Hank Rearden’s Trial Scene – econlib

In my favorite passage Atlas shrugged Hank Rearden trial scene. Here’s the whole thing. I like many, but I will single out two passages.


Judge: “Are we to understand that if the public deem it necessary to reduce your profits, you do not concede the right to do so?”

Rearden: “Why, yes, I do. The public can cut my profits at any time—by refusing to buy my goods.”


The judges retired to consider their verdict. They didn’t stay out long. They returned to an uncomfortably silent courtroom – and announced that Henry Rearden had been fined $5,000, but that the sentence had been suspended.

A stream of raucous laughter filled the courtroom amid the applause. Applause was aimed at Rearden, laughter – at the judges.

Rearden stood still, not turning to the crowd, barely listening to the applause. He looked at the judges. There was no triumph in his face, no elation, only an intensity of contemplating a vision with a bitter wonder that was almost fear. He saw the enormity of the smallness of the world-destroying enemy. It seemed to him that, after years of traveling through a landscape of devastation, ruins of great factories, ruins of mighty engines, corpses of invincible men, he had come to the destroyer hoping to find a monster—and a mouse eager to run for cover at the first sound of human footsteps. received

If this beat us, he thought, it’s our fault.

However, I disagree with the last line. Those who do something are always guilty; The victim is not.

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