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My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.
Doctors are not servants of their patients, they are traders like everyone else in a free society and they should bear that title proudly considering the crucial importance of the services they offer.
I need no warrant for being, and no word of sanction upon my being. I am the warrant and the sanction.
If there is any one proof of a man's incompetence, it is the stagnant mentality of a worker who, doing some small routine job in a vast undertaking, does not care to look beyond the lever of a machine, does not choose to know how the machine got there or what makes his job possible, and proclaims that the management of the undertaking is parasitical and unneccessary.
The common good of a collective -- a race, a class, a state -- was the claim and justification of every tyranny ever established over men. Every major horror of history was committed in the name of an altruistic motive. Has any act of selfishness ever equaled the carnage perpetrated by disciples of altruism? Does the fault lie in men's hypocrisy or in the nature of the principle? The most dreadful butchers were the most sincere. The believed in the perfect society reached through the guillotine and the firing squad. Nobody questioned their right to murder since they were murdering for an altruistic purpose. It was accepted that man must be sacrificed for other men. Actors change, but the course of the tragedy remains the same. A humanitarian who starts with the declarations of love for mankind and ends with a sea of blood. It goes on and will go on so long as men believe that an action is good if it is unselfish. That permits the altruist to act and forces his victims to bear it. The leaders of collectivist movements ask nothing of themselves. But observe the results.
Thanksgiving is a typically American holiday...The lavish meal is a symbol of the fact that abundant consumption is the result and reward of production.
Art is a selective re-creation of reality according to an artist's metaphysical value-judgments. An artist recreates those aspects of reality which represent his fundamental view of man's nature.
America's abundance was not created by public sacrifices to the common good, but by the productive genius of free men who pursued their own personal interests and the making of their own private fortunes.
Love is an expression and assertion of self-esteem, a response to one's own values in the person of another. One gains a profoundly personal, selfish joy from the mere existence of the person one loves. It is one's own personal, selfish happiness that one seeks, earns, and derives from love.
Civilization is the progress toward a society of privacy. The savage's whole existence is public, ruled by the laws of his tribe. Civilization is the process of setting man free from men.
Contradictions do not exist. Whenever you think that you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong.
Every aspect of Western culture needs a new code of ethics -- a rational ethics -- as a precondition of rebirth.
Every man builds his world in his own image. He has the power to choose, but no power to escape the necessity of choice.
I can accept anthing, except what seems to be the easiest for most people: the half-way, the almost, the just-about, the in-between.
It is not advisable, James, to venture unsolicited opinions. You should spare yourself the embarrassing discovery of their exact value to your listener.
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.
Rationality is the recognition of the fact that nothing can alter the truth and nothing can take precedence over that act of perceiving it.
So long as [men] hold the tribal notion that the individual is sacrificial fodder for the collective, that some men have the right to rule others by force, and that some (any) alleged 'good' can justify it -- there can be no peace within a nation and no peace among nations.
The idea that 'the public interest' supersedes private interests and rights can have but one meaning that the interests and rights of some individuals take precedence over the interests and rights of others.
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.
Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps, down new roads, armed with nothing but their own vision.
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.