22.7.12

Atlas Shrugged Leftovers

 “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”

— John Rogers


.
“Life, he thought, had been defined as motion; man’s life was purposeful motion; what was the state of a being to whom purpose and motion were denied, a being left to breathe and see all the magnificence of the possibilities he could have reached, left to scream “why?”

.
“When he was asked what he would want to do, he answered at once, “Whatever is right.”

.
“I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.”

.
“Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swaps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists.. it is real.. it is possible.. it’s yours.”

.
“I swear by my life, and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.”

.
“Do not look for me out there, you will not find me, until you want me for what I am. And when you want me, I’ll be the easiest man to find.”

.
“Just as I support my life, neither by robbery nor alms, but by my own effort, so I do not seek to derive my happiness from the injury or the favor of others, but earn it by my own achievement. Just as I do not consider the pleasure of others as the goal of my life, so I do not consider my pleasure as the goal of the lives of others. Just as there are no contradictions in my values and no conflicts among my desires - so there are no victims and no conflicts of interest among rational men, men who do not desire the unearned and do not view one another with cannibal’s lust, men who neither make sacrifices nor accept them."

.
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? To Shrug.

.
“People think that a liar gains a victory over his victim. What I’ve learned is that a lie is an act of self-abdication, because one surrenders one’s reality to the person to whom one lies, making that person one’s master, condemning oneself from then on to faking the sort of reality that person’s view requires to be faked…The man who lies to the world, is the world’s slave from then on…There are no white lies, there is only the blackest of destruction, and a white lie is the blackest of all.”

.
“Thought—he told himself quietly—is a weapon one uses in order to act… Thought is the tool by which one makes a choice… Thought sets one’s purpose and the way to reach it.”

.
“I started my life with a single absolute: that the world was mine to shape in the image of my highest values and never to be given up to a lesser standard, no matter how long or hard the struggle.”

.
“Through centuries of scourges and disasters, brought about by your code of morality, you have cried that your code had been broken, that the scourges were punishment for breaking it, that men were too weak and too selfish to spill all the blood it required. You damned man, you damned existence, you damned this earth, but never dared to question your code. Your victims took the blame and struggled on, with your curses as reward for their martyrdom-while you went on crying that your code was noble, but human nature was not good enough to practice it. And no one rose to ask the question: Good?-by what standard?”

.
“You think that if one gets hurt in life, it’s through one’s own sins—and that’s true, in the long run. But there are people who’ll try to hurt you through the good they see in you—knowing that it’s the good, needing it and punishing you for it. Don’t let it break you when you discover that.”

.
“Love is our response to our highest values, and can be nothing else.”

.
“He was left, not with a sense of attainment, but with a sense of his own degredation. He grew to hate his desire. He fought it. He came to believe the doctrine that this desire was wholly physical, a desire, not of consciousness, but of matter, and he rebelled against the thought that his flesh could be free to choose and that its choice was impervious to the will of his mind. He had spent his life in mines and mills, shaping matter to his wishes by the power of his brain - and he found it intolerable that he should be unable to control the matter of his own body. He fought it. He had won his every battle against inanimate nature; but this was a battle he lost.”

.
“You ought to discover some day that words have an exact meaning.”

.
“Eventually, the question you ask stops being “Who is John Galt?” and becomes “When will John Galt shut up?”

.
“If I were to speak your kind of language, I would say that man’s only moral commandment is: Thou shalt think. But a ‘moral commandment’ is a contradiction in terms. The moral is the chosen, not the forced; the understood, not the obeyed. The moral is the rational, and reason accepts no commandments.”

.
“So you think that money is the root of all evil? 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 wish 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?”

.
“You’re not capable of love, you cheap little gold-digger!” he cried suddenly, in a tone stripped of all color but the desire to hurt. “Yes, I said gold-digger. There are many forms of it, other than greed for money, other and worse. You’re a gold-digger of the spirit. You didn’t marry me for my cash - but you married me for my ability of courage or whatever value it was that you set as the price of your love!”

“Do you want… Love… to be… cause less?”

“Love is its own cause! Love is above causes and reasons. Love is blind. But you wouldn’t be capable of it. You have the mean, scheming, calculating little soul of a shopkeeper who trades, but never gives!Love is a gift - a great, free, unconditional gift that transcends and forgives everything. What’s the generosity of loving a man for his virtues? What do you give him? Nothing. It’s no more than cold justice. No more than he’s earned.

Her eyes were dark with the dangerous intensity of glimpsing her goal. “You want it to be unearned,” she said, not in the tone of a question but of a verdict.”

.
“I stay awake all night. I fall asleep only when I see the sky turning pale. It is very odd. Every evening, when it grows dark, I get the feeling that this time it is final, that daylight will not return.”

.
“No matter how good you are, I’ll expect you to wring everything you’ve got, trying to be still better. And when you’ve worn yourself out to reach a goal, I’ll expect you to start for another.”

.
“I cannot bring myself to abandon to destruction all the greatness of the world, all that which was mine and yours, which was made by us and is still ours by right—because I cannot believe that men can refuse to see, that they can remain blind and deaf to us forever, when the truth is ours and their lives depend on accepting it. They still love their lives—and that is the uncorrupted remnant of their minds. So long as men desire to live, I cannot lose my battle.”

.
“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. Threats will not make us function; fear is not our incentive. It is not death that we wish to avoid, but life that we wish to live.”

.
“Never think of pain or danger or enemies a moment longer than is necessary to fight them.”

.
“Every man builds his world in his own image… He has the power to choose, but no power to escape the necessity of choice. If he abdicates his power, he abdicates the status of man, and the grinding chaos of the irrational is what he achieves as the sphere of his existence — by his own choice.”

.
“Haven’t I? - he thought. Haven’t I thought of it since the first time I saw you? Haven’t I thought of nothing else for two years? …He sat motionless, looking at her. He heard the words he had never allowed himself to form, the words he had felt, known, yet had not faced, had hoped to destroy by never letting them be said within his own mind. Now it was as sudden and shocking as if he were saying it to her …Since the first time I saw you …Nothing but your body, that mouth of yours, and the way your eyes would look at me, if …Through every sentence I ever said to you, through every conference you thought so safe, through the importance of all the issues we discussed …You trusted me, didn’t you? To recognize your greatness? To think of you as you deserved - as if you were a man? …Don’t you suppose I know how much I’ve betrayed? The only bright encounter of my life - the only person I respected - the best business man I know - my ally - my partner in a desperate battle …The lowest of all desires - as my answer to the highest I’ve met …Do you know what I am? I thought of it, because it should have been unthinkable. For that degrading need, which would never touch you, I have never wanted anyone but you …I hadn’t known what it was like, to want it, until I saw you for the first time. I had thought : Not I, I couldn’t be broken by it …Since then …For two years …With not a moments respite …Do you know what it’s like, to want it? Would you wish to hear what I thought when I looked at you …When I lay awake at night …When I hear your voice over a telephone wire …When I worked, but could not drive it away? …To bring you down to things you cant conceive - and to know that it’s I who have done it. To reduce you to a body, to teach you an animal’s pleasure, to see you need it, to see you asking me for it, to see your wonderful spirit dependent on the upon the obscenity of your need. To watch you as you are, as you face the world with your clean, proud strength - then to see you, in my bed, submitting to any infamous whim I may devise, to any act which I’ll preform for the sole purpose of watching your dishonor and to which you’ll submit for the sake of an unspeakable sensation …I want you - and may I be damned for it!”


.
“What is man? He’s just a collection of chemicals with delusions of grandeur.”

.
“She sat listening to the music. It was a symphony of triumph. The notes flowed up, they spoke of rising and they were the rising itself, they were the essence and the form of upward motion, they seemed to embody every human act and thought that had ascent as its motive. It was a sunburst of sound, breaking out of hiding and spreading open. It had the freedom of release and the tension of purpose. It swept space clean, and left nothing but the joy of an unobstructed effort. Only a faint echo within the sounds spoke of that from which the music had escaped, but spoke in laughing astonishment at the discovery that there was no ugliness or pain, and there never had had to be. It was the song of an immense deliverance.
She thought: For just a few moments—while this lasts—it is all right to surrender completely—to forget everything and just permit yourself to feel. She thought: Let go—drop the controls—this is it.”

.
“Why did you let the wonderful fact of your own existence go by?”

Hiç yorum yok:

Yorum Gönder