To William Mullendore [Letter 134]

Item Reference Code: 144_MFx_017_001

Date(s) of creation

April 16, 1944


William Mullendore


William Mullendore sent AR a long comment from Amiel’s Journal (1852), quoted by Thomas F. Woodlock in The Wall Street Journal of May 1, 1944. The quoted material began: “Every despotism has a specially keen and hostile instinct for whatever keeps up human dignity and independence.”

590 North Rossmore
Hollywood, California

April 16, 1944

Mr. W. C. Mullendore
Edison Building
Los Angeles, California

Dear Mr. Mullendore:

Thank you ever so much for your letter with the quotation from Amiel’s Journal. It was very interesting and startling to read it—it is so very close to my own philosophy.

I cannot help wondering how mankind allowed itself to be dragged down to the present state of depravity—when there were clear-headed thinkers a hundred years ago, who saw the nature and meaning of collectivism. I hold the doctrine of altruism responsible for it. So long as nobody denounced that doctrine as positive evil, so long as men continued to regard it as an ideal, it had to work its way down to its ultimate consequence—collectivism. The two are inseparable, and the altruist is the collectivist. But—what a job to make people understand this!

Your quotation gave me one more proof of my contention that altruism is the real issue and our real enemy, that our side must make a stand on this, and that we have no chance on a long-range historical scale until we make this stand. The issue cannot be evaded or ignored any longer. Altruism has reached its logical climax—and we cannot fight the effects without blasting the cause.

Everything is going very well with my screen play of “The Fountainhead.” I am over the half-way mark in the writing—and my producer does intend to preserve the story, theme and message intact. Please forgive my delay in acknowledging your letter—the screen-play is really responsible for it. I have worked on it so hard that I had no brain left to think carefully on philosophical subjects, nor to venture a letter on them. Now I think I have become used to the strain and improved a little—I hope.

I am looking forward to a chance to see you again, when you have the time. I should like to ask you what you thought of the Wisconsin primaries. As for me, that event has made me happier than any personal piece of good luck.

With my best regards,