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competent
used in Atlas Shrugged

61 uses
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Definition
capable (able to do something in a generally satisfactory manner) — sometimes specifically to have legal capability
  • This was a place of competence and power.
    1.1 Part 1 Chapter 1 — The Theme (17% in)
  • She had watched his work for some time; she had always looked for sparks of competence, like a diamond prospector in an unpromising wasteland.
    1.1 Part 1 Chapter 1 — The Theme (65% in)
  • 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.
    1.3 Part 1 Chapter 3 — The Top and the Bottom (43% in)
  • You expect me to hold my business down to the level of your incompetence.
    1.4 Part 1 Chapter 4 — The Immovable Movers (74% in)
  • I do not make terms with incompetence.
    1.4 Part 1 Chapter 4 — The Immovable Movers (75% in)
  • The code of competence is the only system of morality that's on a gold standard.
    1.5 Part 1 Chapter 5 — The Climax of the D'Anconias (31% in)
  • 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.
    1.5 Part 1 Chapter 5 — The Climax of the D'Anconias (43% in)
  • 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.
    1.7 Part 1 Chapter 7 — The Exploiters and the Exploited (15% in)
  • 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.
    1.7 Part 1 Chapter 7 — The Exploiters and the Exploited (81% in)
  • 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.
    1.7 Part 1 Chapter 7 — The Exploiters and the Exploited (85% in)
  • The young man worked swiftly, competently, as if he enjoyed it.
    1.9 Part 1 Chapter 9 — The Sacred and the Profane (46% in)
  • 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.
    1.9 Part 1 Chapter 9 — The Sacred and the Profane (51% in)
  • She could not descend to an existence where her brain would explode under the pressure of forcing itself not to outdistance incompetence.
    1.10 Part 1 Chapter 10 — Wyatt's Torch (19% in)
  • There was an expert competence in his manner of working; his movements were easy, intelligently economical.
    1.10 Part 1 Chapter 10 — Wyatt's Torch (82% in)
  • 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."
    1.10 Part 1 Chapter 10 — Wyatt's Torch (84% in)
  • In its glare, they made the kind of fortunes they had dreamed about, fortunes requiring no competence or effort.
    2.1 Part 2 Chapter 1 — The Man Who Belonged on Earth (27% in)
  • By the able at the expense of the incompetent?
    2.2 Part 2 Chapter 2 — The Aristocracy of Pull (73% in)
  • Money will not buy intelligence for the fool, or admiration for the coward, or respect for the incompetent.
    2.2 Part 2 Chapter 2 — The Aristocracy of Pull (75% in)
  • Everything happened in the normal, explicable, justifiable course of plain incompetence.
    2.2 Part 2 Chapter 2 — The Aristocracy of Pull (94% in)
  • Incompetence isn't supposed to be punished nowadays, is it?
    2.2 Part 2 Chapter 2 — The Aristocracy of Pull (94% in)
  • ...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 you are not to be paid, neither in matter nor in spirit, neither by wealth nor by recognition nor by respect nor by...
    2.3 Part 2 Chapter 3 — White Blackmail (79% in)
  • He was seeing a long line of men stretched through the centuries from Plato onward, whose heir and final product was an incompetent little professor with the appearance of a gigolo and the soul of a thug.
    2.6 Part 2 Chapter 6 — Miracle Metal (80% in)
  • She was watching the work, her glance intent and purposeful, the glance of competence enjoying its own function.
    2.6 Part 2 Chapter 6 — Miracle Metal (88% in)
  • 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.
    2.7 Part 2 Chapter 7 — The Moratorium on Brains (46% in)
  • 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.
    2.7 Part 2 Chapter 7 — The Moratorium on Brains (46% in)
  • 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.
    2.7 Part 2 Chapter 7 — The Moratorium on Brains (61% in)
  • Am held up on the Comet at Winston, Colorado, by the incompetence of your men, who refuse to give me an engine.
    2.7 Part 2 Chapter 7 — The Moratorium on Brains (65% in)
  • If he held the train, they would make him the scapegoat to appease the anger of Mr. Chalmers; if he sent the train through and it did not reach the western portal of the tunnel, they would put the blame on his incompetence; they would claim that he had acted against their orders, in either case.
    2.7 Part 2 Chapter 7 — The Moratorium on Brains (73% in)
  • 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.
    2.7 Part 2 Chapter 7 — The Moratorium on Brains (76% in)
  • He hesitated, then he buttressed his courage with the thought that one did not doubt the good faith and the competence of railroad executives.
    2.7 Part 2 Chapter 7 — The Moratorium on Brains (90% in)
  • They must be penalized in order to support the incompetent.
    2.7 Part 2 Chapter 7 — The Moratorium on Brains (**% in)
  • We allowed them to worship incompetence and brutality, the recipients and the dispensers of the unearned.
    2.8 Part 2 Chapter 8 — By Our Love (47% in)
  • We knew that for every stinker who'd ruin a batch of motors and cost the company money-either through his sloppiness, because he didn't have to care, or through plain incompetence-it's we who'd have to pay with our nights and our Sundays.
    2.10 Part 2 Chapter 10 — The Sign of the Dollar (20% in)
  • And whether they were cheating or plain incompetent, whether they were unwilling or unable-what difference did that make to us?
    2.10 Part 2 Chapter 10 — The Sign of the Dollar (27% in)
  • "They ...." she said, and he heard the faint trembling of her voice, which was love and pain and indignation, "they've said for years that he rose by thwarting the ability of others, by leaving them no chance, and that .... that human incompetence was to his selfish interest...... But he .... it wasn't obedience that he required of people."
    2.10 Part 2 Chapter 10 — The Sign of the Dollar (59% in)
  • 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.
    2.10 Part 2 Chapter 10 — The Sign of the Dollar (60% in)
  • 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.
    3.1 Part 3 Chapter 1 — Atlantis (19% in)
  • 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."
    3.1 Part 3 Chapter 1 — Atlantis (33% in)
  • ...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...
    3.1 Part 3 Chapter 1 — Atlantis (55% in)
  • What we are now asked to worship, what had once been dressed as God or king, is the naked, twisted, mindless figure of the human Incompetent.
    3.1 Part 3 Chapter 1 — Atlantis (75% in)
  • -are they learning whether evil is safe and incompetence practical!
    3.2 Part 3 Chapter 2 — The Utopia of Greed (20% in)
  • ...its thousand-ton furnaces, its transatlantic cables, its mahogany offices, its stock exchanges, its blazing electric signs, its power, its wealth-all of it was run, not by bankers and boards of directors, but by any unshaved humanitarian in any basement beer joint, by any face pudgy with malice, who preached that virtue must be penalized for being virtue, that the purpose of ability is to serve incompetence, that man has no right to exist except for the sake of others...... I knew it.
    3.2 Part 3 Chapter 2 — The Utopia of Greed (22% in)
  • ...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...
    3.2 Part 3 Chapter 2 — The Utopia of Greed (42% in)
  • 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.
    3.2 Part 3 Chapter 2 — The Utopia of Greed (62% in)
  • 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.
    3.2 Part 3 Chapter 2 — The Utopia of Greed (62% in)
  • 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.
    3.3 Part 3 Chapter 3 — Anti-Greed (33% in)
  • ...is evil; then so are those who provide the means of its survival, so is material wealth and those who produce it-and if moral values are set in contradiction to our physical existence, then it's right that rewards should be unearned, that virtue should consist of the undone, that there should be no tie between achievement and profit, that the inferior animals who're able to produce should serve those superior beings whose superiority in spirit consists of incompetence in the flesh.
    3.3 Part 3 Chapter 3 — Anti-Greed (91% in)
  • The desire was not directed at the unknown thug who had sent a bullet through the boy's body, or at the looting bureaucrats who had hired the thug to do it, but at the boy's teachers who had delivered him, disarmed, to the thug's gun-at the soft, safe assassins of college classrooms who, incompetent to answer the queries of a quest for reason, took pleasure in crippling the young minds entrusted to their care.
    3.6 Part 3 Chapter 6 — The Concerto of Deliverance (86% in)
  • 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.
    3.6 Part 3 Chapter 6 — The Concerto of Deliverance (91% in)
  • 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.
    3.7 Part 3 Chapter 7 — "This is John Galt Speaking" (25% in)
  • A morality that holds need as a claim, holds emptiness-nonexistence-as its standard of value; it rewards an absence, a defect: weakness, inability, incompetence, suffering, disease, disaster, the lack, the fault, the flaw-the zero.
    3.7 Part 3 Chapter 7 — "This is John Galt Speaking" (46% in)
  • ...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 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...
    3.7 Part 3 Chapter 7 — "This is John Galt Speaking" (67% in)
  • 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.
    3.7 Part 3 Chapter 7 — "This is John Galt Speaking" (68% in)
  • 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.
    3.7 Part 3 Chapter 7 — "This is John Galt Speaking" (68% in)
  • 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...
    3.7 Part 3 Chapter 7 — "This is John Galt Speaking" (70% in)
  • 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...
    3.7 Part 3 Chapter 7 — "This is John Galt Speaking" (70% in)
  • 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.
    3.7 Part 3 Chapter 7 — "This is John Galt Speaking" (89% in)
  • 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.
    3.7 Part 3 Chapter 7 — "This is John Galt Speaking" (89% in)
  • 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.
    3.7 Part 3 Chapter 7 — "This is John Galt Speaking" (89% in)
  • But the heart and meaning of the structure was a room in its cellar, deep under the ground; the room had been incompetently lined with the porous sheets of soundproofing material; the sheets had begun to crack and the naked rock of a cave showed through.
    3.9 Part 3 Chapter 9 — The Generator (64% in)
  • "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.
    3.9 Part 3 Chapter 9 — The Generator (88% in)

There are no more uses of "competent" in Atlas Shrugged.

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