Title Image - Quotes by Author Ayn Rand

Welcome to our collection of quotes (with shareable picture quotes) by Ayn Rand. We hope you enjoy pondering them and that you will share them widely.

Wikipedia Summary for Ayn Rand

Alice O'Connor (born Alisa Zinovyevna Rosenbaum; February 2, [O.S. January 20] 1905 – March 6, 1982), known by her pen name Ayn Rand (), was a Russian-American writer and philosopher. She is known for her fiction and for developing a philosophical system she named Objectivism. Born and educated in Russia, she moved to the United States in 1926. She had a play that opened on Broadway in 1935. After two early novels that were initially unsuccessful, she achieved fame with her 1943 novel, The Fountainhead. In 1957, Rand published her best-known work, the novel Atlas Shrugged. Afterward, she turned to non-fiction to promote her philosophy, publishing her own periodicals and releasing several collections of essays until her death in 1982.

Rand advocated reason as the only means of acquiring knowledge and rejected faith and religion. She supported rational and ethical egoism and rejected altruism. In politics, she condemned the initiation of force as immoral and opposed collectivism, statism, as well as anarchism, instead supporting laissez-faire capitalism, which she defined as the system based on recognizing individual rights, including property rights. Although she was opposed to libertarianism, seeing the ideology as anarchism, she is often associated with the modern libertarian movement. In art, Rand promoted romantic realism. She was sharply critical of most philosophers and philosophical traditions known to her, except for Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas and classical liberals.

Literary critics received Rand's fiction with mixed reviews.

Although there was some growth of academic interest in her ideas in the early 2000s, academic philosophers have generally ignored or rejected her philosophy due to her polemical approach and lack of methodological rigor. The Objectivist movement attempts to spread her ideas, both to the public and in academic settings. She has been a significant influence among libertarians and American conservatives.

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

--Ayn Rand

The argument from intimidation is a confession of intellectual impotence.

--Ayn Rand

Altruism does not mean mere kindness or generosity, but the sacrifice of the best among men to the worst, the sacrifice of virtues to flaws, of ability to incompetence, of progress to stagnation-and the subordinating of all life and of all values to the claims of anyone's suffering.

--Ayn Rand

Capitalism and altruism are incompatible; they are philosophical opposites; they cannot co-exist in the same man or in the same society.

--Ayn Rand

The attack on selfishness is an attack on man's self-esteem; to surrender one, is to surrender the other.

--Ayn Rand

Religion is a primitive form of philosophy, the attempt to offer a comprehensive view of reality.

--Ayn Rand

For the first time since her return, she felt pain, a violent pain, but it made her feel alive, because it was worth feeling.

--Ayn Rand

If you want to feel good, be rational.

--Ayn Rand

A rational process is a moral process.

--Ayn Rand

Longer Version:

A rational process is a moral process. You may make an error at any step of it, with nothing to protect you but your own severity, or you may try to cheat, to fake the evidence and evade the effort of the quest -- but if devotion to truth is the hallmark of morality, then there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.


Existence is Identity, consciousness is identification.

--Ayn Rand

Mediocrity doesn't mean average intelligence, it means an average intelligence that resents and envies its betters.

--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

Ethics is a code of values which guide our choices and actions and determine the purpose and course of our lives.

--Ayn Rand

One method of destroying a concept is by diluting its meaning. Observe that by ascribing rights to the unborn, the nonliving, the anti-abortionists obliterate the rights of the living.

--Ayn Rand

When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion...th at in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing-you may know that your society is doomed.

--Ayn Rand

Let me give you a tip on a clue to men's characters: the man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it.

--Ayn Rand

There is no affirmation without the one who affirms. in this sense, everything to which you grant your love is yours.

--Ayn Rand

When the law no longer protects you from the corrupt, but protects the corrupt from you, you know your nation is doomed.

--Ayn Rand

Money will not purchase happiness for the man who has no concept of what he wants.

--Ayn Rand

I don't wish to be the symbol of anything. I'm only myself.

--Ayn Rand

Do it first and feel about it afterwards.

--Ayn Rand

Worry is a waste of emotional reserve.

--Ayn Rand

Capitalism is our only moral system. All other systems take advantage of man's rights and liberties.

--Ayn Rand

We are on strike against the doctrine that life is guilt.

--Ayn Rand

A code of values accepted by choice is a code of morality.

--Ayn Rand

Since time immemorial and pre-industrial, 'greed' has been the accusation hurled at the rich by the concrete-bound illiterates who were unable to conceive of the source of wealth or of the motivation of those who produce it.

--Ayn Rand

The essential characteristic of socialism is the denial of individual property rights.

--Ayn Rand

Love is an expression and assertion of self-esteem, a response to one's own values in the person of another. One gains a profoundly personal, selfish joy from the mere existence of the person one loves. It is one's own personal, selfish happiness that one seeks, earns, and derives from love.

--Ayn Rand

But what is freedom? Freedom from what? 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. That is freedom. That and nothing else.

--Ayn Rand

There is fear hanging in the air of the sleeping halls, and the air of the streets. Fear walks through the city, fear without name, without shape. All men feel it and none dare speak.

--Ayn Rand

There is nothing to take a man's freedom away from him, save other men.

--Ayn Rand

This miracle of me is mine to own and keep, and mine to guard, and mine to use, and mine to kneel before.

--Ayn Rand

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

--Ayn Rand

You'll get everything society can give a man. You'll keep all the money. You'll take any fame or honor anyone might want to grant. You'll accept such gratitude as the tenants might feel. And I -- I'll take what nobody can give a man, except himself. I will have built Cortlandt.
-- Howard Roark.

--Ayn Rand

Paper is a check drawn by legal looters upon an account which is not theirs: upon the virtue of the victims. Watch for the day when it bounces, marked: 'Account Overdrawn.'

--Ayn Rand

When men reject reason, they have no means left for dealing with one another -- except brute, physical force.

--Ayn Rand

Professional intellectuals are the voice of a culture and are, therefore, its leaders, its integrators and its bodyguards.

--Ayn Rand

The charming aspect of Christmas is the fact that it expresses good will in a cheerful, happy, benevolent, non-sacrificial way.

--Ayn Rand

Longer Version:

The charming aspect of Christmas is the fact that it expresses good will in a cheerful, happy, benevolent, non-sacrificial way. One says: "Merry Christmas"-not "Weep and Repent." And the good will is expressed in a material, earthly form-by giving presents to one's friends, or by sending them cards in token of remembrance. .


The structures were austere and simple, until one looked at them and realized what work, what complexity of method, what tension of thought had achieved the simplicity.

--Ayn Rand

That which is not worth contemplating in life, is not worth recreating in art.

--Ayn Rand

Dangers, to Francisco, were merely opportunities for another brilliant performance; there were no battles he could lose, no enemies to beat him.

--Ayn Rand

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

--Ayn Rand

The concept of free competition enforced by law is a grotesque contradiction in terms.

--Ayn Rand

He thought...that man's work should be a higher step, an improvement on nature, not a degradation. He did not want to despise men; he wanted to love and admire them.

--Ayn Rand

Every man is free to rise as far as he's able or willing, but the degree to which he thinks determines the degree to which he'll rise.

--Ayn Rand

Do not keep silent when your own ideas and values are being attacked. If a dictatorship ever comes to this country, it will be by the fault of those who keep silent. We are still free enough to speak. Do we have time? No one can tell.

--Ayn Rand

Contrary to the ecologists, nature does not stand still and does not maintain the kind of equilibrium that guarantees the survival of any particular species -- least of all the survival of her greatest and most fragile product: man.

--Ayn Rand

Man is a being with free will; therefore, each man is potentially good or evil, and it's up to him and only him (through his reasoning mind) to decide which he wants to be.

--Ayn Rand

The pursuit of truth is not important. The pursuit of that truth is important which helps you in reaching your goal that is provided you have one.

--Ayn Rand

There's only one passion in most artists more violent than their desire for admiration: their fear of identifying the nature of such admiration as they do receive.

--Ayn Rand

And now I see the face of god, and I raise this god over the earth, this god whom men have sought since men came into being, this god who will grant them joy and peace and pride. This god, this one word: 'I.

--Ayn Rand

Those who wish to deal with me, must do so on my terms or not at all. I do not make terms with incompetence.

--Ayn Rand

His view of the world was simple: there were the able and there were the incompetent; he was not concerned with the latter.

--Ayn Rand

There is no conflict of interests among men, neither in business nor in trade nor in their most personal desires--if they omit the irrational from their view of the possible and destruction from their view of the practical?

--Ayn Rand

There's no way to make the irrational work.

--Ayn Rand

Independence is the recognition of the fact that yours is the responsibility of judgment and nothing can help you escape it...
John Galt.

--Ayn Rand

Do not help your jailers to pretend that their jail is your natural state of existence.

--Ayn Rand

When you have established that one alternative is good and the other is evil, there is no justification for the choice of a mixture. There is no justification ever for choosing any part of what you know to be evil.

--Ayn Rand

The fields are black and ploughed, and they lie like a great fan before us, with their furrows gathered in some hand beyond the sky, spreading forth from that hand, opening wide apart as they come toward us, like black pleats that sparkle with thin, green spangles.

--Ayn Rand

Words are a lens to focus one's mind.

--Ayn Rand

I understood that centuries of chains and lashes will not kill the spirit of man nor the sense of truth within him.

--Ayn Rand

And suddenly that we were laughing out loud, laughing as if there were no power left in us save laughter.

--Ayn Rand

There's no way to rule innocent men. 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

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

--Ayn Rand

The quickest way to kill the human spirit is to ask someone to do mediocre work.

--Ayn Rand

Reason can be fought with reason. How are you going to fight the unreasonable? The trouble with you, my dear, and with most people, is that you don't have sufficient respect for the senseless. The senseless is the major factor in our lives. You have no chance if it is your enemy.

--Ayn Rand

What is morality, she asked.
Judgement to distinguish right and wrong, vision to see the truth, and courage to act upon it, dedication to that which is good, integrity to stand by the good at any price.

--Ayn Rand

I love you, Dominique. As selfishly as the fact that I exist. As selfishly as my lungs breathe air. I breathe for my own necessity, for the fuel of my body, for my survival. I've given you, not my sacrifice or my pity, but my ego and my naked need. This is the only way I can want you to love me.

--Ayn Rand

I want to be prepared to claim the greatest virtue of all -- that I was a man who made money.

--Ayn Rand

The men who are not interested in philosophy need it most urgently; they are most helplessly in its power.

--Ayn Rand

The purpose of the law is not to prevent a future offense, but to punish the one actually committed.

--Ayn Rand

Humanity's darkest evil, the most destructive horror machine among all the devices of men, is non-objective law.

--Ayn Rand

To discuss evil in a manner implying neutrality, is to sanction it.

--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

A good quotation must be a complete entity. It must be like a headline -- sharp, clear, whole.

--Ayn Rand

I consider promiscuity immoral. Not because sex is evil, but because sex is too good and too important.

--Ayn Rand

No principle ever filled anybody's milk bottle.

--Ayn Rand

The prisoners liked to talk about their past. Their memories were the only future they had.

--Ayn Rand

You are never called upon to prove a negative. that's a law of logic.

--Ayn Rand

To know one's own desires, their meaning and their costs requires the highest human virtue: rationality.

--Ayn Rand

When a man feels fear without reason, you call him to the attention of a psychiatrist; you are not so careful to protect the meaning, the nature and the dignity of love.

--Ayn Rand

Now you see, Dr. Stadler, you're speaking as if this book were addressing to a thinking audience. If it were, one would have to be concerned with such matters as accuracy, validity, logic and the prestige of science. But it isn't. It's addressed to the public.

--Ayn Rand

A man's rights are not violated by a private individual's refusal to deal with him.

--Ayn Rand

It's a rare gift, you know, to feel reverence for your own life and to want the best, the greatest, the highest possible, here, now, for your very own.

--Ayn Rand

Aquinas brought an Aristotelian view of reason back into European culture, and lighted the way toward the Renaissance.

--Ayn Rand


Ask anything of men. Ask them to achieve wealth, fame, love, brutality, murder, self-sacrifice. But don't ask them to achieve self-respect. They will hate your soul.

--Ayn Rand

I would step in the way of a bullet if it were aimed at my husband. It is not self-sacrifice to die protecting that which you value: If the value is great enough, you do not care to exist without it.

--Ayn Rand

There are two things we must get rid of early in life: a feeling of personal superiority and an exaggerated reverence for the sexual act.

--Ayn Rand

There has never been a philosophy, a theory or a doctrine that attacked (or limited) reason, which did not also preach submission to the power of some authority.

--Ayn Rand

There has never been a philosophy, a theory or a doctrine, that attacked (or 'limited') reason, which did not preach submission to the power of some authority.

--Ayn Rand

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