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Re: Part Two, Chapters IX–X (9 - 10)
Part 2 ch.10
So now we find out from the tramp, way more about 20th Century Motors:
“Do you know how it worked, that plan, and what it did to people? Try pouring water into a tank where there’s a pipe at the bottom draining it out faster than you pour it, and each bucket you bring breaks that pipe an inch wider, and the harder you work the more is demanded of you, and you stand slinging buckets forty hours a week, then forty-eight, then fifty-six— for your neighbor’s supper— for his wife’s operation— for his child’s measles— for his mother’s wheel chair— for his uncle’s shirt— for his nephew’s schooling— for the baby next door— for the baby to be born— for anyone anywhere around you— it’s theirs to receive, from diapers to dentures— and yours to work, from sunup to sundown, month after month, year after year, with nothing to show for it but your sweat, with nothing in sight for you but their pleasure, for the whole of your life, without rest, without hope, without end. . . . From each according to his ability, to each according to his need…
[…]do you care to think what it would do on a world scale? Do you care to imagine what it would be like, if you had to live and to work, when you’re tied to all the disasters and all the malingering of the globe? To work— and whenever any men failed anywhere, it’s you who would have to make up for it. To work— with no chance to rise, with your meals and your clothes and your home and your pleasure depending on any swindle, any famine, any pestilence anywhere on earth. To work— with no chance for an extra ration, till the Cambodians have been fed and the Patagonians have been sent through college. To work— on a blank check held by every creature born, by men whom you’ll never see, whose needs you’ll never know, whose ability or laziness or sloppiness or fraud you have no way to learn and no right to question— just to work and work and work— and leave it up to the Ivys and the Geralds of the world to decide whose stomach will consume the effort, the dreams and the days of your life. And this is the moral law to accept? This— a moral ideal? “Well, we tried it— and we learned. Our agony took four years, from our first meeting to our last, and it ended the only way it could end: in bankruptcy.
Communism, egalitarianism, comes to mind. Whatever happened to property rights, as such, where the only person who has a claim on your earnings, is you, not anyone else, not your neighbor, not anyone in the entire world, but you. It is yours by right. In Rand’s laissez-faire capitalism, it is, since it fully recognizes, upholds, and protects property rights.
As the tramp speaks on, we find out about John Galt :
‘This is a crucial moment in the history of mankind!’ Gerald Starnes yelled through the noise. ‘Remember that none of us may now leave this place, for each of us belongs to all the others by the moral law which we all accept!’ ‘I don’t,’ said one man and stood up. He was one of the young engineers. Nobody knew much about him. He’d always kept mostly by himself. When he stood up, we suddenly turned dead-still. It was the way he held his head. He was tall and slim— and I remember thinking that any two of us could have broken his neck without trouble— but what we all felt was fear. He stood like a man who knew that he was right. ‘I will put an end to this, once and for all,’ he said. His voice was clear and without any feeling. That was all he said and started to walk out. He walked down the length of the place, in the white light, not hurrying and not noticing any of us. Nobody moved to stop him. Gerald Starnes cried suddenly after him, ‘How?’ He turned and answered, ‘I will stop the motor of the world.’ Then he walked out. We never saw him again. We never heard what became of him. […] I think of the man who said that he would stop the motor of the world. You see, his name was John Galt.”
So we just encountered yet another person talking about John Galt. All very interesting each persons stories.
Also later in this chapter we find out about the sign of the dollar from Kellogg:
“I know that this stands for something.” “The dollar sign? For a great deal. It stands on the vest of every fat, piglike figure in every cartoon, for the purpose of denoting a crook, a grafter, a scoundrel— as the one sure-fire brand of evil. It stands— as the money of a free country— for achievement, for success, for ability, for man’s creative power— and, precisely for these reasons, it is used as a brand of infamy. It stands stamped on the forehead of a man like Hank Rearden, as a mark of damnation. Incidentally, do you know where that sign comes from? It stands for the initials of the United States.” He snapped the flashlight off, but he did not move to go; she could distinguish the hint of his bitter smile. “Do you know that the United States is the only country in history that has ever used its own monogram as a symbol of depravity? Ask yourself why. Ask yourself how long a country that did that could hope to exist, and whose moral standards have destroyed it. It was the only country in history where wealth was not acquired by looting, but by production, not by force, but by trade, the only country whose money was the symbol of man’s right to his own mind, to his work, to his life, to his happiness, to himself. If this is evil, by the present standards of the world, if this is the reason for damning us, then we— we, the dollar chasers and makers— accept it and choose to be damned by that world. We choose to wear the sign of the dollar on our foreheads, proudly, as our badge of nobility— the badge we are willing to live for and, if need be, to die.”
So we had Frisco’s money speech, and now we have Kellogg’s sign of the dollar. I wonder how many people think differently about money, as such, now? Especially during Frisco’s speech. I know I never gave much thought to money, as such, but I did ever since then.
_________________ "Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self." - Cyril Connolly
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Re: Part Two, Chapters IX–X (9 - 10)
Clouds had wrapped the sky and had descended as fog to wrap the streets below, as if the sky were engulfing the city. She could see the whole of Manhattan Island, a long, triangular shape cutting into an invisible ocean. It looked like the prow of a sinking ship; a few tall buildings still rose above it, like funnels, but the rest was disappearing under gray-blue coils, going down slowly into vapor and space.
This was how they had gone—she thought—Atlantis, the city that sank into the ocean, and all the other kingdoms that vanished, leaving the same legend in all the languages of men, and the same longing.
A well done creative image at the beginning of Chapter 9.
_________________ When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide My eyes from you; even though you multiply your prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are covered with blood. Isaiah 1:15
But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise. Exodus 21: 23 - 25
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