Letter 087, pg. 1

To Archibald Ogden

139 East 35th Street
New York City

August 16, 1943

Mr. Archibald G. Ogden
The Bobbs-Merrill Company
468 Fourth Avenue
New York City

Dear Mr. Ogden:

I am now working on a short non-fiction book which I should like to have Bobbs-Merrill publish. Its provisional title is “THE MORAL BASIS OF INDIVIDUALISM”. We might find a better one, but this title will give you an exact idea of the book’s theme and purpose. 

The book will present, in simple, concrete terms, the thesis of “The Fountainhead”the statement of man’s essential integrity and self-sufficiency, the exposition of altruism as a fallacy and a moral evil, the definition of a proper moral law which is to be found neither in self-sacrifice for others nor in domination over others but in spiritual independence. And (which is not in “The Fountainhead” except by implication) an outline of the proper social, political and economic system deduced from and based on man’s moral nature—the capitalist system, its meaning, principles and actual working as the only moral system of society. 

Capitalism has never found the moral principle on which it must stand. We have stood on it in fact, we have built our entire civilization upon it—but what we have preached and believed has been its exact opposite. The results are now destroying the world. There is no other explanation for the confusion, the helplessness, the intellectual silliness, the total insanity of mankind at present. 

Contrary to the vulgar belief that men are motivated primarily by materialistic considerations, we now see the capitalist system being discredited and destroyed all over the world, even though this system has given men the greatest material comforts and benefits ever achieved on earth. The reason is that men “do not live by bread alone” and that the capitalist system has stood in their eyes for nothing but bread. They have been taught to consider it as a practical, realistic system, but not an ethical one. A system without an ideal. Every defender of capitalism, so far, has found nothing better to say than, in effect,