Most Brits simply cannot Grok Ayn Rand. This is hardly surprising when you consider that Atlas Shrugged freezes the thinking of most Americans conditioned by government schools and teevee…
Just as a host makes parasite survival possible, so a large political party can artificially extend the life of a parasitical cult or ideology. History is full of such things. The Whigs with their Tariff of Abominations permanently alienated the Colonial South, represented by The Slaveholding Democracy.
High-tariff politicians were thenceforth centered in open iron gunsights by Democratic partisans of the day. Abolitionists deserted the Whigs as ineffective wimps. Karl Marx’ altruistic communist party in Germany seized upon “graduated income tax” as a source of someone else’s substance in the midst of a depression wrought by disruption of the opium trade in China and related Indian mutinies. Because this verifiable explanation of the Great Depression of the USA in what the Disraeli called the “hungry forties” is avoided in government schools or detoured by exaggeration of the Irish potato famine, a digression is in order.
Britain had become a colonial parasite on primitive China and India both. Defeated by the US in the wars of Independence and 1812, Cornwallis was transferred to India and the loose agglomeration of Hindu and Moslem tribes whipped into agricultural production of opium and indigo, much like the American South had been transformed by the lash into colonial cotton plantations under British rule. After China in 1837 expelled the opium traders, capital was withdrawn from US municipal bonds and other securities and poured into the opium wars. That and a bad winter, possibly exacerbated by fallout from an Icelandic volcano, made Europe fertile soil for a looter kleptocracy. Communism and socialism sounded better than looter kleptocracy and so those party denominations were ingrained by repetition.
Britain’s chief concern in the Gilded Era was the expansion of chemical slavery by exportation of morphine–an ambition lustily shared by France, Prussia, Germany and Austro-Hungary (and to a lesser extent Switzerland and Holland). But the dumping of addictive narcotics in China again broke down after the revolution of 1911 made it possible for the Chinese republic to again ban poppy drugs. In this China was abetted by the guilt-ridden Roosevelt, Taft and Wilson Administrations, through Pure Food and Drug laws and the Hague Opium Agreements detrimental to the traffic. German and Austrian morphine came from Balkan opium. As prices collapsed in the wake of interruption of the China dumping, war broke out in the region and escalated into WWI.
Britain’s most pressing concern after the Great War was how to squirm out of repaying the loans taken from American banks to throttle the Accursed Hun. The entire interwar period was one of renewed imperial parasitism on primitive colonies–and on the foolish creditors of those same morphine exporters who went to war in 1914 to evade the Hague Opium accord. This was the era in which Ayna Rosenbaum was educated in Russia, fled communism to These States in 1926, and witnessed the Crash and Depression wrought by a combination of American alcohol prohibition, prosecution of sugar and yeast companies under tax and conspiracy laws, and the squirming of European Pharmacy metropolises to evade controls on addictive poppy drugs and skip out on loan repayment and reparations collections.
To the Americans, WWI became inconvenient when Germany exported communism to Russia and that ideology toppled the Russian Empire. To save their loans, American bankers and industrialists had the Congress conscript youngsters to turn the fortunes of war in favor of the drug-peddling debtors whose notes they held.
President Warren Gamaliel Harding, a hard-drinking, drug-taking philanderer was the women voters’ choice in 1920. His exploits, retold by his love-child’s mom Nan Britton, coupled with the adventures of “missing” Los Angeles evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson, are revived in unobtrusive background splendor in the pages of Atlas Shrugged. The novel was written by that same Russian immigrant writing under her Ayn Rand pseudonym. Herbert Hoover, HL Mencken and other colorful characters are mirrored in the cast.
The history of the British Empire of that day is by contrast a sordid set of setbacks in colonial parasitism of Egypt, India, Iran, Burma… awash in cheap opium. Celebrity appearances are provided by Mahatma Gandhi (preaching non-initiation of force) and Miss Brenda Dean, debutante of London drug party scandals. George Orwell’s writings record Burmese misery and the dreary preoccupation of looter populists exploiting the baffled hunger of illiterate proletarians to curry favor with British Fascists or communist-infiltrated Labour cliques.
So OF COURSE the familiar media story chords exploited by Ayn Rand differ completely from the social milieu prevailing in the British Isles during the interwar period that framed the backdrop to Atlas Shrugged–except, perhaps, in the town of Starnesville. British intellectuals are oblivious of or baffled by the struggles of 1930 American Liberal Party liberals (not looters) against totalitarian prohibitionists. And prohibitionists are the very creatures the pub-drinking British themselves struggled against–to keep pubs open and the better to compete in narcotics export markets with France, Switzerland and Germany.
Small wonder they never brag about these things, but it goes a long way toward explaining the bovine incomprehension of Britishers confronted with American libertarian values. Like our Liberal Party forbears of 1930, American Libertarians apply the power of spoiler votes as a lever to pry parasitical hangers-on from the major parties. The Republican party is threatened by potential bleeding off of spoiler votes by declining remnants of three religious fanatic parties concerned with prohibiting sex and drugs. The Democratic party–ever the party of slavery–relies on the declining remnants of communism. The Green Party and CPUSA are reliable purveyors of “global warming” hobgoblins as justification for government suppression of industrial production in Western mixed economies. Their spoiler votes are still a dying bindweed coiling about the ankles of the Democratic Party. Do not despair… Libertarian spoiler votes increased 328% in the 2015 election, and these votes pack law-changing clout.
The threat to civilization today is religious fanaticism as pushed by the Republicans, Islamic berserker-states, communist collectivists, papal states and ku-klux entities committed to the coercion of females against their will. The libertarian party alone is for the time being relatively free of those parasites. Its platform therefore contains no promises to have the police gun down children, confiscate innocent assets, throttle industrial access to energy and purchase votes with transfer payments from producers to non-producers.