Dehumanization in Atlas Shrugged

Rand pretty clearly indicates that the nonproductive are not actually human. Towards the end of the book the female protagonist, Dagny Taggart, is attempting to save John Galt from a government facility. She lies to a guard and says she is there on orders from a high-ranking  government official. The guard says he has no way of knowing this for sure and wants to call the chief. Dagny won’t let him, pulls out a gun, and says he must decide whether or not to let her through. He still can’t decide and so:

“Calmly and impersonally, she [Dagny Taggart], who would have hesitated to fire at an animal, pulled the trigger and fired straight at the heart of a man who had wanted to exist without the responsibility of consciousness.”

Rand also pretty consistently indicates that John Galt (the male protagonist)  is not superhuman, he’s just how human beings could be. (It’s an extremely long book, so I haven’t found the reference yet, but she mentions this at least twice and probably more like 3 or 4 times).

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One thought on “Dehumanization in Atlas Shrugged

  1. Pingback: I used to like Ayn Rand « Faith and Public Policy

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