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"To clothe a familiar scene with ideal interest, and exalt things to which our senses are daily accustomed, into the region of imaginative beauty and genuine sentiment, requires an extraordinary power of abstraction and concentrative thought." -Henry T. Tuckerman: "The Prose-Poet: Nathaniel Hawthorne," from Mental Portraits (1853).
"In your own profession, in military science, you know the importance of keeping track of the enemy's weapons, strategy and tactics and of being prepared to counter them. The same is true in philosophy: you have to understand the enemy's ideas and be prepared to refute them, you have to know his basic arguments and be able to blast them." -Ayn Rand: (An address given to the graduating class of the United States Military Academy at West Point on March 6, 1974.)
"No one believes the political proclamations of our day; no one opposes them. There is no public policy, no ideology, no goals, no convictions, no moral fire, no crusading spirit--nothing but the quiet panic of clinging to the status quo, with the dread of looking back to check the start of the road, with terror of looking ahead to check its end, and with a leadership whose range of vision is shrinking down to the public poll the day after tomorrow's television appearance" -Ayn Rand: "Our Cultural Value-Deprivation" (1966)
"God," he said, "is a process of creative social intercourse." "This, I submit, is obscene. I, who am an atheist, am shocked by so brazen an attempt to rob religion of whatever dignity and philosophical intention it might once have possessed. I am shocked by so cynically enormous a degree of contempt for the intelligence and the sensibility of people, specifically of those intended to be taken in by the switch." -Ayn Rand: "Our Cultural Value-Deprivation" (1966)