In honor of Thomas Jefferson’s birthday, here’s a subtle yet powerful tribute to him (and men of his kind) from Ayn Rand:

In Atlas Shrugged, I discussed the “pyramid of ability” in the realm of economics. There is another kind of social pyramid. The genius who fights “every form of tyranny over the mind of man” is fighting a battle for which lesser men do not have the strength, but on which their freedom, their dignity, and their integrity depend. It is the pyramid of moral endurance.

Happy birthday, Thomas Jefferson—and thank you for everything your moral endurance created and made possible.

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Image: Issues of the Day (Conrad H. Oliver, 1904)

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