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Atlas Shrugged
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Atlas Shrugged
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  • This was a place of competence and power.
  • So if there’s no competent person left to do it, I’ll have to mine my own copper, as I mine my own iron ore.
  • She had watched his work for some time; she had always looked for sparks of competence, like a diamond prospector in an unpromising wasteland.
  • No, I don’t think of people-except that if I gave a job to Philip, I wouldn’t be able to face any competent man who needed work and deserved it.
  • The code of competence is the only system of morality that’s on a gold standard.
  • There was an expert competence in his manner of working; his movements were easy, intelligently economical.
  • In its glare, they made the kind of fortunes they had dreamed about, fortunes requiring no competence or effort.
  • It was only in the first few years that she felt herself screaming silently, at times, for a glimpse of human ability, a single glimpse of clean, hard, radiant competence.
  • Then his smile vanished abruptly; the way he jerked the cru-fin was the first break in the smooth competence of his movements: it looked like a jolt of anger.
  • She felt an arrogant pleasure in seeing the skill of his movements, because this was the thing which she would beat, so that his every expert gesture became her victory, and the brilliant competence of his body became the triumph of hers.
  • She was watching the work, her glance intent and purposeful, the glance of competence enjoying its own function.
  • He hesitated, then he buttressed his courage with the thought that one did not doubt the good faith and the competence of railroad executives.
  • She had not had time to be aware of him, except as of a providential comrade-in-competence; now she glanced at him with conscious attention.
  • He had never been afraid of losing his job; with the confidence of a competent man, he had known that if he quarreled with one employer, he would always be able to find another.
  • She was a movie actress who had forced her way from competent featured player to incompetent star, not by means of sleeping with studio executives, but by taking the long-distance short cut of sleeping with bureaucrats.
  • She was a girl in her late twenties, whose quietly harmonious, impenetrable face had a quality matching the best designed office equipment; she was one of his most ruthlessly competent employees; her manner of performing her duties suggested the kind of rational cleanliness that would consider any element of emotion, while at work, as an unpardonable immorality.
  • I had no right to live, they said, by reason of my competence for living; their right to live was unconditional, by reason of their incompetence.
  • He saw the swift, involuntary look of eagerness on her face, the look of a competent person’s appreciation; he smiled, glanced at her companion and said softly, "You know, Miss Taggart, when it comes to the John Galt Line-maybe it’s I who’ve followed it and you who’re betraying it."
  • "It’s the vibrator that’s out of order," said a voice behind them; they whirled around; Galt was struggling for breath, but he was speaking in the brusque, competent tone of an engineer.
  • Reason, as his only tool of knowledge-Purpose, as his choice of the happiness which that tool must proceed to achieve-Self-esteem, as his inviolate certainty that his mind is competent to think and his person is worthy of happiness, which means: is worthy of living.
  • He was young; his movements and voice had that swift, sharp clarity which belongs to competence; among his aged, corrupt, favor-ridden and pull-created colleagues, he had managed to achieve the rank of elite of the political press, by means and in the role of a last, irresistible spark of ability.
  • In a world that proclaims the non-existence of the mind, the moral righteousness of rule by brute force, the penalizing of the competent in favor of the incompetent, the sacrifice of the best to the worst —in such a world, the best have to turn against society and have to become its deadliest enemies.
  • The doctrine that ’human rights’ are superior to ’property rights’ simply means that some human beings have the right to make property out of others; since the competent have nothing to gain from the incompetent, it means the right of the incompetent to own their betters and to use them as productive cattle.
  • …corruption-eaten lungs, Dr. Stadler had cried for something, not to look down at, but up to, and this had been the cry, the longing and the fuel of her life-if she had moved, drawn by the hunger of her youth for a sight of clean, hard, radiant competence-then here it was before her, reached and done, the power of an incomparable mind given shape in a net of wires sparkling peacefully under a summer sky, drawing an incalculable power out of space into the secret interior of a small…
  • …place that was its source-you seemed to bring wealth, grace, extravagance and the enjoyment of life back to their rightful owners, to the men who created railroads and factories-you had a look of energy and of its reward, together, a look of competence and luxury combined-and I was the first man who had ever stated in what manner these two were inseparable-and I thought that if our age gave form to its proper gods and erected a statue to the meaning of an American railroad, yours would…
  • It’s a rotten shame-old firms that have been here for generations …. There ought to be a law …." The young man worked swiftly, competently, as if he enjoyed it.
  • T don’t suppose you’ve lived in a big city, or you’d know how miserably difficult it is to find any competent men for any job whatever."
  • The confident skill of his movements, his manner of firing, with no time wasted to take aim, but with the kind of casual abruptness that never misses a target, made him look like a hero of Western legend-and Rearden watched him with detached, impersonal pleasure, as if the battle of the mills were not his any longer, but he could still enjoy the sight of the competence and certainty with which men of that distant age had once combatted evil.
  • You propose to establish a social order based on the following tenets: that you’re incompetent to run your own life, but competent to run the lives of others-that you’re unfit to exist in freedom, but fit to become an omnipotent ruler-that you’re unable to earn your living by the use of your own intelligence, but able to judge politicians and to vote them into jobs of total power over arts you have never seen, over sciences you have never studied, over achievements of which you have no…
  • None of what’s been happening to us has ever happened before," said Brent, with an astonishing sound of weariness in his brisk, competent voice.
  • By the time Dr. Hendricks’ swift, competent hands had wound the bandages and the tight lacings of tape, she felt as if her body were an engine checked by an expert mechanic, and no further care was necessary, "I would advise you to remain in bed, Miss Taggart.

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  • If a person keeps faithfully busy each hour of the working day, he can count on waking up some morning to find himself one of the competent ones of his generation.
    William James
  • Izzi and I exchange a glance at that—his sheer competence is unnerving.
    Sabaa Tahir  --  An Ember in the Ashes

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