Discursul (versiunea scurtă)
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“ Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Thompson will not speak to you tonight. His time is up. For years, you have asked: Who is John Galt? You have asked that question in despair and resignation as factories closed, goods became scarce, jobs disappeared. Your lives are becoming more difficult as the life-force of your world is draining away. You have asked that question without expecting an answer. I am here to answer it.
This is John Galt speaking.
Mr. Thompson won’t tell you the truth about the crisis in your world. I will.
Have you noticed that as everything around you seems to decline, one thing still grows? It is the power of your rulers. None of their plans and directives have solved your problems or made your life better. The only result has been their increased control over you at the cost of your freedom. Do you know why?
You gave them the power.
They called for your sacrifice, and you thought it was noble.
They said if you worked for yourself, and your family, that you were selfish, and uncaring. And they made you feel ashamed.
They denounced the leaders of industry as greedy exploiters—the Ellis Wyatts, the Hank Reardens—and again you agreed.
And then you ask: Why did they, and others like them, disappear? I took them from you.
Their achievements flowed from their creative minds. Once they understood that the attempt to control their work was an attempt to control their minds, they left.
The people on strike worked for themselves, for their own vision of what was possible. When they recognized the honor they deserved, they rebelled against the guilt you wanted them to feel for their success. You counted on them to keep producing, to keep thinking—even as you denounced them as selfish. I showed them they were being punished for their own virtues—and I showed them how evil that is. I made it my mission to help these heroes say no. All evil needs to win is the consent of good people.
They have joined me to freely produce, trade, cooperate, and compete, in a place where the rights of all are protected.
Do not try to find us. Do not try to bargain for our return. Get out of our way. To everyone within the range of my voice, you now have a choice to make.
If you decide to support the notion of sacrifice, enforced by the state, your game is up. Your world is in a downward spiral, and you will ride it down to destruction.
But if you share the values of our strike . . . if you believe that your life is a sacred possession, for you to make the most of . . . if you want to live by the judgment of your own mind, not edicts from the state, then follow our lead. Do not support your own oppressors. Stop letting the system exploit you. Form your own communities on the frontiers of your crumbling world.
Your rulers hold you by your endurance to carry the burdens they impose; by your generosity when you hear cries of despair; and above all, by your innocence, which cannot grasp the depths of their evil. The world you are living in is the world they wanted. Leave them to it.
Those who have left you are eager to build a better world, a world of freedom and opportunity, a world based on mutual respect.
In that world, you will rise in the morning with the spirit you knew in childhood: the spirit of eagerness and adventure—and the confidence that the world is what it is and is there for you to discover. In that world, you will not receive alms, nor pity, nor forgiveness of sins—but honor, respect, and justice.
Don’t let the fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in confusion and despair.
Be sure of your path. The world you desire can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it is yours.”
Bidinotto, Robert James; Carter, Joan; Hudgins, Edward (2014-09-11). Atlas Shrugged: The Novel, the Films, the Philosophy. The Atlas Society.