Have you ever worked a manual job 8-10 hours every day and then come home to do your passion? I have friends who have and I, myself, have worked FT at something I did well so that I could support myself doing something I loved. Let me tell you that it tires you out, iron will or not. Work always takes something out of you and leaves less for your passion--and for sleep--which contrary to popular opinion is essential for both health and creativity. In the end, you end up burning the candle at both ends, especially if you spend years this way. If you end up without energy, it's not because you're not passionate about your work, but because your body is spent. You also have very little time for friends and family. Rand's characters really have neither; relationships are not really close and children are not part of her heroes lives.Yes, it's probably very easy to fall for the temptation of seeking government grants -- I still maintain that its immoral to have such a system in place at all however. If you have a passion for your art, you're able to work on it throughout most of the 8-10 hours of the day that you aren't working to support yourself, or sleeping. If you fail to find the energy for your so-called passion, you're probably not so passionate about it after all. Success isn't handed to you on a silver platter -- it takes hard work, sacrifice and an iron will.
So compromise is a necessity then. Can an objectivist use public funds (in a grant) and still be an objectivist?I agree that the present day situation of big government and a mixed economy makes it near impossible to succeed as an Objectivist puritan such as Howard Roark. As I pointed out above though, he's more like an abstract personification of the highest ideals of Objectivism. Objectivist characters in Atlas Shrugged, for example, did manage to work "in the system" until it got too absurd. Just as you don't need to be Jesus in order to be a Christian, you don't need to be Howard Roark in order to be an Objectivist -- they serve as moral ideals.
It probably won't happen. Google IRCAM someday and listen to some of the stuff they are putting out.And yes, I'm still waiting for someone to rival Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture. :)