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Saturday, January 31, 2015

Who are to be the New Intellectuals?

Who are to be the New Intellectuals?

“Any man or woman who is willing to think. All those who know that man’s life must be guided by reason, those who value their own life and are not witting to surrender it to the cult of despair in the modern jungle of cynical impotence, just as they are not willing to surrender the world to the Dark Ages and the rule of the brutes.” ~ Ayn Rand

Who is the creator?

"Men have been taught that it is a virtue to agree with others. But the creator is the man who disagrees. Men have been taught that it is a virtue to swim with the current. But the creator is the man who goes against the current. Men have been taught that it is a virtue to stand together. But the creator is the man who stands alone." ~ Howard Roark in Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Common Sense

"A long habit of not thinking a thing WRONG, gives it a superficial appearance of being RIGHT, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. But the tumult soon subsides. Time makes more converts than reason." ~ Thomas Paine in Common Sense

Monday, January 26, 2015

The condensed emotional summation of the view of life in Atlas Shrugged

"You ask me about the meaning of the dialogue on page 702 of Atlas Shrugged:

"'We never had to take any of it seriously, did we?" she whispered. "'No, we never had to.'"

"Let me begin by saying that this is perhaps the most important point in the whole book, because it is the condensed emotional summation, the keynote or leitmotif, of the view of life presented in Atlas Shrugged.

"What Dagny expresses here is the conviction that joy, exaltation, beauty, greatness, heroism, all the supreme, uplifting values of man's existence on earth, are the meaning of life—not the pain or ugliness he may encounter—that one must live for the sake of such exalted moments as one may be able to achieve or experience, not for the sake of suffering—that happiness matters, but suffering does not—that no matter how much pain one may have to endure, it is never to be taken seriously, that is: never to be taken as the essence and meaning of life—that the essence of life is the achievement of joy, not the escape from pain. The issue she refers to is the basic philosophical issue which John Galt later names explicitly in his speech: that the most fundamental division among men is between those who are pro-man, pro-mind, pro-life—and those who are anti-man, anti-mind, anti-life.

"It is the difference between those who think that man's life is important and that happiness is possible—and those who think that man's life, by its very nature, is a hopeless, senseless tragedy and that man is a depraved creature doomed to despair and defeat. It is the difference between those whose basic motive is the desire to achieve values, to experience joy—and those whose basic motive is the desire to escape from pain, to experience a momentary relief from their chronic anxiety and guilt.

"It is a matter of one's fundamental, overall attitude toward life—not of any one specific event...."

-- from The Letters of Ayn Rand; Michael Berliner, editor, p. 583-4

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Anatomy of Compromise

"The spread of evil is the symptom of a vacuum. Whenever evil wins, it is only by default: by the moral failure of those who evade the fact that there can be no compromise on basic principles." ~ Ayn Rand in The Anatomy of Compromise, Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal

The Godfather

“I don't trust society to protect us, I have no intention of placing my fate in the hands of men whose only qualification is that they managed to con a block of people to vote for them.” ~ Michael Corleone in Mario Puzo's The Godfather