Selflessness In The Fountainhead

723 Words 3 Pages
Howard Roark made people uncomfortable. It can be seen all throughout The Fountainhead; the dean of Stanton University, Peter Keating, Guy Francon, the list goes on. Is it just because he is brilliant? Partly. But it is also because everyone else sees something in him that they can't identify, something that threatens their convictions and beliefs by just existing. Roark terrifies them, with his innocent honesty and his steadfast principles, because he reminds them that they could have been great too. Architecture is his passion and achievement in architecture his only primary motive. All other things are secondary, even people and relationships. Passionate people pose a threat to their mediocrity; they shake the very foundations of their world. …show more content…
It has two distinct meanings that are often mistakenly interchanged. While one is being able to put other people's needs above one's own whims, the other is being without the ego or the self. While the first is arguably commendable, the other is indubitably contemptible. Being without the self implies being unable to independently judge, act, think or feel. Consequently, the selfless find themselves compulsively, and sometimes without conscious realization, having to rely on others for every thought, for every idea. Therefore, altruism makes people dependent, unoriginal, average. Inevitably, individuals get molded into a crowd; aggressive, dissatisfied, intransigent and complacent about being in the majority. Altruism is the drooling beast which Steven Mallory could not name; it is what Henry Cameron died fighting. It suppresses the Howard Roarks and praises the Peter Keatings. Self-sacrifice, though it may masquerade as the only virtue today's world needs, is, ironically, annihilating everything that is great and heroic about …show more content…
The erroneous assumption here is that the people pursue humanitarian activities out of their compassion for others, whereas they do it either because they want to impress others or because they want to cleanse their conscience and 'redeem' themselves. The second-rater is willing to do whatever it takes to gain the admiration of other second-raters. He can have no independent feelings, thoughts, judgments, or ideas because these are the functions of the self. As Ayn Rand says, "To say 'I love you' one must first know how to say 'I'." Therefore, only the real egotists have the ability to actually care about and respect other human beings as

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