“John Galt is Prometheus who changed his mind. After centuries of being torn by vultures in payment for having brought to men the fire of the gods, he broke his chains—and he withdrew his fire—until the day when men withdraw their vultures.”–Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
Forgive the brief foray into literature, but we swear this makes absolute perfect sense. With yesterday’s announcement that he would not partake in the Home Run Derby, Barry Bonds garnered the wrath of baseball fans, sports bloggers and the general population of the country. Many say he owes it to the fans to participate, arguing that he should put a show on for the fans who have tolerated his trials, tribulations and general mockery of the game.
Hold that thought.
In Atlas Shrugged, John Galt is a brilliant man whose innovative mind was taken advantage of by the populus; he finally decides to stop the motor of the world–and he succeeds. He, along with all the other great thinkers/industrialists/”world movers” of the country, go on strike. They disappear and go on strike because they are tired of being derided for profiting from their great minds, for succumbing to the general population’s view of morality (i.e., the money you work for should be shared, greed is not moral). John Galt does not believe in the guilt that society’s morality tells him he should have. According to Rand, “Man–every man–is an end in himself, not a means to the ends of others; he must live for his own sake … Objectivism rejects any form of altruism–the claim that morality consists in living for others or for society.”
This is what the world movers do in the book. America wants them stop doing what they do, so they do. They leave America to crumble, and it does. They basically say “screw society; they’ve looted our minds long enough.” This is Objectivism (in a nutshell).
For the last several years, the public has been calling for Bonds to quit. They want to see him gone, like Mark McGwire. So when he finally gives America what it wants (albeit with a subtle “fuck you”), America cries out that he would make the Home Run Derby much more entertaining (which he undoubtedly would) and he owes it to the fans to participate.
Bonds hopped on the steroid bangwagon because that’s what America wanted, only he did it better than anyone else. He topped the McGwires and Sosas and Brady Andersons. He provided countless ooohs and aaahs. He led the Giants to the World Series. He’s made himself millions of dollars. And what did he get for his efforts? He’s become the most villified man in sports. He’s become the face of steroids, for no other reason than he did it better than the dozens of other users. But America hates him. For the last several years, America has crucified him for being an objectivist of sorts.
So, much to the dismay of everyone, Barry is going on strike for one night.
Why should he entertain us? Why should we profit from his ability? Who is John Galt?
Why, he’s Barry Bonds.
Bonds will skip home run derby [SFGate]