April 21, 2011

Looter of the Spirit

When I explain to people that environmentalists and some in the government don't really have any aspirations of their own, they just want to deny the aspirations of others, they typically ask me why anyone would choose to live that way. Here's an excellent explaination derived from Ayn Rand's novel 'Atlas Shrugged' courtesy of Shmoop dot com:

But then Jed Starnes died and his three children took over the factory. These children were all horrible people who ran the factory into the ground and inspired Galt to begin his crusade. The kids preached the slogan "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need." Basically they did away with salaries and had people "vote" on what others should earn based on their "needs." This turned into a disaster.

Ivy Starnes was considered the worst of these kids. Jeff Allen, a man who worked in the factory, has this to say about her:

"She had pale eyes that looked fishy, cold, and dead. And if you ever want to see pure evil, you should have seen the way her eyes glinted when she watched some man who'd talked back to her once and who'd just heard his name on the list of those getting nothing above basic pittance." (

Dagny herself actually met Ivy and tried to get answers out of her, back when she was searching for the elusive inventor of the motor. Ivy sadistically preys on people's emotions and enjoys tormenting them. In this respect, she is what Galt calls a "looter of the spirit" and has a lot in common with James Taggart, who also enjoys destroying people for his own amusement. What's truly terrible about Ivy is that she acts sadistically but speaks in terms of charity and brotherly love. She embodies the very worst of what Galt considers looter ideology.

'Atlas Shrugged' QOTD Quote of the Day Posted by JohnGalt at April 21, 2011 2:34 PM

I had a difficult time with the Rand villains, most notably Ellsworth Toohey. I did not see, as a young man, what was in it for a Toohey or the charming Starnes children.

Then I met a couple hundred of them.

Posted by: jk at April 21, 2011 4:40 PM

Misery loves company, and sadly it's easier to spread disappointment and failure to others than enthusiasm and perseverance.

Btw, my take on AS is that it won't be very successful if at all. Artistically, it well captured the spirit of the novel, but that didn't make for a compelling story.


Posted by: nanobrewer at April 27, 2011 9:48 AM | What do you think? [2]