August 24, 1962
Mrs. John K. Osinga
101 Oceano Avenue
Santa Barbara, California
Dear Mrs. Osinga,
Thank you for your gracious letter of August 19. I am glad that you liked my article on Marilyn Monroe—and I appreciate the reaction of a professional newspaperwoman.[*]
I was glad to know that my article helped you to maintain your own views. The statement you quoted from a psychiatrist, that “believing in good, and seeing it in others, is in our time anachronistic.” is one of the most contemptible things I have ever heard. It is simply a moral blank check to permit oneself any sort of evil. Does he really believe that there are fashions in morality? If so, who sets them? Is there any reason why we should surrender the world to scoundrels?
I cannot emphasize strongly enough that the most important thing in life is never to surrender one’s concept of what is right, what life could be and should be. If your concept of the right is rational, you will be able to achieve it in your own life and, perhaps, influence others to achieve it. But if one abandons one’s values, nothing is possible thereafter: it is an act of spiritual suicide. I am glad that you liked The Fountainhead, and I can see from your letter why you did. Don’t let anyone discourage you.
*“Through Your Most Grievous Fault” appeared August 19 in the Los Angeles Times and is reprinted in The Ayn Rand Column. Osinga, a reporter with the Santa Barbara News-Press called AR’s article “one of the finest pieces of writing, and one of the most discerning and delicate surgical jobs on the malignancy of our present society that I have ever encountered.”