Atlas Shrugged, Part 2 Chapter 8: By Our Love

Posted by nsnelson 8 years, 6 months ago to Books
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Summary: Dagny begins her vacation, when d’Anconia comes by and tries to persuade her of the destructiveness of feeding the Code of Death. But the news of the train crash interrupted them. Dagny returned to work, and begins damage control.

Start by reading the first-tier comments, which are all quotes of Ayn Rand (some of my favorites, some just important for other reasons). Comment on your favorite ones, or others' comments. Don't see your favorite quote? Post it in a new comment. Please reserve new comments for Ayn Rand, and your non-Rand quotes for "replies" to the quotes or discussion. (Otherwise Rand's quotes will get crowded out and pushed down into oblivion. You can help avoid this by "voting up" the Rand quotes, or at least the ones you especially like, and voting down first-tier comments that are not quotes of the featured book.)

Atlas Shrugged was written by Ayn Rand in 1957.

My idea for this post is discussed here:

http://www.galtsgulchonline.com/posts...


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  • Posted by 8 years, 6 months ago
    “The cooking of meals, she thought, is like the feeding of coal to an engine for the sake of a great run, but what would be the imbecile torture of coaling an engine that had no run to make? It is not proper for man’s life to be a circle, she thought, or a string of circles dropping off like zeros behind him – man’s life must be a straight line of motion from goal to farther goal, each leading to the next and to a single growing sum, like a journey down the track of a railroad, from station to station to – oh, stop it!”
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    • Posted by VetteGuy 8 years, 6 months ago
      While I can appreciate the sentiment of life being like a train track, and even wish for a nice straight ride, my life seems more like a twisty mountain road. Turns to the left and right, speeding up, slowing down for tight turns, uphill and down.
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  • Posted by 8 years, 6 months ago
    “The sun touched the tree tops on the slope of the hill, and they looked a bluish-silver, catching the color of the sky. Dagny stood at the door of the cabin, with the first sunrays on her forehead and miles of forest spread under her feet. The leaves went down from silver to green to the smoky blue of the shadows on the road below. The light trickled down through the branches and shot upward in sudden spurts when it hit a clump of ferns that became a fountain of green rays. It gave her pleasure to watch the motion of the light over a stillness where nothing else could move.”
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    • Posted by VetteGuy 8 years, 6 months ago
      I really envied Dagny having this place to escape to. The closest I can manage near me is an occasional mountain bike ride, and they never last long enough. Sometimes a little solitude is powerful medicine.
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  • Posted by 8 years, 6 months ago
    d'Anconia: “Dagny, we who’ve been called ‘materialists’ by the killers of the human spirit, we’re the only ones who know how little value or meaning there is in material objects as such, because we’re the ones who create their value and meaning… You do not have to depend on any material possessions, they depend on you, you create them, you own the one and only tool of production.”
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  • Posted by 8 years, 6 months ago
    d'Anconia to Dagny: “We produced the wealth of the world – but we let our enemies write its moral code.”
    “But we never accepted their code. We lived by our own standards.”
    “Yes – and we paid ransoms for it! Ransoms in matter and in spirit – in money, which our enemies received, but did not deserve, and in honor, which we deserved, but did not receive. That was our guilt – that we were willing to pay. We kept mankind alive, yet we allowed men to despise us and to worship our destroyers. We allowed them to worship incompetence and brutality, the recipients and the dispensers of the unearned. By accepting punishment, not for any sins, but for our virtues, we betrayed our code and made theirs possible. Dagny, theirs is the morality of kidnappers. They use your love of virtue as a hostage. They know that you’ll bear anything in order to work and produce, because you know that achievement is man’s highest moral purpose, that he can’t exist without it, and your love of virtue is your love of life… Your generosity and your endurance are their only tools. Your unrequited rectitude is the only hold they have upon you. They know it. You don’t.”
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    • Posted by VetteGuy 8 years, 6 months ago
      As for the phrase "They know it. You don't." I think Rand (through d'Anconia in this case) gives the looters/moochers too much credit.

      I don't believe that most of them have given the situation enough thought to know HOW they are entitled to the goods provided by the producers (i.e. through the guilt of the producer). They simply feel a need. They have been conditioned to believe that "the government" has an obligation to meet their needs.

      Clearly some politicians do understand, and use the guilt of the producers against them. It is hard to tell how many politicians really understand it, and how many are simply sheep following the party line.
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  • Posted by 8 years, 6 months ago
    Dagny to d’Anconia: “It’s surrender, if we leave – and surrender, if we remain. I don’t know what is right any longer.”
    “Check your premises, Dagny. Contradictions don’t exist.”
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  • Posted by 8 years, 6 months ago
    Dagny to a storekeeper: “If you know that the road gets flooded every time it rains, why don’t you people repair it?” The woman answered, “The road’s always been that way.”
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    • Posted by VetteGuy 8 years, 6 months ago
      Unfortunately, I recognize this tendency in my own life. It seems easier to just live with something than it is to fix it.

      Sometimes, however, I think it may just be a lack of imagination - and that may be the case of the shopkeeper. It just never occurs to her that things COULD be any different.
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