"A society that robs an individual of the product of his effort, or enslaves him, or attempts to limit the freedom of his mind, or compels him to act against his own rational judgment ... is not, strictly speaking, a society, but a mob held together by institutionalized gang-rule."
by:
Ayn Rand
[Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum] (1905-1982) Russian-American novelist, philosopher, playwright, and screenwriter
Source:
The Nature Of Government, The Virtues Of Selfishness, 126 (Signet Book 1964)
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Reader comments about this quote:
The general public should be inundated with quotes by Rand. I fear the average citizen knows little or nothing of Ayn and her truths.
 -- Ken Roush, Darien, Illinois     
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    Ayn Rand is the greatest friend of Liberty,Freedom and fine thinking in the history of the world
     -- BILL, HOLLAND PA     
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    A bit black and white but still a good quote - as for Liberty and Freedom, it is an illusion, and if not, heavily subjective.
     -- Anonymous     
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    As much as I abhor her selfishness and cult of "objectivity", I have come to think of it as her reaction to finding our country as bad or worse than that which she left, and unable to affect it, lashed out in as creative and penetrating fashion as she was quite capable of, the only difference between her former and latter life being that in this country it is recognized by TPTB that to get the "electorate" to give up almost everything, they must leave people with just enough for them to think they are "prosperous", when the real bulk of wealth has been stolen from them for "undisclosed purposes" which are however becoming more "transparent" today with the likes of TARP, QE, QE2 and now QE3?. I fear for us all.
     -- Dr. Tom LaMar, Keeseville, NY     
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    Rand is absolutely right. We are not citizens, we are inventory. Democracy, when held under bright light is nothing more than a sick joke...mob rule in a cheap suit.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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     -- J. Allen, Arlington, Va      
    Atlas Shrugged should be required reading in high schools, since we are now living it.
     -- rearden, Burr Ridge IL     
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    Instead of reading Ayn Rand, from Heather Has 2 Mommies to Silent Spring to Inconvenient Truth the youth of our nation are being distracted from logical common sense thought and indoctrinated with useless (sometimes untrue) drivel, so that they are easily pressganged into the 51% that has figured out how to vote themselves what the other 49% has (credit to Alexis de Toqueville)
     -- Rearden, Burr Ridge IL     
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    Dr. Tom, about the selfishness and objectivity, I absolutely agree. A doctrine of love such as Christ taught would have a more sure result. The quote's observation is absolutely right on.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    As usual for Ayn this is a shallow observation. By definition a "society" robs or hinders the individual. Every society. When you join a club, party or group you give up something of your self or your individuality. Kennedy's quote was better when he said "sometimes party loyalty demands to much'.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    As usual, we get the programmed "statist" view from Waffler....what part of individual responsibility and personal Liberty scares you so badly Waffler?
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    Americans are being robbed in the light of day under the watchful eyes of the central bankers' puppets. It is nothing short of a preconceived attack on the American people. Our government is not only not protecting us, it is in fact being used as a weapon against us. We are being bankrupted! I would suggest that a revolution is due, but unfortunately most Americans don't even know who the enemy is, not to mention what form of government should be instated should this one fall. Freedom and the responsibility that comes with it are still 'radical' ideals.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Waffler, lawfully, I was not to join the U.S. society; The U.S. was to represent me with my personal rights (me giving up nothing, BUT expanding by every representative that is out there !) and all other individuals, individually and united (society). It is by definition, the joining of the mob held together by institutionalized gang-rule is where something is given up
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    You give up something every time you associate with others, just like you gave up soemthing if you took a wife. Carllton I simply agree with Kennedy. I agree that sometimes "socities" demand to much but lordy be we still have societies do we not. It would thus appear that folk have come to love their "societies" even with the negative caveat. Mike Ayn said nothing about the US, its' government or representative government. She only discussed society can you dig that. I doubt it.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    The Meaning of Obama?
     -- anonymous, USA     
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    I believe in taxes, but keep your mitts off the money that we make through the sweat of our brows. Let them get their tax revenues from the sale of goods -- not on the production of goods. Taking the money we earn to redistribute most of it to the "less fortunate" is a cover for redistributing wealth to those most like to vote for them. Obama is not only blatantly doing that he is in bed with big labor unions. And we wonder why we no longer produce anything of value in this country. What the government doesn't steal from your income, the labor unions will...and it's all to scratch each other's backs. I don't know about you, but I am sick of Obama's government telling us its raining while they pee on our legs. Beware of balancing the budget also. All that does is force the government to reduce the social safety nets and, by force of law, increase taxes in order to balance the budget. The tax burden on the middle class and the poor will be even greater.
     -- GunnyCee, Durham     
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    Waffler, you really suffer from a collective slave’s mental illness. When I associate with others, especially a wife, I don’t give up anything BUT!, to the contrary, I expand in self expression. With children, my self-expression grows. With association to church others, my expression of Christ like charity / giving grows exponentially.

    A “society” generally exists with a broad understanding. Within Ayn’s here quote, a “society” is: “a number of persons united together by mutual consent, in order to deliberate, determine, and act jointly for some common purpose.” (Bouvier’s Law Dictionary) For the here referenced / intended enclave, a society can be as narrow as 3 thieves who conspire to commit breaking and entering or, as broad as the patrons of the current occupying statist theocracy infesting this land (local to federal).

    A slave is: “A man who is by law deprived of his liberty for life, and becomes the property of another.” (Bouvier’s Law Dictionary)

    Liberty is: “The power of acting as one thinks fit, without any restraint or control, except from the laws of nature.” (Bouvier’s Law Dictionary) Liberty is the “exemption from extraneous control. The power of the will, in its moral freedom, to follow the dictates of its unrestricted choice, and to direct the external acts of the individual without restraint, coercion, or control from other persons. Liberty is the right which nature gives to all mankind of disposing of their persons and property after the manner they judge most consistent with their happiness, on condition of their acting within the limits of the law of nature, and so as not to interfere with an equal exercise of the same rights by other men.” (Black’s Law Dictionary 1st ed.). Clarifying original fact, natural law intent, and de jure jurisprudence: “Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law,' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.” (Thomas Jefferson) “Personal liberty, or the Right to enjoyment of life and liberty, is one of the fundamental or natural Rights, which has been protected by its inclusion as a guarantee in the various constitutions, which is not derived from, or dependent on, the U.S. Constitution, which may not be submitted to a vote and may not depend on the outcome of an election. It is one of the most sacred and valuable Rights, as sacred as the Right to private property ⋯ and is regarded as inalienable.” (16 C.J.S., Constitutional Law, Sect.202, p.987).

    By implementation of the 2nd plank of the communist manifesto (forcefully robbing of the product of the individual’s effort), the occupying statist theocracy infesting this land becomes a mob (as averse to a voluntary society) as liberty is deprived and the individual (person and labored fruits) exist solely as property of the god/state. Waffler, you, as an IRS agent have often declared that the fruits of the noble laborer belongs to the State; - thus, no representative government exists within a States united.


     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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     -- jim k, Austin      
     
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