There is no more despicable coward than the man who deserted the battle for his joy, fearing to assert his right to existence, lacking the courage and the loyalty to life of a bird or a flower reaching for the sun. Discard the protective rags of that vice which you call a virtue: humility — learn to value yourself, which means: to fight for your happiness — and when you learn that pride is the sum of all virtues, you will learn to live like a man.

“Galt’s Speech”
For the New Intellectual, 179

Humility and presumptuousness are always two sides of the same premise, and always share the task of filling the space vacated by self-esteem in a collectivized mentality. The man who is willing to serve as the means to the ends of others, will necessarily regard others as the means to his ends.

“Collectivized Ethics”
The Virtue of Selfishness, 81

Self-abasement is the antithesis of morality. If a man has acted immorally, but regrets it and wants to atone for it, it is not self-abasement that prompts him, but some remnant of love for moral values — and it is not self-abasement that he expresses, but a longing to regain his self-esteem. Humility is not a recognition of one’s failings, but a rejection of morality. “I am no good” is a statement that may be uttered only in the past tense. To say: “I am no good” is to declare: “ — and I never intend to be any better.”

“Moral Inflation”
The Ayn Rand Letter, III, 13, 1
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