Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand
Ayn Rand
  • Born: February 2, 1905
  • Died: March 6, 1982
  • Nationality: Russian
  • Profession: Writer

98

Quotes

48

Citations

227

Concepts

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Videos

Ayn Rand was a Russian-American writer and philosopher. She is known for her two best-selling novels, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, and for developing a philosophical system she named Objectivism. Educated in Russia, she moved to the United States in 1926. She had a play produced on Broadway in 1935 and 1936. After two early novels that were initially unsuccessful, she achieved fame with her 1943 novel, The Fountainhead. In 1957, Rand published her best-known work, the novel Atlas Shrugged. Afterward, she turned to non-fiction to promote her philosophy, publishing her own periodicals and releasing several collections of essays until her death in 1982.

Quotes
Quote Topics Cited
… life in nature, without technology, is wholesale death. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
… morality ends where the gun begins. Guns & Gun Control
… there is no such dichotomy as “human rights” versus “property rights.” No human rights can exist without property rights. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
A culture is made — or destroyed — by its articulate voices. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
America's abundance was created not by public sacrifices to the common good, but by the productive genius of free men who pursued their own personal interests and the making of their own private fortunes. Business, Commerce & Finance
Anyone who fights for the future, lives in it today. Citizenship & Patriotism
At first man was enslaved by the gods, but he broke their chains… Then he was enslaved by the kings, but he broke their chains… He was enslaved by his birth, by his kin, by his race, but he broke their chains... He declared to all his brothers that man has rights that neither god or king nor other men can take away from him no matter what their number. For his is the right of man. And there is no right on earth above this right Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Civilization is the progress toward a society of privacy. The savage's whole existence is public, ruled by the laws of his tribe. Civilization is the process of setting man free from men. Society ;Freedom & Liberty ;Privacy, Abortion & Family Planning
'Democratic' in its original meaning refers to unlimited majority rule....a social system in which one's work, one's property, one's mind, and one's life are at the mercy of any gang that may muster the vote of a majority at any moment for any purpose Democracies & Republics
Do not keep silent when your own ideas and values are being attacked. If a dictatorship ever comes to this country, it will be by the default of those who keep silent. We are still free enough to speak. Do we have time? No one can tell. Citizenship & Patriotism ;Dictators, Despots, Autocrats, Autocracies & Dictatorships
Economic power is exercised by means of a positive, by offering men a reward, an incentive, a payment, a value; political power is exercised by means of a negative, by the threat of punishment, injury, imprisonment, destruction. The businessman's tool is values; the bureaucrat's tool is fear. Power
Errors of knowledge are not breaches of morality; no proper moral code can demand infallibility or omniscience. Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest
Even if smog were a risk to human life, we must remember that life in nature, without technology, is wholesale death. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
Every coercive monopoly was created by government intervention into the economy: by special privileges, such as franchises or subsidies, which closed the entry of competitors into a given field, by legislative action. Business, Commerce & Finance
Every dictator is a mystic, and every mystic is a potential dictator. A mystic craves obedience from men, not their agreement. He wants them to surrender their consciousness to his assertions, his edicts, his wishes, his whims - as his consciousness is surrendered to theirs. He wants to deal with men by means of faith and force - he finds no satisfaction in their consent if he must earn it by means of facts and reason. Reason is the enemy he dreads and, simultaneously, considers precarious: reason, to him, is a means of deception Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising ;Dictators, Despots, Autocrats, Autocracies & Dictatorships
Every government interference in the economy consists of giving an unearned benefit, extorted by force, to some men at the expense of others. Regulation & Deregulation
Every government interference in the economy consists of giving an unearned benefit, extorted by force, to some men at the expense of others. Regulation & Deregulation
Every movement that seeks to enslave a country, every dictatorship or potential dictatorship, needs some minority group as a scapegoat which it can blame for the nation's troubles and use as a justification of its own demands for dictatorial powers. Minorities & Women ;Dictators, Despots, Autocrats, Autocracies & Dictatorships
Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one's values. Happiness & Unhappiness ;Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
I am, therefore I'll think. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
I consider the Birch Society futile, because they are not for capitalism but merely against communism ... I gather they believe that the disastrous state of today's world is caused by a communist conspiracy. This is childishly naive and superficial. No country can be destroyed by a mere conspiracy, it can be destroyed only by ideas. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes ;Capitalism
I need no warrant for being, and no word of sanction upon my being. I am the warrant and the sanction. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
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. Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest ;Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
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. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
If you mean whose side one should be on, Israel or the Arabs, I would certainly say Israel because it’s the advanced, technological, civilized country amidst a group of almost totally primitive savages who have not changed for years and who are racist and who resent Israel because it’s bringing industry, intelligence, and modern technology into their stagnation.. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
In a capitalist society, all human relationships are voluntary. Men are free to cooperate or not, to deal with one another or not, as their own individual judgments, convictions and interests dictate. Economics, The Economy & Fiscal Affairs ;Capitalism
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). Minorities & Women
It is futile to fight against, if one does not know what one is fighting for. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Libertarians are my most intense enemies Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Litigants obey the verdict of a tribunal solely on the premise that there is an objective rule of conduct, which they both accept. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
Man is the only living species that has the power to act as his own destroyer—and that is the way he has acted through most of his history. Human Nature
Men learn from one another. But all learning is only the exchange of material. No man can give another the capacity to think. Yet that capacity is our only means of survival. Human Nature
No creator was prompted by a desire to serve his brothers, for his brothers rejected the gift he offered and that gift destroyed the slothful routine of their lives. His truth was his only motive. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
No man has the right to initiate the use of physical force against others. Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest
Observe, in politics, that the term extremism has become a synonym of "evil," regardless of the content of the issue (the evil is not what you are extreme about, but that you are "extreme"— Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest
The conservatives see man as a body freely roaming the earth, building sand piles or factories—with an electronic computer inside his skull, controlled from Washington. The liberals see man as a soul freewheeling to the farthest reaches of the universe—but wearing chains from nose to toes when he crosses the street to buy a loaf of bread. Liberals & Conservatives
The evil of the world is made possible by nothing but the sanction you give it. Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest
The man who damns money has obtained it dishonestly: the man who respects it has earned it. Business, Commerce & Finance
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-defense, and, as such, may only resort to force only against those who start the use of force. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
The Undertaker Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
There are only two means by which men can deal with one another: guns or logic. Force or persuasion. Those who know that they cannot win by means of logic, have always resorted to guns. Guns & Gun Control
There is nothing to take a man's freedom away from him, save other men. Freedom & Liberty ;Dictators, Despots, Autocrats, Autocracies & Dictatorships
They (Native Americans) didn't have any rights to the land, and there was no reason for anyone to grant them rights which they had not conceived and were not using. What was it that they were fighting for, when they opposed white men on this continent? For their wish to continue a primitive existence, their 'right' to keep part of the earth untouched, unused and not even as property, but just keep everybody out so that you will live practically like an animal, or a few caves above it. Any white person who brings the element of civilization has the right to take over this continent. Expansionism, Colonialism & Imperialism
Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps down new roads armed with nothing but their own vision. Their goals differed, but they all had this in common: that the step was first, the road new, the vision unborrowed, and the response they received--hatred. The great creators--the thinkers, the artists, the scientists, the inventors--stood alone against the men of their time. Every great new thought was opposed. Human Nature
What are your masses [of humanity] but mud to be ground underfoot, fuel to be burned for those who deserve it? Equality & Equal Opportunity ;Capitalism
When the common good of a society is regarded as something apart from and superior to the individual good of its members, it means that the good of some men takes precedence over the good of others, with those others consigned to the status of sacrificial animals. Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest
When you have civilized men fighting savages, you support the civilized men, no matter who they are.. Expansionism, Colonialism & Imperialism
You seem much too intelligent to believe in God. Religion & God
A building has integrity just like a man. And just as seldom. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others. Motivation
A desire presupposes the possibility of action to achieve it; action presupposes a goal which is worth achieving.
Achievement of your happiness is the only moral purpose of your life, and that happiness, not pain or mindless self-indulgence, is the proof of your moral integrity, since it is the proof and the result of your loyalty to the achievement of your values. Life ;Happiness & Unhappiness
Achieving life is not the equivalent of avoiding death. Life ;Death
Ask yourself whether the dream of heaven and greatness should be waiting for us in our graves - or whether it should be ours here and now and on this earth.
Contradictions do not exist. Whenever you think you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong.
Do not ever say that the desire to 'do good' by force is a good motive. Neither power-lust nor stupidity are good motives.
Every aspect of Western culture needs a new code of ethics - a rational ethics - as a precondition of rebirth.
Every man builds his world in his own image. He has the power to choose, but no power to escape the necessity of choice. Power
Evil requires the sanction of the victim.
Force and mind are opposites; morality ends where a gun begins.
From the smallest necessity to the highest religious abstraction, from the wheel to the skyscraper, everything we are and everything we have comes from one attribute of man - the function of his reasoning mind.
God... a being whose only definition is that he is beyond man's power to conceive. Power ;Religion & God
Government 'help' to business is just as disastrous as government persecution... the only way a government can be of service to national prosperity is by keeping its hands off. Government ;Business, Commerce & Finance
I don't build in order to have clients. I have clients in order to build. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
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. Life ;Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
If any civilization is to survive, it is the morality of altruism that men have to reject.
Individual rights are the means of subordinating society to moral law. Society
It only stands to reason that where there's sacrifice, there's someone collecting the sacrificial offerings. Where there's service, there is someone being served. The man who speaks to you of sacrifice is speaking of slaves and masters, and intends to be the master.
Just as man can't exist without his body, so no rights can exist without the right to translate one's rights into reality, to think, to work and keep the results, which means: the right of property. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
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. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
Man's unique reward, however, is that while animals survive by adjusting themselves to their background, man survives by adjusting his background to himself.
Money demands that you sell, not your weakness to men's stupidity, but your talent to their reason. Money, Coins & Minting
Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver. Money, Coins & Minting
Money is the barometer of a society's virtue. Society ;Money, Coins & Minting
Only the man who does not need it, is fit to inherit wealth, the man who would make his fortune no matter where he started.
People create their own questions because they are afraid to look straight. All you have to do is look straight and see the road, and when you see it, don't sit looking at it - walk.
Potentially, a government is the most dangerous threat to man's rights: it holds a legal monopoly on the use of physical force against legally disarmed victims. Government ;Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
Rights are not a matter of numbers - and there can be no such thing, in law or in morality, as actions forbidden to an individual, but permitted to a mob.
Run for your life from any man who tells you that money is evil. That sentence is the leper's bell of an approaching looter. Life ;Money, Coins & Minting
So you think that money is the root of all evil. Have you ever asked what is the root of all money? Money, Coins & Minting
The hardest thing to explain is the glaringly evident which everybody had decided not to see.
The man who lets a leader prescribe his course is a wreck being towed to the scrap heap.
The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Power ;Government
The purpose of morality is to teach you, not to suffer and die, but to enjoy yourself and live.
The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me.
The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities.
The truth is not for all men, but only for those who seek it. Truth
The worst guilt is to accept an unearned guilt.
There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil.
There is a level of cowardice lower than that of the conformist: the fashionable non-conformist.
Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps, down new roads, armed with nothing but their own vision.
To achieve, you need thought. You have to know what you are doing and that's real power. Power
To arrive at a contradiction is to confess an error in one's thinking; to maintain a contradiction is to abdicate one's mind and to evict oneself from the realm of reality.
Upper classes are a nation's past; the middle class is its future. Future
We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force. History ;Government
Wealth is the product of man's capacity to think.
When I die, I hope to go to Heaven, whatever the Hell that is. Hope ;Death
When man learns to understand and control his own behavior as well as he is learning to understand and control the behavior of crop plants and domestic animals, he may be justified in believing that he has become civilized. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training