Roark and the Value-Creation Process
Howard Roark feels that value creation and what it requires of the creators is crucially important from a moral perspective because of the value of Ego. Ego is the reason for Rand's hero, the reason for being. It is a value based on Self-Actualization and it is ultimately the same concept that plays into the composer Richard Halley's sense of why he creates/composes music -- because he wants to exercise his mind and meet another individual who appreciates his creation in the same cerebral way: he produces the music and exchanges it for the mental appreciation that the discerning listener gives in return.
The reason that Howard Roark thinks that value-creation is crucial, morally speaking, is because he puts the Ego front and center as the moral purpose of life. One's Ego is the driving force of reality and to be false to the Ego is like to be false to the moral order in the universe -- it is like a moral crime. Thus, for...
For Roark, the Ego is the moral arbiter and Roark acts out of a militant adherence to the moral law that his Ego represents. The Ego is the force which provides the vision, the artistic sight out of which is architecture emerges. Changing the original vision, distorting the image, altering the architectural plans -- as happens with Roark's design at the end of the novel -- is like aborting a half-formed baby: it is murder in Roark's eyes. And to prevent the murder from occurring, he sabotages the would-be murderers and dynamites the structure. Prior to this, Rand describes Roark as standing across the street from where the architectural adulterers are destroying his design -- she describes as standing like one who is before a firing squad -- as though in seeing his plan changed before his eyes, he were facing death. Thus, for Roark, value-creation is an act of life -- it is a moral act that constitutes life-giving. If it is immoral to take life, it is immoral for the architects to destroy the life of his artistic vision -- and it is moral for him to fight back. What…
Rand, Ayn. The Fountainhead. NY: Penguin, 2005. Print.
Rand, Ayn. "The Nature of an Artist." ARI. Web. 9 Sep 2016.
First, this viewpoint essentially discounts all abstract works from being called "art." This idea seems counterintuitive to many; numerous art critics, collectors, viewers, and even Rand (see below) consider abstract art to be art, based on the metaphysical emotions it re-creates. Rand's Objectivist philosophy does not completely accept emotions as having an existence independent of a subject, and therefore her view on non-representational art is at least consistent with