Envy is the only name she could find for the monstrous thing she faced, but it was much worse than envy: it was the profound hatred of life, of success and of all human values, felt by a certain kind of mediocrity...the kind who feels pleasure on hearing about a stranger's misfortune. It was hatred of the good for being the good...hatred of ability, of beauty, of honesty, of earnestness, of achievement and, above all, of human joy.
The American businessmen, as a class, have demonstrated the greatest productive genius and the most spectacular achievements ever recorded in the economic history of mankind. What reward did they receive from our culture and its intellectuals? The position of a hated, persecuted minority. The position of a scapegoat for the evils of the bureaucrats.
That which you call your soul or spirit is your conciousness, and that which you call 'free will' is your mind's freedom to think or not, the only will you have, your only freedom, the choice that controls all the choices you make and determines your life and your character.
Do not consider Collectivists as sincere but deluded idealists. The proposal to enslave some men for the sake of others is not an ideal; brutality is not idealistic, no matter what its purpose. Do not ever say that the desire to do good by force is a good motive. Neither power-lust nor stupidity are good motives.
All public interest legislation (and any distribution of money taken by force from some men for the unearned benefit of others) comes down ultimately to the grant of an undefined undefinable, non-objective, arbitrary power to some government officials. The worst aspect of it is not that such a power can be used dishonestly, but that it cannot be used honestly. The wisest man in the world, with the purest integrity, cannot find a criterion for the just, equitable, rational application of an unjust, inequitable, irrational principle.
A chronic lack of pleasure, of any enjoyable, rewarding or stimulating experiences, produces a slow, gradual, day-by-day erosion of man's emotional vitality, which he may ignore or repress, but which is recorded by the relentless computer of his subconscious mechanism that registers an ebbing flow, then a trickle, then a few last drops of fuel--until the day when his inner motor stops and he wonders desperately why he has no desire to go on, unable to find any definable cause of his hopeless, chronic sense of exhaustion.
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.
The good, say the mystics of spirit, is God, a being whose only definition is that he is beyond man's power to conceive - a definition that invalidates man's consciousness and nullifies his concepts of existence. The good, say the mystics of muscle, is Society - a thing which they define as an organism that possesses no physical form, a super-being embodied in no one in particular and everyone in general except yourself.... The purpose of man's life, say both, is to become an abject zombie who serves a purpose he does not know, for reasons he is not to question.
Man's consciousness is his least known and most abused vital organ. Most people believe that consciousness as such is some sort of indeterminate faculty which has no nature, no specific identity and therefore no requirements, no needs, no rules for being properly or improperly used.... Men abuse, subvert and starve their consciousness in a manner they would not dream of applying to their hair, toenails or stomachs. They know that these things have a specific identity and specific requirements, and, if one whishes to preserve them, one must comb one's hair, trim one's toenails and refrain from swallowing rat poison.
This is the difference between my morality and hedonism. The standard is not: that is good which gives me pleasure, just because it gives me pleasure (which is the standard of the dipsomaniac or the sex-chaser)