Quotes From "Atlas Shrugged" By Ayn Rand

Productiveness is your acceptance of morality, your recognition of the fact that you choose to live--that productive work is the process by which man's consciousness controls his existence, a constant process of acquiring knowledge and shaping matter to fit one's purpose, of translating an idea into physical form, of remaking the earth in the image of one's values--that all work is creative work if done by a thinking mind, and no work is creative if done by a blank who repeats in uncritical stupor a routine he has learned from others--that your work is yours to choose, and the choice is as wide as your mind, that nothing more is possible to you and nothing less is human--that to cheat your way into a job bigger than your mind can handle is to become a fear-corroded ape on borrowed motions and borrowed time, and to settle down into a job that requires less than your mind's full capacity is to cut your motor and sentence yourself to another kind of motion: decay--that your work is the process of achieving your values, and to lose your ambition for values is to lose your ambition to live--that your body is a machine, but your mind is its driver, and you must drive as far as your mind will take you, with achievement as the goal of your road--that the man who has no purpose is a machine that coasts downhill at the mercy of any boulder to crash in the first chance ditch, that the man who stifles his mind is a stalled machine slowly going to rust, that the man who lets a leader prescribe his course is a wreck being towed to the scrap heap, and the man who makes another man his goal is a hitchhiker no driver should ever pick up--that your work is the purpose of your life, and you must speed past any killer who assumes the right to stop you, that any value you might find outside your work, any other loyalty or love, can be only travelers you choose to share your journey and must be travelers going on their own power in the same direction. Ayn Rand
Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swamps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists.. it is real.. it is possible.. it's yours. Ayn Rand
Live and act within the limit of your knowledge and keep expanding it to the limit of your life. Ayn Rand
Do you know the hallmark of a second rater? It's resentment of another man's achievement. Those touchy mediocrities who sit trembling lest someone's work prove greater than their own - they have no inkling of the loneliness that comes when you reach the top. The loneliness for an equal - for a mind to respect and an achievement to admire. They bare their teeth at you from out of their rat holes, thinking that you take pleasure in letting your brilliance dim them - while you'd give a year of my life to see a flicker of talent anywhere among them. They envy achievement, and their dream of greatness is a world where all men have become their acknowledged inferiors. They don't know that that dream is the infallible proof of mediocrity, because that sort of world is what the man of achievement would not be able to bear. They have no way of knowing what he feels when surrounded by inferiors - hatred? no, not hatred, but boredom - the terrible, hopeless, draining, paralyzing boredom. Of what account are praise and adulation from men whom you don't respect? Have you ever felt the longing for someone you could admire? For something, not to look down at, but up to?"" I've felt it all my life, " she said. Ayn Rand
I started my life with a single absolute: that the world was mine to shape in the image of my highest values and never to be given up to a lesser standard, no matter how long or hard the struggle. Ayn Rand
Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there...
Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking. Ayn Rand
Who is John Galt?
Who is John Galt? Ayn Rand
I never found beauty in longing for the impossible and...
I never found beauty in longing for the impossible and never found the possible to be beyond my reach. Ayn Rand
Joy is the goal of existence, and joy is not...
Joy is the goal of existence, and joy is not to be stumbled upon, but to be achieved, and the act of treason is to let its vision drown in the swamp of the moment's torture. Ayn Rand
I think, therefore I'll think.
I think, therefore I'll think. Ayn Rand
I take no pride in hopeless longing; I wouldn't hold...
I take no pride in hopeless longing; I wouldn't hold a stillborn aspiration. I'd want to have it, to make it, to live it. 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
We are born into this world unarmed - our mind...
We are born into this world unarmed - our mind is our only weapon. Ayn Rand
You know, I think that only if one feels immensely...
You know, I think that only if one feels immensely important can one feel truly light. Ayn Rand
Pride is the recognition of the fact that you are your own highest value and, like all of man’s values, it has to be earned. His own happiness is man’s only moral purpose, but only his own virtue can achieve it… Life is the reward of virtue- and happiness is the goal and the reward of life. Happiness is a state of non-contradictory joy- a joy without penalty or guilt, a joy that does not clash with any of your values and does not work for your won destruction, not the joy of escaping from your mind, but using your mind’s fullest power. Happiness is possible only to a rational man, the man who desires nothing but rational goals, seek nothing but rational values and finds his joy in nothing bu rational actions. The symbol of all relationships among such men, the moral symbol of respect for human beings, is the trade… A trader is a man who earns what he gets and does not give or take the undeserved. Ayn Rand
The view that man was ever to be drawn by...
The view that man was ever to be drawn by some vision of the unattainable shining ahead, doomed ever to aspire, but not to achieve, my life and my values could not bring me to that. Ayn Rand
Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of production...
Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of production and trade... Ayn Rand
Your moral code begins by damning man as evil, then demands that he practice a good which it defines as impossible for him to practice… It demands that he starts, not with a standard of value, but with a standard of evil, which is himself, by means of which he is then to define the good: the good is that which he is not. A sin without volition is a slap at morality and an isolent contradiction in terms: that which is outside the possibility of choice is outside the province of morality. If man is evil by birth, he has no will, no power to change it; if he has no will, he can be neither good nor evil; a robot is amoral. To hold a man’s sin, a fact not open to his choice is a mockery of morality… To punish him for a crime he committed before he was born is a mockery of justice. To hold him guilty in a matter where no innocence exists is a mockery of reason. (The) myth decleares that he ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge-he acquired a mind and became a rational being. It was the knowledge of good and evil-he became a moral being… The evils for which they damn him are reasn, morality, creativeness, joy-all the cardinal values of his existence….the essence of his nature as a man. Whatever he was- that robot in the Garden of Eden, who existed without mind, without values, without labor, without love- he was not a man. Ayn Rand
The source of man's rights is not divine law or a congressional law, but the law of identity. A is A ___ and man is man. Rights are conditions of existence required by man's nature for his proper survival. If man is to live on earth, it is right for him to use his mind, it is right to act on his own free judgment, it is right to work for his values and to keep the product for his work. If life on earth is his purpose, he has a right to live as a rational being: nature forbids him the irrational . 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