Chapter IV – Part II

March 21, 2016

Back to James, with a headache in his living room, too lazy to find shoes or his watch, or even to remember that he wanted to know what time it was. There’s a woman there, and the description of their relationship makes the lascivious sight Dagny noticed earlier seem somehow better. These guys aren’t even up to lust, let alone love. They copulate merely out of some sense that this is what people do.

Apparently the only things this one, Betty Pope, inherited as a member of “one of the very best families” is a sense of self importance and a condescending attitude. She laments her boring existence, asks Jim to take her to dinner, and chides him that she hears his sister is more the man of the family than he is.

Jim is rushing her out…not allowing her to clip her toenails. She doesn’t mind him coming in to the bathroom to do his business, too, as she twists herself into her clothes. Her day will be empty. He’s got a mission, though. He’s on his way to get Dagny upbraided for ordering that rail. The thought of undermining her progress lifts his mood…maybe he will take Betty out to dinner after all. She doesn’t like Dagny, either.

Then he receives a phone call. The caller, eager to make clear that this isn’t his fault, informs him that his pet San Sebastian line, as well as D’Anconia’s mines, have been nationalized.

Jim is quick to assure the board that his friends in Washington have his back, and that proper compensation will be awarded. He then proceeds to take full credit for Dagny’s reduction of equipment and service, while requesting the heads of a few folks he now blames for building the line.

“The men sat around the long table, listening. They did not think of what they would have to do, but of what they would have to say to the men they represented. Taggart’s speech gave them what they needed.”

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On Eddie and Cheryl …

August 5, 2012

*Gasp* You have not finished the book? Tsk!

Cheryl is young, she’s decent, compassionate, has faith in the best in humanity; basically everything Rand seems to hold in contempt. She left home and hearth and moved to the big city to learn more of life. Jim shows up loves her innocence and hope, how she looks up to him, is impressed by him. Plus he’d like the whole, “Oh look at what a great guy I am, I took this poor naive girl from her lowly job and brought her to the top of the world aren’t I just awesome” feeling he’d get. Jim would be able to convince Cheryl, who tends to see the good in people, that he is all “that”. I’ve got no problem with a young woman, freshly planted in the big bad city with a happy, happy, joy, joy look at the world being taken in with a Jim Taggart; he’s rich, he must be brilliant he runs a successful railroad . It happens every day. Guys like him look for girls like her. And girls like her don’t always figure it out after the third cocktail party, but eventually … girls like her always figure it out in the end. And in the end they become Dagny-like (before Dagny de-evolved in to a psycho).

In reality the Cheryl’s of the world may throw a brick through a window once she discovered she was betrayed so-to-speak; she may blow up and light the bastards car on fire, or just cry and eat a freezer full of ice-cream and have the pity party of the century but she wouldn’t off herself.

And Eddie … you have to read the end so we can deal with Eddie.

I’ve been trying to figure how Rand saw Galt and his ilk as the best that man can be. Trying. And failing. Galt is a leader and the rest blindly follow because he says so, they act and react to him like he’s a damn god. He’s like that dude Jim Jones or any successful cult leader, pick your favorite … a wolf in shepherd clothing leading bleating sheep. Eddie … in reality it’s as you say they couldn’t survive without the guys like Eddie, the right hand guy. In my view Eddie and Cheryl are closer to the best man can be than Galt, Frisco and Ragnar.

Hank’s the only character I liked through the whole book because he seemed to be the only one who did what he did in the end for HIS reasons, not Galt’s.

Just a side rant; how are the music makers and dreamers of dreams prime examples of objectivism at work? Um … yeah that doesn’t make sense to me either. The woman worked in Hollywood before she became who she became, she’s primarily a fiction writer yet she creates and promotes this philosophy of Objectivism? To me it seems a contradiction.

How do we want to do this? I’ve been trying to figure that out … chapter by chapter?

~C.K.