Ayn Rand Quotes
Ayn Rand Quotes
My happiness is not the means to an end. It is the end. It is its own goal. It is its own purpose.
To say ‘I love you’ one must first be able to say the ‘I.’
It is a sin to write this.
Do not make the mistake of the ignorant who think that an individualist is a man who says: “I’ll do as I please at everybody else’s expense.” An individualist is a man who recognizes the inalienable individual rights of man—his own and those of others.
And that night we knew that to hold the body of women in our arms in neither ugly nor shameful, but the one ecstasy granted to the race of men.
You’re not sorry. You could’ve been here if you made the effort. But when did you ever make an effort for anybody but yourself? You’re not interested in any of us or in anything we do. You think if you pay the bills, that’s enough, don’t you? Money! That’s all you know. And all you give us is money. Have you ever given us any time?
Money demands that you sell, not your weakness to men’s stupidity, but your talent to their reason.
Money is the barometer of a society’s virtue.
Individualism regards man – every man – as an independent, sovereign entity who possesses an inalienable right to his own life, a right derived from his nature as a rational being. Individualism holds that a civilized society, or any form of association, cooperation or peaceful co-existence among men, can be achieved only on the basis of the recognition of individual rights – and that a group, as such, has no rights other than the individual rights of its members.
You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.
I started my life with a single absolute: that the world was mine to shape in the image of my highest values and never to be given up to a lesser standard, no matter how long or hard the struggle.
Contradictions do not exist. Whenever you think that you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong.
Joy is the goal of existence, and joy is not to be stumbled upon, but to be achieved, and the act of treason is to let its vision drown in the swamp of the moment’s torture.
A man’s sexual choice is the result and the sum of his fundamental convictions…. He will always be attracted to the woman who reflects his deepest vision of himself, the woman whose surrender permits him to experience a sense of self-esteem. The man who is proudly certain of his own value, will want the highest type of woman he can find, the woman he admires, the strongest, the hardest to conquer–because only the possession of a heroine will give him the sense of an achievement.
And now I see the face of god, and I raise this god over the earth, this god whom men have sought since men came into being, this god who will grant them joy and peace and pride. This god, this one word: ‘I.
Now look at me! Take a good look! I was born and I knew I was alive and I knew what I wanted. What do you think is alive in me? Why do you think I’m alive? Because I have a stomach and eat and digest the food? Because I breathe and work and produce more food to digest? Or because I know what I want, and that something which knows how to want—isn’t that life itself? And who—in this damned universe—who can tell me why I should live for anything but for that which I want?
The fight we are in here, make no mistake about it, is a fight of individualism versus collectivism.
A man’s rights are not violated by a private individual’s refusal to deal with him.
There is fear hanging in the air of the sleeping halls, and the air of the streets. Fear walks through the city, fear without name, without shape. All men feel it and none dare speak.
A rational process is a moral process. You may make an error at any step of it, with nothing to protect you but your own severity, or you may try to cheat, to fake the evidence and evade the effort of the quest – but if devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality, then there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.
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Ayn Rand Quotes on Love
Love is the expression of one’s values, the greatest reward you can earn for the moral qualities you have achieved in your character and person, the emotional price paid by one man for the joy he receives from the virtues of another.
You must be the kind of man who can get things done. But to get things done, you must love the doing, not the secondary consequences.
Someday, the world will discover that, without thought, there can be no love.
Ayn Rand Quotes about Collectivism
Collectivism means the subjugation of the individual to a group—whether to a race, class or state does not matter. Collectivism holds that man must be chained to collective action and collective thought for the sake of what is called “the common good.
Ayn Rand Quotes on Fountainhead
I regret nothing. There have been things I missed, but I ask no questions because I have loved it, such as it has been, even the moments of emptiness, even the unanswered-and that I loved it, that is unanswered in my life.
I don’t wish to be the symbol of anything. I’m only myself.
Never ask people about your work.
Ayn Rand Quotes on Thinking
Thinking is man’s only basic virtue, from which all the others proceed. And his basic vice, the source of all his evils, is that nameless act which all of you practice, but struggle never to admit: the act of blanking out, the wilful suspension of one’s consciousness, the refusal to think – not blindness, but the refusal to see; not ignorance, but the refusal to know. It is the act of focusing your mind and inducing an inner fog to escape the responsibility of judgment – on the unstated premise that a thing will not exist if only you refuse to identify it, that A will not be A so long as you do not pronounce the verdict ‘It is.
Ayn Rand Quotes on Architecture
I don’t build in order to have clients. I have clients in order to build.
in architecture, mediocrity is more glaringly obvious than in other lines – because there’s a huge, physical object such as a building to demonstrate it.
A building has integrity just like a man. And just as seldom.
Life Quotes by Ayn Rand
Achieving life is not the equivalent of avoiding death.
One can’t love man without hating most of the creatures who pretend to bear his name.
I swear, by my life and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.
Ayn Rand Quotes on Individualism
I got the idea [for Anthem’s theme] in my school days, in Soviet Russia, when I heard all the vicious attacks on individualism, and asked myself what the world would be like if men lost the word ‘I.’
If a life can have a ‘theme-song’ – and I believe every worthwhile one has – mine is [best] expressed in one word: Individualism.
Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities (and the smallest minority on earth is the individual).
Ayn Rand Quotes on Education
I came here, not merely for the sake of my husband’s profession, but for the sake of my own. I came here in order to bring up my sons as human beings. I would not surrender them to the educational systems devised to stunt a child’s brain, to convince him that reason is impotent, that existence is an irrational chaos with which he’s unable to deal, and thus reduce him to a state of chronic terror.
Ayn Rand Quotes about Objectivity
The purpose of morality is to teach you, not to suffer and die, but to enjoy yourself and live.
Contradictions do not exist. Whenever you think you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong.
When I die, I hope to go to Heaven, whatever the Hell that is.
Ayn Rand Quotes about Money
Whoever claims the right to redistribute the wealth produced by others is claiming the right to treat human beings as chattel.
What greater wealth is there than to own your life and to spend it on growing? Every living thing must grow. It can’t stand still. It must grow or perish.
So you think that money is the root of all evil. Have you ever asked what is the root of all money?
Ayn Rand Quotes about Reason
Reason is not automatic. Those who deny it cannot be conquered by it. Do not count on them. Leave them alone.
Ayn Rand Quotes on Friendship
The practical implementation of friendship, affection and love consists of incorporating the welfare (the rational welfare) of the person involved into one’s own hierarchy of values, then acting accordingly.
I shall choose friends among men, but neither slaves nor masters. And I shall choose only such as please me, and them I shall love and respect, but neither command nor obey. And we shall join our hands when we wish, or walk alone when we so desire.
Ayn Rand Quotes Do Not Let the Fire
Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swaps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists.. it is real.. it is possible.. it’s yours.
Ayn Rand Quotes on Property Rights
The essential characteristic of socialism is the denial of individual property rights.
There is no such dichotomy as ‘human rights’ versus ‘property rights. No human rights can exist without property rights.
Without property rights, no other rights are possible.
Ayn Rand Quotes about Reality
You can ignore reality, but you can’t ignore the consequences of ignoring reality.
To arrive at a contradiction is to confess an error in one’s thinking; to maintain a contradiction s to abdicate one’s mind and to evict oneself from the realm of reality.
We can evade reality, but we cannot evade the consequences of evading reality
Ayn Rand Quotes on Work
The quickest way to kill the human spirit is to ask someone to do mediocre work.
The right to life means that a man has the right to support his life by his own work (on any economic level, as high as his ability will carry him); it does not mean that others must provide him with the necessities of life.
All work is an act of philosophy.
Ayn Rand Quotes on Government
The only proper purpose of a government is to protect man’s rights, which means: to protect him from physical violence. A proper government is only a policeman, acting as an agent of man’s self-defence, and, as such, may resort to force only against those who start the use of force. The only proper functions of a government are: the police, to protect you from criminals; the army, to protect you from foreign invaders; and the courts, to protect your property and contracts from breaches or fraud by the others, to settle disputes by rational rules, according to objective law. But a government that initiates the employment of force against men who had forced no one, the employment of armed compulsion against disarmed victims, is a nightmare infernal machine designed to annihilate morality: such a government reverses its only moral purpose and switches from the role of protector to the role of man’s deadliest enemy, from the role of policeman to the role of a criminal vested with the right to the wielding of violence against the victims deprived of the right of self-defence. Such a government substitutes for morality the following rule of social conduct: you may do whatever you please to your neighbour, provided your gang is bigger than his.
Ayn Rand Quotes about Atlas Shrugged
Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver.
There is no such thing as a lousy job – only lousy men who don’t care to do it.
If one’s actions are honest, one does not need the predated confidence of others.
Ayn Rand Quotes on Death
You seek escape from pain. We seek the achievement of happiness. You exist for the sake of avoiding punishment. We exist for the sake of earning rewards. Threats will not make us function; fear is not our incentive. It is not death that we wish to avoid, but life that we wish to live.
I could die for you. But I couldn’t, and wouldn’t, live for you.
If the truth shall kill them, let them die.
Ayn Rand Quotes about Anthem
The fortune my spirit is not to be blown into coins of brass and flung to the winds as alms for the poor of the spirit. I guard my treasures: my thought, my will, my freedom. And the greatest of these is freedom.
Then they knelt, and bowed their golden head before us.
We had never thought of that which we did. We bent to raise the Golden One to their feet, but when we touched them, it was as if madness had stricken us. We seized their body and we pressed our lips to theirs. The Golden One breathed once, and their breath was a moan, and then their arms closed around us.
Happiness Quotes by Ayn Rand
Happiness is not to be achieved at the command of emotional whims.
No one’s happiness but my own is in my power to achieve or to destroy.
My happiness is not the means to any end. It is the end. It is its own goal. It is its own purpose.
Ayn Rand Quotes about Truth
Truth is the recognition of reality; reason, man’s only means of knowledge, is his only standard of truth.
Don’t ever get angry at a man for stating the truth.
There can be no compromise on basic principles. There can be no compromise on moral issues. There can be no compromise on matters of knowledge, of truth, of rational conviction.
Ayn Rand Quotes on Art
Romantic art is the fuel and the spark plug of a Man’s soul. Its task is to set a soul on fire and never let it go out.
Romantic art is always stylized: the better the art, the cleaner and more attractive and intelligent the stylization.
Art is a selective re-creation of reality according to an artist’s metaphysical value judgments.
Ayn Rand Quotes on Capitalism
Whoever claims the right to redistribute the wealth produced by others is claiming the right to treat human beings as chattel.
We are now moving towards complete collectivism or socialism, a system under which everybody is enslaved to everybody.