I have started this thread as a statement in answer to several feeble cries of outrage in another thread. Perhaps the most venomous of those posters was Digital Man who thinks he completely understands me, my mind, and that which I uphold.
He could not be more wrong. But he asked, and I will explain. This is what you will read.
I live by the concept that I, as a human being, must do what is needed to survive since the alternative is my death. Dead, I would not feel, move, breathe, or enjoy the greatest gift of the universe: existence. Existence, however, owes me nothing. It does not provide for my continuance, and in fact will be quick to stop it should I ever let my guard down.
I exist. I know I exist, and that’s all the proof I need of reality around me. I know things exist and that they will always exist until they are broken down into their constituent components to be rebuilt again as something else. A chair is a chair. A stone is a stone.
*If nothing exists, there can be no consciousness: a consciousness with nothing to be conscious of is a contradiction in terms. A consciousness conscious of nothing but itself is a contradiction in terms: before it could identify itself as consciousness, it had to be conscious of something. If that which you claim to perceive does not exist, what you possess is not consciousness.
A=A. There is no deviation from this law.
As such, human beings exist, and furthermore possess certain properties.
We are transitory. Without sustenance , we die. Without the ability to acquire this sustenance, we die. Without the ability to possess this sustenance we die.
Without life, liberty, or property, we die.
We think. We reason. We examine reality around us in order to assess the things we need in order to live.
We must know the difference between food that is nourishing, and food that will poison us. We must exercise our rationality in order to survive. Our reason ensures our survival so long as it is applied correctly.
I have the absolute right to survive. I have the absolute right to take the appropriate steps to ensure my survival. I have the absolute right to protect what I acquire in order to ensure my survival, so long as I deny no one else their rights. This is morality.
What upholds life is moral. The basis of morality is the existence of the human being. Nothing more.
Whatever robs me of my rights is immoral. To kill, restrict, or rob for any reason other than the protection of these rights is immoral. To deny another human being his or her rights is immoral.
You feel guilty when you have one more dollar in your pocket than the man you meet on the street because you’ve been taught to feel shame. You feel desire when that same man has one more dollar than you. You have been taught that no one should have more than the other.
Never place yourself in debt to someone else. I promise, they will use it against you. You will pay a price greater than what you gave.
All interactions between human beings should be on a value-for-value basis. Whether the trade is equitable is up to you, but remember: imbalance will always come back to haunt you when you least expect it.
Value-for-value is the only rational intercourse between minds. Anything else is immoral. Interact with those who have something to offer you, whether it be money, knowledge, love, protection, intellectual stimulation…whatever you desire and is valuable to you, or whatever you need to survive.
Never give when asked unless given something of value in return. Rarely will the stranger give anything in return; those people are vultures and are hovering around for the rest of the carcass.
Beware those who offer you something spiritual in return. They offer something that can’t be demonstrated or guaranteed. Even when they claim to speak the truth, they cannot make good the guarantees they offer. Every time their claims are refuted, they fall back on those they have suckered for witness. But they will take your money to support their atrocious habits; few of them know how to earn an honest living.
Did you ever wonder why “non-profit” ventures are non-profit? It’s because they are guaranteed to lose money and never solve the problem for which they are intended. The rational ones who invest money expect a return; the foolish throw their money in holes like these. Industrialists donate money to “worthy causes” as a tax write off…nothing more.
*You who prattle that morality is social and that man would need no morality on a desert island. It is on a desert island that he would need it most. Let him try to claim, when there are no victims to pay for it, that a rock is a house, that sand is clothing, that food will drop into his mouth without cause or effort, that he will collect a harvest tomorrow by devouring his stock seed today—and reality will wipe him out, as he deserves; reality will show him that life is a value to be bought and that thinking is the only coin noble enough to buy it.
If you work for another human being and get nothing in return, you are a slave. If you like being a slave, then don’t complain when the chains get tighter and tighter.
Do you need a commandment to make your life meaningful? Here it is then: Thou shalt think.
Now let’s think: are you under the impression I owe you something? Do you think you have some claim to what is mine by virtue of being alive? Let me ask you a question, and I challenge you to think about it: who told you that? Was it the person who promised to broker the deal…to take by force what I earned and transform it into a brave new world where you can possess what you wish simply because you’re alive?
Let me tell you something, and you can take this to the bank: I owe you nothing. That includes you, Digital Man and you Nonny. Until you can approach me on a value-for-value basis, I have nothing for you. If you approach me with an empty hand and wanting something, I won’t even acknowledge you exist.
You are part of the problem…the zero that can never be filled because your philosophies are just as empty as your hands. You cannot be filled.
Remember, anything plus zero is still just anything. You've gained nothing.
I’m not filling your void. I don’t care if you exist or not…live or die, starve or grow fat. I will only give you what you offer in return. You are not my responsibility.
I’ll give you one thing, not out of charity, but out of pity because you’ve been robbed and you don’t have the spine to stand up and fight off the robber:
Turn the computer off…the TV off…whatever you use for distraction. Just for a little while. Sit down and think. Decide what exists and make damned sure you have evidence it exists. What doesn’t serve you…throw it away and don’t look back because it isn’t there.
Look around at what you have. Look at your possessions…your bank account. Look at your education. How much of it did you earn with your mind and your hands, and how much of it did you collect at the expense of someone else? If they gave it to you, then that was their choice, but if it was forced from then, you are a robber. Give it back to them.
Decide what you want, and then decide how to get it. If your path involves taking something from someone else, then you are immoral. Do not give unless you get something in return. You decide the equity of the exchange.
Never let anyone have power over your mind and your possessions. If they force you at gunpoint, then they’ve lost in the long run because they have no real power over you then what you give. Never go along with it willingly. Always fight. Be smarter then them.
Never force anything from anyone. They have a right to what they’ve earned just as you do. Never initiate force, but never hesitate to defend what is yours with every means at your disposal. Anyone who initiates force against you has declared they don’t believe in your rights.
And if you’re thrown in jail for defending what is yours, do exactly what you are forced to do and nothing more. Do what is necessary for your survival and nothing more. If you comply, you’ve given in and now you’re a slave in mind and well as body.
Don’t take what isn’t yours. Don’t force others to give up their own rights. Don’t follow through on an irrational thought or desire. Don’t sh*t in your own nest. Think before you act and hold on to what you have.
*In the name of the best within you, do not sacrifice this world to those who are its worst. In the name of the values that keep you alive, do not let your vision of man be distorted by the ugly, the cowardly, the mindless in those who have never achieved. Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads.
Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all.
Those of you who live in the United States have a great advantage. Those of you who don’t…do what ever it takes to get here. We have everything. We have more than enough. You don’t need a handout here. You need to think and you need to work, and anything is possible.
Be the voice of integrity and a rally-point for those who seek honesty.
But if you read this and decide: “John Galt is a fool” then you’ve already been bought and sold. I want nothing to do with you. If you decide “John Galt is a monster” then you are correct…I’m the Destroyer.
And when you’ve decided you’ve had enough of the bastards who rob you, cheat you, enslave you and tell you it’s for the good of your fellow humankind, find a place that is holy to you and tell yourself what I told myself long ago: "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.”
Voluntarily edited to bring this post in line with board policies.
Edited again for a huge typo. Thank you Broph.
*Indicates a direct quote from AR, because she could say it better than I could.
Edited by John Galt, 29 November 2004 - 03:22 PM.