Jim tells Dagny that Hank has deserted. Dagny gets a note from Hank saying he has met John Galt and Hank doesn't blame Dagny. Mr. Thompson is scheduled to speak to the nation on November 22 about the world crisis. His message is interrupted by John Galt's 3-hour speech.
SUBPLOT (loose ends)
Mr. Boyle has had a nervous breakdown.
Eddie, Dr. Stadler and Dagny are the only ones who recognize Galt's voice.
Model - The model is now complete. This speech is so long because it ties up ALL the loose ends. It shows how all the themes are connected in minute detail. This speech is essentially the whole novel, but it is so concentrated, it took 900 pages to set it up. In fact, the reader has to have made his or her own journey in order to understand the speech. This speech could be seen as judgment day. However, John Galt has spent the last 12 years removing people who produce through refining their moral code. This is analogous to the rapture where people with a sound moral code are removed from the earth. It’s supposed to happen in the twinkling of an eye instead of over 12 years. There are two ways to learn: understanding and experience. Dagny believes the world will learn by understanding. That is why she left the Valley. Galt believes the world will only learn by experience, however, this speech is him giving everyone one last opportunity to learn by understanding. Throughout the Bible, God always approached people through understanding first. When they chose not to think, He had them learn the hard way...by experience.
3-D – Everyone knows the physical realm is unfulfilling. Everyone wants to get to the spiritual realm. The progression is physical to spiritual through the process of thinking. Thinking is the key. Eastern philosophy tries to attain the spiritual by avoiding thinking; they skip over it and say things are unexplainable. This chapter proves once and for all the importance of thinking in order to attain the spiritual.
Proof – That’s why the speech is so long…it is a proof that thinking is essential to moving from a physical focus (where emotions are causeless, i.e., emotions are the CAUSE) to a spiritual focus (where emotions are the EFFECT). Ayn wanted the speech to be able to defend itself for eternity, so with each major section she had to include all the other options and why they are contradictory in order to prove the truth. The speech can be outlined in the following way:
Issue: The world got their morals backwards
Solution: Get morals right by choosing to think, specifically realize that "existence exists"
-Causes of Solution: Reason, Purpose, Self-Esteem
-Method of Solution: Virtues
-Measures of Solution: Suffering vs. Joy
Current Failed Solution: Undercut thinking
John Galt gives his background to establish credibility
Your Future With Current Solution: spiritual abuses (mystics) and physical abuses (government).
Choice: Choose between thinking and not thinking
Blank-out – This is the ultimate negative response people can have to their only moral responsibility (to think). Now that you are aware of it, you’ll be shocked at the lengths people will go to in order not to think. What amazes me is the number of religion experts who won’t address tough questions logically. They just blank out. They feel “what they don’t know won’t hurt them”. When they say, “it takes faith”, they are telling you not to think and just feel. It’s rare to find people pursuing the truth and trying to understand it. "Thinking is man’s only basic virtue, from which all others proceed. And his basic vice, the source of all his evils, is that nameless act which you all practice, but struggle never to admit: the act of blanking out, the willful suspension of one’s consciousness, the refusal to think." We need to make a commitment to pursue the truth and try to understand for ourselves what is the truth. "An inventor is a man who asks ‘Why?’ of the universe and lets nothing stand between the answer and the mind." I'm always amazed at people who let others think for them. "There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil. But the man in the middle is the knave who blanks out the truth in order to pretend that no choice or values exist. In any compromise between food and poison, it is only death that can win. In any compromise between good and evil, it is only evil that can profit. Every form of causeless self-doubt, every feeling of inferiority and secret unworthiness is, in fact, man’s hidden dread of his inability to deal with existence." Blanking out doesn’t make the problem go away. The way to solve problems is to think (recognize patterns and understand) and create knowledge that didn’t exist before.
Press - There are so many examples, but the press is my favorite. People seem to think that they are getting all the facts when they really get 95% opinion. Another fallacy is that if it isn't reported than it must not be news or must not be worth knowing. This is another example of "blanking-out" and letting someone else think for you. "At the crossroads of the choice between ‘I know’ and ‘They say,’ he chose the authority of others, he chose to submit rather than to understand, to believe rather than to think. From then on, afraid to think, he is left at the mercy of unidentified feelings. As there can be no causeless wealth, so there can be no causeless love or any sort of causeless emotion. Observe that he does not expect you to feel a causeless fear."
God - This has led me to modeling God. It took four years to come up with a non-contradictory model for God: God is Right and Just. I found every religion believes this model; they are just contradictory in their explanation. However, I found the Bible completely meshes with this model and the tools for determining truth. I've been working on this model for 14 years and it has gotten tighter every year. Atlas Shrugged actually agrees with the Bible.
Table of Contents