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Welcome To Vilcabamba
"The Sacred Valley of Longevity"

This Is A Privately Circulated Blog, scribbled exclusively for Friends & Familiars, that peers into and pontificates about Expat life in the hinterlands of South America. If your eyesight is less than optimal (like mine), then just click the type size up a notch on your browser..

Here you will find a series of curmudgeonly commentaries that I've posted from atop my rickety old soapbox for the past few years. And yes, there are indeed political rantings, so place your seats in the upright position and fasten your seat belts .... it may be a bumpy ride.


Shades Of The Past

In late 1957, just as I was moving from the place of my birth in the Mid-West to seek my fortune (or whatever life would have in store for me), a book titled "Atlas Shrugged" was published. Written by a Russian émigré, Ayn Rand, that novel was a seminal influence on my personal philosophy of life, and it still is.

I was not alone. According to an oft-quoted 1994 US Library of Congress poll, more people were influenced by "Atlas Shrugged" than any other book apart from the Bible. And even today, it sits at number 1 on Amazon.com's fiction list. On January 13th of this year, the book's ranking was at 33 overall, briefly besting President Barack Obama's popular tome "The Audacity of Hope". This, mind you, for a philosophical work in excess of 1200 pages!

With a grim prescience, Rand's novel eerily foretold of the statism-induced financial crises that is unfolding in the US economy today. Life, it seems, is imitating art. The book's chilling similarity to what is happening in Washington, DC, and on Wall Street today is making its sales leap once again.

The title "Atlas Shrugged" is, of course, an allusion to the mythical hero who carried the world on his shoulders. It portrays real-life Atlases— inventors, thinkers, scientists, entrepreneurs, laborers, artists, —shrugging off their burdens and going on strike.

Their "burdens" were the looters, moochers, office-holders and those consumers who expect their "needs" to be met through the efforts of the entrepreneurial producers, the Atlases. The statists and those who had their hands out are left to their own devices as one by one the strikers flee to a safe haven, a hidden libertarian valley called "Galt's Gulch," where they await the inevitable collapse of the collectivist cannibalism they have left behind. Small wonder Atlas is resonating so loudly in the era of Bailout Bolshevism at the hands of rapacious elected officials and the Wall Street cronies who own them!

If you have not yet read it, I urge you to do so. And if you did read it many years ago, as I did, then read it again. Then you, too, might feel compelled to join me here in Vilcabamba … my own "Gult's Gultch".

"Everyone wants to live at the expense of the state. They forget that the state wants to live at the expense of everyone else."- Frederic Bastiat

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