c/o Random House
457 Madison Ave.
New York City
May 27, 1960
Dear Miss Sachs:
Thank you for your letter of February 9.
I appreciate your interest in the philosophy of ATLAS SHRUGGED, and your perceptive understanding of its application to modern problems.
You are right in your interpretation of Dr. Stadler’s fate, but not of Eddie Willers’. Eddie Willers is not necessarily destined to die; in a free society, he will live happily and productively; in a collectivist society he will be the first to perish. He does not have the ability to create a new society of his own, but he is much too able and too honest ever to adjust himself to collectivism.
You are mistaken when you say: “It is for the Eddies and Dr. Stadlers that we must right the wrong and again teach man to be ‘his own keeper’.” I am not quite certain of what you meant, but this sentence sounds like some form of altruism. If by “righting the wrong,” you meant the acceptance of the right philosophy and the creation of a proper society, then one must do it for oneself and for those who are one’s highest values—which means, in effect, for the John Galts, not the Eddies nor the Stadlers. The Eddies and all rational men will also profit in a proper society—but that is a secondary consequence, not one’s primary goal.