Part of the mystery at the heart of this story begins to become clear in this chapter. Francisco reveals that he hasn't degenerated into the worthless playboy Dagny had assumed. Instead, he's remained true to the code of production, freedom, and life — in opposition to the code of parasitism, dictatorship, and death — by withdrawing his mind and his products from the looters' world. He refuses to prop up their regime, and he urges Dagny to do the same. The looters depend on minds such as Dagny's. Francisco argues that the producers must not give the looters the benefit of their brains. Without the support of creative minds, the looters' regime will collapse because of its own irrationality. Only then will the rational men be free to rebuild the world. This is the battle that Francisco wages, and he urges Dagny to join.
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