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Was the strike, a purge?

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intellectualammo
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Was the strike, a purge?

No. It was a defensive strategy. Stepping out of harm's way. The side effect was that the system producing the injustice would collapse because of its internal contradictions.

Once more: refusing to help (when one has no obligation to help) is NOT the same as doing positive harm.

ruveyn1

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Galt said:

"I have removed your means of survival-your victims"

I haven't had time to return to the topic but this a clue to why the claim of some to the trapped man problem is erroneous. When I get time to breath from constructing my house I'll defend this.

My wife and I also built our home. Quite an adventure, isn't it?

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The title itself may give you some insight. Why did Atlas shrug? Because "...he stood, blood running down his chest, his knees buckling, his arms trembling but still trying to hold the world aloft with the last of his strength, and the greater his effort the heavier the world bore down upon his shoulders." In short, he was quickly approaching a point where he had to make a choice: It's either me, or the world. He shrugged to save himself. As was proper.

Your concern lies with the shrugged world.

That it was to perish was a given in either circumstance. Either it would crush Atlas and therefore cause its own destruction, by removing the support upon which it depended; or, it would perish after Atlas removed himself as that support. Atlas had no choice about the destruction of the world. Neither did Galt. That the world set itself on its own path towards doom was beyond their power to alter. To use your metaphor, the world was already gassing itself, whether Galt took he and his friends into the clean air chamber or not.

You're confusing an act of self-defense for an act of agression. You're mistaking the shrug for a body-slam. And you're mistaking the strike for a purge.

"Hey guys, look: the world's going to shit. You see it, I see it. And besides that, you see how they're riding us like jockeys? Stealing from us to survive, then damning us for having something to steal? I don't know about you, but I'm out. Who's with me? I got some nice land in the mountains, we'll be free and live as men.... Well, what about the rest of them? They have no right to weigh upon our backs. I'm not forcing them to do anything at all, except live without including me in their unspeakable evil. Sure, their ways will bring death and destruction. But not to me... or you, if you strike with me."

Yes, Galt knew that defending his own life against another who claimed it for himself was the highest moral feeling (it stems from "I am worthy to be alive"). Not an act of murder, but of self-defense. What he went out to do, that night after the meeting in the factory, was defend himself against that unspeakable evil. He spoke in terms of motors, but you could also say that he collected all the good meat and kept it ziplocked while the parasites consumed the rest of the contaminated meat. Of course, the unprotected meat and the parasites would both perish: the meat by being consumed by the parasites, and the parasites by having no more meat on which to feed. All Galt really did was step aside and let nature take its course. He didn't have to purge the world of the parasites. He knew they would purge themselves. He just went on strike against being food.

Edited by Jam Man
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Thing is, when Galt started the strike, were things that bad then? All we know, as far as I can gather from the novel, is the workplace situation, not what the world was like overall, then. We see what it's like after they started going on strike, the trail of destruction Frisco and Ragnar caused, as well. Why didn't he just quit, seek employment elsewhere, or use any intellectual ammo against the change in policy at his workplace, or against whatever was going on in the world at the time, etc?

What was the world like when Galt went on strike? Probably a mixed economy?

Edited by intellectualammo
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Thing is, when Galt started the strike, were things that bad then? All we know, as far as I can gather from the novel, is the workplace situation, not what the world was like overall, then. We see what it's like after they started going on strike, the trail of destruction Frisco and Ragnar caused, as well. Why didn't he just quit, seek employment elsewhere, or use any intellectual ammo against the change in policy at his workplace, or against whatever was going on in the world at the time, etc?

What was the world like when Galt went on strike? Probably a mixed economy?

Look at the opening scene. Edie Willers notes that one out of for shops and stores are closed and out of business. He has bad news for Jim Taggart. Taggart Transcontinental is going to wrack and ruin. Things are falling apart. Partly because of Galt's efforts and partly because a mixed economy will fall apart eventually in any case. Galt is just speeding up the inevitable.

ruveyn1

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At that meeting that night, they voted for the plan. It was at that moment Galt cwould have stood up, aimed, and fired intellectual ammo off at all 6,000 minds there, as an attempt to get them to wise the fuck up, or he could have simply quit the company, but no!

He says: "' I will put an end to this, once and for all,' he said. His voice was clear and without feeling."

This does not make sense to me as he didn't even try to put an end to it, instead he walks out to put an end to theirkind altogether. He watched for hiskind in the world and he would approach them when he thought that they would be most open to joining him.

There was no gas chamber before, it was just the world before Galt struck.

Instead of Galt trying to appeal to people's minds that night, he went to bring it all collapsing down upon their heads.

Those that really drove the economy were bringing it to an abrupt halt, throwing 'theirkind' off head first onto the pavement, plus any "neutrals" as Galt called them, which I am assuming are children, babies, etc.

Nothing I see could possibly have indicated to him that night, that those at that meeting were not open to reason, open to being taught, that their wings has been so mangled that they could never fly and so push them to get them to fall faster getting them the he'll out of his way. Yet push he did.

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At that meeting that night, they voted for the plan. It was at that moment Galt cwould have stood up, aimed, and fired intellectual ammo off at all 6,000 minds there, as an attempt to get them to wise the fuck up, or he could have simply quit the company, but no!

This does not make sense to me as he didn't even try to put an end to it, instead he walks out to put an end to theirkind altogether. He watched for hiskind in the world and he would approach them when he thought that they would be most open to joining him.

There was no gas chamber before, it was just the world before Galt struck.

The problem is that you are pretending that all this happened in a vacuum.

Several references are made in AS to human history. To the fact that The USA was the first real attempt to have a rational and moral society.

What he saw was not a people that had no opportunity to know what he knew.

He was watching them willfully destroy what was good and right. The company he walked out of was not an isolated incident.

It was made clear in the book that that was the direction the world and now the USA had taken, with the voters' tacit consent.

They made clear their allegiance to the code of looting and pillaging with their vote that night.

He did not destroy their world, they did.

He did not *steal* the other producers from the world of the looters- he gave them refuge.

He did not "create a gas chamber and lock them in"- he left the gas chamber they created and saved everyone he was sure wouldn't attempt to drag him back. Then he left them to their own creation.

If you throw yourself off a building I am not murdering you by refusing to use my body to block your fall.

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The problem is that you are pretending that all this happened in a vacuum.

Several references are made in AS to human history. To the fact that The USA was the first real attempt to have a rational and moral society.

What he saw was not a people that had no opportunity to know what he knew.

He was watching them willfully destroy what was good and right. The company he walked out of was not an isolated incident.

It was made clear in the book that that was the direction the world and now the USA had taken, with the voters' tacit consent.

They made clear their allegiance to the code of looting and pillaging with their vote that night.

He did not destroy their world, they did.

He did not *steal* the other producers from the world of the looters- he gave them refuge.

He did not "create a gas chamber and lock them in"- he left the gas chamber they created and saved everyone he was sure wouldn't attempt to drag him back. Then he left them to their own creation.

If you throw yourself off a building I am not murdering you by refusing to use my body to block your fall.

What you just wrote should be a sticky.

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you said: "

They made clear their allegiance to the code of looting and pillaging with their vote that night"

At the company, but it does not say anything about the rest of the companies in the country or world. Yes, I saw the reference to human history there in regards to what was taught, but his company was putting it into practice, no other company that I know of was. Once things went into effect at 20th century, other businesses would not deal with them, hire their employees, and salesplummeted. So it shows somewhat through that, what other businesses were like, look at all the companies we know, Rearden, Wyatt, Taggart Transcontinental, many others. If the GOVERNMENT instituted that across the board it might warrant the action that Galt took. This one warranted speaking up, or quoting, I am not convinced it warranted much more than that.

He could have quit, let that company go bankrupt, like it did, and be an example.

And his motor,invention, he probably could have gotten investors and the like for it, look at how Dagny was able to fund her JGL.

Edited by intellectualammo
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you said: "

They made clear their allegiance to the code of looting and pillaging with their vote that night"

At the company, but it does not say anything about the rest of the companies in the country or world.

May I ask how recently you read AS?

One's memory can become foggy on certain details.

My recollection of AS is that it was very abundantly clear that at the time of Galt's leaving the company the world was already pretty much gone that direction and the USA was sliding.

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Read it 3 times. 2 of those times, was last year. The first around a dozen years ago.

I don't see any other company sliding, only 20th Century. Then Galt struck.

I will continue looking to see what America was like then, not just 20th Century. It was that company that prompted him, not the country around him.

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Read it 3 times. 2 of those times, was last year. The first around a dozen years ago.

I don't see any other company sliding, only 20th Century. Then Galt struck.

I will continue looking to see what America was like then, not just 20th Century. It was that company that prompted him, not the country around him.

From the timeline you posted below:

"For example, it’s impossible to tell with precision what year the State Science Institute was founded – that is, what year Galt quit his post-graduate studies with Robert Stadler. From the incomplete information Rand offers, I’ve guessed that this occurred around Year 24. That means Galt would have been working for about three years at the 20th Century Motor Company before the spring of Year 27, when the socialist plan was implemented and he went on strike."

The State Science Institute is viewed by the heroes of AS as being a great monstrosity- and seen as a major turning point in the freedom of the mind and the rights of the productive class within the USA (and so ultimately the world). While most concede that exact timelines are hard to place for some events of AS the one you posted is accurate to the best of my knowledge (I reread AS every year). It puts the creation of The State Science Institute occuring three years before Galt walked out on the motor company determined to put an end to the victimization of the people of productivity.

Addendum-

1)my asking about when you last AS was not meant to be a challenge/insult to you.. I asked only because the timelines can be a little blurry there and people can recall the order of events a little differently depending on their most recent reading. Just want to be clear about that

2)thank you for finding and posting that timeline. It's a good resource.

edit-corrected typo

Edited by SapereAude
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Here is a good analysis of why TSSI is so problematic as to be seen as a reasonable indication of the collectivist immorality of the general populace:

(From Conservapedia)

"

Ayn Rand stated repeatedly that the government had no business funding scientific research of any kind. The three controversies in which the Institute was involved each illustrated the two things that Rand feared most from such an Institute:

  1. The perversion of scientific inquiry to serve purely political ends. If religiously motivated obscurantism annoyed her, then politically motivated obscurantism infuriated her.

  2. The exploitation of scientific talent to the end of using brute force against a nation-state's subjects. Projects F and X illustrate this point. Governments do not create, but they can and do destroy. And when the government funds scientific research that is divorced from the production of things that people can use, that research will inevitably take a destructive direction.

But most of all, Rand used the Institute as the symbol of the mind-body dichotomy, the notion that the mind and the body ought to be separate. The artificial divide between "pure" and applied science is one illustration of this. Robert Stadler believes that a "scientific mind" should be above commercial or "practical" concerns. He forgot that scientific discoveries will always find a practical use, and if those discoveries belong to a government, then they will inevitably serve a purpose of destruction, not construction.

In sharp and not-often-appreciated contrast, John Galt ran a laboratory at his own expense, and published its work product for a price, in the form of lectures to industrialists who could benefit most from access to cutting-edge physics research and discoveries. Thus the problems that John Galt worked on, were those having the widest possible practical application. John Galt made no distinction between science and technology, or between "pure" and "applied" science, or between "science" and "engineering."

(edit to note- if you go to the page you will notice that the dates given are not from the book, the dates given are from the movie. However I think the interpretation of the significance of the event is spot on for either the movie or the book.)

Edited by SapereAude
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Obviously, the country was deteriorating. As was mentioned, the very first words of the novel you read describe the dilapidated condition of America. Nowhere in the novel do you even begin to consider thinking about getting a vague impression that just maybe everything was possibly somehow A-OK and hunky-dory. We get that idea about America's past: we read about Nat Taggart, and the former greatness of The 20th Century M.C., and of Dagny's youth, etc.. But everything written about the novel's present conveys that sense of denouement.

Therefore I cannot accept the premise that Galt was the cause of it all. Instead, he was being swept up in it, along with the rest of humanity, until he decided to remove himself and his sanction from it.

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At the company, but it does not say anything about the rest of the companies in the country or world. Yes, I saw the reference to human history there in regards to what was taught, but his company was putting it into practice, no other company that I know of was. Once things went into effect at 20th century, other businesses would not deal with them, hire their employees, and salesplummeted. So it shows somewhat through that, what other businesses were like, look at all the companies we know, Rearden, Wyatt, Taggart Transcontinental, many others. If the GOVERNMENT instituted that across the board it might warrant the action that Galt took. This one warranted speaking up, or quoting, I am not convinced it warranted much more than that.

If the world were as rosy as you presume outside this one company, then Galt wouldn't have been able to persuade anyone to come with him. Every person he was able to convince is a testament to the widespread nature of moral bankruptcy in the world of the novel.

You ask why he didn't fire off intellectual ammo at this thing, but he did. Every person he sat down with, he convinced them to go with him in exactly the manner you're looking for. At first, he focused his efforts where he though they would be most effective, at other entrepreneurs who have had to struggle against this moral atmosphere. After a certain point, he goes public with his arguments in his speech, because he judges that the real world consequences of moral bankruptcy are now clear enough for the average person to see. I really don't understand your issue with this.

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In the 1968 introduction to The Fountainhead, Rand writes, "It is those that move the world and give life it's meaning - and it is to those few that I have always sought to address. The rest are no concern of mine."

Galt addressed only them,too. The rest were seemingly of no concern of his. He sought only hiskind.

"To my goal I will go - on my way; over those who hesitate and lad behind I shall leap. Thus let my going be their going under."*

It was.

"Everywhere the voice of those who preach death is heard; and the earth I full of those whom one must preach death […] if only they pass away quickly."*

Perish! In and of your own void! Perish! In and of your own unreality! Galt preaches death to them.

Why did Galt not teach them the Morality of Life in the beginning? Not one single word. Why even do his speech later to them?

*Thus Spoke Zarathustra (Walter Kaufmann translation)

Edited by intellectualammo
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He did NOT fire such ammo at them at the meeting, or when he quit grad school. He walks.

He becomes a walking delegate of the victims rebellion. He's wants hiskind to join him, does not even consider the rest of mankind, like trying to appeal to them, THEN. Why even do a speech later?

Perhaps he wanted to shake loose the few who were still "on the fence". It is not easy to quit everything that has been heretofore part of one's life.

In fact in The Speech he explicitly urged those of independent spirit to quit and go on strike.

ruveyn1

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He did NOT fire such ammo at them at the meeting, or when he quit grad school. He walks.

He becomes a walking delegate of the victims rebellion. He's wants hiskind to join him, does not even consider the rest of mankind, like trying to appeal to them, THEN. Why even do a speech later?

The Starnes heirs owned the company at that time. They proposed terms of employment that were unacceptable to John Galt. He did fire ammo at them at the meeting. He said he was going to put an end to it once and for all. The only person who asked anything about it was Gerald Starnes, who did so with a one word question. "How?" Nobody moved to stop him.

It has been stated that the solution is "Education or quit.". Atlas Shrugged is part of that education. The solution dramatized in the book is highly stylized to illustrate what might happen if . . .

Your questioning along these lines highlights some interesting considerations, but additionally, the question "Why didn't Ayn Rand write a book that implemented egoism world wide by an invincible method of persuasion alone, rather than reliance on the invincible ally of reality?" seems to be lurking therein.

(If such a power of persuasion existed, where would the lesson of disagreement be to serve as evidence of the possibility of error in thought to pave the way to discovering the epistemological tools required to discover and check such errors?)

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