The Howling Dogmatists of “Compassion” (Ayn Rand)

Observe how noisily the modern intellectuals are seeking solutions for problems–and how swiftly they blank out the existence of any theory or idea, past or present, that offers the lead to a solution.

Observe that these modern relativists–with their credo of intellectual tolerance, of the open mind, of the anti-absolute–turn into howling dogmatists to denounce anyone who claims to possess knowledge.

Observe that they tolerate anything, except certainty–and approve of anything, except values.

Observe that they profess to love mankind, and drool with sympathy over any literary study of murderers, [alcoholics], drug addicts and psychotics, over any presentation of their loved object’s depravity–and scream with anger when anyone dares to claim that man is not depraved.

Observe that they profess to be moved by compassion for human suffering–and close their ears indignantly to any suggestion that man does not have to suffer.

— Ayn Rand, in “Philosophy: Who Needs It”