What does S/V Danneskjöld mean?

Ragnar Danneskjöld is a character in Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. You should read Atlas Shrugged. For those who cannot or will not, in summary, Danneskjöld is a pirate.


One among a cast of many characters attacking the same wrongs, Danneskjöld recognizes the modern understanding of Robin Hood to be the embodiment of societal evil. Specifically, the modern lesson of Robin Hood is to lionize ‘need.’ But need is not a virtue – ability is. Those who sap those of ability in order to gain power and influence (or even the luxury of pity and charity) among those who ‘need,’ are Danneskjöld’s enemies.

He attacks, pillages, and sinks aid ships destined for the unproductive carrying the looted products of productive men to be given as charity. He sinks ships full of ore destined for the factories stolen from men of ability and given to those with government connections. He bombards facilities ashore which have been looted for the ‘public good’ from their owners.

He recognizes that society has chosen to deal with he and others of ability through the use of force to take their goods and their rights, and chooses to meet them on their terms – their initiated force against his of retaliation.

From his proceeds, Danneskjöld creates bank accounts, depositing sums to be given back to the men and women of ability from whom the goods he pillaged were stolen.

Recognizing the value of accomplishment and the irrelevance of intention, Danneskjöld teaches a lesson sorely missed today.

In sum, Danneskjöld is an American hero. And so, my boat will be named in his honor.  (s/v is the abbreviation for Sailing Vessel)

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