The Public Good Be Damned, By Hank Rearden

1352 Words6 Pages
At his trial, Hank Rearden declares: “The public good be damned, I will have no part of it!” What does he mean? How does this issue relate to the novel’s theme?

When Rearden declares: “The public good be damned, I will have no part of it!” he refuses the looters’ insistence of sacrificing his production and happiness for the sake of others. He is attacking Collectivist philosophy by accepting reality; one must produce for their own self-interest in order to pursue their own happiness. The Collectivist’s persistently try to deny reality and thereby break Aristotle’s law of existence: “A is A (1038)”. If one believes A is not A, logically they contend a person’s sole motive to live is not for himself, rather, to live for others. This premise of self-sacrifice prioritize faith, charity, and force above all else. His declaration condemns the entirety of this value system and coincides with the philosophy of Atlas Shrugged; Collectivism is evil because of it ability to drain the mind of its “volitional consciousness (1012)” and the assumption of rights based on need, as opposed to ability.

Although he is preaching Objectivism, Rearden lives according to this philosophy only partially. An Objectivist believes a person’s highest moral purpose is to pursue happiness through their values. He obtains the values, but subjects himself to guilt and shame for them. As Francisco D’Anconia attempts to make him understand this fault, he asks “Why don’t you hold to the purpose of your

More about The Public Good Be Damned, By Hank Rearden

Open Document