Evanston, Illinois – John Galt, the central character in Ayn Rand’s epic 1957 novel “Atlas Shrugged” is living in a government-assisted housing project built specifically for elderly Illinois residents. A portion of the rent is paid for by Medicaid.
Mr. Galt, who is 97 years old, has become a symbol for laissez-faire capitalism, and specifically for Ms. Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism, in the years since the novel’s publication. Objectivism calls for a completely unobtrusive role by government in business. Mr. Galt’s character leads a shutdown of industry as a means of avoiding succumbing to what he sees as a socialist government agenda. He then attempts to begin a new society, based on his philosophy, with all the world’s titans of industry.