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On Compromise by Ayn Rand

There can be no compromise between a property owner and a burglar; offering the burglar a single teaspoon of one’s silverware would not be a compromise, but a total surrender—the recognition of his right to one’s property. What value or concession did the burglar offer in return? And once the principle of unilateral concessions is accepted as the base of a relationship by both parties, it is only a matter of time before the burglar would seize the rest. As an example of this process, observe the present foreign policy of the United States.

There can be no compromise between freedom and government controls; to accept “just a few controls” is to surrender the principle of inalienable individual rights and to substitute for it the principle of the government’s unlimited, arbitrary power, thus delivering oneself into gradual enslavement. As an example of this process, observe the present domestic policy of the United States.

There can be no compromise on basic principles or on fundamental issues. What would you regard as a “compromise” between life and death? Or between truth and falsehood? Or between reason and irrationality?

If one found it difficult to maintain one’s loyalty to one’s own convictions at the start, a succession of betrayals—which helped to augment the power of the evil one lacked the courage to fight—will not make it easier at a later date, but will make it virtually impossible.

There can be no compromise on moral principles. “In any compromise between food and poison, it is only death that can win. In any compromise between good and evil, it is only evil that can profit.” The next time you are tempted to ask: “Doesn’t life require compromise?” translate that question into its actual meaning: “Doesn’t life require the surrender of that which is true and good to that which is false and evil?” The answer is that that precisely is what life forbids—if one wishes to achieve anything but a stretch of tortured years spent in progressive self-destruction.

The Virtue of Selfishness –PDF

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Joe Krill September 26, 2020, 12:13 PM

    WOW and a giant Thank you! I downloaded the book.

  • ghostsniper September 26, 2020, 12:41 PM

    I strongly urge everyone to read all of “THAT WOMAN”s book at your earliest convenience. Save that gargantuan 1134 page tome Atlas Shrugged for last as you’ll need the learning from the previous works to get the most benefit from it. Atlas is a seers vision, written in 1957, of what you see around you now and in the future. I’ve given hundreds of copies away over the years but I bet less than 1% were ever read. Rand’s books are meant for adult thinking minds. Immature minds recoil in horror from her – you may see some of them here in the comments.

    Remember, this is the only life you’ll ever own and you owe not 1 second of it to anyone else.
    When you get your perspective right you too will be as offended as I am all the time about just about everyone and everything. Most people would rather avoid the truth.

  • John Venlet September 26, 2020, 1:27 PM

    Ghostsniper, I started in reverse order of your recommendation of reading “that woman’s” books. My older sister dropped Atlas Shrugged on me when I was 16 or 17, and I devoured it, which of course led me to searching for all her other works, all of which contain ideas inimical to where we are today.

    I do have one major bone of contention with Rand, though. Her constant praising of selfishness to the detriment of true Christian charity. And don’t get me started on the hardcore Objectivists to whom Rand is a god.

  • Terry September 26, 2020, 1:56 PM

    IMO, if one has not read Ayn Rand’s thick books, one is not “well read”. Not that I agree with all of her philosophy, I do not. However, she was a true thinker and was born in a hell hole nation that required a very clever/astute individual just to survive.

    I treasure Ayn Rand’s writing and believe I am a better person for reading her ideas. Outside the box thinking is now a requirement to remain above ground level. My wife and I have almost every book and manuscript of Rand’s published works.

  • OneGuy September 26, 2020, 2:14 PM

    Sooner or later some constitution loving judge will declare it to be unconstitutional to restrict citizens rights because of fear or political craziness. It ‘may’ be constitutional to force a sick and communicable person to wear a mask or quarantine, but it could not possibly be constitutional to force a healthy person to do the same. It makes no sense.

    Also, IMHO, anyone, be they politicians, police or your local Karen’s, who demand that you wear a mask should first be required to wear one themselves 24/7. I find it offensive that governors and doctors on TV stand up there maskless and demand that we wear a mask. THEY should wear the mask and stay home and then they would never know that we chose not to wear it.

  • OldFert September 26, 2020, 4:50 PM

    How many of the powers that be, the movers and shakers have had to give up their salary? How many members of the bureaucracy have to stay home without pay?

  • James ONeil September 27, 2020, 10:59 AM

    It’s a few years back (over sixty) when I first read Rand but I’m pretty sure I started with Atlas Shrugged as well.

    Terry noted above one who hasn’t read Ayn’s ‘thick books, ain’t well read.

    Though 99.99% would disagree I’m of the opinion if one hasn’t also read Charles Fort and Immanuel Velikovsky, not only are they not well read, but their education is terribly incomplete.

    Hey, the world ain’t all politics, much of is is, and was, and will be, just plain ̶c̶r̶a̶z̶y̶ fun.

  • Bill Henry September 27, 2020, 7:07 PM

    ghost is correct…

    Atlas Shrugged
    Alexander Solzhenitsyn Gulag Archipelago

  • jwm September 27, 2020, 7:51 PM

    One Guy:
    The problem with forcing masks on the Karens is that they already are in love with the muzzle. It’d be like “forcing” them to wear shoes. Hideous as it sounds, the sheep have not only become accustomed to the face diaper, they fucking love wearing it. They are happy, safe, and smug behind the veil. The mask is now a talisman; it is a loud screaming in-your-face 50,000 watt virtue signal. The maskatroons know damn well that we deplorables deplore masking, and they love it to the ends of their climate changed earth that they can force us to comply.


  • jwm September 27, 2020, 7:52 PM

    Lost comment…