The New Clarion

The New Clarion header image 2

The Modern Monument Builders

September 19th, 2010 by Jim May · 1 Comment · Uncategorized


“Greatness is achieved by the productive effort of a man’s mind in the pursuit of clearly defined, rational goals.  But a delusion of grandeur can be served only by the switching, undefinable chimera of a public monument — which is presented as a munificent gift to the victims whose forced labor or extorted money had paid for it — which is dedicated to the service of all and none, owned by all and none, gaped at by all and enjoyed by none.”

“Rome fell, bankrupted by statist controls and taxation, while its emperors were building coliseums.  Louis XIV of France taxed his people into a state of indigence, while he built the palace of Versailles for his contemporary monarchs to envy and for modern tourists to visit.  The marble-lined Moscow subway, built by the unpaid “volunteer” labor of Russian workers, including women, is a public monument, and so is the Czarist-like luxury of the champagne-and-caviar receptions at the Soviet embassies, which is needed — while the people stand in line for food rations — “to maintain the prestige of the Soviet Union.”

–Ayn Rand, “The Monument Builders”, from The Virtue of Selfishness


“But the pols couldn’t resist soaking the Meadowlands. They siphoned track proceeds into the state budget; repeatedly refinanced the NJSEA’s bonds, pushing repayment dates far into the future; and relied on the authority’s good credit rating to launch other building schemes, including a costly but unsuccessful aquarium in Camden. Today, 35 years after its first bonds, the NJSEA is $830 million in hock.”

One Comment so far ↓

  • c andrew

    Cheops Law

    Screams of Slaves cannot Diminish
    The Grandeur of the Works we Finish.