One hears – often – that [Atlas Shrugged] changed a reader’s life; yet you can also hear of people, upon discovering a copy in a loved one’s room, throwing it out of a window “for their own good” – and someone in the yard, seeing what the offending book was, running over it again and again with a lawnmower, shredding it, ensuring that this copy at least could wreak no more harm, pollute no more minds.
[When Henry Hazlitt] intimated that “I do not pretend to agree with you in every point and in every statement; I do not imagine that you expect that kind of agreement”, the libertarian newsman was merely advertising his lack of imagination. Isabel Paterson responded that “it isn’t a question of agreement” with [God of the Machine]. “I tried to set forth axioms, principles, facts and deductions of a logical nature. They are either true or not true, but they don’t depend on agreement; they are so per se. Do you ‘agree’ with Euclid’s statement that a ‘straight line is the shortest distance between two points?’”
Tom Marshall ultimately embraced an even more radical and individualistic version of the Preform idea, which he dubbed Vonu – an invented word meaning a life outside the reach of any who could oppress you. In practice, it meant hiding in the woods of Oregon, where he managed to disappear from the sight or knowledge of anyone who ever knew him – his ultimate fate is unknown.
- Brian Doherty, Radicals for Capitalism