Ayn Rand Quotes

Quotes tagged as "ayn-rand" Showing 1-30 of 63
John Rogers
“There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs."

[Kung Fu Monkey -- Ephemera, blog post, March 19, 2009]”
John Rogers

Christopher Hitchens
“I have always found it quaint and rather touching that there is a movement [Libertarians] in the US that thinks Americans are not yet selfish enough.”
Christopher Hitchens

Gore Vidal
“Ayn Rand's 'philosophy' is nearly perfect in its immorality, which makes the size of her audience all the more ominous and symptomatic as we enter a curious new phase in our society.... To justify and extol human greed and egotism is to my mind not only immoral, but evil.”
Gore Vidal

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

Ayn Rand
“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.”
Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

Ayn Rand
“I like to think of fire held in a man's hand. Fire, a dangerous force, tamed at his fingertips. I often wonder about the hours when a man sits alone, watching the smoke of a cigarette, thinking. I wonder what great things have come from such hours. When a man thinks, there is a spot of fire alive in his mind--and it is proper that he should have the burning point of a cigarette as his one expression.”
Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand
“A man's ego is the fountainhead of human progress.”
Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand
“When I die, I hope to go to Heaven, whatever the Hell that is.”
Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand
“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.”
Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead

Matt Taibbi
“To sum it all up, the [Ayn] Rand belief system looks like this:
1. Facts are facts: things can be absolutely right or absolutely wrong, as determined by reason.
2. According to my reasoning, I am absolutely right.
3. Charity is immoral.
4. Pay for your own fucking schools.”
Matt Taibbi, Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America

Ayn Rand
“If you know that this life is all that you have, wouldn't you make the most of it?”
Ayn Rand

Corey Robin
“Saint Petersburg in revolt gave us Vladimir Nabokov, Isaiah Berlin, and Ayn Rand. The first was a novelist, the second a philosopher. The third was neither but thought she was both.”
Corey Robin, The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin

Ayn Rand
“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.”
Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

Christopher Hitchens
“At least two important conservative thinkers, Ayn Rand and Leo Strauss, were unbelievers or nonbelievers and in any case contemptuous of Christianity. I have my own differences with both of these savants, but is the Republican Party really prepared to disown such modern intellectuals as it can claim, in favor of a shallow, demagogic and above all sectarian religiosity?

Perhaps one could phrase the same question in two further ways. At the last election, the GOP succeeded in increasing its vote among American Jews by an estimated five percentage points. Does it propose to welcome these new adherents or sympathizers by yelling in the tones of that great Democrat bigmouth William Jennings Bryan? By insisting that evolution is 'only a theory'? By demanding biblical literalism and by proclaiming that the Messiah has already shown himself? If so, it will deserve the punishment for hubris that is already coming its way. (The punishment, in other words, that Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson believed had struck America on Sept. 11, 2001. How can it be that such grotesque characters, calling down divine revenge on the workers in the World Trade Center, are allowed a respectful hearing, or a hearing at all, among patriotic Republicans?).

[. . . And Why I'm Most Certainly Not! -- The Wall Street Journal, Commentary Column. May 5, 2005]”
Christopher Hitchens

“If everybody spent enough time worrying about their own goddamn selves, no one would have to worry about anyone else.”
Don De Grazia, American Skin

Ayn Rand
“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, to their fate. I wonder, for it is hard for me to conceive how men who knew the word "I," could give it up and not know what they lost. But such has been the story, for I have lived in the City of the damned, and I know what horror men permitted to be brought upon them.”
Ayn Rand, Anthem

Abby McDonald
“(LuAnn) Whatever. That'll teach me not to build my life around a man whose favorite book is Atlas Shrugged. Listen, kid." She waggles her finger, as if scolding me. "Nothing good comes from Ayn RAnd. Trust me on this.”
Abby McDonald, Getting Over Garrett Delaney

Ayn Rand
“Every honest man lives for himself. Every man worth calling a man lives for himself. The one who doesn't - doesn't live at all.”
Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand
“They talked about nothing in particular, sentences that had meaning only in the sound of the voices, in warm gaiety, in the ease of complete relaxation.”
Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand
“Let us destroy, but don't let us pretend that we are committing an act of virtue.”
Ayn Rand

Nancy Mairs
“Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead, doubtless two of the most exquisitely adolescent of fictions.”
Nancy Mairs, Voice Lessons: On Becoming a (Woman) Writer

Ayn Rand
“This is said to civilized men who are to venture into countries where sacred cows are fed, while children are left to starve - where female infants are killed or abandoned by the roadside- where men go blind, medical help being forbidden by their religion - where women are mutilated, to insure their fidelity - where unspeakable tortures are ceremonially inflicted on prisoners - where cannibalism is practiced.
Are these the ‘cultural riches’ which a Western man is to greet with ‘brotherly love’? Are these the ‘valuable elements’ which he is to admire and adopt? Are these the ‘fields’ in which he is not to regard himself as superior? And when he discovers entire populations rotting alive in such conditions, is he not to acknowledge, with a burning stab of pride - of pride and gratitude - the achievements of his nation and his culture, of the men who created them and left him a nobler heritage to carry forward?”
Ayn Rand, Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal

Ayn Rand
“Observe the nature of today’s alleged peace movements. Professing love and concern for the survival of mankind, they keep screaming that the nuclear-weapons race should be stopped, that armed force should be abolished as a means of settling disputes among nations, and that war should be outlawed in the name of humanity. Yet these same peace movements do not oppose dictatorships; the political views of their members range through all shades of the statist spectrum, from welfare statism to socialism to fascism tocommunism. This means that they are opposed to the use of coercion by one nation against another, but not by the government of a nation against its own citizens; it means that they are opposed to the use of force against armed adversaries, but not against the disarmed. Consider the plunder, the destruction, the starvation, the brutality, the slave-labor camps, the torture chambers, the wholesale slaughter perpetrated by dictatorships. Yet this is what today’s alleged peace-lovers are willing to advocate or tolerate—in the name of love for humanity.”
Ayn Rand, Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal

Ayn Rand
“I've wanted to want it. I should think it would be exciting to become a dissolute woman.”
Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand
“The style of a soul

“What’s the matter with both of you, Ellsworth? Why such talk—over nothing at all? People’s faces and first impressions don’t mean a thing.”

“That, my dear Kiki,” he answered, his voice soft and distant, as if he were giving an answer, not to her, but to a thought of his own, “is one of our greatest common fallacies. There’s nothing as significant as a human face. Nor as eloquent. We can never really know another person, except by our first glance at him. Because, in that glance, we know everything. Even though we’re not always wise enough to unravel the knowledge. Have you ever thought about the style of a soul, Kiki?”

“The … what?”

“The style of a soul. Do you remember the famous philosopher who spoke of the style of a civilization? He called it ‘style.’ He said it was the nearest word he could find for it. He said that every civilization has its one basic principle, one single, supreme, determining conception, and every endeavor of men within that civilization is true, unconsciously and irrevocably, to that one principle. … I think, Kiki, that every human soul has a style of its own, also. Its one basic theme. You’ll see it reflected in every thought, every act, every wish of that person. The one absolute, the one imperative in that living creature. Years of studying a man won’t show it to you. His face will. You’d have to write volumes to describe a person. Think of his face. You need nothing else.”

“That sounds fantastic, Ellsworth. And unfair, if true. It would leave people naked before you.”

“It’s worse than that. It also leaves you naked before them. You betray yourself by the manner in which you react to a certain face. To a certain kind of face. … The style of your soul … There’s nothing important on earth, except human beings. There’s nothing as important about human beings as their relations to one another. …”

—Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead”
Ayn Rand

“I grew up reading 'The Fountainhead' and I can never ever get enough of this book. Most of the sentences are tattooed to my Soul.”
Avijeet Das

Shannon Celebi
“My Stephen King for his Ayn Rand. My Terry Goodkind for his T.S. Elliot. Not a bang but a whimper.”
Shannon Celebi, After Spring Comes

Ayn Rand
“Is it an inferiority complex or a superiority one, Henry? Do you believe that nobody can want to see you just for your own sake, or do you believe that nobody can get along without your help?”
Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

“It is surely gratuitous to point out that the author suffered from an edifice complex (writing of Ayn Rand)”
Claudia Roth Pierpont, Passionate Minds: Women Rewriting the World

Ayn Rand
“I know what I want up to the age of two hundred. 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.”
Ayn Rand

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