Sunday, July 24, 2011

Athletes Shrugged

The state-run broadcaster reported today some incredible news.  In a protest against government interference in their right to freely train and compete, the best winter sports athletes in the world discreetly gathered in British Columbia to hold a competition based on the principles of individual rights.   Athletes called the event the first free competition in over a hundred years.

Downhill ski racer Francisco d’Anconia was interviewed just after he completed the fastest run of the day to take the gold medal.  “I grew tired of participating in events where the prime directive was ‘from each according to his ability to each according to his needs’ and I was forced to give up my spot on the podium to athletes of much lesser ability, poor conditioning and no dedication” said d’Anconia.  “This is the first event in living memory where I was allowed to compete without state officials handicapping my performance so others could have a turn winning.  Today, the outcome was decided objectively by individual ability alone.” 

“It’s not fair!”complained would-be downhill skier James Taggart, who did not participate in the event, to the competition board.  “Just because Francisco has such enormous talent does not give him the right to take first place.  I’m going to take this case to the equalization of athletic rights tribunal and make them take away his medal.  Just imagine if success was only based on individual ability, training and hard work- why it would leave no chance for the rest of us who want to win too” he sneered.

Over in the hockey arena the captain of the team seemingly destined for gold, John Galt, was heard to say “the great athletes of the world are tired of living under the punishing rules set by state bureaucrats who are themselves incapable achieving what these athletes can do.  We realized that principles we had followed all our lives were contrary to man’s nature and have shrugged off the burden of carrying our fellow men on our backs.  We will no longer train with such intensity and dedication for the purpose of placing the less competent on the podium.  We will allow success and failure to be determined by a free market for athletic skill.”

Multiple medal-winner in long track speed skating, former American Dagny Taggart, supported Galt’s position.  “Under a socialized athletic education and health care program I was unable to work with the instructors I wished to hire or find the best trainers and therapists.  I was paying such high taxes for the state-run monopolies I could not afford to also pay for a school of my choice or obtain the fast, affordable and flexible access to health care available in free countries, so my training suffered.  Since I moved to a country where teachers can work as they choose, competing for the best students, and medical professionals are able to choose their own business models, my performance has improved quickly.  Before, I was forced into public training programs where equal opportunity was the rule and when I was injured I had to wait in line to see doctors and therapists who were forced to provide ‘equal’ treatment for people who simply did not take care of themselves.

The outspoken cross-country skier Hank Reardon, who was once taken to court for daring to claim he had a right to earn and keep any medals he won in open competition, declared he wanted to see an end to the massive subsidy programs for sports teams.  “The notion that any particular team is too big to fail is ludicrous!” said Reardon.  If a hockey team has signed contracts giving away the future of the business to its players and the fans are unwilling to buy enough tickets at the prices required to keep the team solvent, then the team must be allowed to close.  If willing new owners can revive the business and operate it without losing money they are free to do so, but this idea of taking money by force from the remaining successful teams that made rational choices and paying those running an irrational business model is sheer lunacy and will only lead to greater problems down the road” said Reardon.  “I trust individuals to choose the ticket prices they are willing to pay and support the team of their own liking.  They have the right to choose their path in life.  Government interference only distorts the entire sports industry!”

Sports Directorate Minister Wesley Mouch criticized d’Anconia, Taggart, Galt, Reardon and the rest of the competitors at this ‘unsanctioned’ event.  “These people have no right to hold their own events and allow a free market for sports ability to determine their winners” he complained.  “They are ignoring the collective principles that hold our society together.  This disproven theory that individual freedom is a good thing will surely fail soon.  People can’t be just allowed to succeed or fail based on arbitrary measures such as ability or intelligence – it’s not sustainable.  Why, these so-called athletes operate as if everyone else did not have the same right to win if they want to.  Everyone knows that NEED is the highest moral standard and that if someone needs to win a gold medal and others must be held back to enable this, then that is the right thing.”

When asked about the comments by Mr. Mouch, John Galt declared “the greatest athletes in the world gathered here have taken a vow.  They have each said ‘I swear by my life and my love of it, never again to sacrifice my training and competitive spirit for the sake of another, and never to allow another to sacrifice his abilities for me.’  In order to live, man must be free to think, act on his ideas and hold onto the product of his efforts.  These are the principles of this event, which we are calling the Reality Games.

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