Ayn Rand
Quotations


The upper classes are a nation's past; the middle class is its future.

Every major horror of history was committed in the name of an altruistic motive. Has any act of selfishness ever equaled the carnage perpetrated by disciples of altruism?

Creation comes before distribution--or there will be nothing to distribute.

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.

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 am, therefore I'll think

Existence is Identity, Consciousness is Identification.

In any compromise between food and poison, it is only death that can win. In any compromise between good and evil, it is only evil that can profit.

Honest people are never touchy about the matter of being trusted.

So you think that money is the root of all evil? Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can't exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value. Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears or of the looters, who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men who produce. Is this what you consider evil?

The evil of the world is made possible by nothing but the sanction you give it.

Rationality is the recognition of the fact that nothing can alter the truth and nothing can take precedence over that act of perceiving it.

Love is our response to our highest values.

I refuse to accept as guilt the fact of my own existence.

A desire presupposes the possibility of action to achieve it; action presupposes a goal which is worth achieving.

All work is an act of philosophy.

An inventor is a man who asks 'Why?' of the universe and lets nothing stand between the answer and his mind.

Force and mind are opposites; morality ends where the gun begins.

Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one's values.

Worry is a waste of emotional reserve.

There is a stage of worship which makes the worshiper himself an object of reverence.

Every form of happiness is private. Our greatest moments are personal, self-motivated, not to be touched.

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.

Whatever their future, at the dawn of their lives, men seek a noble vision of man's nature and of life's potential.

Show me your achievement -- and the knowledge will give me courage for mine.

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. Every great new invention was denounced. The first motor was considered foolish. The first airplane was considered impossible. The power loom was considered vicious. Anesthesia was considered sinful. But the men of unborrowed vision went ahead. They fought, they suffered and they paid. But they won.

A leash is only a rope with a noose on both ends.

I can accept anything, except what seems to be the easiest for most people: the half-way, the almost, the just-about, the in-between.

Anything may be betrayed, anyone may be forgiven. But not those who lack the courage of their own greatness.

I am. I think. I will.

I need no warrant for being, and no word of sanction upon my being. I am the warrant and the sanction.

A gun is not an argument.

It is futile to fight against, if one does not know what one is fighting for.

A culture is made -- or destroyed -- by its articulate voices.

Thanksgiving is a typically American holiday... The lavish meal is a symbol of the fact that abundant consumption is the result and reward of production.

A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others.

Anyone who fights for the future, lives in it today.

The worst evil that you can do, psychologically, is to laugh at yourself. That means spitting in your own face.

I am not looking for intelligent disagreement any longer. What I am looking for is intelligent agreement.

I'm working to improve my methods, and every hour I save is an hour added to my life.

In the temple of his spirit, each man is alone.

No one's happiness but my own is in my power to achieve or to destroy.

Pity for the guilty is treason to the innocent.

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

Tell me what a man finds sexually attractive and I will tell you his entire philosophy of life

The desire not to be anything is the desire not to be.

The uncontested absurdities of today are the accepted slogans of tomorrow.

There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil.

Thinking men cannot be ruled.

Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps down new roads armed with nothing but their own vision.

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



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