Justice, People, and Genius

                “Now you see, that’s the cruelty of conscientious people. You wouldn’t understand it—would you?—if I answered that real devotion consists of being willing to lie, cheat, and fake in order to make another person happy—to create for him the reality he wants, if he doesn’t like the one that exists.”
                “No,” he said slowly, “I wouldn’t understand it.”
                “It’s really very simple. If you tell a beautiful woman that she is beautiful, what have you given her? It’s no more than a fact and it has cost you nothing. But if you tell an ugly woman that she is beautiful, you offer her the great homage of corrupting the concept of beauty. To love a woman for her virtues is meaningless. She’s earned it, it’s a payment, not a gift. But to love her for her vices is a real gift, unearned and undeserved. To love her for her vices is to defile all virtue for her sake—and that is a real tribute of love, because you sacrifice your conscience, your reason, your integrity and your invaluable self-esteem.”
-          Atlas Shrugged, 284. Ayn Rand.

                “Why yes, I can,” said Midas Mulligan when he was asked whether he could name a person more evil than the man with a heart closed to pity. “The man who uses another’s pity for him as a weapon.”
-          Atlas Shrugged, 294. Ayn Rand.

                “Run for your life from any man who tells you that money is evil. That sentence is the leper’s bell of an approaching looter. So long as men live together on earth and need means to deal with one another—their only substitute, if they abandon money, is the muzzle of a gun.”
-          Atlas Shrugged, 383. Ayn Rand.

                “Genius is a superstition, Jim,” said Dr. Ferris slowly, with an odd kind of emphasis, as if knowing that he was naming the unnamed in all their minds. “There’s no such thing as the intellect. A man’s brain is a social product. A sum of influences that he’s picked up from those around him. Nobody invents anything, he merely reflects what’s floating in the social atmosphere. A genius is an intellectual scavenger and a greedy hoarder of the ideas which rightfully belong to society, from which he stole them. All thought is theft.
-          Atlas Shrugged, 499. Ayn Rand.

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