I have written before that the best way to read Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged is not as a character-based novel, but as an extended exposition taking socialism to its logical conclusion. That ultimate conclusion in the novel is directive 10-289, whose first two points are these:
Point One. All workers, wage earners and employees of any kind whatsoever shall henceforth be attached to their jobs and shall not leave nor be dismissed nor change employment, under penalty of a term in jail. The penalty shall be determined by the Unification Board, such Board to be appointed by the Bureau of Economic Planning and National Resources. All persons reaching the age of twenty-one shall report to the Unification Board, which shall assign them to where, in its opinion, their services will best serve the interests of the nation.
Point Two. All industrial, commercial, manufacturing and business establishments of any nature whatsoever shall henceforth remain in operation, and the owners of such establishments shall not quit nor leave nor retire, nor close, sell or transfer their business, under penalty of the nationalization of their establishment and of any and all of their property.
When I first read this at age 18, I thought this was a bit over the top. But I have seen similar things in my lifetime, even in the US. I remember years ago a law in Oregon where companies could not go out of business without the state's permission.
More recently, Atlas Shrugged has started to become redundant -- we don't need it to see the logical conclusion of socialism, we can just watch Venezuela. Here is a brief dispatch from that country via Glen Reynold's, showing that Venezuela has gone full 10-289
This is not a joke nor even an exaggeration. I just found out that my sister in law’s other brother-in-law was arrested in Venezuela at the airport while trying to leave the country. His crime, he was an employee for a company that went out of business. Waiting for more? There isn’t any. Maduro has decreed that any business that goes out of business has committed economic treason and its employees are subject to arrest. They had already arrested numerous owners and managers but this is the first time they went after rank and file worker bees.
Feel the Bern, suckers.