Dictatorship Then and Now [Ayn Rand]

The following are quotes by Ayn Rand, author of Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. By the way, if you haven’t yet read these books, I highly recommend them now.

Here’s what Rand wrote in different contexts, over the years, about dictatorship. Ask yourself how close the United States is to becoming one.

“A dictatorship is a country that does not recognize individual rights, whose government holds total, unlimited power over men.”

“There are four characteristics which brand a country unmistakably as a dictatorship: one-party rule—executions without trial or with a mock trial, for political offenses—the nationalization or expropriation of private property—and censorship. A country guilty of these outrages forfeits any moral prerogatives, any claim to national rights or sovereignty, and becomes an outlaw.”

“Volumes can be and have been written about the issue of freedom versus dictatorship, but, in essence, it comes down to a single question: do you consider it moral to treat men as sacrificial animals and to rule them by physical force?”

“It is a grave error to suppose that a dictatorship rules a nation by means of strict, rigid laws which are obeyed and enforced with rigorous, military precision. Such a rule would be evil, but almost bearable; men could endure the harshest edicts, provided these edicts were known, specific and stable; it is not the known that breaks men’s spirits, but the unpredictable. A dictatorship has to be capricious; it has to rule by means of the unexpected, the incomprehensible, the wantonly irrational; it has to deal not in death, but in sudden death; a state of chronic uncertainty is what men are psychologically unable to bear.”

Sounding familiar yet?

Michael J. Hurd, Daily Dose of Reason

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