Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand Quotes

Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand, is a philosophical novel. The theme (according to Rand) is the role of man's mind in existence. Published in 1957, it's a dystopian novel, centering around Dagny Taggart. Here are popular quotes from the novel.

"It was the joy of admiration and of one's own ability, growing together."
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 1, Ch. 3

"He was a man who had never accepted the creed that others had the right to stop him."
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 1, Ch. 3

"Against whom is any union organized?"
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 1, Ch. 4

"This was reality, she thought, this sense of clear outlines, of purpose, of lightness, of hope."
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 1, Ch. 4

"If one's actions are honest, one does not need the predated confidence of others, only their rational perception."
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 1, Ch. 6

"I never believed that story. I thought by the time the sun was exhausted, men would find a substitute."
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 1, Ch. 7

"This was the great clarity of being beyond emotion, after the reward of having felt everything one could feel."
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 1, Ch. 7

"Now she was free for the simplest, most commonplace concerns of the moment, because nothing could be meaningless within her sight."
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 1, Ch. 7

"It was useless to argue, she thought, and to wonder about people who would neither refute an argument nor accept it."
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 1, Ch. 7

"Mr. Ward, what is it that the foulest bastards on earth denounce us for, among other things? Oh yes, for our motto of 'Business as usual.' Well—business as usual, Mr. Ward!"
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 1, Ch. 7

"Thought—he told himself quietly—is a weapon one uses in order to act... Thought is the tool by which one makes a choice... Thought sets one's purpose and the way to reach it."
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 1, Ch. 7

"It was the greatest sensation of existence: not to trust, but to know."
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 1, Ch. 8

"Don't ever get angry at a man for stating the truth."
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 1, Ch. 10

"He knew no weapons but to pay for what he wanted, to give value, to ask nothing of nature without trading his effort in return, to ask nothing of men without trading the product of his effort."
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 1, Ch. 10

"By the essence and nature of existence, contradictions cannot exist."
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 1, Ch. 10

"There might be some sort of justification for the savage societies in which a man had to expect that enemies could murder him at any moment and had to defend himself as best he could. But there can be no justification for a society in which a man is expected to manufacture the weapons for his own murderers."
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 2, Ch. 1

"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."
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 2, Ch. 2

"Wealth is the product of man's capacity to think."
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 2, Ch. 2

"There are no evil thoughts except one: the refusal to think."
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 2, Ch. 2

"Love is our response to our highest values — and can be nothing else."
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 2, Ch. 4

"Only the man who extols the purity of a love devoid of desire, is capable of the depravity of a desire devoid of love."
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 2, Ch. 4

"When one acts on pity against justice, it is the good whom one punishes for the sake of the evil; when one saves the guilty from suffering, it is the innocent whom one ​forces to suffer."
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 2, Ch. 6

"You do not have to depend on any material possessions, they depend on you, you create them, you own the one and only tool of production."
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 2, Ch. 8

"They told us that this plan would achieve a noble ideal. Well, how were we to know otherwise? Hadn't we heard it all our lives—from our parents and our schoolteachers and our ministers, and in every newspaper we ever read and every movie and every public speech?"
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 2, Ch. 10

"She felt suddenly as if nothing existed beyond that circle, and she wondered at the joyous, proud comfort to be found in a sense of the finite, in the knowledge that the field of one's concern lay within the realm of one's sight."
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 3, Ch. 1

"What's wealth but the means of expanding one's life? There's two ways one can do it: either by producing more or by producing it faster."
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 3, Ch. 1

"What greater wealth is there than to own your life and to spend it on growing? Every living thing must grow. It can't stand still. It must grow or perish."
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 3, Ch. 1

"Any man who's afraid of hiring the best ability he can find, is a cheat who's in a business where he doesn't belong."
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 3, Ch. 1

"I 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, Atlas Shrugged, Part 3, Ch. 1

"Through all the centuries of the worship of the mindless, whatever stagnation humanity chose to endure, whatever brutality to practice–it was only by the grace of the men who perceived that wheat must have water in order to grow, that stones laid in a curve will form an arch, that two and two make four, that love is not served by torture and life is not fed by destruction–only by the grace of those men did the rest of them learn to experience moments when they caught the spark of being human."
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 3, Ch. 1

"When nothing seems worth the effort–said some stern voice in her mind–it's a screen to hide a wish that's worth too much; what do you want?"
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 3, Ch. 2

"There's only one passion in most artists more violent than their desire for admiration: their fear of identifying the nature of such admiration as they do receive."
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 3, Ch. 2

"Whether it's a symphony or a coal mine, all work is an act of creating and comes from the same source: from an inviolate capacity to see through one's own eyes–which means: the capacity to perform a rational identification–which means: the capacity to see, to connect and to make what had not been seen, connected and made before."
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 3, Ch. 2

"Every man builds his world in his own image... He has the power to choose, but no power to escape the necessity of choice."
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 3, Ch. 2

"No one's happiness but my own is in my power to achieve or to destroy."
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 3, Ch. 2

"If you are not convinced, ignore our certainty. Don't be tempted to substitute our judgment for your own."
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 3, Ch. 2

"She was seeing the brand of pain and fear on the faces of people, and the look of evasion that refuses to know it–they seemed to be going through the motions of some enormous pretense, acting out a ritual to ward off reality, letting the earth remain unseen and their lives unlived, in dread of something namelessly forbidden–yet the forbidden was the simple act of looking at the nature of their pain and questioning their duty to bear it."
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 3, Ch. 2

"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, comdemning oneself from then on to faking the sort of reality that person's view requires to be faked."
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 3, Ch. 2

"You don't have to see through the eyes of others, hold onto yours, stand on your own judgment, you know that what is, is–say it aloud, like the holiest of prayers, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise."
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 3, Ch. 4

"The only guilt of the victims, he thought, had been that they accepted it as guilt."
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 3, Ch. 5

"It was a sense of extreme precision and of relaxation, together, a sense of action without strain, which seemed inexplicably youthful–until he realized that this was the way he had acted and had expected always to act, in his youth and what he now felt was like the simple, astonished question: Why should one ever have to act in any other manner?"
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 3, Ch. 6

"From the first catch-phrases flung at a child to the last, it is like a series of shocks to freeze his motor, to undercut the power of his consciousness. 'Don't ask so many questions, children should be seen and not heard!'–'Who are you to think? It's so, because I say so!'–'Don't argue, obey!'–'Don't try to understand, believe!'–'Don't rebel, adjust!–'Don't stand out, belong!'–'Don't struggle, compromise!'–'Your heart is more important than your mind!'–'Who are you to know? Your parents know best!'–'Who are you to know? Society knows best!'–'Who are you to know? The bureaucrats know best!'–'Who are you to object? All values are relative!'–'Who are you to want to escape a thug's bullet? That's only a personal prejudice!'"
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 3, Ch. 6

"Man has no automatic code of survival. His particular distinction from all other living species is the necessity to act in the face of alternatives by means of volitional choice."
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 3, Ch. 7

"Man has to be a man–by choice; he has to hold his life as a value–by choice; he has to learn to sustain it–by choice; he has to discover the values it requires and practice his virtues by choice. A code of values accepted by choice is a code of morality."
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 3, Ch. 7

"By the grace of reality and the nature of life, man–every man–is an end in himself, he exists for his own sake, and the achievement of his own happiness is his highest moral purpose."
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 3, Ch. 7

"Truth is the recognition of reality; reason, man's only means of knowledge, is his only standard of truth."
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 3, Ch. 7

"Your mind is your only judge of truth–and if others dissent from your verdict, reality is the court of final appeal."
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 3, Ch. 7

"The moral is the chosen, not the forced; the understood, not the obeyed. The moral is the rational, and reason accepts no commandments."
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 3, Ch. 7

"Emotions are inherent in your nature, but their content is dictated by your mind. Your emotional capacity is an empty motor, and your values are the fuel with which your mind fills it."
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 3, Ch. 7

"The symbol of all relationships among such men, the moral symbol of respect for human beings, is the trader. We, who live by values, not by loot, are traders, both in matter and in spirit. A trader is a man who earns what he gets and does not give or take the undeserved."
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 3, Ch. 7

"Whoever, to whatever purpose or extent, initiates the use of force, is a killer acting on the premise of death in a manner wider than murder: the premise of destroying man's capacity to live."
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 3, Ch. 7

"A morality that holds need as a claim, holds emptiness–non-existence–as its standard of value; it rewards an absence, a defect: weakness, inability, incompetence, suffering, disease, disaster, the lack, the fault, the flaw–the zero."
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 3, Ch. 7

"To love is to value."
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 3, Ch. 7

"Love is the expression of one's values, the greatest reward you can earn for the moral qualities you have achieved in your character and person, the emotional price paid by one man for the joy he receives from the virtues of another."
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 3, Ch. 7

"Public welfare' is the welfare of those who do not earn it; those who do, are entitled to no welfare."
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 3, Ch. 7

"The man who refuses to judge, who neither agrees nor disagrees, who declares that there are no absolutes and believes that he escapes responsibility, is the man responsible for all the blood that is now spilled in the world."
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 3, Ch. 7

"In any compromise between food and poison, it is only death that can win. In any compromise between good and evil, it is only evil that can profit."
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 3, Ch. 7

"Every form of causeless self-doubt, every feeling of inferiority and secret unworthiness is, in fact, man's hidden dread of his inability to deal with existence."
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 3, Ch. 7

"To fear to face an issue is to believe that the worst is true."
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 3, Ch. 7

"All property and all forms of wealth are produced by man's mind and labor."
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 3, Ch. 7

"The only proper functions of a government are: the police, to protect you from criminals; the army, to protect you from foreign invaders; and the courts, to protect your property and contracts from breach or fraud by others, to settle disputes by rational rules, according to objective law."
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 3, Ch. 7

"Every man is free to rise as far as he's able or willing, but it's only the degree to which he thinks that determines the degree to which he'll rise."
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 3, Ch. 7

"The evil of the world is made possible by nothing but the sanction you give it."
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 3, Ch. 7

"All life is a purposeful struggle, and your only choice is the choice of a goal."
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 3, Ch. 7

"Fight for the value of your person. Fight for the virtue of your pride. Fight for the essence of that which is man: for his sovereign rational mind. Fight with the radiant certainty and the absolute rectitude of knowing that yours is the Morality of Life and that yours is the battle for any achievement, any value, any grandeur, any goodness, any joy that has ever existed on this earth."
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 3, Ch. 7

"When you force a man to act against his own choice and judgment, it's his thinking that you want him to suspend."
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 3, Ch. 7

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Lombardi, Esther. "Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand Quotes." ThoughtCo, Nov. 9, 2017, thoughtco.com/atlas-shrugged-quotes-737986. Lombardi, Esther. (2017, November 9). Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand Quotes. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/atlas-shrugged-quotes-737986 Lombardi, Esther. "Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand Quotes." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/atlas-shrugged-quotes-737986 (accessed November 24, 2017).