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Things in Atlas Shrugged

Anti-dog-eat-dog Rule

The Anti-dog-eat-dog Rule is passed by the National Alliance of Railroads in section 145, allegedly to prevent "destructive competition" between railroads. The rule gives the Alliance the authority to forbid competition between railroads in certain parts of the country. It was crafted by Orren Boyle as a favor for James Taggart, with the purpose of driving the Phoenix-Durango out of Colorado.


The very first thing made from Rearden Metal is a bracelet. The bracelet is used to illustrate Rand's Theory of Sex.

The bracelet symbolizes the value created by Hank Rearden's long struggle to invent Rearden Metal. When he gives it to Lillian Rearden as a present in section 121 she says "It's fully as valuable as a piece of railroad rails." However, Lillian fully grasps the significance of the gift - her snide remark is her way of denigrating her husband's ethos.

In section 161, Lillian wears this bracelet at a party thrown on her anniversary. She makes fun of it all night long, and when Dagny Taggart hears Lillian say she would gladly trade it for a common diamond bracelet, Dagny takes her up on it.

The bracelet appears in sections 121 and 161.

Cub Club

A night club in New York. When Francisco d'Anconia returns to New York in section 141, he explains he came because of a hat-check girl at the Cub Club and the liverwurst at Moe's Delicatessan on Third Avenue.

Equalization of Opportunity Bill

A bill designed by the Looters that proposes to limit the number of businesses any one person can own to one. It is aimed primarily at Hank Rearden who owns Rearden Ore, which he uses to guarantee Rearden Steel with a supply of copper. By passing this Bill, the Looters can seize Rearden's other businesses for themselves, and then deny him the copper he needs to run his steel mills.

They claim the Bill is meant to give a chance to the little guy.

The Equalization of Opportunity Bill is appears in section 161.

Galt's Gulch

A secluded refuge in a valley of Colorado where the men of ability have retreated after relinquishing participation in American society. Nicknamed "Galt's Gulch" by its inhabitants, it is in fact the property of "Midas" Mulligan, one of the early strikers to follow John Galt's call. This call was to the great men of mind and action to abandon the increasingly slave-state inclinations of a decaying United States - to go on strike - thereby withdrawing the only thing supporting the parasites and looters.

Sarcastically nicknamed Midas in the press because everything he seemed to touch turned to gold, Mulligan adopted the nickname during his explosive investment career before dropping out of sight. He had purchased this land among his far-ranging speculative endeavors, and subsequently retreated to it upon his disappearance. Other strikers soon followed him there, including John Galt, renting or buying land for summer retreats as a respite from continuing their search for fellow strikers among the increasingly collapsing American society. Eventually, a society develops in Galt's Gulch as more people live there year-round as the outside world becomes virtually unsafe to visit.

We are introduced to this place in the first chapter of the final section the Novel, the chapter titled Atlantis. The people live with each other in completely free society and embody everything which is the thesis of the Novel - the appropriate values for a society of Mankind - philosophical, moral, economic, legal, aesthetic, sexual, among others too numerous to mention.

We find industrious, ambitious, happy people continuing their chosen fields of endeavor without the yokes of any taxation or regulation. Conversely, there is a reverence for private property - everything transacted is paid for with the re-invented currency of solid gold coin struck from the reserves of Midas Mulligan's bank which now resides in the valley. The townspeople receive services from the various heroes we have met throughout the Novel, who all now reside and produce in the valley - they purchase power inexpensively from Galt and his invention of the static electricity motor, maintain their anonymity from the outside world via Galt's invention of the air-wave reflection device (giving the view from above the camouflage of reflected images of other mountainsides nearby), and some attend Galt's lectures on Physics, where he explains his discoveries on new fundamental laws and applied mathematics. The people purchase medical treatment from the care of Dr. Hendricks, who uses his invention of a portable x-ray machine to initially diagnose Dagny Taggart upon her crash landing into the valley, attend concerts of new musical compositions of Richard Halley who has continued to compose in the Valley, acquire raw materials from the efforts of Francisco D'Anconia's excavations around the valley, attend philosophy lectures from the now-retired pirate Ragnar Danneskold, receive loans from Midas Mulligan, etc.

Rand's description of Galt's Gulch was inspired by a vist she and her husband Frank O'Connor took to Ouray, Colorado while researching Colorado for the novel.

Halley's Fifth Concerto

Richard Halley disappeared after he had written only four concertos. In section 112 Dagny Taggart, an enthusiastic fan of Halley's music, hears an unfamiliar theme being whistled by a brakeman on the Taggart Comet. She asks him what it is and he says Halley's Fifth Concerto. When Dagny says Halley only wrote four concertos, the brakeman says he made a mistake and denies knowing what the song was.

Later, Dagny calls Mr. Ayers to find out if Halley wrote a fifth concerto. He says he did not.

Halley's Fifth Concerto is mentioned in sections 112, 114 and 152.

Halley's Fourth Concerto

The last thing Richard Halley wrote before he disappeared. It is a song of rebellion and defiance that seemed to say agony and suffering were not necessary. Dagny Taggart listened to this song in section 141.

It is mentioned in section 152.

Heaven's In Your Backyard

A film. Mort Liddy wrote the score, using a bastardized version of Halley's Fourth Concerto. It is mentioned in section 161.

John Galt Legends

Since everyone across the country is asking, "Who is John Galt?", it is not surprising that some people have come up with answers. A number of John Galt Legends are told, each of which, ironically, turns out to be true, at least symbolically.

Legend 1 (section 161): A spinster at Lillian Rearden's party tells Dagny the story. John Galt was a man of inestimable wealth who found the sunken island of Atlantis while fighting the worst storm ever wreaked upon the world. The site was so beautiful that, having seen it, he could never go back to the world, so he sank his ship and took his fortune down with him.

The actual John Galt was a man who created something of inestimable value, a new motor, and who discovered the secret to what was wrong with the world while fighting the most evil social philosophy ever put into practice. The world he envisioned was so beautiful that he refused to live in the world that was, and disappeared, taking the secret of motor with him.

Atlantis, the Isles of the Blessed, is a place where no one could enter except those who had the spirit of a hero. Described in these terms, it is the same as Galt's Gulch.

Moe's Delicatessan

A delicatessan in New York. When Francisco d'Anconia returns to New York in section 141, he explains he came because of a hat-check girl at the Cub Club and the liverwurst at Moe's Delicatessan on Third Avenue.

National Alliance of Railroads

An industry group formed to promote the welfare of the industry as a whole, requiring members to sacrifice their individual interests for the common good. Orren Boyle has friends on the National Alliance of Railroads, and he gets them to support the Anti-dog-eat-dog Rule that uses a string of pretenses to drive the Phoenix-Durango out of Colorado.

The National Alliance of Railroads is mentioned in sections 131, 145 and 146.

National Council of Metal Industries

An industry group that uses political pull to get its way. James Taggart has friends on the National Council of Metal Industries, and he gets them to support legislation that will hurt Rearden Steel and help Associated Steel.

The National Council of Metal Industries is mentioned in section 131.

Patrick Henry University

The most prestigious university in the world. It was attended by John Galt, Francisco d'Anconia, and Ragnar Danneskjold, where they met and became friends. Hugh Akston and Robert Stadler taught there. It is located in Cleveland.

Rio Norte Line

A branch of Taggart Transcontinental that runs from Cheyenne, Wyoming to El Paso, Texas.

It is mentioned in sections 111, 114, 131 (alluded to), 132, 133, 141, 146, 147 and 148.

Rockdale Station

A station on the Taggart Transcontinental line, located five miles from the Taggart estate overlooking the Hudson River. It was the site of Dagny Taggart's first job with the railroad, night operator, at age 16.

It appears in section 152.

San Sebastian

A community built to house the workers of the San Sebastian Mines and their families. As it turns out, the houses, roads, and everything of practical value is built so poorly that the community can be expected to fall apart within a year or two. Only the church was built to last.

It is mentioned in section 152.

San Sebastian Line

A branch of Taggart Transcontinental that serves the San Sebastian Mines in Mexico.

The mines were developed by Francisco d'Anconia and attracted significant investments from James Taggart and Orren Boyle, who assumed Francisco could be counted on to deliver a winner.

The San Sebastian Line is nationalized by the Mexican government soon after completion.

When it is nationalized in section 142, it is referred to as the San Sebastian Railroad.

It is mentioned in sections 114, 131, 132, 133, 142, 143 and 152.

San Sebastian Mines

San Sebastian Mines is a copper mining project in Mexico founded by Francisco d'Anconia and named after his ancestor Sebastian d'Anconia. Francisco's reputation as a businessman is so great that investors flock to him, begging to invest money in the enterprise. Investors include James Taggart and Orren Boyle. James Taggart goes so far as to build a new branch of Taggart Transcontinental, the San Sebastian Line, to serve the mines, sinking $30 million into the project. When the development of the mines appears complete, the Mexican government nationalizes them as well as the San Sebastian Line, only to discover there is no copper and there never was.

When James Taggart tells Francisco he considers the Mines a rotten swindle (section 161), Francisco explains that Taggart should be pleased with the way he ran the mines. He says he put into practice those moral precepts that were accepted around the world. The world says it is evil to pursue a profit - he got no profit from the worthless mines. The world says the purpose of an enterprise is not to produce, but to give a livelihood to its employees - it produced nothing, but created jobs that would never have existed if one was only concerned with developing a real mine. The world says the owner is an exploiter and the workers do all the real work - he left the enterprise entirely in the hands of the workers and did not burden anyone with his presence. The world says need is a more important than ability - he hired a mining specialist who needed a job very badly, but had no ability.

In short, the San Sebastian Mines were an illustration of what happens when this moral code is put into practice, and a warning of what will soon happen to the world as a whole.

The San Sebastian Mines appear in sections 111, 131, 132, 142, 151, 152 and 161.

Taggart Building

A skyscraper in New York, the headquarters of Taggart Transcontinental, and the location of the Taggart Terminal.

Taggart Comet

The Taggart Comet is Taggart Transcontinental's flagship train. It runs from New York to San Francisco and has never been late.

The Taggart Comet appears in sections 112, 113 and 152.

The Future

Information refactored into Characters in Atlas Shrugged: Bertram Scudder.

The Heart Is A Millman

The Heart is a Milkman is a novel being written by Balph Eubank. It is about the central fact of human existence, frustration. Eubank says he will dedicate it to Lillian Rearden.

It is mentioned in section 161.

The Octopus

Information refactored into Characters in Atlas Shrugged: Bertram Scudder.

The Vulture Is Molting

A best selling novel that captures the spirit of the times, The Vulture Is Molting is "a penetrating study of a businessman's greed. A fearless revelation of man's depravity." The book is mentioned in section 141 as one of the artifacts of popular culture that depress Dagny Taggart with its baseness.

Wayne-Falkland Hotel

A luxurious hotel in New York, it is considered the best hotel left in the world. It is where Francisco d'Anconia stays when he is in town. It was also the scene of Dagny Taggart's debut ball when she was seventeen.

The Wayne-Falkland Hotel is mentioned in sections 141, 151 and 152.

Wyatt Oil Fields

The Wyatt Oil Fields are in Colorado. They are a bunch of old, abandoned oil wells that were revived by a new technique invented by Ellis Wyatt. This has almost single-handedly revitalized the economy of Colorado.

The Wyatt Oil Fields appear in sections 111 and 161.

See also : Atlas Shrugged

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