“Do you know what that banquet was like? It’s as if they’d heard that there are values one is supposed to honor and this is what one does to honor them—so they went through the motions, like ghosts pulled by some sort of distant echoes from a better age. I . . . I couldn’t stand it.”
- Hank Rearden, Atlas Shrugged
Francisco D’Anconia, from Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, protested to a riotous group of party-goers that:
“Money demands that you sell, not your weakness to men’s stupidity, but your talent to their reason; it demands that you buy, not the shoddiest they offer, but the best that your money can find. And when men live by trade–with reason, not force, as their final arbiter–it is the best product that wins, the best performance, the man of best judgment and highest ability–and the degree of a man’s productiveness is the degree of his reward. This is the code of existence whose tool and symbol is money. Is this what you consider evil?”
The problem with money today is it doesn’t have the same relation to the power of individual production that it used to have. Our currency system is so heavily weighted with credit and debt that most people don’t even know what money means to them.
How do you value your money, and what other means do you use to measure the value of the things you produce?
“People don’t want to think. And the deeper they get into trouble, the less they want to think. But by some sort of instinct, they feel that they ought to and it makes them feel guilty. So they’ll bless and follow anyone who gives them a justification for not thinking. Anyone who makes a virtue — a highly intellectual virtue — out of what they know to be their sin, their weakness and their guilt.”
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged