Ayn Rand Quotes (341 Quotes)


    Know what you want in life and go after it. I worship individuals for their highest possibilities as individuals, and I loathe humanity, for its failure to live up to these possibilities.

    A man's sexual choice is the result and the sum of his fundamental convictions.... He will always be attracted to the woman who reflects his deepest vision of himself, the woman whose surrender permits him to experience a sense of self-esteem. The man who is proudly certain of his own value, will want the highest type of woman he can find, the woman he admires, the strongest, the hardest to conquer--because only the possession of a heroine will give him the sense of an achievement.

    He walked, groping for a sentence that hung in his mind as an empty shape. He could neither fill it or dismiss 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.

    She was incapable of love for any object not of her own choice and she resented anyone's demand for it.




    He demonstrated that there was no such thing as free will, since men's creative impulses were determined, as all else, by the economic structure of the epoch in which they lived.



    When we gaze at the magnificence of an ancient monument and ascribe its achievement to one man, we are guilty of spiritual embezzlement. We forget the army of craftsmen, unknown and unsung, who preceded him in the darkness of the ages, who toiled humbly - all heroism is humble - each contributing his small share to the common treasure of his time. A great building is not the private invention of some genius or other. It is merely a condensation of the spirit of a people.

    My dearest one, it is not proper for men to be without names. There was a time when each man had a name of his own to distinguish him from all other men. So let us choose our names. I have read of a man who lived many thousands of years ago, and of all the names in these books, his is the one I wish to bear. He took the light of the gods and brought it to men, and he taught men to be gods. And he suffered for his deed as all bearers of light must suffer. His name is Prometheus.


    I do not seek the good of others as a sanction for my right to exist, nor do I recognize the good of others as a justification for their seizure of my property or their destruction of my life.

    Live and act within the limit of your knowledge and keep expanding it to the limit of your life.

    She watched the prairies the rivers, the towns slipping past at an untouchable distance below - and she noted that the sense of detachment one feels when looking at the earth from a plane was the same sense she felt when looking at people: only her distance from people seemed longer. - Dagny Taggart

    We are on strike against martyrdom-and against the moral code that demands it. We are on strike against those who believe that one man must exist for the sake of another. We are on strike against the morality of cannibals, be it practiced in body or in spirit. We will not deal with men on any terms but ours-and our terms are a moral code which holds that man is an end in himself and not the means to any end of others.

    All I mean is that a board of directors is one or two ambitious men--and a lot of ballast. I mean that groups of men are vacuums. Great big empty nothings. They say we can't visualize a total nothing. Hell, sit at any committee meeting. The point is only who chooses to fill that nothing. It's a tough battle. The toughest. It's simple enough to fight any enemy, so long as he's there to be fought. But when he isn't. . .

    He thought that they were walking there like Mickey and Minnie Mouse and that they probably appeared ridiculous to the passers-by.

    Is it advisable to spread out all the conveniences of culture before people to whom a few steps up a stair to a library is a sufficient deterrent from reading?

    She knew that she could not reached this white serenity except as the sum of all the colors, of all the violence she had known.

    Why have you been staring at me ever since we met? Because I'm not the Gail Wynand you'd heard about. You see, I love you. And love is exception-making. If you were in love you'd want to be broken, trampled, ordered, dominated, because that's the impossible, in the inconceivable for you in your relations with people. That would be the one gift, the great exception you'd want to offer the man you loved. But it wouldn't be easy for you.

    Our dearest one. Fear nothing of the forest. There is no danger in solitude. We have no need of our brothers. Let us forget their good and our evil, let us forget all things save that we are together and that there is joy as a bond between us. Give us your hand. Look ahead. It is our own world, Golden One, a strange, unknown world, but our own.

    And no power on earth could tell whether their blankly indifferent eyes were shutters protecting hidden treasures at the bottom of shafts no longer to be mined, or were merely gaping holes of the parasite's emptiness never to be filled.

    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.

    Man has the power to act as his own destroyer and that is he has acted through most of history.

    She watched the tunnels as they flowed past: bare walls of concrete, a net of pipes and wires, a web of rails that went off into black holes where green and red lights hung as distant drops of color. There was nothing else to dilute it, so that one could admire naked purpose and the ingenuity that had achieved it.

    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.

    And what, incidentally, do you think integrity is? The ability not to pick a watch out of your neighbor's pocket? No, it's not as easy as that. If that were all, I'd say ninety-five percent of humanity were honest, upright men. Only, as you can see, they aren't. Integrity is the ability to stand by an idea.

    He wanted her. He knew where to find her. He waited. It amused him to wait, because he knew that the waiting was unbearable to her. He knew that his absence bound her to him in a manner more complete and humiliating than his presence could enforce. He was giving her time to attempt an escape, in order to let her know her own helplessness when he chose to see her again.

    It was a day in March, and the sky was a faint green with the first hint of spring. In Central Park, five hundred feet below, the earth caught the tone of the sky in a shade of brown that promised to become green, and the lakes lay like splinters of glass under the cobwebs of bare branches.

    She stood at the window, her arms spread wide, holding on to each side of the frame, it was as if she held a piece of the city.


    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.



    Married people dont look like they have bedrooms on their minds when they look at each other. In this world, either you're virtuous or you enjoy yourself. Not both...Not both.

    That was the real sentence imposed upon him, he thought - to discover what idea, what simple idea available to the simplest man, had made mankind accept the doctrines that led it to self-destruction.



    He wanted nothing, for the time being, except to understand .... Without advice, assistance or plan, he began reading an incongruous assortment of books; he would find some passage which he could not understand in one book, and he would get another on that subject .... There was no order in his reading; but there was order in what remained of it in his mind.


    She thought: at this moment, the glass stem between his fingers feels just like the one between mine. We have this much in common.


    The fortune my spirit is not to be blown into coins of brass and flung to the winds as alms for the poor of the spirit. I guard my treasures: my thought, my will, my freedom. And the greatest of these is freedom.


    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.

    Money is the product of virtue, but it will not give you virtue and it will not redeem your vices

    The course led them to the moment when, in answer to the highest of one's values, one's spirit makes one's body become the tribute, recasting it--as proof, as sanction, as reward--into a single sensation of such intensity of joy that no other sanction of one's existence is necessary.

    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.


    More Ayn Rand Quotations (Based on Topics)


    Man - Mind - Life - Money & Wealth - Morality - World - Reality - Love - Good & Evil - Value - Honesty & Integrity - Success - Vice & Virtue - Thought & Thinking - Sense & Perception - Purposes - Efforts - Reasoning - Happiness - View All Ayn Rand Quotations

    More Ayn Rand Quotations (By Book Titles)


    - Anthem
    - Atlas Shrugged
    - The Fountainhead

    Related Authors


    O. Henry - Niccolo Machiavelli - Thomas Paine - Oliver Wendell Holmes - Ivo Andric - Henry Drummond - George Axelrod - Catherine Crowe - Antiphanes - Agatha Christie


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