The moral principle to adopt is: “Judge, and be prepared to be judged.” It is a task that requires the most precise, the most exacting, the most ruthlessly objective and rational process of thought. When one pronounces moral judgment, whether in praise or in blame, one must he prepared to answer “Why?” and to prove one’s case – to oneself and to any rational inquirer.
Observe how many people evade, rationalize and drive their minds into a state of blind stupor, in dread of discovering that those they deal with – their “loved ones” or friends or business associates or political ruler – are not merely mistaken, but evil. If people did not indulge in such abject evasions all the claim that some contemptible liar “means well” – that a mooching bum “can’t help it” – that a juvenile delinquent “needs love” – that a power-seeking politician is moved by patriotic concern for “the public good” – that communists are merely “agrarian reformers” – the history of the past few decades, or centuries, would have been different.
Ask yourself why totalitarian dictatorships find it necessary to pour money and effort into propaganda for their own helpless, chained, gagged slaves, who have no means of protest or defense. The answer is that even the humblest peasant or the lowest savage would rise in blind rebellion, were he to realize that he is being immolated, not to some incomprehensible “noble purpose,” but to plain, naked human evil.
Observe also that moral neutrality necessitates a progressive sympathy for vice and a progressive antagonism to virtue. It is then that such formulas as “Nobody is ever fully right or fully wrong” and “Who am I to judge?” take their lethal effect.
– Ayn Rand