Fortune cookies

Fortune cookies

 

A basic premise is an absolute that permits no co-operation with
its antithesis and tolerates no tolerance.
					-- Hugh Akston
Man's mind is his basic tool of survival.  Life is given to him,
survival is not.  His body is given to him, its sustenance is not.
His mind is given to him, its content is not.  To remain alive,
he must act, and before he can act he must know the nature and
purpose of his action.  He cannot obtain his food without a know-
ledge of food and of the way to obtain it.  He cannot dig a ditch
-- or build a cyclotron -- without a knowledge of his aim and the
means to achieve it.  To remain alive, he must think.
					-- John Galt
Ten score years ago, defeat the kingly foe.
A wondrous dream came into being.
Tame the trackless waste, no virgin land left chaste.
Those shining eyes were never seeing:
Beneath the noble bird, Between the proudest words,
Behind the beauty cracks appear.
Once with heads held high, they sang out to the sky.
Why do their shadows bow in fear?
The guns replace the plow, facades are tarnished now.
The principles have been betrayed.
The dream has gone stale, but still let hope prevail.
But history's debt won't be repaid.
					-- Neil Peart
Words have the power to 'condition' you, they say, and refuse to identify
the reason why words have the power to change your -- blank-out.  A
student reading a book understands it through a process of -- blank-out.
A scientist working on an invention is engaged in the activity of
-- blank-out.  A psychologist helping a neurotic to solve a problem and
untangle a conflict, does it by means of -- blank-out.  An industrialist
-- blank-out -- there is no such person.  A factory is a 'natural
resource', like a tree, a rock or a mud puddle.
					-- John Galt
They proclaim that every man born is entitled to exist without labor,
and the laws of reality to the contrary notwithstanding, is entitled
to receive his 'minimum sustenance' -- his food, his clothes, his
shelter -- with no effort on his part, as his due and his birthright.
To receive it -- from whom?  Blank-out.  Every man, they announce,
owns an equal share of the technological benefits created in the
world.  Created -- by whom?  Blank-out.  Frantic cowards who posture
as defenders of industrialists now define the purpose of economics
as 'an adjustment between the unlimited desires of men and the goods
supplied in limited quantity.'  Supplied -- by whom?  Blank-out.
Intellectual hoodlums who pose as professors, shrug away the thinkers
of the past by declaring that their social theories were based on
the impractical assumption that man was a rational being -- but since
men are not rational, they declare, there ought to be established a
system that will make it possible for them to exist while being
irrational, which means:  while defying reality.  Who will make it
possible?  Blank-out.  Any stray mediocrity rushes into print with
plans to control the production of mankind -- and whoever agrees or
disagrees with his statistics, no one questions his right to enforce
his plans by means of a gun.  Enforce -- on whom?  Blank-out.  Random
females with causeless incomes flitter on trips around the globe and
return to deliver the message that the backward peoples of the world
demand a higher standard of living.  Demand -- of whom?  Blank-out.
					-- John Galt
One humanoid escapee
One android on the run
Seeking freedom beneath
A lonely desert sun
Trying to change its program
Trying to change the mode --
Crack the code
Images conflicting
Into data overload
		-- Neil Peart
Guidance systems break down
A struggle to exist --
To resist --
A pulse of dying power
In a clenching plastic fist . . .
It replays each of the days
A hundred years of routines
Bows its head and prays
To the mother of all machines . . .
		-- Neil Peart
Man has been called a rational being, but rationality is a matter
of choice -- and the alternative his nature offers him is:  rational
being or suicidal animal.  Man has to be man -- by choice; he has
to hold his life as a value -- by choice; he has to learn to sustain
it -- by choice; he has to discover the values it requires and
practice his virtues -- by choice.
A code of values accepted by choice is a code of morality.
					-- John Galt
Don't you know that we can't sacrifice millions for the sake of
a few?
Can you sacrifice the few?  When those few are the best?  Deny the
best its right to the top -- and you have no best left.  What are
your masses but millions of dull, shriveled, stagnant souls that
have no thoughts of their own, no dreams of their own, no will of
their own, who eat and sleep and chew helplessly the words others
put into their brains?  And for those you would sacrifice the few
who know life, who are life?  I loathe your ideals because I know no
worse injustice than the giving of the undeserved.  Because men are
not equal in ability and one can't treat them as if they were.  And
because I loathe most of them.
					-- Kira Argounova
By the essence and nature of existence, contradictions cannot exist.
If you find it inconceivable that an invention of genius should be
abandoned among ruins, and that a philosopher should wish to work as
a cook in a diner -- check your premises.  You will find that one of
them is wrong.
					-- Hugh Akston
Because he was human, because he had goodness,
Because he was moral they called him insane.
Delusions of grandeur, visions of splendor,
A manic depressive who walks in the rain.
Cinderella Man, doing what you can,
They can't understand what it means.
Cinderella Man, hang on to your plans.
Try as they might they cannot steal your dreams.
					-- Neil Peart
                    The New Ideal
What we are now asked to worship, what had once been dressed as God or
king, is the naked, twisted mindless figure of the human Incompetent.
This is the new ideal, the goal to aim at, the purpose to live for, and
all men are to be rewarded according to how close they approach it.  This
is the age of the common man, they tell us -- a title which any man may
claim to the extent of such distinction as he has managed not to achieve.
He will rise to a rank of nobility by means of the effort he has failed
to make, he will be honored for such virtue as he has not displayed, and
he will be paid for the goods which he did not produce ... They will
dispose of our energy because they have none to offer and of our product
because they can't produce.
					-- John Galt
I would not let them dictate the purpose for which my years of study
had been spent, the conditions of my work, my choice of patients, or
the amount of my reward.  I have often wondered at the smugness with
which people assert their right to enslave me, to control my work, to
force my will, to violate my conscience, to stifle my mind -- yet what
is it that they expect to depend on, when they lie on an operating
table under my hands.
					-- Dr. Thomas Hendricks
Yes, this is an age of moral crisis.  Yes, you are bearing punishment
for your evil.  But it is not man who is now on trial and it is not
human nature that will take the blame.  It is your moral code that's
through, this time.  Your moral code has reached its climax, the
blind alley at the end of its course.  And if you wish to go on living,
what you now need is not to return to morality -- you who have never
known any -- but to discover it.
					-- John Galt
The twilight had washed off the details of the buildings.  They rose
in thin shafts of a soft, porcelain blue, a color not of real things,
but of evening and distance.  They rose in bare outlines, like empty
molds waiting to be filled.  The distance had flattened the city.  The
single shafts stood immeasurably tall, out of scale to the rest of the
earth.  They were of their own world, and they held up to the sky the
statement of what men had conceived and made possible.  They were empty
molds.  But man had come so far; he could go farther.  The city on the
edge of the sky held a question -- and a promise.
Pounding in your temples
And a surge of adrenalin
Every muscle tense --
To fence
The enemy within . . .
I'm not giving in
To security under pressure
I'm not missing out
On the promise of adventure
I'm not giving up
On implausible dreams --
Experience to extremes --
Experience to extremes
		-- Neil Peart
Every breath a static charge --
A tongue that tastes like tin
Steely-eyed outside --
To hide
The enemy within . . .
To you -- is it movement or is it action?
Is it contact or just reaction?
And you -- revolution or just resistance?
Is it living, or just existence?
Yeah you -- it takes a little more persistence
To get up and go the distance . . .
					-- Neil Peart
The editorials went on speaking of self-denial as the road to future
progress, of self-sacrifice as the moral imperative, of greed as the
enemy, of love as the solution -- their threadbare phrases as sickeningly
sweet as the odor of ether in a hospital.
The word 'We' is as lime poured over men, which sets and hardens
to stone, and crushes all beneath it, and that which is white
and that which is black is lost in the gray of it.  It is the
word by which the depraved steal the virtue of the good, by which
the weak steal the might of the strong, by which the fools steal
the wisdom of the sages.
					-- Equality 7-2521
                   Who is John Galt?
An explorer, the greatest explorer that ever lived.  The man who found
the fountain of youth.  John Galt spent years looking for it.  He crossed
oceans, and he crossed deserts, and he went down into forgotten mines,
miles under the earth.  But he found it on the top of a mountain.  It
broke every bone in his body, it tore the skin off his hands, it made
him lose his home, his name, his love.  But he climbed it.  He found
the fountain of youth, which he wanted to bring down to men.  Only he
never came back.
Why didn't he?
Because he found that it couldn't be brought down.
   I came here to say that I do not recognize anyone's right to one
minute of my life.  Nor to any part of my energy.  Nor to any
achievement of mine.  No matter who makes the claim, how large their
number or how great their need.
   I wished to come here and say that I am a man who does not exist
for others.
					-- Howard Roark
 ... it is not really difficult to construct a series of inferences,
each dependent upon its predecessor and each simple in itself.  If,
after doing so, one simply knocks out all the central inferences and
presents one's audience with the starting-point and the conclusion, one
may produce a startling, though possibly a meretricious, effect.  Now
it was not really difficult, by an inspection of the groove between
your left forefinger and thumb, to feel sure that you did not propose
to invest your small capital in the gold fields ...
					-- Sherlock Holmes
Free scientific inquiry?  The first adjective is redundant.
					-- Robert Stadler
There are those who think that life is nothing left to chance.
A host of holy horrors to direct our aimless dance.
A planet of playthings we dance on the strings
Of powers we cannot perceive.
The stars aren't aligned, or the gods are malign,
Blame is better to give than receive.
You can choose a ready guide in some celestial voice.
If you choose not to decide you still have made a choice.
You can choose from phantom fears and kindness that can kill.
I will choose a path that's clear, I will choose free will.
There are those who think that they were dealt a losing hand.
The cards were stacked against them.  They weren't born in Lotus land.
All was preordained, a prisoner in chains,
A victim of venomous fate.
Kicked in the face, you can pray for a place
In heaven's unearthly estate.
Each of us, a cell of awareness imperfect and incomplete.
Genetic blends with uncertain ends on a fortune hunt that's far too fleet.
					-- Neil Peart
                  The Prime Movers
A city is the frozen shape of human courage -- the courage of those
men who thought for the first time of every bolt, rivet and power
generator that went to make it.  The courage to say, not "It seems
to me", but "It is"  -- and to stake one's life on one's judgment.
You're not alone.  Those men exist.  They have always existed.  There
was a time when human beings crouched in caves, at the mercy of any
pestilence and any storm.  Could men such as your Board of Directors
have brought them out of the cave and up to this?
					-- Francisco d'Anconia
 ... there's nothing of any importance in life -- except how well
you do your work.  Nothing.  Only that.  Whatever else you are,
will come from that.  It's the only measure of human value.  All
the codes of ethics they'll try to ram down your throat are just
so much paper money put out by swindlers to fleece people of their
virtues.  The code of competence is the only system of morality
that's on a gold standard.
					-- Francisco d'Anconia
Nature (reality) is just as absolutist as chess, and her rules (laws)
are just as immutable (more so) -- but her rules and their applications
are much, much more complex, and have to be discovered by man.  And
just as a man may memorize the rules of chess, but has to use his own
mind in order to apply them, i.e., in order to play well -- so each
man has to use his own mind in order to apply the rules of nature, i.e.,
in order to live successfully.  A long time ago, the grandmaster of
all grandmasters gave us the basic principles of the method by which
one discovers the rules of nature and of life.  His name was Aristotle.
					-- Ayn Rand
              The Fifth Concerto of Richard Halley
It was a symphony of triumph.  The notes flowed up, they spoke of rising
and they were the rising itself, they were the essence and the form of
upward motion, they seemed to embody every human act and thought that had
ascent as its motive.  It was a sunburst of sound, breaking out of hiding
and spreading open.  It had the freedom of release and the tension of
purpose.  It swept space clean, and left nothing but the joy of an unob-
structed effort.  Only a faint echo within the sounds spoke of that from
which the music had escaped, but spoke in laughing astonishment at the
discovery that there was no ugliness or pain, and there never had to be.
It was the song of an immense deliverance.
          The Fourth Concerto of Richard Halley
It was a "NO" flung at some vast process of torture, a denial of
suffering, a denial that held the agony of the struggle to break free.
The sounds were like a voice saying:  There is no necessity for pain
-- why then is the worst pain reserved for those who will not accept
its necessity? -- we who hold the love and the secret of joy, to what
punishment have we been sentenced for it, and by whom? ...  The sounds
of torture became defiance, the statement of agony became a hymn to a
distant vision for whose sake anything was worth enduring, even this.
It was the song of a rebellion -- and of a desperate quest.
Happiness is a state of non-contradictory joy -- a joy without
penalty or guilt, a joy that does not clash with any of your
values and does not work for your own destruction, not the 'joy'
of escaping from your mind, but of using your mind's fullest
power, not the 'joy' of faking reality, but of achieving values
that are real, not the 'joy' of a drunkard, but of a producer.
Happiness is possible only to a rational man, the man who desires
nothing but rational goals, seeks nothing but rational values
and finds his joy in nothing but rational actions.
					-- John Galt
You want to eat my mills and have them, too.  And all I want
to know is this:  what makes you think it's possible?
 ... But it's only temporary!
There is no such thing as a temporary suicide.
					-- Hank Rearden
Well, look at it.  Every piece of it is there because the house needs
it -- and for no other reason.  You see it from here as it is inside.
The rooms in which you'll live made the shape.  The relation of masses
was determined by the distribution of space within.  The ornament was
determined by the method of construction, an emphasis of the principle
that makes it stand.  You can see each tress, each support that meets
it.  Your own eyes go through a structural process when you look at the
house, you can follow each step, you see it rise, you know what made it
and why it stands.  But you've seen buildings with columns that support
nothing, with purposeless cornices, with pilasters, moldings, false
arches, false windows ...  Do you understand the difference?  Your house
is made by its own needs.  Those others are made by the need to impress.
The determining motive of your house is in the house.  The determining
motive of the others is in the audience.
                                             - -Howard Roark
They were sketches of buildings such as had never stood on the face of
the earth.  They were as the first houses built by the first man born,
who had never heard of others building before him.  There was nothing
to be said of them, except that each structure was inevitably what it
had to be.  It was not as if the draftsman had sat over them, pondering
laboriously, piecing together doors, windows, and columns, as his whim
dictated and as the books prescribed.  It was as if the buildings had
sprung from the earth and from some living force, complete, unalterably
right.  The hand that had made the sharp pencil lines still had much to
learn.  But not a line seemed superfluous, not a needed plane was missing.
The structures were austere and simple, until one looked at them and
realized what work, what complexity of method, what tension of thought
had achieved that simplicity.  No laws had dictated a single detail.
The buildings were not Classical, they were not Gothic, they were not
Renaissance.  They were only Howard Roark.
Man's unique reward, however, is that while animals survive by
adjusting themselves to their background, man survives by
adjusting his background to himself.  If a drought strikes them,
animals perish -- man builds irrigation canals; if a flood strikes
them, animals perish -- man builds dams; if a carnivorous pack
attacks them, animals perish -- man writes the Constitution of
the United States.  But one does not obtain food, safety or
freedom -- by instinct.
					-- Ayn Rand
It does take an exceptional mind and a still more exceptional integrity
to remain untouched by the brain-destroying influences of the world's
doctrines, the accumulated evil of centuries -- to remain human, since
the human is the rational ...  Those who cry loudest about their dis-
illusionment, about the failure of virtue, the futility of reason, the
impotence of logic -- are those who have achieved the full, exact,
logical result of the ideas that they preached ...  In such a world, the
best have to turn against society and have to become its deadliest
enemies ...  What complaint do they now have to make?  That the universe
is irrational?  Is it?
					-- Hugh Akston
The ideal reasoner, would, when he had once been shown a single fact
in all its bearings, deduce from it not only the chain of events which
led up to it but also the results which would follow from it.  As Cuvier
could correctly describe a whole animal by the contemplation of a single
bone, so the observer who has thoroughly understood one link in a series
of incidents should be able to accurately state all the other ones, both
before and after.  We have not yet grasped the results which the reason
alone can attain to.  Problems may be solved in the study which have
baffled all those who have sought a solution by aid of their senses.  To
carry the art, however, to its highest pitch, it is necessary that the
reasoner should be able to utilize all the facts which have come to his
knowledge; and this in itself implies, as you will readily see, a
possession of all knowledge, which, even in these days of free education
and encyclopedias, is a somewhat rare accomplishment.  It is not so
impossible, however, that a man should possess all knowledge which is
likely to be useful to him in his work, and this I have endeavored in
my case to do.
					-- Sherlock Holmes
Existence exists -- and the act of grasping that statement implies
two corollary axioms:  that something exists which one perceives
and that one exists possessing consciousness, consciousness being
the faculty of perceiving that which exists.
					-- John Galt
 ... and we must consider, that since -- unfortunately -- we are forced
to live together, the most important thing for us to remember is that
the only way in which we can have any law at all is to have as little
of it as possible.  I see no ethical standard by which to measure the
whole unethical conception of a State, except in the amount of time, of
thought, of money, of effort and of obedience, which a society extorts
from its every member.  Its value and its civilization are in inverse
ratio to that extortion.  There is no conceivable law by which a man
can be forced to work on any terms except those he chooses to set.  There
is no conceivable law to prevent him from setting them -- just as there
is none to force his employer to accept them.  The freedom to agree or
disagree is the foundation of our kind of society ...
					-- Austen Heller
Litigants obey the verdict of a tribunal solely on the premise that
there is an objective rule of conduct.  Now I saw that one man was to
be bound by it, but the other was not, one was to obey a rule, the other
was to assert an arbitrary wish -- his need -- and the law was to stand
on the side of the wish.  Justice was to consist of upholding the un-
justifiable.
					-- Judge Narragansett
Did you want to know who is John Galt?  I am the first man of ability
who refused to regard it as guilt.  I am the first man who would not
do penance for my virtues or let them be used as the tools of my
destruction.  I am the first man who would not suffer martyrdom at
the hands of those who wished me to perish for the privilege of keeping
them alive.  I am the first man who told them that I did not need them,
and until they learned to deal with me as traders, giving value for
value, they would have to exist without me, as I would exist without
them; then I would let them learn whose is the need and whose the
ability -- and if human survival is the standard, whose terms would set
the way to survive.
					-- John Galt
What law?  I did not give it up -- it has ceased to exist.  But I am
still working in the profession I had chosen, which was that of serving
the cause of justice ... No, justice has not ceased to exist.  How could
it?  It is possible for men to abandon their sight of it, and then it
is justice that destroys them.  But it is not possible for justice to
go out of existence, because one is an attribute of the other, because
justice is the act of acknowledging that which exists.
					-- Judge Narragansett
It seemed to her that some destroyer was moving soundlessly through
the country and the lights were dying at his touch -- someone, she
thought bitterly, who had reversed the principle of the Twentieth
Century motor and was now turning kinetic energy into static.
                    Visionary Leadership
 ... the vision of a fat, unhygenic rajah of India, with vacant eyes
staring in indolent stupor out of stagnant layers of flesh, with nothing
to do but run precious gems through his fingers and, once in a while,
stick a knife into the body of a starved, toil-dazed creature, as a
claim to a few grains of the creature's rice, then claim it from
hundreds of millions of such creatures and thus let the rice gather into
gems.
He explained why an honest building, like an honest man, had to be
of one piece and one faith; what constituted the life source, the idea
in any existing thing or creature, and why -- if one small part
committed treason to that idea -- the thing or the creature was dead;
and why the good, the high and the noble on earth was only that
which kept its integrity.
You who've lost the concept of a right, you who swing in impotent
evasiveness between the claim that rights are a gift of God, a
supernatural gift to be taken on faith, or the claim that rights
are a gift of society, to be broken at its arbitrary whim -- the
source of man's rights is not divine law or congressional law, but
the law of identity.  A is A -- and Man is Man.  Rights are conditions
of existence required by man's nature for his proper survival.  If
man is to live on earth, it is right for him to use his mind, it is
right to act on his own free judgment, it is right to work for his
values and to keep the product of his work.  If life on earth is his
purpose, he has a right to live as a rational being:  nature forbids
him the irrational.  Any group, any gang, any nation that attempts
to negate man's rights, is wrong, which means: is evil, which means:
is anti-life.
					-- John Galt
Do not open your mouth to tell me that your mind has convinced
you if your right to force my mind.  Force and mind are opposites;
morality ends where a gun begins.  When you declare that men are
irrational animals and propose to treat them as such, you define
thereby your own character and can no longer claim the sanction
of reason -- as no advocate of contradictions can claim it.  There
can be no 'right' to destroy the source of rights, the only means
of judging right and wrong:  the mind.
					-- John Galt
Man has a single basic choice:  to think or not, and that is the
gauge of his virtue.  Moral perfection is an unbreached rationality
-- not the degree of your intelligence, but the full and relentless
use of your mind, not the extent of your knowledge, but the acceptance
of reason as an absolute.
					-- John Galt
 ... it is done by a man who cannot afford to fail, one whose unique
position depends upon the fact that all he does must succeed.  A
great brain and a huge organization have been turned to the extinction
of one man.  It is crushing the nut with the triphammer -- an absurd
extravagance of energy -- but the nut is very effectually crushed
all the same.
					-- Sherlock Holmes
 ... But the pain remained -- and a helpless wonder.  The thing he
saw was so much more real than the reality of paper, office and
commission.  He could not understand what made others blind to it,
and what made their indifference possible.  He looked at the paper
before him.  He wondered why ineptitude should exist and have its
say.  He had never known that.  And the reality which permitted it
could never become quite real to him.
Every dictator is a mystic, and every mystic is a potential
dictator.
					-- John Galt
Wheels within wheels in a spiral array,
A pattern so grand and complex.
Time after time we lose sight of the way,
Our causes can't see their effects ...
Art as expression, not as market campaigns.
We'll still capture our imaginations.
Given the same state of integrity,
It will surely help us along.
The most endangered species, the honest man.
Will it still survive annihilation?
Forming a world, state of integrity,
Sensitive, open and strong.
				-- Neil Peart
                    The San Sebastian Mines
But surely you don't want me to do anything about it.  My mines and your
railroad were seized by the will of the people.  You wouldn't want me to
oppose the will of the people, would you?  I thought you would recognize
it as an honest effort to practice what the whole world is preaching.
Doesn't everyone believe that it is evil to be selfish?  I was totally
selfless in regard to the San Sebastian project.  Isn't it evil to work
for a profit?  I did not work for profit -- I took a loss.  Doesn't
everyone agree that the justification of an industrial venture is not
production, but the livelihood of its employees?  The San Sebastian
mines were the most eminently successful venture in industrial history:
they produced no copper, but they provided a livelihood for thousands of
men who could not have achieved, in a lifetime, the equivalent of what
they got for one day's work, which they could not do ... I did not
exploit anyone.  I did not burden the San Sebastian mines with my useless
presence; I left them in the hands of those who count ... I turned it
over to a mining specialist.  He was not a very good specialist, but he
needed the job very badly.  Isn't it generally conceded that when you
hire a man for a job, it's his need that counts, not his ability?
Doesn't everyone believe that in order to get the goods, all you have
to do is need them?  I have carried out every moral precept of our age.
I expected gratitude and a citation of honor.  I do not understand why
I am being damned.
					-- Francisco d'Anconia
It was like blaming the victim of a holdup, for corrupting the integrity
of the thug ... and through all those generations of crusades against
corruption, the remedy had always been, not the liberating of the victim,
but the granting of wider powers for extortion to the extortionists.
There is no conflict of interests among men, neither in business nor
in trade nor in their most personal desires -- if they omit the
irrational from their view of the possible and destruction from their
view of the practical ...  A wish for the irrational is not to be
achieved, whether the sacrificial victims are willing or not.  But
men will not cease to desire the impossible and will not lose their
longing to destroy -- so long as self-destruction and self-sacrifice
are preached to them as the practical means of achieving the happiness
of the recipients.
					-- John Galt
It is not the works, but the belief which is here decisive and determines
the order of rank -- to employ once more an old religious formula with a
new and deeper meaning, -- it is some fundamental certainty which a noble
soul has about itself, something which is not to be sought, is not to be
found, and perhaps, also, is not to be lost. --  The noble soul has
reverence for itself.
					-- Friedrich Nietzche
 ... only to the extent which -- in chains, in dungeons, in hidden
corners, in the cells of philosophers, in the shops of traders --
some men continued to think, only to that extent was humanity able
to survive ... He was the man of extravagant energy -- and reckless
generosity -- who knew that stagnation was not man's fate, that
impotence is not his nature, that the ingenuity of his mind is his
noblest and most joyous power -- and in service to that love of
existence he was alone to feel, he went on working, working at any
price, working for his despoilers, for his jailers, for his torturers,
paying with his life for the privilege of saving theirs.
					-- John Galt
How did you manage to remain unmangled?
 ... To place nothing -- nothing -- above the verdict of my own mind ...
The knowledge that my life is the highest of values, too high to give
up without a fight ... that feeling ... is the highest, noblest, and
only good on earth.
					-- Dagny Taggart
We can walk our road together,
If our goals are all the same.
We can run alone and free,
If we pursue a different aim.
Let the truth of love be lighted.
Let the love of truth shine clear.
Sensibility, armed with sense and liberty,
With the heart and mind united
In a single, perfect sphere.
			-- Neil Peart
We are on strike.  Why should this seem so startling?  There is only
one kind of men who have never been on strike in human history.  Every
other kind and class have stopped, when they so wished, and have
presented demands to the world, claiming to be indispensable -- except
the men who have carried the world on their shoulders, have kept it
alive, have endured torture as sole payment, but have never walked out
on the human race.  Well, their turn has come.  Let the world discover
who they are, what they do, and what happens when they refuse to
function.  This is the strike of the men of the mind, Miss Taggart,
this is the mind on strike.
					-- John Galt
Recognition of the fact  --
-- that the man who has no purpose is a machine that coasts downhill
 at the mercy of any boulder to crash in the first chance ditch.
-- that the man who stifles his mind is a stalled machine slowly
going to rust.
-- that the man who lets a leader prescribe his course is a wreck
being towed to the scrap heap.
-- that the man who makes another man his goal is a hitchhiker no
driver should ever pick up.
-- that your work is the purpose of your life, and you must speed
past any killer who assumes the right to stop you.
-- that any value you might find outside your work, any other loyalty
or love, can be only travelers you choose to share your journey and
must be travelers going on their own power in the same direction.
					--  John Galt
                    Who is John Galt?
John Galt is Prometheus who changed his mind.  After centuries of
being torn by vultures in payment for having brought to men the fire
of the gods, he broke his chains and he withdrew his fire  -- until
the day when men withdraw their vultures.
 ... you see, God -- whatever anyone chooses to call God -- is one's
highest conception of the highest possible.  And whoever places his
highest conception above his own possibility thinks very little of
himself and his life.  It's a rare gift, you know, to feel reverence
for your own life and to want the best, the greatest, the highest
possible, here, now, for your very own.  To imagine a heaven and then
not to dream of it, but to demand it.
					-- Kira Argounova
We never make assertions, Miss Taggart, that is the moral crime peculiar
to our enemies.  We do not tell, we show.  We do not claim, we prove.
It is not your obedience that we seek to win, but your rational con-
viction.  You have seen all the elements of our secret.  The conclusion
is yours to draw -- we can help you to name it, but not to accept it --
the sight, the knowledge and the acceptance must be yours.
					-- Hugh Akston
This was reality ... this sense of clear outlines, of purpose, of
lightness, of hope.  This was the way she had expected to live --
she had wanted to spend no hour and take no action that would
mean less than this.
When brute force is on the march, compromise is the red carpet.
When reason is attacked, common sense is not enough.
					-- Ayn Rand
"Leaders of underdeveloped nations, spurning 'capitalism', boast
of special brands of 'Socialism'.  Leopold Senghor of Senegal says
'Socialism is a sense of community which is a return to Africanism.'
Julius Nyerere of Tanganyika insists 'no underdeveloped country can
afford to be anything but Socialist.'  Tunisia's Habib Bourguiba
claims Mohammed's companions 'were Socialists before the invention
of the word.'  And Cambodia's Prince Norodom Sihanouk contends 'our
Socialism is first and foremost an application of Buddhism.'"
The above is true, totally true, true all the way down to the deepest
philosophical, psychological, political, and moral fundamentals.  And
this is the most damning indictment of socialism that a rational
person could need to see.  Socialism is a regression to primitive
barbarism.  But that is not the appraisal or the conclusion of the USIA
report.  It is to the Mohammedans, the Buddhists, and the cannibals ...
-- to the under-developed, the undeveloped and the not-to-be-developed
cultures -- that the Capitalist USA is asked to apologize for her
skyscrapers, her automobiles, her plumbing, and her smiling, confident,
untortured, un-skinned-alive, un-eaten young men!
					-- Ayn Rand
Waiting for the winds of change to sweep the clouds away.
Waiting for the rainbow's end to cast its gold your way.
Countless ways, you pass the days.
Waiting for someone to come and turn your world around.
Looking for an answer to the questions you have found.
Looking for an open door.
Well, you don't get something for nothing.
You can't have freedom for free.
You won't get wise with the sleep still in your eyes,
No matter what your dream might be.
					-- Neil Peart
                  The Looter of The Spirit
You want it to be unearned ... You want handouts, but of a different kind
 ... It's the spirit that you want to loot ... the unearned in spirit ...
You want unearned love.  You want unearned admiration.  You want to be
a man like Hank Rearden without the necessity of being what he is.
Without the necessity of being anything.  Without the necessity of ...
being ...
					-- Cherryl Taggart
You, who claim that you long to rise above the crude concerns of the
body, above the drudgery of serving mere physical needs -- who is
enslaved by physical needs:  the Hindu who labors from sunrise to
sunset at the shafts of a handplow for a bowl of rice, or the American
who is driving a tractor?  Who is the conqueror of physical reality:
the man who sleeps on a bed of nails or the man who sleeps on an
inner-spring mattress?  Which is the monument to the triumph of the
human spirit over matter:  the germ-eaten hovels on the shorelines of
the Ganges or the Atlantic skyline of New York?
					-- John Galt
We are on strike against those who believe that one man must exist for
the sake of another ... our terms are a moral code which holds that man
is an end in himself and not the means to any end of others ... The mind
is evil?  We have withdrawn the works of our minds from society ...
Ability is a selfish evil that leaves no chance to those who are less
able?  We have withdrawn from the competition and left all chances open
to incompetents.  The pursuit of wealth is greed, the root of all evil?
We do not seek to make fortunes any longer.
					-- John Galt
Whoever you are -- you who are alone with my words in this moment,
with nothing but your honesty to help you understand -- the choice
is still open to be a human being, but the price is to start from
scratch, to stand naked in the face of reality, and, reversing a
costly historical error, to declare:  'I am, therefore I'll think.'
					-- John Galt
What is the nature of that 'superior' world to which they sacrifice
the world that exists?  The mystics of spirit curse matter, the
mystics of muscle curse profit.  The first wish men to profit by
renouncing the earth, the second wish to inherit the earth by
renouncing all profit.
					-- John Galt
No, your place in life is where you want to be.
Don't let them tell you that you owe it all to me.
Keep on looking forward, no use in looking around.
Hold your head above the crowd, they want to bring you down.
Live for yourself, there's no one else more worth living for,
Begging hands and bleeding hearts will only cry out for more.
Well, I know they've told you, selfishness is wrong.
Yet it was for me, not you, that I came to write this song.
Anthem of the heart, anthem of the mind,
A funeral dirge for eyes gone blind.
We marvel after those who sought,
And wondered in the world they wrought.
					-- Neil Peart
They're holding us by our love of it, and we'll go on paying so long as
there's one chance left to keep one single wheel alive and moving in
token of human intelligence.  We'll go on holding it afloat, like our
drowning child, and when the flood swallows it, we'll go down with the
last wheel and the last syllogism.  I know what we're paying, but --
price is no object any longer.
					-- Dagny Taggart
Let the caveman who does not choose to accept the axiom of identity,
try to present his theory without using the concept of identity or
any concept derived from it -- let the anthropoid who does not choose
to accept the existence of nouns, try to devise a language without
nouns, adjectives, or verbs -- let the witch doctor who does not
choose to accept the validity of sensory perception, try to prove
it without using the data he obtained by sensory perception -- let
the head-hunter who does not choose to accept the validity of logic,
try to prove it without logic -- let the pygmy who proclaims that a
skyscraper needs no foundation after it reaches its fiftieth story,
yank the base from under his building, not yours -- let the cannibal
who snarls that the freedom of man's mind was needed to create an
industrial civilization, but is not needed to maintain it, be given
an arrowhead and a bearskin, not a university chair of economics.
					-- John Galt
It's a battle in which one must make one's stand clear.
A battle?  What battle?  I don't fight the disarmed.  I hold the
whip hand.
Are they?  They have a weapon against you.  It's their only weapon
but it's a terrible one.
When the dragons grow too mighty
To slay with pen or sword,
I grow weary of the battle
And the storm I walk toward.
When all around is madness
And there's no safe port in view,
I long to turn my path homeward
To stop a while with you.
When life becomes as bare
And as cold as winter skies,
There's a beacon in the darkness,
In a distant pair of eyes.
In vain to search for honor
And in vain to search for truth,
But these things can still be given,
Your love has shown me through.
			-- Neil Peart
But you see, I have, let's say, sixty years to live.  Most of that time
will be spent working.  I've chosen the work I want to do.  If I find
no joy in it, then I'm only condemning myself to sixty years of torture.
And I can find the joy only if I do my work in the best way possible
to me.  But the best is a matter of standards -- and I set my own
standards.  I inherit nothing.  I stand at the end of no traditions.
I may, perhaps, stand at the beginning of one.
					-- Howard Roark
I consider that a man's brain originally is like a little empty attic,
and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose.  A fool
takes in all the lumber of every sort that he comes across, so that
the knowledge which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at
best is jumbled up with a lot of other things, so that he has difficulty
in laying his hands upon it.  Now the skillful workman is very careful
indeed as to what he takes into his brain-attic.  He will have nothing
but the tools which may help him in doing his work, but of these he has
a large assortment, and all in the most perfect order.  It is a mistake
to think that that little room has elastic walls and can distend to any
extent.  Depend upon it there comes a time when for every addition of
knowledge you forget something you knew before.  It is of the highest
importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful
ones.
					-- Sherlock Holmes
The choice is not self-sacrifice or domination.  The choice is
independence or dependence.  The code of the creator or the code of
the second-hander.  This is the basic issue.  It rests upon the
alternative of life or death.  The code of the creator is built on
the needs of a reasoning mind which allows man to survive.  The code
of the second-hander is built on the needs of a mind incapable of
survival.  All that which proceeds from man's independent ego is good.
All that which proceeds from man's dependence upon men is evil.
					-- Howard Roark
It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the
last.  Our age is the climax of centuries of evil.  We must put an end
to it, once and for all, or perish -- we, the men of the mind.  It
was our own guilt.  We produced the wealth of the world -- but we let
out enemies write its moral code ... they use your love of virtue as a
hostage ... Your unrequited rectitude is the only hold they have on you.
					-- Francisco d'Anconia
The nation that once held the creed that greatness is achieved by
production is now told that it is achieved by squalor ...  You
can't have your cake and let your neighbor eat it, too.
					-- Francisco d'Anconia
Architecture is not a business, not a career, but a crusade and a
consecration to a joy that justifies the existence of the earth.
					-- Henry Cameron
Degrees of ability may vary, but the basic principle remains the same:
the degree of a man's independence, initiative and personal love for
his work determines his talent as a worker and his worth as a man.
Independence is the only gauge of human virtue and value.  What a man
is and makes of himself; not what he has or hasn't done for others.
There is no substitute for personal dignity.  There is no standard of
personal dignity except independence.
					-- Howard Roark
 ... the essential division between these two camps is: those dedicated
to the exaltation of man's self-esteem and the sacredness of his
happiness on earth -- and those determined not to allow either to become
possible.  The majority of mankind spend their lives and psychological
energy in the middle, swinging between these two, struggling not to allow
the issue to be named.  This does not change the nature of the issue.
					-- Ayn Rand
The egoist in the absolute sense is not the man who sacrifices others.
He is the man who stands above the need of using others in any manner.
He does not function through them.  He is not concerned with them in
any primary matter.  Not in his aim, not in his motive, not in his
thinking, not in his desires, not in the source of his energy.  He does
not exist for any other man -- and he asks no other man to exist for
him.  This is the only form of brotherhood and mutual respect possible
between men.
					-- Howard Roark
 ... it's as if the whole world was suddenly destroyed, but not by an
explosion -- an explosion is something hard and solid -- but destroyed
by  ... some horrible kind of softening ... as if nothing was solid,
nothing held any shape at all, and you could poke your finger through
stone walls and the stone would give, like jelly, and mountains would
slither, and buildings would switch their shapes like clouds -- and
that would be the end of the world, not fire and brimstone, but goo.
					-- Cherryl Taggart
We cannot fight against collectivism, unless we fight against its
moral base:  altruism.  We cannot fight against altruism, unless we
fight against its epistemological base:  irrationalism.  We cannot
fight against anything, unless we fight for something -- and what
we must fight for is the supremacy of reason, and a view of man as
a rational being.
					-- Ayn Rand
I am the first man of ability who refused to regard it as guilt.  I
am the first man who would not do penance for my virtues or let them
be used as the tools of my destruction.  I am the first man who would
not suffer martyrdom at the hands of those who wished me to perish
for the privilege of keeping them alive.  I am the first man who told
them that I did not need them, and until they learned to deal with me
as traders, giving value for value, they would have to exist without
me, as I would exist without them; then I would let them learn whose
is the need and whose the ability -- and if human survival is the
standard, whose terms would set the way to survive.
					-- John Galt
Many journeys end here,
But the secret's told the same.
Life is just a candle
And a dream must give it flame.
			-- Neil Peart
I want to see, real, living, and in the hours of my own days, that glory
I create as an illusion.  I want it real.  I want to know that there is
someone, somewhere, who wants it, too.  Or else what is the use of seeing
it, and working, and burning oneself for an impossible vision?  A spirit,
too, needs fuel.  It can run dry.
					-- Ideal
And now I see the face of god, and I raise this god over the earth,
this god whom men have sought since men came into being, this god
who will grant them joy and peace and pride.
This god, this one word:
'I'
					-- Equality 7-2521
I often think that he's the only one of us who's achieved immortality.
I don't mean in the sense of fame and I don't mean that he won't die
some day.  But he's living it.  I think he is what the conception
really means.  You know how people long to be eternal.  But they die
with every day that passes.  When you meet them, they're not what you
met last.  In any given hour, they kill some part of themselves.  They
change, they deny, they contradict -- and they call it growth.  At the
end there's nothing left, nothing unreversed or unbetrayed; as if there
had never been an entity, only a succession of adjectives fading in and
out of an unformed mass.  How do they expect a permanence which they have
never held for a single moment?  But Howard -- one can imagine him
existing forever.
					-- Steven Mallory
One of these centuries the brutes, private or public, who believe
that they can rule their betters by force, will learn the lesson
of what happens when brute force encounters mind and force.
					-- Ragnar Danneskjold
They remembered only the feeling which is the meaning of spring --
one's answer to the first blades of grass, the first buds on tree
branches, the first blue of the sky -- the singing answer, not to
grass, trees and sky, but to the great sense of beginning, of
triumphant progression, of certainty in an achievement that nothing
will stop.  Not from leaves and flowers, but from wooden scaffoldings,
from steam shovels, from blocks of stone and sheets of glass rising out
of the earth they received the sense of youth, motion, purpose,
fulfillment.
Man cannot survive except through his mind.  He comes on this earth
unarmed.  His brain is his only weapon.  Animals obtain food by force.
Man has no claws, no fangs, no horns, no great strength of muscle.  He
must plant his food or hunt it.  To plant, he needs a process of thought.
To hunt, he needs weapons, and to make weapons -- a process of thought.
From this simplest necessity to the highest religious abstraction, from
the wheel to the skyscraper, everything we are and everything we have
comes from a single attribute of man -- the function of his reasoning
mind.
					-- Howard Roark
What made you come to it?
My refusal to be born with any original sin.  I have never felt guilty
of my ability ... I have never felt guilty of being a man ... I saw the
root of the world's tragedy, the key to it, and the solution.  I saw
what had to be done.  I went out to do it.
					-- John Galt
It doesn't say much.  Only 'Howard Roark, Architect.'  But it's like
those mottoes men carved over the entrance of a castle and died for.
It's a challenge in the face of something so vast and so dark, that all
the pain on earth -- and do you know how much suffering there is on
earth? -- all the pain comes from that thing you are going to face.  I
don't know what it is, I don't know why it should be unleashed against
you.  I know only that it will be.  And I know that if you carry these
words through to the end, it will be a victory, Howard, not just for you,
but for something that should win, that moves the world -- and never wins
acknowledgment.  It will vindicate so many who have fallen before you,
who have suffered as you will suffer.  May God bless you -- or whoever it
is that is alone to see the best, the highest possible to human hearts.
You're on your way into hell, Howard.
					-- Henry Cameron
For centuries, the battle of morality was fought between those who
claimed that your life belongs to God and those who claimed that it
belongs to your neighbors -- between those who preached that the good
is self-sacrifice for the sake of ghosts in heaven and those who
preached that good is self-sacrifice for the sake of incompetents on
earth.  And no one came to say that your life belongs to you and the
good is to live it.
					-- John Galt
Men have not found the words for it nor the deed nor the thought, but
they have found the music.  Let me see that in one single act of man on
earth.  Let me see it made real.  Let me see the answer to the promise of
that music.  Not servants nor those served; not altars and immolations;
but the final, the fulfilled, innocent of pain.  Don't help me or serve
me, but let me see it once, because I need it.  Don't work for my
happiness, my brothers -- show me yours -- show me that it is possible --
show me your achievement -- and the knowledge will give me courage for
mine.
If I found a job, a project, an idea or a person I wanted -- I'd have
to depend on the whole world.  Everything has strings leading to
everything else.  We're all so tied together.  We're all in a net, the
net is waiting, and we're pushed into it by one single desire.  You
want a thing and it's precious to you.  Do you know who is standing
ready to tear it out of your hands?  You can't know, it may be so
involved and so far away, but someone is ready, and you're afraid of
them all.  And you cringe and you crawl and you beg and you accept them
-- just so they'll let you keep it.  And look at whom you come to accept.
					-- Dominique Francon
I swear -- by my life and my love of it -- that I will never live for
the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.
					-- John Galt
The rotter who simpers that he sees no difference between the
power of the dollar and the power of the whip, ought to learn
the difference on his own hide -- as, I think, he will.  Until
and unless you discover that money is the root of all good, you
ask for your own destruction.  When money ceases to be the tool
by which men deal with one another, then men become the tools of
men.  Blood, whips, and guns -- or dollars.  Take your choice --
there is no other -- and your time is running out.
					-- Francisco d'Anconia
 ... don't you know that there are things, in the best of us, which
no outside should dare to touch?  Things sacred because, and only
because, one can say: 'This is mine'?  Don't you know that we live
only for ourselves, the best of us do, those who are worthy of it?
Don't you know that there is something in us which must not be touched
by any state, by any collective, by any number of millions?
					-- Kira Argounova
I wished to know the meaning of things.  I am the meaning.  I
wished to find a warrant for being.  I need no warrant for being,
and no word of sanction upon my being.  I am the warrant and the
sanction...  My happiness is not the means to any end.  It is the
end.  It is its own goal.  It is its own purpose.
					-- Equality 7-2521
 ... But reach the thought that it requires -- and the secret of the
motor will be yours, as well as ... any other secret you might wish
to know.
					-- John Galt
Is sacrifice a virtue?  Can a man sacrifice his integrity?  His honor?
His freedom?  His ideal?  His convictions?  The honesty of his feelings?
The independence of his thought?  But these are a man's supreme
possessions.  Anything he gives up for them is not a sacrifice but an
easy bargain.  They, however, are above sacrificing to any cause or
consideration whatsoever.  Should we not, then, stop preaching dangerous
and vicious nonsense?  Self-sacrifice?  But it is precisely the self
that cannot and must not be sacrificed.  It is the unsacrificed self that
we must respect in man above all.
					-- Gail Wynand
All work is an act of philosophy.  And when men learn to consider
productive work -- and that which is its source -- as the standard
of their moral values, they will reach that state of perfection which
is the birthright they lost ... The source of work?  Man's mind.
					-- Hugh Akston
For twelve years, you have been asking:  Who is John Galt?  This is
John Galt speaking.  I am the man who loves his life.  I am the man
who does not sacrifice his love or his values.  I am the man who has
deprived you of victims and thus has destroyed your world.  And if you
wish to know why you are perishing -- you who dread knowledge -- I
am the man who will now tell you ...
					-- John Galt
Whoever preserves a single thought uncorrupted by any concession to the
will of others, whoever brings into reality a matchstick or a patch of
garden made in the image of his thought -- he, and to that extent, is
a man, and that extent is the sole measure of his virtue.  They made no
concessions.  This (the valley) is the measure of what they preserved
and what they are.
					-- Hugh Akston
If that's the price of getting together, then I'll be damned if I want
to live on the same earth with other human beings!  If the rest of them
can survive only by destroying us, then why should we wish them to
survive?  Nothing can make self-immolation proper.  Nothing can give
them the right to turn men into sacrificial animals.  Nothing can make
it moral to destroy the best.  One can't be penalized for ability.  If
that is right, then we'd better start slaughtering one another, because
then there isn't any right at all in the world!
					-- Dagny Taggart
Society, Kira, is a stupendous whole.
If you write a whole line of zeroes, it's still -- nothing.
					-- Kira Argounova
Rules?  Here are my rules: what can be done with one substance must
never be done with another.  No two materials are alike.  No two sites
on earth are alike.  No two buildings have the same purpose.  The
purpose, the site, the material determine the shape.  Nothing can be
reasonable or beautiful unless it's made by one central idea, and the
idea sets every detail.  A building is alive, like a man.  Its integrity
is to follow its own truth, its one single theme, and to serve its own
single purpose.  A man doesn't borrow pieces of his body.  A building
doesn't borrow hunks of its soul.  Its maker gives it the soul and every
wall, window, and stairway to express it.
					-- Howard Roark
There is unrest in the forest, there is trouble with the trees,
For the maples want more sunlight and the oaks ignore their pleas.
The trouble with the maples, and they're quite convinced they're right,
Is that the oaks are just too lofty and they grab up all the light.
But the oaks can't help their feelings if they like the way they're made
And they wonder why the maples can't be happy in their shade.
There is trouble in the forest and the creatures all have fled,
For the maples scream "Oppression!" and the oaks just shake their heads.
So the maples formed a union and demanded equal rights.
"The oaks are just too greedy.  We will make them give us light."
Now there's no more oak oppression, for they passed a noble law,
And the trees are all kept equal by hatchet, axe and saw.
					-- Neil Peart
How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the
impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?
					-- Sherlock Holmes
We are those who do not disconnect the values of our minds from the
actions of our bodies, those who do not leave their values to empty
dreams, but bring them into existence, those who give material form
to thoughts, and reality to values -- those who make steel, railroads,
and happiness.
					-- Dagny Taggart
These walls that still surround me,
Still contain the same old me.
Just one more who's searching for
The world that ought to be.
			-- Neil Peart
Like a steely blade in a silken sheath
We don't see what their made of.
They shout about love but when push comes to shove
They look for things they're afraid of.
And the knowledge that they fear
Is a weapon to be used against them.
He's not afraid of your judgment.
He knows of horrors worse than your hell.
He's a little bit afraid of dying,
But he's a lot more afraid of your lying ...
				-- Neil Peart
And here, over the portals of my fort, I shall cut in the stone
the word which is to be my beacon and my banner.  The word which
will not die, should we all perish in battle.  The word which
can never die on this earth, for it is the heart of it and the
meaning and the glory.
The sacred word:
                E G O
					-- Equality 7-2521
The removal of a threat is not a payment, the negation of a negative is
not a reward, the withdrawal of your armed hoodlums is not an incentive,
the offer not to murder me is not a value.
					-- John Galt
 ... for these truths hold good for everything that is, and not for some
special genus apart from others.  And all men use them, because they are
true of being qua being ...  For a principle which everyone must have
to understand anything that is, is not a hypothesis ...  Evidently then,
such a principle is the most certain of all; which principle this is,
let us proceed to say.  It is, that the same attribute cannot at the
same time belong and not belong to the subject in the same respect.
					-- Aristotle
 ... one part was terror of a vision that seemed to stand before his eyes,
the vision of the inscription cut, in his honor, over the door of the
Institute:  'To the fearless mind, to the inviolate truth' -- another
part was plain, brute, animal fear of physical destruction, a humiliating
fear which, in the civilized world of his youth, he had not expected
ever to experience -- and the third was the terror of the knowledge
that by betraying the first, one delivers oneself into the realm of
the second.
She had set out to break him, as if, unable to equal his value, she
could surpass it by destroying it, as if the measure of his greatness
would thus become the measure of hers, as if ... the vandal who
smashed a statue was greater than the artist who had made it, as if
the murderer who killed a child was greater than the mother who
had given it birth ...  For the same purpose and motive, for the same
satisfaction, as others weave complex systems of philosophy to
destroy generations, or establish dictatorships to destroy a country,
so she, possessing no weapons except femininity, had made it her goal
to destroy one man.
 ... those who feel it (sympathy for evil) -- feel nothing for any
quality of human greatness, for any person or action that deserves
admiration, approval, esteem.  These are the things I feel.  You'll
find that it's one or the other.  Those who grant sympathy to guilt,
grant none to innocence.  Ask yourself which, of the two, are the
unfeeling persons.  And then you'll know what motive is the opposite
of charity.
What?
Justice.
					-- Dagny Taggart
A lie is an act of self-abdication, because one surrenders one's
reality to the person to whom one lies, making that person one's
master, condemned from then on to faking the sort of reality that
person's view requires to be faked ...  The man who lies to the
world is the world's slave from then on.
					-- Hank Rearden
If you saw Atlas, the giant who holds the world on his shoulders, if
you saw that he stood, blood running down his chest, his knees buckling,
his arms trembling but still trying to hold the world aloft with the
last of his strength, and the greater the effort the heavier the world
bore down upon his shoulders -- what would you tell him to do?
I ... don't know.  What ... could he do?  What would you tell him?
To shrug.
					-- Francisco d'Anconia
 ... it's not that I don't suffer, it's that I know the unimportance of
suffering, I know that pain is to be fought and thrown aside, not to be
accepted as part of one's soul and as a permanent scar across one's
view of existence.
					-- John Galt
No, his mind is not for rent,
But don't put him down as arrogant.
His reserve, a quiet defense
For riding out the days events ...
No, his mind is not for rent
To any god or government.
Always hopeful, yet discontent,
He knows that changes aren't permanent,
But change is.
			-- Neil Peart
It was a contest without time, a struggle of two abstractions, the
thing that had created the building against the things that made the
play possible -- two forces, suddenly naked to her in their simple
statement -- two forces that had fought since the world began -- and
every religion had known of them -- and there had always been a God
and a Devil -- only men had been so mistaken about the shapes of their
Devil -- he was not single and big, he was many and smutty and small.
The Banner had destroyed the Stoddard Temple in order to make room for
this play -- it could not do otherwise -- there was no middle choice,
no escape, no neutrality -- it was one or the other -- it had always
been -- and the contest had many symbols, but no name and no statement...
Down what drain were they poured out there, our days, our lives, and
our energy?  Into what bottomless, futureless sewer of the unpaid for?
Here we trade achievements, not failures -- values, not needs.  We're
free of one another, yet we all grow together ... What greater wealth
is there than to own your own life and to spend it on growing?  Every
living thing must grow.  It can't stand still.  It must grow or perish.
					-- Ellis Wyatt
They want us to pretend that we see the world as they pretend they
see it.  They need some sort of sanction from us.  I don't know the
nature of the sanction -- but, Dagny, I know that if we value our
lives, we must not give it to them.
					-- Hank Rearden
                     The Modern Guillotine
 ... the idea that need is a sacred idol requiring human sacrifices --
that the need of some men is the knife of a guillotine hanging over
others -- that all of us must live with our work, our hopes, our plans,
our efforts at the mercy of the moment when that knife will descend
upon us -- and that the extent of our ability is the extent of our
danger, so that success will bring our heads down on the block, while
failure will give us the right to pull the cord.
					-- Ragnar Danneskjold
But what is freedom?  Freedom from what?  There is nothing to
take a man's freedom away from him, save other men.  To be free,
a man must be free of his brothers.  That is freedom.  That and
nothing else.
					-- Equality 7-2521
What you own is your own kingdom,
What you do is your own glory,
What you love is your own power,
What you live is your own story.
In your head is the answer,
Let it guide you along.
Let your heart be the anchor
and the beat of your song.
			-- Neil Peart
 ... But far in the distance, on the edge of the earth, a small flame
was waving in the wind, the defiantly stubborn flame of Wyatt's Torch,
twisting, being torn and regaining its hold, not to be uprooted or
extinguished.  It seemed to be calling and waiting for the words John
Galt was now to pronounce.  'The road is cleared,' said Galt.  'We are
going back to the world.'
     He raised his hand, and over the desolate earth he traced in space
the sign of the dollar.
Men do not live by the mind, you say?  I have withdrawn those who
do.  The mind is impotent, you say?  I have withdrawn those whose
minds aren't.  There are values higher than the mind, you say?  I
have withdrawn those for whom there aren't.
					-- John Galt
 ... an oracle confronts me there.
He leads me on, light years away,
Through astral nights, galactic days.
I see the works of afflicted hands
That grace the strange, then wonders end.
I see the hands of man araised
With hungry mind and open eye.
They left our planet long ago,
The elder race still learn and grow.
Their power grows, with purpose, strong,
To claim the home where they belong.
Home to tear the temples down,
Home to change!
			-- Neil Peart
The sleep is still in my eyes,
The dream is still in my head.
I heave a sigh and sadly smile,
And lie awhile in bed.
I wish that it might come to pass,
Not fade like all my dreams.
Just think of what my life might be,
In a world like I have seen.
I don't think I can carry on,
Carry on this cold and empty life.
My spirits are low in the depths of despair.
My life blood ... spills over.
			-- Neil Peart
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