Ayn RandAyn Rand, [Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum] (1905-1982) Russian-American novelist, philosopher, playwright, and screenwriter

Ayn Rand Quote

“Economic power is exercised by means of a positive, by offering men a reward, an incentive, a payment, a value; political power exercised by means of a negative, by the threat of punishment, injury, imprisonment, destruction. The businessman's tool is values; the bureucrat's  tool is fear.”

Ayn RandAyn Rand
~ Ayn Rand

Ratings and Comments

Jimi Bigbear, Libertyville, IA

Born Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum into a Russian Jewish bourgeois family, took the name of her typewriter, apparently to disguise that fact.

This quote is typical of her writing (Atlas Shrugged) and makes me wonder why she has the following she does with such banal, simplistic, and sophomoric statements. She was to the Mercantilists that spawned both Capitalism AND Communism, what Savitri Devi was to Hitler and the National Socialists, but nowhere in her league WRT her writing.

jim k, Austin, Tx

She is right on target.

Jimi Bigbear, Libertyville, IA

Here's the truth of Mercantilism that its High Priestess would misdirect you from, in her own rewritten words:

Economic power is exercised by bribing (and or blackmailing) political power. That corrupted political power is then used to the benefit of economic power and disadvantage of those the political power is supposed to serve.

Mike, Norwalk

Far to accurate, far to often. To the contrary, concerning the "economic power" here stated, what is that exactly ? Is it having great influence based on product production and consumption ? Is it simply limited to a measured commerce ? Concerning commerce, when acts are in harmony with natural law's fiscal conditions, a perception of economic power is realized. Offering men a reward, an incentive, a payment, or a value is at form, only a shallow second to law, personal responsibility and integrity. A de jure body politic of servants, representing the sovereign individual's rights does not govern by duress and threat. The many forms of despotism and tyranny govern by duress and threat of punishment, injury, imprisonment, destruction and fear.

E Archer, NYC

I understand the analogy. Production vs. Regulation, Creation vs. Consumption. The Makers vs. the Takers.

Thom Pantazi, Jacksonville, FL

The Nanny State mentality has created the concept that government is here to take care of your problems and shortcomings rather than to protect citizens' rights.

It surprises me that so simple a concept can be so overwhelmed due to the complacency or corruption of the leaders who were supposed to carry on what our founders saw as so clear and concise they failed to anticipate the ability of politicians and criminals, er I repeat myself, to twist words to their benefit.

Don Lee, Reno

So she comes from a Bolshevik school of eastern principles, eastern thoughts. The fact of the matter is, western govt was created to protect private property, it's not a carte blanche to blame all bureaucrats as her eastern type epistemology does. It's not always about greed, it's about using the western archetypes for a more suitable and purposefilled life.


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