At one point, Dagny Taggart confronts Francisco d'Anconia about what she believed to be his corruption. As part of that, they had the following exchange:

"Do you... know Ellis Wyatt?"
"Do you know what this might do to him?"
"Yes. He's the one who's going to be wiped out next.
"Do you... find that... amusing?"
"Much more amusing than the ruin of the Mexican planners."

Obviously, Francisco knew that Ellis Wyatt would presumably join the Strike (which he did). With that said, though, in what sense did he consider this amusing?

1 Answer 1


Schadenfreude. Francisco hates government planners and policy makers. He likes to see them fail. But what is it that he finds amusing? He knows something they don't know and he knows people better than the planners and policy makers. If they knew that thing, they wouldn't have done it.

I'll try to explain with an analogy.

Person A is preparing a surprise party for Person B.

It is talking about preparations to person C. Person C claimed to everyone that person A is a bad party planner.

Person A likes strawberries. Because of that, you can say that party is strawberry themed. Strawberry cake, strawberry juice. Even the punch bowl has strawberries in it.

Thing is, Person B is allergic to strawberries. Person C knows that, Person A doesn't. Person C finds it amusing not to tell Person A about the allergy and can't wait for the surprise party to fail, so C can take B for a beer after the ruins of that party.

  • Why Ellis Wyatt, though? Feb 23, 2018 at 13:53
  • Two reasons: 1) He was just the most recent businessman Dagny was doing business with (all that railroad building line opening business) 2) He was known to d'Anconia because of his petroleum business. Can't have anything without oil moving your machines in industrial age, can't have supply chain, can't produce things. Basically, they are talking about the associate known to them both.
    – jo1storm
    Feb 23, 2018 at 17:19

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