Rand, Ayn

ayn rand

Ayn Rand (1905-1982) grew up with the ambition to be a fiction writer. In 1925, she left Soviet Russia for the United States. After making it to Hollywood she worked various jobs before she finally became a screenwriter. In 1936 she published her first novel, We the Living, which told of her life in in the Soviet Union.

After being rejected twelve times, her novel, The Fountainhead, was published in 1943 and became a best seller. Her novels and non-fiction work have remained classics despite (or because of) the controversial views they espouse.  Atlas Shrugged, along with The Fountainhead, is a renowned work of fiction (her last). a philosophical novel that examines multitude of complex issues.

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Ayn Rand Quotes

“I am, therefore I think.” (Atlas Shrugged, 1957)

“The evil of the world is made possible by nothing but the sanction you give it.” (Atlas Shrugged, 1957)

“Worry is a waste of emotional reserve.” (The Fountainhead, 1943)

“All work is an act of philosophy.” (Atlas Shrugged, 1957)

“An inventor is a man who asks ‘Why?’ of the universe and lets nothing stand between the answer and his mind.” (Atlas Shrugged, 1957)

“An attempt to achieve the good by force is like an attempt to provide a man with a picture gallery at the price of cutting out his eyes.” (Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, 1966)

“Every form of happiness is private. Our greatest moments are personal, self-motivated, not to be touched.” (The Fountainhead, 1943)

“Anyone who fights for the future, lives in it today.” (The Romantic Manifesto, 1969)

“An artist reveals his naked soul in his work – and so, gentle reader, do you when you respond to it.” (The Romantic Manifesto, 1969)

“To know one’s own desires, their meaning and their costs requires the highest human virtue: Rationality.”

“If a dedication page were to precede the total of my work, it would read: To the glory of Man.”

“Pity for the guilty is treason to the innocent.” (The Romantic Manifesto, 1969)

“In the temple of his spirit, each man is alone.” (Anthem, 1937)

“The worst evil that you can do, psychologically, is to laugh at yourself. That means spitting in your own face.” (Question in Leonard Peikoff’s series “The Philosophy of Objectivism,” 1976)

“To hold an unchanging youth is to reach at the end, the vision with which one started.”

“Every loneliness is a pinnacle.” (The Fountainhead, 1943)

“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.” (Philosophy: Who Needs It?, 1982)

“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.” (The Fountainhead, 1943)

“What is greatness? I will answer: it is the capacity to live by the three fundamental values of John Galt: reason, purpose, self-esteem.” (Playboy interview, March, 1964)

“I was thinking of people who say that happiness is impossible on earth. Look how hard they all try to find some joy in life. Look how they struggle for it. Why should any living creature exist in pain? By what conceivable right can anyone demand that a human being exist for anything but for his own joy? Every one of them wants it. Every part of him wants it. But they never find it. I wonder why.” (The Fountainhead, 1943)

“You know how people long to be eternal. But they die with every day that passes. When you meet them, they’re not what you met last. In any given hour, they kill some part of themselves. They change, they deny, they contradict–and they call it growth. At the end there’s nothing left, nothing unreversed or unbetrayed; as if there had never been an entity, only a succession of adjectives fading in and out on an unformed mass.” (The Fountainhead, 1943)

“Art is a selective re-creation of reality according to an artist’s metaphysical value-judgments. An artist recreates those aspects of reality which represent his fundamental view of man’s nature.”

“Existence is Identity, Consciousness is Identification.” (Atlas Shrugged, 1957)

“To demand ‘sense’ is the hallmark of nonsense. Nature does not make sense. Nothing makes sense.” (Atlas Shrugged, 1957)

“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. You, who have lost the concept of the difference, you who claim that fear and joy are incentives of equal power—and secretly add that fear is the more “practical”—you do not wish to live, and only fear of death still holds you to the existence you have damned.” (Atlas Shrugged, 1957)

“The mind is the attribute of man. When man is born, he comes into existence with only one weapon with him- The reasoning mind.” (The Fountainhead, 1943)

“Remember also that the smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights, cannot claim to be defenders of minorities.” (Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, 1966)

“Poverty, ignorance, illness and other problems of that kind are not metaphysical emergencies. By the metaphysical nature of man and of existence, man has to maintain his life by his own effort; the values he needs—such as wealth or knowledge—are not given to him automatically, as a gift of nature, but have to be discovered and achieved by his own thinking and work.” (The Virtue of Selfishness, 1964)

“The skyline of New York is a monument of a splendor that no pyramids or palaces will ever equal or approach.” (The Virtue of Selfishness, 1964)

“Look around you: what you have done to society, you have done it first within your soul; one is the image of the other. This dismal wreckage, which is now your world, is the physical form of the treason you committed to your values, to your friends, to your defenders, to your future, to your country, to yourself.” (Atlas Shrugged, 1957)

“Man cannot survive except by gaining knowledge, and reason is his only means to gain it. Reason is the faculty that perceives, identifies and integrates the material provided by his senses. The task of his senses is to give him the evidence of existence, but the task of identifying it belongs to his reason, his senses tell him only that something is, but what it is must be learned by his mind.” (Atlas Shrugged, 1957)

“A culture is made — or destroyed — by its articulate voices.” (The Voice of Reason, 1989)

“Show me your achievement – and the knowledge will give me courage for mine.” (The Fountainhead, 1943)

“I am a man who does not exist for others.” (The Fountainhead, 1943)

“Anything may be betrayed, anyone may be forgiven. But not those who lack the courage of their own greatness.” (The Fountainhead, 1943)

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