Letter 085, pg. 4
motive—why shouldn’t those others tell him how they wish him to serve? And this is the reason why collectivists “never seem to understand why other men so highly prize the right to work,” as you say in your book. They are consistent philosophically. We are not.
There is no hope for the world unless and until we formulate, accept and state publicly a true moral code of individualism, based on man’s inalienable right to live for himself. Neither to hurt nor to serve his brothers, but to be independent of them in his function and in his motive. Neither to sacrifice them for himself nor to sacrifice himself for them in selfless service—but to deal with them in free exchange among equals, each with a legitimate right to his own benefit, and not in the spirit of any kind of altruistic service of anyone by anyone.
But I realize that the cowardly hypocrites among our so-called conservatives would be scared to death by such a doctrine. That is why I am writing this to you. You had the courage to stand on your rights and your convictions in 1937, while others crawled, compromised and submitted. You were one of the few who made a stand. You are doing it again now when you come out openly in defense of the industrialist. So I think you are one of the few men who will have the courage to understand and propagate the kind of moral code we need if the industrialists, and the rest of us, are to be saved. A new and consistent code of individualism.
You might say that this is a job for writers and intellectuals. I imagine you must have felt disgusted, when you wrote your book, that you had to undertake the task of defending yourself, that your own great achievement had not aroused defenders among those whose job it is to do public thinking and writing. Well, that job has been done, only I am certain that you have never heard of it, in the present state of our intellectual world. Two books have been published recently on the basic philosophy of individualism. One is “The God of the Machine” by Isabel Paterson. The other is “The Fountainhead” by me. “The God of the Machine” is a political treatise that presents a complete and consistent credo of individualism in social and economic relations. It is a basic document of capitalism, as “Das Kapital” was that of communism, with the difference that “The God of the Machine” is an honest and brilliant book. “The Fountainhead” is a novel that presents the conflict of individualism and collectivism in personal and moral terms, in the realm of man’s spirit. Its hero is the kind of man you appear to be, if I can judge by your book, the kind of man who built America, the creator