17 Jaw-Dropping Ayn Rand Quotes

Intellectual Takeout | November 6, 2015

17 Jaw-Dropping Ayn Rand Quotes

1. “I ask them if they believe in God. And if they say they do—then, I know they don't believe in life.”

 

2. “Now, I don’t care to discuss the alleged complaints American Indians have against this country. I believe, with good reason, the most unsympathetic Hollywood portrayal of Indians and what they did to the white man. They had no right to a country merely because they were born here and then acted like savages.”

 

3. “Businessmen are the one group that distinguishes capitalism and the American way of life from the totalitarian statism that is swallowing the rest of the world… Businessmen are the symbol of a free society - the symbol of America.”

 

4. “Pity for the guilty is treason to the innocent.”

 

5. “The actions of all group leaders throughout history have had one common element: altruism - common good of the collective. Religious leaders and the "moral" majority condemn the likes of Hitler, Stalin, etc. but their movements and foundations are alike.”

 

6. “They (Native Americans) didn't have any rights to the land, and there was no reason for anyone to grant them rights which they had not conceived and were not using… Any white person who brings the element of civilization has the right to take over this continent.”

 

7. “The Arabs are one of the least developed cultures. They are typically nomads. Their culture is primitive, and they resent Israel because it's the sole beachhead of modern science and civilization on their continent. When you have civilized men fighting savages, you support the civilized men, no matter who they are.”

 

8. “Try to tell a Russian housewife, who trudges miles on foot in sub-zero weather in order to spend hours standing in line at a state store dispensing food rations, that America is defiled by shopping centers, expressways and family cars.”

 

9. “The intellectuals [of American society] are emotion-oriented, and seek in panic an escape from a reality they are unable to deal with, and from a technological civilization that ignores their feelings.”

 

10. “That particular sense of sacred rapture men say they experience in contemplating nature -  I've never received it from nature, only from… Buildings, Skyscrapers. I would give the greatest sunset in the world for one sight of New York's skyline.”

 

11. “There is no such thing as duty. If you know that a thing is right, you want to do it. If you don't want to do it—it isn't right. If it's right and you don't want to do it—you don't know what right is and you're not a man.”

 

12. “To be free, a man must be free of his brothers.”

 

13. “It is typical of today's culture that the proponents of seething, raging hostility are taken as advocates of love.”

 

14. “Every movement that seeks to enslave a country, every dictatorship or potential dictatorship, needs some minority group as a scapegoat which it can blame for the nation's troubles and use as a justification of its own demands for dictatorial powers. In Soviet Russia, the scapegoat was the bourgeoisie; in Nazi Germany, it was the Jewish people; in America, it is the businessmen.”

 

15. “One of the paradoxes of our age is the fact that the intellectuals, the politicians, and all the sundry voices that choke like asthma the throat of our communications media, have never gasped and stuttered so loudly about their devotion to the public good, and about the people's will as the supreme criterion of value - and never have they been so grossly indifferent to the people.” 

 

16. “The hippies are the living demonstration of what it means to give up reason, and to rely on one's primeval instincts, urges, intuitions, and whims… Left to their own devices, they literally didn't know enough to come in out of the rain.”

 

17. “I can say — not as a patriotic bromide, but with full knowledge of the necessary metaphysical, epistemological, ethical, political, and aesthetic roots — that the United States of America is the greatest, the noblest and, in its original founding principles, the only moral country in the history of the world.”