“Nothing is given to man on earth except a potential and the material on which to actualize it. The potential is a superlative machine: his consciousness; but it is a machine without a spark plug, a machine of which his own will has to be the spark plug, the self-starter and the driver; he has to discover how to use it and he has to keep it in constant action. The material is the whole of the universe, with no limits set to the knowledge he can acquire and to the enjoyment of life he can achieve. But everything he needs or desires has to be learned, discovered and produced by him—by his own choice, by his own effort, by his own mind.”

in Ayn Rand, Objectivism, Writers

-Ayn Rand, “The Objectivist Ethics” in The Virtue of Selfishness (New York: Signet Centennial Edition, 2005 re-print of 1964 edition), p.23.

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