Hank Rearden: Draw My Life
The inspiring story of Hank Rearden like you’ve never seen before. Watch his journey unfold. Source: Atlas Society YouTube channel.
My name is Hank Rearden. I was born in “Atlas Shrugged.” Growing up, I worked digging for metal ore in the mines. As I was digging and smelting and hauling the metal, I was also learning the business. Where some saw just dirt and rock, I saw future. So I never quit that mine, I bought it. I built it into Rearden Steel. I made a ton of money. This attracted the attention of auditors, regulators, union reps, and environmentalists. They said they were protecting the public interest. They made it damn near impossible to stay in business. After a long day of work, I sometimes wondered is it really worth it? Then I look at my men, my minds, my factories, and the answer was still yes.
Yes was the answer Lillian gave me too. Then we got married, and I couldn't do anything right. I worked too hard. I wasn't romantic. I wasn't thoughtful. I didn't spend enough time with her. It's partly true. I loved my work, and the unhappier I grew at home, the harder I worked at growing my business.
I improved my steel business. I improved the steel business. And then I improved on steel. I invented Rearden Metal. Stronger, cheaper, lighter, better. Better than steel. I made it to build buildings, rails, even metal foundries. I was so excited at the day of our first pour, I even made it into a bracelet for Lillian. Is it a napkin ring? A toy? A joke? She asked. She didn't get it. She didn't get me.
Dagny Taggart got it. She needed Rearden metal to replace the rails of the great Taggart Transcontinental, the railroad she ran. She was all business, no nonsense. But beyond that tough exterior I sensed the spirit that matched my own. I fell for her. Fell hard. But just as I wouldn't abandon my business, I felt that was wrong to abandon my wife.
I saw other men around me giving up, walking away from their responsibilities. Titans of industry who just up and left. Where did they go? Why did they go? Who is John Galt? I'd see men, shadows walking at night, men no different from me, but a few of them knew something I didn't. I wanted answers, but I wasn't ready to hear them. Then the government took my metal and everything else I cared about. I was at rock bottom.
But then an unexpected visitor came to my office. I'm not here to harm you, he basically said. I'm here to help you. He told me about a place where other man who'd had enough of the taxers, the takers, the bakers. A place where they had gone. He wanted me to join them. A place called Galt's Gulch.
Did I go? Did I leave my wife? Did I get the girl? Did I get the users and losers exploit my work, my talent, my ideas for their own ends? There's only one way to find out. Join us. The men of the mind. The creators of businesses, of ideas, of jobs, of progress. And yes, of money. As I told Dagny, it's we who move the world, and it's we who will pull it through. Put down your burdens, pick up this book. You're in for the adventure of your life.