-Ayn Rand, “What Is Capitalism?” in Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal (New York: Signet, 1967), p. 17.
- “Progress cannot be achieved by forced privations, by squeezing a ‘social surplus’ out of starving victims. Progress can come only out of individual surplus, i.e., from the work, the energy, the creative over-abundance of those men whose ability produces more than their personal consumption requires, those who are intellectually and financially able to seek the new, to improve on the known, to move forward.”
- “Anyone who has ever been an employer or an employee, or has observed men working, or has done an honest day’s work himself, knows the crucial role of ability, of intelligence, of a focused and competent mind—in any and all lines of work, from the lowest to the highest. He knows that ability or the lack of it (whether the lack is actual or volitional) makes a difference of life-or-death in any productive process. The evidence is so overwhelming—theoretically and practically, logically and ‘empirically,’ in the events of history and in anyone’s own daily grind—that no one can claim ignorance of it.”
- “No one can morally claim the right to compete in a given field if he cannot match the productive efficiency of those with whom he hopes to compete. There is no reason why people should buy inferior products at higher prices in order to maintain less efficient companies in business. Under capitalism, any man or company that can surpass competitors is free to do so. It is in this manner that the free market rewards ability and works for the benefit of everyone—except those who seek the undeserved.”
- “To the extent that a man is guided by his rational judgment, he acts in accordance with the requirements of his nature and, to that extent, succeeds in achieving a human form of survival and well-being; to the extent that he acts irrationally, he acts as his own destroyer.”
- “When ‘the common good’ of a society is regarded as something apart from and superior to the individual good of its members, it means that the good of some men takes precedence over the good of others, with those others consigned to the status of sacrificial animals.”