"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."
Ayn Rand
[Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum] (1905-1982) Russian-American novelist, philosopher, playwright, and screenwriter
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     
    Ayn Rand is the greatest friend of Liberty,Freedom and fine thinking in the history of the world
     -- BILL, HOLLAND PA     
    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     
    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     
    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     
     -- J. Allen, Arlington, Va      
    Atlas Shrugged should be required reading in high schools, since we are now living it.
     -- rearden, Burr Ridge IL     
    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     
    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     
    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     
    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     
    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     
    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     
    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     
    The Meaning of Obama?
     -- anonymous, USA     
    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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