Smart Kids

To her new classroom of twenty-five eleven and twelve year old boys and girls the mannish teacher said, “The most important thing you can do in life is to work for a cause that is bigger than yourself.”

Dark-haired Tommy leaped to his feet and nearly shouted, “I’m going to train elephants!” Then blue-eyed Betsy exclaimed, “I’m going to build tall buildings!” And George said, quietly, “I’m going to write a symphony.”

“No, no,” snapped the teacher. “When I say “bigger than yourself” I mean more important than the things you want to do.”

Then yellow-curled Linda said, “But if it’s not something I want to do, then it’s not important at all. I mean, it’s not important to me. If it’s important to someone else, then they can do it. It will be their cause. If everybody thought the same thing was important to them it would be a very boring world.”

The teacher stood still, stunned. Then she burst out, “Oh, my God, what a class of selfish little monsters I’ve got!”

Jack, very mature for his twelve years, said, “Go look in a mirror. Then you’ll see a real monster.” And skinny little Joe piped up, “Are you related to Stalin, or to Hitler?”

Then, silently, they all looked at their new teacher. She looked back at them, first at one, then at another. Some of the kids looked at her very curiously; others seemed to be judging her with supremely self-confident, adult eyes! She was beginning to feel naked. Then she felt a tightness in her throat; she couldn’t breathe. Then she suddenly turned and ran out of the classroom. The kids heard her screams echoing down the hallway.

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Last Agony?

Clinton or Trump,
A dump is a dump;
To vote is to vote for trash.
Instead, I’ll write in
Individual Rights
And wait for the country to crash.

I will have my last say,
And I’ll do it my way,
And I’ll vote not for anything ill.
For a dump is a dump,
Whether Clinton or Trump
And their garbage rolls swift downhill.

I’ll stand on the heights
Of Individual Rights,
Alone though it be, and apart.
My country, once free,
In its last agony,
Will still have a beat in my heart.

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O Sovereign Self

O sovereign selfish mind of single aim,
O singing, ringing ego pure and whole,
Not nice, nor kind, but just, with no low shame,
Made strong for pride-of-purpose in your soul,
I praise with thankful ardor your lone height,
Praise that you are and that place bright you go—
That happy place, that is your secret sight—
To rest, enjoy, then rise again and grow.
For you, not me, you gathered knowledge sure;
For you, not me, you fast increased your skill;
For you, not me, you grasped the future’s door
And swung it open for your joyous will!
Yet I’m dew-showered by your self so true,
Brow-sweetened, glazed with thought-lights you have thrown,
Smit soft with inspiration, thrilling new
With far-off dreamings of my very own.
They wake to selfish rapture mind and hand,
High sovereign ego of my self’s command!

The sovereign ego of my self’s command
Grows apple sweet with never fear or doubt,
Grows into ripeness that is moral light,
Grows into flexings of my arm and hand
And turns the wheel of my world about,
Uncovers beauties useful to my sight
And flings up spearing towers on the land.
Each tower is an ego made of steel,
A soaring self, a wingless bird of air,
That flies up with the joy its builders feel,
Proclaiming human pride no virtue rare,
But rich as blooming flowers—everywhere!
Man’s selfishness of this whole world is king,
And crowned he is who can his ego sing!

O first, and last, and best of all things won,
Creator of true civilizing force,
Such tireless work you have on earth, here, done—
Obedient to your single selfish course—
We know we’re blessed, indeed, that you are free
To give us joy in hearing, joy to see,
And joy in life, though giving naught for free,
But raising us in justice proud to pay
For ego’s beauty of the night and day.
For pay we do in coin of work and love,
Bright independent treasures flashing fire
In swelling selfish life that soars above
With egoistic dreams that never tire
Of echoes struck for sovereign self’s desire!

Now up through every human who loves life,
Each man and woman, child–or girl or boy–
Let ego consecrate, with no blanked strife,
That central selfish spirit of man’s joy,
Mind’s competence in cleaving to what’s real
For calculating capture of ideal!
A man who’s man, heroical and bold,
A woman woman, true as sun-hit gold,
A blazing blaze, yet soft as candle’s flame
That lights the holy shrine of man’s good name!
His temple is the ego of his mind;
His glory is the choosing of his soul;
He stands in justice as the ages wind,
And judges right and wrong to keep him whole!

Then ego sing and ring, and worship selfish man,
Who for himself does all the best he can!
Who gratifies the urgings of his youth
And searches high and low to know the truth!
In independent self-esteem he grows,
In independent action rises, goes,
Becomes a man of mastery supreme,
An equal to uniqueness of his dream!
His selfishness finds men he can admire,
Their egos joined, yet separate, made higher
By mirrored strength competing joyously
To learn and teach creations of the free!
Then ego sing and ring, and worship selfish man,
Who makes a happy life the best he can!

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Ted Cruz

When Ted Cruz spoke at the convention: since he knew he was not going to endorse Trump, it was the perfect time to introduce the principle of individual rights. Now, many might think that it’s too early to speak about individual rights. I ask, when is it ever too early, or when is it ever wrong, to speak about individual rights? I don’t think it is ever too early, or ever wrong. On the contrary, as soon as political figures like Ted Cruz start speaking about individual rights, as soon as they take the time to elucidate the connection between individual rights and freedom, to educate their audience, instead of merely preaching to them and saying “I stand on the principle of freedom,” the sooner can—though not necessarily will—more people begin thinking about individual rights and the proper roll of government in relation to individuals.

That a man such as Ted Cruz, who knows American history, and the basis of its foundation, so thoroughly, should have failed to do this, shows that he himself does not value individual rights very highly. And all those who speak about “fighting for the Constitution,” but who ignore or disregard the principle of individual rights, are not true lovers of an American republic.

Ayn Rand did not speak or write “too early” about individual rights. She did not say that the people have to be properly educated in metaphysics, epistemology and morality first. We need politicians who will speak out boldly for individual rights, right now, whether anyone listens to them or not. It is never too early, and can only be too late the longer we wait. But it is never wrong.

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Oh Say, Can You See?

The flowers stand, but have no eyes to see;
They do not walk, nor wave they flags in air.
Nor sing they of a country that is free,
While weeds their death and slavery prepare.

Brave flowers, standing blind through lasting night,
Now take the waking sun with all your might,
Show beauty to the bees and butterflies,
And loyalty to life to men’s weak eyes!

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The Giants

Each step I take on up this hill
In my self-filling, thrilling will
Is for the find of my more sight
That binds the peak of each new height
To heaven me so high and free
To be the giant I can be—
Atop a mount out-looking far,
Right up within light winds that are,
And over highways sweeping on
To cities that are keen with dawn.
Far down below a silv’ry train
Like curling river cuts the plain;
Sharp silv’ry steel cuts the sky
In ideal man-bird soaring by;
And I, I stand with raptured soul
O’er this grand world that man makes whole.

I love the reason that I be;
I love the things I love to see;
I love the flight of morning light;
I love the distance and the height.
I love the work that’s done right well;
I love the thought and self-lit swell
That joys in judgment all its own
Of human glory dealt and shown.
I am the voice that sings aloud
Of human triumph strong and proud;
I am the words that match with rhyme
Man’s firsts on earth, which are sublime;
I am the praiser, come alive,
To praise as long as I survive.
I am the self-blessed giant bliss
That loves my love of all of this!

Then you come, too, beside me here
And make of us one hand-held cheer
As we stand looking, side by side,
On man’s and nature’s undivide,
Harmonic whole of each made more,
Now richer than they were before,
And you and I made richer, too,
With giant spirits flying true
In light-winged words that soar as one,
As we were glowing sky and sun:
“I love you, love you, all the way;
I love you more than night and day;
I love you that you love this sight,
And feel in you its giant might,
And as we are so shall we be,
Proud lovers of the great and free!”

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The Court of Final Judgment

You fetid, foul excrescence that’s called Islam,
You putrid puss of pestilential dung,
You vomit of the cowardly souls of moslems,
You evil filth, self dent-head vile,

I damn your phony Allah, phony heaven,
I damn your phony Koran, every page!
I damn your hate of every independent—
Each man so high above you, like a sage.

You are inferior to men and women all
Who live but to enjoy and to be free.
Every act of yours declares that you are nothing,
And for nothing you to nothing go to be!

I judge with right damnation all of Islam;
With sovereign mind I damn this palsied curse;
I damn your base corruption of men’s spirits;
I damn all bastard moslems off the earth!

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