Quotes by Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand

A Creative Man is Motivated by the Desire to Achieve, not by the Desire to Beat Others.
~ Ayn Rand~

Ayn Rand was a ballsy woman who, while strongly opinionated, rarely managed to not win over every person she met.
Even today, nearly 30 years after her death Ayn Rand quotes and her diverse collection of works are used on a daily basis in everything from education to politics.

“If you don't know, the thing to do is not to get scared, but to learn.”
Ayn Rand

The Beginning....

Ayn Rand was born in 1905 in Russia, her parents were not poverty-stricken but, her father in particular, was hugely influenced by the conflict that was occurring in the country at the time.

An avid reader, Rand claimed to have taught herself to read at age six and she began writing screen plays and poems at the tender age of eight. Despite her roots, Rand admitted she had an early hatred for Russian culture and instead would consider herself, and her work, European. Ayn Rand quotes author Victor Hugo as being her biggest inspiration in her early years.

While Rand was in high school she was witness to the Kerensky Revolution, which she strongly supported and the Bolshevik Revolution, which she outright rejected. Her parents took Rand and her two younger siblings to the Crimea when she was 13. However, her father, who by now was a successful pharmacist, had his chemist confiscated at the end of the last communist conflict. This marked a long period of poverty for Rand and her family and early quotes by Ayn Rand from this time indicate her distrust in people who convinced others their selfish actions were for a greater good.

It was at this time also that Rand fell in love with America, thanks to spending her final year in High School studying American history.

Despite their turn in fortune, Rand's parents encouraged her to stay on in education as much as possible. Rand even attended University, in fact she was among the first female intake following the Russian Revolution, which had resulted in women being allowed to study at University.

Rand left with a history major and the following year she set sail for America for a six month holiday she would never return from.

Some quotes:

“Why do they always teach us that it's easy and evil to do what we want and that we need discipline to restrain ourselves? It's the hardest thing in the world--to do what we want. And it takes the greatest kind of courage. I mean, what we really want.”
Ayn Rand

"To say 'I love you' one must first be able to say the 'I.'"

~ Ayn Rand

"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."

~ 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

"Evil requires the sanction of the victim."
~ Ayn Rand

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

~ Ayn Rand

"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."
~ Ayn Rand

“The man who does not value himself, cannot value anything or anyone.”

~  Ayn Rand

“You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.”

~ Ayn Rand

Her Work...

Ayn Rand quotes her as saying she “cried tears of splendour” when she arrived in America, and that she had made a silent promise to herself never to return to Russia as soon as set eyes on the Manhattan skyline.

After staying with family for a few months, Rand headed to Hollywood intent on making a living as a screenwriter or playwright. Fate smiled on her as soon as she arrived, when she bumped into film director Cecil B. Demille. Quotes by Ayn Rand in her later biography describe Demille as being Rand's saviour, and most certainly responsible for restoring some of her faith in mankind.

And so he did, by first offering her a part as an extra in one of his films and then as a junior screenwriter. Her very first published works, a monologue on Russian femme fatale Pola Negri, didn't really make a ripple in the literary pond, although it has sold well since being republished after her death.

Although it was never produced, Rand's first success as a screenwriter came in 1932, when she sold “Red Pawn” to Universal Studios.
Following further successes as both a screenwriter and a playwright, Rand published her first novel, a semi-autobiography called “We are the Living”. However, it wasn't until 1943 and the novel “Fountainhead”, that Rand really found true success.

The book took Rand seven years to write and Ayn Rand quotes from 'Fountainhead' including - “I could die for you, but I couldn't and wouldn't live for you” and “To ask nothing. To expect nothing. To depend on nothing” - have been regularly used in lessons, political speeches and even television advertisements in the years since the books initial release.

Rand's success continued when her novel “Atlas Shrugged” was published in 1943. Ayn Rand quotes the book as being her magnum opus and there is little doubt the novel had, and continues to have, a profound effect on people.

'Atlas Shrugged' while written by Rand, was also overlooked by a group of people Rand referred to as The Collective. The group consisted of people who admired Rand and while in earlier years the group did nothing more than meet on a weekly basis to discuss philosophy, it was to continue to grow until it turned into an entire movement – based on Rand's philosophy “Objectivism”.

More quotes:

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

~ Ayn Rand

"To arrive at a contradiction is to confess an error in one's thinking; to maintain a contradiction is to abdicate one's mind and to evict oneself from the realm of reality."
~ Ayn Rand

"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."
~ Ayn Rand

“The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me.”
~ Ayn Rand

“People think that a liar gains a victory over his victim. What I’ve learned is that a lie is an act of self-abdication, because one surrenders one’s reality to the person to whom one lies, making that person one’s master, condemning oneself from then on to faking the sort of reality that person’s view requires to be faked…The man who lies to the world, is the world’s slave from then on…There are no white lies, there is only the blackest of destruction, and a white lie is the blackest of all.”
~ Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

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

~  Ayn Rand

Her Critics....

Despite being insanely popular with the people who loved her plays, essays and novels, Rand also had her fair share of critics.

Ayn Rand quotes the reaction of her critics as being “misrepresented”, which was possibly her way of dealing with, the sometimes harsh, comments she received from certain sections of American society.

Rand's complete refusal to accept religion made her unpopular. Her view that reason was the only way a person gained knowledge was deemed “flighty”. As was her Rand's promotion of her own philosophy “Objectivism”.

However, Ayn Rand's harshest criticism involved her work, which while successful, was considered poorly written by many. Rand seemed unaffected by the criticism and in an interview with Mike Wallace after the release of “Atlas Shrugged” Ayn Rand quotes herself as being “the most creative freethinker alive” .

The End....

Following the now infamous interview with Mike Wallace, Rand fell into a serious depression and she didn't release any more novels or written pieces.

However, she did turn her complete attention to her role as philosopher, and she used her popularity to get her thoughts and views on everything from homosexuality to facial hair out and across America.

Ayn Rand died from massive heart attack in 1982 but her popularity has only intensified.

Ayn Rand quotes and written works are used today, on a daily basis thanks to the Ayn Rand institute. The institute concentrates on helping individuals who wish to learn more about Ayn Rand's philosophy.
The University of Texas and the University of South Carolina both have government-funded grants to help students who want to learn the Rand philosophy. Even now, as political decisions are made and Presidents fight to stay in office, quotes by Ayn Rand are used in political speeches.

Ayn Rand left an indelible mark on many many people, some of whom choose to live the “Rand” way of life – even dressing as Rand used too and copying her taste in furniture. Although happy to revel in her successes, Ayn Rand quotes her one regret as being “unable to convince my family that America is the country where free men live”.

You might also want to read the page Ayan Rand Books.

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