Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

Howard Roark blowing up Cortlandt was not Objectivist, and neither is

Rate this topic


Recommended Posts

The book specifically mentions that the justice system was such that it would not have delivered justice, therefore this option was ruled out to Roark.
Hmm, I did not realize that. Time for that yearly reread :)

If the legal system would not have delivered justice before blowing up Cortlandt, did the justice system deliver justice after blowing up Cortlandt?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 181
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

The argument is that building a life for yourself and your family requires long term planning. With the various governments (federal, state, local) massively involved in the US economy, people's plans

If the legal system would not have delivered justice before blowing up Cortlandt, did the justice system deliver justice after blowing up Cortlandt?
If an objective legal system would have allowed Roark to enforce the specific performance then justice was delivered, even if it was only because of a jury swayed by a speech.

Of course, this is fiction. It does not follow that Rand would have actually advised a real-life Roark to blow up a real life Cortland. (See Jennifer's post early in the thread.) The whole episode hinges around whether Roark should have stuck to the rule of law. Obviously, one cannot take the law into one's own hand every time one thinks one has been wronged. And yet, clearly there are cases where the downside is small: consider, for instance, an illegal immigrant destroying a fence to get into a country. How far can that downside get? Can one make the leap from fence to building? I cannot give you a principle for it, despite having seen a lot of discussions on the topic. As a philosopher, I don't remember Rand laying down a razor. As a philosopher, I assume she would say: fix the system. As an author, Rand realized that she had to balance the harm caused, so that the reader would not think Roark went over the top (for instance, if he had killed some innocent passer-by). Records show that she was aware that the episode might not convince some readers. The one alternative climax that I have seen documented would have freaked out more people: the murder of Toohey by Dominique, with Roark standing trial for it!

Edited by softwareNerd
Link to post
Share on other sites
Oy, you asked for a specific sort of description. I gave it.

You want parrallelism.

Yes, I wanted "parallelism." When you claim that a subcontractor can sue an intermediary's client for breach of contract when the subcontractor had no contract with the client, and you claim that it happens all the time, and you are then asked to provide examples, what you're being asked to do is give real-life examples of subcontractors suing clients for breach of contract when the client didn't have a contract with the subcontractor, you're not being asked to give examples of clients suing subcontactors for negligence. See, a subcontractor suing a client is not the same thing as a client suing a subcontractor, and, contrary to your post above, breach of contract is not "essentially" the same thing as negligence.

Patents or trademarks that have been licensed have the ability to have the original patent or trademark holder to sue third party infringers.

Suing for patent of trademark infringement is not the same thing as suing for breach of contract. It's not analogous to the Roark/Keating/Cortland case, just as suing for negligence is not analogous.

I'll take that back. I just read through it. Everything you say here ammounts to "Architecture is art, therefore the artist example is the only one that applies."

Not true. I wrote, "Authorship is most definitely a major consideration, and not just because of aesthetic reasons. 'Who was brilliant enough to solve the utilitarian problems on the Cortland project?' was not a question to which people were accepting vague answers such as, 'Oh, that was the Apple-like Keating Corporation, so I guess it must have been a collaboration between some of the company's many unnamed contributors or subcontractors.' No, Keating personally took credit for the design, and, therefore, for having solved the utilitarian problems, just as he and Roark agreed that he would."

Yet you've not made a case for why architcture has some aspects of art and some not.

Well, I've been arguing with you in an Objectivist forum, so I didn't think that I would need to make the case for architecture as art, since Rand believed that architecture was art. She referred readers of the Romantic Manifesto to The Fountainhead as the book to read in order to learn more about her views on architecture as art. Clearly Rand intended her characters to be working in the upper realm of art-architecture, and she intended Cortland to be the type of prestigious art-architecture project for which the leading, upper-echelon architects competed, and the type of project with which the leading art-architectural critic concerned himself.

I think I've distinctly shown when it might be considered art and when it might not,

No, you haven't distinctly shown when architecture might be considered art and when it might not. You've simply asserted that you personally don't consider the Cortland project to be art. And you've come nowhere near to showing where Rand, the author of the novel, would have considered a building as qualifying as art and when she wouldn't. The top art-architects in the novel were vying for the project, and the top art-architect critic was exerting his influence over the project, yet you insist that it wasn't an art-architecture project? Heh.

and that includes an answer to the "Milli Vanilli" example which bring up again and which I already said would be an example of fraud. (intrestingly MV didn't have to write their own songs, they just have to sing them... What sort of artistic fraud is that?)

Did anyone claim that Rob and Fab wrote the songs that they sang? My understanding is that the songwriters were openly credited, including on the disc labels and sleeves. It sounds to me as if you're still not getting the point. See, people can sing other people's songs. It's not considered fraud if they properly credit the people who were involved in the creation of the song. Understand?

None of my arguments apply to Milli Vanilli and I said as much.

You're saying as much doesn't make it true, or end the discussion. I think your arguments do apply to Milli Vanilli, and I said as much. So there!

I'm not going to spend time refuting each of your points as they all don't get to the heart of the issue. Let me know when you're going to discuss the heart of the issue and I'll work with it.

Many of my points get the heart of the issue of blowing some of your tangential assertions out of the water. I get the impression that you have little or no knowledge of architecture, and little or no experience in dealing with architects and the creative process involved in building, yet you thought that you could simply assert what is common practice among architects and their clients, and not be challenged? It doesn't work that way. Your guessing at what you hope are common practices in architecture doesn't make it true. Wishing doesn't make it so.

My examples about architecture not being art apply whether we're talking about Apple or some tiny firm, and Keating's previous prestige as a top-tier architect are only relevant if he's trying to charge the fees that one would. His pervious prestige does not confer any obligation to reveal or to author that his current status doesn't invalidate.

You're missing the point. Keating's failures as an art-architect are not relevant. He's not designing purely utilitarian hog barns or anything like that. He's still hoping to salvage his career as an art-architect, and Cortland is his last chance.

Keating wasn't initially considered, and Toohey only did so because he begged him to.

Why would one have to beg an important art-architectural critic like Toohey to work on a project if it wasn't art-architecture?

You haven't addressed injury or any other of the key issues that would make this a legal case of fraud.

But I have addressed those issues. You should pay closer attention. The injury is that Roark violated the owners of Cortland's right to not hire him, and to not use their (and the taxpayers') wealth and labor to satisfy his desire to work on his dream project against their will. The owners were led to believe that they were buying a work of art-architecture by Keating. They were defrauded just as they would have been if they had purchased a "Vermeer" painted by Van Meegeren.

And as to the issue of governments being fractured entities. I didn't say that there was certainty that he wouldn't get a fair trial, and if you've never ever seen in the history of government that influence isn't peddled across boundaries, despite checks and balances, then you aren't paying attention. There most certainly is doubt that he will get a fair trial. Checks and balances do not confer complete compartmentalization across the various divisions of govt.

And yet Roark won at trial. In fact, he made it look rather easy to win at trial against the government.

Basically, all your quips are oblique jabs, and the only one, which you don't state is that you're rejecting my assessment of architecture as non-artful in this case. You dance around the issue.

See above. I've given several reasons to support my view that Cortland was considered a prestigious art-architecture project.

Woops. I did find it. Although it's after Cortland was BLOWN UP, which would have made if very difficult for it to be material to Toohey's influence toward the decision to BUILD it.

The issue has nothing to do with what Toohey knew, or the influence he exerted. Toohey knew all along that Roark had designed the project. What's relevant is whether or not Roark and Keaing tried to pass off Roark's work as Keating's to the owners of Cortland. Toohey did not own Cortland. He was not a party to any contract regarding its design and construction.

Roark and Keating agreed that Roark would design the project and Keating would take the credit for designing it. They agreed not to meet at Roark's office so as not to be seen together -- they thought that "somebody might guess." Roark told Keating to redraw the sketches in his own manner because some people would recognize Roark's way of drawing. Roark lied to Wynand about who designed Cortland. Keating lied to Toohey about who designed Cortland. How are you not understanding that they were committing fraud -- that they were acting with the purpose of deceiving those in charge of the project?

J

Link to post
Share on other sites
Can you imagine a competent lawyer allowing Roark to go to trial on the grounds he did?

No, a competent lawyer would recognize that Roark had no grounds on which to sue the owners of Cortland, and that he also had no grounds on which to dynamite the project. A competent lawyer would recognize that Roark had no chance, and not because the justice system was corrupt, but because Roark would have rightfully been judged to be corrupt.

Yes, it is completely irrelevant to the morality of the issue because Toohey knew Roark designed Cortlandt. There is absolutely no doubt in Toohey's mind; this is made clear to the reader. Not only does Toohey know, but he gives Keating the project because he sees that Keating has managed to get Roark to do the work.

Toohey was not in charge of the project. He was not a party to any contract. He was only a person who could influence those in charge of the project. He didn't "give Keating the project," but said that he would use his influence to get Keating a chance at winning the project if Keating wanted to try to solve the building's special problems.

He even praises Keating for managing to harness Roark in this way. Not only does Toohey know the work is Roark's, he even receives confirmation from someone else who is knowledgeable about Roark's work.

Yes, Toohey likes that idea that Keating has inadvertently delivered Roark to his enemies, and Toohey wants to allow Roark to entangle himself in lies and fraud.

Anyway, Toohey's knowing that it's Roark's design doesn't make Roark's actions non-fraudulent. If anything, the only case that could be made is that it makes Toohey an accessory to fraud. (Similarly, if Roark and Keating had conspired to murder someone, and Toohey knew about it but did nothing to warn the victim or the police, but in fact made sure that the victim was alone in the place where Roark and Keating intended to murder him, it wouldn't make Roark and Keating any less guilty of murder.)

Link to post
Share on other sites
It does not follow that Rand would have actually advised a real-life Roark to blow up a real life Cortland… As an author, Rand realized that she had to balance the harm caused, so that the reader would not think Roark went over the top (for instance, if he had killed some innocent passer-by). Records show that she was aware that the episode might not convince some readers.
I agree with that.

If a Roark had blown up a building for similar reasons in Atlas Shrugged or We the Living, I wouldn’t object nearly so much - I feel like she did establish societies that did not respect rights in those novels. The case for The Fountainhead is not so clear to me.

The one alternative climax that I have seen documented would have freaked out more people: the murder of Toohey by Dominique, with Roark standing trial for it!
That IS interesting!
Link to post
Share on other sites
I meant about this particular topic of the rule-of-law: i.e. when to stick with the rule of rights-violating law.

The topic has been discussed a few times on the forum. One of threads is probably the better place to explore the general topic (outside the example of Roark and FH).

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.


×
×
  • Create New...