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Ayn Rand states that one should never initiate force for any reason. But in Atlas Shrugged, when Dagny, Francisco, and Hank go to rescue John Galt, she shoots and kills the guard. The other three characters tie their opponents and throw them into the bushes. She tells the guard to consider his options and make a choice. Dagny's motivation for shooting the guard seems to have been her anger at his refusal to choose. Doesn't this decision show a moment of weakness for Dagny Taggart? Or was she somehow justified?

My second question is about Ayn Rand herself. She gave a statement in response to the House Un-American Activities Committee investigation on the infiltration of Communist ideals in the Hollywood film industry. She seemed to fully support the investigation, and in no way questioned attempts to blacklist these individuals from the industry. According to Objectivism, doesn't every individual have the responsibility of arriving at their own conclusions, based only on their own analysis of the world? Was Ayn Rand supporting a movement which refused the individual's right to choose? Isn't truth the best defense against an unjust system?

In the words of John Milton "Though all the winds of doctrine were let loose to play upon the earth, so Truth be in the field, we do injuriously, by licensing and prohibiting, to misdoubt her strength. Let her and Falsehood grapple: who ever knew Truth put to the worse, in a free and open encounter."-Areopagitica

(I am in no way supporting a Socialist, Communist, or Marxist philosophy, governmental structure, or economic system)

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Dagny was justified because the guard was the one who initiated force by holding Galt against his will. She used force only in retaliation.

ARI had a good op-ed recently about HUAC that I think will answer your questions: http://www.aynrand.org/medialink/eliakazan.shtml

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I agree w/GC's reply that Dagny was justified in her action. I like this quote from AR out of _The Romantic Manifesto_ "Pity for the guilty is treason to the innocent".

I posted this for two reasons: 1rst it has bearing on her question about Dagny, and secondly because I've been meaning to find out whether AR coined that or if someone else said it first. I originally read it in Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series and it hit me hard. I just finished reading AR's book and found that same sentence (I know Goodkind would have gotten it from AR but did AR originate it or did someone else?).

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