Saturday, October 19, 2013

Hell Hath No Fury Like A Wingnut Scorned

Fallowes's lengthy interchange with his would be Galtian gives you the flavor of a fine whine, bottled some time ago, that is just now being uncorked for our delectation.  There's quite a bit of it about as this article about a Colorado gun manufacturer makes clear. (h/t TaMara who comments over at Balloon Juice).  This leads me to observe that there are two kinds of wingnut rage--the first is expressed by the assertion that the speaker is Going Galt. This is the equivalent of the Goodbye Cruel World diary on Kos and the gesture of the child who runs screaming to their room and sobs angrily "you'll all miss me when I'm gone."  The point of the gesture is to hurt the other--in fact the Galt Guy explicitly says he is going Galt in order to hurt the country and the liberals by deleting the jobs he is responsible for creating.  When enough attention is not paid, your true Galtian comes back for several more bites at the apple, demanding Fallowes pay attention to him, re-engage, listen to his arguments, respect his authority, and maybe have lunch at a quiet little spot? The one thing he doesn't do is follow through on ending his symbolic life as a businessman by shutting up shop. Just as your child doesn't have the ability to hold their breath until they drop dead.

There's another kind of wingnut warrior and would be Galtian hero though--its the variety "lets you and him fight" or as they used to say in the Penninsular war a "go on" and not a "come on." These are the greater masses of wingnuts who enjoy the thought of a vicarious Galtian punishment of the enemy--as long as they don't get hurt in the process.  They don't threaten to remove themselves from society but they enjoy thought of society, or a tiny town (say) being hurt when someone else goes Galt.  And when their new best friend and Galtian exemplar fails to follow through and cut off their own nose to spite their own face?   They get really pissed off. As in Colorado where Magpul, a gun manufacturer, tried to hold their community and their jobs hostage until the state of Colorado gave them the laws they wanted.  Inside Colorado the threat to take the business elsewhere seems to have been viewed with a bit of nuance but outside, in the gun community, it was a winning proposition.  A normal person might see a corporation holding its worker's futures and its community ties hostage until the corporation gets special consideration from the state as a form of anti-democratic extortion, even a terroristic act.  Not the second amendment heroes from outside the state.  They approve of the use of the power of the purse and a corporate boycott as a way to bring unruly liberals to heel.  But there's many a slip!

The company's seeming inability to once and for all pull up stakes and exit Colorado has gone from a point of curiosity among gun enthusiasts, who loudly backed the company's decision half a year ago to move, to a source of annoyance that threatens to hurt Magpul's reputation and business.
On the company's Facebook page, some comments in the last few weeks have turned ugly as customers begin to question whether Magpul truly walks the walk when it comes to defending the 2nd Amendment or simply issues "empty threat(s)."

"Hmmm. I hope I am wrong, but I'm starting to feel dumb for buying a bunch of your stuff to support your company during your move and beyond," Michael Franklin, of Arizona, wrote last week. "What happened to the principles you were passionate about?"
Steve Allen, of North Carolina, also expressed his impatience with Magpul's lack of progress in leaving Colorado.
"Still waiting for the move. I'm a business owner -- I know how difficult a move is," he wrote. "You drew a line and the Colorado legislature crossed it. I sure hope your line means more than Obama's line in Syria."

But alas! Talk is cheap! When they lost the legislative battle they then discovered that its a little harder to pull up stakes and move to punish the liberal elites. You might put this under the heading of Econ 101: capital flight is a whole lot easier than labor and industrial flight and running away from home because you don't like the dinner mom is serving is not exactly a cost free endeavour.

Slowly, bitterly, the customers learn that a stiff prick has no conscience and that Magpul wasn't really all that determined to lose money in defense of a principle when they can just keep making money selling stuff to people who want stuff.  It might not be the same people as before, but it will still be money. As for their principles? Could it really be that a capitalist producer of stuff just wants to sell stuff? 

"In the beginning they would post comments and have rallies in support of the 2nd Amendment," said Steven Power, of Texas. "As time has gone on you have heard less and less from them on the move. With the lines of communication dead, it looks like a marketing ploy."

All that end of the world talk was just for show and, like the Republicans in the House, in the end you have to compromise with reality. But this isn't the end of the story--again, like Boehner and the Tea Party Reps, Magpul has gotten its customers riled up and now can't satisfy their desire to see someone hurt. So the natural progression (as from hurting Federal workers to hurting the world, from shutdown to default) is from hurting the State of Colorado to hurting Magpul.  Now the customer base decides to start going Galt itself. Some decide to stop buying what Magpul is selling

"like Ronny Johnson, of Texas, [who lost]  any hope that Magpul intends to stick to its principles. He now calls himself a former customer..."I do think they will see a loss of business. They have lost mine.",
But others, the second variety, merely resign themselves to hoping someone else does the punishing and effectively ill wishing rather than acting: "Power said he is still hoping for the best, but bracing for the worst.
"If this all turns out to be nothing but a way to sell guns and gun accessories, then I hope they go out of business," he said.

 Its like the Zeno's paradox of going Galt. At every step towards fleeing this vale of tears some percentage drops off, and some percentage turn their ire on their former comrades or communities.  Talk about fewer but better Russians! There's a Nepali locution seems apt here "As for doing X, so do X."  As for going Galt, so go Galt already. Its going to be mighty lonely when you get to that Gulch.

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