I don't know whether I will ever write fiction again. The difficulty is that 'Atlas Shrugged' was the climax and completion of the goal I had set for myself at the age of nine. It expressed everything that I wanted of fiction writing. Above everything else, it presented my ideal man fully.
- Ayn Rand, "Journals of Ayn Rand" Page 704
There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.
- John Rogers, Kung Fu Monkey -- Ephemera, blog post, March 19, 2009
This is John Gall speaking. I am the man who loves his life. I am the man who does not sacrifice his love or his values. I am the man who has deprived you of victims and thus has destroyed your world, and since I am willing to sacrifice you, rest assured I do not love you, and if you wish to know why you are perishing - you who dread knowledge - I am the man who will now tell you, even though, as I just said, you don't like learning things.
You have heard it said that this is an age of moral crisis. You have said it yourself, half in fear, half in hope that the words had no meaning. You have cried that man’s sins are destroying the world and you have cursed human nature for its unwillingness to practice the virtues you demanded. So instead, to save the world, you will have to practice the virtues which I now demand. You must sacrifice mercy to justice. You must sacrifice unity to independence. You must sacrifice faith to reason. You must sacrifice need to wealth. You must sacrifice self-denial to self-esteem. You must sacrifice duty to happiness. You must sacrifice your beliefs to mine.
You have achieved all that which you held to be good. Why, then, do you shrink in horror from the sight of the world around you? That world is the product and the image of your virtues. It is your moral ideal brought into reality in its full and final perfection. You have fought for it, you have dreamed of it, and you have wished it, and I - I am the man who has granted you your wish. Without me your world wouldn't be possible and now your perfect world which was created by me has been destroyed by me.
Your ideal had an implacable enemy, which your code of morality was designed to destroy. I have withdrawn that enemy. I have taken it out of your way and out of your reach. I have removed the source of all those evils you were sacrificing one by one. I have ended your battle. I have stopped your motor. I have destroyed that which you had unsuccessfully tried to destroy. I have deprived your world of man’s mind.
Men do not live by the mind, you say? I have withdrawn those who do. The mind is impotent, you say? I have withdrawn those whose mind isn’t. There are values higher than the mind, you say? I have withdrawn those for whom there aren’t.
All the men who have vanished, the men you hated, yet dreaded to lose, it is I who have taken them away from you. Do not attempt to find us. We do not choose to be found. We are not playing hide-and-seek so you can find us. We are not playing Marco Polo so you can search us out. Do not beg us to return. We are on strike, we, the men of the mind.
The men of the mind! The men of the mind are the men who don't mind if you don't mind these men since these men who you minded are no longer yours to mind for they are now mine to mind, these men of the mind.
We are on strike against self-immolation. We are on strike against the creed of unearned rewards and unrewarded duties. We are on strike against the dogma that the pursuit of one’s happiness is evil. We are on strike against the doctrine that life is guilt. There is a difference between our strike and all those you’ve practiced for centuries: our strike consists, not of making demands, but of granting them. We are evil, according to your morality. We have chosen not to harm you any longer. Simply by withdrawing from society we have removed that evil you had long desired to have - yet been unable to - remove.
We have granted you everything you demanded of us. We have no demands to present to you, no terms to bargain about, no compromise to reach. You have nothing to offer us. We do not need you.
Are you now crying: No, this was not what you wanted? A mindless world of ruins was not your goal? You did not want us to leave you? Call the waaaaaambulance, you little crybabies! Your tears fuel our righteousness, you moral cannibals, I know that you’ve always known what it was that you wanted, don't ever think I didn't know that you knew that I knew, you know?. But your game is up, because now we know it, too. You went on crying that your code was noble, but human nature was not good enough to practice it. And no one rose to ask the question: Good? - by what standard?
You wanted to know John Gall's identity. I am the man who has asked that question.
For centuries, the battle of morality was fought between those who claimed that your life belongs to God and those who claimed that it belongs to your neighbors - between those who preached that the good is self-sacrifice for the sake of ghosts in heaven and those who preached that the good is self-sacrifice for the sake of incompetents on earth. And no one came to say that your life belongs to you and that the good is to live it.
It was against man’s mind that all your moralists have stood united to a man. It was man’s mind that minded all man's schemes and systems which were intended to despoil and destroy. Now choose to perish, man, or to learn that the anti-mind is the anti-life of the anti-man.
Man’s mind is his basic tool of survival. Life is given to him, survival is not. His body is given to him, its sustenance is not. His mind is given to him, its content is not. To remain alive, he must think.
You better think (think)
Think about what you're trying to do to me
Think (think, think)
Let your mind go, let yourself be free
There ain't nothing you could ask
I could answer you but I won't (I won't)
But I was gonna change, but I'm not
If you keep doing things I don't
You better think (think)
Think about what you're trying to do to me
Oh oh-oh-oh think (What you're tryna to do to me)
Let your mind go, let yourself be free
Matter is indestructible, it changes its forms, but it cannot cease to exist. It is only a living organism that faces a constant alternative: the issue of life or death. Life is a process of self-sustaining and-self-generated action. If an organism fails in that action, it does; its chemical elements remain, but its life goes out of existence. For those of us who think, the men of the mind, we are greater than the sum of our parts, and the greater our sum shall be with the minus of you.
Whoever you are, you who are hearing me now, I am speaking to whatever living remnant is left uncorrupted within you, to the remnant of the human, to your mind, and I say: There is a morality of reason, a morality proper to man, and Man’s Life is its standard of value.
All that which is proper to the life of a rational being is the good; all that which destroys it is the evil.
No, you do not have to think; it is an act of moral choice. No, you do not have to be a man; but today those who are, are not there any longer. I have removed your means of survival - your victims.
If you wish to know how I have done it and what I told them to make them quit, you are hearing it now. We, the men of the mind, are now on strike against you in the name of a single axiom, which is the root of our moral code, just as the root of yours is the wish to escape it: the axiom that existence exists.
Existence exists - and the act of grasping that statement implies two corollary axioms: that something exists which one perceives to exist and that one exists possessing consciousness, consciousness being the faculty of perceiving that which exists to exist.
For if it doesn't exist then there is no consciousness to perceive its existence. If nothing exists, there can be no consciousness: a consciousness with nothing to be conscious cannot exist. A consciousness conscious of nothing but its own consciousness is a contradiction in terms: before it could identify itself as consciousness, it had to be conscious of an existence. If that which you claim to perceive does not exist, what you possess is not consciousness, and thus does not exist.
Whatever you choose to consider, be it an object, an attribute or an action, the law of identity remains the same. A leaf cannot be a stone at the same time, it cannot be all red and all green at the same time, it cannot freeze and burn at the same time. A is A. Or, if you wish it stated in simpler language: You cannot have your cake and eat it, too, even though that is what it is for, this cake, to be eaten, and, technically, when you eat it, you do still have it because it is inside you, so scientifically speaking you can have your cake and eat it, too, but you can't have your cake and eat it, too.
Or if you wish it stated in even simper language, A is not for Apple; A is for A.
Are you seeking to know what is wrong with the world? All the disasters that have wrecked your world, came from your leaders’ attempt to evade the fact that A is A. All the secret evil you dread to face within you and all the pain you have ever endured, came from your own attempt to evade the fact that A is A. The purpose of those who taught you to evade it, was to make you forget that Man is Man, eh?
That which you call your soul or spirit is your consciousness, and that which you call ‘free will’ is your mind’s freedom to think or not, the only will you have, your only freedom, the choice that controls all the choices you make and determines your life and your character.
If you think, the will's will will will character willfully. Thinking is man’s only basic virtue, from which all the others proceed. And his basic vice, the source of all his evils, is that nameless act which all of you practice, but struggle never to admit: the act of blanking out, spacing out, tuning out, the willful suspension of one’s consciousness, the refusal to think.
This, in every hour and every issue, is your basic moral choice: thinking or non-thinking, existence or non-existence, A or non-A, entity or non-entity.
Cake or not cake.
If I were to speak your kind of language, and I do, since you have read this far – why?! - and have understood the words that are coming out of my mouth - I would say that man’s only moral commandment is: Thou shalt think.
Man's own happiness is man’s only moral purpose, but only his own virtue can achieve it. Virtue is not an end in itself. Virtue is not its own reward. Life is the reward of virtue - and happiness is the goal and the reward of life.
Happiness is not to be achieved at the command of emotional whims. Happiness is not the satisfaction of whatever irrational wishes you might blindly attempt to indulge. Happiness is possible only to a rational man, the man who desires nothing but rational goals, seeks nothing but rational values and finds his joy in nothing but rational actions. Happiness is possible only to a man who thinks.
Are you beginning to see who is John Gall? I am the man who has earned the thing you did not fight for, the thing you were not trying to achieve, the thing you did not care for even on single iota. It is now mine. Mine! Mine! Mine! You did not want it and now it is mine!
Just as I support my life, neither by robbery nor alms, but by my own effort, so I do not seek to derive my happiness from the injury or the favor of others – save for the injury I am currently causing you and the billions of others on this planet, and the favor I have shown to those I have deemed worthy - but earn it by my own achievement. Just as I do not consider the pleasure of others as the goal of my life, as you well know given the perishing you are currently doing through my hand, so I do not consider my pleasure as the goal of the lives of others, except, again, for those I have deemed worthy. Just as there are no contradictions in my values and no conflicts among my desires - so there are no victims and no conflicts of interest among rational men, men who do not desire the unearned and do not view one another with a cannibal’s lust, but instead view one another with an anthropophaginian's lust.
Do you ask what moral obligation I owe to my fellow men? None - except the obligation I owe to myself, to material objects and to all of existence: rationality. I deal with men as my nature and their demands: by means of reason. I seek or desire nothing from them except such relations as they care to enter of their own voluntary choice, except for the reality which you are currently experience, which is a bit perish-y, a perish-ness in which you've had no choice except that which you chose to ignore for far too long:
even though I'm dropping knowledge on you left and right
you will not have the choice to do what's right
your lack of thinking's gone on too long
and now your choice to choose is gone
It is only with man's mind that I can deal and only for my own self-interest, when they see that my interest coincides with theirs. When they don’t, I enter no relationship; I let dissenters go their way and I do not swerve from mine. I win by means of nothing but logic and I surrender to nothing but logic. The only value men can offer me is the work of their mind, well, except for Dagny Taggart, I mean, damn, sure, a great mind, but...damn.
Play on, playa.
Whatever may be open to disagreement, there is one act of evil that may not, the act that no man may commit against others and no man may sanction or forgive. So long as men desire to live together, no man may initiate - do you hear me? no man may start - the use of physical force against others. Yes, yes, you may be harmed through my actions, but my actions are not causing you harm – for you perish not because of my actions but because of your lack in thinking about how right I am. And since we no longer desire to live with you, what I do to you is of little consequence to me.
Do not open your mouth to tell me that your mind has convinced you of your right to force my mind, for I have already done that to others which is why you are now perishing. Idiots.
In the name of all the producers who had kept you alive and received your death ultimatums in payment, I now answer you with a single ultimatum of our own: Our work or your guns. You can choose either; you can’t have both. If you choose our work then you must throw down your weapons in which case we will withdraw our work and if you choose your guns we will withdraw our work. Either way, we withdraw our work and you perish.
You seek escape from pain. We seek the achievement of happiness. You exist for the sake of avoiding punishment. We exist for the sake of earning rewards. Threats will not make us function; fear is not our incentive. It is not death that we wish to avoid, but life that we wish to live.
Some stuff about Original Sin.
Some stuff about sacrifice.
If you wish to save the last of your dignity, do not call your best actions a ‘sacrifice’: that term brands you as immoral. If a mother buys food for her hungry child rather than a hat for herself, it is not a sacrifice: she values the child higher than the hat; but it is a sacrifice to the kind of mother whose higher value is the hat, who would prefer her child to starve and feeds him only from a sense of duty. If a man dies fighting for his own freedom, it is not a sacrifice: he is not willing to live as a slave; but it is a sacrifice to the kind of man who’s willing. If a man refuses to sell his convictions, it is not a sacrifice, unless he is the sort of man who has no convictions.
Does that make sense? Because I can't make heads or tails of it.
Some more stuff on sacrifice.
Sacrifice? Such is the secret core of your creed, the other half of your double standard: it is immoral to live by your own effort, but moral to live by the effort of others - it is immoral to consume your own product, but moral to consume the products of others - it is immoral to earn, but moral to mooch. That's right, I said "mooch." It is the parasites who are the moral justification for the existence of the producers, but the existence of the parasites is an end in itself—it is evil to profit by achievement, but good to profit by sacrifice - it is evil to create your own happiness, but good to enjoy it at the price of the blood of others.
Just as there can be no unconditional wealth, so there can be no unconditional love or any sort of unconditional emotion. An emotion is a response to a face of reality, an estimate dictated by your standards. To love is to value. The man who tells you that it is possible to value without values, to love those whom you appraise as worthless, is the man who tells you that it is possible to grow rich by consuming without producing and that paper money is as valuable as gold.
Except for my mom, she loves me unconditionally. And leave my mom out of this.
You want unearned love, as if love, the effect, could give you personal value, the cause - you want unearned admiration, as if admiration, the effect, could give you virtue, the cause - you want unearned wealth, as if wealth, the effect, could give you ability, the cause. And to indulge your ugly little shams, you support the doctrines of your teachers, while they run hog-wild - hog wild! - proclaiming that spending, the effect, creates riches, the cause, that machinery, the effect, creates intelligence, the cause, that your sexual desires, the effect, create your philosophical values, the cause.
Who pays for the orgy? John Gall, that's who. Who causes the causeless? John Gall, that's who. Who are the victims, condemned to remain unacknowledged and to perish in silence, lest their agony disturb your pretense that they do not exist? We are, we, the men of the mind.
And, frankly, we're tired of paying for your orgies. Which we're never invited to. And always have to clean up after.
Some stuff about blanking out facts.
An axiom is a statement that identifies the base of knowledge and of any further statement pertaining to that knowledge, a statement necessarily contained in all others, whether any particular speaker chooses to identify it or not. An axiom is a proposition that defeats its opponents by the fact that they have to accept it and use it in the process of any attempt to deny it.
I probably should have explained that when I was talking about axioms pages and pages ago.
A savage is a being who has not grasped that A is A and that reality is real. He has arrested his mind at the level of a baby’s, and we all know that there is no instinctual unconditional love for babies. The day when he grasps that the reflection he sees in a mirror is not a delusion, that it is real, but it is not himself, that the mirage he sees in a desert is not a delusion, that the air and the light rays that cause it are real, but it is not a city, it is a city’s reflection - the day when he grasps that his senses cannot deceive him, that physical objects cannot act without causes, that his organs of perception are physical and have no volition, no power to invent or to distort, that the evidence they give him is an absolute, but his mind must learn to understand it, his mind must discover the nature, the causes, the full context of his sensory material, his mind must identify the things that he perceives - that is the day of his birth as a thinker and scientist.
We, the men of the mind, are the men who reach that day; a savage is a man who never does.
If you wonder by what means the savage does it, walk into any college classroom and you will hear your professors teaching your children that man can be certain of nothing, that his consciousness has no validity whatever, that he can learn no facts and no laws of existence, that he’s incapable of knowing an objective reality. And for centuries, the mystics of spirit have proclaimed that faith is superior to reason, but have not dared deny the existence of reason - they proclaim that everything is faith, and call it a revolt against believing. As revolt against unproved assertions, they proclaim that nothing can be proved; as revolt against supernatural knowledge, they proclaim that no knowledge is possible; as - revolt against the enemies of science, they proclaim that science is superstition; as revolt against the enslavement of the mind, they proclaim that there is no mind.
Now ain't that some fucked up shit.
Did you wonder what is wrong with the world? You are now seeing the climax of the creed of the unconditional and unearned. All your gangs of mystics and professors are fighting one another for power to rule you, snarling that love is the solution for all the problems of your spirit and that a whip is the solution for all the problems of your body - you who have agreed to have no mind - they expect man to continue to produce electronic tubes, supersonic airplanes, atom-smashing engines and interstellar telescopes, with his ration of meat for reward and a lash on his back for incentive.
So rise up workers! Rise up against your masters! Workers of the world, unite; you have nothing to lose but your chains.
Make no mistake about the character of mystics. To undercut your consciousness has always been their only purpose throughout the ages - and power, the power to rule you by force, has always been their only lust.
But it cannot be done to you without your consent. If you permit it to be done, you deserve it.
Which is why I have now made you perish by denying you men of the mind.
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. The supernatural power that a mystic dreads, the unknowable spirit he worships, the consciousness he considers omnipotent is – yours.
And speaking of jokes: two men walk into a bar, the third man ducks.
You must duck when you see other men bowing. You must bow when you see other men on their knees. You must be on your knees when other men lay prostate to the whims of others.
Fight the power
We've got to fight the powers that be
Some stuff about mystics.
We, the men of the mind, who are the living buffers between you and the nature of the mystics' and the professors' creed, are no longer there to save you from the effects of your chosen beliefs. We are no longer willing to pay with our lives the debts you incurred in yours or the moral deficit piled up by all the generations behind you. You had been living on borrowed time - and I am the man who has called in the loan.
Like the man who discovered the use of steam or the man who discovered the use oil, I discovered a source of energy which was available since the birth of the globe, but which men had not known how to use except as an object of worship, of terror and of legends without a thundering god. I completed the experimental model of a motor that would have made a fortune for me and for those who had hired me, a motor that would have raised the efficiency of every human installation using power and would have added the gift of higher productivity to every hour you spend at earning your living.
Then, one night at a factory meeting, I heard myself sentenced to death by reason of my achievement. I heard three parasites assert that my brain and my life were their property, that my right to exist was conditional and depended on the satisfaction of their desires. The purpose of my ability, they said, was to serve the needs of those who were less able. 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.
Well, maybe they didn't say all that, but they didn't give me my annual bonus and talked a lot of shit about the improvement of all mankind.
Then I saw what was wrong with the world, I saw what destroyed men and nations, and where the battle for life had to be fought. I saw that the enemy was an inverted morality - and that my sanction was its only power. I saw that their evil was impotent. Just as the parasites around me were proclaiming their helpless dependence on my mind and were expecting me voluntarily to accept a slavery they had no power to enforce, just as they were counting on my self-immolation – don't light yourself on fire to keep others warm, kiddos - to provide them with the means of their plan.
I saw that there comes a point, in the defeat of any man of virtue, when his own consent is needed for evil to win - and that no manner of injury done to him by others can succeed if he chooses to withhold his consent. I saw that I could put an end to your outrages by pronouncing a single word in my mind. I pronounced it. The word was ‘No.’
I quit that factory. I quit your world, I made it my job to warn your victims and to give them the method and the weapon to fight you. The method was to refuse to deflect retribution. The weapon was justice.
And then everybody stood and clapped.
Take a look around you, you savages who stutter that ideas are created by men’s means of production, that a machine is not the product of human thought, but a mystical power that produces human thinking. You have never discovered the industrial age - and you cling to the morality of the barbarian eras when a miserable form of human subsistence was produced by the muscular labor of slaves. Every mystic had always longed for slaves, to protect him from the material reality he dreaded. But you, you grotesque little atavists, stare blindly at the skyscrapers and smokestacks around you and dream of enslaving the material providers who are scientists, inventors, industrialists. When you clamor for public ownership of the means of production, you are clamoring for public ownership of the mind. I have taught my strikers that the answer you deserve is only: ‘Try and get it.’
But, you know, without weapons, because as I said earlier, weapons are bad. And besides you will not be able to find us. Don't even try. I mean it. Really.
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 knowledge, over the gigantic industries where you, by your own definition of your capacity, would be unable successfully to fill the job of assistant greaser.
In order to deprive us of honor, that you may then deprive us of our wealth, you have always regarded us as slaves who deserve no moral recognition. You praise any venture that claims to be non-profit, and damn the men who made the profits that make the venture possible. You regard as ‘in the public interest’ any project serving those who do not pay; it is not in the public interest to provide any services for those who do the paying. ‘Public benefit’ is anything given as alms; to engage in trade is to injure the public. ‘Public welfare’ is the welfare of those who do not earn it; those who do, are entitled to no welfare.
What blank-out permitted you to hope that you could get away with this muck of contradictions and to plan it as an ideal society? What permits any insolent beggar to wave his sores in the face of his betters and to plead for help in the tone of a threat? You cry, as he does, that you are counting on our pity, but your secret hope is the moral code that has taught you to count on our guilt - the guilt of succeeding at existence, the guilt of enjoying the life that you damn, yet beg us to help you to live.
Did you want to know who is John Gall? I am the first man of ability who refused to regard it as guilt. I am the first man who would not do penance for my virtues or let them be used as the tools of my destruction. I am the first man who would not suffer martyrdom at the hands of those who wished me to perish for the privilege of keeping them alive. I am the first man who told them that I did not need them - they would have to exist without me, as I would exist without them; then I would let them learn whose is the need and whose the ability - and if human survival is the standard, whose terms would set the way to survive.
You're darned tootin', I did!
No survival for thee, but survival for me. There will be no extinction, this time. The game of the mystics and professors is up. You will perish in and by your own unreality. We, the men of reason, will survive.
I have called out on strike the kind of martyrs who had never deserted you before. I have given them the weapon they had lacked: the knowledge of their own moral value. They, the great victims who had produced all the wonders of humanity’s brief summer, they, the industrialists, the conquerors of matter, had not discovered the nature of their right. They had known that theirs was the power. I taught them that theirs was the glory. I have taught them that the world is ours, whenever we choose to claim it.
We now so choose.
Accept the irrevocable fact that your life depends upon your mind. Admit that the whole of your struggle, your doubts, your fakes, your evasions, your love, your sacrifice, your desire to help others was a desperate quest for escape from responsibility. Accept, as your moral ideal, the task of becoming a man.
Man has a single basic choice: to think or not, and that is the gauge of his virtue. Moral perfection is an unbreached rationality - not the degree of your intelligence, but the full and relentless use of your mind, not the extent of your knowledge, but the acceptance of reason as an absolute.
Accept the fact that the achievement of your happiness is the only moral purpose of your life. Discard the protective rags of that vice which you called a virtue: humility - learn to value yourself, which means: to fight for your happiness - and when you learn that pride is the sum of all virtues, you will learn to live like a man.
Pride, a Deadly Sin only if you don't have it.
We, the men of the mind, have gone on strike and none of us will return until the road is clear to rebuild this country - until the wreckage of the morality of sacrifice has been wiped out of our way. A country’s political system is based on its code of morality. We will rebuild America’s system on the moral premise which had been its foundation, but which you treated as a guilty underground, in your frantic evasion of the conflict between that premise and your mystic morality: the premise that man is an end in himself, not the means to the ends of others, that man’s life, his freedom, his happiness are his by inalienable right.
In proportion to the mental energy he spent, the man who creates a new invention receives but a small percentage of his value in terms of material payment, no matter what fortune he makes, no matter what millions he earns. But the man who works as a janitor in the factory producing that invention, receives an enormous payment in proportion to the mental effort that his job requires of him. And the same is true of all men between, on all levels of ambition and ability. The man at the top of the intellectual pyramid contributes the most to all those below him, but gets nothing except his material payment, receiving no intellectual bonus from others to add to the value of his time. The man at the bottom who, left to himself, would starve in his hopeless ineptitude, contributes nothing to those above him, but receives the bonus of all of their brains. Such is the nature of the ‘competition’ between the strong and the weak of the intellect. Such is the pattern of ‘exploitation’ for which you have damned the strong.
Some stuff about how you could do what I'm doing but you'll probably fail and if you don't I'll still be there waiting when America falls and you'll still have to deal with me.
The last of my words will be addressed to those heroes who might still be hidden in the world, those who are held prisoner, not by their evasions, but by their virtues and their desperate courage. I am speaking to those who desire to live and to recapture the honor of their soul. Now that you know the truth about your world stop supporting your own destroyers. The evil of the world is made possible by nothing but the sanction to give it. Withdraw your sanction. Withdraw your support. Do not try to live on your enemies’ terms or to win at a game where they’re setting the rules.
I swear - by my life and my love of it - that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine. Except for, you know, those who I have already withdrawn - I beat you to it, I reached them first. I told them the nature of the game you were playing and the nature of that moral code of yours, which they had been too innocently generous to grasp. I showed them the way to live by another morality—mine. It is mine that they chose to follow.
But, you know, I will never ask another man to live by mine – while you have sacrificed independence to unity, I have sacrificed independence for unity! And even though I ask no man to live for mine I asked these men of the mind to sacrifice their independence for unity!
So all y'all perish. Who has two thumbs and doesn't give a damn? John Gall, that's who.
Neener neener neener.