"An organism's life depends on two factors: the material or fuel which it needs from the outside, from its physical background, and the action of its own body, the action of using that food properly. What standard determines what is proper in this context? The standard is the organism's life, or; that which is required for the organism's survival." - (Ayn Rand, The Virtue of Selfishness, p 16)This passage demonstrates to perfection Rand's method of demonstration. She begins with an appalling banality: life depends on "the material or fuel which it needs" and on "the action of its own body." This vacuous assertion is used to introduce the next appalling banality. Rand asks:"What standard determines what is proper in this context?" (ie., in the context of the requirements of man's life)? Rand answers: "The standard is the organism's life." In other words, the standard proper for determining the requirements of man's life is man's life! Imagine the profundity of the woman who could come up with such an insight.
- Greg Nyquist, ARCHN, p211