“I refuse to apologize for my success – I refuse to apologize for my money. If this is evil, make the most of it. If this is what the public finds harmful to its interest, let the public destroy me. This is my code – and I will accept no other. I could say to you that I have done more good for my fellow man than you can ever hope to accomplish – but I will not say it, because I do not seek the good of others as a sanction for my right to exist, nor do I recognize the good of others as a justification for their seizure of my property or their destruction of my life. I will not say that the good of others was the purpose of my work – my own good was my purpose, and I despise the man who surrenders his. I could say to you that you do not serve the public good – that nobody’s good can be achieved at the price of human sacrifices – that when you violate the rights of one man, you have violated the rights of all, and a public of rightless creatures is doomed to destruction. I could say to you that you will and can achieve nothing but universal devastation – as any looter must, when he runs out of victims. I could say it, but I won’t. It is not your particular policy that I challenge, but your moral premise. 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 before I were murdered, I would fight in the full confidence of the justice of my battle and of a living being’s right to exist. Let there be no misunderstanding about me. If it is now the belief of my fellow men, who call themselves the public, that their good requires victims, then I say: The public good be damned, I will have no part of it!” – Hank Rearden at his court trial.
Posted on April 17, 2009 by bandito707