I've been reading Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, and I've noticed that every chapter seems to contain one extended speech. Not that its a bad thing, because the topics these speeches cover are fantastic, and Rand writes them beautifully.
I've decided to go somewhere different today in my blog and post one of my favorites from the book., a speech by the Pirate Ragnar Danneskjold to Protagonist Hank Reardon:
"[Robin Hood] is not remembered as a champion of property, but as a champion of need, not as a defender of the robbed, but as a provider of the poor. He is held to be the first man who assumed a halo of virtue by practicing charity with wealth which he did not own, by giving away goods which he had not produced, by making others pay for the luxury of his pity. He is the man who became a symbol of the idea that need, not achievement, is the source of rights, that we don’t have to produce, only to want, that the earned does not belong to us, but the unearned does. He became a justification for every mediocrity who, unable to make his own living, had demanded the power to dispose of the property of his betters, by proclaiming his willingness to devote his life to his inferiors at the price of robbing his superiors. It is this foulest of creatures – the double-parasite who lives on the sores of the poor and the blood of the rich – whom men have come to regard as the moral idea." ". . . Do you wonder why the world is collapsing around us? That is what I am fighting, Mr. Rearden. Until men learn that of all human symbols, Robin Hood is the most immoral and the most contemptible, there will be no justice on earth and no way for mankind to survive."
This is just a glimpse of the speech, go check out the book if you want more.
What are you're guys thoughts on this speech, or Rand in general? I know she might not be the most liked person today, but I don't think anyone can discredit how radically different her ideals were
I think Rand is gravely misunderstood in her views on Altruism. Atlas Shrugged takes things to the extreme to try to get her points across. Its like how fables have messages that are told through the grandest of ways. Rand didn't have much of a problem with charity, her real problem is when the gov't or any organization forces charity. For instance, she felt that something like foreign aid was a problem because it forced people out of there money to help those without it. This is why she had such a problem with communism, as wealth is generated by need rather then skill.