Ayn Rand Quotes (displaying: 121 - 150 of 772 quotes)
We are on strike, we, the men of the mind. We are on strike against self-immolation. We are on strike against the creed of unearned rewards and unrewarded duties. We are on strike against the dogma that the pursuit of one's happiness is evil. We are on strike against the doctrine that life is guilt.
What's he so damn arrogant about? Just because he made that fortune himself? Does he have to be such a damn snob just because he came from Hell's Kitchen? It isn't other people's fault if they weren't lucky enough to be born in Hell's Kitchen to rise out of! Nobody understands what a terrible handicap it is to be born rich. Because people just take for granted that because you were born that way you'd just be no good if you weren't. What I mean is if I'd had Gail Wynand's breaks, I'd be twice as rich as he is by now and three times as famous. But he's so conceited he doesn't realize this at all!
And what, incidentally, do you think integrity is? The ability not to pick a watch out of your neighbor's pocket? No, it's not as easy as that. If that were all, I'd say ninety-five percent of humanity were honest, upright men. Only, as you can see, they aren't. Integrity is the ability to stand by an idea.
So you think that money is the root of all evil? [...] Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can't exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value. Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears, or of the looters, who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men who produce. Is this what you consider evil?
He thought of how convincingly he could describe this scene to friends and make them envy the fullness of his contentment. Why couldn't he convince himself? He had everything he'd ever wanted. He had wanted superiority--and for the last year he had been the undisputed leader of his profession. He had wanted fame--and he had five thick albums of clippings. He had wanted wealth--and he had enough to insure luxury for the rest of his life. He had everything anyone ever wanted. How many people struggled and suffered to achieve what he had achieved? How many dreamed and bled and died for this, without reaching it?
Man cannot survive except through his mind. He comes on earth unarmed. His brain is his only weapon. Animals obtain food by force. man had no claws, no fangs, no horns, no great strength of muscle. He must plant his food or hunt it. To plant, he needs a process of thought. To hunt, he needs weapons, and to make weapons - a process of thought. From this simplest necessity to the highest religious abstraction, from the wheel to the skyscraper, everything we are and we have comes from a single attribute of man -the function of his reasoning mind.
She felt a board indifference toward the immediate world around her toward other children and adults alike. She took it as a regrettable accident to be borne patiently for a while, that she happened to be imprisoned among people who were dull. She had caught a glimpse of another world and she knew it existed somewhere, the world that had created trains, bridges, telegraph wires and signal lights winking in the night. She had to wait she thought, and grow up to that world. - Dagny Taggart
Everything has strings leading to everything else. We're all so tied together. We're all in a net, the net is waiting, and we're pushed into it by one single desire. You want a thing and it's precious to you. Do you know who is standing ready to tear it out of your hands? You can't know, it may be so involved and so far away, but someone is ready, and you're afraid of them all. And you cringe and you crawl and you beg and you accept them--just so they'll let you keep it. And look at whom you come to accept.
Those who tell you that man is unable to perceive a reality undistorted by his senses, mean that they are unwilling to perceive a reality undistorted by their feelings. "Things as they are" are things as perceived by your mind; divorce them from reason and they become "things as perceived by your wishes.
It is a sin to write this. It is a sin to think words no others think and to put them down upon a paper no others are to see. It is base and evil. It is as if we were speaking alone to no ears but our own. And we know well that there is no transgression blacker than to do or think alone. We have broken the laws. The laws say that men may not write unless the Council of Vocations bid them so. May we be forgiven!
He looked at the granite. To be cut, he thought, and made into walls. He looked at a tree. To be split and made into rafters. He looked at a streak of rust on the stone and thought of iron ore under the ground. To be melted and to emerge as girders against the sky. These rocks, he thought, are waiting for me; waiting for the drill, the dynamite and my voice; waiting to be split, ripped, pounded, reborn; waiting for the shape my hands will give them.
I stand here on the summit of the mountain. I lift my head and I spread my arms. This, my body and spirit, this is the end of the quest. I wished to know the meaning of things. I am the meaning. I wished to find a warrant for being. I need no warrant for being, and no word of sanction upon my being. I am the warrant and the sanction.