This is a quote from the book "The ​Virtue Of Selfishness" by Ayn Rand

This is the ruler’s only way to appease his obsession: “prestige.” Prestige — in whose eyes? In anyone’s. In the eyes of his tortured victims, of the beggars in the
streets of his kingdom, of the bootlickers at his court, of the foreign tribes and their rulers beyond the borders. It is to impress all those eyes — the eyes of everyone and no one — that the blood of generations of subjects has been spilled and spent.

One may see, in certain biblical movies, a graphic image of the meaning of public monument building: the building o...
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