Who was John Galt?John Galt, the inventor who was himself only an invention of Ayn Rand's mind, rejected the existing government, economy, and society. He withdrew from the prevalent culture - physically, economically, spiritually - and developed his own alternative economy and social system in Galt's Gulch.
The story itself appears to be (at best) a derivative of The Driver, by Garet Garreth, which is somewhat in conflict with Rand's stated position in favor of intellectual property rights.
John Galt was an AnarchistJohn Galt's Oath is instructive: "I swear by my life and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine." I'm trying to imagine my relationship with Princes Charles if the Founding Fathers had felt like John Galt.
What do Anarchists believe?First, there's the dichotomy of what a scheme professes and how it exists in the world. You could criticize Communism, and hear "the problem is with the Russian implementation of Communism, not the essence of Communism". So let's talk about professed, theoretical anarchy.
Essentially, Anarchy (an-archy) is a system of no-rulers, of individuals living on terms they define. Anarchism is the belief that people can organize themselves without having someone tell them what to do. Anarchists believe that it is better for everyone to have a direct say, instead of having leaders or bosses make decisions for them. Anarchists also believe that participation (in society, in government, in an economy) should never be compulsory. (link)
What did Ayn Rand / John Galt believe?Rand believes in gold as the only true medium of exchange. In her utopia, depicted in Atlas Shrugged and symbolized by “Gault’s Gulch”, cash is worthless because there is no value in a piece of paper just because a government assigns it a value. Gold is the only medium of exchange in her paradise. When Ragner returns wealth to the producers he does not use paper, he gives Reardon bars of gold. Rand's admiration of the dollar sign as a symbol of wealth is only consistent while that dollar is worth some amount of gold.
Anarcho-CapitalismJohn Galt was not just a generic anarchist; he was an Anarcho-Capitalist, an anarchist who specifically rejects a monopoly economy or an imposed economy, and who rejects currency because he disputes government's legitimacy to assign value to paper scrips.
What do Anarcho-Capitalists Believe?Anarcho-capitalism is an anarchist philosophy that is against the idea of political government and a compulsory economy, and for voluntary, economic government through free market capitalism mediated by supply and demand.
Anarcho-capitalists think that people can protect themselves without any government. Instead of stopping intrusion with laws, people could protect their own things, or agree to pay other people such as insurers, and private defenders to protect them through the marketplace. Anarcho-capitalists say that the government is a thief because it takes taxes away from people against their will, and keeps them from making unfettered agreements between themselves. (link) This is completely consistent with Rand/Galt's beliefs.
By accepting an axiomatic definition of private property and property rights, anarcho-capitalists deny the legitimacy of a state on principle:
"... the ethics of private property is also incompatible with the existence of a state defined as an agency that possesses a compulsory territorial monopoly of ultimate decision-making (jurisdiction) and/or the right to tax."
Murray Rothbard was a preeminent 20th-century anarcho-capitalist. "I define anarchist society as one where there is no legal possibility for coercive aggression against the person or property of any individual. Anarchists oppose the State because it has its very being in such aggression, namely, the expropriation of private property through taxation, the coercive exclusion of other providers of defense service, and all of the other depredations and coercions that are built upon these two invasions of individual rights."
What do Anarcho-Capitalists say about Ayn Rand?In the late 1950s, Anarchist Murray Rothbard was briefly involved with Ayn Rand. Rothbard admired Rand’s book Atlas Shrugged and even wrote to her saying so. After a few brief encounters the two had a falling out and to this day their followers continue the rivalry. Why they fell out is unknown, but rumor was that Rand gave the agnostic Rothbard an ultimatum to divorce his Presbyterian wife within six months. Rothbard did not and it is said that Rand’s group (the “collective”) held a trial in his absence and removed him from the group... Rothbard regarded Rand as psychotically running a cult and wrote The Sociology of the Ayn Rand Cult about that.
Who was John Galt? John Galt was an Anarcho-Capitalist
He seems like a rather unlikely role model for American patriots who attend Tea Parties.