by Ayn Rand
Atlas Shrugged Power Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Volume.Chapter.Section.Page). We used the 50th Anniversary Edition published by Signet Books in 2007.
"Every dictator is a mystic, and every mystic is a potential dictator. A mystic craves obedience from men, not their agreement. He wants them to surrender their consciousness to his assertions...." (18.104.22.1684)
It's interesting that Galt links dictators with "mystics," or people who rule through fear instead of reason. This idea appears in a lot of political theory. For instance, scholars have noted that dictators like Stalin and Mao had "cults of personality," meaning that they built up myths around themselves and demanded that people trust, love, and obey them completely.
"And it was discovered," said Dr. Ferris, "that there are certain frequencies of sound vibration which no structure, organic or inorganic, can withstand." (22.214.171.124)
Ferris's description of Project X serves as a metaphor for the way the looters operate. The "sound vibrations" of their words and ideas are essentially destroying the country, much as Project X destroys those poor goats.
"Eddie, what do we care about people like him? We're driving an express, and they're riding on the roof, making a lot of noise about being leaders. Why should we care? We have enough power to carry them along – haven't we?" (126.96.36.199)
Hank assumes that he and his friends can just ignore the looters and to go about their business. But he discovers that "carrying them along" grants them a sanction, which gives them power.