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Ayn Rand's Quotes


  Live a life as a monument to your soul.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

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

  Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  Man cannot survive except through his mind. He comes on earth unarmed. His brain is his only weapon. Animals obtain food by force. Man had no claws, no fangs, no horns, no great strength of muscle. He must plant his food or hunt it. To plant, he needs a process of thought. To hunt, he needs weapons, and to make weapons - a process of thought. From this simplest necessity to the highest religious abstraction, from the wheel to the skyscraper, everything we are and we have comes from a single attribute of man - the function of his reasoning mind.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  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, dont sit looking at it – walk!  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  A gun is not an argument.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  Man's unique reward, however, is that while animals survive by adjusting themselves to their background, man survives by adjusting his background to himself.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

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

  We can evade reality, but we cannot evade the consequences of evading reality.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  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.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  Everyone has the right to make his own decisions, but none has the right to force his decision on others.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  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.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  Rationalization is a process of not perceiving reality, but of attempting to make reality fit one's emotions.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  The purpose of morality is to teach you, not to suffer and die, but to enjoy yourself and live.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  I would give the greatest sunset in the world for one sight of New York's skyline. Particularly when one cant see the details. Just the shapes. The shapes and the thought that made them. The sky over New York and the will of man made visible. What other religion do we need?  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  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.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  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.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  Wealth is the product of man's capacity to think.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  Even if smog were a risk to human life, we must remember that life in nature, without technology, is wholesale death.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  A genius is a genius, regardless of the number of morons who belong to the same race - and a moron is a moron, regardless of the number of geniuses who share his racial origin.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  Capitalism has created the highest standard of living ever known on earth. The evidence is incontrovertible. The contrast between West and East Berlin is the latest demonstration, like a laboratory experiment for all to see. Yet those who are loudest in proclaiming their desire to eliminate poverty are loudest in denouncing capitalism. Man's well-being is not their goal.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  What greater wealth is there than to own your life and to spend it on growing? Every living thing must grow. It cant stand still. It must grow or perish.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

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

  From the wheel to the skyscraper, everything we are and everything we have comes from a single attribute of man - the function of his reasoning mind.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  If you dont know, the thing to do is not to get scared, but to learn.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  That something happened to you is of no importance to anyone, not even to you. The important thing about you is what you choose to make happen - your values and choices. That which happened by accident - what family you were born into, in what country, and where you went to school - is totally unimportant.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

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

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

  The most depraved type of human being is the man without a purpose.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

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

  That which you call your soul or spirit is your conciousness, and that which you call 'free will' is your mind's freedom to think or not, the only will you have, your only freedom, the choice that controls all the choices you make and determines your life and your character.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  Money is the barometer of a society's virtue.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

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

  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.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

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

  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.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  Honor is self-esteem made visible in action.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  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 is yours.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  The moral precept to adopt is: Judge, and be prepared to be judged.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  I am not primarily an advocate of capitalism, but of egoism; and I am not primarily an advocate of egoism, but of reason. If one recognizes the supremacy of reason and applies it consistently, all the rest follows.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  Free competition enforced by law is a grotesque contradiction in terms.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  Pride is the recognition of the fact that you are your own highest value and, like all of man's values, it has to be earned.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

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

  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.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  Why do they always teach us that it is easy and evil to do what we want and that we need discipline to restrain ourselves? It is the hardest thing in the world - to do what we want. And it takes the greatest kind of courage. I mean, what we really want.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  When I die, I hope to go to Heaven, whatever the Hell that is.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  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
  

  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.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  If it is worth doing, it is worth overdoing.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  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.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  The hardest thing to explain is the glaringly evident which everybody has decided not to see.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  The Arabs are one of the least developed cultures. They are typically nomads. Their culture is primitive, and they resent Israel because it is the sole beachhead of modern science and civilization on their continent. When you have civilized men fighting savages, you support the civilized men, no matter who they are.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

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

  Worry is a waste of emotional reserve.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  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.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  Capitalism demands the best of every man - his rationality - and rewards him accordingly. It leaves every man free to choose the work he likes, to specialize in it, to trade his product for the products of others, and to go as far on the road of achievement as his ability and ambition will carry him.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  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. In Soviet Russia, the scapegoat was the bourgeoisie; in Nazi Germany, it was the Jewish people; in America, it is the businessmen.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  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.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  Aristotle may be regarded as the cultural barometer of Western history. Whenever his influence dominated the scene, it paved the way for one of history's brilliant eras; whenever it fell, so did mankind.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  Competition is a by-product of productive work, not its goal.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  I worship individuals for their highest possibilities as individuals and I loathe humanity for its failure to live up to these possibilities.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  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.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  The question isn't who is going to let me; it is who is going to stop me.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  Learn to value yourself, which means: Fight for your happiness.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  Let no man posture as an advocate of peace if he proposes or supports any social system that initiates the use of force against individual men, in any form.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  An artist reveals his naked soul in his work.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  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.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  The skyline of New York is a monument of a splendour that no pyramids or palaces will ever equal or approach.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  The spread of evil is the symptom of a vacuum. Whenever evil wins, it is only by default: By the moral failure of those who evade the fact that there can be no compromise on basic principles.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

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

  When a man declares: 'There are no blacks and whites in morality' he is making a psychological confession, and what he means is: 'I am unwilling to be wholly good - and please dont regard me as wholly evil!'  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  Reason is not automatic. Those who deny it cannot be conquered by it. Do not count on them. Leave them alone.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  The truth is not for all men but only for those who seek it.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  When you consider socialism, do not fool yourself about its nature. Remember that there is no such dichotomy as 'human rights' versus 'property rights.' No human rights can exist without property rights.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  I could die for you. But I couldn't, and wouldn't, live for you.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  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.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  The mind is the attribute of man. When man is born, he comes into existence with only one weapon with him: The reasoning mind.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  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.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  Freedom (n.): To ask nothing. To expect nothing. To depend on nothing.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  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.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  The man who lies to the world, is the world's slave from then on.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  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.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  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.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  You can fake virtue for an audience. You cant fake it in your own eyes.  
 -  Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead, 1943
  

  Man's unique reward, however, is that while animals survive by adjusting themselves to their background, man survives by adjusting his background to himself.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  An artist reveals his naked soul in his work.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  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.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

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

  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.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  The man who lies to the world, is the world's slave from then on.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  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.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  Learn to value yourself, which means: Fight for your happiness.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  Live a life as a monument to your soul.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  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!  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  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.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  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
  

  Even if smog were a risk to human life, we must remember that life in nature, without technology, is wholesale death.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  Wealth is the product of man's capacity to think.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  The truth is not for all men but only for those who seek it.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

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

  Capitalism demands the best of every man – his rationality – and rewards him accordingly. It leaves every man free to choose the work he likes, to specialize in it, to trade his product for the products of others, and to go as far on the road of achievement as his ability and ambition will carry him.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  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.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  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. In Soviet Russia, the scapegoat was the bourgeoisie; in Nazi Germany, it was the Jewish people; in America, it is the businessmen.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  A gun is not an argument.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  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. In Soviet Russia, the scapegoat was the bourgeoisie; in Nazi Germany, it was the Jewish people; in America, it is the businessmen.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  That which you call your soul or spirit is your conciousness, and that which you call 'free will' is your mind's freedom to think or not, the only will you have, your only freedom, the choice that controls all the choices you make and determines your life and your character.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

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

  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.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  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.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  Why do they always teach us that it's easy and evil to do what we want and that we need discipline to restrain ourselves? It's the hardest thing in the world - to do what we want. And it takes the greatest kind of courage. I mean, what we really want.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  Rationalization is a process of not perceiving reality, but of attempting to make reality fit one's emotions.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  If you don't know, the thing to do is not to get scared, but to learn.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  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.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  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.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  Free competition enforced by law is a grotesque contradiction in terms.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  The skyline of New York is a monument of a splendour that no pyramids or palaces will ever equal or approach.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  I would give the greatest sunset in the world for one sight of New York's skyline. Particularly when one can't see the details. Just the shapes. The shapes and the thought that made them. The sky over New York and the will of man made visible. What other religion do we need?  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  Man's unique reward, however, is that while animals survive by adjusting themselves to their background, man survives by adjusting his background to himself.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  Man's unique reward, however, is that while animals survive by adjusting themselves to their background, man survives by adjusting his background to himself.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  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.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  Anything may be betrayed, anyone may be forgiven, but not those who lack the courage of their own greatness  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  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.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  He liked to observe emotions; they were like red lanterns strung along the dark unknown of another's personality, marking vulnerable points.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  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.  
 -  Ayn Rand
  

  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.  
 -  Ayn Rand