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 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
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.
“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
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
~ Ayn Rand
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
Ayn Rand quotes her as saying she “cried tears of splendour
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.
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
'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”.
“The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny
individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities”
"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
~ 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
“The question isn't who is going to let me; it's
who is going to stop me.”
~ Ayn Rand
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.”
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” .
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.
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.
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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