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The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand) – Thug Notes Summary & Analysis


What’s good y’all? This week we shakin dem haters off with “The Fountainhead” by Ayn Rand. Howard Roark is da only bruh in his architecture school who wanna shake things up. Errybody else just a buncha by-the-book hacks who think building design gotta rep tradition. But Roark don’t flow with dat mess — he got his own vision and don’t give a damn what they think. Brotha keep it so real that the school expels his ass, straight up. So he head to New York and start workin for an architect named Henry Cameron. Even though Cameron’s rep ain’t so hot among the big dawgs anymore, Howard think he’s the trillest architect in the game. Meanwhile, Howard’s homie from school, Peter Keating, just got a job up at a swag architecture firm, workin fo some famous rich dude named Guy Francon. Roark and Cameron always makin real dank-ass designs, but nobody really cares about inspired work, so they gotta keep on da hustle jus
to scrape by. Whereas dat scrub, Peter, is able to stack mad grands just by smooth-talkin peeps and designin em pretty weak-ass buildings. Before you know it, dude becomes full partner — even though he accidentally murked a guy to get there! Peter feel bad… but not when bad feels this good! Yeah! Eventually, Cameron retires, and Roark try to do his own thang. But that don’t last long, cuz he just keep it so damn real with his customers — tellin em he don’t give a sh*t bout what they want — it’s his design o’ nuthin. Eventually, he gotta get down ‘n dirty and start grindin hard at a granite quarry owned by Peter’s boss, Francon. Peter been busy too — busy creepin’ on Francon’s daughter, Dominique. Roark see Dom, and they start vibin each other. Then one night, Roark go to da phat crib she stayin at, and rapes her — though she say later, maybe it was just what she wanted. That’s what da book say. So, she try to find Roark lookin fo anotha go, but brotha dipped out to New York to design anotha building. Dominique ends up headin to the city too, and finally figure out that Roark ain’t just some granite quarry hustler. As a girl who knows a thing or two about architecture, she thinks his work is off the chain. They start hookin up on the DL, but in her public life, she try to destroy Roark’s career. Girl got a serious hater streak to her. But she ain’t da only one — there be this writer dude named Ellsworth M. Toohey who tryna ruin Howard’s rep. All this mess cuz both of em can’t stand how he can stay so legit in a world full of posers and fakers. Toohey comes up with a plan to break Roark once and fo’ all: he convinces some dumbass to hire Roark to build a temple and then sue him after he see what Roark built. Up in court, all da top dawgs of architecture roll up to dat stand, and they just run they mouths, talkin sh*t bout Roark. Dominique don’t say nuthin, but on da inside, she know Roark is da only real deal up in dat courtroom. When Roark lose the case and end up cashed out on the struggle again, Dominique says, ”Man, f**k it! If I live in a world where
real people get sh*t on, and hacks get da good life, then I’m just gonna do the worst damn thing I can think of. First, no more Roark booty calls on da reg. And second, I’m gonna marry that b*tchass, Peter Keating.” Later, Dominique meet this rich newspaper man named Gail Wynand. Dude so into Dom that he literally buys her from Peter. Wynand thinks Roark’s work is really fly, so they become boys, even though he don’t know nuthin bout what went down between him and his woman. Eventually Keating lose all his rep, and errybody start seein him for the tool he is. Boy gets one last shot at a housing project and realize he need Roark, if he gonna do it right. Roark agree to help a brotha out under two conditions — Numba 1. They gotta do it his way, and Numba 2. He stays anonymous. They shake on it, but later Roark find out dat they messed with his vision. So what does he do? He burns dat muthaf**ka down. Da whole damn country hatin on Howard now, but at this point, he jus used to it. Wynand finally step up and defends his bro in the newspaper. But when da heat comes down, and Wynand gotta choose between Roark or his business, he like “Roark who?” and throws his ass under the bus. Seems like it’s all over for Roark, but at the trial, he rocks the mic, sayin how important it is to be true to nobody else but yo self. The Jury lets him off, Roark and Dominique become a thing again, and Wynand ask him to build one more building — a building so tight it gonna rep all da noble things about mankind. When it comes to keepin it 100 all day erry day, it jus don’t get no realer than Howard Roark. Matta fact, Rand say da reason she wrote dis book was to portray the most legit man you could think of — one dat completely reppin her homebrew philosophy called “objectivism.” “This is the motive and purpose of my writing; the projection of an ideal man. The portrayal of a moral ideal, as my ultimate literary goal, as an end in itself — to which any didactic, intellectual or philosophical values contained in a novel are only the means.” Objectivism preachin a couple things like: logic, self-interest, capitalism, atheism, personal responsibility, and as far as reality go — what you see is what you get. So that’s a tight philosophy ‘n all, but
what does this look like in the flesh? Well first off — Roark go hard in the paint when it comes to his integrity. To this dude, keepin it real means dedicating your life to one idea, and everything — what you think, what you do, all of it — gotta rep this idea. No matter how raw it get when the haters start hatin, he don’t budge an inch. Cuz stickin by that idea is what makes you you. Most people can’t roll like Roark, though. Erry single day, da world ask people to compromise their values, and most just let it slide — bit by bit — til they ain’t nuthin left of
their self. “… they die with every day that passes. When you meet them, they’re not what you met last. In any given hour, they kill some part of themselves. They change, they deny, they contradict — and they call it growth. At the end there’s nothing left, nothing unreversed or unbetrayed.” If bein true to yo self is numba 1, then you can’t be givin a sh*t bout what errybody else think, like dat boy, Peter. People like him spend they whole lives worryin bout how they look in other people’s eyes. To them, it don’t matter how things are, only how it seem. Wynand is even worse. He ain’t even trippin bout how errybody else see him — he want power over em. But brotha soon recognize dat if you spend all yo life tryna possess others, it’s yo ass that ends up gettin owned. “[Wynand] walked at random. He owned nothing, but he was owned by any part of the city. It was right that the city should not direct his way and that he should be moved by the pull of chance corners. Here I am, my masters, I am coming to salute you and acknowledge, wherever you want me, I shall go as I’m told. I’m the man who wanted power.” But on the real — can somebody like Roark really exist in a world this crooked? Well it sho ain’t easy when literally errybody — even yo so-called “homies” — tryna take you down. I mean, just look at these haters — Toohey messin with him cuz he want da world to know that ideals don’t mean nuthin, Dominique think da world is too much of a twisted place for him to exist, and Wynand, quite simply, thinks a dude as real as Roark just can’t exist, period. Crazy thing is, it’s him who ends up breakin, when he try to live up to Roark’s baller status. Sho, Roark’s will, determination,
and heroism are all pretty clutch. But dat don’t mean it’s all good — there’s plenty of jacked up sh*t bout Rand’s philosophy, too. One of da worst things is da way Rand
talks bout pity: “But this was pity — this complete awareness of a man without worth or hope, this sense of finality, of the not to be redeemed. There was shame in this feeling — his own shame that he should have to pronounce such judgement upon a man, that he should know an emotion which contained no shred of respect. This is pity, he thought, and then he lifted his head in wonder. He thought there must be something terribly wrong with a world in which this monstrous feeling is called a virtue.” Look, I don’t know what an “ideal man” would look like — but I sho as hell know he wouldn’t say feelin sorry for others is bullsh*t — or dat bein generous to others is fo b*tches. No matter who you are or where you come from, somebody along the way has helped you get to where you are. All OGs know that. Thanks for watching, y’all!

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100 thoughts on “The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand) – Thug Notes Summary & Analysis

  1. I agree with those who've fully read her novels and understand this. Rand's Objectivism never openly shames people who find themselves in a position of need, nor that you shouldn't help others who are in need. Objectivism teaches that you are not morally obligated to put the interest of others before your own. If you do choose to help someone in need then no one will stop you, good for you, but simply being charitable doesn't make you a moral person. Nor is it immoral to look after yourself first and foremost, before making sacrifices for someone else based on their own "needs".

    There's a chapter in the Fountainhead where main character Howard actually helps his best friend and brilliant sculptor Steven Mallory by paying his rent and food after they both go broke when Howard is sued for a temple they built together. Howard's reasoning was that he wouldn't watch his friend go homeless and sell off all his sculpting equipment just because others refused to believe in their vision. In this case Howard acknowledges Mallory as a valuable person within himself. Not for his job or lack thereof, his position in society, or even for his talents. This is what Objectivism teaches. That you can only value a person for the virtues they live by and not just for what they can do for you.

  2. Now I don’t need to read one of Aynn Rand’s ‘books’ to know what the hupla was about… bless you

  3. I've read all of her books, back in high school, which is around the normal time frame for taking her ideas seriously.

    It's an understandable reaction to having come from the USSR that some of her ideas were a reaction to communism, but talk about throwing the baby out with the bathwater. This is not a great format for making long posts on a topic so I'll keep it as simple as I can; Altruism is not a sin.Basic human selfishness is the reason, not the remedy, for why the world is screwed up. (And I'm not a socialist.) I am atheist but could care less if you believe in things, just don't be an asshole.

    Objectivism is like the Ron Paul movement, it seems to appeal to white male semi-autistics who live in a bubble. It's sad.

    They used to send me their newsletter and it was sad. Grown men who claimed to put science and reason on a pedestal claiming climate change is a religious myth, because environmentalism is a "religion." It's quite sad.

  4. 8:05 Standard strawman bullshit making evident you didn't even bother to engage with objectivism. You spewed out the standard trash of the weak mind.

  5. Yeah I'm pretty sure you're conflicting compassion and pity. Plus you never gave an example of anyone saying generosity was no good. But awesome video, I love these things

  6. Thug Notes, huh? This is how you choose to dishonor your family and ancestors? With this nonsense? Your mama should be embarrassed, and your daddy should've pulled out. No mo talk.

  7. "Last Week Tonight"'s "How is This Still a Thing?" segment on Rand put it best:
    "Rand is best known for her philosophy: Objectivism, which is a nice way of saying, 'being a selfish asshole'."

  8. Doesn't matter what the press says. Doesn't matter what the politicians or the mobs say. Doesn't matter if the whole country decides that something wrong is something right. This nation was founded on one principle above all else. The requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences. When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world, "No, YOU move."

  9. so moral of the story, own what you preach and follow your dreams even if it makes other people question or doubt you.

  10. ……………….
    pity is something you only realyly give to people you respect.
    and humans have ALWAYS helped other humans.. its what makes us human.
    you see skeletons of our distant ancestors with healed bone trama.. meaning they where helped and cared for when they where hurt.
    ayn rand herself lived on social assistance when she got older didnt she?
    its alll hateful bullshit.

  11. First off I enjoyed your review of the book. Good production values and entertaining.

    I am not an Objectivist, however I mostly agree with the ideas. To understand Rand you have to put her in the context of being anti communist. Her family's lives and business was destroyed by communism. She fled to the US and was afraid of the direction she saw this country heading.

    Communism sells itself as helping the little guy, but in actual practice becomes a vehicle for tyrannical oppression. The individual is crushed and a corrupt cabal of elitist eat steak while the masses wait in line for bread.

    Rand's philosophy is the polar opposite of communism. It is understandable she would go that way. In that sense it is reactionary.

    All that said the individual mind is the source of most of the wonders of our world. Group achievement is good as long as it is non coercive . You don't have charity at the point of a gun.

  12. This books is hard to read (like any other philosophy) because you need to know what to look for. It’s not like- reading and expecting the author to serve your needs in order- that’s not philosophy. The biggest examples in classical philosophy readings are Plato “the republic” and Hegel “Phenomenology of spirit” these two are classified as the most difficult books in the history of philosophy at all, and yet they are because when you jump into them it’s like ocean offering you something from everything and you don’t know what to search for. But when you get into the philosophy environment (university etc.) and do tough research before reading you will do well. But there is another important thing also: Philosphy requires you to “need” what you search for, if your life is happing in “pity” and Non-dynamical way and you have nothing to wander about (which means to practically live in illusion) philosphy won’t do the job. Ayn Rand will become easy task when you want to understand what is hapening and to try to justify it in the way Rand did. Philosphy really is not for everyone it’s deep fundamental science and if understanded properly will offer you solutions and answers to the problem of the world; if not will throw you into the bus with difficult texts and complex conseptions.

  13. i want to go to ine rand(trademarked),too bad it's too hot there,it has sexy girls who are probably both rigilous and angry because of the relgion.

  14. Ayn Rand is like the atheist version of religious fanatics. Wrong in every way while certain of her own correctness, twisting even the most benign and benevolent of notions into a perverse, diseased defense for being a complete POS.

  15. Being a true objectivist kinda sounds like that guy who acts like an asshole to others and says “I’m just being honest!” as if that makes it okay. More of a justification to support yourself rather than all of mankind.

  16. It's amazing how the book contains it's own micro-cosm of how people react to it as a creative endeavour. Every comment section I read- all the exagerated loathing and resentment-the towering, pompous moral outrage- the self-righteousness, the self-important pretenses-the pure transparent resentment of differing values-it's like she herself gave you the scripts for your own angry little lives. I wasn't sure about her until I saw how people received her work in these comment sections-then I realized she'd hit on something-why else would all the little Tooheys of the world be in such an uproar? She really had your number. "The Tooheys doth protest too much."

  17. I think there are genuinely good ideas and interesting things in Rands work but I feel that one can't judge her too harshly for her very radical philosophy because it probably originated in her mind as a coping mechanism for the trauma caused by having to suffer through the Soviet Union.
    I think if Rand had taken a bit more moderate an approach to her ideas she'd be considered one of the greatest philosophers of a generation but her undeniably genius mind was corrupted by (completely understandable) hatred for Communist ideas which lead to an almost instinctive rejection of anything at all to the left of the black line on the political compass.

  18. Well. It seems very few will ever truly understand what is the greatest philosophy in history.
    It is so complex and true that they have to fake it so much with everything they criticize about it. You have become terrible critics, no real argumentation, just simple "I don't understand what this book says, then it is bullshit"

  19. Ayn Rand had nothing against generosity or feeling sorry for someone. She's descriptively talking about when you feel sorry for someone in a way that has no hope or respect for them and cuts off the chance to, to which she used the word pity. My question to you is, what is good about that specific emotion?

    Objectivism is very complex and hugely misunderstood to this day. I have to say, you nailed much of the book correctly, though. But Objectivism claims to be the answer to everything. So if something about it doesn't make sense, the chances are you're misinterpreting it. The only other answer would be that you're the first person ever to notice a flaw, which is possible, but very unlikely. So read into everything first 🙂

  20. I honestly hate Ayn Rand. Such a bad philosopher. You know she wrote Atlas Shrugged? She's a terrible person, rejected altruism, and non aggressive initiation of force. I'm glad she's dead.

  21. This book honestly changed my life, so influential. Favorite quote is near the ending that goes something like, "'I'm not a symbol of anything, I am only myself." Such beauty and powerful meaning in such a short sentence.

  22. Have a paper due tomorrow for class and DID NOT want to read 500 pages, this video helped me A LOT! First video I watched on this channel and I loved it. Thanks a lot big brother✊🏽Like and subscribe💙

  23. I listened to the audio novel and finished it today. This book is more relevant than ever in regards to how corrupt and ripe for exploitation the media is. I'm disappointed Thug Notes didn't touch on this at all.

  24. 8:00 this was actually one of the most memorable, and one of my favorite passages from this book. I actually agree with rand. It's pretty fucked up that you're supposed to feel good about yourself for passing such awful judgment on someone. That's what pity is after all. A judgement that they are beneath respect, and beyond help or redemption. Its contempt, disguised as virtuous. Pity is really an emotion designed to placate the individual feeling it. It's an acknowledgment that you are above the other person, without taking any of the onus implied in such a statement. It's the ultimate second-hander emotion. Feeling good about yourself through comparison of yourself to the misfortune of others

  25. I have been wondering if there were any critics on YouTube who know what they are talking about and have a good personality. Keep it up!

  26. You missed the mark. Give money to the poor, they will become poor again. Caving into pity will not eliminate the burden. Create OPPORTUNITY and save many. Unalienable rights…"the PURSUIT of happiness." That is why it's worded that way. Give happiness weakens their self worth. Make them earn happiness, and they will respect themselves.

  27. Ayn Rand never said that you shouldn't feel sorry for people. What she said is that you should only care about those who mean something to you selfishly.

  28. The shot looks like it was shot in log gamma, but then never converted to rec 709 (or just graded to be very low contrast)… Its a bit odd contrasted against the bright animation. It also has some green cast…. but only in the foreground. Inexpensive LED/Florescent light maybe?

  29. I think having pity for someone and then not being able to do anything about it for someone, is what she was saying and that having that feeling isn't virtuous but sad

  30. I think people misunderstand what Roarke meant by his statement about Pity… He believes in mankind's ability to reason that he would never consider feeling pity for others… IF you are a man that is capable of facing all problems head on and handling them in relation to you virtues and values, you to would see that Roarke is not heartless in saying this, but rather loving of mankind.

  31. I don’t believe ayn rand meant to never be charitable; what she speaks in her Philosophy is do it when it’s appropriate, don’t wear yourself out for another, figure out things with you and then do so if you want.

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