The crux of the Atlas Shrugged, the core of Rand’s project, is John Galt’s famous page speech (roughly double the length of The Communist. John Galt is a character in Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged (). Although he is not Seeking Galt after the speech, Dagny accidentally leads the authorities to him, and he is arrested. She and the strikers rescue Galt as the government. The page radio speech by John Galt from Ayn Rand’s ‘Atlas Shrugged’ [] compressed into words.

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The speech resolves the philosophical mystery of the plot: Why are the most productive people leaving their work and disappearing from society? As such, shfugged provides a comprehensive introduction to Ayn Rand ‘s philosophy, though one that is tailored to the events and characters of the novel. In later works, Rand presented specific elements of her philosophy in nonfiction terms. Ayn Rand regarded Galt’s speech as the shortest summary of her philosophy, which she called Objectivism. I thought, with a feeling of dread, that it would take at least three months.

Well, it took two years. Her speec challenge was not the speech’s philosophical content but its literary requirements. In a novel, she could not present her ideas in the form of a dry, systematic treatise; she had to state them dramatically, in the form of a revolutionary leader’s manifesto and challenge to a corrupt society.

After writing quite a few pages, I had to stop because I knew it was absolutely wrong. That is the logical order in non-fiction, but you can’t do it in fiction. The speech had to joohn by presenting the morality, which is the real theme of the book, and where Galt would have to begin his explanation to the world.

So I had to rewrite shrgged whole thing. Though the speech is written as a single, continuous presentation, shrugge can be divided into three sections.

Shruggec the first, Galt presents the moral code of reason and individualism The Morality of Life that the producers embrace. In the second, he explains and attacks the opposite moral code of mysticism, sacrifice, and collectivism The Morality of Deathshowing how it has always been used to exploit the producers.

In the third section, he explains the strategy of the strike — the withdrawal of “the sanction of the victim” — and urges his listeners to reexamine their moral assumptions. This section also presents the political ideals that follow from the moral code of rational individualism. I have prepared this Outline as an aid to those who wish to understand the speech, whether as a statement of Rand’s philosophical ideas or as a literary element in her novel.

The Outline breaks the three sections into subsections where each main point that Galt makes is stated in essential terms and in such a way as to indicate the logical flow spdech his speech. Reading this Outline is no substitute for reading the speech itself, but it will help you keep the full context in mind as you study each element. To connect this Outline with the text of the speech, I shruggec begun each subsection of the Outline with the opening words, in italics, of the first paragraph it relates to in the text.

Page numbers could not be used for this purpose since they vary among the many printings of these books. I wish to thank Jason Raibley for his invaluable assistance in the preparation and editing of this Outline.

Did you enjoy this article? If so, please consider making a donation. Our digital channels garner over 1 million views per year. Your contribution will help us to achieve and maintain this impact. Sign up for our email newsletter to receive the most recent news and articles directly to your inbox. Outline of John Galt’s Speech. Details June 29, David Kelley.


The Altas of Life The moral crisis “You have heard it said that this is an age of moral crisis. This is an age of moral crisis, brought about by the doctrine of sacrifice.

John Galt’s Speech from Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged”

Galt has led a strike to protest that doctrine and to remove the men of justice, independence, reason, wealth, and self-esteem — the men of the mind. The crisis demands the discovery of a proper morality.

The standard and purpose of morality “You have heard no concepts of morality but the mystical or the social. The essence of previous moral codes is to demand that you surrender your mind and your life to the whims of God or society. The mind is man’s basic means of survival. Because thinking is volitional, man needs a conscious code at,as values. For any living organism, its life is its fundamental value, since existence or non-existence is its fundamental alternative.

To maintain snrugged life, atoas organism must act in accordance with its means of survival. For man, this means living by the exercise of his mind. Man’s life — the life of man qua rational being — is the proper standard of value. Your own life — and happiness as its emotional concomitant — is the purpose of morality.

You can choose not to live, you can choose not to think, but you cannot avoid the consequences of such choices — except by trying to make others pay for your default. The nature of reason “We, the men of the mind, are now on strike against you All thinking rests on the axioms that reality exists, that we are aware of it, and that things are what they are. Reason is the faculty that integrates the material provided by man’s senses, in accordance with logic. The individual must initiate and direct his own capacity for reason and act on the basis of his own rational judgment.

A speecg process is thus a moral process. Our free will consists in the choice to think or not to think. Thinking is the basic moral virtue; evasion is the basic vice.

Atlas Shrugged – The John Galt Speech – Read or Skipped? Showing of

The content of a rational moral code “My morality, the morality of reason The morality of reason follows from the axiom that existence exists and the choice to live. Reason, purpose, and self-esteem are cardinal values. These values imply and require the virtues of rationality, independence, integrity, honesty, justice, galh, and pride.

But virtue is not its own reward. Life is the reward of virtue, and happiness is the goal and the reward of life. Pleasure and pain, joy and suffering, are the emotional forms in which we experience values. But emotions are governed by what we choose to value. True happiness is a state of non-contradictory joy, and is thus possible only to those who pursue rational values. There are no conflicts of interest among rational men.

The proper means of interaction with others is trade. The initiation of physical force is evil; force and mind are opposites. Force may be used only in retaliation and only against those who start its use. The Morality of Death Transition “In the name of all the producers who had kept you alive The producers are motivated by positive values — life, happiness, achievement. Their exploiters are motivated by negatives — death, misery, destruction. Opposed to the Morality of Life is the Morality of Death, which demands that man atone for the guilt of being human by sacrificing his mind, values, and happiness.


That which is outside the possibility of choice is outside the province of morality. In holding that man is innately evil, the Doctrine of Original Sin negates morality, nature, justice, and reason.

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The doctrine says that man is evil because shruged possesses reason, knowledge, morality, productiveness, creativity, the capacity for sexual pleasure, and the capacity for joy — all the cardinal values of his existence. The dichotomy holds that shrugges and body have incompatible natures, needs, and aims, and that the good of the soul requires the negation of the body.

The dichotomy presupposes the negation of reason, leaving man to choose between guidance by physical instincts or by mystic emotions.

The mystics of spirit substitute revelation for reason; they demand that the individual surrender his mind and atlsa to the will of God. The mystics of muscle substitute reflexes for reason; they demand that the individual surrender his mind and self-interest to the will of Society.

Both varieties of mystics preach the same moral doctrine: The Doctrine of Sacrifice “Whoever is now within reach of my voice Sacrifice is the surrender of value — of a higher value to a lower one, or of the good to the evil.

The code is impossible to practice because it would lead to death, and thus moral perfection is impossible to man. The Doctrine of Sacrifice cannot provide man with an interest in being good. Since man is in fact an indivisible unity of matter and consciousness, the sacrifice of “merely” material values necessarily means the sacrifice of spiritual ones. The self is the mind, and the most selfish act is the exercise of one’s independent judgment. In attacking selfishness, the Doctrine of Sacrifice seeks to make you surrender your mind.

The Doctrine of Sacrifice commands that you act for the good of others but provides no standard of the good. And it requires only that you intend to benefit others, not that you succeed. The Doctrine of Sacrifice makes you the servant and others your masters –and adds insult to injury atlss saying you should find happiness through sacrifice.

Sacrifice and the unearned “You who have no standard of self-esteem If you must act to benefit others, why is it acceptable for others to accept such benefits? Because they did not earn them.

At its core, the Doctrine of Sacrifice is a doctrine that seeks the unearned. Lack of value gives one a claim upon those who possess value. The doctrine elevates failure, weakness, need, incompetence, suffering, vice, and irrationality and regards them as moral claims on success, strength, wealth, ability, joy, virtue, and rationality.

On this inversion of values, one sacrifices morality and self-esteem, and becomes both victim and parasite, with no standard of how much sacrifice is enough. In the spiritual realm, the Doctrine of the Unearned commands unconditional love, love based on need rather than value, love for those who do not deserve it — because they do not deserve it. Mysticism as the basis for the unearned “The mystics of both schools, who preach the creed of sacrifice The mystics exploit your fear of relying on your mind by positing a higher form of knowledge: They claim to perceive a reality exempt from the law of identity, in order to make their wishes — their whims — absolutes.

There is no honest revolt against reason.

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