"When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion -- when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing -- when you see money flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors -- when you see that men get richer by graft and pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you -- when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice -- you may know that your society is doomed."
by:
Ayn Rand
[Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum] (1905-1982) Russian-American novelist, philosopher, playwright, and screenwriter
Source:
Atlas Shrugged, p. 413
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Reader comments about this quote:
sounds like she was talking about chicago politics
 -- john, chicago     
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    Which tells us about our society, today.
     -- Tom Osborne, Los Angeles, CA     
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    5 stars...is not enough stars.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    John beat me to it, sure sounds like Chicago politics. Unfortunately it is not limited to Chicago. We're doomed.
     -- Cliff, Hobart, IN     
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    A million stars is not enough stars - Ayn Rand tells us the plain truth, for those with the courage to see it and live it.
     -- Carol Bloodworth, Bonita Springs     
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    I follow Ayn Rand on her Objectivity! She was well ahead of her time and we should recognize her warnings!
     -- cal, lewisville, tx     
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    This quote sums it all up.
     -- jim k, austin     
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    If Al Gore is continued to be taught in our schools instead of Ayn Rand, then we are doomed.
     -- Rob M, Charleston, SC     
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    Ayn Rand 'nuff said! The Russian woman who loved skyscrapers and the men who built them.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    Waffler, great comment, spoken like one truly happy slave with no concept of anything out side your ostrich hole. Very accurate description of Obomunist and his Neocon nemesis on the other side of the kill freedom coin. Wow, who would have thought, in just a few decades, the dumbing down, de-moralization, de-industrialization, and rise of the thought police nanny state (along with Ayn Rand's 'nuff said!) could have been brought about so completely.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    I've figured it out! Waffler is Ellsworth M. Toohey. I'm not sure if society is doomed when these conditions arise, but it is certainly due for a good, hard cleansing of the parasites. If the leeches aren't removed then society will certainly whither and die.
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
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    Don't let the parasites disarm you.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    Regardless of Rand we are there! As much as I agree with this statement I disagree with much of which she stands for.
     -- RBESRQ     
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    Our society has arrived there. We were doomed when our government representatives whom we hired to work for us began getting away with ignoring us and dictating to us instead.
     -- Anonymous, Hansville     
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    Anonymous, Hansville, FYI, the Warren Supreme Court legislated that the current government now in power is no longer of, by, or for the people. The Warren Court legislated that all individuals operating under the title of representative now represent an organic ethos with inherent right foreign to 'We The People'. The voters now select those that will represent the foreigner's presence as overlords to a once free people. For example, ask any representative what part of the Constitution (original intention) authorizes any part of the proposed health care(s)? There is none. Or, what part of the Constitution authorized nationalizing transportation? There is none. The foreign potentate does as it pleases because it no longer answers to We The People (no matter what ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, CNN, ESPN, any liberal / neocon mouthpiece, etc. says)
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Ayn Rand "nuff said" This quote is just BS and can be applied any way you wish. It could easily be applied to the roraring twenties or the derelect anti regulation society of Bush II. Only Roosevelt was able to counter the corrupt society Ayn seems to chronicl here that exiested in the 20's. Ayn and her hair brain ideas have been debunked all over the net. Now she sounds ideolocically interesting, just like Star Wars and other fantasies, but lets get real.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    Get real your self Waffler. The ignorance you spew is astounding.
     -- warren, olathe     
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    Just look around!
     -- Dale, coleman     
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    Waffler, if her "hair brained ideas have been debunked all over the net" then there is certainly no reason to think that her "fantasies" are anything but "ideologically interesting". Does that still sound good being reflected back to you?
     -- David, East Greenwich     
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    Some are fascinated by her David but I don't think her ideas hold water. There is a universe wide difference between ideology and real world pragmatism.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    "when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice -- you may know that your society is doomed." That sentence is priceless. We see corruption being rewarded in the present administration. We must take our country back.
     -- Bonnie Wheeler, Andrews     
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    We still control our own destiny. We are not doomed. But we must remember this quote in November of 2010 and 2012 and hold our newly elected leaders fully accountable for their actions.
     -- John LaRosa, Boston     
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    C'mon, Waffler, admit it -- you have never read any of Ayn Rand's books, and your comments are just the parroting of the opinions that have been prepared for you. Just like in the book The Fountainhead -- Ken, you give Waffler too much credit, he speaks like Ellsworth Toohey, but only because of the Ellsworth Toohey's in this world that have espoused collectivism and 'self-sacrifice' in the press in order to keep free-thinking individuals down. Waffler is a parrot and a parasite.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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     -- lababoc, NYC      
    Lucid and current.we do NOT control our Destiny ...not anymore.
     -- tony, nyc     
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