Ayn Rand Quotes

"My philosophy in essence is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute."
-Ayn Rand

My greatest Heroine is the founder of Objectivism, author of Anthem, The Fountainhead, Atlas Shrugged, and the clearest rational mind I know of. Remarkably, I am even named after one of her characters. She is the person I would most love to have met in History. Her name is Ayn Rand.

Ethics


"To deal with men by force is as impractical as to deal with nature by persuasion."

"When personal judgment is inoperative (or forbidden), men's first concern is not how to choose, but how to justify their choice."

"Thinking men cannot be ruled."

"Power-lust is a weed that grows only in the vacant lot of an empty mind."

"To fear to face an issue is to believe the worst is true."

"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."

"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. "

"No concept man forms is valid unless he integrates it without contradiction into the sum of his knowledge. "

"The verdict you pronounce upon the source of your livelihood is the verdict you pronounce upon your life. "

"I can accept anything, except what seems to be the easiest for most people: the halfway, the almost, the in-between."

"I've taught you a great deal and nothing. No one can teach you anything, not at the core, at the source of it. What you're doing-it's yours, not mine, I can only teach you to do it better. I can give you the means-the aim's your own."
 

The Individual
 

"There can be no such thing, in law or in morality, as actions forbidden to an individual, but permitted to a mob. "

"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. "

"Volumes can be and have been written about the issue of freedom versus dictatorship, but, in essence, it comes down to a single question: do you consider it moral to treat men as sacrificial animals and to rule them by physical force? "

"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). "

"The moral cannibalism of all hedonist and altruist doctrines lies in the premise that the happiness of one man necessitates the injury of another."

"The right to agree with others is not a problem in any society; it is the right to disagree that is crucial. It is the institution of private property that protects and implements the right to disagree... "

"The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights, cannot claim to be defenders of minorities. "

"There is a level of cowardice lower than that of the conformist: the fashionable non-conformist. "

"Individual rights are the means of subordinating society to moral law."

"There is nothing to take a man's freedom away from him, save other men. To be free, a man must be free of his brothers. "

"Men have been taught that it is a virtue to agree with others. But the creator is the man who disagrees. Men have been taught that it is a virtue to swim with the current. But the creator is the man who goes against the current. Men have been taught that it is a virtue to stand together. But the creator is the man who stands alone. "


Egoism


"In the name of the best within you, do not sacrifice this world to those who are its worst. In the name of the values that keep you alive, do not let your vision of man be distorted by the ugly, the cowardly, the mindless in those who have never achieved his title. Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it's yours."

"The basic need of the creator is independence. The reasoning mind cannot work under any form of compulsion. It cannot be curbed, sacrificed or subordinated to any consideration whatsoever. It demands total independence in function and in motive. To a creator, all relations with men are secondary. "

"Men have been taught that the highest virtue is not to achieve, but to give. Yet one cannot give that which has not been created. Creation comes before distribution- or there will be nothing to distribute. The need of the creator comes before the need of any possible beneficiary. Yet we are taught to admire the second-hander who dispenses gifts he has not produced above the man who made the gifts possible. We praise an act of charity. We shrug at an act of achievement."

"Don't you know that there are things, in the best of us, which no outside hand should dare to touch? Things sacred because, and only because, one can say: "This is mine"? Don't you know that we live only for ourselves, the best of us do, those who are worthy of it? Don't you know that there is something in us which must not be touched by any state, by any collective, by any number of millions?"

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Care to read an excerpt from The Fountainhead? Click here.

A complete copy of Anthem is on the web! Click here to see it.

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