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  1. Well, I'm new here and of course, I have some questions. (I've only just begun the 3rd part of 'Atlas Shrugged') First, in an ideal society how is the free market regulated? Hypothetical Situation : Suppose there is great demand for a commodity that has not yet been invented but is being actively researched. One team finds the answer (while others are close), patents the product and sets an exorbitant price for it as well. Now the problem is, is it ethical for them to do so? They would get a lot of money but do they deserve it? Even though they worked for it, aren't they making more than should have? (I have the same questions regarding the patenting of 'Rearden Metal'. Sure, he should have been the only person collecting money for it in the beginning, but after he received a specific sum for his achievents, the patent should have expired [it seemed Rearden had no intention of it]). In such a case, where competition is effectively eliminated, how is money regulated? When patents are absent the situation gets worse, the original inventor would get little or no money. (Basically how is the money value for work determined?) Secondly, from the point of view of an objectivist, it is our 'need' that the rest of the society functions according to our moral code (because an individual cannot make any money in a rogue society by just means and would probably not survive if he follows his own ideals). So we 'need' others to change as per our requirement. So this would mean we are holding others based on our needs, aren't we? (I know I am wrong but I dont know how to put it) Also how do we change others anyway?
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