“I’m after a man whom I want to destroy. He died many centuries ago, but until the last trace of him is wiped out of men’s minds, we will not have a decent world to live in.”
[Rearden:] “What man?”
Rearden looked at him blankly, not understanding.
“He was the man who robbed the rich and gave to the poor. Well, I’m the man who robs the poor and gives to the rich—or, to be exact, the man who robs the thieving poor and gives back to the productive rich.”
A substantial similarity between the actions of the government and the actions of Ragnar Danneskjöld is the use of brute force. The government used brute force, not reason or persuasion through even BAD philosophy, to seize property wrongfully in the name of economic justice. This was not the natural order, arrived at through the productive capacity of the human mind. Ragnar Danneskjöld‘s actions exercised brute force. His motives were an attempt to restore justice, a justice that is in keeping with the natural order, arrived at through the natural order.
There continues to be disagreement and haziness in the public debate about what should be, but one thing is clear. Both parties can’t be right.
In the theatrical version of Atlas Shrugged (Part 1 expected in 2011), the newspaper headlines in this picture [left] illustrate the outrage that the world experiences in response to the actions of “the pirate.” (see http://www.soulofatlas.com if you’re having trouble seeing the picture).