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Read Atlas Shrugged, Again

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RUSH: How many of you have read the book
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand? I read the book and The Fountainhead, a number of them. Atlas Shrugged for those of you who haven't read it, I'll give you the basic book report summary. It is basically about the achievers of life quitting, because they're tired of being 1% of the population pulling the other 99% in the cart. They're tired of everything they earned being taxed; they're tired of everything they earn being taken from them and given to everybody else, and they quit, and when they quit, nobody has anything. They just throw up their hands in frustration and say, "Screw it."
I want to read you just a short little passage from this. Somebody actually sent me this on a birthday card today, a cute little homemade birthday card. "Do you know the hallmark of the second-rater?" The hallmark of the second-rater is "resentment of another man's achievement. Those touchy mediocrities who sit trembling lest someone's work prove greater than their own; they have no inkling of the loneliness that comes when you reach the top. The loneliness for an equal, for a mind to respect and an achievement to admire," someone to look up to. You don't have that when you're at the top. "They bare their teeth at you from out of their rat holes, thinking that you take pleasure in letting your brilliance dim them - while you'd give a year of your life to see a flicker of talent anywhere among them. They envy achievement, and their dream of greatness is a world where all men have become their acknowledged inferiors.
"They don't know that that dream is the infallible proof of mediocrity, because that sort of world is what the man of achievement would not be able to bear. They have no way of knowing what he feels when he's around them. Hatred? no, not hatred, but boredom: the terrible, hopeless, draining, paralyzing boredom. Of what account are praise and adulation from men you don't respect? Have you ever felt the longing for someone you could admire? For something, not to look down at, but up to?"
Wow. The whole book is like this, by the way. It's one of these things that if you haven't read it, get it. It's a long book, but you're not going to be able to put it down.
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