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 ghost.
In spiritual issues--(by "spiritual" I mean: "pertaining to man's consciousness")--a trader is a man who does not seek to be loved for his weaknesses or flaws, only for his virtues, and who does not grant his love to the weaknesses or the flaws of others, only to their virtues.
Into what bottomless, future-less 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. Wealth, Dagny? What greater wreath is there than to own your life and to spend it on growing? Everyone living thing must grow. It can't stand still. It must grow or perish.
There might be some sort of justification for the savage societies in which a man had to expect that enemies could murder him at any moment and had to defend himself as best as he could. But there can be no justification for a society in which a man is expected to manufacture the weapons for his own murderers.
What do you suppose those women are after but the same thing as the chaser—the desire to gain their own value from the number and fame of the men they conquer? Only it's one step phonier, because the value they seek is not even in the actual fact, but in the impression on and the envy of other women.
I think it's a worthy undertaking--to provide a decent apartment for a man who earns fifteen dollars a week. But not at the expense of other men. Not if it raises the taxes, raises all the other rents and makes the man who earns forty live in a rat hole.
If the majority of men cannot know what is good for them, each for himself, how can they know what is good for others by proxy? If they are to be controlled by specialists, how and by what standard can they choose the specialist?
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.
You'll be one of us, so long as you'll remain in love with your rails and your engines—and they'll lead you back to us, no matter how many times you lose your way. The only man never to be redeemed is the man without passion.
The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.
Until and unless you discover that money is the root of all good, you ask for your own destruction. When money ceases to become the means by which men deal with one another, then men become the tools of other men. Blood, whips and guns--or dollars. Take your choice--there is no other.
The strip of earthy, faintly visible outside the window, was running faster now, blending into a gray stream. Through the dry phrases of calculations in her mind, she noticed that she did have time to feel something: it was the hard, exhilarating pleasure of action.
Reason is the faculty that perceives, identifies and integrates the material provided by his senses. The task of his senses is to give him the evidence of existence, but the task of identifying it belongs to his reason; his senses tell him only that something is, but what it is must be learned by his mind.
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.
She stood, in a room of crumbling plaster, pressed to the window-pane, looking up at the unattainable form of everything she loved. She did not know the nature of her loneliness. The only words that named it were: This is not the world I expected.
It is forbidden, not to be happy. For, as it has been explained to us, men are free and the earth belongs to them; and all things on earth belong to all men; and the will of all men together is good for all; and so all men must be happy.
Rearden. He didn't invent smelting and chemistry and air compression. He couldn't have invented his Metal but for thousands and thousands of other people. His Metal! Why does he think it's his? Why does he think it's his invention? Everybody uses the work of everybody else. Nobody ever invents anything.