Re: Part One, Chapters IX–X (9 - 10)
In regards to Ch. 10:
“[…]Our plan? We put into practice that noble historical precept: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need. Everybody in the factory, from charwomen to president, received the same salary— the barest minimum necessary. Twice a year, we all gathered in a mass meeting, where every person presented his claim for what he believed to be his needs. We voted on every claim, and the will of the majority established every person’s need and every person’s ability. The income of the factory was distributed accordingly. Rewards were based on need, and the penalties on ability. Those whose needs were voted to be the greatest, received the most. Those who had not produced as much as the vote said they could, were fined and had to pay the fines by working overtime without pay. That was our plan. It was based on the principle of selflessness. It required men to be motivated, not by personal gain, but by love for their brothers”
So at 20th Century Motors, what this amounts to is communism writ small that was being put into practice there. And it didn’t work, the company went out of business.
It’s absolutely crucial for Marx to have men of ability, as the saying state from his The Communist Manifesto
, “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need”. Well, what happens when said men of ability… disappear? Vanish? As is seemingly happening in the novel to the men of ability…
Why that’s because it’s wrong and immoral in theory, which is precisely why it didn’t work in practice. Rand’s morality on the other hand, the moral is the practical, the practical is the moral. There is no dichotomy between the moral and the practical, in her morality. One can read more about her morality as the book goes on, and in her The Virtues of Selfishness
, Craig Biddle’s book on Rand‘s morality Loving Life: The Morality of Self-Interest and the Facts That Support It
, Tara Smith’s book Ayn Rand’s Normative Ethics: The Virtuous Egoist
deals primarily with the virtues of Rand‘s morality (I have written a long review of it elsewhere), Tara Smith’s other book on Rand‘s morality Viable Values: A Study of Life as the Root and Reward of Morality
Hugh Akston at the diner:
Hard to find men of ability nowadays, Dagny. They keep disappearing…
The first would undoubtedly be Aristotle. Rand’s philosophy, she says, is from an Aristotelian line of philosophic descent. Because of it’s Aristotelian logic, it’s use of reason, objectivity, and so forth.
Seemingly right after Mouch’s directives hit, Wyatt’s Torch was lit:
The tax on Colorado, she thought, the tax collected from Ellis Wyatt to pay for the livelihood of those whose job was to tie him and make him unable to live, those who would stand on guard to see that he got no trains, no tank cars, no pipeline of Rearden Metal— Ellis Wyatt, stripped of the right of self-defense, left without voice, without weapons, and worse: made to be the tool of his own destruction, the supporter of his own destroyers, the provider of their food and of their weapons— Ellis Wyatt being choked, with his own bright energy turned against him as the noose— Ellis Wyatt, who had wanted to tap an unlimited source of shale oil and who spoke of a second Renaissance. . . .
It was decently done in the film adaptation Atlas Shrugged Part 1
it’s right at the end, just like in the book. The film is done in 3 parts, just like in the book. And Rand titles each Part in homage/reference to Aristotle, not sure if any one knows that or not.