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Ayn Rand (1904 - 1982)

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

Every coercive monopoly was created by government intervention into the economy: by special privileges, such as franchises or subsidies, which closed the entry of competitors into a given field, by legislative action.

A crime is the violation of the right(s) of other men by force (or fraud). It is only the initiation of physical force against others - i.e., the recourse to violence - that can be classified as a crime in a free society (as distinguished from a civil wrong). Ideas, in a free society, are not a crime - and neither can they serve as the justification of a crime.


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.

Rationality is the recognition of the fact that nothing can alter the truth and nothing can take precedence over that act of perceiving it.

The spread of evil is the symptom of a vacuum. Whenever evil wins, it is only by default: by the moral failure of those who evade the fact that there can be no compromise on basic principles.

Economic power is exercised by means of a positive, by offering men a reward, an incentive, a payment, a value; political power is exercised by means of a negative, by the threat of punishment, injury, imprisonment, destruction. The businessman's tool is values; the bureaucrat's tool is fear.

A gun is not an argument.

America's abundance was created not by public sacrifices to the common good, but by the productive genius of free men who pursued their own personal interests and the making of their own private fortunes. They did not starve the people to pay for America's industrialization. They gave the people better jobs, higher wages, and cheaper goods with every new machine they invented, with every scientific discovery or technological advance- and thus the whole country was moving forward and profiting, not suffering, every step of the way.

Every movement that seeks to enslave a country, every dictatorship or potential dictatorship, needs some minority group as a scapegoat which it can blame for the nation's troubles and use as a justification of its own demands for dictatorial powers. In Soviet Russia, the scapegoat was the bourgeoisie; in Nazi Germany, it was the Jewish people; in America, it is the businessmen.

Every government interference in the economy consists of giving an unearned benefit, extorted by force, to some men at the expense of others.

It is futile to fight against, if one does not know what one is fighting for.

Anyone who fights for the Future lives in it today.

Everyone has the right to make his own decision/s, but none has the right to force his decision on others.

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

Capitalism demands the best of every man – his rationality – and rewards him accordingly. It leaves every man free to choose the work he likes, to specialize in it, to trade his product for the products of others, and to go as far on the road of achievement as his ability and ambition will carry him.

It is not a question of whether man chooses to be guided by [philosophy]: he is not equipped to live without it.

The most depraved type of human being ... (is) the man without a purpose.

There's nothing of any importance except how well you do your work.

The [U.S.] Constitution is a limitation on the government, not on private individuals ... it does not prescribe the conduct of private individuals, only the conduct of the government ... it is not a charter for government power, but a charter of the citizen's protection against the government.

Reason, the faculty that identifies and integrates the material provided by the senses, is man's basic tool of survival.

A rational man is guided by his thinking – by a process of Reason – not by his feelings and desires.

Reason is a faculty that man has to exercise by choice.

We can evade reality, but we cannot evade the consequences of evading reality.

Money is the barometer of a society's virtue.

That which is outside the possibility of choice is also outside the province of morality.

To deal with men by force is as impractical as to deal with nature by persuasion.

My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.

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.

The moral justification of capitalism does not lie in the altruist claim that it represents the best way to achieve 'the common good.' It is true that capitalism does – if that catch-phrase has any meaning – but this is merely a secondary consequence. The moral justification for capitalism lies in the fact that it is the only system consonant with man's rational nature, that it protects man's survival qua man, and that its ruling principle is: justice.

I am an innovator. This is a term of distinction, a term of honor, rather than something to hide or apologize for. Anyone who has new or valuable ideas to offer stands outside the intellectual status quo. But the status quo is not a stream, let alone a 'mainstream'. It is a stagnant swamp. It is the innovators who carry mankind forward.

What is greatness? I will answer: it is the capacity to live by the three fundamental values of John Galt: reason, purpose, self-esteem.

Definitions are the guardians of rationality, the first line of defense against the chaos of mental disintegration.

Men have been taught that it is a virtue to agree with others. But the creator is the man who disagrees. Men have been taught that it is a virtue to swim with the current. But the creator is the man who goes against the current. Men have been taught that it is a virtue to stand together. But the creator is the man who stands alone.

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

The action required to sustain human life is primarily intellectual: Everything man needs has to be discovered by his mind and produced by his effort.

I am not primarily an advocate of capitalism, but of egoism; I am not primarily an advocate of egoism, but of reason. If one recognizes the supremacy of reason and applies it consistently, all the rest follows.

What objectivity and the study of philosophy requires is not an 'open mind,' but an active mind - a mind able and eagerly willing to examine ideas, but to examine them criticially.

When I say 'capitalism,' I mean a pure, uncontrolled, unregulated laissez-faire capitalism – with a separation of economics, in the same way and for the same reasons as a separation of state and church.

Capitalism is the only system that can make freedom, individuality, and the pursuit of values possible in practice.

In order to live, man must act; in order to act, he must make choices; in order to make choices, he must define a code of values; in order to define a code of values, he must know what he is and where he is – i.e. he must know his own nature (including his means of knowledge) and the nature of the universe in which he acts – i.e. he needs metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, which means: philosophy. He cannot escape from this need; his only alternative is whether the philosophy guiding him is to be chosen by his mind or by chance.

If a dedication page were to precede the total of my work, it would read: To the glory of Man.

Show me your achievement, and the knowledge will give me courage for mine.

The objectivist ethics holds man's life as the standard of value
– and his own life as the ethical purpose of every individual man.

Men have been taught that the ego is the synonym of evil, and selflessness the ideal of virtue. But the creator is the egoist in the absolute sense, and the selfless man is the one who does not think, feel, judge or act. These are function of the self.

To love is to value. Only a rationally selfish man, a man of self-esteem, is capable of love - because he is the only man capable of holding firm, consistent, uncompromising, unbetrayed values. The man who does not value himself, cannot value anything or anyone.

Pride is the recognition of the fact that you are your own highest value and, like all of man’s values, it has to be earned.

We can evade reality, but we cannot evade the consequences of evading reality.