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Atlas Shrugged
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Atlas Shrugged
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  • Yet through all the centuries of stagnation and starvation, men exalted the looters, as aristocrats of the sword, as aristocrats of birth, as aristocrats of the bureau, and despised the producers, as slaves, as traders, as shopkeepers-as industrialists.
  • 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.
  • Through all the centuries of the worship of the mindless, whatever stagnation humanity chose to endure, whatever brutality to practice-it was only by the grace of the men who perceived that wheat must have water in order to grow, that stones laid in a curve will form an arch, that two and two make four, that love is not served by torture and life is not fed by destruction-only by the grace of those men did the rest of them learn to experience moments when they caught the spark of being…
  • Every period ruled by mystics was an era of stagnation and want, when most men were on strike against existence, working for less than their barest survival, leaving nothing but scraps for their rulers to loot, refusing to think, to venture, to produce, when the ultimate collector of their profits and the final authority on truth or error was the whim of some gilded degenerate sanctioned as superior to reason by divine right and by grace of a club.
  • …are busy cutting other corners-a conspiracy that unites by links of evasion all those who pursue a zero as a value: the professor who, unable to think, takes pleasure in crippling the mind of his students, the businessman who, 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…
  • She could not tell whether the dispatcher, an elderly man with years of railroad work behind him, still retained his intelligence but chose to hide it, or whether months of suppressing it had choked it for good, granting him the safety of stagnation, "We don’t know what to do, Miss Taggart.

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  • We don’t want the economy to stagnate.
  • Their political victory led to stagnation and relative decline compared to surrounding countries.

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