Top 50+ Ayn Rand Quotes


Ayn Rand was born in 1905 and her full name is Alisa Zinovyevna Rosenbaum. The Russian-American was a writer and philosopher, best known for her novels The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. Rand studied in Russia and then moved to the US at the age of 21 and went on to not only publish multiple novels but produced a play for Broadway in 1935. Her novels were released in 1943 and 1957, after which she focused her efforts on philosophy and the system known as Objectivism. It was during the later period of her life that she published multiple papers and essays on the subject, right up to her death in 1982.

It was Rands belief that faith and religion didn’t play a part in knowledge and people should focus on reason as the way to acquire it. Rand was critical of many traditional philosophical mindsets, with the exception of Aristotle and a few others. She was a proponent of a style of capitalism which she described as focusing on individual rights. Her focus on reason extended to supporting rational and ethical egoism.

Her work wasn’t particularly well received and her philosophical views were rejected by most, but they have begun to appeal to people as time goes on.

1. The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me

2. 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

3. 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

4. So you think that money is the root of all evil. Have you ever asked what is the root of all money?

5. 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)

6. Wealth is the product of man’s capacity to think

7. The worst guilt is to accept an unearned guilt

8. Achieving life is not the equivalent of avoiding death

9. 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

10. Every man builds his world in his own image. He has the power to choose, but no power to escape the necessity of choice

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

12. 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

13. 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

14. 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

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

16. 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

17. 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

18. 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

19. 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

20. To say ‘I love you’ one must first be able to say the ‘I.’

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

22. Contradictions do not exist. Whenever you think you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong

23. Money is the barometer of a society’s virtue

24. The man who lets a leader prescribe his course is a wreck being towed to the scrap heap

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

26. God… a being whose only definition is that he is beyond man’s power to conceive

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

28. Evil requires the sanction of the victim

29. Upper classes are a nation’s past; the middle class is its future

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

31. Every aspect of Western culture needs a new code of ethics – a rational ethics – as a precondition of rebirth

32. A building has integrity just like a man. And just as seldom

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

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

35. 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

36. I don’t build in order to have clients. I have clients in order to build

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

38. The truth is not for all men, but only for those who seek it

39. When I die, I hope to go to Heaven, whatever the Hell that is

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

41. Man’s unique reward, however, is that while animals survive by adjusting themselves to their background, man survives by adjusting his background to himself

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

43. To achieve, you need thought. You have to know what you are doing and that’s real power

44. 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

45. 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

46. The hardest thing to explain is the glaringly evident which everybody had decided not to see

47. 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

48. If any civilization is to survive, it is the morality of altruism that men have to reject

49. The ladder of success is best climbed by stepping on the rungs of opportunity

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

51. Do not ever say that the desire to ‘do good’ by force is a good motive. Neither power-lust nor stupidity are good motives

52.Money demands that you sell, not your weakness to men’s stupidity, but your talent to their reason

53. 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

54.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

55. 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

56. 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

57. I do not think that tragedy is our natural fate and I do not live in chronic dread of disaster. It is no happiness, but suffering that I consider unnatural. It is not success, but calamity that I regard as the abnormal exception in Human Life

58. A man’s ego is the fountainhead of human progress

59. Every honest man lives for himself. Every man worth calling a man lives for himself. The one who doesn’t – doesn’t live at all

60. They talked about nothing in particular, sentences that had meaning only in the sound of the voices, in warm gaiety, in the ease of complete relaxation.


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