“We are those who do not disconnect the values of their minds from the actions of their bodies, those who do not leave their values to empty dreams, but bring them into existence, those who give material form to thoughts, and reality to values.” (Ayn Rand: Atlas Shrugged)
After a lifetime of petty tyrants hounding her with laws that meant to crush her spirit that meant to eradicate the spirit of productivity of greatness of all that mattered in the world, she stood up to men who couldn’t be great and therefor resented greatness in everyone else. Who thought they could legislate equality by destroying what they could not have. She fought them all and
finally finds her utopia her community of freedom. And now Dagny Taggart finds herself in Galt’s Gulch in Atlantis on her hands and knees wiping up the pee of the Men of the Mind because they are evidently not also the Men of Good Aim. She thinks as she pushes the damp rag into the filthy crevasses behind the toilet bowl that she had hoped for a different role in Stopping the Motor of the World.
Who is John Galt? A man who needs a better diet judging from the consistency and colour of the stains she finds.
A man who was brilliant enough, Dagny thinks, to hide their whole valley with a heat beam but did not think they might need a cleaning rota. She wonders if a rota might count as coercion. “I swear, by my life and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.” They speak these words solemnly, these Great Men. “Dagny, do you mind?” They say less solemnly. Someone needs to do it and surely it is not reasonable to expect Francisco d’Anconia or Midas Mulligan to scrub a toilet.
Atlantis, Mulligan’s Valley, Galt’s Gulch, whatever you call it its houses had been coated in dust when she first arrived its windows smeared its floors grubby. The strikers found many ways to create a self-sufficient community. They were farmers, plumbers, bakers. But no one had wanted to come into the other strikers houses and scrub their toilets. They tried make the cleaning better paid, but since all of the strikers did not really need to work, since wealth had bought them there in the first place, no one took these positions up. And so things just fell into disrepair, dust settling over the porches, the sills, the arms of chairs while the Men of the Mind did more important things.
Dagny Taggart staggers to her feet. She sighs, knowing that if she stays it will always be her turn. No one may coerce anyone in Galt’s Gulch. But damn if she didn’t wish she could coerce John to clean after himself a bit. Dagny looks at the bathroom, clean for now, thinks of Atlas and wonders if he had to clean his own bathrooms and if yes if he could put down the world to do it. She will tell them she cannot leave her railroad Dagny Taggart decides. She leaves the next day.