- 页码：第1页 2015-02-20 14:29:34
Atlas ShruggedFrancisco could do anything he undertook, he could do it better than anyone else, and he did it without effort. There was no boasting in his manner and consciousness, no thought of comparison. His attitude was not: “I can do it better than you,” but simply: “I can do it.” What he meant by doing was doing superlatively.“I don’t know what sort of motto the d’Anconias have on their family crest,” Mrs. Taggart said once, “but I’m sure than Francisco will change it to ‘What for?’” It was the first question he asked about any activity proposed to him—and nothing would make him act, if he found no valid answer. He flew though the days of his summer month like a rocket, but if one stopped him in mid-flight, he could always name the purpose of his every random moment. Two things were impossible to him: to stand still or to move aimlessly.“Let’s find out” was the motive he gave to Dagny and Eddie for anything he undertook, or “Let’s make it.” These were his only forms of enjoyment.Francisco smiled; it was a smile of radiant mockery. Watching them, Dagny thought suddenly of the difference between Francisco and her brother Jim. Both of them smiled derisively. But Francisco seemed to laugh at things because he saw something much greater. Jim laughed as if he wanted to let nothing remain great.———She was astonished again, when she saw Dagny dressed for he party. It was the first feminine dress she had ever worn—a gown of white chiffon with a huge skirt that floated like a cloud. Mrs. Taggart had expected her to look like a preposterous contrast. Dagny looked like a beauty. She seemed both older and more radiantly innocent than usual; standing in front of a mirror, she held her head as Nat Taggart’s wife would have held it.“Dagny,” Mrs. Taggart said gently, reproachfully, “do you see how beautiful you can be when you want to?”“Yes,” said Dagny, without any astonishment.———Nobody ever wondered whether Francisco d’Anconia was good-looking or not; it seemed irrelevant; when he entered a room, it was impossible to look at anyone else. His tall, slender figure had an air of distinction, too authentic to be modern, and he moved as if he had a cape floating behind him in the wind. People explained him by saying that he had the vitality of a healthy animal, but they knew dimly that that was not correct. He had the vitality of a healthy human being, a thing so rare that no one could identify it. He had the power of certainty.She glanced at Rearden. He stood against the wall, unaware of the crowds, indifferent to admiration. He was watching the performance of track and train with an expert’s intensity of professional interest; his bearing suggested that he would kick aside, as irrelevant, any thought such as “They like it,” when the thought ringing in his mind was “it works!”———She sat, looking out, the blue fur half-slipping off her naked arms and shoulders. He watched her though narrowed eyes, with the satisfaction of a man studying his own workmanship.“I like giving things to you,” he said, “because you don’t need them.”———“Don’t get up—stay there—it’s so obvious that you’ve been waiting for me that I want to look at it longer.”He said it, from the doorway of her apartment, seeing her stretched in an armchair, seeing the eager little jolt that threw her shoulders forward as she was about to rise; he was smiling.“Do you still need proof that I’m always waiting for you?” she asked, leaning obediently back in her chair, her voice was neither tender nor pleading, but bright and mocking.“Dagny, why is it that most women would never admit that, but you do?”“Because they’re never sure that they ought to be wanted. I am.”“I do admire self-confidence.”“Self-confidence was only part of what I said, Hank.”“What’s the whole?”“Confidence of my value—and yours.” He glanced at her as if catching the spark of a sudden thought, and she laughed adding, “I wouldn’t be sure of holding a man like Orren Boyle, for instance. He wouldn’t want me at all. You would.”“Are you saying,” he asked slowly, “that I rose in your estimation when you found that I wanted you?”“Of course.”“That’s not the reaction of most people of being wanted.”“It isn’t.”“Most people feel that they rise in their own eyes, if others want them.”“I feel that others live up to me, if they want me. And that is the way you feel, too, Hank, about yourself—whether you admit it or not.”———She asked him what position he held at the Utah Institute of Technology. “Night watchman,” he answered. “What?” she gasped. “Night watchman,” he repeated politely, as if she had not caught the words, as if there were no cause for astonishment.Under her questioning, he explained that he did not like any of the scientific foundations left in existence, that he would have liked a job in the research laboratory of some big industrial concern—“But which one of them can afford to undertake any long-range work nowadays, and why should they?”—so when the Utah Institute of Technology was closed for lack of funds, he had remained there as night watchman and sole inhabitant of the place; the salary was sufficient to pay for his needs—and the Institute’s laboratory was there, intact, for his own private, undisturbed use.“So you’re doing research work of your own?”“That’s right.”“For what purpose?”“For my own pleasure.”“What do you intend to do, if you discover something of scientific importance or commercial value? Do you intend to put it to some public use?”“I don’t know. I don’t think so.”“Haven’t you any desire to be of service to humanity?”“I don’t talk that kind of language, Miss Taggart. I don’t think you do, either.”She laughed. “I think we’ll get along together, you and I.”“We will.”When she had told him the story of the motor, when he had studied the manuscript, he made no comment, but merely said that he would take the job on any terms she named.She asked him to choose his own terms. She protested, in astonishment, against the low monthly salary he quoted. “Miss Taggart,” he said, “if there’s anything that I won’t take, it’s something for nothing. I don’t know how long you might have to pay me, or whether you’ll get anything at all in return. I’ll gamble on my own mind. I won’t let anybody else do it. I don’t collect for an intention. But I sure do intend to collect for goods delivered. If I succeed, that’s when I’ll skin you alive, because what I want then is a percentage, and it’s going to be high, but it’s going to be worth your while.”When he named the percentage he wanted, she laughed. “That is skinning me alive and it will be worth my while. Okay.”———“Why don’t you wish to take any credit for it, James? That’s out of character and out of the policy at which you’re such an expert. In an age when men exist, not by right, but by favour, one does not reject a grateful person, one tries to trap into gratitude as many people as possible. Don’t you want to have me as one of your men under obligation?”———Standing unnoticed on the edge of the group, Rearden heard a woman, who had large diamond earrings and a flabby, nervous face, ask tensely, “Señor d’Anconia, what do you think is going to happen to the world?”“Just exactly what it deserves.”“Oh, how cruel!”“Don’t you believe in the operation of the moral law, madame?” Francisco asked gravely. “I do.”Rearden heard Bertram Scudder, outside the group, say to a girl who made some sound of indignation, “Don’t let him disturb you. You know, money is the root of all evil—and he’s the typical product of money.”Rearden did not think that Francisco could have heard it, but he saw Francisco turning to them with a gravely courteous smile.“So you think that money is the root of all evil?” said Francisco d’Anconia. “Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can’t exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who which to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value. Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears, or of the looters, who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men who produce. Is this what you consider evil?“When you accept money in payment for your effort, you do so only on the conviction that you will exchange it for the product of the effort of others. It is not the moochers or the looters who give value to money. Not an ocean of tears nor all the guns in the world can transform those pieces of paper in your wallet into the bread you will need to survive tomorrow. Those pieces of paper, which should have been gold, are a token of honour—your claim upon the energy of the men who produce. Your wallet is your statement of hope that somewhere in the world around you there are men who will not default on that moral principle which is the root of money. Is this what you consider evil?“Have you ever looked for the root of production? Take a look at an electric generator and dare tell yourself that it was created by the muscular effort of unthinking brutes. Try to grow a seed out of wheat without the knowledge left to you by men who had to discover it for the first time. Try to obtain your food by means of nothing but physical motions—and you’ll learn that man’s mind is the root of all the goods produced and of all the wealth that has ever existed on earth.“But you say that money is made by the strong at the expense of the weak? What strength do you mean? It is not the strength of guns or muscles. Wealth is the product of man’s capacity to think. Then is money made by the man who invents a motor at the expense of those who did not invent it? Is money made by the intelligent at the expense of the fools? By the able at the expense of the fools? By the able at the expense of the fools? By the ambitious at the expense of the lazy? Money is made—before it can be looted or mooched—made by the effort of every honest man, each to the extent of his ability. An honest man is one who knows that he can’t consume more than he has produced.“But money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver. It will give you the means for the satisfaction of your desires, but it will not provide you with desires. Money is the scourge of the men who attempt to reverse the law of causality—the men who seek to replace the mind by seizing the products of the mind.“Money will not purchase happiness for the man who has no concept of what he wants; money will not give him a code of values, if he’s evaded the knowledge of what to value, and it will not provide him with a purpose, if he’s evaded the choice of what to seek. Money will not buy intelligence for the fool, or admiration for the coward, or respect for the incompetent. The man who attempts to purchase the brains of his superiors to serve him, with his money replacing his judgment, ends up by becoming the victim of his inferiors. The men of intelligence desert him, but the cheats and the frauds come flocking to him, drawn by a law which he has not discovered: that no man may be smaller than his money. Is this the reason why you call it evil?“Only the man who does not need it, is fit to inherit wealth—the man who would make his own fortune no matter where he started. If an heir is equal to his money, it serves him; if not, it destroys him. But you look on and you cry that money corrupted him. Did it? Or did he corrupt his money? Do not envy a worthless heir; his wealth is not yours and you would have done no better with it. Do not think that it should have been distributed among you; loading the world with fifty parasites instead of one, would not bring back the dead virtue which was the fortune. Money is a living power that dies without its root. Money will not serve the mind that cannot match it. Is this the reason why you call it evil?“Or did you say it’s the love of money that’s the root of all evil? To love a thing is to know and love its nature. To love money is to know and love the fact that money is the creation of the best power within you, and your passkey to trade your effort for the effort of the best among men. It’s the person who would sell his soul for a nickel, who is loudest in proclaiming his hatred of money—and he has good reason to hate it. The lovers of money are willing to work for it. They know they are able to deserve it.“Let me give you a tip on a clue to men’s characters: the men who damns money has obtained it dishonourably; the man who respects it has earned it.“Run for your life from any man who tells you that money is evil. That sentence is the leper’s bell of an approaching looter. So long as men live together on earth and need means to deal with one another—their only substitute, if they abandon money, is the muzzle of a gun.“When you have made evil the means of survival, do not expect men to remain good. Do not expect them to stay moral and lose their lives for the purpose of becoming the fodder of the immoral. Do not expect them to produce, when production is punished and looting rewarded. Do not ask, ‘Who is destroying the world?’ You are.“You stand in the midst of the greatest achievements of greatest productive civilisation and you wonder why it’s crumbling around you, while you’re damning its life-blood—money. You look upon money as the savages did before you, and you wonder why the jungle is creeping back to the edge of your cities. Throughout men’s history, money was always seized by looters of one brand or another, whose names changed, but whose method remained the same: to seize wealth by force and to keep the producers bound, demeaned, defamed, deprived of honour.“If you ask me to name the proudest distinction of Americans, I would choose—because it contains all the others—the fact that they were the people who created the phrase ‘to make money.’ No other language or nation had ever used these words before; men had always thought of wealth as a static quantity—to be seized, begged, inherited, shared, looted or obtained as a favour. Americans were the first to understand that wealth has to be created.———“What do you mean?” he asked softly.“Nothing…” Then she raised her head and said firmly “Hank, I knew you were married. I knew what I was doing. I chose to do it. There’s nothing that you owe me, no duty that you have to consider.”He shook his head slowly, in protest.“Hank, I want nothing from you except what you wish to give me. Do you remember that you called me a trader once? I want you to come to me seeking nothing but our own enjoyment. So long as you wish to remain married, whatever your reason, I have no right to resent it. My way of trading is to know that the joy you give me is paid for by the joy you get from me—not by your suffering or mine. I don’t accept sacrifices and I don't make them. If you asked me for more than you meant to me, I would refuse. If you asked me to give up the railroad, I’d leave you. If ever the measure of one has to be bought by the pain of the other, there better be no trade at all. A trade by which one gains and the other loses is a fraud. You don’t do it in business, Hank. Don’t do it in your own life.”She tore herself away from him with a brusque, twisting movement, she stood up, but she stood looking down at him with a faint smile, and said softly, “Do you know your only real guilt? With the greatest capacity for it, you’ve never learned to enjoy yourself. You’ve always rejected your own pleasure too easily. You’ve been wiling to bear too much.”———“Is that his excuse for himself? Is that what he’s made you feel?”“No. Oh, no! That’s the feeling I lose when I speak to him. The strange thing is what he does make me feel.”“What?”“Hope.”She nodded, in helpless wonder, knowing that she had felt it, too.“I don’t know why,” he said. “But I look at people and they seem to be made of nothing but pain. He’s not. You’re not. That terrible hopelessness that’s all around us, I lose it only in his presence. And here. Nowhere else.”———“Mr. Rearden,” said Francisco, his voice solemnly calm, “if you saw Atlas, the giant who holds the world on his shoulders, if you saw that he stood, blood running down his chest, his knees buckling, his arms trembling but still trying to hold the world aloft with the last of his strength, and the greater his effort the heavier the world bore down on his shoulders—what would you tell him to do?”“I… don’t know. What… could he do? What would you tell him?”“To shrug.”———He had heard her studied reminders of his guilt on every evening he had spent at home in the past three months. But guilt had been the one emotion he had found himself unable to feel. The punishment she had wanted to inflict on him was the torture of shame; what she had inflicted was the torture of boredom.An issue of guilt, he thought, had to rest on his own acceptance of the code of justice that pronounced him guilty. He did not accept it; he never had. His virtues, all the virtues she needed to achieve his punishment, came from another code and lived by another standard. He felt no guilt, no shame, no regret, no dishonour. He felt no concern for any verdict she chose to pass upon him: he had lost respect for her judgment long ago. And the sole chain still holding him was only a las remnant of pity.———“I heard it,” he answered quietly. “I don’t know what you’re trying to accomplish.”“What a question!” said his mother, “Isn’t that just like a man? She’s trying to save you from going to jail—that’s what she’s trying to accomplish.”That could be true, he thought; perhaps, by the reasoning of some crude, childish cowardice, the motive of their malice was a desire to protect him, to break him down into the safety of a compromise.———Francisco’s voice snapped, “Come in!” It had a brusque, absent-minded sound.Rearden opened the door and stopped on the threshold. One of the hotel’s costliest satin-shaded lamps stood in the middle of the floor, throwing a circle of light on wide sheets of drafting paper. Francisco d’Anconia, in shirt sleeves, a strand of hair hanging down over his face, lay stretched on the floor, on his stomach, propped up by his elbows, biting the end of a pencil in concentration upon some point of the intricate tracing before him. He did not look up, he seemed to have forgotten the knock. Rearden tried to distinguish the drawing: it looked like the section of a smelter. He stood watching in startled wonder; had he had the power to bring into reality his own image of Francisco d’Anconia, this was the picture he would have seen: the figure of a purposeful young worker intent upon a difficult task.———He was hearing his own voice saying her words—saying them to Dagny in the sun-striped bedroom of Ellis Wyatt’s house. He was seeing, in the nights behind him, Dagny’s face in those moments when, his body leaving hers, she lay still with a look of radiance that was more than a smile, a look of youth, of early morning, of gratitude to the fact of one’s own existence. And he was seeing Lillian’s face, as he had seen it in bed beside him, a lifeless face with evasive eyes, with some feeble sneer on its lips and the look of sharing some smutty guilt. He saw who was the accuser and who the accused—he saw the obscenity of letting impotence hold itself as virtue and damn the power of living as a sin—he saw, with the clarity of direct perception, in the shock of a single instant, the terrible ugliness of that which had once been his own belief.It was only an instant, a conviction without words, a knowledge grasped as a feeling, left unsealed by his mind. The shock brought him back to the sight of Lillian and to the sound of her words. She appeared to him suddenly as some inconsequential presence that had to be dealt with at the moment.———James Taggart smiled.“I mean that there is no way to disarm any man,” said Dr. Ferris, “except through guilt. Through that which he himself has accepted as guilt. If a man has ever stolen a dime, you can impose on him the punishment intended for a bank robber and he will take it. He’ll bear any form of misery, he’ll feel that he deserves no better. If there’s not enough guilt in the world, we must create it. If we teach a man that it’s evil to look at spring flowers and he believes us and then does it—we’ll be able to do whatever we please with him. He won’t defend himself. He won’t feel he’s worth it. He won’t fight. But save us from the man who lives up to his own standards. Save us from the man of clean conscience. He’s the man who’ll beat us.”———“Well, we got what we asked for. By the time we saw what it was that we’d asked for, it was too late. We were trapped, with no place to go. The best men among us left the factory in the first week of the plan. We lost our best engineers, superintendents, foremen and highest-skilled workers. A man of self-respect doesn’t turn into a milch cow for anybody. Some able fellows tried to stick it out, but they couldn’t take it for long. We kept losing our men, they kept escaping from the factory like from a pest-hole—till we had nothing left except the men of need, but none of the men of ability.”“This is a crucial moment in the history of mankind!” Gerald Starnes yelled through the noise. “Remember that none of us may now leave this place, for each of us belongs to all the others by the moral law which we all accept!” “I don’t,” said one man and stood up. He was one of the young engineers. Nobody knew much about him. He’d always kept mostly by himself. When he stood up, we suddenly turned dead-still. It was the way he held his head. He was tall and slim—and I remember thinking that any two of us could have broken his neck without trouble—but what we all felt was fear. He stood like a man who knew that he was right. “I will put an end to this, once and for all,” he said. His voice was clear and without any feeling. That was all he said and not noticing any of us. Nobody moved to stop him. Gerald Starnes cried suddenly after him, “How?” He turned and answered, “I will stop the motor of the world.” Then he walked out. We never saw him again.———Climbing down the ladder on the side of the engine, they saw a cluster of passengers gathered by the track and more figures emerging from the train to join them. By some special instinct of their own, the men who had sat waiting knew that someone had taken charge, someone had assumed the responsibility and it was now safe to show signs of life.They all looked at her with an air of inquiring expectation, as she approached. The natural pallor of the moonlight seemed to dissolve the differences of their faces and to stress the quality they all had in common: a look of cautious appraisal, part fear, part plea, part impertinence held in abeyance.———As they drove on along the edge of the lake, she asked, “You’ve mapped this route deliberately, haven’t you? You’re showing me all the men whom”—stopped, feeling inexplicably reluctant to say it, and said, instead—“whom I have lost?”“I’m showing you all them men whom I have taken away from you,” he answered firmly.This was the root, she thought, of the gutlessness of his face: he had guessed and named the words she had wanted to spare him, he had rejected a good will that was not based on his values—and in proud certainty of being right, he had made a boast of that which she had intended as an accusation.———“Well, after all, I’m your brother!”“What is that supposed to mean?”“One’s supposed to have some sort of feeling for one’s brother.”“Do you?”Philip’s mouth swelled petulantly; he did not answer; he waited; Rearden let him wait. Philip muttered, “You’re supposed… at least… to have some consideration for my feelings… but you haven’t.”“Have you for mine?”“Yours? Your feelings?” It was not malice in Philip’s voice, but worse: it was a genuine, indignant astonishment. “You haven’t any feelings. You’ve never felt anything at all. You’ve never suffered!”———“How do you expect me to produce after I go bankrupt?”“You won’t go bankrupt. You’ll always produce,” said Dr. Ferris indifferently, neither in praise nor in blame, merely in the tone of stating a fact of nature, as he would have said to another man: You’ll always be a bum. “You can’t help it. It’s in your blood. Or, to be more scientific: you’re conditioned that way.”———The attendants of a hospital in Illinois showed no astonishment when a man was brought in, beaten up by his elder brother, who had supported him all his life: the younger man had screamed at the elder, accusing him of selfishness and greed—just as the attendants of a hospital in New York City showed no astonishment at the case of a woman who came in with a fractured jaw: she had been slapped in the face by a total stranger, who had heard her ordering her five-year-old son to give his best toy to the children of neighbours.———“No!” cried Taggart suddenly, glancing at Galt and leaping forward. “No! I won’t let him get away with it!” He fell down on his knees, groping frantically to find the aluminium cylinder of the vibrator. “I’ll fix it! I’ll work it myself! We’ve got to go on! We’ve got to break him!”“Take it easy, Jim,” said Ferris uneasily, jerking him up to his feet.“Hadn’t we… hadn’t we better lay off for the night?” said Mouch pleadingly; he was looking at the door through which the mechanic had escaped, his glance part-envy, part-terror.“No!” cried Taggart.“Jim, hasn’t he had enough? Don’t forget, we have to be careful.”“No! He hasn’t had enough! He hasn’t even screamed yet!”“Jim!” cried Mouch suddenly, terrified by something in Taggart’s face. “We can’t afford to kill him! You know it!”“I don’t care! I want to break him! I want to hear him scream! I want—”------I have a theory. Of the ones who feel threatened and get desperate defensive by reading the book, are among those who created little value and hate the ones who do. It must be a real torture to go through such a book for them, feeling condemned and mocked by every single line.But there's also this:As a European, who has lived his whole life with access to "free at the point of delivery" health care, it has taken me a long time to understand why so many of my American friends find the idea of universal free health care a problem. However, I have come to a conclusion. It is my belief that the backlash against state organised health care, is actually the a demonstration of the dark side of the American dream. The fundamental mythos of American culture, is that no matter how poor or humble your birth, you can through grit, spunk and hard work become wealthy and prosperous. On the face of it, and from the perspective of a class divided Europe, that seems incredibly noble and empowering. The idea that there is that much social mobility, that anyone can forge their own destiny is a powerful part of the American psyche. When it happens, it is an incredible thing. Something Americans can feel proud of. However, there is a dark side to this mythos. Which is this... if anyone can win through hard work and effort, anyone who doesn't win, therefore deserves to be poor. At the core of all the anti-health care reforms is the single concept "why should I pay for the healthcare of those losers." It doesn't matter how it is presented, that is the core issue. Now, there is another problem. That is that social mobility in the USA isn't radically different from European countries. People born into poor families tend to remain poor. People born into rich families tend to stay rich. The only difference is that in Europe, we don't bankrupt people or let them die prematurely due to lack of medical care. It's very rare for me to make an answer anonymous, but in this case I think it's probably prudent. I can't imagine this is going to a popular answer.------What's wrong with creating value? Nothing wrong. What's wrong with despising those who don't? I don't know. Something's wrong. But I don't know what.I've long wanted an answer to this: what does society do with parasites? I don't believe abandoning them is the way to go. But dragging them along doesn't seem to be the right approach either. I can't test or experiment with this, when it comes to social development issues--how I wish I could--but I think education is the key. The right kind of education.It all comes down to one question: what is quality?
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