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impotent
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Atlas Shrugged
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impotent
Used In
Atlas Shrugged
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  • It was an odd impotence, neither of his mind nor of his body.
  • The droning stream of her insults was like the sound of a distant riveting machine, a long, impotent pressure that reached nothing within him.
  • Consider the obscenity of offering their impotence and their need-their need of you-as a justification for your torture.
  • Taggart’s scream rose to the shrill, impotent sound that confesses a miscalculation: "Do you realize what you’re saying?"
  • She sat sprawled in her chair, looking past Chalmers, studying her own face in a mirror on the wall of the lounge; she was bored and it amused her to needle his impotent anger.
  • I would not surrender them to the educational systems devised to stunt a child’s brain, to convince him that reason is impotent, that existence is an irrational chaos with which he’s unable to deal, and thus reduce him to a state of chronic terror.
  • I rebelled against their creed of human impotence and I took pride in my ability to think, to act, to work for the satisfaction of my desires.
  • It was not an act in celebration of life that he had wanted to perform-but an act in celebration of the triumph of impotence.
  • Why do you now moan complaints about man’s impotence and the futility of human aspirations?
  • I thought I could afford to ignore them-all those impotent mystics who prattle about their souls and are unable to build a roof over their heads.
  • "I have something to tell you!" cried Lillian, with the sound of that impotent rage which wishes that words were brass knuckles.
  • The mind is impotent, you say? I have withdrawn those whose mind isn’t.
  • Evil, not value, is an absence and a negation, evil is impotent and has no power but that which we let it extort from.
  • By its own confession, it is impotent to teach men to be good and can only subject them to constant punishment.
  • You feel disarmed when you come up against a scoundrel: you believe that evil is bound to win, since the moral is the impotent, the impractical.
  • They, the impotent mystics, struggling to escape the responsibility of reason, had known that he, the rationalist, had undertaken to serve their whims.
  • The woman was pushing forward, to squeeze herself into the group, to place some human bodies between herself and the sight of the great vacuum-the plain stretching off and dissolving into moonlight, the dead phosphorescence of impotent, borrowed energy.
  • The wheels were running faster, as if gaining speed and purpose and lightness, ignoring the impotent obstacles of small jolts from the ruts of the ground.
  • consciousness impotent.
  • I saw that evil was impotent-that evil was the irrational, the blind, the anti-real-and that the only weapon of its triumph was the willingness of the good to serve it.
  • Logic is impotent.
  • And there’s to be no salvation until men realize that their mortal mind is impotent to solve their problems and go back to faith, faith in God, faith in a higher authority!
  • He saw who was the accuser and who the accused-he saw the obscenity of letting impotence hold itself as virtue and damn the power of living as a sinhe saw, with the clarity of direct perception, in the shock of a single instant, the terrible ugliness of that which had once been his own belief.
  • With the sign of the dollar as our symbol-the sign of free trade and free minds-we will move to reclaim this country once more from the impotent savages who never discovered its nature, its meaning, its splendor.
  • I accepted their code and believed, as they taught me, that the values of one’s spirit must remain as an impotent longing, unexpressed in action, untranslated into reality, while the life of one’s body must be lived in misery, as a senseless, degrading performance, and those who attempt to enjoy it must be branded as inferior animals.
  • But the longing came from the certainty that the truth and the right were hers-that the enemy was the irrational and the unreal-that she could not set herself another goal or summon the love to achieve it, while her rightful achievement had been lost, not to some superior power, but to a loathsome evil that conquered by means of impotence.
  • He was the man of extravagant energy-and reckless generosity-who knew that stagnation is not man’s fate, that impotence is not his nature, that the ingenuity of his mind is his noblest and most joyous power-and in service to that love of existence he was alone to feel, he went on working, working at any price, working for his despoilers, for his jailers, for his torturers, paying with his life for the privilege of saving theirs.
  • You who’ve lost the concept of a right, you who swing in impotent evasiveness between the claim that rights are a gift of God, a supernatural gift to be taken on faith, or the claim that rights are a gift of society, to be broken at its arbitrary whim-the source of man’s rights is not divine law or congressional law, but the law of identity.
  • When the looters’ state collapses, deprived of the best of its slaves, when it falls to a level of impotent chaos, like the mystic-ridden nations of the Orient, and dissolves into starving robber gangs fighting to rob one another-when the advocates of the morality of sacrifice perish with their final ideal-then and on that day we will return.
  • When you listen to a mystic’s harangue on the impotence of the human mind and begin to doubt your consciousness, not his, when you permit your precariously semi-rational state to be shaken by any assertion and decide it is safer to trust his superior certainty and knowledge, the joke is on both of you: your sanction is the only source of certainty he has.
  • …and their need as a higher claim to reward than your effort, who demand that you serve them, who demand that it be the aim of your life to serve them, who demand that your strength be the voiceless, rightless, unpaid, unrewarded slave of their impotence, who proclaim that you are born to serfdom by reason of your genius, while they are born to rule by the grace of incompetence, that yours is only to give, but theirs only to take, that yours is to produce, but theirs to consume, that…
  • Would that have been a future which Robert Stadler would have considered rational? I want you to observe, Miss Taggart, that those who cry the loudest about their disillusionment, about the failure of virtue, the futility of reason, the impotence of logicare those who have achieved the full, exact, logical result of the ideas they preached, so mercilessly logical that they dare not identify it.
  • …on the afterglow of the minds of others, offering their denial of the mind as their only claim to distinction, and a craving to control the world as their only lust-she, the woman hanger-on of that elite, wearing their shopworn sneer as her answer to the universe, holding impotence as superiority and emptiness as virtue-he, unaware of their hatred, innocently scornful of their posturing fraud-she, seeing him as the danger to their world, as a threat, as a challenge, as a reproach.
  • …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 their own destroyers, who transfuse to evil the blood of their virtue and let evil transmit to them the poison of destruction, thus gaining for evil the power of survival, and for their own values-the impotence of death.
  • …laboratory …. the dog who got his signals switched on him, and saw no way to tell satisfaction from torture, saw food changed to beatings and beatings to food, saw his eyes and ears deceiving him and his judgment futile and his consciousness impotent in a shifting, swimming, shapeless world-and gave up, refusing to eat at that price or to live in a world of that kind…… No!was the only conscious word in her brain-no!-no!-no!-not your way, not your world-even if this "no" is all that’s…
  • …tears or tantrums-that a river will not bring them milk, no matter what their hunger-that water will not run uphill, no matter what comforts they could gain if it did, and if they want to lift it to the roof of a skyscraper, they must do it by a process of thought and labor, in which the nature of an inch of pipe line counts, but their feelings do not-that their feelings are impotent to alter the course of a single speck of dust in space or the nature of any action they have committed.
  • "I discovered," said Ken Danagger, "that the men I was fighting were impotent.
  • Philip spit out his answer with impotent hatred: "You can’t talk to me that way!
  • She was supposed to be above reproach," He was staring down at her with the heavy, blind stare of impotent hatred-a hatred of which she was the sudden symbol, not the object.
  • They didn’t see fit to tell me about your coming here, either!" yelled the chief, his voice confessing the helplessness of anger and broadcasting the vibrations of impotence to his men.
  • His body will not obey him, it will not respond, it will make him impotent toward the woman he professes to love and draw him to the lowest type of whore he can find.

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    Show samples from other sources
  • Lev stands there, impotent, unable to move, unable to process this.
    Neal Shusterman  --  Unwind
  • …in my mad dash for Sam—and I went airborne, landing with a jaw-popping force on the thin carpeting, jumped up, glanced back, and saw Ben Parish lying lifelessly there, arms outstretched, dark wet blotch of blood seeping through that ridiculous yellow hoodie, and then Sam screamed and I’m not too late, not too late, and here I come, you sonofabitch, here I come, and in the room a tall shadow loomed over the tiny figure whose tiny finger yanked impotently at the trigger of the empty gun.
    Rick Yancey  --  The Infinite Sea

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