Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind, and a step that travels unlimited roads.
All the evils, abuses, and iniquities, popularly ascribed to businessmen and to capitalism, were not caused by an unregulated economy or by a free market, but by government intervention into the economy.
The fact that a man has no claim on others ... does not preclude or prohibit good will among men and does not make it immoral to offer or to accept voluntary, non-sacrificial assistance.
When I listen to a symphony I love, I don't get from it what the composer got. His 'Yes' was different from mine. He could have no concern for mine and no exact conception of it. That answer is too personal to each man. But in giving himself what he wanted, he gave me a great experience.
But I still wonder how it was possible, in those graceless years of transition, long ago, that men did not see whither they were going, and went on, in blindness and cowardice.
Whatever road I take, the guiding star is within me; the guiding star and the loadstone which point the way. They point in but one direction. They point to me.
Because I never have any definite destination. This ship is not for going to places, but for getting away from them. When I stop at a port, it's only for the sheer pleasure of leaving it. I always think: here's one more place that can't hold me.
Roark looked at him and understood. Roark inclined his head in agreement; he could acknowledge what Cameron had just declared to him only by a quiet glance as solemn as Cameron's.
Roark threw his head up once, for a flash of a second, to look at Heller across the table. It was all the introduction they needed; it was like a handshake.
Keating felt naked...People were his protection against people. Roark had no sense of people. Others gave Keating a feeling of his own value. Roark gave him nothing.
He was usually disliked, from the first sight of his face, anywhere he went. His face was closed like the door of a safety vault; things locked in safety vaults are valuable; men did not care to feel that.
Don't you know that most people take most things because that's what's given them, and they have no opinion whatever? Do you wish to be guided by what they expect you to think they think or by your own judgment?
He was accustomed to hostility; this kind of benevolence was more offensive than hostility. He shrugged; he thought that he would be out of here soon and back in the simple, clean reality of his own office.
For people who enjoyed their own presence well enough and sought only a place where they would be left free to enjoy it.
The crowd had stared at him and given up angrily, finding no satisfaction. He did not look crushed and he did not look defiant. He looked impersonal and calm. He was not like a public figure in a public place; he was like a man alone in his own room, listening to the radio.
You knew better than that. And it's such an old one to me. My antisocial stubbornness is so well-known that I didn't think anyone would waste time trying to tempt me again.
I want to sleep with you. Now, tonight, and at any time you may care to call me. I want your naked body, your skin. your mouth, your hands...--I want you like an animal...or a whore.
You're the most egotistical and the kindest man I know. And that doesn't make sense.
Maybe the concepts don't make sense. Maybe they don't mean what people have been taught to think they mean.
Roark stood before them as each man stands in the innocence of his own mind. But Roark stood like that before a hostile crowd--and they knew suddenly that no hatred was possible to him.
The audience looked at him. They felt he had no chance. They could drop the nameless resentment, the sense of insecurity which he aroused in most people. And so, for the first time, they could see him as he was: a man totally innocent of fear.
I don't make comparisons. I never think of myself in relation to anyone else. I just refuse to measure myself as part of anything. I'm an utter egotist.
The crowd would have forgiven anything, except a man who could remain normal under the vibrations of its enormous collective sneer.
I do not recognize anyone's right to one minute of my life. Nor to any part of my energy. Nor to any achievement of mine. No matter who makes the claim, how large their number or how great their need.
I hate incompetence. I think it's probably the only thing I do hate. But it didn't make me want to rule people. Nor to teach them anything. It made me want to do my own work in my own way and let myself be torn to pieces if necessary.
What in hell are you really made of, Howard? After all, it's only a building. It's not the combination of holy sacrament, Indian torture, and sexual ecstasy that you seem to make of it.
A building has integrity, just as a man and just as seldom! It must be true to its own idea, have its own form, and serve its own purpose!
The great creators-the thinkers, the artists, the scientists, the inventors-stood alone against the men of their time.
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 airplane was considered impossible... But the men of unborrowed vision went ahead. They fought, they suffered and they paid. But they won.
There is nothing wrong in helping other people, if and when they are worthy of the help and you can afford to help them.
Roark smiled, Gail, if this boat were sinking, I'd give my life to save you. Not because it's any kind of duty. Only because I like you, for reasons and standards of my own. I could die for you. But I couldn't and wouldn't live for you.
Kira, the highest thing in man is not his god. It's that in him which knows the reverence due a god. And you, Kira, are my highest reverence.
I am opposed to all forms of control. I am for an absolute, laissez-faire, free, unregulated economy.
The Romanticists predominantly, were enemies of capitalism, which they regarded as a prosaic, materialistic, petty bourgeois system -- never realizing that it was the only system that could make freedom, individuality and the pursuit of values possible in practice.
The worst evil that you can do, psychologically, is to laugh at yourself. That means spitting in your own face.
The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren.
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.
The man-worshipers, in my sense of the term, are those who see man's highest potential and strive to actualize it. The man-haters are those who regard man as a helpless, depraved, contemptible creature-and struggle never to let him discover otherwise.
You have no choice about your capacity to feel that something is good for you or evil, but what you will consider good or evil, what will give you joy or pain, what you will love or hate, desire or fear, depends on your standard of value.
Man has a single basic choice: to think or not, and that is the gauge of his virtue. Moral perfection is an unbreached rationality-not the degree of your intelligence, but the full and relentless use of your mind, not the extent of your knowledge, but the acceptance of reason as an absolute.
I owe nothing to my brothers, nor do I gather debts from them. I ask none to live for me, nor do I live for any others. I covet no man's soul, nor is my soul theirs to covet.
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.
I mean the one that claims the pig is the symbol of love for humanity -- the creature that accepts anything. As a matter of fact, the person who loves everybody and feels at home everywhere is the true hater of mankind. He expects nothing of men, so no form of depravity can outrage him.
Don't worry. They're all against me. But I have one advantage: they don't know what they want. I do.
I trust that no one will tell me that men such as I write about don't exist. That this book has been written--and published--is my proof that they do.
A man's interests depend on the kind of goals he chooses to pursue, his choice of goals depends on his desires, his desires depend on his values--and, for a rational man, his values depend on the judgment of his mind.
If you agree with some tenets of Objectivism, but disagree with others, do not call yourself an Objectivist; give proper authorship credit for the parts you agree with.
If parasitism, favoritism, corruption, and greed for the unearned did not exist, a mixed economy would bring them into existence.
Man is the only living species that has the power to act as his own destroyer -- and that is the way he has acted through most of his history.
A morality that holds need as a claim, holds emptiness-non-existence-as its standard of value; it rewards an absence, a defect: weakness, inability, incompetence, suffering, disease, disaster, the lack, the fault, the flaw-the zero.
To interpose the threat of physical destruction between a man and his perception of reality, is to negate and paralyze his means of survival to force him to act against his own judgment, is like forcing him to act against his own sight.
Independence is the only gauge of human virtue and value. What a man is and makes of himself; not what he has or hasn't done for others. There is no substitute for personal dignity.
I shall choose friends among men, but neither slaves nor masters. And I shall choose only such as please me, and them I shall love and respect, but neither command nor obey. And we shall join our hands when we wish, or walk alone when we so desire.
The Founding Fathers were neither passive, death-worshipin g mystics nor mindless, power-seeking looters; as a political group they were a phenomenon unprecedented in history: they were thinkers who were also men of action.
Science was born as a result and consequence of philosophy; it cannot survive without a philosophical base. If philosophy perishes, science will be next to go.
Courage and confidence are practical necessities ... courage is the practical form of being true to existence, of being true to truth, and confidence is the practical form of being true to one's own consciousness.
And here, over the portals of my fort, I shall cut in the stone the word which is to be my beacon and my banner. The word which will not die should we all perish in battle. The word which can never die on this earth, for it is the heart of it and the meaning and the glory. The sacred word: EGO.
What greater wealth is there than to own your life and to spend it on growing? Every living thing must grow. It can't stand still. It must grow or perish.
If people place such things as friendship and family ties above their own productive work, yes, then they are immoral. Friendship, family life and human relationships are not primary in a man's life. A man who places others first, above his own creative work, is an emotional parasite.
Productive work is the central purpose of a rational man's life, the central value that integrates and determines the hierarchy of all his other values. Reason is the source, the precondition of his productive work, pride is the result.
Productiveness is your acceptance of morality, your recognition of the fact that you choose to live.
I cannot be called upon to know a negative or to prove a negative. if there is a god and you prove it, that's fine. but you don't tell me you can't know that there isn't. i would say yes i know there isn't because i have been given no evidence.
Through all the darkness, through all the shame of which men are capable, the spirit of man will remain alive on this earth. It may sleep, but it will awaken. It may wear chains, but it will break through.
Since only an individual man can possess rights, the expression individual rights? is a redundancy (which one has to use for purposes of clarification in today's intellectual chaos). But the expression collective rights? is a contradiction in terms.
To irrational principles, one cannot be loyal. Ideas that are not derived from reality cannot be consistently practiced in reality.
If capitalism had never existed, any honest humanitarian should have been struggling to invent it. But when you see men struggling to evade its existence, to misrepresent its nature, and to destroy its last remnants -- you maybe sure that whatever their motives, love of man is not one of them.
I love you so much that nothing can matter to me -- not even you...Only my love- not your answer. Not even your indifference.
Ferris: Are you going to be as impractical as that? Rearden: The evaluation of an action as practical, Dr. Ferris, depends on what it is that one wishes to practice. Ferris: Haven't you always placed your self-interest above all else? Rearden: That is what I am doing right now.
Every form of happiness is private. Our greatest moments are personal, self-motivated, not to be touched.
Why yes, I can,' said Midas Mulligan, when he was asked whether he could name a person more evil than the man with a heart closed to pity. 'The man who uses another's pity for him as a weapon.
Laissez-faire capitalism is the only social system based on the recognition of individual rights and, therefore, the only system that bans force from social relationships.
Romantic art is the fuel and the spark plug of a Man's soul. It's task is to set a soul on fire and never let it go out.
Men have been taught that it is a virtue to stand together. But the creator is the man who stands alone.
Men have been taught that their first concern is to relieve the suffering of others. ... To make that the highest test of virtue is to make suffering the most important part of life. Then man must wish to see others suffer in order that he may be virtuous. Such is the nature of altruism.
I want to know that I've accomplished something. I want to feel that it had some meaning. At the last summing up, I want to be sure it wasn't all-for nothing.
Every form of happiness if one, every desire is driven by the same motor -- by our love for a single value, for the highest potentiality of our own existence -- and every achievement is an expression of it.
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.
Those who say theory and practice are two unrelated realms are fools in one and scoundrels in the other.
You must be the kind of man who can get things done. But to get things done, you must love the doing, not the secondary consequences.
Doctors are not servants of their patients, they are traders like everyone else in a free society and they should bear that title proudly considering the crucial importance of the services they offer.
Litigants obey the verdict of a tribunal solely on the premise that there is an objective rule of conduct, which they both accept.
If you tell an ugly woman that she is beautiful, you offer her the great homage of corrupting the concept of beauty.
Unjust laws have to be fought ideologically; they cannot be fought or corrected by means of mere disobedience and futile martyrdom.
The government was set to protect man from criminals, and the Constitution was written to protect man from the government.
Whenever anyone accuses some person of being 'unfeeling,' he means that that person is just.
Whenever anyone accuses some person of being 'unfeeling,' he means that that person is just. He means that that person has no causeless emotions and will not grant him a feeling which he does not deserve. He means that 'to feel' is to go against reason, against moral values, against reality.
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.
Virtue is not an end in itself. Virtue is not its own reward or sacrificial fodder for the reward of evil. Life is the reward of virtue-and happiness is the goal and the reward of life.
I need no warrant for being, and no word of sanction upon my being. I am the warrant and the sanction.
To love money is to know and love the fact that money is the creation of the best power within you, and your passkey to trade your effort for the effort of the best among men.
The only thing that matters my goal my reward my beginning my end is the work itself. My work done my way. A private personal selfish egotistical motivation. That's the only way I function. That's all I am.
A businessman cannot force you to buy his product; if he makes a mistake, he suffers the consequences; if he fails, he takes the loss. If bureaucrat makes a mistake, you suffer the consequences; if he fails, he passes the loss on to you.
Don't help me or serve me, but let me see it once, because I need it. Don't work for my happiness, my brothers -- show me yours -- show me that it is possible -- show me your achievement -- and the knowledge will give me courage for mine.
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.
Errors of knowledge are not breaches of morality; no proper moral code can demand infallibility or omniscience.
Every man builds his world in his own image; he has the power to choose, but no power to escape the necessity of choice. If he abdicates his power, he abdicates the status of man, and the grinding chaos of the irrational is what he achieves as his sphere of existence--by his own choice.
A rational man never distorts or corrupts his own standards and judgment in order to appeal to the irrationality, stupidity, or dishonesty of others.
The right to vote is a consequence, not a primary cause, of a free social system -- and its value depends on the constitutional structure implementing and strictly delimiting the voters' power; unlimited majority rule is an instance of the principle of tyranny.
He liked to observe emotions; they were like red lanterns strung along the dark unknown of another's personality, marking vulnerable points.
A society that robs an individual of the product of his effort ... is not strictly speaking a society, but a mob held together by institutionalized gang violence.
A society that robs an individual of the product of his effort, or enslaves him, or attempts to limit the freedom of his mind, or compels him to act against his own rational judgment ... is not, strictly speaking, a society, but a mob held together by institutionalized gang-rule.
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.
A good novel is an indivisible sum; every scene, sequence and passage of a good novel has to involve, contribute to and advance all three of its major attributes: theme, plot, characterization.
Capitalism has been called nationalistic -- yet it is the only system that banished ethnicity, and made it possible, in the United States, for men of various, formerly antagonistic nationalities to live together in peace.
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.
There can be no compromise on basic principles. There can be no compromise on moral issues. There can be no compromise on matters of knowledge, of truth, of rational conviction.
I am an intransigent atheist, though not a militant one. This means that I am not fighting against religion -- I am fighting for reason.
It is fairly easy to grasp abstract moral principles; it can be very difficult to apply them to a given situation, particularly when it involves the moral character of another person.
Remember that rights are moral principles which define and protect a man's freedom of action, but impose no obligations on other men.
Altruism declares that any action taken for the benefit of others is good, and any action taken for one's own benefit is evil. Thus the beneficiary of an action is the only criterion of moral value -- and so long as that beneficiary is anybody other than oneself, anything goes.
It is easier to donate a few thousand to charity and think oneself noble than to base self-respect on personal standards of personal achievement.
It's the person who would sell his soul for a nickel, who is loudest in proclaiming his hatred of money.
It's the person who would sell his soul for a nickel, who is loudest in proclaiming his hatred of money.... Let me give you a tip on men's characters: the man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it. Run for your life from any man who tells you that money is evil. That sentence is the...bell of an approaching looter.
Ideas cannot be fought except by means of better ideas. The battle consists, not of opposing, but of exposing; not of denouncing, but of disproving; not of evading, but of boldly proclaiming a full, consistent, and radical alternative.
The right to life means that a man has the right to support his life by his own work (on any economic level, as high as his ability will carry him); it does not mean that others must provide him with the necessities of life.
Man's life is the standard of morality, but your own life is its purpose . If existence on earth is your goal, you must choose your actions and values by the standard of that which is proper to man--for the purpose of preserving, fulfilling and enjoying the irreplaceable value which is your life.
To the extent to which a man is rational, life is the premise directing his actions. To the extent to which he is irrational, the premise directing his actions is death.
To exist is to be something, as distinguished from the nothing of non-existence, it is to be an entity of a specific nature made of specific attributes.
There is a morality of reason, a morality proper to man, and Man's Life is its standard of value.
All that which is proper to the life of a rational being is the good; all that which destroys it is the evil.
Since life requires a specific course of action, any other course will destroy it. A being who does not hold his own life as the motive and goal of his actions, is acting on the motive and standard of death.
By the grace of reality and the nature of life, man--every man--is an end in himself, he exists for his own sake, and the achievement of his own happiness is his highest moral purpose.
This, in every hour and every issue, is your basic moral choice: thinking or non-thinking, existence or non-existence, A or non-A, entity or zero.
Logic rests on the axiom that existence exists. Logic is the art of non-contradictory identification.
Reality is that which exists; the unreal does not exist; the unreal is merely that negation of existence which is the content of a human consciousness when it attempts to abandon reason. Truth is the recognition of reality; reason, man's only means of knowledge, is his only standard of truth.
The moral is the chosen, not the forced; the understood, not the obeyed. The moral is the rational, and reason accepts no commandments.
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.
When the common good of a society is regarded as something apart from and superior to the individual good of its members, it means that the good of some men takes precedence over the good of others, with those others consigned to the status of sacrificial animals.
Capitalism is based on individual rights -- not on the sacrifice of the individual to the 'public good' of the collective.
Political freedom cannot exist without economic freedom; a free mind and a free market are corollaries.
The only proper purpose of a government is to protect man's rights, which means: to protect him from physical violence.
The only proper purpose of a government is to protect man's rights, which means: to protect him from physical violence. A proper government is only a policeman, acting as an agent of man's self-defense, and, as such, may only resort to force only against those who start the use of force.
Capitalism is a social system based on the recognition of individual rights, including property rights, in which all property is privately owned.
Do not make the mistake of the ignorant who think that an individualist is a man who says: I'll do as I please at everybody else's expense. An individualist is a man who recognizes the inalienable individual rights of man--his own and those of others.
If you ask me to name the proudest distinction of Americans, I would choose ... the fact that they were the people who created the phrase to make money. No other language or nation had ever used these words before... Americans were the first to understand that wealth has to be created.
Namely, if I am challenging the base of all these institutions, I'm challenging the moral code of altruism. The precept that man's moral duty is to live for others. That man must sacrifice himself to others. Which is the present day morality.
The moral absolute should be: if and when, in any dispute, one side initiates the use of physical force, that side is wrong -- and no consideration or discussion of the issues is necessary or appropriate.