Disillusioned about Social Justice and Love
Article by Allan Lee
Rand’s fallacy here is to put the entire onus on altruism, rather than on Toohey’s underhanded effort to induce Katie’s guilt for wanting satisfaction from her job. When Katie confesses to her uncle that she feels guilty for wanting egotistical credit for doing good without honest satisfaction in her clients’ successes her “selfishness” seems common and ignoble, not what Rand would consider true “selfishness” as joy in one’s work. But wanting credit is one thing; not being gratified by clients’ successes is another latter being inconsistent with Katie’s original benevolence. One of my students defended Katie for her genuine kindheartedness. Rand contrives Katie’s unaccountable fall into mean-spiritedness in order to blame altruism for thwarting her aspiration to true self-fulfillment. The implication is that one cannot feel real happiness in helping others. Thomas Sabo Bracelets However, Rand is careless enough to mention a co-worker of Katie’s who genuinely loves helping the clients and thus receivesAnother student did not take Rand’s bait, but realized, after wrestling with his own personal satisfaction in altruism, that it is compatible with self-interest. Katie’s brightest moment brings this idea out when she challenges Toohey’s advice “to be willing to suffer, to be cruel, to be dishonest, to be unclean anything to kill the most stubborn of roots, the ego only then will you know the kind of happiness I spoke about, and the gates of spiritual grandeur will fall open before you.” Her response is, “But, Uncle Ellsworth.When the gates fall open, who is it that’s going to enter”. Caught momentarily off guard, but quick to regain his supremacy, he brushes off her astute question by belittling the crudeness of logic, which he twists to make selflessness, thus altruism, seem evil. The other great villain who recognizes the good but deliberately chooses evil is Gail Wynand, the ruthless newspaper tycoon, who has one major difference with Toohey. The latter operates out of an underlying sense of inferiority, despite his great competence in his will to power, guaranteeing his eternal malice against other high achievers. In contrast, Wynand operates out of an inherent sense of superiority in his competence, but he is cynically contemptuous of the popular opinions that he perversely caters to in his tabloid, such as the column that Toohey writes for him, extolling the masses. Each despises the other: Toohey, for Wynand’s competence as a rival power broker, and Wynand, for Toohey’s cunning cultivation of others’ mediocrity and self-sacrifice. Disillusioned about social justice and love, Wynand deliberately destroys people of integrity to confirm his jaundiced view.
Consequently, although our view of Toohey worsens as we become acquainted with him; our view of Wynand begins to improve as we learn about his history and his relations with Dominique and Roark. As a tough, disadvantaged youth, he fights a gang single-handed and becomes their leader. He is the alpha male, a true aristocrat whom circumstances misplaced in the underclass, but who aspired for the high life of respectable achievement. Like Roark, he works his way up, in journalism in his case, by educating himself and eventually buying his own newspaper. Although “self-made,” he becomes cynical through others’ callousness and injustice.
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