Journals of Ayn Rand

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Happiness is not a goal, it is a by-product.
Eleanor Roosevelt
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Journals of Ayn Rand (1997) by The Estate of Ayn Rand is a collection of most of Rand's personal writings throughout the time she wrote. It begins with her years as a Hollywood screenwriter and includes her other major works such as Anthem, We the Living, The Fountainhead, and Atlas Shrugged.

  • The purpose of my work: to introduce, or, rather, to re-introduce the original ways of human development. Once viewed as personal responsibility, personal growth, education, and social doctrine were highly effective. Now that they have begun to be approached as an "acceptance," our ideals have begun to rely on the willingness of others to go along with our philosophies. It is now time for us to return to the selfish ideals of the past.


  • Never demand of another that which would constitute his sacrifice to you. Never grant that which would constitute your sacrifice to him.


  • Never initiate the use of force against another man. Never let his use of force against you remain unanswered by force.


  • 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.


  • ... if the majority of men cannot know what is good for them, each for himself, how can they know what is good for others by proxy? If they are to be controlled by specialists, how and by what standard can they choose the specialist?


  • The human race has only two unlimited capacities: one for suffering and one for lying. I want to fight religion as the root of all human lying and the only excuse for human suffering.


  • All progress is the work of individuals.


  • Selfishness does not mean only to do things for one's self. One may do things, affecting others, for his own pleasure and benefit. This is not immoral, but the highest of morality.


  • The second handers offer substitutes for competence such as love, charm, kindness - easy substitutes - and there is no substitute for creation.


  • On second handers: [They are] always concerned with people - not facts, ideas, work or production. What would happen to the world without those who think, work, and produce?