The Fountainhead :
Imagine power as a form of free flowing energy, a source found within every one and for each individual. Assume that to gain power, one has to tap this reservoir of immense proportions and relish upon the rich harvest to their hearts desires. Consequently, when there is such a dealing of concentrated materials, nature takes charge and similarly to other physical abstracts, rendering this package lethal, with the potential for untold destruction. In other words, power in the wrong hands or power without responsibility is the most hazardous weapon mankind can possess.
To say that power is a medium out of control and pertaining to something with incredible destruction is rather quite true. Assuming that everyone and anyone has the potential to be entitling to a share of this universal medium. Then it would be justifiable to claim that like any other unmoderated activities, raging ambition for power uncontrolled could wreak havoc and acts as a catalyst in the breakdown of a society. Similar to politics which deals with the static physical component of society, there must be a more formidable source of prevalence over the mystical realm of power. Therefore, this form of guidance can only exist from the mind, and as product of thought, thus the ideas within a philosophy.
The Ideals warp between the covers of, The Fountainhead, AYN Rand's philosophical revolution of Individualistic power, is her solution to society's request for a cure. She believe that the highest order of power stands above all alternatives as the power belonging to an individual and her mission is to prove the greatness of individualist power within the hero she christen the name Roark.
Rational thinkers do not make decisions in a give or take scenario, but instead they carefully distinguish between be extremes of the Black, the White, and the median Gray. The Fountainhead simulates the world as a witch’s cauldron, filled with many evils, among which only one true and worthy victor can prevail. AYN Rand explores the many facets of power within a structural community, relying upon her philosophy as a test bed and a believable standard.
In essence the portfolio of The Fountainhead, contains, four major fronts of power, each dominated by a type of relative character and characteristics. Manipulative Power entitle itself to be crown the champion of false promises and deceit. The Power of Green or power due to money is difficult to achieve and deserve honorable mentioning, yet it is a virtual power built upon wealth. Worst of all evil in man's search for power lies behind the mask of a man built on betrayal, resorting to self-deprivation for prestige and the selling of oneself to fame. The true power belongs to an individualist, who fights for himself, lives for himself and is Rand's answer to the plea of the people.
Subjecting to visualization, this could be interpreted in the form of a compass rose with its four extended arms representing each front of power, converging onto a center of origin. This origin is the birth place of all men. Attaining power is a rather lengthy, delicate process and is likely prone to failure. Life's goal is determining of one direction and that single path can represent an arm of the rose. Simply it may seem not too difficult to make the correct choice, yet many fail to do so.
Ironically, AYN Rand play the role of a mischief when she weave such a believable character to represent the cold, uncompassionate, and power hungry Manipulator. She fools the reader to believe that Ellsworth Toohey, a successful and very influential member of society, is a worthy man, fighting for the cause of the human kind. His generosity and sacrificial offerings are only cover-ups from his true nature, the impulsive liar who strive on manipulating others for power.
Physically Toohey is described as a weak man, apparent only through the power of his mind. According to Rand, a wholesome, powerful character has to unify both the mental and physical hemispheres. Toohey is a man that could have been, yet upon his own choosing, warp himself into something beyond rescue. Toohey is a very dangerous man. Dangerous because he knows the weakness in other men and uses this porthole as a point of attack. His aim, is the breakdown of another's soul and thus in this way he gain power over them. Toohey can be rank above the most tyrant Monarchs and the worst dictators in history. His ambition is not only to physically own people, but the possession of their very souls. In a confession to one of his victim he says. If you learn how to rule one single man's soul, you can get the rest of mankind.' Toohey understands that he is capable because there exist people who want his reassurance and the recognition from others that they have done something right, something significant. Thus this gives him the power manipulates others into thinking what he wants and believing what he permits. He plays with his victims like puppets in a show, because to him, people can be like water, aimlessly following the shift of a tide. Similar to an engine over heated, Toohey is too power hungry, in turn his eminent downfall. He knows quite well that he is incapable of achieving true power, so his conscience convulses and lash back at the world that he despise. His destructive natural corrupts and he vows vengeance. I have no private purpose. I want power. I want my world of the future.
Let all sacrifice and none profit. Let all suffer and none enjoy. Let progress stop. Like a fugitive who fear being caught, Toohey has to live in the agony of having to guard himself from the retribution of the people. He knows that power gain through manipulation of others does not have the integrity too oppose the yearning of men for freedom. He can only accept defeat.
AYN Rand is not materialistic, yet she promotes rank differences and wealth. Her characters are in fact very influential personalities who are often leaders within a society. Critics of Rand's work often ridicule her philosophy as unrealistic, liable to things that occurs in fairy tales. However, AYN Rand believes differently. In using characters that are over achievers, she demonstrates the power of her philosophy and the potential of those followers who strive to attain goals with the best of their abilities. Symbolically, her characters represent the highest potential that exists within each individual.
Green is a significant color that maintains two polarities. To many, this color glorifies the sheer power of money and to others it resembles the pale sickness that originates from greed. In fact, there is a correlation between these 'similar opposites'. According to the mechanics of time, one event leads to another in a chronological order. The old phrase THERE IS NO SMOKE WITHOUT THE FIRE holds true when associated with money and greed. It may seem trivial that AYN Rand promotes such a character within her novel, honoring greatness, then include in the package, a terrible flaw. AYN Rand mocks the world for its imperfection when she introduce the character of Gail Wynand, a rugged newspaper tycoon who owns everything within his reach, but lacks the possession of his own soul. She artistically accepts her own imperfection in permitting this foul experiment to take place.
Wynand's accomplishments are radical, unchallenged by any other character in the novel. His power is very concrete and true to life, but only to the extent that public permits. The readers of his newspaper pretend to fear him while he plays the role of the dictator who denies his dictatorship. The situation unveils a continuous loop of lies and deceit. The Tycoon's reign is the result of power he attains from shear wealth.
Such power comes with a price and he paid for by selling his soul to the public. On the contrary to the purpose of a newspaper as an expression medium, the world of The Fountainhead expresses zero tolerance for free speech. The paper exists for the collective and praises everything but heroic ventures into the new frontiers. Society encourages the conservative while it condones aspiring changes.
Gail Wynand's falter is due to carelessness in maintaining his integrity. His business etiquette involves sacrificing himself and dedicating his whole life's work as a service to the people, for the people. He suppresses the outcries of his conscience, acting only on the behalf of strengthening public relations and obtaining higher profits.
The man owns his fortune, but he did not own himself. The public mob laid claim to his existence. His fortune is a mere donation from the public in return for the service that he provides them.
Wynand suffers internal pain, a pain unbearable due to disappointment and a sour appointment with reality. He dare challenges the public in a duel, wasting his efforts in exercising a power that he never own. The sudden impact caught the victim off guard because he never bothers to ask and no one care to answer. In an effort to reclaim himself, Wynand risked his fortune in a fight against the public for something which he believes and lost. He is force to forfeit his newspaper empire, a lifelong dream of a man who never was. In the end, he realizes too late that it is easier to move similar to an engine over heated, Toohey is too power hungry, in turn his eminent downfall. He knows quite well that he is incapable of achieving true power, so his conscience convulses and lash back at the individual boulders, then to budge entire mountains.
To every situation there exist two extremes, presumably the black and the white. The identity of the black is usually marked with a stamp of disapproval and render forbidden deep within the abyss. In the world of The Fountainhead, Foul plays the dead man's hand. AYN Rand is a towering deity who rules with an iron fist. She refuses to tolerate imperfection, despising power gain through self-deprivation and unjust sacrifices. She mimics the qualities of a collective society in Peter Keating, a living mannequin, susceptible only to the movements which others care to permit.
Outspokenly, AYN Rand defends her opinions of a collective's destructive nature by lowering the character of Peter Keating to a point which is comparable to insects, slugs and parasites. Keating is not a man, but a mass mob of the collective. When Rand refers to him, she speaks of society as a whole. When Keating speaks of self, he voices the thoughts of a million. He kills the meaning of the word independence.
He is very smart and cunning, but all of which he steals or borrows from others. His apparition of progress is repetition and his view of success is the approval by someone else. Keating is the master manipulator, who knowingly victimizes himself. He represents his own sacrificial goat, offering to a god that has no face, but many faces. In sacrificing he gains nothing except false prestige and a delusion of happiness. He follows the desires of his mother and cast aside dreams of pursuing the profession he wants. In doing so, he denies himself the gratification of doing what he wants to do and in turn sentencing himself to a life of misery and frustration. The fool refuses to accept that, ' Where there's sacrifice, there is someone collecting sacrificial offerings, and where there is service, there is someone being served. Ultimately, this ties into slavery and worst yet, its self-slavery.
Keating flows through a transition of vanity, fame, lies, flatter and eventually guilt. He lacks the essential of self-respect. A person without self-respect lives in insecurity, holding a bomb that has no control over its detonation switch. The fame that he dwells on comes with a price and that is the man's own dignity. He flushes his human qualities in a trade with the devil and in the end suffers the consequences. He who deceives others deceives himself. Yet even deceit has its limits. A collective is not an entity, it is a monster that consume without remorse. It destroys what is great and promotes a relationship where the exchange is mutual exploitation. The society which moulds Keating into existence abandons him, satisfied that it has done its toll. Then as it has abruptly embraces him, his power vanishes. Keating realizes that he is left alone and slowly his conscience seeps in, destroying the empty shell that remains. This is true example of power without responsibility.
With respect to the Webster's Dictionary, power is define as, authority and a form of control. Inevitably, authority suggests the notion of power aim at a target, and often over group of people or individuals without control. In turn, power is rather destructive. Its nature is the encouragement of a society where individuals strive to conquer one another. Generally, human kind have never learn cope with this fact, thus locking itself in a cycle of voluntary decay.
AYN Rand sums it up in a quote, “Life can be kept in existence only by a constant process of self-sustaining actions." In her vision, she proposes progress as a measurement of power and a solution to the process of self-sustaining actions as an individual who exist not to triumph over other men, but in the conquest of nature.
Nature is a formidable foe which trembles the heart of the weak, but to great men, it's dangers serve as an inspiration. AYN Rand worships the greatness in men who dares to break the Cycle and humbly honor them by creating the character of Howard Roark, a symbolism of strength and determination.
Roark is self-centered, self-generated and self-sufficient, self-motivated and is the ideal man. He represents a powerful locomotive, pulling his only cargo of an ego and armor plating which protects it.
Power streams from this neural core, it surges in a fluxing shield that illuminates an era of remarkable energy, fuel that can only come from an individual. The antagonist, Ellsworth Toohey once claims that, “A thinking man can't be ruled." This statement aim at an opponent that is superior to all and including society. Roark thinks and this gives him the power to create. Creators are mile stones, set far from the filthy reaches of the mass mob that deserves no place for contest. Creators travel uncharted paths into a unique destiny, pursuing uncontrollable possibilities. Society lack control over Roark, this hatred overwhelms them and they set out to destroy him. The Leeches complicates themself in attacking something that is prone to their touch. Roark is not an image of a man, but a hologram that is immune to outside interference gives him a freedom no one enjoys and that is true happiness.
At first, Roark's character can be on the outrageous side, doom humorous and terribly intimidating. However, he is the product of a radical thinker and thus is an incredible concept of thought. Believing in his existence help to understand the philosophy behind his character and likewise the character behind the philosophy.
Perhaps at the dawn of creation, all human beings can be considered paupers in terms of knowledge, wisdom and undoubtedly, the power to make appropriate decisions. Simply put, life's a continuous search for a sturdy foundation, upon which will erect a monumental shrine for those who succeeds, and for mindless others who fail to choose the right path. It will be their final resting place, six feet under. Success is eminent for those who search vigorously, but more importantly for those who knows where to seek the guidance. There are few however, that surpass the stage of seeking, they go beyond to collect their wisdom into a teaching, guidance in the form of a philosophy. AYN Rand is one among them.
Individualism is the philosophy which exemplifies self, promotes greatness and prolongs longevity of the human race. It contains the power lock inside every individual. Our responsibility as an entity on this planet is to tap this incredible source of energy, utilizing this fuel to propel humanity into the depth of the future. This is a lesson readers of AYN Rand's philosophy will never forget. We are supplied with various paths to take in life. The true heroes will know which he is to take and remain above all others. Those who fail will end up in the melting pot of society, their flame of freedom extinguished.
The Fountainhead - The Fountainhead - The Fountainhead - The Fountainhead - The Fountainhead - The Fountainhead - The Fountainhead - The Fountainhead - The Fountainhead - The Fountainhead - The Fountainhead - The Fountainhead - The Fountainhead - The Fountainhead - The Fountainhead
More Essays on Philosophy
The Fountainhead :
The Fountainhead To HOME PAGE