Quotes from Anthem

Ayn Rand ·  105 pages

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“My happiness is not the means to any end. It is the end. It is its own goal. It is its own purpose.”
― Ayn Rand, quote from Anthem


“The word "We" is as lime poured over men, which sets and hardens to stone, and crushes all beneath it, and that which is white and that which is black are lost equally in the grey of it. It is the word by which the depraved steal the virtue of the good, by which the weak steal the might of the strong, by which the fools steal the wisdom of the sages.

What is my joy if all hands, even the unclean, can reach into it? What is my wisdom, if even the fools can dictate to me? What is my freedom, if all creatures, even the botched and impotent, are my masters? What is my life, if I am but to bow, to agree and to obey?

But I am done with this creed of corruption.

I am done with the monster of "We," the word of serfdom, of plunder, of misery, falsehood and shame.

And now I see the face of god, and I raise this god over the earth, this god whom men have sought since men came into being, this god who will grant them joy and peace and pride.

This god, this one word:

"I.”
― Ayn Rand, quote from Anthem


“I stand here on the summit of the mountain. I lift my head and I spread my arms. This, my body and spirit, this is the end of the quest. I wished to know the meaning of all things. I am the meaning. I wished to find a warrant for being. I need no warrant for being, and no word of sanction upon my being. I am the warrant and the sanction. Neither am I the means to any end others may wish to accomplish. I am not a tool for their use. I am not a servant of their needs. I am not a sacrifice on their alters.”
― Ayn Rand, quote from Anthem


“I am. I think. I will.”
― Ayn Rand, quote from Anthem


“At first, man was enslaved by the gods. But he broke their chains. Then he was enslaved by the kings. But he broke their chains. He was enslaved by his birth, by his kin, by his race. But he broke their chains. He declared to all his brothers that a man has rights which neither god nor king nor other men can take away from him, no matter what their number, for his is the right of man, and there is no right on earth above this right. And he stood on the threshold of freedom for which the blood of the centuries behind him had been spilled.”
― Ayn Rand, quote from Anthem



“I know not if this earth on which I stand is the core of the universe or if it is but a speck of dust lost in eternity. I know not and I care not. For I know what happiness is possible to me on earth. And my happiness needs no higher aim to vindicate it. My happiness is not the means to any end. It is the end. It is its own goal. It is its own purpose.”
― Ayn Rand, quote from Anthem


“The secrets of this earth are not for all men to see, but only for those who will seek them (pg. 52).”
― Ayn Rand, quote from Anthem


“I am neither foe nor friend to my brothers, but such as each of them shall deserve of me. And to earn my love, my brothers must do more than to have been born. I do not grant my love without reason, nor to any chance passer-by who may wish to claim it. I honor men with my love. But honor is a thing to be earned.”
― Ayn Rand, quote from Anthem


“Know what you want in life and go after it. I worship individuals for their highest possibilities as individuals, and I loathe humanity, for its failure to live up to these possibilities.”
― Ayn Rand, quote from Anthem


“There is fear hanging in the air of the sleeping halls, and the air of the streets. Fear walks through the city, fear without name, without shape. All men feel it and none dare speak.”
― Ayn Rand, quote from Anthem



“I understood that centuries of chains and lashes will not kill the spirit of man nor the sense of truth within him.”
― Ayn Rand, quote from Anthem


“The fortune my spirit is not to be blown into coins of brass and flung to the winds as alms for the poor of the spirit. I guard my treasures: my thought, my will, my freedom. And the greatest of these is freedom.”
― Ayn Rand, quote from Anthem


“For the coming of that day shall I fight, I and my sons and my chosen friends. For the freedom of Man. For his rights. For his life. For his honor.”
― Ayn Rand, quote from Anthem


“These are the things before me. And as I stand here at the door of glory, I look behind me for the last time. I look upon the history of men, which I have learned from the books, and I wonder. It was a long story, and the spirit which moved it was the spirit of man’s freedom. But what is freedom? Freedom from what? There is nothing to take a man’s freedom away from him, save other men. To be free, a man must be free of his brothers. That is freedom. This and nothing else.”
― Ayn Rand, quote from Anthem


“Many words have been granted me, and some are wise, and some are false, but only three are holy: "I will it!”
― Ayn Rand, quote from Anthem



“To be free, a man must be free of his brothers. That is freedom. This and nothing else.”
― Ayn Rand, quote from Anthem


“And my happiness needs no higher aim to vindicate it. My happiness is not the means to any end. It is the end. It is its own goal. It is its own purpose...

I am a man. this miracle of me is mine to own and keep, and mine to guard, and mine to use, and mine to kneel before!

I do not surrender my treasures, nor do I share them. The fortune of my spirit is not to be blown into coins of brass and flung to the winds as alms for the poor of the spirit. I guard my treasures: my thought, my will, my freedom. And the greatest of these is freedom.

I owe nothing to my brothers, nor do I gather debts from them. I ask none to live for me, nor do I live for any others. I covet no man's soul, nor is my soul theirs to covet.

I am neither foe nor friend to my brothers, but such as each of them shall deserve of me. And to earn my love, my brothers must do more than to have been born. I do not grand my love without reason, nor to any chance passer-by who may wish to claim it. I honor men with my love. But honor is a thing to be earned.

I shall choose my friends among men, but neither slaves nor masters. And I shall choose only such as please me, and them I shall love and respect, but neither command nor obey. And we shall join our hands when we wish, or walk alone when we so desire. For in the temple of his spirit, each man is alone. Let each man keep his temple untouched and undefiled. Then let him join hands with others if he wishes, but only beyond his holy threshold.”
― Ayn Rand, quote from Anthem


“The sky is like a black sieve pierced by silver drops that tremble, ready to burst through.”
― Ayn Rand, quote from Anthem


“And questions give us no rest. We know not why our curse makes us seek we know not what, ever and ever. But we cannot resist it. It whispers to us that there are great things on this earth of ours, and that we can know them if we try, and that we must know them. We ask, why must we know, but it has no answer to give us. We must know that we may know.”
― Ayn Rand, quote from Anthem


“Today we have discovered the word that could not be said. "I”
― Ayn Rand, quote from Anthem



“It is my eyes which see, and the sight of my eyes grants beauty to the earth. It is my ears which hear, and the hearing of my ears gives its song to the world. It is my mind which thinks, and the judgement of my mind is the only searchlight that can find the truth. It is my will which chooses, and the choice of my will is the only edict I must respect.”
― Ayn Rand, quote from Anthem


“And here, over the portals of my fort, I shall cut in the stone the word which is to be my beacon and my banner. The word which will not die should we all perish in battle. The word which can never die on this earth, for it is the heart of it and the meaning and the glory.

The sacred word:
EGO”
― Ayn Rand, quote from Anthem


“We have followed you," they said, "and we shall follow you wherever you go. If danger threatens you, we shall face it also. If it be death, we shall die with you. You are damned, and we wish to share your damnation."

They looked upon us, and their voice was low, but there was bitterness and triumph in their voice:

"Your eyes are as a flame, but our brothers have neither hope nor fire. Your mouth is cut of granite, but our brothers are soft and humble. Your head is high, but our brothers cringe. You walk, but our brothers crawl. We wish to be damned with you, rather than blessed with all our brothers. Do as you please with us, but do not send us away from you."

Then they knelt, and bowed their golden head before us.

We had never thought of that which we did. We bent to raise the Golden One to their feet, but when we touched them, it was as if madness had stricken us. We seized their body and we pressed our lips to theirs. The Golden One breathed once, and their breath was a moan, and then their arms closed around us.

We stood together for a long time. And we were frightened that we had lived for twenty-one years and had never known what joy is possible to men.”
― Ayn Rand, quote from Anthem


“I guard my treasures: my thought, my will, my freedom. And the greatest of these is freedom.”
― Ayn Rand, quote from Anthem


“And that night we knew that to hold the body of women in our arms in neither ugly nor shameful, but the one ecstasy granted to the race of men.”
― Ayn Rand, quote from Anthem



“It is a sin to write this.”
― Ayn Rand, quote from Anthem


“But I still wonder how it was possible, in those graceless years of transition, long ago, that men did not see whither they were going, and went on, in blindness and cowardice, to their fate. I wonder, for it is hard for me to conceive how men who knew the word "I," could give it up and not know what they lost. But such has been the story, for I have lived in the City of the damned, and I know what horror men permitted to be brought upon them.”
― Ayn Rand, quote from Anthem


“Our dearest one. Fear nothing of the forest. There is no danger in solitude. We have no need of our brothers. Let us forget their good and our evil, let us forget all things save that we are together and that there is joy as a bond between us. Give us your hand. Look ahead. It is our own world, Golden One, a strange, unknown world, but our own.”
― Ayn Rand, quote from Anthem


“I understand that centuries of chains and lashes will not kill the spirit of man nor the sense of truth within him.

~Equality 7-2521 (as Prometheus), pg 98”
― Ayn Rand, quote from Anthem


“Theirs is the banner in my hand. And I wish I had the power to tell them that the despair of their hearts was not to be final, and their night was not without hope. For the battle they lost can never be lost. For that which they died to save can never perish. Through all the darkness, through all the shame of which men are capable, the spirit of man will remain alive on this earth. It may sleep, but it will awaken. It may wear chains, but it will break through. And man will go on. Man, not men.

~Equality 7-2521 (as Prometheus), pgs 103-104”
― Ayn Rand, quote from Anthem



About the author

Ayn Rand
Born place: in St. Petersburg, Russian Federation
Born date February 2, 1905
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