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A copper mining project in Mexico founded by Francisco d'Anconia and named after his ancestor Sebastian d'Anconia. Francisco's reputation as a businessman is so great that investors flock to him, begging to invest money in the enterprise. Investors include James Taggart and Orren Boyle. James Taggart goes so far as to build a new branch of Taggart Transcontinental, the San Sebastian Line, to serve the mines, sinking $30 million into the project. When the development of the mines appears complete, the Mexican government nationalizes them as well as the San Sebastian Line, only to discover there is no copper and there never was.

When James Taggart tells Francisco he considers the Mines a rotten swindle (Section161), Francisco explains that Taggart should be pleased with the way he ran the mines. He says he put into practice those moral precepts that were accepted around the world. The world says it is evil to pursue a profit - he got no profit from the worthless mines. The world says the purpose of an enterprise is not to produce, but to give a livelihood to its employees - it produced nothing, but created jobs that would never have existed if one was only concerned with developing a real mine. The world says the owner is an exploiter and the workers do all the real work - he left the enterprise entirely in the hands of the workers and didn't burden anyone with his presence. The world says need is a more important than ability - he hired a mining specialist who needed a job very badly, but had no ability.

In short, the San Sebastian Mines were an illustration of what happens when this moral code is put into practice, and a warning of what will soon happen to the world as a whole.

The San Sebastian Mines appear in:


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Last edited June 4, 2001 8:12 am by TimShell (diff)