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

Ayn Rand Quote

“Volumes can be and have been written about the issue of freedom versus dictatorship, but, in essence, it comes down to a single question: do you consider it moral to treat men as sacrificial animals and to rule them by physical force?”

Ayn RandAyn Rand
~ Ayn Rand

Ratings and Comments

Mike, Norwalk

again, the difference between a representative republic and all else.

warren, olathe

We are so lucky that she escaped communism, Best antisocialist voice we have had.

J Carlton, Calgary

Should be "must" reading in High Schools's.

Waffler, Smith, Arkansas

Sadly I met a young man recently who said what we need is a dictatorship. I ask which is more dictatorial the rule of an elitist minority (as in some African countries and recently in Iraq) or the rule of the 51% "mob" majority. Like Churchill I will take democracy every time.

Dougmcr8, Springfield, VA

My Individualist Heroine....even if flawed, like us all in life. Agree with Carlton that Fountainhead, Atlas Shrugged, Anthem, etc all should be must reading in High Schools.

E Archer, NYC

In other words do you believe that you can force people to do what you believe to be for their own good? Religious persecution comes to mind.

Joe, North Caldwell, NJ

Trouble is, 95% of today's high school students would not understand 5% of what she wrote.

  • Reply
RobertSRQ    1/16/08

Though born in Russia just before the communist take-over this statement has little to do with communism and socialism; these attributes can be practiced by most forms of government - we have our young men and women sacrificed on the sands of Iraq, we are being told more and more what we can and can't do (physical force comes later). We have presidential hopefuls taking us back to the dark ages - yes, we haven't changed we just have more gadgets.

E Archer, NYC
  • Reply
E Archer, NYC RobertSRQ 9/9/20

As Ayn Rand said, "volumes can be and have been written" about the evils of socialism/communism  she called such ideologies "collectivism" which essentially subordinates the individual to group leaders who are beholden to State power.  To promote socialism is to promote supremacy of the State  Stalin and Hitler were big proponents of State supremacy and that all citizens are to serve the state as a fact in law.  Socialists-to-be enjoy tremendous freedoms to be anything they wish to be  say good-bye to that once Liberty has been quashed. In fact, say good-bye to everything that has allowed you to promote socialism for years, freedom of speech, freedom of travel, freedom from mandated drugs, freedom to worship (or not), freedom to work in your field unencumbered by loyalty tests to the state. 

Read more Ayn Rand, and you will understand the difference between the empowered individual and the empowered State.  As a gay atheist, I suppose you are safe under communist rule, but I do not see this as empowering your noble individualism at all.  For me, I will resist that scenario at all costs.

Mike, Norwalk

It never ceases to amaze me how the prideful ignorant can not grasp the concept that only God can make law (natural law). Man is born free as a king and a priest, consistent with each, every, any, and all right, authority, power, privilege, etc. as exists or may exist. An intangible representative possesses no inherent authority, right, power, privilege, etc. but, duties only. The closer man passes his rules, codes, statutes, etc. to those natural laws, the more free he/they is/are. (Thou shalt not murder {life is sacred}, steal {fiscal laws}, etc. - your rights end where my nose begins.) The prideful ignorant argue it is either the minority or the majority that make the law. In a representative republic, as was the U.S., it is the job of the individual sovereign's representative to find the best way to protect their individual sovereign employer's rights, authorities, powers, privileges, etc. at law and then act accodingly. Ayn Rand wrote of this concept quite brilliantly.

warren, olathe

The statement has every thing to do with communism and socialism. Those concepts and what they did to her mother Russia were instrumental in the formulation of her hard nosed opinions on government and freedom. People think she is extreme but she is pure logic. If something is bad why would you think that mixing in just a little bit into your society to be ok? Would you put just a little bit of poison in your coffee? Sorry I forgot about some of our artificial sweeteners so that last statement doesn't work so well. In any case, all dictatorships have had the government owning or dictating every thing to both business and the individual. I assure you, she saw dictatorship and socialism as the same evil.


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