Ayn Rand Quotes

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

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

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

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.

Achieving life is not the equivalent of avoiding death.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

Evil requires the sanction of the victim.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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).

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

Money is the barometer of a society’s virtue.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The worst guilt is to accept an unearned guilt.

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

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

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

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

To say “I love you” one must first be able to say the “I.”

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

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.

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

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

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.