From Live Journal:
Atlas Shrugged: Hank/Francisco. I could almost swear this *is* canon.
Jun. 2nd, 2008 at 1:02 AM
Allow me to demonstrate.
Hank Rearden and Francisco d'Anconia. Both of them are in love with the same woman -- Dagny Taggart (who, we might observe, is herself scarcely female in anything but physical appearance). Hank owns a steel mill. Francisco owns copper mines. In...
From Live Journal: Atlas Shrugged: Hank/Francisco. I could almost swear this *is* canon. Jun. 2nd, 2008 at 1:02 AM Allow me to demonstrate. Hank Rearden and Francisco d'Anconia. Both of them are in love with the same woman -- Dagny Taggart (who, we might observe, is herself scarcely female in anything but physical appearance). Hank owns a steel mill. Francisco owns copper mines. In the end, Dagny chooses to go with another man entirely -- and neither Hank nor Francisco resents this at all. Because of their philosophy, you see. And also, clearly, because they are in love. I've put the slashiest bits in bold, by the way, since there are so damned many. You have no idea how much slashiness I left out of this post. So. Let's begin at the beginning. Hank does not like Francisco before he meets him... but Francisco wins him over pretty damn quickly."Mr. Rearden," said a strangely quiet voice beside him, "permit me to introduce myself. My name is d'Anconia." Rearden turned, startled; d'Anconia's manner and voice had a quality he had seldom encountered before: a tone of authentic respect.And immediately, Hank becomes uncharacteristically desperate.Rearden's startled glance at him was like the involuntary thrust of a hand grasping for support in a desperate need. The glance betrayed how much he wanted to find the sort of man he thought he was seeing. Then Rearden lowered his eyes; almost closing them, slowly, shutting out the vision and the need. His face was hard; it had an expression of severity, an inner severity directed at himself; it looked austere and lonely.Hank spends a lot of time trying not to like Francisco, and succeeds pretty well... until the very next time he runs into him.It was the muscles of his own face that made Rearden realize the nature of his reaction to Francisco's arrival: he noticed suddenly that he was smiling and that his face had been relaxed into the dim well-being of a smile for some minutes past, as he watched Francisco d'Anconia in the crowd. He acknowledged to himself, for the first time, all the half-grasped, half-rejected moments when he had thought of Francisco d'Anconia and thrust the thought aside before it became the knowledge of how much he wanted to see him again. [...] He had caught himself glancing through the newspapers to see whether Francisco d'Anconida had returned to New York--and he had thrown the newspapers aside, asking himself angrily: What if he did return?--would you go chasing him through night clubs and cocktail parties?--what is it that you want from him? This was what he had wanted--he thought, when he caught himself smiling at the sight of Francisco in the crowd--this strange feeling of expectation that held curiosity, amusement, and hope.Hank listens as Francisco gives a big impromptu speech to some random wedding guests, and then they talk together."What are you doing at this party?" "Just looking for conquests." "Found any?" His face suddenly earnest, Francisco answered gravely, almost solemnly, "Yes--what I think is going to be my best and greatest."Francisco is actually talking about Hank. Yes: canonically actually. :D But Hank assumes he's talking about some girl...Rearden's anger was involuntary, the cry, not of reproach, but of despair: "How can you waste yourself that way?" The faint suggestion of a smile, like the rise of a distant light, came into Francisco's eyes as he asked, "Do you care to admit that you care about it?" "You're going to hear a few more admissions, if that's what you're after."And he does. Admissions like this one:"I wish--" Rearden began and stopped abruptly. Francisco smiled. "Afraid to wish, Mr. Rearden?" "I wish I could permit myself to like you as much as I do. " "I'd give--" Francisco stopped; inexplicably, Rearden saw the look of an emotion which he could not define, yet felt certain to be pain; he saw Francisco's first moment of hesitation. "Mr. Rearden, do you own any d'Anconia Copper stock?" Rearden looked at him, bewildered. "No." "Some day, you'll know what treason I'm committing right now, but... Don't ever buy any d'Anconia Copper stock. Don't ever deal with d'Anconia Copper in any way." "Why?" "When you'll learn the full reason, you'll know whether there's ever been anything--or anyone--that meant a damn to me, and... and how much he did mean."One day, after Hank hooks up with Dagny, he brings up the subject of Francisco to her.[...] when I look at him, I feel that if ever there was a man to whom I would entrust my life, he's the one." She gasped. "Hank, are you saying that you like him?" "I'm saying that I didn't know what it meant, to like a man, I didn't know how much I missed it--until I met him. " "Good God, Hank, you've fallen for him!" "Yes--I think I have." He smiled.And one day, Francisco turns up at Hank's office at the steel mills. Ken Danagger, another industrialist, has just quit his business and disappeared. Francisco is thinking about this... but evidently Hank is only thinking about Francisco. :D"Why did you come here?" "You don't want me to answer, Mr. Rearden. You wouldn't admit to me or to yourself how desperately lonely you are tonight. If you don't question me, you won't feel obliged to deny it. Just accept what you know, anyway: that I know it." Taut like a string pulled by anger against the impertinence at one end and by admiration for the frankness at the other, Rearden answered, "I'll admit it, if you wish. What should it matter to me, that you know it?" "That I know and care, Mr. Rearden. I'm the only man around you who does." "Why should you care? And why should I need your help tonight?" "Because it's not easy to have to damn the man who meant most to you." "I wouldn't damn you if you'd only stay away from me." Francisco's eyes widened a little, then he grinned and said, "I was speaking of Mr. Danagger." For an instant, Rearden looked as if he wanted to slap his own face, then he laughed softly and said, "All right. Sit down."While they're talking, the alarm sounds; one of the furnaces at the mills has broken. Francisco runs faster than Rearden to get to the furnace, and begins repairing it by an art "which Rearden had not believed any man to be trained to perform any longer."There was no time to form words, to think, to explain, but he knew that this was the real Francisco d'Anconia, this was what he had seen from the first and loved--the word did not shock him, because there was no word in his mind, there was only a joyous feeling that seemed like a flow of energy added to his own.HE LOVES HIM. And then he saves his life, too, just for good measure.[...] he thought that a leap across the distance between them on the slippery, crumbling ridge would mean the death of both of them--and the second moment was when he landed at Francisco's side, held him in his arms, hung swaying together between space and ridge, over the white pit, then gained his footing and pulled him back, and, for an instant, still held the length of Francisco's body against the length of his own, as he would have held the body of his only son. His love, his terror, his relief were in a single sentence: "Be careful, you goddamned fool!"And by god if Hank doesn't then proceed to dress Francisco's wounds. Catering to the h/c crowd, much? :D"Are you hurt?" "No... no, not at all." "Come here," ordered Rearden, opening the door of his bathroom. "Look at yourself." "Never mind. You come here." For the first time, Rearden felt that he was the older man; he felt the pleasure of taking Francisco in charge; he felt a confident, amused, paternal protectiveness. He washed the grime off Francisco's face, he put disinfectants and adhesive bandages on his temple, his hands, his scorched elbows. Francisco obeyed him in silence.Was it really necessary to wash Francisco's face for him? Surely he is capable of washing his own face. So Hank must be doing this because he's enjoying it. Later, Hank ends up staying at the same hotel where Francisco is staying, and decides to drop in, much as Francisco dropped in on him.[Rearden] had tried for hours to ignore an emotion that felt like the pull of homesickness: his awareness that the only man whom he longed to see was here, in this hotel, just a few floors above him. He had caught himself, in the past few weeks, wasting time in the lobby whenever he entered the hotel or left it, loitering unnecessarily at the mail counter or the newsstand, watching the hurried currents of people, hoping to see Francisco d'Anconia among them. He had caught himself eating solitary dinners in the restaurant of the Wayne-Falkland, with his eyes on the curtains of the entrance doorway. Now he caught himself sitting in his room, thinking that the distance was only a few floors. He rose to his feet, with a chuckle of amused indignation; he was acting, he thought, like a woman who waits for a telephone call and fights against the temptation to end the torture by making the first move. There was no reason, he thought, why he could not go to Francisco d'Anconia, if that was what he wanted. Yet when he told himself that he would, he felt some dangerous element of surrender in the intensity of his own relief.Going upstairs, he enters and finds Francisco sprawled on the floor with a pencil and some blueprints.In a moment, Francisco raised his head. In the next instant, he flung his body upward to a kneeling posture, looking at Rearden with a smile of incredulous pleasure. In the next, he seized the drawings and threw them aside too hastily, face down. "What did I interrupt?" asked Rearden. "Nothing much. Come in." He was grinning happily. Rearden felt certain that Francisco had waited, too, had waited for this as for a victory which he had not quite hoped to achieve.After a while, Francisco starts pacing and exclaiming about injustice."Thanks," said Rearden. "For what?" "For what you're trying not to show. But don't worry about me. I'm still able to stand it... You know, I didn't come here because I wanted to talk about myself or even about the trial." "I'll agree to any subject you choose--in order to have you here." He said it in the tone of a courteous joke; but the tone could not disguise it; he meant it. "What do you want to talk about?" "You. " Francisco stopped. He looked at Rearden for a moment, then answered quietly, "All right."Francisco ends up giving a gigantic lecture about how sex is an expression of a man's own sense of value. Relevant to the slashiness is this bit:"[...] You're the man who would know that just as an idea unexpressed in physical action is contemptible hypocrisy, so is platonic love--and just as physical action unguided by an idea is a fool's self-fraud, so is sex when cut off from one's code of values. It's the same issue, and you would know it."Keep in mind, Hank has already admitted that he loves Francisco. If platonic love is "hypocrisy," and there's love between Hank and Francisco -- well, you work it out. ;) During this talk, the boys say far too many mutually-adoring things to transcribe them all. But after a while, Rearden mentions to Francisco that he has bought a shipment of copper from Francisco's company. Francisco reacts with horror, and then despair."Francisco... what's the matter?" "Hank, I..." He shook his head, stopped, then stood up straight. "Mr. Rearden," he said, in a voice that had the strength, the despair, and the peculiar dignity of a plea he knew to be hopeless, "for the time when you're going to damn me, when you're going to doubt every word I said... I swear to you--by the woman I love--that I am your friend. "The ships carrying the copper sink. For a while, Hank hates Francisco -- and when he walks in on Francisco and Dagny talking together, and discovers that she is the woman Francisco loves, he slaps Francisco across the face.The heir of the d'Anconias stood thrown back against a table, clasping the edge behind him, not to support himself, but to stop his own hands. [...] She saw his convulsed fingers struggling to grow fast to the table's edge, she wondered which would break first, the wood of the table or the bones of the man, and she knew that Rearden's life hung in the balance. [...] Motionless but for the slow curve of his head, Francisco turned to Rearden. She saw his hands leave the edge of the table and hang relaxed by his sides. [...] there was nothing in Francisco's face except the exhaustion of effort, but Rearden knew suddenly how much this man had loved him.After Francisco leaves, Dagny admits that he was her first love. Rearden fucks her senseless, in conquest. They then have a cigarette.She saw his eyes move to the entrance door once in a while and remain on it for long moments, as if he were still seeing the man who had left. He said quietly, "He could have beaten me by letting me have the truth, any time he wished. Why didn't he?" She shrugged, spreading her hands in a gesture of helpless sadness, because they both knew the answer. She asked, "He did mean a great deal to you, didn't he?" "He does."Many months later, Francisco blows up all of his own copper mines, and disappears.[Rearden] did not want to mention today's event, he did not want to speak of Francisco, but she noticed, as they sat at the table, that the strain of a resisted smile kept pulling at the hollows of his cheeks. She knew whom he meant, when he said suddenly, his voice soft and low with the weight of admiration, "He did keep his oath, didn't he?" [...] "He said to me, 'I swear--by the woman I love--that I am your friend.' He was." "He is."And:"They're looking for him all over the world," [Rearden] said, smiling. "They'll never find him." The smile vanished. "Neither will I."But of course, he does. :) Months later, one night, there is a kind of insurrection at the mills. Rearden gets hit in the head with a club -- and rescued. I'm sure you can guess by whom.[...] then the club crashed down on his skull from behind--and in the moment of splitting darkness when he wavered, refusing to believe it, then felt himself going down, he felt a strong, protective arm seizing him and breaking his fall, he heard a gun exploding an inch above his ear, then another explosion from the same gun in the same second, but it seemed faint and distant, as if he had fallen down a shaft.Rearden wakes later in his office, and asks that the man who saved him be shown in.The door opened and he lay still. The man standing on the threshold, with disheveled hair, a soot-streaked face and furnace-smudged arms, dressed in scorched overalls and bloodstained shirt, standing as if he wore a cape waving behind him, was Francisco d'Anconia. [...] Francisco smiled, a smile of greeting to a childhood friend on a summer morning, as if nothing else had ever been possible between them--and Rearden found himself smiling in answer, some part of him feeling an incredulous wonder, yet knowing that it was irresistibly right. "You've been torturing yourself for months," said Francisco, approaching him, "wondering what words you'd use to ask my forgiveness and whether you had the right to ask it, if you ever saw me again--but now you see that it isn't necessary, that there's nothing to ask or to forgive." "Yes, said Rearden, the word coming as an astonished whisper, but by the time he finished his sentence he knew that this was the greatest tribute he could offer, "yes, I know it." Francisco sat down on the edge of the couch beside him, and slowly moved his hand over Rearden's forehead. It was like a healing touch that closed the past.And just in case we weren't sure:"Tell me," said Rearden slowly, "that night at James Taggart's wedding, when you said you were after your greatest conquest... you meant me, didn't you?" "Of course."Informal address, at last! --"I have a great deal to tell you," [Francisco] said. "But first, will you repeat a word you once offered me and I... I had to reject, because I knew that I was not free to accept it?" Rearden smiled, "What word, Francisco?" Francisco inclined his head in acceptance, and answered, "Thank you, Hank."This is not Hank's lucky year. He later gets shot in the arm by the chief of a group of guards.Some of them saw Rearden sway, his right hand gripping his left shoulder. Others, in the same instant, saw the gun drop out of the chief's hand and hit the floor in time with his scream and with the spurt of blood from his wrist. Then all of them saw Francisco d'Anconia standing at the door on the left, his soundless gun still aimed at the chief.And of course:Francisco had produced a first-aid kit and was removing Rearden's shirt to bandage his wound.Shirtless wound-dressing FTW, you guys. Now, as I mentioned, Hank and Francisco are both after the same girl. Francisco gives her up to Hank, and tells her, "if it had to be anyone, I'm glad it's he." But then she leaves Hank, too. Thus rendering both Hank and Francisco single. Who the hell else, I ask you, are these fellows going to wind up with, apart from each other? (And, fittingly, they are together, at Francisco's house, in front of his fireplace, in their last scene in the book. We'll ignore the fact that they're not alone. And focus on the fact that they're together.) ...And if you think this post was long, you should try reading the book!
From the first catch-phrases flung at a child to the last, it is like a series of shocks to freeze his motor, to undercut the power of his consciousness. 'Don't ask so many questions, children should be seen and not heard!'–'Who are you to think? It's so, because I say so!'–'Don't argue, obey!'–'Don't try to understand, believe!'–'Don't rebel, adjust!–'Don't stand out, belong!'–'Don't str...
From the first catch-phrases flung at a child to the last, it is like a series of shocks to freeze his motor, to undercut the power of his consciousness. 'Don't ask so many questions, children should be seen and not heard!'–'Who are you to think? It's so, because I say so!'–'Don't argue, obey!'–'Don't try to understand, believe!'–'Don't rebel, adjust!–'Don't stand out, belong!'–'Don't struggle, compromise!'–'Your heart is more important than your mind!'–'Who are you to know? Your parents know best!'–'Who are you to know? Society knows best!'–'Who are you to know? The bureaucrats know best!'–'Who are you to object? All values are relative!'–'Who are you to want to escape a thug's bullet? That's only a personal prejudice!
Dagny regretted at times that Nat Taggart was her ancestor. What she felt for him did not belong in the category of unchosen family affections. She did not want her feeling to be the thing one was supposed to owe an uncle or a grandfather. She was incapable of love for any object not of her own choice and she resented anyone's demand for it.
Dagny regretted at times that Nat Taggart was her ancestor. What she felt for him did not belong in the category of unchosen family affections. She did not want her feeling to be the thing one was supposed to owe an uncle or a grandfather. She was incapable of love for any object not of her own choice and she resented anyone's demand for it.
Francisco could do anything he undertook, he could do it better than anyone else, and he did it without effort. There was no boasting in his manner and consciousness, no thought of comparison. His attitude was not: “I can do it better than you,” but simply: “I can do it.” What he meant by doing was doing superlatively.
“I don’t know what sort of motto the d’Anconias hav...
Atlas ShruggedFrancisco could do anything he undertook, he could do it better than anyone else, and he did it without effort. There was no boasting in his manner and consciousness, no thought of comparison. His attitude was not: “I can do it better than you,” but simply: “I can do it.” What he meant by doing was doing superlatively.“I don’t know what sort of motto the d’Anconias have on their family crest,” Mrs. Taggart said once, “but I’m sure than Francisco will change it to ‘What for?’” It was the first question he asked about any activity proposed to him—and nothing would make him act, if he found no valid answer. He flew though the days of his summer month like a rocket, but if one stopped him in mid-flight, he could always name the purpose of his every random moment. Two things were impossible to him: to stand still or to move aimlessly.“Let’s find out” was the motive he gave to Dagny and Eddie for anything he undertook, or “Let’s make it.” These were his only forms of enjoyment.Francisco smiled; it was a smile of radiant mockery. Watching them, Dagny thought suddenly of the difference between Francisco and her brother Jim. Both of them smiled derisively. But Francisco seemed to laugh at things because he saw something much greater. Jim laughed as if he wanted to let nothing remain great.———She was astonished again, when she saw Dagny dressed for he party. It was the first feminine dress she had ever worn—a gown of white chiffon with a huge skirt that floated like a cloud. Mrs. Taggart had expected her to look like a preposterous contrast. Dagny looked like a beauty. She seemed both older and more radiantly innocent than usual; standing in front of a mirror, she held her head as Nat Taggart’s wife would have held it.“Dagny,” Mrs. Taggart said gently, reproachfully, “do you see how beautiful you can be when you want to?”“Yes,” said Dagny, without any astonishment.———Nobody ever wondered whether Francisco d’Anconia was good-looking or not; it seemed irrelevant; when he entered a room, it was impossible to look at anyone else. His tall, slender figure had an air of distinction, too authentic to be modern, and he moved as if he had a cape floating behind him in the wind. People explained him by saying that he had the vitality of a healthy animal, but they knew dimly that that was not correct. He had the vitality of a healthy human being, a thing so rare that no one could identify it. He had the power of certainty.She glanced at Rearden. He stood against the wall, unaware of the crowds, indifferent to admiration. He was watching the performance of track and train with an expert’s intensity of professional interest; his bearing suggested that he would kick aside, as irrelevant, any thought such as “They like it,” when the thought ringing in his mind was “it works!”———She sat, looking out, the blue fur half-slipping off her naked arms and shoulders. He watched her though narrowed eyes, with the satisfaction of a man studying his own workmanship.“I like giving things to you,” he said, “because you don’t need them.”———“Don’t get up—stay there—it’s so obvious that you’ve been waiting for me that I want to look at it longer.”He said it, from the doorway of her apartment, seeing her stretched in an armchair, seeing the eager little jolt that threw her shoulders forward as she was about to rise; he was smiling.“Do you still need proof that I’m always waiting for you?” she asked, leaning obediently back in her chair, her voice was neither tender nor pleading, but bright and mocking.“Dagny, why is it that most women would never admit that, but you do?”“Because they’re never sure that they ought to be wanted. I am.”“I do admire self-confidence.”“Self-confidence was only part of what I said, Hank.”“What’s the whole?”“Confidence of my value—and yours.” He glanced at her as if catching the spark of a sudden thought, and she laughed adding, “I wouldn’t be sure of holding a man like Orren Boyle, for instance. He wouldn’t want me at all. You would.”“Are you saying,” he asked slowly, “that I rose in your estimation when you found that I wanted you?”“Of course.”“That’s not the reaction of most people of being wanted.”“It isn’t.”“Most people feel that they rise in their own eyes, if others want them.”“I feel that others live up to me, if they want me. And that is the way you feel, too, Hank, about yourself—whether you admit it or not.”———She asked him what position he held at the Utah Institute of Technology. “Night watchman,” he answered. “What?” she gasped. “Night watchman,” he repeated politely, as if she had not caught the words, as if there were no cause for astonishment.Under her questioning, he explained that he did not like any of the scientific foundations left in existence, that he would have liked a job in the research laboratory of some big industrial concern—“But which one of them can afford to undertake any long-range work nowadays, and why should they?”—so when the Utah Institute of Technology was closed for lack of funds, he had remained there as night watchman and sole inhabitant of the place; the salary was sufficient to pay for his needs—and the Institute’s laboratory was there, intact, for his own private, undisturbed use.“So you’re doing research work of your own?”“That’s right.”“For what purpose?”“For my own pleasure.”“What do you intend to do, if you discover something of scientific importance or commercial value? Do you intend to put it to some public use?”“I don’t know. I don’t think so.”“Haven’t you any desire to be of service to humanity?”“I don’t talk that kind of language, Miss Taggart. I don’t think you do, either.”She laughed. “I think we’ll get along together, you and I.”“We will.”When she had told him the story of the motor, when he had studied the manuscript, he made no comment, but merely said that he would take the job on any terms she named.She asked him to choose his own terms. She protested, in astonishment, against the low monthly salary he quoted. “Miss Taggart,” he said, “if there’s anything that I won’t take, it’s something for nothing. I don’t know how long you might have to pay me, or whether you’ll get anything at all in return. I’ll gamble on my own mind. I won’t let anybody else do it. I don’t collect for an intention. But I sure do intend to collect for goods delivered. If I succeed, that’s when I’ll skin you alive, because what I want then is a percentage, and it’s going to be high, but it’s going to be worth your while.”When he named the percentage he wanted, she laughed. “That is skinning me alive and it will be worth my while. Okay.”———“Why don’t you wish to take any credit for it, James? That’s out of character and out of the policy at which you’re such an expert. In an age when men exist, not by right, but by favour, one does not reject a grateful person, one tries to trap into gratitude as many people as possible. Don’t you want to have me as one of your men under obligation?”———Standing unnoticed on the edge of the group, Rearden heard a woman, who had large diamond earrings and a flabby, nervous face, ask tensely, “Señor d’Anconia, what do you think is going to happen to the world?”“Just exactly what it deserves.”“Oh, how cruel!”“Don’t you believe in the operation of the moral law, madame?” Francisco asked gravely. “I do.”Rearden heard Bertram Scudder, outside the group, say to a girl who made some sound of indignation, “Don’t let him disturb you. You know, money is the root of all evil—and he’s the typical product of money.”Rearden did not think that Francisco could have heard it, but he saw Francisco turning to them with a gravely courteous smile.“So you think that money is the root of all evil?” said Francisco d’Anconia. “Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can’t exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who which to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value. Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears, or of the looters, who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men who produce. Is this what you consider evil?“When you accept money in payment for your effort, you do so only on the conviction that you will exchange it for the product of the effort of others. It is not the moochers or the looters who give value to money. Not an ocean of tears nor all the guns in the world can transform those pieces of paper in your wallet into the bread you will need to survive tomorrow. Those pieces of paper, which should have been gold, are a token of honour—your claim upon the energy of the men who produce. Your wallet is your statement of hope that somewhere in the world around you there are men who will not default on that moral principle which is the root of money. Is this what you consider evil?“Have you ever looked for the root of production? Take a look at an electric generator and dare tell yourself that it was created by the muscular effort of unthinking brutes. Try to grow a seed out of wheat without the knowledge left to you by men who had to discover it for the first time. Try to obtain your food by means of nothing but physical motions—and you’ll learn that man’s mind is the root of all the goods produced and of all the wealth that has ever existed on earth.“But you say that money is made by the strong at the expense of the weak? What strength do you mean? It is not the strength of guns or muscles. Wealth is the product of man’s capacity to think. Then is money made by the man who invents a motor at the expense of those who did not invent it? Is money made by the intelligent at the expense of the fools? By the able at the expense of the fools? By the able at the expense of the fools? By the ambitious at the expense of the lazy? Money is made—before it can be looted or mooched—made by the effort of every honest man, each to the extent of his ability. An honest man is one who knows that he can’t consume more than he has produced.“But money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver. It will give you the means for the satisfaction of your desires, but it will not provide you with desires. Money is the scourge of the men who attempt to reverse the law of causality—the men who seek to replace the mind by seizing the products of the mind.“Money will not purchase happiness for the man who has no concept of what he wants; money will not give him a code of values, if he’s evaded the knowledge of what to value, and it will not provide him with a purpose, if he’s evaded the choice of what to seek. Money will not buy intelligence for the fool, or admiration for the coward, or respect for the incompetent. The man who attempts to purchase the brains of his superiors to serve him, with his money replacing his judgment, ends up by becoming the victim of his inferiors. The men of intelligence desert him, but the cheats and the frauds come flocking to him, drawn by a law which he has not discovered: that no man may be smaller than his money. Is this the reason why you call it evil?“Only the man who does not need it, is fit to inherit wealth—the man who would make his own fortune no matter where he started. If an heir is equal to his money, it serves him; if not, it destroys him. But you look on and you cry that money corrupted him. Did it? Or did he corrupt his money? Do not envy a worthless heir; his wealth is not yours and you would have done no better with it. Do not think that it should have been distributed among you; loading the world with fifty parasites instead of one, would not bring back the dead virtue which was the fortune. Money is a living power that dies without its root. Money will not serve the mind that cannot match it. Is this the reason why you call it evil?“Or did you say it’s the love of money that’s the root of all evil? To love a thing is to know and love its nature. To love money is to know and love the fact that money is the creation of the best power within you, and your passkey to trade your effort for the effort of the best among men. It’s the person who would sell his soul for a nickel, who is loudest in proclaiming his hatred of money—and he has good reason to hate it. The lovers of money are willing to work for it. They know they are able to deserve it.“Let me give you a tip on a clue to men’s characters: the men who damns money has obtained it dishonourably; the man who respects it has earned it.“Run for your life from any man who tells you that money is evil. That sentence is the leper’s bell of an approaching looter. So long as men live together on earth and need means to deal with one another—their only substitute, if they abandon money, is the muzzle of a gun.“When you have made evil the means of survival, do not expect men to remain good. Do not expect them to stay moral and lose their lives for the purpose of becoming the fodder of the immoral. Do not expect them to produce, when production is punished and looting rewarded. Do not ask, ‘Who is destroying the world?’ You are.“You stand in the midst of the greatest achievements of greatest productive civilisation and you wonder why it’s crumbling around you, while you’re damning its life-blood—money. You look upon money as the savages did before you, and you wonder why the jungle is creeping back to the edge of your cities. Throughout men’s history, money was always seized by looters of one brand or another, whose names changed, but whose method remained the same: to seize wealth by force and to keep the producers bound, demeaned, defamed, deprived of honour.“If you ask me to name the proudest distinction of Americans, I would choose—because it contains all the others—the fact that they were the people who created the phrase ‘to make money.’ No other language or nation had ever used these words before; men had always thought of wealth as a static quantity—to be seized, begged, inherited, shared, looted or obtained as a favour. Americans were the first to understand that wealth has to be created.———“What do you mean?” he asked softly.“Nothing…” Then she raised her head and said firmly “Hank, I knew you were married. I knew what I was doing. I chose to do it. There’s nothing that you owe me, no duty that you have to consider.”He shook his head slowly, in protest.“Hank, I want nothing from you except what you wish to give me. Do you remember that you called me a trader once? I want you to come to me seeking nothing but our own enjoyment. So long as you wish to remain married, whatever your reason, I have no right to resent it. My way of trading is to know that the joy you give me is paid for by the joy you get from me—not by your suffering or mine. I don’t accept sacrifices and I don't make them. If you asked me for more than you meant to me, I would refuse. If you asked me to give up the railroad, I’d leave you. If ever the measure of one has to be bought by the pain of the other, there better be no trade at all. A trade by which one gains and the other loses is a fraud. You don’t do it in business, Hank. Don’t do it in your own life.”She tore herself away from him with a brusque, twisting movement, she stood up, but she stood looking down at him with a faint smile, and said softly, “Do you know your only real guilt? With the greatest capacity for it, you’ve never learned to enjoy yourself. You’ve always rejected your own pleasure too easily. You’ve been wiling to bear too much.”———“Is that his excuse for himself? Is that what he’s made you feel?”“No. Oh, no! That’s the feeling I lose when I speak to him. The strange thing is what he does make me feel.”“What?”“Hope.”She nodded, in helpless wonder, knowing that she had felt it, too.“I don’t know why,” he said. “But I look at people and they seem to be made of nothing but pain. He’s not. You’re not. That terrible hopelessness that’s all around us, I lose it only in his presence. And here. Nowhere else.”———“Mr. Rearden,” said Francisco, his voice solemnly calm, “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 his effort the heavier the world bore down on his shoulders—what would you tell him to do?”“I… don’t know. What… could he do? What would you tell him?”“To shrug.”———He had heard her studied reminders of his guilt on every evening he had spent at home in the past three months. But guilt had been the one emotion he had found himself unable to feel. The punishment she had wanted to inflict on him was the torture of shame; what she had inflicted was the torture of boredom.An issue of guilt, he thought, had to rest on his own acceptance of the code of justice that pronounced him guilty. He did not accept it; he never had. His virtues, all the virtues she needed to achieve his punishment, came from another code and lived by another standard. He felt no guilt, no shame, no regret, no dishonour. He felt no concern for any verdict she chose to pass upon him: he had lost respect for her judgment long ago. And the sole chain still holding him was only a las remnant of pity.———“I heard it,” he answered quietly. “I don’t know what you’re trying to accomplish.”“What a question!” said his mother, “Isn’t that just like a man? She’s trying to save you from going to jail—that’s what she’s trying to accomplish.”That could be true, he thought; perhaps, by the reasoning of some crude, childish cowardice, the motive of their malice was a desire to protect him, to break him down into the safety of a compromise.———Francisco’s voice snapped, “Come in!” It had a brusque, absent-minded sound.Rearden opened the door and stopped on the threshold. One of the hotel’s costliest satin-shaded lamps stood in the middle of the floor, throwing a circle of light on wide sheets of drafting paper. Francisco d’Anconia, in shirt sleeves, a strand of hair hanging down over his face, lay stretched on the floor, on his stomach, propped up by his elbows, biting the end of a pencil in concentration upon some point of the intricate tracing before him. He did not look up, he seemed to have forgotten the knock. Rearden tried to distinguish the drawing: it looked like the section of a smelter. He stood watching in startled wonder; had he had the power to bring into reality his own image of Francisco d’Anconia, this was the picture he would have seen: the figure of a purposeful young worker intent upon a difficult task.———He was hearing his own voice saying her words—saying them to Dagny in the sun-striped bedroom of Ellis Wyatt’s house. He was seeing, in the nights behind him, Dagny’s face in those moments when, his body leaving hers, she lay still with a look of radiance that was more than a smile, a look of youth, of early morning, of gratitude to the fact of one’s own existence. And he was seeing Lillian’s face, as he had seen it in bed beside him, a lifeless face with evasive eyes, with some feeble sneer on its lips and the look of sharing some smutty guilt. He saw who was the accuser and who the accused—he saw the obscenity of letting impotence hold itself as virtue and damn the power of living as a sin—he saw, with the clarity of direct perception, in the shock of a single instant, the terrible ugliness of that which had once been his own belief.It was only an instant, a conviction without words, a knowledge grasped as a feeling, left unsealed by his mind. The shock brought him back to the sight of Lillian and to the sound of her words. She appeared to him suddenly as some inconsequential presence that had to be dealt with at the moment.———James Taggart smiled.“I mean that there is no way to disarm any man,” said Dr. Ferris, “except through guilt. Through that which he himself has accepted as guilt. If a man has ever stolen a dime, you can impose on him the punishment intended for a bank robber and he will take it. He’ll bear any form of misery, he’ll feel that he deserves no better. If there’s not enough guilt in the world, we must create it. If we teach a man that it’s evil to look at spring flowers and he believes us and then does it—we’ll be able to do whatever we please with him. He won’t defend himself. He won’t feel he’s worth it. He won’t fight. But save us from the man who lives up to his own standards. Save us from the man of clean conscience. He’s the man who’ll beat us.”———“Well, we got what we asked for. By the time we saw what it was that we’d asked for, it was too late. We were trapped, with no place to go. The best men among us left the factory in the first week of the plan. We lost our best engineers, superintendents, foremen and highest-skilled workers. A man of self-respect doesn’t turn into a milch cow for anybody. Some able fellows tried to stick it out, but they couldn’t take it for long. We kept losing our men, they kept escaping from the factory like from a pest-hole—till we had nothing left except the men of need, but none of the men of ability.”“This is a crucial moment in the history of mankind!” Gerald Starnes yelled through the noise. “Remember that none of us may now leave this place, for each of us belongs to all the others by the moral law which we all accept!” “I don’t,” said one man and stood up. He was one of the young engineers. Nobody knew much about him. He’d always kept mostly by himself. When he stood up, we suddenly turned dead-still. It was the way he held his head. He was tall and slim—and I remember thinking that any two of us could have broken his neck without trouble—but what we all felt was fear. He stood like a man who knew that he was right. “I will put an end to this, once and for all,” he said. His voice was clear and without any feeling. That was all he said and not noticing any of us. Nobody moved to stop him. Gerald Starnes cried suddenly after him, “How?” He turned and answered, “I will stop the motor of the world.” Then he walked out. We never saw him again.———Climbing down the ladder on the side of the engine, they saw a cluster of passengers gathered by the track and more figures emerging from the train to join them. By some special instinct of their own, the men who had sat waiting knew that someone had taken charge, someone had assumed the responsibility and it was now safe to show signs of life.They all looked at her with an air of inquiring expectation, as she approached. The natural pallor of the moonlight seemed to dissolve the differences of their faces and to stress the quality they all had in common: a look of cautious appraisal, part fear, part plea, part impertinence held in abeyance.———As they drove on along the edge of the lake, she asked, “You’ve mapped this route deliberately, haven’t you? You’re showing me all the men whom”—stopped, feeling inexplicably reluctant to say it, and said, instead—“whom I have lost?”“I’m showing you all them men whom I have taken away from you,” he answered firmly.This was the root, she thought, of the gutlessness of his face: he had guessed and named the words she had wanted to spare him, he had rejected a good will that was not based on his values—and in proud certainty of being right, he had made a boast of that which she had intended as an accusation.———“Well, after all, I’m your brother!”“What is that supposed to mean?”“One’s supposed to have some sort of feeling for one’s brother.”“Do you?”Philip’s mouth swelled petulantly; he did not answer; he waited; Rearden let him wait. Philip muttered, “You’re supposed… at least… to have some consideration for my feelings… but you haven’t.”“Have you for mine?”“Yours? Your feelings?” It was not malice in Philip’s voice, but worse: it was a genuine, indignant astonishment. “You haven’t any feelings. You’ve never felt anything at all. You’ve never suffered!”———“How do you expect me to produce after I go bankrupt?”“You won’t go bankrupt. You’ll always produce,” said Dr. Ferris indifferently, neither in praise nor in blame, merely in the tone of stating a fact of nature, as he would have said to another man: You’ll always be a bum. “You can’t help it. It’s in your blood. Or, to be more scientific: you’re conditioned that way.”———The attendants of a hospital in Illinois showed no astonishment when a man was brought in, beaten up by his elder brother, who had supported him all his life: the younger man had screamed at the elder, accusing him of selfishness and greed—just as the attendants of a hospital in New York City showed no astonishment at the case of a woman who came in with a fractured jaw: she had been slapped in the face by a total stranger, who had heard her ordering her five-year-old son to give his best toy to the children of neighbours.———“No!” cried Taggart suddenly, glancing at Galt and leaping forward. “No! I won’t let him get away with it!” He fell down on his knees, groping frantically to find the aluminium cylinder of the vibrator. “I’ll fix it! I’ll work it myself! We’ve got to go on! We’ve got to break him!”“Take it easy, Jim,” said Ferris uneasily, jerking him up to his feet.“Hadn’t we… hadn’t we better lay off for the night?” said Mouch pleadingly; he was looking at the door through which the mechanic had escaped, his glance part-envy, part-terror.“No!” cried Taggart.“Jim, hasn’t he had enough? Don’t forget, we have to be careful.”“No! He hasn’t had enough! He hasn’t even screamed yet!”“Jim!” cried Mouch suddenly, terrified by something in Taggart’s face. “We can’t afford to kill him! You know it!”“I don’t care! I want to break him! I want to hear him scream! I want—”------I have a theory. Of the ones who feel threatened and get desperate defensive by reading the book, are among those who created little value and hate the ones who do. It must be a real torture to go through such a book for them, feeling condemned and mocked by every single line.But there's also this:As a European, who has lived his whole life with access to "free at the point of delivery" health care, it has taken me a long time to understand why so many of my American friends find the idea of universal free health care a problem. However, I have come to a conclusion. It is my belief that the backlash against state organised health care, is actually the a demonstration of the dark side of the American dream. The fundamental mythos of American culture, is that no matter how poor or humble your birth, you can through grit, spunk and hard work become wealthy and prosperous. On the face of it, and from the perspective of a class divided Europe, that seems incredibly noble and empowering. The idea that there is that much social mobility, that anyone can forge their own destiny is a powerful part of the American psyche. When it happens, it is an incredible thing. Something Americans can feel proud of. However, there is a dark side to this mythos. Which is this... if anyone can win through hard work and effort, anyone who doesn't win, therefore deserves to be poor. At the core of all the anti-health care reforms is the single concept "why should I pay for the healthcare of those losers." It doesn't matter how it is presented, that is the core issue. Now, there is another problem. That is that social mobility in the USA isn't radically different from European countries. People born into poor families tend to remain poor. People born into rich families tend to stay rich. The only difference is that in Europe, we don't bankrupt people or let them die prematurely due to lack of medical care. It's very rare for me to make an answer anonymous, but in this case I think it's probably prudent. I can't imagine this is going to a popular answer.------What's wrong with creating value? Nothing wrong. What's wrong with despising those who don't? I don't know. Something's wrong. But I don't know what.I've long wanted an answer to this: what does society do with parasites? I don't believe abandoning them is the way to go. But dragging them along doesn't seem to be the right approach either. I can't test or experiment with this, when it comes to social development issues--how I wish I could--but I think education is the key. The right kind of education.It all comes down to one question: what is quality?
"He wondered why this was a motive that had no power to impel him. Throughout his life, whenever he became convinced that a course of action was right, the desire to follow it had come automatically. What was happening to him?—he wondered. The impossible conflict of feeling reluctance to do that which was right—wasn't it the basic formula of moral corruption? To recognize one...
Henry Rearden"He wondered why this was a motive that had no power to impel him. Throughout his life, whenever he became convinced that a course of action was right, the desire to follow it had come automatically. What was happening to him?—he wondered. The impossible conflict of feeling reluctance to do that which was right—wasn't it the basic formula of moral corruption? To recognize one's guilt, yet feel nothing but the coldest, most profound indifference— wasn't it a betrayal of that which had been the motor of his life-course and of his pride?"
"He shrugged and smiled - he was alive for a moment and it was the strangest smile she had ever seen: it held secret amusement, and heartbreak, and an infinite bitterness. He answered: “Who is John Galt?”"
"He shrugged and smiled - he was alive for a moment and it was the strangest smile she had ever seen: it held secret amusement, and heartbreak, and an infinite bitterness. He answered: “Who is John Galt?”"
在读前几章的时候，有些地方不得不强迫自己才能继续读下去，因为觉得兰德塑造的正面人物太过符号化了——世上怎么可能有这样的人呢？完全与常情不符嘛。 不过渐渐好像有点理解兰德的想法和书里的哲学了。第七章有一段写得很有力度，标题也非常巧妙，叫做《剥削者与被剥削者》。个人觉得这一章真正开启了书的主题——资本主义和社会主义，不同的意识形态下，到底什么是道德？资本主义的追求收益只看效率是否邪恶？社会主义的劫“富”济“贫”——靠能干的社会成员负担不能干的社会成员——又是否邪恶？到底谁是剥削者，谁是被剥削者？剥削者和被剥削者的界限真的那么明确吗？摘抄197页上的一段描写。这一段精妙地诠释了标题。先摘抄英文文原文，自己尝试的中文翻译在最后。另外还有手抄版(http://www.douban.com/photos/photo/1595103448/)。中文翻译欢迎拍砖~~~~~~~~~~~~原文摘抄~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Atlas Shrugged By Any Rand Excerpted from Chapter VII The Exploiters and The Exploited [Hank Rearden's mother came to his office to ask Hank, founder and owner of Rearden Steel, to give his incompetent brother Phillip a job at his mills. Hank rejected.]"Don't you ever think of people and of you moral duties?" "I don't know what it is that you choose to call morality. No, I don't think of people—except that if I gave a job to Phillip, I wouldn't be able to face any competent man who needed work and deserved it."She got up. Her head was drawn into her shoulders, and the righteous bitterness of her voice seemed to push the words upward at his tall, straight figure: "THAT's your cruelty, that's what's mean and selfish about you. If you loved your brother, you'd give him a job he didn't deserve, precisely because he didn't deserve it—THAT would be true love and kindness and brotherhood. Else what's love for? If a man DESERVES a job, there's no virtue in giving it to him. Virtue is the giving of the undeserved."He was looking at her like a child at an unfamiliar nightmare, incredulity preventing it from becoming horror. "Mother," he said slowly, "you don't know what you're saying. I'm not able ever to despise you enough to believe that you mean it."~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~尝试翻译~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 《阿特拉斯耸耸肩》 艾茵•兰德著 摘自第七章《剥削者与被剥削者》 [汉克•瑞尔顿的母亲来到他的办公室请求汉克，瑞尔顿钢铁公司的创始人和拥有者，来给他无能的弟弟菲利浦在他的工厂里安排一个工作。汉克拒绝了。] “难道你就从来不考虑人情和你的道德责任吗?” “我不知道你称作道德的到底是什么东西。不，我从来不考虑人情——除了我会想，如果我给了菲利浦一份工作，我要如何去面对其他能够胜任并且也需要这份工作的人呢？” 她站起身来。她的头和肩膀紧缩在一起，她的声音里有一丝涩涩的正义感。这丝正义感仿佛推送着她的话向他高而笔挺的身影投射过去：“这就是你的残忍之处，这就是你刻薄自私的地方。如果你爱你的弟弟，你就会给他一份他不应当得到的工作，恰恰是因为他不应当得到它——那才是真正的爱和仁慈和兄弟情谊。否则爱是用来做什么的呢？如果一个人应当得到一份工作，那么把这份工作给他就完全没有美德可言。美德就是向那些不应当得到的人施予。”他看着她的神情仿佛一个孩童看着一个陌生的噩梦，迟疑更胜于恐惧。“母亲，”他缓慢地说道，“你知不知道你在说什么？我完全不能相信你像我所鄙视的人一样，说这些话是认真的。”
"I couldn't have stood four years of nothing but lectures."
You have to live by your own knowledge and judgment.
Not to be taken seriously—an immovable certainty within her kept repeating—
pain and ugliness are never to be taken seriously.
They considered knowledge superfluous and judgment inessential.
The capacity for unclouded enjoyment, she thought, does not belong to i...
"I couldn't have stood four years of nothing but lectures."You have to live by your own knowledge and judgment.Not to be taken seriously—an immovable certainty within her kept repeating—pain and ugliness are never to be taken seriously.They considered knowledge superfluous and judgment inessential.The capacity for unclouded enjoyment, she thought, does not belong to irresponsible fools. If you intend to keep your word, don't talk about it, just do it.It was the greatest sensation of existence: not to trust, but to know.It was a strange foreshortening between sight and touch, she thought, between wish and fulfillment, between—the words clicked sharply in her mind after a startled stop—between spirit and body.Wasn't it evil to wish without moving—or to move without aim? Whose malevolence was it that crept through the world, struggling to break the two apart and set them against each other?he would kick aside, as irrelevant, any thought such as 'They like it," when the thought ringing in his mind was "It works!"the closeness of his presence underscoring her awareness of this day, as his rails underscored the flight of the train.She could not function to the rule of: Pipe down—keep down—slow down—don't do your best, it is not wanted!By the essence and nature of existence, contradictions cannot exist. he was a man who belonged on earth—and then she thought of the words which were more exact: he was a man to whom the earth belonged, the man at home on earth and in control. and that the desire was not an answer to her body, but a celebration of himself and of his will to live.How could you do this to yourself? How did you come to a stage where this is all that's left of you? Why did you let the wonderful fact of your own existence go by?The men who try to replace the mind by seizing the products of the mind? Well, the mail who despises himself tries to gain self-esteem from sexual adventures —which can't be done, because sex is not the cause, but an effect and an expression of a man's sense of his own value."The man who is proudly certain of his own value, will want the highest type of woman he can find, the woman he admires, the strongest, the hardest to conquer—because only the possession of a heroine will give him the sense of an achievement.Love is our response to our highest values—and can be nothing else. Let a man corrupt his values and his view of existence, let him profess that love is not self-enjoyment but self-denial, that virtue consists, not of pride, but of pity or pain or weakness or sacrifice, that the noblest love is born, not of admiration, but of charity, not in response to values, but in response to flaws—and he will have cut himself in two.You'd be unable to believe that existence is evil and that you're a helpless creature caught in an impossible universe. Only the man who extols the purity of a love devoid of desire, is capable of the depravity of a desire devoid of love. What glory can there be in the conquest of a mindless body?an emotion of solemn, joyous excitement, the sense of winning his place in a world he respected and earning the recognition of men he admiredThey might learn to hold, not death and taxes, but life and production as their two absolutes and as the base of their moral code.Did you ask what you meant to me? Everything I admire, everything I want to be on the day when the earth will have a place for such state of being, everything I want to deal with—even if this is the only way I can deal with you and be of use to you at present."Because my only love, the only value I care to live for, is that which has never been loved by the world, has never won recognition or friends or defenders: human ability. That is the love I am serving—and if I should lose my life, to what better purpose could I give it?"If men like Boyle think that force is all they need to rob their betters—let them see what happens when one of their betters chooses to resort to force.If he abdicates his power, he abdicates the status of man.She was speaking with a swift, bright certainty, conscious of nothing but the joy of performing her natural function in her natural world where nothing could take precedence over the act of offering a solution to a problem. I've seen enough of them to know what makes the kind of poor who want something for nothing.Do you want . . . love . . . to be . . . causeless?You want unearned love. You want unearned admiration. You want unearned greatness. 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.all claiming that obedience to objective reality is the same as obedience to the State, that there is no difference between a law of nature and a bureaucrat's directive.Oh, you thought that your tools would determine your ideas? But it happens to be the other way around—and now you're going to see the kind of tools your ideas have determined!I don't see why pumping my earnings into Orren Boyle's pocket is going to save the country."You have to make certain sacrifices to the public welfare!""I don't see why Orren Boyle is more 'the public' than I am."He thought of all the living species that train their young in the art of survival, the cats who teach their kittens to hunt, the birds who spend such strident effort on teaching their fledglings to fly—yet man, whose tool of survival is the mind, does not merely fail to teach a child to think, but devotes the child's education to the purpose of destroying his brain, of convincing him that thought is futile and evil, before he has started to think.I am proud of my own value and of the fact that I wish to live.When I disagree with a rational man, I let reality be our final arbiter; if I am right, he will learn; if I am wrong, I will; one of us will win, but both will profit."You seek escape from pain. We seek the achievement of happiness.You exist for the sake of avoiding punishment. We exist for the sake of earning rewards. It is not death that we wish to avoid, but life that we wish to live.It does not matter who then becomes the profiteer on his renounced glory and tormented soul,the good is not for him to understand, his duty is to crawl through years of penance, atoning for the guilt of his existence to any stray collector of unintelligible debts, his only concept of a value is a zero: the good is that which is non-man.They have taught man that he is a hopeless misfit made of two elements, both symbols of death. A body without a soul is a corpse, a soul without a body is a ghost—yet such is their image of man's nature: the battleground of a struggle between a corpse and a ghostHis reward, say the mystics of spirit, will be given to him beyond the grave. His reward, say the mystics of muscle, will be given on earth—to his great-grandchildren.if there still remains within you the power to struggle to hold on to those fading sparks which had been yourself—use it now. Sacrifice' does not mean the rejection of the worthless, but of the precious. 'Sacrifice' does not mean the rejection of the evil for the sake of the good, but of the good for the sake of the evil. 'Sacrifice'is the surrender of that which you value in favor of that which you don't.You are told that moral perfection is impossible to man—and, by this standard, it is. You cannot achieve it so long as you live, but the value of your life and of your person is gauged by how closely you succeed in approaching that ideal zero which is death. To achieve the virtue of sacrifice, you must want to live, you must love it, you must burn with passion for this earth and for all the splendor it can give you—you must feel the twist of every knife as it slashes your desires away from your reach and drains your love out of your body. The good of others' is a magic formula that transforms anything into gold, a formula to be recited as a guarantee of moral glory and as a fumigator for any action, even the slaughter of a continent. You are the only outcast who has no right to wish or live. You are the only servant, the rest are the masters, you are the only giver, the rest are the takers, you are the eternal debtor, the rest are the creditors never to be paid off."You fear the man who has a dollar less than you, that dollar is rightfully his, he makes you feel like a moral defrauder. You hate the man who has a dollar more than you, that dollar is rightfully yours, he makes you feel that you are morally defrauded. The man below is a source of your guilt, the man above is a source of your frustration. Love is the expression of one's values, the greatest reward you can earn for the moral qualities you have achieved in your character and person, the emotional price paid by one man for the joy he receives from the virtues of another.The mystics of both schools, who preach the creed of sacrifice, are germs that attack you through a single sore: your fear of relying on your mind. They tell you that they possess a means of knowledge higher than the mind, a mode of consciousness superior to reason.Don't think of them now. Never think of pain or danger or enemies a moment longer than is necessary to fight them. You're here.It's our time and our life, not theirs. Don't struggle not to be happy.You don't know why you're here.We do. You don't know who your prisoner is. We do. You don't know why your bosses want you to guard him. We know why we want to get him out. You don't know the purpose of your fight. We know the purpose of ours. If you die, you won't know what you're dying for. If we do, we will.An honest man is one who knows that he can't consume more than he has produced.what could some starving vagrant take from him, compared to what had been taken by men who claimed to be his protectors？No matter what her problem, this would always remain to her—this immovable conviction that evil was unnatural and temporary. "But I'm richer now than I was in the world. What's wealth but the means of expanding one's life? There's two ways one can do it: either by producing more or by producing it faster. And that's what I'm doing: I'm manufacturing time."Down what drain were they poured out there, our days, our lives and our energy?Here, we trade achievements, not failures—values, not needs. love is not served by torture and life is not fed by destruction"My business, Miss Taggart?" said Midas Mulligan. "My business is blood transfusion—and I'm still doing it. My job is to feed a life-fuel into the plants that are capable of growing. But ask Dr. Hendricks whether any amount of blood will save a body that refuses to function, a rotten hulk that expects to exist without effort. My blood bank is gold. Gold is a fuel that will perform wonders, but no fuel can work where there is no motor. . . . No, I haven't given up. I merely got fed up with the job of running a slaughter house, where one drains blood out of healthy living beings and pumps it into gutless half-corpses."man is an end in himself and not the means to any end of others. Love is the ultimate form of recognition one grants to superlative values. because it comes from the same root, it's the same payment in answer to the same valuesIt does take an exceptional mind and a still more exceptional integrity to remain untouched by the brain-destroying influences of the world's doctrines.They were not fighting over what to do, but over whom to blame.Through the years of his struggle, he had learned that an apparently causeless antagonism was not hard to deal with, but an apparently causeless solicitude was an ugly danger. I've got a college diploma in metallurgy, but that's not worth the paper it's printed on.so that for you, who are a human being, the question 'to be or not to be' is the question 'to think or not to think.Where there are no alternatives, no values are possible."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 the good is self-sacrifice for the sake of incompetents on earth. And no one came to say that your life belongs to you and that the good is to live it.By refusing to say 'It is,’you are refusing to say 'I am.' Self-esteem, as his inviolate certainty that his mind is competent to think and his person is worthy of happiness, which means: is worthy of living.Independence is the recognition of the fact that yours is the responsibility of judgment and nothing can help you escape it—that no substitute can do your thinking, as no pinch-hitter can live your life—that the vilest form of self-abasement and self-destruction is the subordination of your mind to the mind of another, the acceptance of an authority over your brain, the acceptance of his assertions as facts, his say-so as truth, his edicts as middle-man between your consciousness and your existence. You want unearned love, as if love, the effect, could give you personal value, the cause—you want unearned admiration, as if admiration, the effect, could give you virtue, the cause—you want unearned wealth, as if wealth, the effect, could give you ability, the cause—you plead for mercy, mercy, not justice, as if an unearned forgiveness could wipe out the cause of your plea.they proclaim that the only requirement for running a factory is the ability to turn the cranks of the machines.A mystic is a man who surrendered his mind at its first encounter with the minds of others. Somewhere in. the distant reaches of his childhood, when his own understanding of reality clashed with the assertions of others, with their arbitrary orders and contradictory demands, he gave in to so craven a fear of dependence that he renounced his rational faculty. At the crossroads of the choice between 'I know' and 'They say,'he chose the authority of others, he chose to submit rather than to understand, to believe rather than to think. Faith in the supernatural begins as faith in the superiority of others.A mystic is driven by the urge to impress, to cheat, to flatter, to deceive, to force that omnipotent consciousness of others. 'They' are his only key to reality, he feels that he cannot exist save by harnessing their mysterious power and extorting their unaccountable consent.To control the consciousness of others becomes his only passion; power-lust is a weed that grows only in the vacant lots of an abandoned mind.Every dictator is a mystic, and every mystic is a potential dictator.A mystic craves obedience from men, not their agreement. He wants them to surrender their consciousness to his assertions, his edicts, his wishes, his whims—as his consciousness is surrendered to theirs.as if, by agreeing to fake the reality he orders them to fake, men would, in fact, create it There is only one state that fulfills the mystic's longing for infinity, non-causality, non-identity: death.no matter what ideal he proclaims in terms of some supernatural dimension—in fact, in reality, on earth, his ideal is death, his craving is to kill, his only satisfaction is to torture.the excuse that the end justifies the means and that the horrors they practice are means to nobler ends. The truth is that those horrors are their ends.You who're depraved enough to believe that you could adjust yourself to a mystic's dictatorship and could please him by obeying his orders—there is no way to please him; when you obey, he will reverse his orders; he seeks obedience for the sake of obedience and destruction for the sake of destruction. there is no way to buy him off, the bribe he wants is your life, as slowly or as fast as you are willing to give it in—and the monster he seeks to bribe is the hidden blank-out in his mind, which drives him to kill in order not to learn that the death he desires is his own.the professor who, unable to think, takes pleasure in crippling the mind of his students, the businessman who, to protect his stagnation, takes pleasure in chaining the ability of competitorsI saw that the enemy was an inverted morality—and that my sanction was its only power. I saw that evil was impotent—that evil was the irrational, the blind, the anti-real—and that the only weapon of its triumph was the willingness of the good to serve it. Every mystic had always longed for slaves, to protect him from the material reality he dreaded.you believe that evil is bound to win, since the moral is the impotent, the impractical"There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil. The man who is wrong still retains some respect for truth, if only by accepting the responsibility of choice.No value is higher than self-esteem, but you've invested it in counterfeit securities—and now your morality has caught you in a trap where you are forced to protect your self-esteem by fighting for the creed of self-destruction.it is not any sort of Original Sin or unknown prenatal deficiency, but the knowledge and fact of your basic default, of suspending your mind, of refusing to think.a real and basic threat to your existence: fear, because you have abandoned your weapon of survival, guilt, because you know you have done it volitionally.self-esteem is reliance on one's power to think.somewhere in the starting years of your childhood, before you had learned to submit, to absorb the terror of unreason and to doubt the value of your mind, you had known a radiant state of existence, you had known the independence of a rational consciousness facing an open universe. That is the paradise which you have lost, which you seek.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. a quest for automatic knowledge, for instinctive action, for intuitive certainty—and while you called it a longing for the state of an angel, what you were seeking was the state of an animal.Live and act within the limit of your knowledge and keep expanding it to the limit of your life.an error made on your own is safer than ten truths accepted on faith In place of your dream of an omniscient automaton, accept the fact that any knowledge man acquires is acquired by his own will and effort, and that that is his distinction in the universe, that is his nature, his morality, his glory.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.The only realm opposed to reality is the realm and premise of death.Accept the fact that the achievement of your happiness is the only moral purpose of your life, and that happiness—not pain or mindless self-indulgence—is the proof of your moral integrity.there is no more despicable coward than, the man who deserted the battle for his joy, fearing to assert his right to existence, lacking the courage and the loyalty to life of a bird or a flower reaching for the sun.when you learn that pride is the sum of all virtues, you will learn to live like a man.Do you ask if it's ever proper to help another man? No—if he claims it as his right or as a moral duty that you owe him. Yes—if such is your own desire based on your own selfish pleasure in the value of his person and his struggle.Suffering as such is not a value; only man's fight against suffering, is. If you choose to help a man who suffers, do it only on the ground of his virtues, of his fight to recover, of his rational record, or of the fact that he suffers unjustly; then your action is still a trade, and his virtue is the payment for your help. But to help a man who has no virtues, to help him on the ground of his suffering as such, to accept his faults, his need, as a claim —is to accept the mortgage of a zero on your values.Be it only a penny you will not miss or a kindly smile he has not earned, a tribute to a zero is treason to life and to all those who struggle to maintain it.Look around you-: what you have done to society, you had done it first within your soul; one is the image of the other. This dismal wreckage, which is now your world, is the physical form of the treason you committed to your values, to your friends, to your defenders, to your future, to your country, to yourself. A country's political system is based on its code of morality.the premise that man is an end in himself, not the means to the ends of others, that man's life, his freedom, his happiness are his by inalienable right.Rights are conditions of existence required by man's nature for his proper survival.So long as men, in the era of savagery, had no concept of objective reality and believed that physical nature was ruled by the whim of unknowable demons—no thought, no science, no production were possible.Drifters and physical laborers live and plan by the range of a day. The better the mind, the longer the range. When you work in a modern factory, you are paid, not only for your labor, but for all the productive genius which has made that factory possible: for the work of the industrialist who built it, for the work of the investor who saved the money to risk on the untried and the new, for the work of the engineer who designed the machines of which you are pushing the levers, for the work of the inventor who created the product which you spend your time on making, for the work of the scientist who discovered the laws that went into the making of that product, for the work of the philosopher who taught men how to thinkThe machine, the frozen form of a living intelligence, is the power that expands the potential of your life by raising the productivity of your time.The man who does no more than physical labor, consumes the material value-equivalent of his own contribution to the process of production, and leaves no further value, neither for himself nor others. But the man who produces an idea in any field of rational endeavor—the man who discovers new knowledge—is the permanent benefactor of humanity. Do not seek the favor of those who enslaved you, do not beg for alms from those who have robbed youact on your rational values, whether alone in the midst of your enemies, or with a few of your chosen friends.hordes of savages have never been an obstacle to men who carried the banner of the mind.when you'll look at men or at yourself, you will feel, not disgust, suspicion and guilt, but a single constant: respect.should you die without reaching full sunlight, you will die on a level touched by its rays? Such is the choice before you. Let your mind and your love of existence decide.man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roadsLeave men free to exist."I want you to think!""How will your gun make me do that, Mr. Thompson?”the face without pain or fear or guilt, implacable by virtue of serenity, invulnerable by virtue of self-esteem