portrait of Ayn Rand
Photo by Phyllis Cerf (1957)

All archives
Previous Issue (1 February 2004) | Current month | Next Issue (3 February 2004)

Quotes of the Day for 2 February 2004 – Ayn Rand

Alisa Rosenbaum was born at Petrograd, Russia (Saint Petersburg) on this day in 1905, and saw the Bolshevik Revolution during her school years. After she graduated from the university with honors in history, her family's shop was confiscated and the family moved to the US. As she learned English, she worked in the movie industry, first in clerical and support positions, later as a writer, reader, and script editor. She used the pen name Ayn Rand, her private abbreviation of her family name. (Reports that it was taken from the Remington Rand typewriter she used are false, she used the name in Russia before Remington Rand made typewriters.) She developed a philosophy called Objectivism which rejected social or governmental interference with the decisions of individuals. Her best-known works are The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, neither of which has ever been out of print. I find pure Objectivism a bit brutal, but I also find a lot of merit in the general concept.

Van's signature

You will find an expanded profile, photo, additional biographical links, and all quotes from this author on the author's Notable Quotable page.

The quotes:

America's abundance was not created by public sacrifices to the common good, but by the productive genius of free men who pursued their own personal interests and the making of their own private fortunes.

Civilization is the progress of a society towards privacy. The savage's whole existence is public, ruled by the laws of his tribe. Civilization is the process of setting man free from men.

Love and friendship are profoundly personal, selfish values ... an expression and assertion of self-esteem, a response to one's own values in the person of another.

One's own independent judgment is the means by which one must choose one's actions, but it is not a moral criterion nor a moral validation; only reference to a demonstrable principle can validate one's choices.

The idea that 'the public interest' supersedes private interests and rights can have but one meaning: that the interests and rights of some individuals take precedence over the interests and rights of others.

Great men can't be ruled.
     - All from Ayn Rand, 1905 - 1982

Do you see an error on this page? A typo, a character that is messed up, a misattribution? Please let us know!