Dagny, Rearden, Galt, and the other thinkers live in accordance with their rational nature. Wesley Mouch, James Taggart, Floyd Ferris, and the other villains in the story seek survival by means of force, which is an animal's method, not a man's. Consequently, the villains have no more chance to succeed than a bird that refuses to use its wings. The looters can — and, at times in real life, do — destroy the creators. But having abandoned their survival instrument, they lack all chance of achieving flourishing, joyous lives. Once they ruin the producers, they are left to starve. Only the men of the mind can attain prosperity.In order to fully understand Ayn Rand's theme in Atlas Shrugged, we must contrast it with its opposites. Objectivism's claim that the mind is the fundamental means by which man survives
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