Atlas Shrugged Summary and Analysis of Part II, Chapters I and II

Summary

Part II, “Either-Or”, starts with a chapter called “The Guy Who Belonged on Earth”. Dagny does not know it, but when she visits the distinguished researcher, Dr. Robert Stadler of the State Science Institute, she is going to learn more about the strange John Galt. Her look for the innovator of the static-electricity motor has brought her here, and she is demanding to understand from Stadler what physicist in the country would have the ability to create a motor which would need no fuel besides the electrical energy surrounding the earth. She is convinced that a creation of such utility could save the present decrease of the American economy, which Robert Stadler must do whatever to help her. There is currently antagonism between the two of them due to the fact that Stadler belongs to the State Science Institute, which released the public denunciation of Rearden Metal and caused Dagny’s and Hank’s companies a lot trouble.

Stadler understands absolutely nothing of the motor’s innovator, and refuses to help Dagny with the reconstruction of it, not since he believes that it will not work, however due to the fact that he can not think of why such a terrific mind efficient in creating it would waste his time on “practical appliances” (356 ). He finally relents and informs her that there is one guy, Quentin Daniels of the Utah Institute of Innovation who may, with time and luck, be able to reconstruct the motor. Dagny solves to employ him to work on this as a private project for her.

The economy of the West is deteriorating, and it is ending up being clear to Dagny that the freight traffic on the Rio Norte Line (the line the John Galt line now goes under as it is now part of Taggart Transcontinental) will just continue to decrease. Because the dissolution of Wyatt Oil every significant industrial concern in that area of the country is either moving toward insolvency or has experienced the desertion of its top executives.

Rearden Metal is when again under attack, not since of its perceived absence of security, however rather because of its success. A boy from the federal government whom the steelworkers label “The Wet Nurse” concerns Rearden Steel, and is put in charge of making sure that Hank does not offer Metal to anybody not approved by the government. The concept behind these limits is to allow other companies, like Orren Boyle’s Associated Steel, to preserve their organisation without unnecessary competition. It likewise limits the quantity of steel each consumer could receive to a “reasonable share” amount, which might not be identified reasonably by the government authorities. A black market in the rights to “fair share” quantities quickly emerges. Rearden angers the federal government by refusing to sell Metal to the State Science Institute for Task X, a secret job whose purpose nobody will tell him. Rearden is afraid it is for a weapon, perhaps to be utilized versus the American individuals, and he will not enable the federal government to make him sell them the Metal. He informs the Wet Nurse that if the federal government wants the metal they will need to feature guns to seize it.

Chapter II, “The Aristocracy of Pull” demonstrates how the new federal government has actually created a different currency for getting things done: a phenomenon called pull. The people and organisations with good friends in Washington, or with blackmail product held over people in powerful positions, are now individuals who get directives in their favor. There is no longer any objective requirement of justice or fair dealing. Entire industries are artificially supported or are damaged solely at the whim of the males in Washington.

Dagny beings in her workplace contemplating the damage of so many towns and company in Colorado in the wake of what occurred to Wyatt Oil. She is starting to think that there is an actual representative at work– she names him in her mind “the destroyer”– who is seducing these men far from their services and making them disappear. She is especially concerned that the destroyer will go to Ken Danagger, or the head of some other service which is critically important to her train or to Hank’s mills, and cause havoc with their supply chain. She works to combat the destroyer by employing and setting to work the young scientist Quentin Daniels. He agrees to work for her personally at his old place of research study the Utah Institute of Innovation, at which he has actually been minimized to night-watchman because there are no scientists delegated operate at the building.

Cherryl Brooks and Jim Taggart have become engaged, because Cherryl has actually fallen in love with what she believes is Jim’s personality of a successful but essentially populist entrepreneur. Jim understands that her hero-worship is misdirected, but he wants to marry her anyhow since he enjoys her admiration. Hank Rearden, against his will, accepts go to the Taggart wedding event due to the fact that his better half, Lillian, asks him to. He has no desire to see Jim get married, or to be in a social situation at which both his better half and his girlfriend are in presence, but he nevertheless goes to the reception and has a discussion with Francisco d’Anconia there. Francisco has benefited considerably from the destruction of the copper market in the United States, the product of vicious laws committed by Jim Taggart and his good friends. They had actually done so mostly to line their own pockets, because they are all terrific shareholders in d’Anconia Copper. Francisco, who did not ask for such a favor, however mockingly thanks Jim Taggart, and says aloud to everyone who wants to hear it that d’Anconia Copper is currently going through serious problems and the stock might quickly crash. This triggers panic amongst the guests.

Before the stampede ruins the wedding party, nevertheless, Francisco discusses to those around him that money is the just moral unit of exchange on the planet, and it “allows no power to recommend the value of your effort other than the voluntary choice of the male who is willing to trade you his effort in return.” (411 ). This speech in praise of wealth offends most of the cultured individuals around him, who are nonetheless abundant themselves, but who spout unclear generalities about “assisting the poor” and the “common well-being.” Francisco qualifies it by saying that it isn’t money which produces joy, but worths. “Cash will not purchase happiness for the guy who has no idea of what he wants: money will not offer him a code of values, if he’s evaded the knowledge of what to worth, and it will not supply him with a purpose, if he’s evaded the choice of what to seek.” (412 ).

Rearden reproaches d’Anconia for being a playboy and for letting his company degrade, but Francisco asks Hank to check his assumptions. Why should d’Anconia copper continue to generate income for people who do not deserve it, and will either take its wealth by fraud or redistribute it unjustly? Francisco gives Hank a notion that perhaps he, Francisco, is not what he appears to be, which there is a purpose behind his seemingly damaging actions.

Analysis

Francisco’s speech about the purpose and goodness of money is the first long writing in defense of objectivist economics in the novel. His facility, that the fair trading of effort and the items of the mind for money is the only manner in which humans have any possibility genuine happiness in the world, is based on the facility that the former approaches of economics, particularly the oligarchies and tyrannies which, in other nations, have managed the sources of wealth through force and browbeating, were naturally unjust and denigrated the goodness and power of each person. Money creates a reasonable playing field for the competent and the committed to earn their income without worry of it being taken away. It is the only system, Francisco argues, which honors the concept of humanity’s right to enjoy their lives.

It is clear from Francisco’s speech that his lauding of money is not crass materialism. The values of production, sincerity, and fairness are what make the system of cash and exchange beneficial, and Francisco states “The verdict you pronounce upon the source of your income is the verdict you pronounce upon your life. If the source is corrupt, you have damned your own existence. Did you get your money by fraud? By catering males’s vices or males’s stupidity? By accommodating fools, in the hope of getting more than your capability deserves … If so, then your money will not provide you a minute’s or a penny’s worth of happiness. Then all the important things you purchase will become, not a homage to you, but a reproach; not an achievement, but a reminder of shame.” Francisco says that individuals who state money is wicked are those who let it “pinch-hit for [their] dignity.” (412 ).

This idea of money producing an environment of fairness and of encouragement of achievement is not entirely Rand’s own, however the way she incorporates it into her political and economic viewpoint strengthens the entire of objectivism. She argues that financial competition is a broader form of cooperation, (Hicks) and one that enables one of the most fairness to one of the most people. Specifically the kind of artificial control of markets, such as Taggart and his good friends’ damage of Francisco’s competitors, nullifies the excellent society of reasonable competition.

The marital relationship of Cherryl and Jim starts with an evil portent. The reality that the wedding event visitors, who make a practice of duplicating platitudes about altruism and the public interest, can not even manage their hysteria for the length of time of a wedding party without a public panic in which their own interests are threatened. The message is that all the people, such as the woman who disagrees with Francisco and demonstrations that “I do not feel that you’re best” (415) are really hypocritical, and when confronted with the real possibility of their own loss their true and indisputable self-interest comes out, often in unsightly methods.

The new federal government, no matter what high suitables it claims to be based on, is truly just a brand-new kind of unfair oligarchy. The noun “pull” has actually come to suggest the influence and browbeating peddling that goes on in Washington, in which favors and worry of exposure or reprisal are the motivators instead of factor or justice. The America of Francisco and Dagny’s youth is gone, and a new world which has been created is not based on the worths that they hold. Hank is concerning this realization maybe even quicker than Dagny, though she holds the worths of self-regard and the nobility of production more dearly than he does. Francisco, while not providing anything away directly, has actually hinted enough so that both Hank and Dagny are suspicious that there is a group of people working directly versus the American government.

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