health care was uninsurable for most before Medicare.

            Insurance covers minor ailments so that people won’t avoid care and allow those to become major, very expensive ailments. The bean counters you should worry about work for the insurance agencies. They have killed way more people than government regulation of insurance companies.

            I consider myself a progressive, am irreligious, and do not lust after control over every aspect, or even most aspects of the lives of my fellow Americans, including yourself. I do support practical, government based solutions to market failures. I think you are mixing up progressives with communists. And I don’t know why you insist on fighting ghosts of 100 years ago. We aren’t going back to pre new deal. Even the Tea Party doesn’t really want to do away with their Medicare.

            Its constructive to debate any proposed solution, progressive or otherwise, to a problem. Its not constructive to cry socialism every time a solution is offered. Its paranoid behavior.

          • Valley person

            Jane, private companies, including toll road builders, railroads, and utilities can obtain rights of way by force. Just ask those in the path of the proposed LNG pipeline, or those in the path of the proposed toll road in Texas.

            Governments do not have unlimited funding. Only the federal government has a theoretical ability to print as much money as it needs or wants, but as a practical matter even it is limited.

            I agree, government highways destroyed many inner city neighborhoods. But neighborhoods eventually found ways to fight back politically and legally. For a local example, in the 1970s Portland neighborhoods prevented a new freeway from being built and opted for light rail. The passing of the National Environmental Policy Act (big government) put a stop to ramrodding projects through places without proper review and avenues for appeal.

            Consumer choice depends on the transportation options that are provided. No one can choose rail if there isn’t any, and no one can choose driving unless a highway is provided. Government policy determines the available choices when it comes to transportation, and the market operates within that playing field. I think the Romans were the first to build public roads. Once they did that people could choose to walk or ride a horse. But absent any roads, they had to stay in the village. (What have the Romans ever done for us?)

            Yes, government policies have constrained health insurance markets. But that doesn’t mean an absence of policies would result in a well functioning free market. Health and ability to pay for expensive medical care are unrelated. I have a friend with a daughter born with CF, a death sentence without hundreds of thousands of dollars in care. No insurance company would go near them in an unregulated market. Old age health care was uninsurable for most before Medicare.

            Insurance covers minor ailments so that people won’t avoid care and allow those to become major, very expensive ailments. The bean counters you should worry about work for the insurance agencies. They have killed way more people than government regulation of insurance companies.

            I consider myself a progressive, am irreligious, and do not lust after control over every aspect, or even most aspects of the lives of my fellow Americans, including yourself. I do support practical, government based solutions to market failures. I think you are mixing up progressives with communists. And I don’t know why you insist on fighting ghosts of 100 years ago. We aren’t going back to pre new deal. Even the Tea Party doesn’t really want to do away with their Medicare.

            Its constructive to debate any proposed solution, progressive or otherwise, to a problem. Its not constructive to cry socialism every time a solution is offered. Its paranoid behavior.

          • Valley person

            Jane, private companies, including toll road builders, railroads, and utilities can obtain rights of way by force. Just ask those in the path of the proposed LNG pipeline, or those in the path of the proposed toll road in Texas.

            Governments do not have unlimited funding. Only the federal government has a theoretical ability to print as much money as it needs or wants, but as a practical matter even it is limited.

            I agree, government highways destroyed many inner city neighborhoods. But neighborhoods eventually found ways to fight back politically and legally. For a local example, in the 1970s Portland neighborhoods prevented a new freeway from being built and opted for light rail. The passing of the National Environmental Policy Act (big government) put a stop to ramrodding projects through places without proper review and avenues for appeal.

            Consumer choice depends on the transportation options that are provided. No one can choose rail if there isn’t any, and no one can choose driving unless a highway is provided. Government policy determines the available choices when it comes to transportation, and the market operates within that playing field. I think the Romans were the first to build public roads. Once they did that people could choose to walk or ride a horse. But absent any roads, they had to stay in the village. (What have the Romans ever done for us?)

            Yes, government policies have constrained health insurance markets. But that doesn’t mean an absence of policies would result in a well functioning free market. Health and ability to pay for expensive medical care are unrelated. I have a friend with a daughter born with CF, a death sentence without hundreds of thousands of dollars in care. No insurance company would go near them in an unregulated market. Old age health care was uninsurable for most before Medicare.

            Insurance covers minor ailments so that people won’t avoid care and allow those to become major, very expensive ailments. The bean counters you should worry about work for the insurance agencies. They have killed way more people than government regulation of insurance companies.

            I consider myself a progressive, am irreligious, and do not lust after control over every aspect, or even most aspects of the lives of my fellow Americans, including yourself. I do support practical, government based solutions to market failures. I think you are mixing up progressives with communists. And I don’t know why you insist on fighting ghosts of 100 years ago. We aren’t going back to pre new deal. Even the Tea Party doesn’t really want to do away with their Medicare.

            Its constructive to debate any proposed solution, progressive or otherwise, to a problem. Its not constructive to cry socialism every time a solution is offered. Its paranoid behavior.

          • Peterp

            Failure to do what you want done is not a market ‘failure’. The problem here is deciding that one’s own views are a reference for what the market ‘should’ result in. The market shows what people actually prefer given spending their own money, or not, at thei own risk, and has never been claimed to result in what they will not actually pay for.

        • Peterp

          Why yes, you should.. because the poster is not saying people cannot and will not cooperate…he is actually questioning what comprises what many call ‘cooperation’, which is not actually given of their own free will when faced with threats of violations of their rights.

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