Ayn Rand was a Russian-American writer and philosopher. She is known for her two best-selling novels, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, and for developing a philosophical system she named Objectivism. Profoundly inspirational Ayn Rand quotes will challenge the way you think, and help guide you through any life experience.
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Famous Ayn Rand Quotes
Individual rights are the means of subordinating society to moral law.
Any alleged right of one man, which necessitates the violation of the rights of another isn’t and can’t be a right. Ayn Rand
The recognition of individual rights entails the banishment of physical force from human relationships.
You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality. Ayn Rand
The moral justification of capitalism is man’s right to exist for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself.
An individualist is a man who says: I will not run anyone’s life nor let anyone run mine. I will not rule nor be ruled. I will not be a master nor a slave. I will not sacrifice myself to anyone nor sacrifice anyone to myself. Ayn Rand
Man every man is an end in himself.
An inventor is a man who asks Why? of the universe and lets nothing stand between the answer and his mind. Ayn Rand
No man or group may initiate the use of physical force against others.
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. Ayn Rand
The only proper purpose of a government is to protect man’s rights.
The man who does not value himself, cannot value anything or anyone. Ayn Rand
A proper government is only a policeman, acting as an agent of man’s self defense, and, as such, may resort to force only against those who start the use of force, a government that initiates the employment of force against men who had forced no one reverses its only moral purpose.
I guard my treasures: my thought, my will, my freedom. And the greatest of these is freedom. Ayn Rand
When the framers of the American republic spoke of the people they meant a sum of individuals, each of whom retains his inviolate guarantee of individual rights.
If you don’t know, the thing to do is not to get scared, but to learn. Ayn Rand
Under a proper social system a private individual may do anything except that which is legally forbidden; a government official may do nothing except that which is legally permitted This is the American concept of ‘a government of laws and not of men.
The businessman’s tool is value. Ayn Rand
A ‘right means freedom from physical compulsion, coercion or interference by other men.
Love is the expression of one’s values. Ayn Rand
Rights impose no obligations on neighbors except of a negative kind: to abstain from violating his rights.
Worry is a waste of emotional reserve. Ayn Rand
The right to property does not mean that others must provide him with property.
Live and act within the limit of your knowledge and keep expanding it to the limit of your life. Ayn Rand
The right to property is not a guarantee that a man will earn any property, but only a guarantee that he will own it if he earns it.
Pain is not be accepted as part of one’s soul and as a permanent scar across one’s view of existence. Ayn Rand
The right to life is the source of all rights and the right to property is their only implementation. Without property rights, no other rights are possible.
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. Ayn Rand
The collective cannot decide what is to be the purpose of a man’s existence nor prescribe his choice of happiness.
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
Man holds rights, not from the Collective nor for the Collective, but against the Collective man’s protection against all other men.
My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being. Ayn Rand
Any alleged ‘right’ of one man, which necessitates the violation of the rights of another, is not and cannot be a right.
Integrity is the ability to stand by an idea. Ayn Rand
If some men are entitled by right to the products of the work of others, it means that those others are deprived of rights.
Man survives by adjusting his background to himself. Ayn Rand
America’s abundance was created not by public sacrifices to ‘the common good,’ but by the productive genius of free men.
Wealth is the product of man’s capacity to think. Ayn Rand
Since only an individual man can possess rights individual rights’ is a redundancy. But collective rights is a contradiction in terms.
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. Ayn Rand
Since the only proper function of a government is to protect man’s rights, it cannot claim title to his life in exchange for that protection.
To say ‘I love you’ one must first be able to say the ‘I.
An individualist says: I will not run anyone’s life nor let anyone run mine. I will not rule nor be ruled. I will not be a master nor a slave.
So you think that money is the root of all evil. Have you ever asked what is the root of all money? Ayn Rand
No one’s rights can be secured by the violation of the rights of others.
The ladder of success is best climbed by stepping on the rungs of opportunity. Ayn Rand
The doctrine that human rights are superior to property rights simply means that some human beings have the right to make property out of others.
If any civilization is to survive, it is the morality of altruism that men have to reject. Ayn Rand
Freedom comes down to a single question: do you consider it moral to treat men as sacrificial animals and to rule them by physical force?
Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one’s values. Ayn Rand
Freedom, in a political context, means freedom from government coercion. It does not mean freedom from the landlord, or freedom from the employer, or freedom from the laws of nature which do not provide men with automatic prosperity.
My happiness is not the means to any end. It is the end. It is its own goal. It is its own purpose. Ayn Rand, Anthem
In a capitalist society, all human relationships are voluntary. Men are free to cooperate or not, to deal with one another or not, as their own individual judgments, convictions, and interests dictate.
There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil. Ayn Rand
There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power government has is the power to crack down on criminals.
Contradictions do not exist. Whenever you think you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong. Ayn Rand
A society that robs an individual of the product of his effort is but a mob held together by institutionalized gang rule.
Love is our response to our highest values and can be nothing else.
It is the institution of private property that protects and implements the right to disagree.
Love is blind, they say; sex is impervious to reason and mocks the power of all philosophers. But, in fact, a mans’ sexual choice is the result and sum of their fundamental convictions. Tell me what a person finds sexually attractive and I will tell you their entire philosophy of life. Ayn Rand
The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities.
To say ‘I love you’ one must know first how to say the ‘I’. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
Individual rights are not subject to a public vote the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities.
Love is the expression of one’s values. Ayn Rand
What is the basic, the essential, the crucial principle that differentiates freedom from slavery? It is the principle of voluntary action versus physical coercion or compulsion.
Love should be treated like a business deal, but every business deal has its own terms and its own currency. And in love, the currency is virtue. You love people not for what you do for them or what they do for you. You love them for the values, the virtues, which they have achieved in their own character. Ayn Rand
Whoever claims the right to redistribute the wealth produced by others is claiming the right to treat human beings as chattel.
If you tell a beautiful woman that she is beautiful, what have you given her? It’s no more than a fact and it has cost you nothing. But if you tell an ugly woman that she is beautiful, you offer her the great homage of corrupting the concept of beauty. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
We are fast approaching the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission.
Man is an end in himself. Romantic love the profound, exalted, lifelong passion that unites his mind and body in the sexual act is the living testimony to that principle.