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Francisco d. Anconia's (Ayn Rand's) Money Speech in 'Atlas Shrugged'

I finished reading this part in 'Atlas Shrugged' a moment ago and had to post right away for anyone who has long since read it or has yet to..


Rearden heard Bertram Scudder, outside the group, say to a girl who made some sound of indignation,
"Don't let him disturb you. You know, money is the root of all evil – and he's the typical product of money."

Rearden did not think that Francisco could have heard it, but he saw Francisco turning to them with a gravely courteous smile.

"So you think that money is the root of all evil?" said Francisco d'Aconia. "Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can't exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value. Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears, or of the looters, who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men who produce. Is this what you consider evil?

"When you accept money in payment for your effort, you do so only on the conviction that you will exchange it for the product of the effort of others. It is not the moochers or the looters who give value to money. Not an ocean of tears nor all the guns in the world can transform those pieces of paper in your wallet into the bread you will need to survive tomorrow. Those pieces of paper, which should have been gold, are a token of honor – your claim upon the energy of the men who produce. Your wallet is your statement of hope that somewhere in the world around you there are men who will not default on that moral principle which is the root of money. Is this what you consider evil?

"Have you ever looked for the root of production? Take a look at an electric generator and dare tell yourself that it was created by the muscular effort of unthinking brutes. Try to grow a seed of wheat without the knowledge left to you by men who had to discover it for the first time. Try to obtain your food by means of nothing but physical motions – and you'll learn that man's mind is the root of all the goods produced and of all the wealth that has ever existed on earth.

"But you say that money is made by the strong at the expense of the weak? What strength do you mean? It is not the strength of guns or muscles. Wealth is the product of man's capacity to think. Then is money made by the man who invents a motor at the expense of those who did not invent it? Is money made by the intelligent at the expense of the fools? By the able at the expense of the incompetent? By the ambitious at the expense of the lazy? Money is made – before it can be looted or mooched – made by the effort of every honest man, each to the extent of his ability. An honest man is one who knows that he can't consume more than he has produced.

"To trade by means of money is the code of the men of good will. Money rests on the axiom that every man is the owner of his mind and his effort. Money allows no power to prescribe the value of your effort except by the voluntary choice of the man who is willing to trade you his effort in return. Money permits you to obtain for your goods and your labor that which they are worth to the men who buy them, but no more. Money permits no deals except those to mutual benefit by the unforced judgment of the traders. Money demands of you the recognition that men must work for their own benefit, not for their own injury, for their gain, not their loss – the recognition that they are not beasts of burden, born to carry the weight of your misery – that you must offer them values, not wounds – that the common bond among men is not the exchange of suffering, but the exchange of goods. Money demands that you sell, not your weakness to men's stupidity, but your talent to their reason; it demands that you buy, not the shoddiest they offer, but the best your money can find. And when men live by trade – with reason, not force, as their final arbiter – it is the best product that wins, the best performance, then man of best judgment and highest ability – and the degree of a man's productiveness is the degree of his reward. This is the code of existence whose tool and symbol is money. Is this what you consider evil?

"But money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver. It will give you the means for the satisfaction of your desires, but it will not provide you with desires. Money is the scourge of the men who attempt to reverse the law of causality – the men who seek to replace the mind by seizing the products of the mind.

"Money will not purchase happiness for the man who has no concept of what he wants; money will not give him a code of values, if he's evaded the knowledge of what to value, and it will not provide him with a purpose, if he's evaded the choice of what to seek. Money will not buy intelligence for the fool, or admiration for the coward, or respect for the incompetent. The man who attempts to purchase the brains of his superiors to serve him, with his money replacing his judgment, ends up by becoming the victim of his inferiors. The men of intelligence desert him, but the cheats and the frauds come flocking to him, drawn by a law which he has not discovered: that no man may be smaller than his money. Is this the reason why you call it evil?

"Only the man who does not need it, is fit to inherit wealth – the man who would make his own fortune no matter where he started. If an heir is equal to his money, it serves him; if not, it destroys him. But you look on and you cry that money corrupted him. Did it? Or did he corrupt his money? Do not envy a worthless heir; his wealth is not yours and you would have done no better with it. Do not think that it should have been distributed among you; loading the world with fifty parasites instead of one would not bring back the dead virtue which was the fortune. Money is a living power that dies without its root. Money will not serve that mind that cannot match it. Is this the reason why you call it evil?

"Money is your means of survival. The verdict which you pronounce upon the source of your livelihood is the verdict you pronounce upon your life. If the source is corrupt, you have damned your own existence. Did you get your money by fraud? By pandering to men's vices or men's stupidity? By catering to fools, in the hope of getting more than your ability deserves? By lowering your standards? By doing work you despise for purchasers you scorn? If so, then your money will not give you a moment's or a penny's worth of joy. Then all the things you buy will become, not a tribute to you, but a reproach; not an achievement, but a reminder of shame. Then you'll scream that money is evil. Evil, because it would not pinch-hit for your self-respect? Evil, because it would not let you enjoy your depravity? Is this the root of your hatred of money?

"Money will always remain an effect and refuse to replace you as the cause. Money is the product of virtue, but it will not give you virtue and it will not redeem your vices. Money will not give you the unearned, neither in matter nor in spirit. Is this the root of your hatred of money?

"Or did you say it's the love of money that's the root of all evil? To love a thing is to know and love its nature. To love money is to know and love the fact that money is the creation of the best power within you, and your passkey to trade your effort for the effort of the best among men. It's the person who would sell his soul for a nickel, who is the loudest in proclaiming his hatred of money – and he has good reason to hate it. The lovers of money are willing to work for it. They know they are able to deserve it.

"Let me give you a tip on a clue to men's characters: the man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it.

"Run for your life from any man who tells you that money is evil. That sentence is the leper's bell of an approaching looter. So long as men live together on earth and need means to deal with one another – their only substitute, if they abandon money, is the muzzle of a gun.

"But money demands of you the highest virtues, if you wish to make it or to keep it. Men who have no courage, pride, or self-esteem, men who have no moral sense of their right to their money and are not willing to defend it as they defend their life, men who apologize for being rich – will not remain rich for long. They are the natural bait for the swarms of looters that stay under rocks for centuries, but come crawling out at the first smell of a man who begs to be forgiven for the guilt of owning wealth. They will hasten to relieve him of the guilt – and of his life, as he deserves.

"Then you will see the rise of the double standard – the men who live by force, yet count on those who live by trade to create the value of their looted money – the men who are the hitchhikers of virtue. In a moral society, these are the criminals, and the statutes are written to protect you against them. But when a society establishes criminals-by-right and looters-by-law – men who use force to seize the wealth of disarmed victims – then money becomes its creators' avenger. Such looters believe it safe to rob defenseless men, once they've passed a law to disarm them. But their loot becomes the magnet for other looters, who get it from them as they got it. Then the race goes, not to the ablest at production, but to those most ruthless at brutality. When force is the standard, the murderer wins over the pickpocket. And then that society vanishes, in a spread of ruins and slaughter.

"Do you wish to know whether that day is coming? Watch money. Money is the barometer of a society's virtue. When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion – when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing – when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors – when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don't protect you against them, but protect them against you – when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice – you may know that your society is doomed. Money is so noble a medium that it does not compete with guns and it does not make terms with brutality. It will not permit a country to survive as half-property, half-loot.

"Whenever destroyers appear among men, they start by destroying money, for money is men's protection and the base of a moral existence. Destroyers seize gold and leave to its owners a counterfeit pile of paper. This kills all objective standards and delivers men into the arbitrary power of an arbitrary setter of values. Gold was an objective value, an equivalent of wealth produced. Paper is a mortgage on wealth that does not exist, backed by a gun aimed at those who are expected to produce it. Paper is a check drawn by legal looters upon an account which is not theirs: upon the virtue of the victims. Watch for the day when it becomes, marked: 'Account overdrawn.'

"When you have made evil the means of survival, do not expect men to remain good. Do not expect them to stay moral and lose their lives for the purpose of becoming the fodder of the immoral. Do not expect them to produce, when production is punished and looting rewarded. Do not ask, 'Who is destroying the world?' You are.

"You stand in the midst of the greatest achievements of the greatest productive civilization and you wonder why it's crumbling around you, while you're damning its life-blood – money. You look upon money as the savages did before you, and you wonder why the jungle is creeping back to the edge of your cities. Throughout men's history, money was always seized by looters of one brand or another, but whose method remained the same: to seize wealth by force and to keep the producers bound, demeaned, defamed, deprived of honor. That phrase about the evil of money, which you mouth with such righteous recklessness, comes from a time when wealth was produced by the labor of slaves – slaves who repeated the motions once discovered by somebody's mind and left unimproved for centuries. So long as production was ruled by force, and wealth was obtained by conquest, there was little to conquer. Yet through all the centuries of stagnation and starvation, men exalted the looters, as aristocrats of the sword, as aristocrats of birth, as aristocrats of the bureau, and despised the producers, as slaves, as traders, as shopkeepers – as industrialists.

"To the glory of mankind, there was, for the first and only time in history, a country of money – and I have no higher, more reverent tribute to pay to America, for this means: a country of reason, justice, freedom, production, achievement. For the first time, man's mind and money were set free, and there were no fortunes-by-conquest, but only fortunes-by-work, and instead of swordsmen and slaves, there appeared the real maker of wealth, the greatest worker, the highest type of human being – the self-made man – the American industrialist.

"If you ask me to name the proudest distinction of Americans, I would choose – because it contains all the others – the fact that they were the people who created the phrase 'to make money'. No other language or nation had ever used these words before; men had always thought of wealth as a static quantity – to be seized, begged, inherited, shared, looted, or obtained as a favor. Americans were the first to understand that wealth has to be created. The words 'to make money' hold the essence of human morality.

"Yet these were the words for which Americans were denounced by the rotted cultures of the looters' continents. Now the looters' credo has brought you to regard your proudest achievements as a hallmark of shame, your prosperity as guilt, your greatest men, the industrialists, as blackguards, and your magnificent factories as the product and property of muscular labor, the labor of whip-driven slaves, like the pyramids of Egypt. The rotter who simpers that he sees no difference between the power of the dollar and the power of the whip, ought to learn the difference on his own hide – as, I think, he will.

"Until and unless you discover that money is the root of all good, you ask for your own destruction. When money ceases to be the tool by which men deal with one another, then men become the tools of men. Blood, whips and guns – or dollars. Take your choice – there is no other – and your time is running out."

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This is one of the top 5 best parts of the book

out of hundreds to choose from.

BTW anyone who doesn't love Atlas Shrugged is actually a character in the book - we know who you are


Chris Indeedski!

Daily Paul cured my abibliophobia.

Amazing Speech

I wish President Obama would read and understand this speech. The entire mindset of a large portion of the country is that money = evil. We would have far fewer problems if people understood the true nature of money. We need our own Francisco D'Aconia...

Please visit and subscribe to!

la dee

bumpity. I feel this is relevant today for Audit the Fed!

The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time.
Thomas Jefferson

Where liberty is, there is my country.
Benjamin Franklin

Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth.
G. Washington



"None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free." Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Lamb of God - As the Palaces Burn

ragnard danneskjold

Here's another AWESOME part of Atlas Shrugged.

Radgnard Says to Hank Reardon:

[Robin Hood] is not remembered as a champion of property, but as a champion of need, not as a defender of the robbed, but as a provider of the poor. He is held to be the first man who assumed a halo of virtue by practicing charity with wealth which he did not own, by giving away goods which he had not produced, by making others pay for the luxury of his pity. He is the man who became a symbol of the idea that need, not achievement, is the source of rights, that we don’t have to produce, only to want, that the earned does not belong to us, but the unearned does. He became a justification for every mediocrity who, unable to make his own living, had demanded the power to dispose of the property of his betters, by proclaiming his willingness to devote his life to his inferiors at the price of robbing his superiors. It is this foulest of creatures – the double-parasite who lives on the sores of the poor and the blood of the rich – whom men have come to regard as the moral idea." ". . . Do you wonder why the world is collapsing around us? That is what I am fighting, Mr. Rearden. Until men learn that of all human symbols, Robin Hood is the most immoral and the most contemptible, there will be no justice on earth and no way for mankind to survive."

And before this speach Ragnard also explains to Hank that Robin Hood ORIGINALLY was really "robbing" the rich (Royalty which was actually the GOVERNMENT at that time) and GIVING BACK to the poor taxpayers that which THE royalty/government STOLE from the people!

"Many of us agree that you and I have no right to use coercion against people who don't owe us anything. The same prohibition applies to groups of people who constitute the government. The reason is simple: unjust acts do not become just when legalized. "

This is Ragnar's answer to the question Who would you kill?

...of all the historical figures real or imagined...

Chris Indeedski!

Daily Paul cured my abibliophobia.

Thanks for your post...

I am so engulfed in personal problems, but thinking of Atlas Shrugged gave me a bit of perspective...what would Dagny Taggart do? I'll go to bed with that thought. Who knows, maybe I'll wake with a little more wisdom.

Malo periculosam libertatem quam quietam servitutem. ("I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude"). Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 30 January 1787.

Keep this fact in mind.

Ayn Rand and Alan Greenspan were best buds.

Though it is true what her character Francisco D'Anconia says about money provided our country was governed by Rule of Law, it is however, a cruel statement to be stating within the context of the corrupt Federal Reserve mafia monopoly.

Now when I read this I realize what a propaganda she may have been up to, a kind of public relations propaganda to confuse people's minds so they associated 'Keynesian supply side monetary policy with 'capitalism'.

I despise Ayn Rand and her claptrap.

I read the biography written by Barbara Branden. Her lover, Nathaniel Branden, many years her junior and husband to Barbara Branden, was a 'psychologist' and into 'behavior'.

These folks were very deceptive NWO authors and operatives. I am convinced of it now.

Ayn Rand and Alan Greenspan were best buds...

and Ron Paul, like Alan Greenspan, was heavily influenced by the Russian Jewess Ayn Rand... Ron Paul, the Libertarian who wants to erode all the powers of the Federal Government which protect us from the Rothschild model of laissez faire Capitalism, in the name of freedom.

"Stand up for what you believe in. Even if you stand alone."
~ Sophie Magdalena Scholl
"Let it not be said that we did nothing."
~ Ron Paul
"You must be the change you want to see in the world."
~ Mahatma Gandhi

But that is just the problem Katherine.

"the Roghschild 'model' is NOT laissez faire Capitalism, its a conspiracy of all the bankers who used to be competitors until they figured out a way that by banding together to create the 'Federal Reserve', they would no longer have to compete with ANYBODY and would have complete control of our entire system. It took generations of 'incrementalism' and social engineering to foster the disgusting illusion we have today. Basically it is all 'unnatural'.

Ms. Rand died long before Greenspan did his damage

They were friends. So was Rothbard, at least early on. Rand was also friends with Hayek and Mises.

Alan Greenspan

I always thought of him as what would have happened if John Galt, captured by his enemies, had "sold out" and gone to work for President Thompson.

As far as I know, Ayn Rand never had a kind word to say about the Federal Reserve or Keynesian economics, and had only contempt for "those paper notes that should have been gold." Seriously, read this passage again, and try to conceive of a more absolute condemnation of paper money or a "Federal Reserve" that prints it: "Destroyers seize gold and leave to its owners a counterfeit pile of paper. This kills all objective standards and delivers men into the arbitrary power of an arbitrary setter of values. Gold was an objective value, an equivalent of wealth produced. Paper is a mortgage on wealth that does not exist, backed by a gun aimed at those who are expected to produce it. Paper is a check drawn by legal looters upon an account which is not theirs: upon the virtue of the victims."

Greenspan was one of the first to leave Rand's "inner circle" -- for good reason. He really did betray his free market principles.

Recommended reading: The Most Dangerous Superstition by Larken Rose

You haven't read Atlas Shrugged, have you?

If you have some free time this summer, I'd recommend it. Not because it will change your mind, just because you'll be more informed.

Like many posting here, I was an Ayn Rand afficionado

along with Marc Emery and a group of friends back in the early 80's in London, Ontario. We based the Libertarian 'UnParty' and then the 'Freedom Party of Ontario', then the 'Freedom Party of Canada' on Ayn Rands' objectivism.

I read and re-read all and I mean all of her books. We could not wait until Barbara Branden came out with the biography of Ayn Rand. That was when it burst many 'illusions' we had of this woman's skilled 'psy op' she pulled on many of the youth and it continues today.

It worked like a charm for the Federal Reserve. It kept most of us even those who studied macro economics 'blind' to the monopoly. Everyone thought in terms of a 'free market' and it was anything but what we were living in.

Sigh. We were young and idealistic then.

But I know better now.

I believe that you are lying and you didn't read Atlas Shrugged

Because you claim:

"Though it is true what her character Francisco D'Anconia says about money provided our country was governed by Rule of Law, it is however, a cruel statement to be stating within the context of the corrupt Federal Reserve mafia monopoly."

But in Atlas Shrugged, the heroes in Galt's Gultch lived under a voluntary, not government based gold standard, so the context was NOT fiat money.

Ayn Rand was AGAINST fiat money, and Alan Greenspan betrayed his principles and betrayed Rand. That's why today's Objectivists hate him.

I love this book

The voice of reason.

Your need is not a good trade for my value.

Ron Paul is my President.

God says "the LOVE of money is the root of all evil"

Ayn Rand was Godless heathen,so she knew nothing about the truth of self.
To her we came from a monkey .So her being selfish was normal.I agree forced altruism is not a positive thing ever,we should give because God gave to us life and the opportunity of salvation in Jesus. He gave his son. What the Funk did she do so great? Jesus is coming not ayn rand,sorry atheists
And not one of us sinners(of God's laws) deserve any redemption .
The more I learn about her the more I ask myself why would Ron Paul (a christian)
link his boat to hers???
Jesus is ,ayn rand was there is a huge difference
I wonder if the two were in a room and Ron had to pick one who would he choose?
More Jesus less ayn posts please? He was much smarter then her ! WAKE UP PEOPLE

Since you obviously haven't READ Ayn Rand

your assertion that Jesus was smarter than she was seems debatable. And ask yourself why Ron Paul named his son after her, not Jesus.

Recommended reading: The Most Dangerous Superstition by Larken Rose

Its debatable ?

I spend most of my time reading NON fiction,Like the Bible,Law dictionaries,learning some latin some hebrew some greek. Ron Paul is a Christian which is much deeper then some heathen author with some good points.
Place your bets people , choose wisely it is forEVER.
Where did the time, space and matter come from?, if you are so smart from reading a FICTION novel? Unless you repent ,You will rue the day you said "it is debatable"repent for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand. Have you ever even read a Bible or a non fiction book?

Dabooda: I was corrected on this a year or so ago

Randal Howard "Rand" Paul (born January 7, 1963)

Not "Ayn Rand"

I was like you on that one -- there's a Youtube video where he explains it.


Jesus ran the money lenders out of the church -- he broke the back of the church as well.

I think he was more in favor of a separation as they were "wedded" at that time.

Currency Monopoly is the root of evil (for a nation)

Religious Monopoly is the root of evil (for individuals)

Excellent comment Octo



I stand corrected. And disappointed.

I just tracked down a video of Rand Paul discussing his name. Here: Both he and his father are admirers of Ayn Rand, but he grew up being called Randal or Randy. He wasn't known as "Rand" until he got married and his wife used it.

Recommended reading: The Most Dangerous Superstition by Larken Rose



A couple of years ago, my

A couple of years ago, my daughter and I were each reading this book, she got to this part before I did. She called and said she couldn't wait for me to catch up because she just read what would be one of her favorite passages of all time. Once i read it, I felt the same way. Thank you for posting it, It is so good to read it again.

you are very welcome :)

I hoped it would bring back good memories
Know your stuff, learn real history and economics


I memorized this speech :)

People who would completely

People who would completely like to take God out of this passage...
On this, I will take what God says referring to the LOVE of money...Love is a big word
I love my husband, family etc....I like a lot of, my car, money...etc...
to me love is reserved for people and like reserved for things that are useful...such as money...The speech here was trying to take what God said and completely destroy putting some sort of I work hard for money...and I know the value blah blah...sort of Pride in capitalism...and hard work...
quite honestly turning the loving of money into the totally immoral crap that it is....
turning it into temptations and snares of lust..just like God said...look at the Rothchilds, etc...there power hungry money loving selves are willing to kill us all so they can attain all the power and money in the world..definately EVIL

1Ti 6:9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
1Ti 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

"and the truth shall make you free"
John 8:32

It amazes me

that people who have never read Rand's work feel themselves qualified to enter a discussion of it as though their criticism meant anything. Try to imagine how much weight your opinion carries. Or try to imagine a number smaller than zero, your call.

Recommended reading: The Most Dangerous Superstition by Larken Rose

That's not true.

It's not about "I work hard for money".

This passage is about free people using the best of themselves to produce and exchange with one another in peace.

Money, in this case, represents the best of humanity. No looting, no mooching -- trust, honesty, and using one's talents.

This isn't about what money can buy and coveting "things". It's about what money represents.

Ron Paul "Sign Wave Across the USA" -- November 5th!

One of the greatest literary

One of the greatest literary passages of all time, and it perfectly describes our current situation. I find it absolutely maddening, though, how quickly people turn these discussions into a religion vs anti-religion issue! WTF difference does it make what the author's religious beliefs were? Does it make the above passage any less true? Truth is truth irregardless of the source, and when people can't refute the arguement itself, they start throwing straw man arguements around as a distraction. Rand was right...get over the "atheist" issue and focus on the invaluable truth contained in her message.

Truth is treason in an empire of lies.