Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Next Meeting: September 29th from 6:00pm - 7:30

In this next meeting we will be covering: Pages 127 - 185
*Part 1: Chapter 6: The Non-Commercial
*Part 1: Chapter 7: The Exploiters and the Exploited (A)

As usual we will be meeting in the Arts Building room AR298
Feel free to e-mail me any questions or ideas at

Here are some discussion questions we will be using:

Chapter 6: The Non-Commercial

Section 1 (127-57) * What is the Equalization of Opportunity Bill? What is its analog in today's laws? Why is it so unjust? Why can't Rearden take it seriously? (130)

* What kind of philosophy does Dr. Prichett espouse? How do his comments about the nature of man and about standards relate to his support for the Equalization of Opportunity Bill? (131-3)

* Why is Dagny disappointed with Hank's response to her at the party? Why does he respond the way that he does? (137-8, 149-51)

* Why is Rearden so angry at the presence of Bertram Scudder? Why does Lillian respond the way that she does to his anger? Why did she invite Scudder? (139)

* Why does Rearden actively hate Francisco D'Anconia, whereas he cannot think much about Bertram Scudder? (140)

* How does Francisco explain the failure of the San Sebastián Mines to Jim? What kind of moral principles did Francisco adhere to in building the mine? (143)

* How does Hank Rearden reveal his view of the world in his conversation with Francisco D'Anconia? What is the difference in their basic outlooks? Why does Francisco warn Hank against the sin of forgiveness? (145-9)

* Why does Dagny want the bracelet of Readen Metal from Lillian? Why does Lillian trade it with her? Why does Hank respond the way that he does? (155-7)

Section 2 (157-61)

* What is Lillian's view of sex? Why does it torture Hank? Is he right or wrong to accept that torture? (158-60)

* Why does Hank now find it impossible to have sex with Lillian? What has changed for him? (160)

General: * What is the significance of the title of this chapter?

Chapter Seven: The Exploiters and the Exploited (A)

Section 1: 162-72
* How are the interests of all the producers in harmony, even though competitors? Why do they help each other? (163, 165-6, 168-9)

Section 2: 172-8
* What do Jim Taggart and Dagny Taggart focus on in their car ride to the New York Business Council? What does that tell us about their ideas and values? (172-5)

* Why does Dagny refuse to debate the question "Is Rearden Metal a lethal product of greed?" )175)

Section 3: 178-82
* What is the fundamental difference in manner between Hank Rearden and Dr. Potter of the State Science Institute? How is Dr. Potter like James Taggart? Why does Rearden refuse to sell Rearden Metal? (178-82)

Section 4: 182-5
* Why is the State Science Institute's statement on Rearden Metal so unjust? If Rearden Metal is good, why can't the statement be refuted? (183-5)

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