caroljane

What do Women Want

Recommended Posts

Jonathan and Adam are correct that this has been discussed many times.

And why they are wrong has been pointed out before.

Yes, the "reason" that we are "wrong" is that Phil wants very badly to believe that we're wrong. Phil's position is that Dagny didn't have any time to waste on dealing with the guard, which is why she took the time to stand around and lecture him with a philosophy lesson. It is apparently very important for Phil to believe that none of Rand's fictional heroes behaved immorally, unfairly or irrationally, and therefore they didn't behave immorally, unfairly or irrationally, despite the fact that some of them did (Roark's committing the fraud of passing off his work as Keatings, of working on a project to which he was morally opposed, and of taking matters into his own hands and destroying others' property because those in charge of it didn't abide by a contract that they didn't have with Roark is another example of Phil's having great difficulty in accepting reality and objectively identifying the content of Rand's art).

J

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

> "if I recall correctly there was no time plus no mention was made of ropes or gags or a chair all being handy...here you can assume Rand wanted you to assume there was no other certain, clear alternative." [Phil, post #69]

> RESPONSE #1: "Dagny took the time to give the guard a philosophy lesson, and to torment him by pointing a gun at him and to irrationally demand that he make up his own mind." [Jonathan, post #71]

Has it occurred to you that she gave him every chance, which took time and allowed someone else to burst in, and that because of that, her risk was escalating and she ran out of time? (Aside: My general sense built from dozens of your past posts is you are always looking for feet of clay, even if you have to paint them in yourself.)

> RESPONSE #2: "To bind and gag someone in this situation does not require a freaking chair" [Adam, post #72]

Notice the sleight of hand: how Adam conveniently ignores the point that Dagny might not have come equipped with rope or gags and instead decides to only 'rebut' the point that she needs a chair.

In other words, the claim is: "Someone couldn't have readily done X unless he had A, B, and C", and the reply is: "You dummy, of course you don't need C" and then walk away briskly as if he'd refuted the claim.

> RESPONSE #3: "very important for Phil to believe that none of Rand's fictional heroes behaved immorally, unfairly or irrationally" [Jonathan, post #76] {emphasis added}

Strawman fallacy: Making a claim that I took an extreme or sweeping position I never did. And then portraying that "straw man" as ridiculous.

> RESPONSE #4: "Roark's committing the fraud of passing off his work as Keatings, of working on a project to which he was morally opposed, and of taking matters into his own hands and destroying others' property because those in charge of it didn't abide by a contract that they didn't have with Roark" [Jonathan, post #76]

Another of J's little debater's tricks: When you are losing ground on point 1, drag in unrelated points 2, 3, and 4 --- that there are other flaws in the novels (in this case not even from the same novel!) --- which were not part of the original issue. And then hope someone will get whipsawed trying to answer every claim or charge that is raised on four or five different issues or contexts.

In addition, Stephen's distinction between poetic justice [in fiction or as a 'dramatization'] and real or moral justice [what one might advocate in real life is the central one, often overlooked by fiction readers or moviegoers, etc. and making them sometimes unable to 'get' or fully appreciate good fiction or drama. (Rand discusses 'stylization' and the difference from literal reality in, I think, The Romantic Manifesto.)

Edited by Philip Coates

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dagny first tries to deceive the guard—without desired effect. “Calmly and impersonally, she, who would have hesitated to fire at an animal, pulled the trigger and fired straight at the heart of a man who had wanted to exist without the responsibility of consciousness.” Rand has a preceding verbal exchange between Dagny and the guard set out that he is a man who wants to exist without that responsibility.

Stephen, your points have been addressed previously when voiced by others. Here are some links and excerpts from my past comments on the issue of Dagny and the guard:

Link:

The problem is that [Rand] doesn't show us -- or Dagny -- anything to indicate that the guard was anything but a man who was properly doing his job. He wasn't engaging in any evil actions or evading responsibility. In fact he was trying to be responsible, and even quite logical and reasonable, by attempting to resolve the conflict by following the typical procedure of accommodating a VIP by contacting "the chief."

For Dagny to judge the guard as sub-human because he says things that others, who are not guards, have said elsewhere in the novel ("it's not up to me" etc.) is actually kind of collectivistic. She judges him not based on his own actions and context, but on the general attitude of the society around her. She ignores the fact that the decisions are indeed not up to the guard. She might as well have demanded that Eddie Willers fire Jim Taggart, and then judge Eddie as sub-human scum when he, like others in the novel, says "That's not up to me, I'm just a little guy, I don't have that authority," ignoring that Eddie actually doesn't have the authority.

The entire scene is about Dagny intimidating and threatening the guard, and then judging him as sub-human because he doesn't think for himself when being bullied and having a gun pointed in his face. "I order you to think for yourself, or I'll kill you! But you can only choose from the options that I've given you. Hurry up! Why aren't you thinking for yourself? You're despicable. You're less than an animal!" Blam!

As the scene is written, Dagny made the guard her victim and then held him in contempt because he behaved like a victim.

Link:

I don't think that Rand was a hypocrite because of the scene in which Dagny kills the guard. I just think that it didn't occur to her that she wrote a scene in which Dagny didn't have sufficient information about the guard's psychology, ethics or anything else before judging him as being worthy of less respect than an animal. My point is an aesthetic criticism of the logic of the scene, not a moral judgment of Rand.

Link:

Can you point to the part in the book where it is revealed that the guard knows that John Galt is being held at the facility, and the part where Dagny discovers that the guard knows? The guard would have to know that he's being asked to make up his mind about John Galt in order to make up his mind about John Galt.

Link:

Hypothetical:

You're a corporal under the command of General Casey. He has ordered you to guard a gate and to allow no one to enter. While you're at your post, Bill Gates (or some other famous business person) suddenly shows up and tells you that he's been asked by the President of the United States, your commander in chief, to enter the facility that you're guarding. He has no written proof of his claims.

You politely tell him that your orders are to allow no one to enter. He begins to get upset, and asks if you know who he is. He reminds you of how important he is and tells you that he is there on a vital matter of national security, that time is short, and that you'd better let him in right fucking now if you know what's good for you.

What should you -- a good Objectivist who thinks for him or herself, properly questions authority, has strong convictions about good and evil, and takes responsibility for your own consciousness -- do? Since trying to contact your immediate superior is apparently something that an independent thinker shouldn't do, even when employed as a guard who is supposed to contact his superiors in such a situation, which actions can you take to demonstrate your Objectivist moral and intellectual purity? Might you quiz Gates on his philosophical views to see if he is worthy of entering the facility against the orders of General Casey? Might you try to arrange a three-way philosophical debate between Gates, General Casey and the President to see whose orders you'd prefer to obey (or perhaps "obey" is the wrong word to use among Objectivists, maybe I should say "whose orders you independently find to be 'agreeable suggestions'")? Or should you quit on the spot, abandon your post, and go home?

Seriously. I'd like to know what a good Objectivist guard should do when faced with what appears to be conflicting orders. Or is the correct answer "None of the above: a good Objectivist would never take a job in which he or she is not in charge of all decisions at all times; Objectivists should only be bosses and not employees"?

Now, back to Stephen's comments:

However, that overlay is not required for justification to pull the trigger. Were the guard the sort who sees Dagny’s gun and reaches for his own, she would still be justified in pulling the trigger.

The overlay did NOT justify the shooting, but made it unjust. Dagny's reason for killing the guard was not simply that he stood in her way of rescuing Galt, but that he refused to think and choose for himself. But she was wrong. He did NOT refuse to think and choose for himself. He chose to do his job as he was properly trained to do it, and to contact his chief, and he attempted to do so more than once, but Dagny pointed the gun at him and told him he could not choose that option. He had no real option other than to be killed by Dagny. He knew that she was going to kill him no matter what he did. And she wasted time lecturing him about not thinking or choosing for himself when he WAS thinking and choosing for himself.

J

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good grief Phil...

It was a joke.

The essence of this discussion/argument/debate is quite complex.

We all agree that it is a scene in a novel and, therefore, has extreme latitude in how it is painted in words...Correct?

If so, then the elements of this "rescue mission" can take any form that the artist wished to paint in words...Correct?

If so, Ayn chose [engaged in the act volitionally] to have Dagny carry on this philosophical conversation with the guard for a her purpose...Correct so far?

Adam

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

> Dagny took the time to give the guard a philosophy lesson, and to torment him by pointing a gun at him and to irrationally demand that he make up his own mind [Jonathan]

Has it occurred to you that she gave him every chance, which took time and allowed someone else to burst in, and that because of that, her risk was escalating and she ran out of time? (Aside: My general sense built from dozens of your past posts is you are always looking for feet of clay, even if you have to paint them in yourself.)

Yes, Phil, it has occurred to me to consider the arguments that you've repeatedly made in the past while ignoring the responses that you've received. Your points have been answered, over and over again. Your arguments have been blown out of the water. If you'd bother to read and comprehend others' responses (such as on the threads that I've linked to above), it might save you the trouble of continuing to ask what you've already asked in the past, and which has been answered multiple times on multiple threads.

J

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stephen,

Here's an idea for you. Instead of judging Dagny's action only within the context of the moment it happened, how about looking at it from the beginning of the story?

The Dagny at the beginning of the story would have been incapable of shooting a person in cold blood. She loved "this earth" (meaning all the people in it, too, at least in terms of their potential) too much to even contemplate something like that. Her greatest self-conflict involves her decision to turn her back on all that. A notable plot event was that she had to take some time off to think about it. She also threatened her brother James literally with murder if he stood in her way. There's a progression there.

I have been studying large-scale writing and this fits a character arc perfectly.

Dagny basically moved from a childlike position of all human beings have some good in them to the final position of some lives were not worth trying to save if they got in her way for refusing to take a minimum of self-responsibility.

I once floated this idea past Barbara and she thought I was crazy. :)

But I expressed myself poorly then. I said Dagny had learned to hate a certain kind of human being. That was the wrong word, especially with Barbara. :)

So here's a clearer idea of what I meant. I believe Dagny acquired the capacity to feel profound indifference to another human being unless certain conditions were met. In other words, I don't believe she considered the guard she shot as human at all, not on a fundamental level, whereas earlier in the story she would have considered him as having some measure of intrinsic value, at least enough not to shoot him. Shooting him and shooting a wild animal were the same to her emotionally by the time she did it.

I might be wrong, but the story elements look to me like this was Rand's intention in creating Dagny's character arc. So a critical part of the story was Dagny's progression from one state to the other.

Michael

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I might be wrong, but the story elements look to me like this was Rand's intention in creating Dagny's character arc. So a critical part of the story was Dagny's progression from one state to the other.

Michael

I don't agree with this at all. As an adult there was no growth or progression except learning why she was Galt's enemy and in effect philosophically converting when things had gone so wrong she could hardly have done otherwise. It was more about plot progression. There was much more psychological growth with Dominique, from nuts to normal in a world where normal was normally rare.

--Brant

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's another past post of mine which has relevance to the same old arguments which have resurfaced:

I just reread the scene in which Dagny confronts the guard, and I don't see her as trying to give him a chance to get out of the way. It would be unrealistic to think that she would've let the guard live if he had suddenly chosen to let her to pass after she drew her gun and refused to allow him to contact his superiors. Obviously she would have had to worry about him warning others. She would have had to kill him regardless of what he decided (or didn't decide). So the scene comes across as Dagny wasting time tormenting the guard with a stupid morality lesson after her bluff of posing as a superior had obviously failed. Messing with his mind seems to be a higher priority than saving Galt, so the whole situation is just way too cold for the behavior of someone who's supposed to be a good person who is heroically trying to save someone she cares about.

The thing that makes it most uncomfortable to me is that there is nothing to indicate that the guard "wanted to exist without the responsibility of consciousness," as Rand tells us in her role as narrator. Guards are trained to obey orders and to follow procedures -- that's their job -- while trying to be respectful and somewhat accommodating of superiors and VIPs. The guard was absolutely correct in saying, "I'm only obeying orders! It's not up to me!" and "I'm not ~supposed~ to decide!" and in insisting (twice) on referring the matter of conflicting orders to his "chief."

Also, I think we can safely assume that the guard would have had no knowledge of what his superiors were doing behind closed doors, so it's not as if Dagny could reasonably assume that he was guilty of anything, or that he knew that he was protecting others who were guilty of something. In that context, it could even be said that Dagny was initiating a threat of physical force against him, and knowingly placing him in an impossible situation. Her lack of remorse about killing him therefore comes across as very anti-heroic.

The scene makes me wonder what Rand would expect any employee, assistant or inferior to do when confronted with conflicting orders or threats of initiatory force. And when putting someone in that situation, shouldn't a good human being feel more than what they feel when they "fire at an animal"?

What if:

You were employed as a guard by Taggart Transcontinental, and Dagny has ordered you to not let anyone into a warehouse in Colorado in which she's set up a temporary office. Then along comes industry giant and semi-celebrity Orren Boyle barking at you and informing you that Dagny requested that he come to her makeshift office. You politely ask Boyle to wait while you check if Dagny will meet with him. Boyle pulls a gun and tells you that he won't allow you to check with Dagny. He says that you must decide for yourself. You must either let him pass, or he will shoot you. You think that, with the fact that he's waving a gun in your face, he's probably planning on doing something bad. You have no chance of getting to your gun before he shoots you. You suspect that if you let him pass, he'll probably shoot you anyway since he knows you'll come after him or alert other guards. Then he keeps demanding that your decide, which you think is very odd and scary behavior.

If you tell him that you're just a little guy and that you're only doing your job and obeying orders, does that mean that you want "to exist without the responsibility of consciousness"? If you're submissive or indecisive while a nutjob is pointing a gun in your face and demanding that you make what appears to be an irrelevant decision, are you sub-human and worthy of less respect than an animal?

J

Edited by Jonathan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suppose that sort of blurring is part of the bargain of executing a theme in a plot. At any rate, I've always liked the scene between Dagny and the guard. That the guard is armed and is wrongly holding one's lover (or child) would pass for enough moral reason to pull the trigger for me, and for most readers of fiction I imagine. Rand decorates the scene further so as to make it dramatize a general philosophic point.

And what point is that? People who will not commit to a definite view or stand deserve to be killed? People who want to slip through the cracks (so to speak) ought to be eliminated?

Here is the realistic approach. Dagny is on a commando operation. On a commando op one takes out the guards silently (if possible) regardless of how good or bad or focused or committed they are.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Right, the realistic approach is as Baal says.

Here's a question which people who defend the scene keep overlooking:

Why is that scene there at all?

The other guards are said to have been disarmed and tied up off stage. Yet here appears a stray guard blocking Dagny's way. Why?

I submit: Because Rand wanted to show Dagny cold-bloodedly executing a man who didn't accept "the responsibility of consciousness."

It was to make a philosophic point that Rand put that guard into the story.

I think I've mentioned before on this board a movie which I consider an interesting contrast to Atlas in regard to the heroine deliberately shooting a villain. That's "The River Wild" with Meryl Streep. I'm convinced that the writer of the story was familiar with Rand, from a number of touches in the movie, including that "moment of truth" scene where Streep sets up giving the villain a fair chance and then shoots him when he unmistakably reveals that he deserves to be shot. (He'd revealed that before, but the scene leaves no undotted i or uncrossed t in demonstrating his character.)

Ellen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What do women want? To shoot a guard?

Dagny shooting the guard was sort of like Dominique going along with a dynamiter.

Dagny shooting the guard was the inverse of Kira getting shot by a guard. This is an esthetic gestalt.

Dagny shooting the guard because he wouldn't open up. The idea was she could get close enough and take him by surprise, get the drop on him. She was then going to let him go ask the "chief"? She dictated his choices and he refused her context. Sin loi, you're dead.

Here's real life: The guard is killed right off and the guard quarters are hit by concussion grenades and the what's left of the lot immediately killed--no stick 'em up!--or you risk the lives of all involved with the rescue. It's even worse: inside the guard quarters a survivor raises his hands in surrender. What do you do? You might have to shoot him down on the spot regardless because the general situation is not secure. Ayn Rand couldn't have written all this like that and didn't. She and her heroes weren't vicious enough and in real life they couldn't have assaulted the compound but would have done sneaky, trickster things to free Galt. Or, Galt frees himself and makes a come-and-get-me phone call.

--Brant

btw, those guards knew they were complicit in evil doings even if ignorant of important particulars

question: you are Dagny confronting the guard--what will you do when he won't let you in--show him some leg?

Edited by Brant Gaede

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Subject: Swatting down some more "arguments"

(I don't usually respond to Jonathan for obvious reasons, but these six bits of "reposts" of his are so entertaining that I can't resist. It's vastly amusing when someone doesn't realize he's made a lame argument a long time ago...and then gives it longer life by -reposting- it) :P

1. > even quite logical and reasonable, by attempting to resolve the conflict by following the typical procedure of accommodating a VIP by contacting "the chief." [Jonathan]

Jeez! That's probably the dumbest thing I've ever heard!!! You break into a guarded area and surprise one guard: "hey, why don't you let me talk to my boss...he'll bring more guns and shoot you." . . . R I I I I G H T! :lol:

I guess this is Johnathan's version of "all your points have been answered, you irresponsible debater". :)

2. > where [is] it revealed that the guard knows that John Galt is being held at the facility

Not relevant. Someone points a gun at you and says drop it, step aside. That's all you need (unless you're a completely suicidal moron.)

3. > She ignores the fact that the decisions are indeed not up to the guard.

When someone points a gun at you and says drop it or step aside, they are indeed up to you. Congrats to J if he's not going to immediately do what the gun-wielder says: He's not likely to have a very long life expectancy.

4. > Seriously. I'd like to know what a good Objectivist guard should do when faced with what appears to be conflicting orders.

Did you forget the part about *** THE GUN ***? Again?? B)

5. > Dagny's reason for killing the guard was not simply that he stood in her way of rescuing Galt, but that he refused to think and choose for himself.

No. It was simply that he stood in her way and was endangering the rescue. Did you miss my explanation of this **very simple and stunningly obvious** point?

6. > He had no real option other than to be killed by Dagny.

Say what?? Yet again: someone points a gun at you and says drop it, step aside, your best option is to **DO SO**.

. . . Unless you're a complete suicidal moron.

Edited by Philip Coates

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Subject: Swatting down some more "arguments"

(I don't usually respond to Jonathan for obvious reasons, but these six bits of "reposts" of his are so entertaining that I can't resist. It's vastly amusing when someone doesn't realize he's made a lame argument a long time ago...and then gives it longer life by -reposting- it) :P

This is called question begging...

Etymology:

The phrase "begging the question", or "petitio principii" in Latin, refers to the "question" in a formal debate—that is, the issue being debated. In such a debate, one side may ask the other side to concede certain points in order to speed up the proceedings. To "beg" the question is to ask that the very point at issue be conceded, which is of course illegitimate.

1. > even quite logical and reasonable, by attempting to resolve the conflict by following the typical procedure of accommodating a VIP by contacting "the chief." [Jonathan]

Jeez! That's probably the dumbest thing I've ever heard!!! This is called ad hominem by none other than Phil when someone else employs it. You break into a guarded area and surprise one guard: "hey, why don't you let me talk to my boss...he'll bring more guns and shoot you." . . . R I I I I G H T! :lol:

I guess this is Johnathan's version of "all your points have been answered, you irresponsible debater" This is called ad hominem by none other than Phil when someone else employs it.. :)

2. > where [is] it revealed that the guard knows that John Galt is being held at the facility

Not relevant. [A tad dismissive and uncivil.] Someone points a gun at you and says drop it, step aside. That's all you need (unless you're a completely suicidal moron.)

3. > She ignores the fact that the decisions are indeed not up to the guard.

When someone points a gun at you and says drop it or step aside, they are indeed up to you. Congrats to J if he's not going to immediately do what the gun-wielder says: He's not likely to have a very long life expectancy.

4. > Seriously. I'd like to know what a good Objectivist guard should do when faced with what appears to be conflicting orders.

Did you forget the part about *** THE GUN ***? Again?? B)

5. > Dagny's reason for killing the guard was not simply that he stood in her way of rescuing Galt, but that he refused to think and choose for himself.

No. It was simply that he stood in her way and was endangering the rescue. Did you miss my explanation of this **very simple and stunningly obvious** point?

6. > He had no real option other than to be killed by Dagny.

Say what?? Yet again: someone points a gun at you and says drop it, step aside, your best option is to **DO SO**.

. . . Unless you're a complete suicidal moron.

By the way Phil, if you were one of the True Believer type of guard like a Jihad type guard where death was the goal, your theory would not apply...correct?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Folks:

This was a penetrate and rescue mission.

There should have been no conversation at all. The guard had to be neutralized. If that meant shooting him, so be it.

I fail to see the necessity for an elaborate conversation.

Adam

Adam,

people-with-thank-you-sign.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very nice, Phil and Adam.

You've saved the day for all those who prefer AS unneutered.

Now that's taken care of, there's still The Tunnel Scene... <_<

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very nice, Phil and Adam.

You've saved the day for all those who prefer AS unneutered.

Now that's taken care of, there's still The Tunnel Scene... <_<

Can I take from this consensus that Rand was a moral relativist?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very nice, Phil and Adam.

You've saved the day for all those who prefer AS unneutered.

Now that's taken care of, there's still The Tunnel Scene... <_<

Can I take from this consensus that Rand was a moral relativist?

I think she had some relatives that were moralists.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very nice, Phil and Adam.

You've saved the day for all those who prefer AS unneutered.

Now that's taken care of, there's still The Tunnel Scene... <_<

Can I take from this consensus that Rand was a moral relativist?

I think she had some relatives that were moralists.

Your relatives have a relative who is a smartassist. LOLOLOLOL.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very nice, Phil and Adam.

You've saved the day for all those who prefer AS unneutered.

Now that's taken care of, there's still The Tunnel Scene... <_<

Can I take from this consensus that Rand was a moral relativist?

I think she had some relatives that were moralists.

Your relatives have a relative who is a smartassist. LOLOLOLOL.

Is it genetic that women have to have the last word? As he lobbed the pitch in that she can hit out of the park.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very nice, Phil and Adam.

You've saved the day for all those who prefer AS unneutered.

Now that's taken care of, there's still The Tunnel Scene... <_<

Can I take from this consensus that Rand was a moral relativist?

I think she had some relatives that were moralists.

Your relatives have a relative who is a smartassist. LOLOLOLOL.

Is it genetic that women have to have the last word? As he lobbed the pitch in that she can hit out of the park.

It's genetic that women know there is no such thing as the last word. If the word falls in the forest, does it make a sound? I grew up in the heaviest-wooded region of Canada. Like Simon's man, we hear what we want to hear, and disregard the rest.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was shocked when Dagny cold-bloodedly killed the guard.

Well, that's what makes horse races. I had to put down the book and excuse myself so I could be alone. Much like a scene from Henry Miller.

But as opposed to the characters in Miller's novels (mostly "broken hero" types), Dagny was conceived by the author as a positive role model, and this is what makes the scene so disturbing.

For example, the many acts of cruelty described in Dostoyevski's books are tough to read as well, but it is usually villainous characters who commit them, which makes it easier for the reader.

But when a role model of a story kills, unless the narrator gives clear signals to the contrary, the reader must draw the inference that the author condones the act.

It is true that the shooting of the guard occurred in an emergency situation because they wanted to free Galt, but still, the reader gets the impression that it was not necessary to kill the guard. Binding and gagging him would have sufficed. Dagny even took the time to ask him for his premises (a highly artificial scenario when you think about it).

Yes, it is "only" novel, but it is a novel which contains an unequivocal philosophical message.

Okay. Just to clarify exactly what happened. . .

The four guards outside "Project F" were dispatched by each of the four rescuers. The other three guards were bound and gagged by the three male rescuers--Francisco, Hank and Ragnar. Dagny also had to dispatch one of the male guards, but had to rely on her gun because, as a female, it is unlikely she could have overpowered him physically. (I'm willing to bet Ayn Rand saw Dagny's need for a gun as a way of underscoring her femininity.) She had to stop him before he went inside to notify Dr. Ferris, which he had already started to do. Dagny did not know how long she would have to wait before the other three rescuers joined her. At any moment, the guard could have run inside and thwarted the entire rescue mission. She made an effort to help the guard see the consequences of his indecision. His refusal to take responsibility posed a direct threat to her highest value. Merely wounding him might not have stopped him. She had to act and act decisively, because he wouldn't.

It was an unequivocal philosophical message--and a good one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't agree with this at all.

Brant,

So you don't believe Dagny has a character arc?

She's like James Bond, the same from A to Z?

I disagree.

She also went through 3 serious love affairs, each progressing to the next level (youthful exuberance full of promise/Francisco --> adult challenges and conflicts/Rearden --> the promised land/Galt). I don't see her breaking down and crying in her youth, or even later with Galt, like she did after the radio show. And I don't see the inner reasons being the same, either. She matured.

Michael

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Put me in the "deserves got nothing to do with it" camp.

Thank you, Mae West. While we can only live part-time in the alternate fictional world of absolute justice, we can be grateful for luck and the irrational benevolence of strangers in the real world of our day jobs.

Did you know that Mae West was the name of a life jacket? Your furious cat hero thinks he needs one, but he doesn't.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Put me in the "deserves got nothing to do with it" camp.

Thank you, Mae West. While we can only live part-time in the alternate fictional world of absolute justice, we can be grateful for luck and the irrational benevolence of strangers in the real world of our day jobs.

Did you know that Mae West was the name of a life jacket? Your furious cat hero thinks he needs one, but he doesn't.

Actually, that was Will Munny's line in Unforgiven.

But you're forgiven. Mae West said "Goodness had nothing to do with it, dearie," when someone exclaimed, "Goodness! What lovely diamonds!" in Night After Night way back in 1932. She later used "Goodness had nothing to do with it" as the title of her autobiography.

Don't you just hate people who do this? I am sorry, but it's very important that we keep the historical record straight on OL. :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jeez! That's probably the dumbest thing I've ever heard!!! You break into a guarded area and surprise one guard: "hey, why don't you let me talk to my boss...he'll bring more guns and shoot you." . . . R I I I I G H T!

Wow, you really have difficulty following along, don't you? I didn't suggest that a person who broke into an area and surprised a guard would want to talk to the guard's boss. The point was not to explore what Dagny may or may not have been thinking or hoping, but whether or not the guard was making his own decisions and choices. He was. As the scene is written, there is nothing to suggest that the guard had wanted to exist "without the responsibility of consciousness."

I guess this is Johnathan's version of "all your points have been answered, you irresponsible debater".

Yeah, um, I think you're so lost in your own mental fog that you're nowhere near to grasping even the simplest points that I make.

Not relevant. Someone points a gun at you and says drop it, step aside. That's all you need (unless you're a completely suicidal moron.)

And then what? If the guard had stepped aside, and perhaps even assured Dagny that he admired her and was on her side, what, you think that she would have let him live? You think that he could have been trusted to not call his boss and all of the other guards as soon as Dagny walked away from his post?!!!

When someone points a gun at you and says drop it or step aside, they are indeed up to you. Congrats to J if he's not going to immediately do what the gun-wielder says: He's not likely to have a very long life expectancy.

But the point of the scene isn't for the guard to do as he's told. Doing as Dagny told him would be proof of his wanting to exist without the responsibility of consciousness.

No. It was simply that he stood in her way and was endangering the rescue. Did you miss my explanation of this **very simple and stunningly obvious** point?

Then why didn't she kill him immediately? Why waste time pretending to give him the option of choosing to get out of the way? Are you really so stupid as to think that Dagny would (or should) have let the guard live if he had stepped out her way? If so, remind me never to take Objectivist eggheads on a rescue mission -- the way your mind works, you'd be endangering everyone on the rescue team every step of the way with stupid tactics and decisions.

6. > He had no real option other than to be killed by Dagny.

Say what?? Yet again: someone points a gun at you and says drop it, step aside, your best option is to **DO SO**.

...Unless you're a complete suicidal moron.

Has it really not occurred to you yet that if the guard had stepped out of the way to let Dagny pass, that she would have had to kill him anyway? Has it not occurred to you that if she had let him live, as soon as she had left his post he would have alerted his boss and the other guards? Seriously, if you were a guard, and someone was pointing a gun at you and ordering you to get out of their way, do you actually believe that if you stepped out of their way they'd let you live and just walk past you into the area that you're supposed to be guarding, and that they'd trust you not to warn all of the other guards? In a situation like that which Dagny had put the guard into, any person with at least half a brain (anyone who is not an Objectivist eggheaded schoolmarm) would know that he was going to be shot no matter what he said or did.

J

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...