The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand: Book Notes

On my notes about Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, I put much more extensive analysis of Rands overall philosophies, and how they are in many ways, related to doctrines of the restored gospel, and the extent to which they are not. Please see that article, which is important to understand how Rands works can be profitable. This document focuses primarily on simple notes of The Fountainhead.


Here I will put a short precautionary note which I also put on my notes on Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand: “I do not openly endorse Rand’s materials, but have found, as with the apocrypha, lots of good in them. If the reader can throw out the bad and keep the good, discerning which is which by the spirit of God, there are things here which can lead a soul to do good, work hard, and be a man of integrity. In particular, the love stories embedded in the text are not appropriate. The characters find themselves in difficult situations, but they could have done better despite that. Naturally we don’t expect everyone to understand the fullness of Gods standards in these matters, but it is nice to find authors who do. Needless to say, I still present these my notes on the text to the reader as I do believe there are good lessons to be learned.”

Moving forward now.

Introductory note: This was a good book; some parts that were weird/ridiculous but for the most part it was insightful on how to use reason. Rand is an atheist and doesn’t subscribe to the possibility of revelation, but I still value her writing as it has compelling ideas of human progress. Where those don’t interfere with God’s laws, I quite enjoy reading her material. As I’ve stated in my book notes on Atlas Shrugged, much of what Rand teaches buts heads with mainstream Christianity, but coincides well with the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, as found in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The reader of The Fountainhead can find compelling insights, be they religious or non-religious. A few times I have added ‘side notes’ which bring in ideas of my own, tying this material to a religious insight, but the vast majority of these book notes are simply things I’ve jotted about the text as I read it, things which stood out as interesting and compelling. Some main ideas of this text are that the human species is a glorious species, that they have potential for greatness, that evil men (typically socialists) try to tear down greatness of others to usurp power, that the great man will have to stand against the whole world if he adheres to upright principles to do his work, that the creative genius does service to mankind by creating more so than by standing in soup kitchen lines, that the core duty one person has to another is to not interfere with their freedom, that a creative person has only the right to govern his creations (and to that I remind the reader that the restored truth of God states that even God only rules over things he created, he doesn’t seek to control the creations of others; this, as Rand explains, makes him (or other creative people who don’t seek to rule over others), independent, and independence is the measure of one’s personal character).


-sometimes the most evil dogmas are taught with the nicest voiced people, who make themselves appear holy and kind, but really keep people from progressing.

-there’s only so much schools can teach you, drop out if it’s nonsense. Don’t just learn to copy what’s already been done.

-don’t use old materials to build new things; Each material is to be used differently as each is different.

-excellence involves creating majestic things and everyone rejecting them

-excellence involves the pain of hearing ignorance paraded as enlightenment, and the roaring applause of the crowd when such ideas are presented

-you can work during school to pay your way, you don’t need to rely on others

-true romantic love involves not micromanaging your partner

-don’t use loved ones as a maneuverer to advance in your career; don’t seek to have an advantage because of who your closest friends and family are, etc.

-the man with a great mind is always being a hero, always working, finds pure joy in it, and the pain that comes with it is far preferred to the vanity of stupor.

– it is easier to do hard labor then to do easy labor for a cause you don’t agree with.

-finding joy in your work, everyone will hate you for this; they say just pander to what the masses want, and most do that, but when someone comes along who does something great and loves that intrinsically, people envy and hate them, for they have done something they dismissed as possible

-the fallen man uses tactics of deceit, not morals and work, to rise in business; he plays people off of each other when they stand in the way of a position he wants

-the artist creates based on his genius, not based on the whims of others

-it’s better to have morals than high wage jobs if there comes a choice between the two.

– Some people are only shelves with the name who are inside just a collection of the opinions of their friends i don’t really have any morals of their own they just do what’s popular. These people don’t really exist. they are just remnants of things from the past and they cannot be persuaded as you cannot reason with the dead.

-what people do in their free time when they have extra money or on weekends when they don’t have to work reveals their character and it’s often pitiful what they spend their hard-earned work on

-as the human body’s muscles have a function every muscle having a function which pertains to the body so should a house be it can be based on its needs not having all the superfluous additions


-we don’t admire people who’ve done something outstanding but whose personal lives are full of immorality and decay.

-Howard frankly forgave Peter immediately and said forget about it when Peter spoke of great hatred for Howard. Howard wasn’t overly social with Peter, forgiving him didn’t mean he had to be; but he didn’t hold a grudge.


Prestige is a stamp of approval from the masses to those people who live second-hand lives they don’t live if any personal desires all they do is seek popularity.


If you don’t love yourself you cannot have love or respect for others.


the person who has self respect has the ability to like and respect others and therefore only the person with sufficient self-love and self-respect would give their life for someone else in danger.


the worst second hand person is the person who goes after power, this is a person who is not living for his work but is living for the approval of others.


If you help others where they should not be helped you overload them with more than they can carry and it blows a circuit ruins there life.


The great artist and the mediocre artist both have a lot of flops the great artist probably even more flops but the difference is that the great artists flops find their way to the trash can instead of trying to be published


The great man will speak if his work during time of rest. He doesn’t seek to avoid it. He loves what he does, and it shows constantly. He is the same person everywhere, anytime.


You can tell him immensely large amount of things about a person by first interaction the beginning impression. The face.


Loneliness/isolation can be a pinnacle


When you love greatness you hate mediocrity


the socialist tells people to not follow their passions and talents for their careers but to just think about what society needs


The socialist has no reverence for sex


The socialist despises individual progress and only talks about societal progress


The socialist doesn’t like it when people Excel socialist says that people should only climb as high as other people can climb. He calls achievement rude and embarrassing.


The socialist says that personal love as well as all other personal things are evil.


Go beyond the probable and seek the possible seek the heroic seek the best


Boards and councils are virtually useless, it’s individuals who get things done. What they create is generally worse than what any single one on the board could have created on their own. Great minds often work alone.


When things going on are enough to make you sick you can’t let yourself get sick you just be strong


Howard believed that exaltation consisted of joy and living to your full potential but the socialist said the exaltation consisted of pure humiliation of your nothingness. The socialist refuses 2 see the dignity of humanity and their potential.


To cast pearls before swine is a sin because the person values so little their pearls and let’s them be defiled


socialist don’t really like people who have an actual love for the poor such as a social worker who really does truly love the poor


Self-loathing based in a unhealthy concept of humility leads to unhappiness and a feeling of uncleanness it stops your potential and makes you tired emotionally which leads to being tired physically


The self-loathing socialist eventually it’s people who aren’t grateful for their supposedly selfless service they start to see the human race as a fallen people they are jealous when other people are happy. Many socialists develop hatred for the people they serve, the poor.


Supposedly selfless people are never happy each human including the people who want to help others deserve a level of dignity. The socialist repeatedly teaches people that they shouldn’t care at all about themselves and that the only important people are other people. the socialist teaches people to lose their identity and forget their souls to not care about being righteous but to only care about nothing at all and to forget about God’s judgement. The socialist teaches that individual identity is an illusion and that your only purpose is to melt into the whole. the socialist teaches only to believe not to reason to merely believe in some ideal but not to use your mind as to how to obtain that. The socialist emphasizes feelings over understanding. The socialist teaches that individuals don’t really matter.


The socialist teaches that you should never stand up for yourself


The socialist teaches that personal happiness is irrelevant but in reality personal happiness contributes to the happiness of the whole


Whereas the socialist teaches that the whole is the only important entity in reality the individual is just as important as the whole


people who aren’t honest in their profession are never confident about themselves deep down they’re never sure that what they’ve done in life was worthwhile. Those who betray beauty to try and fit in with the popular masses are never really sure about what they’re doing they’re always looking for an excuse to make what they’re doing sound Noble. the person they want to convince but just can’t get to his themselves.


There is more pain in some people not having opportunity to do what they are passionate about than the pain of a herd of people being run over by a truck.


Even if you’re reading books out of order your mind will make order of it not reading the one book itself out of order but just reading all Star runner books on many different topics


No happy person can be impervious to pain; if a person seems impervious to pain, you know they are not a happy person.


To do something halfway is to lie to yourself it is to create a fissure in yourself


True self respect can’t be killed. the worst someone could do to someone else’s merely kill their pretence of self-respect


You can’t have equal love for excellence and unrefined matter.


The quest for self respect is proof that you don’t have it


some literary critics praise bad plays just to stand out, just to be proud of the fact that they can sell a piece of garbage


The sound perception of an ant does not include lightning in other words people try to make the average everyday life as the heroic life and they ignore the heroes we’re really doing great things and it gets to the point where society can’t comprehend heroes and it whittles them down to socialism they stop expecting greatness. This is also why socialist literary critic will praise garbage writing they’re making everyone seem equal but in reality people’s talent and ability vary greatly.


large public weddings are hideous it is a sacrilege of what should be a sacred moment of the climax of two people’s lives it should be solemn not overly decorated and populated. It should be more solemn than party.


The socialist believes that the happiness of others is dangerous


When a business owner can’t fire whoever he wishes to of his own company he may as well blow up the building


There is a stage of worship which makes the worshipper himself an item of reverence


The socialist calls crudeness the eloquent language of the common Man and exalts it when he should be reaching for higher things not just calling the mundane or average the highest excellence. The socialist refuses to see humanity as capable of something higher than average refuses to paint high ideals


Those who take their work seriously are by that nature, very religious people.


Integrity is much more than just not taking people’s money and includes holding the same ideals overtime


Convincing people of the glaringly obvious which everyone has chosen to ignore is one of the hardest things to do


Architecture is music in stone


Seeing something truly beautiful and magnificent can give a person the courage to face a lifetime


The worst curse of poverty is lack of privacy


Two kinds of greatness are needed for greatness to survive 1 the person who creates great things 2 the person who can see it and says something about it


Excellent people don’t always require the presence of others


When you are involved in creating something excellent your humble circumstances don’t bother you you don’t even notice it


True greatness travels by word of mouth the masses don’t care about it. Those who discover it do so by seeing it first-hand like an underground river it shoots forth from random springs


People who aren’t happy don’t build great things


The difficult earned Joy that makes you feel like a better person this is a much higher Joy then the placid face value joy


Some things are too precious to let commoners, the public, to see, and freely interact with. (Note: temples and the wife of God fit this description; the concept of sacred space vs profane space (private vs public)).


When 2 excellent people speak to each other there is no pressure or pretense it is open and free as if they’re speaking to themselves


Excellent people usually don’t care whether others like them or not there are very few people they care about how they feel towards them


When you hate incompetence you can walk away and do your own work or you can take the darker path of trying to control others whom you despise


When you say amen to something, say yes to it, it becomes yours in conjunction with the creator of it.

The soul consists of the ability to say yes or no to things.


Once you say yes to something it never changes. You are the same forever. There are little things along the way you don’t understand, but you are you. Build what you wish. The outcome of it all is you.


A person’s house is a reflection of their character.


Pain is a stimulant also


The socialist says that freedom is a nuisance, that everyone would be happier in a highly controlled society, and that those who are selfish should be shot.


The socialist believes that compulsory education well in essence will force everyone to make good choices and force them to be happy and that they should be taught these ways whether they like it or not for their own good.


The socialist hates art he says that the everyday life is all the art we need and that the majestic paintings the Shakespeare plays that all of this is not needed. This theory Is another way of the socialist of dumbing-down the masses to usurp control


Peter’s real love was art. He fizzled out in the profession his mother pushed him into, architecture. He tried to start painting late in his life after being burned out in the other career he chose, but by then he was mediocre, and likely to remain so.


The socialist insists on things constantly changing.


The socialist leaders don’t find young talent, they pick someone suitable for their purposes and enthrone them as a pawn.


The socialist knows fully well the subliminal messages he pushes in the news everyday but no one else knows. The socialist is creating a mega fertilizer which will kill all certain kinds of plants that he doesn’t like.


To be able to help people you first have to become someone who can get things done and to be someone who can get things done you have to be someone who loves the work of getting things done not the by-product but doing the work itself.


To do what you truly want to do is the hardest thing and the most courageous thing to do


You can’t give away your core identity as an individual without becoming a monster a hollow shell who goes around looking for the approval of others who focuses on opinions rather than abilities. You become Your own worst enemy I never trust that what you’re doing is any good because deep down as a human you know that what you’re doing isn’t any good when you’ve given up your core self. When you’ve spent your life pandering to others bending morals according to the cheap barometer of public opinion.


Many rise to the top quickly and go down quickly and wonder why they fell the reason is because they never belonged at the top anyway. They were a mere puppet thrown away after their usefulness had passed.


a person brainwashed by socialism devalues the self and nothing is sacred to them anymore their own life isn’t sacred to them anymore they’re past their present their future they take it lightly and don’t have any real friends. Gave you everything as matter of fact and their own experience as merely the universal experience of humanity rather than something sacred and special and unique which it really is.


People really in love don’t have to constantly speak to each other as if they’re afraid that they’re fragile relationship with Fall apart. They can enjoy silence together or silence apart. They have deep deep respect for the self and for their partner. They trust one another and aren’t suspicious


People with a healthy self-respect enjoy physical exercise before breakfast


The socialist says be selfless and give to others and what they mean by this is the complete opposite of healthy sharing. They mean that you should give your soul away to whatever makes people happy be good or evil. The socialist view of selflessness is another way of saying sell your soul to accommodate the least common denominator. Everyone sells their soul that what they do every day the hardest thing is to keep your soul, to have true integrity. Some people call it egotest, but those seeking their own long-term happiness are always the nicest people, not just in public but everywhere.


The masses of socialists want a love which permits anyting forgives anyting expects nothing


Often intellectuals use anger to attempt to cure their boredom.


The great man spends his life in and out of court but that endites society not the great man. Side note recall Joseph Smith


Socrates Galileo pastor all of these men were Martyrs of society great men the society rejected


The socialist wants power and they get this by preaching to others to hate power. The man who shot power in the past used physical control. But the man you can can another mans soul however corrupt will have power much more power over others


The great men cannot the ruled and the socialist enthrones mediocrity.


happy man are Freeman so the socialist seeks to take away what is dear and important to them to not let them have what they want.


Internal corruption is the age old tool to get power


A person’s first duty is to himself to his own happiness. side note this is why we keep God’s commandments instead of doing with the masses want because our happiness is more important.


Peter regularly came to Ellsworth for Ellsworth to convince him that he was a good boy and and the speeder became Faust and Ellsworth Mephistopheles.


The antonym for ego is bromide


The imbicil always smiles the first round but is this sign of thought is the touch of God.


the socialist creates an environment where phenomenal people cannot exist he creates a vacuum of nothing where in a great man cannot survive


Collectivism makes everyone United of one neck suitable for 1 leesh


the socialist wants you to give up your soul to a leader or a council to anything he just wants you to give it up he wants to kill the individual to kill mans soul then the rest of his plans for Dominion will follow naturally.


the devil tries to get you to obey him in the name of ideals then he unveils himself and shows that there were no ideals in what he was getting you to do but by then your are hooked you follow him regardless


Writing has healing power it is a fountain of Life when a thought takes shape in words


Organizations made without a purpose are especially dangerous


The great business owner pays his employees plenty of money and calls the shots. He is in charge not the employees. He pays them enough to where they don’t want to leave. This is a fair agreement they can choose if they want to work there.


a brilliant machine functioning at its best makes immediate decisions and precise commands. A great person can function as a brilliant machine when it comes to his work.


The moochers want freedom’s without recognizing the work of creators. if it weren’t for the Creator they would be nothing for them to be free about. The creators are who made the real sacrifices.


Socialists condone violent protests


when you play the system of corruption to gain power you just become a part of the people who were feeding and other corruption you’re not independently ruling anything


Love is exception making


To confess pain is not as deep and revealing as to confess Joy


Only a free person has the capacity for benevolence


Every great new thought and invention is opposed. The inventors are met with hatred but in the long run they win.


all of the functions of body and spirit are private they cannot be shared by another one person cannot breathe for another or digest for another or be creative for another.


The thing that is created as the property of the creator


the Creator is concerned with the conquest of nature the parasite is concerned with the conquest of men the parasite lives second hand and needs others; others become his prime mode but the basic need of the crater is Independence the creative mind cannot work under any form of compulsion it demands total Independence in function and motive


The parasite teaches that relationships are important above all things


The parasite mindset is to shun Independence


To enslave oneself is the most debased action and it should not be done not even in the name of Love. side note remember the Latter-Day prophets he said he would never be a slave for God.


if we’re leaving suffering is the most important part of life that makes suffering the most important part of life but creating is actually the highest functional.


The Creator is the man who stands alone.


People think that masochism is the only substitution for sadism but the trade is really between dependence and Independence.


Things that are based on depending on others are evil. the righteous man does not expect anyone to live for him and he does not live for anyone else.

Independence is the gauge of human virtue and value. the only standard of personal dignity is independence.


The first right and duty is the ego the self. His moral obligation is do what he wishes provided that it does not rely and others.


Robbery exploitation and ruling all involve depending on others they’re not independent.


The individual against the collective is another way of saying the Creator versus second-hander.


Remember side note it is revealed that God only governs his own creations. In this since he isn’t a ruler over others’ things, which is what Rand rebukes in stating that the ruler isn’t independent. God created his children and the earth they live on and therefore has right to govern them. But in another way each person is their own person and coexists with God, and is thereby is allowed agency to operate in the universe as they will, and may become like the prototype of perfect Independence (Jesus Christ) or to become like the prototype of a fallen being, forever captive, destroying others’ things and never really creating anything of his own.


USA was based on the pursuit of happiness the selfish motive and that has resulted in it becoming the greatest most Free Nation


The collectivist uses the narrative of altruism in what appears as love but ends up in blood shed . They say that anything is okay if it is done in the name of altruism.


The integrity of a man’s creative work is of more importance than any charitable endeavor


A man’s only obligation to another man is to respect his freedom and to not take part in a slave society.

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