The philosophy expressed in this quote is requires a level of arrogance. If you come to me with a need, I must judge whether you are worthy of my help. Do you want to judge the "unjustness" of someone's suffering? Will you interview him and ask for a believable performance to prove this? Do you want to judge someone else's virtue?
I don't want to be in this position. I probably won't do a good job. History tells us that "virtue" is often judged by irrational measures. People tend to be swayed by height, weight, race etc. We have trouble hiring employees fairly. If everyone lives by this, it will amplify the inequities in society.
All too often in these conversations, people assume that following John Galt's values make a person shamelessly materialistic and selfish. But it doesn't. No more than following Jesus makes you give away your material and be selfless. Values help shape our decisions nothing more. I donate to charities. I'm a mark for every ABC-XYZ-athon there is, and everyone's kids seem to know it. If you are on line in front of me at the grocery store and come up short, I'll probably kick in the difference. No uncalled for violence will ever take place in front of me if I can help it. I'll get out and help you push your car out of the road if it's stalled. Yes, you can use my phone, even though I really don't want your germs. If you are old or infirm, you can have my seat. This is all true, not because I am Christian
but because I am a very selfish man. Doing these things makes me feel better about me.
In contrast, Jesus' philosophy is summed up by
Jesus (Gospel of Luke chapter 6) wrote:
Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.
... Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned
I remember a John Galt Quote that is a near opposite to that... so it should probably be mentioned.
John Galt wrote:
I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live my life for the sake of another man nor ask another man to live for mine.
These quotes from Galt and Jesus are both extreme. But which is better for society and for the individual.
John Galt would tell you that in this sentence 'society' means everyone but me.
"Do to others as you would have them do to you." is a very logical statement. A community with this standard will be united and will work together for the common good.
And if they don't cooperate of their free will, will you then force them? John Galt requires no such cooperation from anyone. He simply asks not to be forced.
The fact that I will give without judgement takes a burden off of me. There is a basic fairness and goodness about this. I am not forced to decide whether you deserve my help or wrestle with my prejudices.
And if they do not give without judgement... are you justified in taking what isn't yours?
In a community with this standard, I don't need to worry about bad times that may come. The entire can be confident their needs will be met-- as a community.
We've seen in many such systems that people who don't have anything to lose by under-producing under-produce. Not all men will work for that which they can have for free. John Galt doesn't care. An individual produces or perishes. This works.
A society that lives by Galt's standard will be arrogant, unfair and will disunited. People will not work together as they will be worried about whether their neighbors have the "virtue".
Quite the opposite. People will exchange value for value on terms that are acceptable to both. Products and services are worth what people are willing to pay. No more. No less. What is inherently unfair? One man's arrogance is another man's confidence... that is of little importance.
When Terry doesn't help Kicky in his time of need because he didn't rate as virtuous, you think Kicky is not going to remember this? This society will tend to break down into people who will never help each other.
That situation will be no more or less frequent in either society. If this hypothetical is intended to be total adherence; in Galt's Utopia you will see those who produce will always find a way to deal... and it would be scarce few who didn't. John Galt's philosophy allows for taking care of those who can't take care of themselves. It only punishes those who choose not to. Conversely, in the Jesus society, the masses would compete to be the most needy. Since no advantage could be expected for extra carricular work or thought, progress would be slow. This lack of opportunity for individual advancement would inevidibly result in rebelion eventually. Flip that coin... and look at how rewarding individual desire for more creates a creative environment where people constantly strive to improve, streamling and advance for greater profit.
A community that excepts the philosophy of Christ will have more confident people who work together for the good of all. Under Galt's philosophy people will be arrogant, and will face the arrogance and judgement of others. They will not have support during times of need nor work together with their neighbors.
While Christ's communtity stagnates with everyone trying to produce at the level of the lowest common denominator and worries about equally distributing what little they produce; John Galt's society is a production Haven where everyone is competing to produce the most so there is more than enough excess wealth for taking care of those who can't help themselves. Those who choose
not to are banished from the society or perish. Contrary to Christ's community where a minimum standard becomes glaringly necessary and punishments for failing to meet it will no doubt prove necessary as well, in Galt's every one does what the decide of there own free will.
Galt= Punishes lazy non-production. Society without restriction succeeds. Only criminals who infringe on freedom are "forced" to do anything.
Jesus= Rewards lazy non-production. Society therefore becomes lazier and lazier until they are forced to create laws where people are forced to do things.
This is before we even address the problems inherent in letting those who don't know what it takes to produce wealth, take control of it.
That, is the simple truth, as Galt and I see it.