|Ayn Rand: For the New Intellectual|
- When a man, a business corporation or an entire society is approaching bankruptcy, there are two courses that those involved can follow: they can evade the reality of their situation and act on a frantic, blind, range-of-the-moment expediency – not daring to look ahead, wishing no one would name the truth, yet desperately hoping that something will save them somehow – or they can indentify the situation, check their premises, discover their hidden assets and start rebuilding.
- The professional businessman and the professional intellectual came into existence together, as brothers born of the industrial revolution. Both are the sons of capitalism – and if they perish, they will perish together.
- Intellectual freedom cannot exist without political freedom; political freedom cannot exist without economic freedom; a free mind and a free market are corollaries.
- Capitalism wiped out slavery in matter and in spirit. It replaced Attila and the Witch Doctor, the looter of wealth and the purveyor of revelations, with two new types of man; the producer of wealth and the purveyor of knowledge – the businessman and the intellectual.
- Capitalism demands the best of every man – his rationality – and rewards him accordingly. It leaves every man free to choose the work he likes, to specialize in it, to trade his product for the products of others, and to go as far on the road of achievement as his ability and ambition will carry him. His success depends on the objective value of his work and on the rationality of those who recognize that value. When men are free to trade, with reason and reality as their only arbiter, when no man may use physical force to extort the consent of another, it is the best product and the best judgment that win in every field of human endeavor, and raise the standard of living – and of thought – ever higher for all those who take part in mankind’s productive activity.
- The professional businessman is the field agent of the army whose lieutenant-commander-in-chief is the scientist. The businessman carries scientific discoveries from the laboratory of the inventor to industrial plants, and transform them into material products that will men’s physical needs and expand the comfort of men’s existence. By creating mass market, he makes these products available to every income level of society. By using machines, he increases the productivity of human labor, thus raising labor’s economic rewards. By organizing human effort into productive enterprises, he creates employment for men of countless professions. He is the great liberator who, in the short span of a century and a half, has released them from the terrible drudgery of an eighteen-hour workday of manual labor for their barest subsistence, has released them from famines, from pestilences, from the stagnant hopeless and terror in which most of mankind has lived in all the pre-capitalist centuries – and in which most of it still lives, in non-capitalist countries.
- There ought to be a private, voluntary program of “student exchanges” between the intellectuals and the businessmen, the two groups that need each other most, yet know less and understand less about each other than any alien society in any distant corner of the globe. The businessmen need to discover the intellect, the intellectuals need to discover reality.
- Honor is a thing to be earned.
- Men have been taught that the highest virtue is not to achieve, but to give. Yet one cannot give that which has not been created. Creation comes before distribution – or there will be nothing to distribute. The need of the creator comes before the need of any possible beneficiary. Yet we are taught to admire the second-handler who dispenses gifts he has not produced above the man who made the gifts possible. We praise an act of charity. We shrug at an act of achievement. (The Fountainhead)
- Men have been taught that it is a virtue to agree with others. But creator is the man who disagrees. Men have been taught that it is a virtue to swim with the current. But creator is the man who goes against the current. Men have been taught that it is a virtue to stand together. But creator is the man who stands alone. (The Fountainhead)
- The only good which men can do to one another and the only statement of their proper relationship is – Hands off! (The Fountainhead)