-Ayn Rand, “What is Capitalism?” in Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal. New York: Signet, 1967, 21.
- “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.”
- “If some men do not choose to think, they can survive only by imitating and repeating a routine of work discovered by others-but those others had to discover it, or none would have survived. If some men do not choose to think or to work, they can survive (temporarily) only by looting the goods produced by others-but those others had to produce them, or none would have survived.”
- “Corresponding to the four branches of philosophy, the four keystones of capitalism are: metaphysically, the requirements of man’s nature and survival—epistemologically, reason—ethically, individual rights—politically, freedom.”
- “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.”
- “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.”