[Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand]|
Topic #2: Why does John Galt go on strike when the Starnes heirs take over the Twentieth Century Motor Company? Do you think he is right or wrong to start a strike? Explain.|
“I will stop the motor of the world” (683) he proclaimed. These were John Galt’s final words stated in response to the Starns’ heirs “noble plan” (681). In Atlas Shrugged, the motor refers to man’s mind which would ultimately be enslaved once this plan was put into effect. Ayn Rand effectively illustrates this through the character of John Galt who believes in the freedom of the mind and who consequently goes on strike in affirmation of the liberation for the intellectual. The Twentieth Century Motor Company, under the leadership of the Starns’ heir had devised a plan whereby the workers were expected to produce to the best of their ability. However, with need as the basis for this plan, a higher compensation would be paid to the worker who exemplified a greater need. Hence, ability was punished while incompetence was rewarded and as a result, the workers sank to a state of depravity as they, “did [their] best to be no good… compet[ing] with one another for who’d do the worst job possible.” (673) This plan essentially advocated for the ideology of the ‘brother-love’ creed. It dictated the support for thy neighbor’s destitution above one’s own sustenance. This is what John Galt foresaw as the eventual demise of human existence. The impracticality of giving up everything and starve for the sake of another was clear, but this doctrine declared such action as the noble deed. This creed condemned the production of anything of value for one’s own enjoyment but exalted act of giving to others what they had not rightfully earned. More so, this...