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  1. DonAthos

    Eddie Willers

    I believe that there is an as-yet unresolved tension between "life as survival" being the standard of value, versus some other vision of "life," as played out in conversations such as these. If survival is truly the standard of value, then I think it follows that one should never be willing to go down with the ship. Valuing the ship -- or "freedom," or an ideal, or a romantic partner, or a child -- such that one would be willing to die (or risk death to some great degree) for its sake, must itself be irrational, for it would inspire these kinds actions which are ultimately self-destructive in the literal sense. However, if "life" is not mere survival, if it is more than that, then it perhaps becomes either more reasonable or at least more understandable when people make choices -- fighting in the name of what they value -- which yet wind up costing them even their actual lives. Searching for "Eddie Willers," I found this quote (though I'm not double checking, so I cannot vouch for its accuracy, or for that which was elided): "n the name of some victory that he could not name, he had to start the engine moving....Don't let it go! his mind was crying....He was pulling at coils of wire, he was linking them and tearing them apart....He heard himself crying soundlessly – Dagny, in the name of the best within us...I must now start this train!" I don't know about y'all, but this reads to me like a heroic sentiment, and I suspect it was meant that way.
    1 point
  2. You could read The Art of Non-Fiction, written by Rand, herself.
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