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Atlas Shrugged

Atlas Shrugged


by Ayn Rand

Atlas Shrugged Philosophical Viewpoints: Objectivism Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Volume.Chapter.Section.Page). We used the 50th Anniversary Edition published by Signet Books in 2007.

Quote #1

"Money is a tool of exchange, which can't exit unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value." (

Francisco here expresses Objectivist ideas in his view of money as the only alternative to force. Money to him is how free people deal peacefully with one another as "traders."

Quote #2

"Here, we trade achievements, not failures – values, not needs. We're free of one another, yet we all grow together. Wealth, Dagny? What greater wealth is there, than to own your life and to spend it on growing? Every living thing must grow. It can't stand still. It must grow or perish." (

Ellis Wyatt here redefines wealth as more than just money – wealth is freedom. He also describes Atlantis in utopian terms.

Quote #3

"All work is an act of philosophy. And when men will learn to consider productive work – and that which is its source – as the standard of their moral values, they will reach that state of perfection which is the birthright they lost....The source of work? Man's mind, Miss Taggart, man's reasoning mind." (

Hugh Akston raises an interesting point here: the idea that people can achieve a "state of perfection" with good values and work that expresses those values. In order to reach perfection, though, it needs to be defined in advance, which is what Galt's values do. How is work revealing and a potential proof of perfection?

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