September 29, 2009
From Toby Heaps’s review of “Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!” in the Toronto Globe and Mail:
. . . This novel – er, “fictional vision that could become a reality” – is also intended as a response to Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. “I always hated Ayn Rand,” Nader told me. How does Nader’s magna opus measure up against Rand’s? . . . Both disdain looting, Rand by big government, Nader by big corporations. Rand glorifies rational selfishness; Nader holds up the exhilaration brought on by the selfless pursuit of justice. Rand’s band of industrialists withdraws from society; Nader’s engages it, putting themselves in the line of fire and loving it. . . Unlike Rand’s treatise, which sets forth a philosophy, Nader has responded with a vision and detailed blueprint for returning the United States to the ideals set forth by its founding fathers.
“Only The Super-Rich Can Save Us” provides better insight into Nader’s psyche than any of the biographies published about him to date. Want to know the most important characteristic for a transformational leader? Moral courage. For a social-change foot soldier? Capacity to learn from criticism. Essential tactics to win citizen struggles? Build momentum from your epicentres and beyond using media. Use feints and distractions to keep opponents on their toes. Appeal to people’s base senses and everyday realities. Anticipate reaction from entrenched powers, and always have second-strike capacity.
. . . As someone who worked as press secretary to the author and was once asked to organize a major campaign address to a press conference of 500 dogs, I can attest that Ralph Nader certainly has an unencumbered sense of imagination that occasionally brushes up against the wacky. The book reflects this, with Sun God festivals that show the power of solar energy by cooking giant pots of tomato-and-eggplant stew, and a parrot named Patriotic Polly that pops up on TV enjoining Americans, “Get up. Don’t let America down.” . . . it is a powerful idea by the perfect person at a fortuitous time.