Scale - Dagny is stuck at +5. The only way to improve is to find others who are farther positive on the scale. Her goal is growth. She needs others who are better than her to challenge her and give her energy. She finds it in Ellis Wyatt: "She wanted to tell him of the years she had spent looking for men such as he to work with". (Ellis is like a tall Ross Perot.) She also finds it in Hank: "He was the only man she knew to whom she could speak without strain or effort. This she thought was a mind she respected, an adversary worth matching." The strain and effort is in direct proportion to the distance on the scale between the people in question. Throughout the entire novel, notice how the energy level of people changes after their encounters. If they have dealt with someone more negative, they have a lower energy level. If they deal with someone more positive, they have a higher energy level. Notice the use of the word "pain". So far, it occurs whenever a person (negative or positive) deals with a negative person. Anyway, Dagny seems closer to Hank than Ellis. We should put Ellis at +7.
Morning - Like cigarettes, Ms. Rand believes "morning" is a good thing. Betty Pope says, "I hate morning. Here's another day and nothing to do." The first heat of Rearden Metal was described: "To the men at the tap-hole of the furnace inside the mills, the first break of liquid metal into the open came as a shocking sensation of morning."
Anti-dog-eat-dog Rule - The idiocy of this rule should be obvious. However, it is the logical result of the following belief: "the prime purpose of a railroad was public service, not profit".
PRACTICAL APPLICATION (worth rereading)
Interdependence, as mentioned in Covey's seven habits, is shown in its true light in this chapter. "I've got to have men like Ellis Wyatt to produce something to fill the trains I run." When business people focus on their long-term profitability, they don't begrudge others from making a profit because they need them to stay in business. "I don't think you're in business for my convenience." Interdependence is not "being my neighbor's keeper". That is a one-way street. Interdependence is a two way street. Bottom line: Don’t depend on someone who doesn’t depend on you.
Motive Power - The first three chapters set up the background. Chapter Four begins progressing the story along on several fronts. Since this is the beginning of the progress, Ayn deals with "motive power"...the fuel necessary to make progress.
Dagny begins the chapter deciding that joy is one's fuel and determining to find joy from outside herself. She looks to Richard Haley's music and Francisco.
This entire chapter is filled with references to peoples' motives...
McNamara - Why did he quit?
Richard Haley - Why did he suddenly retire?
Francisco - Why did he invest in a losing proposition?
Jim - Why did Jim smile when Conway was destroyed?
"The event meant something to him much beyond the destruction of a competitor. It was not a victory over Dan Conway, but over her. She did not know why or in what manner, but she felt certain that he knew. For the flash of one instant, she thought that here, before her, in James Taggart and in that which made him smile, was a secret she had never suspected, and it was crucially important that she learn to understand it. But the thought flashed and vanished."
The chapter transitions through two general motive discussions...
Anti-dog eat dog rule - What is the motive behind people being in business? Does this rule have anything to do with the motive of people in business?
The concepts of "Looters" and "Moochers" are introduced.
-Looters are people who take things by force.
-Moochers are people who take things by begging.
By the end of the chapter, Dagny interacts with two people who give her energy: Ellis Wyatt and Hank Rearden
-On Wyatt: "She wanted to tell him of the years she had spent looking for men such as he to work with..."
-On Hank: "She had forgotten every problem, person and event behind her;...This was reality...This was the way she had expected to live - she had wanted to spend no hour and take no action that would mean less than this."
The chapter ends with Dagny coming to this conclusion while in Hank's presence: "If joy is the aim and the core of existence, she thought, and if that which has the power to give one joy is always guarded as one's deepest secret, then they had seen each other naked in that moment."
"Dagny, the whole world's in a terrible state right now. I don't know what's wrong with it, but something's very wrong." (Dan Conway)
"You've felt it your entire life, that there's something wrong with the world. You don't know what it is, but it's there, like a splinter in your mind driving you mad." (The Matrix)
We've seen the negative side of the scale focus on excuses and blame. That seems to be their answer to every crisis. From my experience, this is the first thing that truly successful people notice. Covey covers this in his first habit: "Be proactive". This does not just mean do things ahead of when they need to be done. It actually means realize that you are a result of the decisions you've made and you are responsible for your actions. You are in control of your life. You are not powerless. This leaves NO room for excuses and willingly accepts blame. "She saw a faint hint of astonishment in his (Wyatt's) face; this was not the manner or the answer he had expected; perhaps it was what she had not said that astonished him most: that she offered no defense, no excuses." Insecure people focus on blame and excuses.
Jean Renoir Story
Richard Haley wrote an opera that closed after one performance to the sound of booing and catcalls. "That night, Richard Haley has walked the streets of the city till dawn, trying to find an answer to a question, which he did not find." Nineteen years later they put the opera on again and he is celebrated...he retires the next day. Did he get the answer to his question?
I'm going through the top 25 foreign films of all time. The #1 film is "The Rules of the Game" by Jean Renoir...the son of the famous impressionist painter. Two years earlier, he made "The Grand Illusion" and it is on the list at #7. Then he makes "The Rules of the Game". At its premiere in 1939, there was booing and catcalls halfway through the movie. At the end of the movie there is such a disgust that someone tried to set fire to the theater!
Renoir didn't make another movie worthy of the greatest of all time after that...he went a different direction.
Almost 30 years later he helped a restoration group put the "The Rules of the Game" back together as close as possible to the original. It was re-released and immediately declared one of the greatest movies ever made. They told this to Renoir shortly after the re-release. His response?
"You are too late."
Dagny and Hank talking about Rearden Metal: "Hank, this is the most important thing happening in the world today, and none of them know it."
Why don't people recognize greatness?
More importantly, why is peoples' response to greatness "booing and catcalls"?
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