Tuesday, August 04, 2009

The Symbol of all... is the Trader

"Happiness is not to be achieved at the command of emotional whims. Happiness is not the satisfaction of whatever irrational wishes you might blindly attempt to indulge. Happiness is a state of non-contradictory joy—a joy without penalty or guilt, a joy that does not clash with any of your values and does not work for your own destruction, not the joy of escaping from your mind, but of using your mind's fullest power, not the joy of faking reality, but of achieving values that are real, not the joy of a drunkard, but of a producer. Happiness is possible only to a rational man, the man who desires nothing but rational goals, seeks nothing but rational values and finds his joy in nothing but rational actions.

Just as I support my life, neither by robbery nor alms, but by my own effort, so I do not seek to derive my happiness from the injury of the favor of others, but earn it by my own achievement. Just as I do not consider the pleasure of others as the goal of my life, so I do not consider my pleasure as the goal of the lives of others. Just as there are no contradictions in my values and no conflicts among my desires—so there are no victims and no conflicts of interest among rational men, men who do not desire the unearned and do not view one another with a cannibal's lust, men who neither make sacrifices nor accept them.

The symbol of all relationships among such men, the moral symbol of respect for human beings, is the trader. We, who live by values, not by loot are traders, both in manner and spirit. A trader is a man who earns what he gets and does not give or take the undeserved. A trader does not ask to be paid for his failures, nor does he ask to be loved for his flaws. A trader does not squander his body as fodder, or his soul as alms. Just as he does not give his work except in trade for material values, so he does not give the values of his spirit—his love, his friendship, his esteem—except in payment and in trade for human virtue, in payment for his own selfish pleasure, which he receives from men he can respect. The mystic parasites who have, throughout the ages, reviled the trader and held him in contempt, while honoring the beggars and the looters, have known the secret motive of the sneers: a trader is the entity they dread—a man of justice."

Atlas Shrugged
by Ayn Rand

"This is John Galt Speaking"
Chapter VII

I found a partial quote of this via (http://masteroftheuniverse.wordpress.com/category/writing/) under the article named 'Definition of a Trader' and I totally agreed with the Blogger 'MotU's' response that Ayn Rand "...Nailed it on the head..."

I read this and had thoughts of Albert Jay Nock (http://masteroftheuniverse.wordpress.com/wisdom-of-albert-jay-nock-books-for-download/) and a few of his esteemed Writings as well as Jeffersonian (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeffersonian_democracy) and Georgist (http://www.henrygeorge.org/) Ideals.

To be honest I wish I had stated something to this effect with such fluent eloquence; but nay it is not to be, all credit is to Ayn Rand.

In the same light I am glad she said it, because now I have come upon this wonderful work of words and wit. Now understanding how to make such high ideals in a way that one can physically grasp it without it slipping through our time feebled hands.

In any case, as things may be in the State that the United States of America are in currently. I believe this is an appropriate Quote for all of us to 'Read, Retain, and Reiterate'!

R. William Holzkopf Jr.

Other Sources of Relevance:

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