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Part Two, Chapters V–VI (5 - 6) 
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Post Part Two, Chapters V–VI (5 - 6)
Part Two, Chapters V–VI (5 - 6)

Please use this thread for discussing the above chapters. You're welcome to create your own threads too.



Thu Aug 30, 2012 4:00 pm
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Post Re: Part Two, Chapters V–VI (5 - 6)
Chapter V - Account Overdrawn - begins with a long litany of inter-connected shortages and business failures. A late shipment of coal delays fifty-nine carloads of lettuce and oranges, which had to be dumped in a river.
Quote:
Nobody but their friends and trade associates noticed that three orange growers in California went out of business, as well as two lettuce farmers in Imperial Valley; nobody noticed the closing of a commission house in New York, of a plumbing company to which the commission house owed money, of a lead-pipe wholesaler who had supplied the plumbing company. When people were starving, said the newspapers, one did not have to feel concern over the failures of business enterprises which were only private ventures for private profit. p. 379

Quote:
"The nation which had once held the creed that greatness is achieved by production, is now told that it is achieved by squalor."
"You can't have your cake and let your neighbor eat it, too"
- Frisco

Shipments of material are being re-assigned by the Government to other customers or countries that are deemed more needy. Things are really circling the drain...



Thu Nov 08, 2012 7:53 pm
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Post Re: Part Two, Chapters V–VI (5 - 6)
This is tasty, as Jim Taggart realizes the hand that giveth frequently taketh awayeth...
Quote:
Taggart's face remained blank; his terror came from things never allowed to reach expression in words or in facial muscles. The terror was his struggle against an unadmitted thought: he himself had been "the public" for so long and in so many different issues, that he knew what it would mean if that magic title, that sacred title no one dared to oppose, were transferred, along with its "welfare," to the person of Buzzy Watts. p. 385

Later on, Frisco describes John Galt to Dagny.
Quote:
John Galt is Prometheus who changed his mind. After centuries of being torn by vultures in payment for having brought to men the fire of the gods, he broke his chains and he withdrew his fire—until the day when men withdraw their vultures. p. 395



Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:01 pm
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Post Re: Part Two, Chapters V–VI (5 - 6)
Quote:
She saw a large new television set in the lighted room of a house with a sagging roof and cracking walls.

I believe this is how many of the wealthy view the poor. Rand wrote this book from 1946 - 1957 and already had this sterotype?

:mat07:



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Fri Nov 09, 2012 6:36 pm
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Post Re: Part Two, Chapters V–VI (5 - 6)
Part 2 Ch. 5

Here we hear yet again, another person speaking about John Galt:

Quote:
[…]“I can tell you who is John Galt.”
“Really? Everybody seems to know him, but they never tell the same story twice.”
“They’re all true, though— all the stories you’ve heard about him.”
“Well, what’s yours? Who is he?”
“John Galt is Prometheus who changed his mind. After centuries of being torn by vultures in payment for having brought to men the fire of the gods, he broke his chains— and he withdrew his fire— until the day when men withdraw their vultures.”


Part 2 Ch. 6


Quote:
Mouch shrugged. “There’s got to be some victims in times of national emergency. It can’t be helped.” “We have the right to do it!” cried Taggart suddenly, in defiance to the stillness of the room. “We need it. We need it, don’t we?” There was no answer. “We have the right to protect our livelihood!” Nobody opposed him, but he went on with a shrill, pleading, insistence. “We’ll be safe for the first time in centuries. Everybody will know his place and job, and everybody else’s place and job— and we won’t be at the mercy of every stray crank with a new idea. Nobody will push us out of business or steal our markets or undersell us or make us obsolete. Nobody will come to us offering some damn new gadget and putting us on the spot to decide whether we’ll lose our shirt if we buy it, or whether we’ll lose our shirt if we don’t but somebody else does! We won’t have to decide. Nobody will be permitted to decide anything. It will be decided once and for all.” His glance moved pleadingly from face to face. “There’s been enough invented already— enough for everybody’s comfort— why should they be allowed to go on inventing? Why should we permit them to blast the ground from under our feet every few steps? Why should we be kept on the go in eternal uncertainty? Just because of a few restless, ambitious adventurers? Should we sacrifice the contentment of the whole of mankind to the greed of a few non-conformists? We don’t need them. We don’t need them at all. I wish we’d get rid of that hero worship! Heroes? They’ve done nothing but harm, all through history. They’ve kept mankind running a wild race, with no breathing spell, no rest, no ease, no security. Running to catch up with them . . . always, without end . . . Just as we catch up, they’re years ahead. . . . They leave us no chance . . . They’ve never left us a chance. . . .” His eyes were moving restlessly; he glanced at the window, but looked hastily away: he did not want to see the white obelisk in the distance. “We’re through with them. We’ve won. This is our age. Our world. We’re going to have security— for the first time in centuries— for the first time since the beginning of the industrial revolution!” “Well, this, I guess,” said Fred Kinnan, “is the anti-industrial revolution.”


So instead of freeing the market, it’s now heavily regulated even more. Look at how the standard of living in the country has been lowering and lowering still. As the result of it. The practical application of their ideals, moral code, etc. Think about what might of happened to the economy had Rearden been left alone free to produce and to trade, all the products and services that may have incorporated the metal, Dagny free to run trains at the speed they are capable of and to do business freely with Wyatt Oil, and many others, that is… before they had vanished…


Rearden thinks:

Quote:
that the virtues which made life possible and the values which gave it meaning


If anyone wants to know more about Rand’s morality, please read her The Virtue of Selfishness. But also I would highly recommend Tara Smith’s Ayn Rand’s Normative Ethics: The Virtuous Egoist which covers in depth the virtues that make life possible and the values which give it meaning, like with what Rearden just mentioned. Also Craig Biddle’s book, that is about Rand’s morality, Loving Life: The Morality of Self-Interest And The Facts That Support It, also Tara Smith’s other book, too, Viable Values: A Study of Life as the Root and Reward of Morality


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Sun Nov 11, 2012 1:45 pm
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Post Re: Part Two, Chapters V–VI (5 - 6)
Directive 10-289 would be the final blow to any economy - here are some of the main features.
  • You cannot change jobs.
  • Businesses cannot close.
  • All patents will be donated to the Government.
  • No brands. No new inventions.
  • Production levels must remain constant.
  • You must spend the same amount of money year in and year out.
  • Salaries are frozen.

I don't think any country could survive all that - they're doomed.
:wtf2:



Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:40 pm
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Post Re: Part Two, Chapters V–VI (5 - 6)
Dr. Ferris attempts to blackmail Reardon into donating the patents for Reardon Metal by threatening to expose his affair with Dagny. Reardon has another insight into this morality.
Quote:
Dr. Ferris was astonished to hear him say slowly, in the dispassionate tone of an abstract statement that did not seem to be addressed to his listener, "But all your calculations rest on the fact that Miss Taggart is a virtuous woman, not the slut you're going to call her."
"Yes, of course," said Dr. Ferris.
"And that this means much more to me than a casual affair."
"Of course."
"If she and I were the kind of scum you're going to make us appear, your blackjack wouldn't work."
"No, it wouldn't.”
"If our relationship were the depravity you're going to proclaim it to be, you'd have no way to harm us."
"No."
"We'd be outside your power."
"Actually—yes."
It was not to Dr. Ferris that Rearden was speaking. He was seeing a long line of men stretched through the centuries from Plato onward, whose heir and final product was an incompetent little professor with the appearance of a gigolo and the soul of a thug.

...If I had not known that my life depends on my mind and my effort—he was saying soundlessly to the line of men stretched through the centuries—if I had not made it my highest moral purpose to exercise the best of my effort and the fullest capacity of my mind in order to support and expand my life, you would have found nothing to loot from me, nothing to support your own existence. It is not my sins that you're using to injure me, but my virtues—my virtues by your own acknowledgment, since your own life depends on them, since you need them, since you do not seek to destroy my achievement but to seize it. p. 428

Again applying power against the virtues of the victim.

Does Reardon give in to the blackmail? Why or why not?



Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:51 pm
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