Hicks — Egoism in Nietzsche and Rand
of Heaven and the stick of Hell. Rather the purpose is to send one’s
enemies to Hell.
Here again Nietzsche’s quoting St. Thomas Aquinas order that the bliss of the saints may be more
delightful for them and that they God for it, it is given to them to damned” (GM, 1:15n.).
may render more copious thanks to see perfectly the punishment of the
In Atlas, Rand provides many examples of Type 5 altruism. Lillian Rearden’s treatment of Hank is not a misguided attempt to get attention or to repair a failing marriage—it is a constant attack on Rearden’s identity and worth. The same is true of James Taggart’s treatment of his wife Cherryl: his goal is to destroy her “childish” and “naive” belief in the nobility of man. Taggart’s strategy was only semi-explicit to himself during most of Atlas, but Rand has Taggart realize its full import consciously toward the end of Atlas during the torture of John Galt. Knowing that further torturing Galt will kill him, thus destroying Galt’s ability to help them, Taggart exclaims: “I don’t care! I want to break him! I want to hear him scream! I want—.” Rand the narrator goes on to explain Taggart’s nihilistic self-revelation: “It was not his incommunicable soul or his love for others or his social duty or any of the fraudulent sounds by which he had maintained his self-esteem: it was the lust to destroy whatever was living” (AS, III:9, 1145).
This sub-theme in Atlas is continuous with Rand’s earlier novel, The Fountainhead. Toohey explains further to Keating the real strategic purpose behind his various power tactics of communal organizing, his critique of individual creativity, the promotion of mediocrities such as Keating, and so on. Keating asks whinily, “What do you want?” Toohey snaps. “Howard Roark’s neck.” Toohey then elaborates: “I don’t want to kill him. I want him in jail. You understand? In jail. In a cell. Behind bars. Locked, stopped, strapped—and alive” (F,
Toohey is not seeking any positive value, only the
destruction of an excellent human being.
Toohey is a fictional character, of course, but it is worth remem- bering Nietzsche’s nonfictional quoting of Aquinas, as above, and that Aquinas is in “good” company, so to speak. Nine centuries earlier, St. Augustine (426 CE/1984, “The Saints’ Knowledge of the Punishment of the Wicked,” 943) had included the spectacle of Hell as one of the viewing pleasures for those in Heaven: “the good go out to see the