Attempted Objectivist attack on Christianity backfires

by Stephan Kinsella on July 28, 2010

in Intellectual Property

Writes Objectivist Diana Hsieh:

Would Jesus have blown up a housing project for the poor to protect his intellectual property, as Howard Roark did? Of course not!

I think she’s right! Apparently she is under the delusional belief that admitting and praising the IP terrorism of The Fountainhead actually helps her case.

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Steve Reed July 28, 2010 at 3:53 pm

The climax of The Fountainhead isn’t about “IP terrorism.” It’s about sovereign immunity. It involves breach of contract by the government housing authority with Peter Keating, who was using Howard Roark’s designs under contract with him.

Keating could not sue for damages without the government’s consent. Roark (acting in lieu of Keating, who clearly had no desire to do it) believed that no recourse under the law was left open to them.

(The film version of the novel, under Warner Bros.’ pressure, left it ambiguous that this was a government agency, with Keating only saying, “They’ve got such a setup that you can’t sue them.”)

Yes, Roark’s courtroom defense relies on Rand’s idea of designs being “his property,” but the issue at the heart of it is governmentally sanctioned theft and fraud, not IP as such.

Whether the rule of law should thus have been bypassed is a separate matter. The jury in the story clearly thought doing so was acceptable. Roger Enright cleaned up the resulting mess and hired Roark openly.

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