|Ludwig von Mises|
“If you worked as a Blacksmith in the mystics’ Middle Ages, the whole of your earning capacity would consist of an iron bar produced by your hands and days of effort. How many tons of rail do you produce per day if you work for Hank Rearden? Would you dare to claim that the size of your pay check was created solely by your physical labor and that those rails were the product of your muscles? The standard of living of that blacksmith is all that your muscles are worth; the rest is a gift from Hank Rearden.”
…I owe you an explanation: an explanation of why I have avoided seeing you in person for the many years of our acquaintance. I want you to know that the fault is mine, that the reason is a defect in my own psyche and not a defect that I attribute to you. The fact is that most times when I saw you in person, particularly when we engaged in lengthy discussion or argument, that I found afterwards that I was greatly depressed for days thereafter.
…I can only think of one or both of the following explanations: (1) that my brain became completely exhausted under the intense strain of keeping up with a mind that I unhesitatingly say is the most brilliant of the twentieth century; or (2) that I felt that if I continued to see you, my personality and independence would become overwhelmed by the tremendous power of your own.