Ayn Rand was a Russian-born American author and philosopher. Rand authored two best-selling novels, The Fountainhead (1943) and Atlas Shrugged (1957). Her novels were especially influential among conservatives and libertarians from the mid-20th century.
Ayn Rand is the pen name of Alissa Zinovievna Rosenbaum. She adopted it when she moved to the United States in 1926. The first name, which rhymes with “pine,” was inspired by the name of a Finnish writer (whom she declined to identify), and the surname she described as an abbreviation of Rosenbaum.
Ayn Rand was a major intellectual of the twentieth century. Born in Russia in 1905 and educated there, she immigrated to the United States after graduating from university. Upon becoming proficient in English and establishing herself as a writer of fiction, she became well-known as a passionate advocate of a philosophy she called Objectivism. This philosophy is in the Aristotelian tradition, with that tradition’s emphasis upon metaphysical naturalism, empirical reason in epistemology, and self-realization in ethics.
Her political philosophy is in the classical liberal tradition, with that tradition’s emphasis upon individualism, the constitutional protection of individual rights to life, liberty, and property, and limited government. She wrote both technical and popular works of philosophy, and she presented her philosophy in both fictional and nonfictional forms. Her philosophy has influenced several generations of academics and public intellectuals, and has had widespread popular appeal.
Regarding human nature, Rand said, “Man is a being of self-made soul.” Rand believes human beings are not born in sin or with destructive desires; nor do they necessarily acquire them in the course of growing to maturity. Instead one is born morally tabula rasa (a blank slate), and through one’s choices and actions one acquires one’s character traits and habits.
Having chronic desires to steal, rape, or kill others is the result of mistaken development and the acquisition of bad habits, just as are chronic laziness or the habit of eating too much junk food. And just as one is not born lazy but can by one’s choices develop oneself into a person of vigor or sloth, so also one is not born antisocial but can by one’s choices develop oneself into a person of cooperativeness or conflict.
Every aspect of Rand’s philosophy is subject to lively criticism and debate, but her normative views are the ones most focused upon.
The impact of Rand’s ideas is difficult to measure, but it has been large. All her books were still in print as of 2017, had sold more than thirty million copies, and continued to sell approximately one million copies each year. A survey jointly conducted by the Library of Congress and the Book of the Month Club early in the 1990s asked readers to name the book that had most influenced their lives: Atlas Shrugged was second only to the Bible.
Team Inspiring Life provides you with 31 quotes of Ayn Rand.
31 quotes by Ayn Rand.
The man who does not value himself, cannot value anything or anyone.
Don’t think. Believe. Trust your heart, not your brain. Don’t think. Feel. Believe.
Achieving life is not the equivalent of avoiding death.
There are no evil thoughts except one; the refusal to think.
We can ignore reality, but we cannot ignore the consequences of ignoring reality.
The worst guilt is to accept an unearned guilt.
Do it first and feel about it afterwards.
Power-lust is a weed that grows only in the vacant lots of an abandoned mind.
One loses everything when one loses one’s sense of humor.
Reason is not automatic. Those who deny it cannot be conquered by it. Do not count on them. Leave them alone.
Men who reject the responsibility of thought and reason can only exist as parasites on the thinking of others.
I don’t wish to be the symbol of anything. I’m only myself.
The most depraved type of human being is the man without a purpose.
The measure of hell you’re able to endure is the measure of your love.
The ladder of success is best climbed by stepping on the rungs of opportunity.
Civilization is the process of setting man free from men.
I am, therefore I’ll think.
I never found beauty in longing for the impossible and never found the possible to be beyond my reach.
There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil.
Within the extent of your knowledge, you are right.
Money will not purchase happiness for the man who has no concept of what he wants.
A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others.
Every form of happiness is private. Our greatest moments are personal, self-motivated, not to be touched.
If one doesn’t respect oneself one can have neither love nor respect for others.
It was the greatest sensation of existence: not to trust but to know.
Run for your life from any man who tells you that money is evil. That sentence is the leper’s bell of an approaching looter.
Never ask people about your work.
Freedom: to ask nothing, to expect nothing, to depend on nothing.
It is not death that we wish to avoid, but life that we wish to live.
If one’s actions are honest, one does not need the predated confidence of others
Live and act within the limit of your knowledge and keep expanding it to the limit of your life.