TWENTIETH CENTURY MOTOR COMPANY
1. "there was something that happened at
the plant where I worked for twenty years. It was when the old man died and his heirs took over. There were three of them,
two sons and a daughter, and they brought a new plan to run the factory. They let us vote on it too, and everybody -- almost
everybody -- voted for it..... The plan was that everybody in the factory would work according to his ability, but would be
paid according to his need."
2. "None of us knew just how the plan would work, but everyone of us thought that the
next fellow knew it...... they made it sound like that anyone who'd oppose the plan was a child-killer at heart and less than
a human being."
3. "Do you know how it worked, that plan, and what it did to people? Try pouring water into a tank
where there is a pipe at the bottom draining it out faster than you pour it in and each bucket you bring breaks the pipe an
inch wider, and the harder you work the more is demanded of you, and you stand slinging buckets forty hours a week, then forty-eight,
then fifty-six -- for your neighbor's supper -- for his wife's operation -- for his child's measles -- for his mother's wheelchair
-- for his uncle's shirt -- for his nephew's schooling -- for the baby next door -- for the baby to be born -- for anyone
anywhere around you -- it's theirs to receive, from diapers to dentures -- and yours to work,....... with nothing to show
for it but your sweat, with nothing in sight for you but their pleasure, for the whole of your life, without rest, without
hope, without end ...... From each according to his ability, to each according to his need ....."
4. "It took just
one meeting to discover that we had become beggars --rotten, whining, sniveling beggars, all of us, because no man could claim
his pay as his rightful earning, he had no rights and no earnings, his work didn't belong to him, it belonged to "the family,"
and they owed him nothing in return, and the only claim he had on them was his "need" -- so he had to beg in public for relief
from his needs, like any lousy moocher, listing all his troubles and miseries, down to his patched drawers and his wife's
head colds, hoping that "the family" would throw him the alms. He had to claim miseries, because its miseries, not work, that
had become the coin of the realm -- so it turned into a contest among six thousand panhandlers, each claiming that his need
was worse than his brothers... what sort of men kept quiet, feeling shame, and what sort got away with the jackpot?"
"Overtime without pay, because you weren't paid by time and you weren't paid by work, only by need."
6. "What was
it that they'd always told us about the vicious competition of the profit system, where men had to compete for who'd do a
better job than his fellows? Vicious wasn't it? Well, they should have seen what it was like when we all had to compete with
one another for who'd do the worst job possible. There is no surer way to destroy a man than to force him into a spot where
he has to aim at not doing his best, where he has to struggle to do a bad job day after day."
7. "Amusement was the
first thing they dropped. Aren't you always supposed to be ashamed to object when anybody asks you to give up anything, if
it's something that gave you pleasure?"
8. "There was a man who'd worked hard, all his life, because he'd always wanted
to send his son through college. Well, the boy graduated from high school in the second year of the plan -- but "the family"
wouldn't give the father any "allowance" for the college. They said his son couldn't go to college, until we had enough to
send everybody's son to college -- and we first had to send everybody's children through high school, and we didn't even have
enough for that. The father died the following year, in a knife fight with somebody in a saloon, a fight over nothing in particular
-- such fights were beginning to happen among us all the time."
9. "Then there was an old guy, a widower with
no family, who had one hobby: phonograph records -- "personal luxury", they called it. But at that same meeting, Millie Bush,
somebody's daughter, a mean ugly little eight-year-old, was voted a pair of gold braces for her buck teeth -- this was "medical
need," because the staff psychologist had said that the poor girl would get an inferiority complex if her teeth weren't straightened
out. The old guy who loved music, turned to drink instead."
10. "Babies was the only item of production that didn't
fall, but rose and kept on rising -- because people had nothing else to do, I guess, and because they didn't have to care,
the baby wasn't their burden, it was "the family's".
11. "Any man who tried to play it straight, had to refuse himself
everything. He lost his taste for any pleasure, he hated to smoke a nickel's worth of tobacco or chew a stick of gum, worrying
whether somebody had more need for that nickel."
12. "But the shiftless and the irresponsible had a field day of it.
They bred babies, they got girls into trouble, they dragged in every worthless relative they had from all over the country,
every unmarried pregnant sister, for an extra disability allowance, they got more sickness than any doctor could disprove,
they ruined their clothing, their furniture, their homes -- what the hell, "the family" was paying for it! They found more
ways of getting in "need" than the rest of us could ever imagine -- they developed a special skill for it, which was the only
ability they showed."
13. "But Gerald Starnes, doped by his own publicity, got huffy and went around, with an
air of moral superiority, demanding that businessmen place orders with us, not because our motors were good, but because we
needed the orders so badly."
14. "What good would our need do to a power plant when its generators stopped because
of our defective engines? What good would it do to a man caught on an operating table when the electric lights went out? What
good would it do to the passengers of a plane when its motors failed in mid-air? And if they bought our product, not because
of its merit, but because of our need, would that be the good, the right, the moral thing to do for the owner of that power
plant, the surgeon in that hospital, the maker of that plane?"
15. "Yet this was the moral law that the professors
and leaders and thinkers had wanted to establish all over the earth. If this is what it did to a single town, where we all
knew on another, do you care to think what it would do on a world scale?....... To work -- with no chance of an extra ration,
till the Cambodians have been fed and the Patagonians have been sent to college. To work -- on a blank check held by every
creature born, by men whom you'll never see, whose needs you will never know, whose ability or laziness or sloppiness or fraud
you have no way to learn and no right to question -- just to work and work and work -- and leave it up to the Ivys and the
Geralds of the world to decide whose stomach will consume the effort, the dreams and days of your life. And this is the moral
law to accept? This -- a moral ideal?"
16. "Our agony took four years, from our first meeting to our last, and it
ended the only way it could end: in bankruptcy. Ivy Starnes made a short, nasty, snippy little speech in which she said that
the plan failed because the rest of the country had not accepted it, that a single community could not succeed in the midst
of a selfish, greedy world........ A young boy -- the one who had been punished for giving us a useful idea in our first year
-- got up, as we all sat silent, and walked straight to Ivy Starnes on the platform. He said nothing. He spat in her face.
That was the end of the noble plan and of the Twentieth Century."
17. "But what about John Galt? ....... it was something
that happened at the first meeting at the Twentieth Century factory...... The six thousand of us were crowded on bleachers
built way up to the rafters of the plant's largest hangar...... Gerald Starnes yelled through the noise, "Remember that none
of us may now leave this place, for each of us belongs to all the others by the moral law which we all accept!" "I don't,"
said one man and stood up...... He stood like a man who knew that he was right. "I will put an end to this once and for all,"
he said. His voice was clear and without feeling........ Gerald Starnes cried suddenly after him, "How?" He turned and answered,
"I will stop the motor of the world." Then he walked out....... years later, when we saw the lights going out, one after another,
in the great factories, that had stood solid like mountains for generations,...... when it began to look as if some silent
power were stopping the generators of the world and the world was crumbling quietly,..... we began to wonder and to ask questions
about him. You see, his name was John Galt."
USA and the DOLLAR
1. "he produced a package of
cigarettes and extended
it to her.... It was a plain white package that bore, as a single imprint, the sign of the dollar.... There was no printing
on the package, no trade name, no address, only the dollar sign stamped in gold. The cigarettes bore the same sign."
2. "The dollar sign? For a great deal (for many people).
It stands on the vest of every fat, piglike figure in every cartoon, for the purpose of denoting a crook, a grafter, a scoundrel
-- as the one sure-fire brand of evil.
3. "It (the dollar) stands (actually stands) -- as the
money of a free country -- for achievement, for success, for ability, for man's creative power -- and precisely for these
reasons, it is used as a brand of infamy.... Incidentally, do you know where that sign comes from? It stands for the initials
of the United States."
4. "It (the United States) was the only country in history
where wealth was not acquired by looting, but by production, not by force, but by trade, the only country whose money was
the symbol of man's right to his own mind, to his work, to his life, to his happiness, to himself. If this is evil,
by the present standards of the world, if this is the reason for damning us, then we -- the dollar chasers and makers -- accept
it and choose to be damned by that world. We choose to wear the sign of the dollar on our foreheads, as our badge of
THIS IS JOHN GALT SPEAKING
ON MORALITY AND VIRTUE
1. "Who is John Galt? This is John Galt speaking. I am the man who loves his life. I am the man who
does not sacrifice his love or his values."
2. "Since virtue, to you, consists of sacrifice, you have demanded more sacrifices at every successive
disaster. In the name of a return to morality, you have sacrificed all those evils which you held as the cause of your plight.
You have sacrificed justice to mercy. You have sacrificed independence to unity. You have sacrificed reason to faith. You
have sacrificed wealth to need. You have sacrificed self-esteem to self-denial. You have sacrificed happiness to duty. You
have destroyed all that you held to be evil and achieved all that you held to be good. Why, then, do you shrink in horror
from the sight of the world around you?"
3. "You have been taught that morality is a code of behavior imposed on you by whim, the whim of a
supernatural power or the whim of society, to serve God's purpose or your neighbor's welfare, to please an authority beyond
the grave or next door -- but not to serve your life or pleasure. Your pleasure, you have been taught, is to be found in immorality,
your interests would best be served by evil, and any moral code must be designed not for you, but against you, not to further
your life but to drain it."
4. "A being of volitional consciousness has no automatic course of behavior. He needs a code of values
to guide his actions. "Value" is that which one acts to gain and keep, "virtue" is the action by which one gains and keeps
it. "Value" presupposes an answer to the question: of value to whom and for what? "Value" presupposes a standard, a purpose
and the necessity of action in the face of an alternative. Where there are no alternatives, no values are possible."
5. "An animal is equipped for sustaining its life; senses provide it with an automatic code of action,
an automatic knowledge of what is good for it or evil. It has no power to extend its knowledge or to evade it. In conditions
where its knowledge proves inadaquate, it dies. But so long as it lives, it acts on its knowledge, with automatic safety and
no power of choice, it is unable to ignore its own good, unable to decide to choose the evil and to act as its own destroyer."
6. "Man has no automatic code for survival. His particular distinction from all other living species
is the necessity to act in the face of alternatives by means of volitional choice."
7. "All that which is proper to the life of a rational being is the good; all that which destroys it
is the evil.
Man's life, as required by his nature, is not the life of a mindless brute, of a looting thug or a
mooching mystic, but the life of a thinking being -- not life by means of force or fraud, but life by means of achievement
-- not survival at any price, since there's only one price that pays for man's survival: reason.
Man's life is the standard of morality, but your own life is its purpose."
8. "A morality that dares to tell you to find happiness in the renunciation of your happiness -- to
value the failure of your values -- is an insolent negation of morality. A doctrine that give you, as an ideal, the role of
a sacrificial animal seeking slaughter on the altar of others, is giving you death as your standard....... every man -- is
an end in himself, he exists for his own sake, and the achievement of his own happiness is his highest moral purpose."
1. "Independence is a recognition of the fact that yours is
the responsibility of judgement and nothing can help you escape it -- that no substitute can do your thinking, as no pinch-hitter
can live your life -- that the vilest form of self-abasement and self-destruction is the subordination of your mind to the
mind of another, the acceptance of an authority over your brain, the acceptance of his assertions as fact, his say-so as truth,
his edicts as middle-man between your consciousness and your existence."
2. "you must judge all men as concientiously as you judge inanimate
objects, with the same respect for truth, with the same incorruptible vision.... every man must be judged for what he is and
treated accordingly, that just as you do not pay a higher price for a rusty chunk of scrap than for a piece of shining metal,
so you do not value a rotter above a hero -- that your moral appraisal is the coin paying men for their virtues or vices,
and this payment demands of you as scrupulous an honor as you bring to financial transactions -- that to withhold your contempt
from men's vices is an act of moral counterfeiting, and to withhold your admiration from their virtues is an act of moral
embezzlement -- that to place any other concern higher than justice is to devaluate your moral currency and defraud the good
in favor of the evil, since only the good can lose by a default of justice and only the evil can profit -- and that the bottom
of the pit at the end of that road, the act of moral bankruptcy, is to punish men for their virtues and reward them for their
vices, that that is the collapse to full depravity,"
1. "Life is the reward of virtue -- and happiness is the goal
and reward of life."
2. "Your emotions are estimates of that which furthers your
life or threatens it, lightening calculators giving you a sum of your profit or loss. You have no choice about your capacity
to feel that something is good for you or evil, but what you will consider good or evil, what will give you joy or pain, what
you will love or hate, desire or fear, depends on your standard of value. Emotions are inherent in your nature, but their
content is dictated by your mind. Your emotional capacity is an empty motor, and your values are the fuel with which your
mind fills it."
3. "Happiness is a state of non-contradictory joy -- a joy
without penalty or guilt, a joy that does not clash with any of your values, and does not work for your own destruction,"
4. "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."
Ayn Rand was perhaps one of the greatest
philosophers who ever wrote in the United States. Unlike most philosophers throughout history, who wrote in a somewhat dry
manner, Ms. Rand uses the novel as her vehicle for espousing her philosophical thoughts. While Ayn Rand has written many books,
her signature work is her excellent novel, Atlas Shrugged. In this masterpiece, she provides a vivid description of the differences
between a capitalistic system and, a socialistic or communistic system. To Ms. Rand, there is only a small percentage of individuals
in any society who possess the scientific knowledge, practical know-how and, creativity to achieve greatness and serious technological
progress. These are the people with the big ideas -- the ideas that lead to progress and the production of great wealth. These
are the individuals who possess the ability to design a functioning steel mill, an aircraft factory, an automobile plant,
a jet engine, a space ship, etc., etc., etc. It is these ideas and, the demand for the products which they create, that leads
to a wealthy nation and full employment. In other words, every one benefits from the great ideas of a few extremely bright
and creative people. Citizens either benefit directly by working in the factories created from these great ideas or, through
building there own business's which thrive because of the economic wealth of the nation and its citizens. It is only a matter
of time however, before the most base side of human nature rears its hideous head -- envy on the part of the workers toward
the creative geniuses who amass wealth and, greed on the part of politicians who cultivate envy among the workers to enhance
their own political power and wealth at the expense of the nation. Atlas Shrugged depicts this erosion of the economic system
and the society by removing these productive "men of mind" from the society when the base human traits appear. The men of
mind go on strike so to speak. The result is a blow by blow description of a society that is in free fall economic decline
and chaos. Finally, toward the end of the novel, the main character, John Galt, speaks to the citizens for the "men of mind"
explaining to them the error of their ways. This is the heart of Ayn Rand's philosophy and, will be quoted, in the quotes
section of this page, in detail. Ayn Rand's unique style of presenting her philosophy in novel format make her one of the
most interesting and popular philosophic writers of modern times.
Ayn Rand gives a vivid and distrubing account of what
happens to a company or, factory, when it moves away from capitalism toward socialism, in her account of the Starnes, Twentieth
Century Motor Company. The company was extremely successful under its founder Mr. Starnes. Because of his ability, he employed
many skilled individuals who became prosperous through their abilities and contribution to the company. Unfortunately, Mr.
Starnes dies and his liberal children inherit the company. The heirs attempt to transform the company from one that believed
in the individual and the motto, "from each according to his/her ability; to each according to his/her contribution", to a
company that believed in the collective and the motto, "from each according to his/her ability; to each according to his/her
need". Ms. Rand writes graphically about the effect such a socialistic policy had on this once proud company and its employees.
The first group of quotes are from her writings about the Twentieth Century Motor Company.
The mystics of Spirit and The mystics of Muscle.
Ayn Rand writes extensively of the "mystics of
spirit" and the "mystics of muscle" -- the moochers and looters respectively. The mystics of spirit are the religious and
cult leaders who, through their charisma and, claimed superior knowledge to know "the truth," convince their followers that
mind and reason is not important. Faith -- in the leaders -- becomes more important than any rational thought. Followers are
supposed to surrender their mind to the will of the cult leader and accept what is taught on faith not reason. Of course there
are always sacrifices to be made -- in this life -- for the great causes dictated by the cult leaders. They promise their
followers that, for their sacrifices, they will be rewarded after death. Whenever a human being hears a person calling for
sacrifice, that individual must check to see who is profiting from that sacrifice. According to Ms Rand, sacrifice by some
always means large unearned profits for others. Ayn Rand was an atheist so, she had little regard for those who would tell
people to sacrifice their life, their reason and, their personal happiness, for the promise of peace and happiness after death.
To Ayn Rand, this was not rational or logical and, was only a gimmick of the mystics which encouraged man to give up his most
important assets -- his reason and his happiness -- for the benefit of the mystics of spirit who gained at their expense.
To Ms Rand, it was man's reason and acquisition of knowledge, through that reason, that allowed man to produce, progress and,
become successful and happy in this life -- the only life of which one can be sure. To her, perfect happiness in life, was
living by one's reason and, that reason dictated that there be no contradictions within one's life style. To live with a contradiction
was to accept some flaw in one's reasoning or logic. This flaw or inconsistency had to be corrected if one were to achieve
perfect happiness. The highest moral standard was to use one's reason to live a productive life and achieve individual happiness.
Man is a finished product who exists for himself and nobody else. It is only through profitable trade between willing individuals
that men assist one another. Ms. Rand viewed the moochers as robbers of man's most precious possession -- the ability to reason
and achieve happiness here on earth as an individual. In many of her quotes, you will see the "mystics of spirit" mentioned
in a derogatory manner.
Not only were there mystics of spirit which man had to avoided but, also a more hideous, powerful
group of individuals who were a serious threat to the productive efforts of man. These were the "mystics of muscle" -- the
looters -- those who, because of their status within the governing authority, could demand that productive individuals sacrifice
large amounts of their profits (the reward for their creativeness or productive efforts), in the form of taxes, so that it
could be distributed to others for political support and favors. Thus the term looters. Ms. Rand claims that it has always
been in times when these looters flourished that the "men of mind", the most creative and productive citizens, would eventually
go on strike so to speak, dramitically reducing the amount that could be looted by these mystics.
While the mystics of
muscle do not suggest that individuals sacrifice now for a greater reward after death, like the mystics of spirit, they do
call for sacrifice. They call for sacrifice now, so that the individual's children or grandchildren can have a better life.
Like the mystics of spirit, this is a sacrifice that never has to be paid off because, the sacrifices continue from generation
to generation and the children or grandchildren are always in the future. It is the "mystics of muscle" who gain power and
wealth at the expense of the productive citizens who are constantly sacrificing (willingly or unwillingly) for the future.
It is the mystics of muscle who cry that every citizen has a right to a higher standard of living but, neglect to mention
how that standard of living is to be provided or, by whom. It is the mystics of muscle who are most interested in power over
the individuals and their minds. It is the thinking, rational individual (the men who will not sacrifice their own reason
and logic) who is the biggest threat to these hideous looters. It is these men of mind, who ask the rational questions of
these individuals, whom they must combat with their propaganda and willing accomplices within the society. It is these citizen's
rationality and their ability to see through their scheme that they fear most. For man to use his mind is a very real threat
to the mystics of muscle. Ms. Rand discusses the mystics of muscle extensively in her quotes.
USA and the DOLLAR
It has been written that Ayn Rand requested
that the dollar sign be placed by her coffin while she was lying in state before her burial. Having come from a communist
country (Soviet Union) and witnessing first hand the effects that Communism had on the noble Russian people, she was a strong
supporter of the capitalistic system that flourished in the United States. Ayn Rand saw the dollar sign as the proud symbol
of that free capitalistic system. She believed that it was this capitalism and,
the freedom of each individual to strive to become all that he/she was capable of becoming, that set the United States apart from other nations of the world. She saw that in other nations, individuals were
hampered in their economic activities by either socialistic governments and high taxation or, by a rigid class system that would not allow individuals to rise above their particular class. None of this
was true in the United States. It was the individual that was all important and, the government had adopted a lassez-faire
attitude toward individuals and their businesses. Taxes were low, which encouraged
individual productivity and ingenuity. To Ayn Rand, it was this freedom of
economic activity and, lack of government interference, that attracted many talented, creative and inventive people to
our shores. She saw this economic freedom aptly represented in the sign of
the dollar. Even at this time (1940s) however, there were those who would
have the economically free United States become more socialistic like the European nations. These were the people who would
ridicule the dollar sign and attempt to change it from a symbol of success
and economic freedom to a symbol of greed and corruption. Even today, one can find examples of individuals attempting to degrade
our national symbol of man's creative power and inventiveness -- the dollar sign --
in the cartoons that can be found on the editorial pages of newspapers across
JOHN GALT SPEAKING
her novel, Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand views
the modern day socialist tendencies of government as the enemy of production, growth, progress and, the overall achievement
of the individual and society. Individuals who become a ruling class within a society, eventually use their power and wealth,
not for the good of society and its citizens but, for their own benefit and the perpetuation power within their families.
The achievers, the inventors, the producers, the risk takers -- the individuals who actually advance society -- are used for
the benefit of the ruling class and those who lack ambition. From this underlying belief, Rand develops the terms, looters
and moochers. To her, looters were the politicians ( ruling class) who take from the producers by force of government through
taxes, fees and economic manipulation. The moochers are the dependent class -- those who live off the productive people through
government welfare and charitable donations by altruistic citizens, their churches and, other charitable organizations. To
Rand, even the churches and other charities were considered moochers. She believed that, although these organizations do good
within society, they still survived on handouts from the producers.
In her novel, the productive
and creative citizens of the society strike and refuse to produce under the conditions that are forced upon them by government.
The result is the rapid disintegration of the society. In the chapter entitled, This is John Galt speaking, Galt -- one of
the achievers -- has taken over what remains of the means of communication so that he might explain, to the citizens, the
cause of their plight. The quotes from this chapter reflect the philosophy of the producers and achievers -- those who produce
the goods and services essential for society.
When one studies the
history of civilization, one is struck by the fact that no civilization survives indefinitely. The Roman Civilization, perhaps
one of the most successful, survived for about 1000 years -- much longer if we include what later became the Byzantine Empire.
Later, the Ottoman Turkish Empire endured for some 600 years. It too faded into extinction. Even the more modern day British
Empire, declined and failed -- their possessions becoming independent nations and a part of a loose confederation. Rand believes
that the underlying cause of these failures was the overburdening of the productive segment of society -- the inventors, the
producers, the achievers -- moving away from capitalism and liberty (which benefits producers) toward socialism and the centralization
of power and production (which benefits the ruling class and those in need).
All great civilizations
begin by rewarding the productive citizens permitting them to retain much of the wealth which they produce. This leads to
increased production and, growth in the overall wealth of the nation. Increased production leads to increased employment for
other citizens both in direct and indirect support of production. Over time, many citizens become prosperous and self-sufficient.
Taylor Caldwell, a renowned
historical novelist, attempts to capture what the Roman founders desired for their constitution in her novel, Glory and
The Romans said: We will not permit any politician or other unscrupulous man to rob one section of our citizens
for the benefit of another section, through the seizing of their property which they have earned and giving it to others less
prudent and industrious. If a man will not work, then he must starve and no politician will be allowed to alleviate his state
at the expense of others. For we hold that what a man earns by his own labor belongs solely to him, and he shall not be plundered
of it. It does not belong to the government; it does not belong to his neighbor. The rights of property will be protected
at all times....
Remembering that ancient nations were destroyed by crushing taxes, we shall tax our people for only what is
necessary for our military services, for the guarding of our city through a system of police, for clean water and streets,
for the support of the courts, for sanitaria, for sound buildings, for fighters against fire. The stipends for those in public
service will always be modest; the honor is almost enough.
Riches, are not to be despised if they are acquired by superior work and intelligence. But the man who becomes
rich by thievery and malfeasance in office or crafty dealings will be treated with contempt. He is a disgrace to his
While most successful
nations -- like Rome -- begin with good values and policy, there will always be individuals who want something for nothing
or, a bigger piece of the pie provided at the producers expense (Rands moochers and looters respectively). As a nation ages,
the nation's rulers, begin to view the wealth of the producers as a means to greater wealth and power for themselves. Taxes
are increased on the productive citizens in order to provide benefits to the politicians and their friends , bureaucrats,
and those unwilling to work for themselves. This relationship provides built-in support for those in power. The cycle of taxing
and spending continues until the producers are exhausted and little incentive remains to produce. When this stage is achieved,
the economies of even great nations begin to decline and, continue to decline until all of the society's greatness and wealth
has been consumed. Rand accelerated this decline and societal disintegration by placing those responsible for production on
strike. Historically, this has never occurred. A civilization's decline is slower and more insidious than that depicted in
her novel. The idea however, is the same. Once the people who produce the necessities for life and prosperity lose interest
in producing, there are few others capable of taking their place. Such a society is unable to maintain itself. The productive
individuals will always find other, perhaps less attractive outlets for their genius.
According to most philosophers, no civilization is possible without justice.
Plato considered justice to be, each citizen performing the job within society for which he/she was qualified. If an citizen
was a man of bronze -- a man of appetite -- he/she must be content to work as a merchant, shopkeeper, or other individual
whose primary focus is money. To have such an individual aspire to become a philosopher king (a leader of society), would
be an unjust act and destructive to the social fabric. To Rousseau, justice was provided by the citizens themselves when they
voted on legislation and were honest enough to vote the general will -- laws that benefited or deprived all citizens equally.
Aristotle believed that justice was served by virtuous citizens living in a virtuous polity -- a polity that contributed to
the improvement of the citizen. Ayn Rand believes that justice is to judge all individuals for what they are. In current times
we hear a great deal about all forms of life styles being OK. In other words, citizens should not make any value judgments
regarding the way other individuals lead their lives -- a who am I to judge outlook. Rand would consider this absurd. To her
to value drunks or the lazy on equal terms with Nobel prize winners or Olympic champions is to devalue your moral currency
and undermine your own values and the values of the entire society. Citizens must use their mind and their reason and, just
as they would not pay the same price for a common stone as they would for a rare diamond, they should never value an individual
destructive to society the same as a national hero. It is for the individual to judge what is of value and what is not. To
Ayn Rand, it would be a serious blow to justice not to use ones reason to provide accolades to those who deserve praise and
condemnation to those who deserve to be condemned. There is however a place in all societies where citizens are to be treated
and judged equally and that is before the governing body. The government should not notice if one is rich or poor, black or
white, male or female, etc., etc. All citizens must be judged equally before the nation's laws. Citizens must also be treated
equally by the government when it comes to competing for jobs. Ability and knowledge should be the only criteria for selection
to such positions. Also, all citizens should be protected equally by the law of the land without regard for the many other
variances within a population. Rand would say that it is never the place of any government to demand that citizens themselves
treat everyone equally. Justice would demand that all are judged by their behavior. Decent citizens will rightly condemn those
who behave badly. Those who behave decently will be accepted. Rand would say that it is this form of acceptance and rejection
by citizens that maintains most people within defined moral boundaries. She would also say that this is healthy for society.
For a society to condemn decent people and laud immorality is the collapse to complete moral depravity. Such a society will
commence a period of decline from which it will be unable to recover.
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