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Atlas Shrugged
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Atlas Shrugged
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  • Nothing can make self-immolation proper.
  • The tragic joke of human history is that on any of the altars men erected, it was always man whom they immolated and the animal whom they enshrined.
  • And this is the punishment for accepting as proper that hideous evil which is self-immolation.
  • He remembered dimly the sermons he had heard about the beauty of self-immolation, about the virtue of sacrificing to others that which was one’s dearest.
  • Both held the immolation of men as proper and both were achieving it.
  • We are on strike against self-immolation.
  • Is the moral purpose of those who are good, self-immolation for the sake of those who are evil?
  • It was not built by men who sought self-immolation or by men who sought handouts.
  • But Lawson’s avid pleasure at the familiar formula of self-immolation, vanished abruptly at the sound of Rearden’s voice, a cold, trader’s voice answering: "I do."
  • It was the kind of emotion that makes men capable of killing-when I thought that the purpose of the world’s trend was to destroy these children, that these three sons of mine were marked for immolation.
  • There was no way to tell which acts of plunder had been prompted by the charity-lust of the Lawsons and which by the gluttony of Cuffy Meigs-no way to tell which communities had been immolated to feed another community one week closer to starvation and which to provide yachts for the pull-peddlers.
  • Since childhood, you have been hiding the guilty secret that you feel no desire to be moral, no desire to seek self-immolation, that you dread and hate your code, but dare not say it even to yourself, that you’re devoid of those moral ’instincts’ which others profess to feel.
  • "If you still want me to explain it, Mother," he said very quietly, "if you’re still hoping that I won’t be cruel enough to name what you’re pretending not to know, then here’s what’s wrong with your idea of forgiveness: You regret that you’ve hurt me and, as your atonement for it, you ask that I offer myself to total immolation."
  • If it were true that men could achieve their good by means of turning some men into sacrificial animals, and I were asked to immolate myself for the sake of creatures who wanted to survive at the price of my blood, if I were asked to serve the interests of society apart from, above and against my own-I would refuse, I would reject it as the most contemptible evil, I would fight it with every, power I possess, I would fight the whole of mankind, if one minute were all I could last…
  • …matter and spirit, a soul that seeks above all else to achieve its own moral perfection, valuing nothing higher than itself-and that the proof of an achieved self-esteem is your soul’s shudder of contempt and rebellion against the role of a sacrificial animal, against the vile impertinence of any creed that proposes to immolate the irreplaceable value which is your consciousness and the incomparable glory which is your existence to the blind evasions and the stagnant decay of others.
  • Just as the parasites around me were proclaiming their helpless dependence on my mind and were expecting me voluntarily to accept a slavery they had no power to enforce, just as they were counting on my self-immolation to provide them with the means of their plan-so throughout the world and throughout men’s history, in every version and form, from the extortions of loafing relatives to the atrocities of collectivized countries, it is the good, the able, the men of reason, who act as…
  • …to protect his stagnation, takes pleasure in chaining the ability of competitors, the neurotic who, to defend his self-loathing, takes pleasure in breaking men of self-esteem, the incompetent who takes pleasure in defeating achievement, the mediocrity who takes pleasure in demolishing greatness, the eunuch who takes pleasure in the castration of all pleasure-and all their intellectual munition-makers, all those who preach that the immolation of virtue will transform vices into virtue.
  • He saw her looking at him, her glance half-question, half-hope, and he added, "When the creed of self-immolation has run, for once, its undisguised course-when men find no victims ready to obstruct the path of justice and to deflect the fall of retribution on themselveswhen the preachers of self-sacrifice discover that those who are willing to practice it, have nothing to sacrifice, and those who have, are not willing any longer-when men see that neither their hearts nor their muscles…

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  • The monk self-immolated in protest against China’s rule of Tibet.
  • The Aztecs immolated human victims

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