In an open and highly controversial appeal for voluntary buying and selling on a massive scale, the owner of the Strand Bookstore in New York City is asking “friends and devoted customers” to give up socialism this very instant so the 93-year-old store can be saved from bankruptcy.
“I know we’re all socialists now, but people are exhausted from being told it’s their patriotic duty to give according to their ability and expect nothing but infrastructure in return,” wrote Nancy Bass Wyden, wife of Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) whose net worth is around $7 million.
“It may seem strange, but if you give me a few dollars I’ll give you a foot of books in return,” wrote Mrs. Wyden, who added that the Strand has “exhausted all socialist appeals” to the government. “We’ve survived for 93 years, and only voluntary buying and selling can save us now.”
Celebrities including Patton Oswalt and Jim Gaffigan told followers on Twitter that “you may have been told that this thing called capitalism is evil,” and the Strand’s website immediately crashed from the rush of voluntary transactions.
“I freely chose to send the Strand $26 for a copy of Atlas Shrugged, and the book arrived in my mailbox just a few days later,” said one ecstatic New York customer who asked us not to reveal his identity to NYC’s Communist Mayor Bill De Blasio.
The Strand has been in business since 1927, founded by immigrant Benjamin Bass who entered the U.S. legally from Lithuania. His son Fred took over the business in 1956, and he passed it along to his daughter, Nancy Bass Wyden, who became the sole owner of the private business after her father’s death in 2018.