Excellent Quote . . .

from Mark J. Perry’s “Quote of the Day” . . . from a radio interview with Ayn Rand in 1980, which appears in the book Objectively Speaking: Ayn Rand Interviewed (p. 249-250):

Throughout the history of Europe, the values and ideas of its people never changed on one basic point: Europe is a state-worshiping culture. It has always worshipped the power of the state, whether it is in the form of absolute monarchs, or later [post WWI], of collectivists. European societies have never understood the importance of the individual and individual rights. Individualism is an American concept. Obviously, some people in Europe understand it, but they are the exceptions. Because European culture is so steeped in the altruistic idea that man must exist for others, the greatest distinction the European can dream of is to serve, or be rewarded by, the state. The state is regarded as an almost supernatural being and the individual citizen as just a serf.

In America, it is exactly the opposite. America is the first country in history that was deliberately and consciously founded on a certain philosophy. It is a philosophy, rooted in Aristotelianism, which respects the individual and holds that society should be based on individual rights. This principle was formulated for the first time in the United States by the Founding Fathers. It is so great an achievement that centuries from now, men should kneel when they think of what their forefathers created in this country.

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