Fletcher Finnegan will show the world how to begin again: The picture is of the back cover to my 2004 book The Symposium of Justice. The smoking skull represents the burning life that most people live through half dead only to be manipulated by powerful interests into a life of enslavement under the guise of freedom.
When I came home from work today my wife was busy in the garden and was eager to discuss with me the necessity of getting some mulch. For what reason? She was pulling out the weeds that had planted themselves over the winter and wanted to prevent the growth of weeds from choking off the nice flowers and other plants she wanted to nourish.
With all the discussion recently about John Galt it has focused my mind on a project I’ve been working on for several years now. It’s a work of philosophy that I’ve adjusted and added to as I apply thoughts and concepts to the forges of life. Well before I ever read a word of Ayn Rand I wrote a book called The Symposium of Justice. I wrote it for my kids primarily, and had a deal with a Wild West Arts distributer to carry the book that fell through and critical reception of my book were of a nature that nobody knew what to think of it, so sales weren’t very good. I had some trickle in over the years, but nothing all that dramatic, which didn’t bother me because I had achieved much of what I wanted with the book already just in writing it. The character, in my book, Fletcher Finnegan is a hero that essentially is focused on removing the weeds of the world from the growth of what is good. And the purpose of the story is to figure out what the definition of “good” is.
When the Tea Party movement arrived I was relieved to see other people finally getting on board to the kind of fights I had been engaged in for years. That’s when I ran into Atlas Shrugged, from fellow Tea Party members. When reading it, I was shocked I hadn’t run into the book earlier because it was so similar to my way of thinking for many years. Although my Symposium of Justice is a much smaller book than Atlas Shrugged, and written with a pulp-fiction style of dialogue, many of the characters were shockingly similar to my own work, and the situations were amazingly parallel. In Symposium I have a literal band of “hit men” that work directly for the government to enforce new rules for a society moving in a progressive direction. The book begins with the attempted rape of a young girl, set in motion by the town mayor as a way to inflict fear in the population and make the residents want “protection” and to seek more government interference in their lives. My story involves a series of “social engineering” experiments designed to perpetuate a progressive government and this was well before Barrack Obama was even a senator.
When I was reading Atlas I was shocked at the weapon revealed in the third part of the book which is a sound wave weapon that can destroy targets with just waves of sound including flesh. In the Symposium I had a water tower in the town that emitted a radio wave that affected the pituitary gland in people and made them more impulsive, wanting to buy more items, encouraging them to have more sex, and be spontaneous. In this way the government was able to control the population as it desired.
It’s not just in the science that I was shocked in the similarities, but in the character’s. Misty Finnegan was heavily involved in politics and working as a spy to feed her husband information needed for their small rebellion. Fletcher Finnegan is working as a grill cook at a fast-food restaurant so he can get information about the local happenings from the young people who work with him, particularly drug dealers and other social parasites. Mayor Goodman in the Symposium is remarkably similar to the Wesley Mouch character in Atlas. But what is most strikingly similar is that attempt by myself, and Rand to paint the picture of characters that are larger than life, striving to be “good,” and everything that is involved in that process, the Overman known in German as the “ubermensch.”
I was relieved to read Atlas Shrugged, because I thought that with Symposium I was attempting to go in a direction that society was not prepared to go. I have been working on the ideas for the next step in Fletcher Finnegan’s story and his fight for a needed revolution for many years now. And it was in the words of Ayn Rand that I realized that there is a hunger for this type of story.
Fletcher Finnegan is different from John Galt in that Fletcher is taking on the role of a freedom fighter that takes the fight to the “destroyers” of the world as opposed to John Galt who seeks to remove the food of the destroyers so to starve them out of existence. The similarities between the two characters is remarkable, and was not intentional. I can only conclude that when it is thought out, what the solution to the modern problems of our age is to be, then a character of such a nature is what’s needed. The world needs John Galt’s and Fletcher Finnegan’s, and the creative mind can see it. John Galt’s way is to choke off the weeds of the world by not watering them. Fletcher Finnegan’s way is to fight them directly and pull them from the ground by the root one by one till they are eradicated from existence.
The complicated part of the story is in exploring the morality of such a position. It is a tight rope to walk and could easily become a radical ideal similar to that of the radical Muslim, who believes that all non believers are infidels and deserve to die. That is not the way of Fletcher Finnegan.
It is obvious however that the world has forgotten how to live, if it ever really knew it at all. It appears that only small visions of enlightenment have permeated though our art to find itself to the minds of the very few who understand it. So it will be the mission of Fletcher Finnegan to teach the world to live again, but this time for good, and not to be easily forgotten. And that process will start by removing the weeds in the garden.