TODAY'S TOM SAWYER
APRIL 1, 2011
Lyricist and drummer Neil Peart of Canada's rock band RUSH composed a song some thirty years ago about a man who was uncharacteristically an unsung hero. No one could steal his integrity, compromise his principles nor change his mind, even though, as the song goes, "he knows changes aren't permanent."
The man in question is Tom Sawyer - not the Tom Sawyer of Mark Twain fame, but a pseudonym perhaps for John Galt of Atlas Shrugged fame.
Peart's Tom Sawyer, like Ayn Rand's John Galt, serves as an idealistic counterpoint to the social and economic structure depicted in today's world. Sawyer's world and character are summed up in these lyrics:
No, his mind is not for rent
To any god or government
Always hopeful, yet discontent
He knows changes aren't permanent
But change is
What you say about his company
Is what you say about society
Catch the witness, catch the wit
Catch the spirit, catch the spit
Tom Sawyer was a young warrior, rebel hero, the kind of hero our society needs today.
Our culture today embraces stifling mediocrity and egalitarianism, which both Peart's lyrics and Rand's book associates with socialistic idealism. The depiction in both the song and the novel portrays a society based on oppressive bureaucratic functionaries and a culture that tries to crush a man's spirit and enslave his mind.
How do I know this? Neil Peart was and is a student of Ayn Rand and has read every novel, short story and philosophical treatises at least three times! I know this little ditty because Neil is a friend of mine and he told me so himself.
I talk about this for two reasons. First, the band started the second part of their Time Machine tour Wednesday Night. The song "Tom Sawyer" opens the second half of the show. Besides, the song is their most popular and has become the one for which the group is best known.
The second, and most important reason, is that the song fits the situation we see today.
In Atlas Shrugged, John Galt, a college graduate with a double major in physics and philosophy, takes a job at the Twentieth Century Motor Company, where his main responsibility was to design a revolutionary new motor powered by ambient static electricity. When the company's owners decide to govern the factory by the collectivist/Marxist maxim: From each according to his ability to each according to his need, Galt decides to quit and abandons his motor.
In the main storyline of the book, Galt has secretly organized a strike by the world's creative leaders, including inventors, artists and businessmen, in an effort to "stop the motor of the world" and bring about the collapse of the collectivist society. While working incognito as a laborer for Taggart Transcontinental railroad, he travels to visit the key figures that he has not yet recruited, systematically persuading them to join the strike. The strike forms the backdrop for the story.
Galt speaks against what he saw as the "evil" of collectivism and ideas of collective sin and guilt, and says they should be replaced by "enlightened" selfishness and individualism. Seeking Galt after the speech, the authorities come and he is arrested. The strikers rescue Galt as he is being tortured by the government. They return to a place where Galt had organized his followers and prepare to build their own society as the collectivist government collapses.
As Tom Sawyer's mind was not for rent to any god or government, so Galt's mind could not be turned or compromised in the height of what seemed to be perilous odds.
Today, we live in a society in which collectivists, socialists, and secular progressives have infiltrated, even down the mainline religions, denominations and individual churches. The Social Gospel has replaced the Saving Gospel of Jesus Christ. In the "typical" church of today we are hearing more about our need to care for the rights and needs society as a whole rather than individual need for a personal relationship to the Creator God.
While listening to the sounds of Peart's Tom Sawyer Wednesday night, it dawned on me: "Where is the uncompromising hero today? Where is the statesman who, like James Madison, would stand up for the individual's right to pursue his own goals and aspirations, being free to use his own God-given mind and talents to be both benevolent and creative?"
Since the Democratic Party was co-opted by George Soros and his collectivist followers at the Open Society Institute, Media Matters, MoveOn.org and the Center for American Progress, we have witnessed the most progressive push to force the far-left world view on America in the country's history.
I believe there will come a time - and very soon, I fear - when the powers that be may attempt to rob our minds and steal our freedoms in the name of "the good of the whole." Another four years of the Secular-Progressive Socialism that emanates from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue will, in all likelihood, result in the fall of America.
Oh where is the man (or woman) to whom we can ascribe these words:
A modern day warrior
Mean, mean stride
Today's Tom Sawyer
Mean, mean pride!
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