Thursday, September 20, 2012

Talking like Ragnar the Pirate

Fat Cat goes Galt

When I searched for pirate while writing yesterday's entry about Talk Like a Pirate Day, I found the following paragraph in a drinking game about Atlas Shrugged.
7.Every time someone mentions the Pirate, drink. Seriously, there's a pirate. His name is Ragnar and he’s a Viking god with golden hair and a face so handsome it can never be scared. Is he a hero or villain? You get one guess.
Yes, there is an Objectivist pirate who is a hero to Rand, but read the following passage about his motivation and see if it fits that of a conventional hero.
Ragnar Danneskjold: "But I’ve chosen a special mission of my own. I’m after a man whom I want to destroy. He died many centuries ago, but until the last trace of him is wiped out of men’s minds, we will not have a decent world to live in."

Hank Rearden: "What man?"

Ragnar: "Robin Hood. ...He was the man who robbed the rich and gave to the poor. Well, I'm the man who robs the poor and gives to the rich – or, to be exact, the man who robs the thieving poor and gives back to the productive rich."
"What I actually am, Mr. Rearden, is a policeman. It is a policeman's duty to protect men from criminals – criminals being those who seize wealth by force. ... But when robbery becomes the purpose of the law...then it is an outlaw who has to become a policeman."
Another source supplies more of Ragnar's animosity to Robin of Locksley.
[Robin Hood] is not remembered as a champion of property, but as a champion of need, not as a defender of the robbed, but as a provider of the poor. He is held to be the first man who assumed a halo of virtue by practicing charity with wealth which he did not own, by giving away goods which he had not produced, by making others pay for the luxury of his pity. He is the man who became a symbol of the idea that need, not achievement, is the source of rights, that we don’t have to produce, only to want, that the earned does not belong to us, but the unearned does. He became a justification for every mediocrity who, unable to make his own living, had demanded the power to dispose of the property of his betters, by proclaiming his willingness to devote his life to his inferiors at the price of robbing his superiors. It is this foulest of creatures – the double-parasite who lives on the sores of the poor and the blood of the rich – whom men have come to regard as the moral idea." ". . . Do you wonder why the world is collapsing around us? That is what I am fighting, Mr. Rearden. Until men learn that of all human symbols, Robin Hood is the most immoral and the most contemptible, there will be no justice on earth and no way for mankind to survive."
As Smoop's page on him concludes, the other strike leaders don't completely approve of Ragnar's methods. As for me, I don't approve of Ragnar at all. That's one pirate I'd rather not hear people speaking like, even if he has an argh sound in his name.

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