Conservatives, Libertarians, Anarchists vs. Ayn Rand on Politics



hi everyone this is elan journal here at the iron grin Institute so what I want to do today is to get a handle on an appreciation for the depth of mine rands political form and to do that I have invited a guest to join me his name is dr. Greg Salieri hi Greg hi thanks for joining Greg is a anthem Foundation fellow and he teaches philosophy at Rutgers University is an expert on iran's philosophy he's written about her novels in her thought he is co-editor of a book called companion to iran and also a new book which is the focus of our conversation today called foundations of a free society reflections on Iran's political thought welcome Greg I want to start by going to this point about Iran's public influence her impact on people's thinking about capitalism and in the book you you introduced it by saying that Iran has inspired a lot of people to appreciate capitalism and there's evidence for that but at the same time there's a way in which they don't really engage with her deeper arguments for capitalism so why don't we start with what's the evidence for her impact and then can you sketch out what do you take to be how people who are being inspired by her what arguments do they make well I think there's a different pockets of influence in different evidence for them but certainly in the the business community a lot of leaders of important companies a lot of founders of companies even ones who aren't politically aligned with an R and sometimes cite her as an influence or some of their acquaintances insight or as an influence on them like I don't know if Steve Jobs ever spoke publicly about Atlas Shrugged but Wozniak talked about it having been an influence on jobs and a lot of people Peter Steele Mark Cuban but just people rust Tillerson who was the head of Exxon and then briefly Secretary of State under Trump a lot of people who were involved in the business community cite these novels as an influence whatever again their political views and particularly said Atlas Shrugged an influence for presenting an inspiring view of business and of the career of being an entrepreneur then in business ah sorry then in politics you have a lot of conservative right-wing politicians or political pundits who cite her you mentioned The Wall Street Journal article there's also people like Paul Ryan and Clarence Thomas who have cited her as an influence among conservatives there are others and then you have on the libertarian wing which I distinguished from conservativism and from Iran's position also you have I mean like one of the most famous books on the history of the libertarian movement is called it usually begins with Iran right that people get into liberal hairiness and because of Iran another book is called radicals for capitalism on this movement that's one of her phrases that she point so I think there's a lot of and then if you read just a little bit about the history of these movements in the history of the reinvigoration of conservativism in the 60s and 70s you see her name coming up all the time and now you see it coming up in histories critical histories of this period it's you know somewhat rooted a bad influence you know people who don't like the more Pro capitalist neoliberal as they would call it shift that happened in politics in the 70s not I think toward true or full capitalism but turning back some of the anti trade anti-freedom Pro regulation policies that had loomed from the 30s and 40s in through the 60s um there's just a lot of evidence of her as a figure that people have read and that has had some influence on their thought but I think she's often taken as someone who primarily is on about economics and politics which I don't think is true I think she's deeper than that and is somebody who's in effect a propagandist or a an artist who can kind of cheerlead for capitalism or freedom but not so much the theorists of it so I think there are a lot of people who were turned on to the idea that business and markets are good turned on to being Pro capitalism or anti socialism or anti statism buy something of Rann sep they read but then didn't regard her as someone to study to get the real robust arguments for this but rather they then studied the subjects in a more conventional way and there are a lot of what I view as more conventional thinkers on the political right and on the libertarian side which I don't think it's exactly the same as a political right that people think of as giving the real arguments for capitalism as opposed to looking for those arguments in Rand but I think in fact when you look at people who do write books that are meant to cheer on capitalism or freedom but aren't really philosophical or sophisticated those books are lightweight they don't sell well people don't really get inspired by them I mean Henry Hazlitt who's a you know really interesting as an economics writer tried to write a novel about promoting a free society and no one reads it and no one reads it cuz it's not an inspiring novel and I think what makes Atlas inspiring and what makes her essays inspiring to people are real insights that she has into what human life is about what kind of political system it requires are those insights are sometimes formulated as arguments other times you can see the argument behind them or find them in one of her other works and they're different from and I think deeper and more powerful than a lot of the conventional philosophical thinking on freedom so when you talk about conventional arguments that people make in defense of capitalism so maybe we can just just flesh that out of it so you know I've heard people say it lifts all boats now rising tide lifts all boats and so what do you take to be the philosophical point behind that kind of metaphor and because that's a very common view that I hear particularly on from conservatives I mean it I think it is true that a rising tide lifts all boats and it's true that capitalism is good for everybody in an economy except for people who are trying to seek the underserved in various kinds of grifters and so forth I think people do better under a free economy I think there's a lot of evidence of that but it tries to just to Fayette on the grounds that what makes a social system right is its effect on usually particularly on the poorest people and I think if you're focused on that you don't really understand why capitalism helps those poorest people and what is really good about it so I think what makes it good is that it's the system that's compatible with the survival requirements of human beings and what enables human beings to survive is something that principally the people who are doing best at surviving so we're doing it on a grand scale are doing in need and you really want to focus on what capitalism enables the Great Creator is the great innovators the great producers to do what its effect is on them why how it frees them and how therefore they create massive wealth massive fortunes massively advance our level of knowledge and then our ability to apply that knowledge to improve our lives when we focus on the motivation of that kind of person what kind of society they need to function in and so forth then you understand what it is about capitalism that makes it better for everyone so you know you're contrasting red with libertarian thinkers and then consist some conservative thinkers and they put those two apart so you know the other point that struck me in your introduction into the book the foundations of a free society is that people try to pigeonhole line run into one or more of either one of these categories and that they they struggle so well why is that and how do you think of her but what category do you think of hurryin well I think pigeonholing is I mean this isn't a phenomenon that unique to Iran people try to pigeonhole people and pigeonhole things it's what you do if you're not a kind of nuanced inflexible thinker able to deploy and form concepts in nuanced and creative ways to capture the phenomena you just have a battery of boxes and you try to stuff everything in in one or the other um and if so one if you're not kind of sophisticated enough in your own thinking you'll tend to pigeonhole people and too you need to know a fair amount about someone to classify them and if all you know about Rand or anyone else is that an arm's removed that you'll tend to put her where other people are putting her I would classify her politically as her a defender of freedom a defender of Liberty based on the view of right and I would put her in the kind of tradition that I would put people like John Locke in historically though and I think some of the people who today call themselves libertarians and maybe some of the people who do they call themselves conservatives including some of the people maybe who call themselves liberals can be seen as broadly in that category but I think if you look at the movements libertarianism conservativism liberalism are left and right I don't think there's any real principles that those movements stand for I think they're kind of collections of people with different interests that are mutually influencing one another that hang together for largely historical reasons so I think there are social factions more than they are groups held together by by principle the thing that I'm more concerned about when we talk about philosophers or people who are studying a political theory not just reading the news but trying to think about what the arguments are the thing that I'm more worried about with pigeonholing there is less pigeonholing ran there any other thinker has left or right or conservative or liberal although that or libertarian all that happens but kinds of views like there are two types of theories of Rights X and Z or two types of Defense's of capitalism a and B and then you think about any theorist which one does she fit into if you think that freedom is good or that rights are good you either think they're good as a means to some end and/or independent of any end and then which view does Rand hold it seems like those are the only two options and yet she seems to hold both or neither at different times so she seems like she's confused and this is a kind of thing that you see happening often with sinkers who are a little deeper than the categories they're trying to be squeezed into you'll often have a case and again this you see this in studies of Aristotle you can see it in if you read studies about John Locke is he an empiricist or a rationalist the way we think of those terms now he sometimes seems to be each of them and maybe the answer is those aren't the only two things and like was it exist a lot of that a lot of articles that are trying to look at ran through a conventional lens of this or that issue in philosophy or political theory where what I think she's doing is challenging the premises behind the categorization I want to dig into some of the content in the books and the articles that you you and co-editor Robert Mayhew brought together you know when I talk to people at events that are Liberty oriented and I remember this from being undergraduate I remember studying Robert Nozick it was a big figure and he comes up a lot in these kind of circles probably because he was really well known he's a Harvard I believe and he's often seen as someone who's allied with Iran's perspective on capitalism now judging from the essays you you brought in the book there's there's Sheree stands apart from him and I thinking of him as a libertarian philosopher and I think he would have thought of himself that way and he's widely thought of that way and I want to say as people in the libertarian tradition and movement go I think knows it is good I mean I think he's a good author there's a lot to celebrate about him I think he had a good impact on the philosophy community and when I was saying a moment ago that there are people in the libertarian tradition who I would think of as belonging in this Lockean tradition I think of knows because one of them so I overall I think knows it's a good guy and I think his philosophy is really you know there's a lot positive in it but there are a lot of differences from Rand on issues where I think Rand is right and he's wrong particularly in their approach to the subject of defending freedom and defining it and I think the book particularly an essay by Anka got he really brings that out so one of the ways in which randon knows that are often seen as similar the way a libertarian would put it is that they're both armed in our kists that is they're not anarchists which a lot of libertarians are they believe there ought to be a government but it should be limited to performing certain functions what's sometimes called the Nightwatchman state um I think this whole way of conceiving of different views of government is wrong that is it's like you have a scale no government a little government more government more government and everybody on this side of the scale is the same and Rand and Nosek are there and so are anarchists my view and I can't Grand View is anarchism is way different from their position it's not a small difference and they're not in the same camp as anarchists and one of the things that's wrong with libertarianism as a concept is that it groups together anarchism and something that's just radically different from but I think knows its way of thinking of it contributes to that to that view so to that I think mistaken way of thinking of it so Nosek accepts a lot of kind of background premises from Murray Rothbard and other advocates of anarchism and people who think that governed that what's the proper thing to have rather than a government to protect rights is defense agencies that compete on a market to protect rights and the anarchists argue that a government which is the exclusive user of force in a given region and tries to shut out anyone else from using force even in retaliation is inherently a rights violation and so they start from a rights perspective or at least what they would call a rights perspective a Nosek joins them in doing that as an brand also starts more rights perspective oh I think she thinks about it very differently than Nozik and then the anarchist and the Nozick tries to show how a government could emerge out of anarchy in a way that doesn't violate rights and indeed that it would have to emerge out of anarchy if everyone was trying to not violate rights over time and therefore that min arc ism is good we don't have to stick around in in anarchism that whole perspective that whole approach that whole way of thinking of anarchism is something that is a kind of orderly society in which people might exist for a time respecting one another's right and that then a government might emerge out of is very alien from rands way of thinking of it she would view an anarchic time even the best imagine or one is one of rampant rights violations she wouldn't view the kinds of organizations that could arise for self-protection in that context as yet really organizations that are protecting rights because they wouldn't have the kind of objectivity that's in involved in it she sees the whole concept of rights is something that can only emerge or be implemented in a fairly sophisticated kind of society one that couldn't exist without a government in the first place and then um she does interview as I think a lot of this literature tends to view rights is the only moral principles governing human interactions so there's a tendency to think anything you do to one another is uh is fine unless it violates rights and then we see rights as kind of exist having to exist in a fairly sophisticated manner before people can form any kind of social organization because people even in fairly unsophisticated societies know what would be wrong to bash one another over the head and take all their stuff capriciously but if you you a believe you that there's more to even interpersonal morality than rights there are more interpersonal principles of justice and so forth that aren't adjusted by rights you can understand how a society might form how there might be principles governing it even prior and governing human interactions even prior to the formation of an organized society and I mean um Cara's piece is you know there's quite a lot in it but I think it's really revealing of the differences in Nozick and rands approach to the idea of rights and in their respective responses to the anarchist position which are strikingly different despite them coming down in a relatively similar place about what kinds of things government shouldn't shouldn't do you want to pick up on another point that I think some people were knowledgeable or have encountered some libertarian arguments will find in Rand some something that looks similar so in effect and this is the idea of so the batarians often put it as the non-aggression principle how does how do the returns view and not a she view it she doesn't have a name for it she just says I got to who is wrong to initiate force on other people uh Darrow calls it the non initiation of force principle the the phrase non-aggression axiom I think is a phrase that murray rothbard used I think Rothbard was influenced in his formulation of the non-aggression principle or axiom by Randy he knew her and they had some interaction so it's not a coincidence entirely that they hold similar seeming views and that this is spread in the libertarian movement I don't know that there are no and there are some antecedents to Rand to which I like she came up with this totally out of the blue but so they had maybe had some similar influences but she was definitely an influence on the libertarians in this respect but uh in her view um she talks about force she talks about the human mind having certain requirements to function what those requirements are it needs freedom and a social context what that freedom looks like and then force is the in effect treating someone not as someone to deal with by their consent but by but rather instead treating them as you would treat an object or an animal trying to exert your will over them by physical means by compulsion um now I don't think if you asked a libertarian or someone like Ross bard for example what they is I think they would agree with what I just said but when we just when we start to think about what it actually means in practice how they understand it applying um you know what it really means it starts to become very fuzzy so does property count as part of you and something you could exercise force over if so why and tendency tends to be to think of property is the primary thing and we understand your body in your life by analogy to that in the libertarian literature which whereas from rands perspective that's backwards secondarily what about things like fraud um and this is one of the things Darrell discusses is fraud should is fraud a violation of right if I defraud you have I initiated force against you and a Rothbart and some others argue no because you know you agreed to hand me the money it's just you didn't you know you thought you were we agreed to this transaction I'm giving you this shiny object and you're giving me some whatever a horse um but you thought the shiny object was gold I represented it as gold but really it's fool's gold or gold plated or whatever um you know we agreed so it's a voluntary transaction thinks rothbard but on the other hand there's not a real meeting of the mind if you didn't agree to like that thing pointing you agreed to that bar of gold and it wasn't and there's a lot of issues of what consent actually is that and therefore what is and is involuntary that come out of thinking of force as the antithesis of consent and consent is something that involves agreement between minds on what the transaction is I don't want to make the libertarian view sound like it's just ross bar which is a particularly crude version of it but then he's the paradigm of someone who believes in the non initiation non-aggression axiom as you put it present-day libertarians tend not so I'm curious so axiom is a philosophic term what does it typically mean how is that understood so it isn't any ordinary principle right it's a special kind of perspective on it yeah when they call it an axiom they mean it's the first principle of a certain domain of political theory and there's a way in which you can see it as a first principle of politics on rands view to the non initiation of force principle but it's a a step into the political realm from a deeper moral foundations and in her view you need those moral foundations to really make sense of what it is what Darrell's doing in his piece right or his three pieces really is exploring the moral foundations of this R and has this interesting formulation that's really fundamental to her endorsement of this anti force principle that um force paralyzes and negates the mind which is our basic means of survival and Darrow really digs into what that means what it means to say that it paralyzes and negates of mind those are two different things he shows and he shows how they work in different contexts and how with an analysis of that you can address some of these questions about what the proper scope of the principle is what things count as initiation to force and which ones don't so I want to turn now to two other kind of points that come up in the book that I think you know the FIR and they go together but people might be surprised to hear that they go together and that is she has definite views about the way an economy should run and it should be free of government intervention and she also thinks that the life of the mind or intellectual issues should be free of government involvement so she's for separating state and economics and she's separating church and state or more broadly intellectual freedom to do that so what what's the why does those go together fire well both of them are you can think of when they're seen as separate it's because it thought that there's a real distinction between the life of the mind or the soul and the life of the body between this world and the next so intellectual freedom is about getting your soul right and getting into heaven or if you have a more secular for you just reaching the truth and knowing what's right and knowing how to treat people well in your immediate context or something like that but not about how you live in the literal sense of earn a living you know your production and consumption in of the good settled life depends on and if you if you see those two realms is very separate then you'll think of different principles as applying for them but rands idea that the mind is our fundamental means of survival our basic rule of survival really means that the whole of intellectual life is integrated with the means by which human beings survive and this is a really deep insight that the kinds of intellectual work philosophy art advanced science and mathematics right these are the kinds of things that enable us in one they all have an input into our survival they all help us live and that's part of what's good about them in a way that's all of what's good about them but not in a kind of crude way of you just want to see you know how much bread it will put on the table to know if DaVinci is a great artist and the other side of that which is why it's not this kind of crudely how much bread does it put on the table view is the kinds of areas of life that are seen as crude and coarse and just about surviving like running a business like the kinds of skills and arts that are more directly related to production in in obvious ways like you know making a machine or whatever right these have the kind of spiritual grandeur and the kinds of qualities that are thought of sometimes is good in themselves that we attach to art and to abstract science and so forth and so what Rand view is all of that is of one piece these are all things that are good because they're exercises of our mind our faculty that makes us human and is creative and as such they contribute to our ability to survive and to continue existing as creatures that do this and what's great about a free economy is it enables us to find ways that are beneficial to all involved through you know mutual cooperation for each of us to find ways to use our minds in the ways that we are best at and most enjoy and hook them up with other people who could appreciate and benefit from the products of that such that we can live survive by doing this we can make a living by using their mind in this way and if you really have that perspective on the role of the mind in survival and on the value of using your mind and how those two things are connected then you're going to think that the freedom to speak your mind to spread your ideas is really if a piece with the freedom to use your ideas to figure out how to make the business to figure out how to make a machine to figure out what financial relationships you want to be in with others to figure out how to chart a course through the world to try to figure out how to create a self-sustaining life and self-sustaining relationships I want to circle back to two other points before we wrap up so one of the takeaways I had from from the book is that you know you brought together an impressive collection of scholars but the book is actually accessible I mean I'm not a scholar in the same way I'm not a scholar an academic scholar and I was able to follow the arguments and some of them were reach Alan geing I have to say and I I studied philosophy as an undergraduate but I found challenging it in a good way I felt like it was pushing me to think harder about some of these issues so I wonder two things that come to mind here one is it it's remarkable in the book I think it's a good thing that there's disagreement and you've brought in scholars were critical or at least they're bringing different perspectives so one is simple about that and then second what how do you think of the audience and what kind of things should someone read before they pick up this book what would be helpful well it's really valuable to talk to people who you disagree with you learn a lot and you learn a lot about even what you think that is you sometimes come up with new ideas that are responding to objections when you realize something you thought was wrong but even when you don't do that you might see you know we agree on a we don't agree on B and when we start talking about why we don't agree on B we discover that actually we don't really quite agree on a I mean we say the same thing but we understand it pretty differently and this is the kind of thing that came out for example when we're talking about Rand and knows it before so the the kind of people that are in the book they're there are a number of philosophers who think there we think of themselves as Objectivist I think most of the chapters are written by people who will either describe themselves as Objectivist or very sympathetic the other chapters are written by people who don't see themselves as Objectivists are critical of various points in ran but I think think of themselves as agreeing on other important things so there aren't anyone no one in the book thinks of himself as a socialist for example or a statist we have a couple of authors who are anarcho-capitalists that is anarchist libertarians one or two others who are libertarians but would see themselves as min are kissed so if one sort or another built in Friedman or Hayek types right um and I think all all really bright authors who have interesting things to say both in support of their own positions and in support of some and criticism of other views of rands and I think the exchanges with those authors I think are really interestingly bring out what's distinctive about randoms for you for better or worse I think for better but you can read it and see you know how she fits into this exchange and how we the authors who are elaborating on our views fit into this exchange because we might be um you know expanding on her in a direction other than as she would have there's also some I think smaller disagreements between the office who think of ourselves as Objectivists there's a piece by fred and adam elaborating on rann theory of rights which i you know overall I think it's a really interesting and well-written piece and I agree with most of it um there's a criticism of that piece or a criticism of the Furious presented there by Matt and Solinsky who's I'm a bleeding-heart liberal Terry and it's he thinks to himself uh and then I have a response to both of those pieces where I defend and elaborate on rands theory in in some ways that you know on a lot of issues I'm agreeing with Fred and Adam but on some parting ways with so just I think that kind of a book helps one get a sense of what it is to really chew a philosophical theory I mean they might you might learn things about the particular issues here but also it's I think useful and good for one to have examples of thinking through a theory teasing out where the agreements and disagreements are teasing out different ways in which you might interpret the same idea and develop it and it turns out that it's a pretty different idea depending on which way you go whether that's the non initiation of force principle or something about the foundations of property rights um the other part of it was what who the book is for yeah so what would someone benefit from reading first before they get into the in-depth exploration that you offer in the book and this book is part of this series of the Iran society philosophical studies series which is geared you know primarily for professional intellectuals people who are either in the field of philosophy or politics or economics or law or in this case because those are the fields that one deals with their philosophy in the case of the other books or who are serious students you know contemplating going into that field but I think the book is accessible and would be of interest to any fairly duteous person interested in the ideas of liberty and in the different interpretations of Liberty and different views of it so a vine ran I think probably you should have read her book capitalism the unknown ideal prior to reading this if you've read and liked and are interested in that book this is a good place to go for more and or read some political theory by other authors so if you're someone who has read a lot of Hayek and like that or freedmen or Nozick or von Mises particularly knows that I think would be a good you know person to have read to then read this or other things by velinski or but if you're a reader of the bleeding-heart liberal Aryan blog or a the stuff that comes out of the more anarchist wings of the Libertarian Party or Cato's more sophisticated or more theoretical works and blogs so not just you know their statistical findings on immigration or something which are really valuable but you're interested in the political theory and you're reading that kind of stuff if you're someone who's in that space doing that kind of reading I think this is a book you'll find accessible and interesting I don't even really think you have to read DUI first because it'll be a good cos capitalism them that idea by him it it would be a good it could be a good way into it depending on where you're coming from if you're coming from the the fray of this argument about political things you might even want to read this first but I think the more natural or obvious courses to read Ren's book on tap another person so thanks guys I want to close with just if you can give us a bit of context you mentioned two other books in the series that came before foundations and free society they're products of the Iran Society maybe you can just give us a snapshot what is the Iran society what is its activities and how did it how did it get rise to these series of there's an organization the American Philosophical Association which is sort of I don't know the Philosopher's Union or the the main philosophical position in America and they have meetings a couple of times three times a year regional meetings East Coast Central and Pacific part of what happens there more so before the age of Skype is that people would do job interviews to you know for to get a job in a philosophy department but also there'd be a lot of papers and there are various affiliated societies that have meetings at these sessions and present papers so there's a society for ancient Greek philosophy there's a David Hume society there's a society for realist anti-realist there were just lots of different groups of philosophers with some special interest that they then organize programs and the Iran society is a group like that it's been around for four decades now and they would hold typically once a year a program sometimes we've done it twice a year add an occasional skipped a year at these APA meetings uh where we'd have a program sometimes it would be a couple of scholars of Rann discussing an issue in ran very often it would be someone who was a scholar of Rand or an advocate of her ideas and someone who wasn't comparing notes on some topic of mutual interest we just did a session on the virtue of integrity with Cary and Biondi writing a paper on it from a elaborating on time of Rand's ideas perspective and then some comments on it one by me and one by Christian Miller who's a philosopher very interested in integrity not interested in ran but was interested in in you know Cary and fees on this and it could comment so this is the kind of thing we do and have done for for some time now and there were all these papers lying around from these sessions and they weren't anywhere available to read some of them had been published you know here are they're separately but at a certain point actually was what Alan and I were editing elin got half and I were editing a companion to hangman we were finding ourselves citing to and referring to a lot of these papers and there was the thought you know why haven't these ever been published – some of them have but some have it and so the society started a series of books with University of Pittsburgh Press and here they are the first two were edited by Alan got health and Jim Lennox this one is meta ethics egoism and virtue and it's a collection of mostly ethics papers that had been presented at the society meetings at one time or another often in this paper response format other or not some of them we just added extra papers that someone had or that we thought fit well and they're not in a paper responsible in that um the second book in the series is concepts and their role in knowledge also edited by Ellen got health and James Lennox and this one had a number of papers exchanges of papers that were from ARS sessions and also by this time the Ansem foundation had really gotten off the ground and there were a lot of conferences that um Alan got health and Tara Smith but in this case basically Alan got health was organizing unfinished sinful Asif II and so there were a lot of papers that were being written for those workshops and complications and a lot of those are in and then when we got through with that one I thought it's sort of odd that we haven't done one on politics there's so much interest in random politics she had a lot to say about it and so I advocated for our next volume being on politics and the various things happened to Robert and I ended up being tasked with editing it and we we had some you know sessions that had already happened on politics at the eras prior to this but for various reasons I think maybe a little bit rebelling against it had she's all about politics the INA and society had tended to shy away from politics and do more ethics and epistemology and so we ended up having a lot of political philosophy sessions to generate material for this new book and and then just have some things written directly for that weren't part of exceptions so that's the the series the next books gonna be on iron Rand and Aristotle that most of the papers already done for and done for sounds bad they're already done for support and a Jim Lennox and I are editing that I'm not sure when it'll be out yet but this is uh this is volume three I think it's um really long overdue my sense and I think this more now than when I started the project is that there's a lot to say about rands political philosophy and that those of us who have been the most interested in her and a philosophic from a philosophical perspective have tended to shy away from those issues and be more focused on what we see as the deeper issues and I think they are the deeper issues things in the epistemology and ethics but her approach to those issues really informs the distinctive approach to political philosophy and I think that field has suffered from that approach not having been brought out enough and uh and has suffered from the divide between the people who are most interested in politics and the people the rand scholars who are most interested in her foundational stuff so I'm very pleased to have some of those office who I think are best on our ethics and purpose Tamala G among the people writing in this book on political theory in that to include John Carr got a and Darryl Wright who we spoke about and another Greg thanks so much for taking the time to talk to us about foundations of a free society I'm really excited for people to pick up a copy of the book and learn more about what's inside and I think one of the one of the big values of it is is it's rehabbing people understand both what Ron is saying but also see where she stands on the landscape the intellectual landscape and how she relates and differs from other thinkers I thought I think is a huge value so I want to express my appreciation for that thanks I hope so so far only those of us ended in a couple of people who wrote copies to have have had a chance to read it but everyone I think has has found it helpful and interesting and I'm hoping the wider public will – thanks so much you




Comments
  1. So according to Rand we need a socialist organization to protect private property and individual rights? Is that the argument? She favors socialism for police, courts, and lawmaking?

    Edit: left out property from my original post

  2. Are you kidding me? At 20:20 you literally say that Rothbard doesn't consider fraud to be a violation of rights, as in the case where you agree to pay in gold coins and you pay in counterfeits instead. Do your homework! In the profession you have chosen, you have no excuse to not know this — It's really basic. Fraud is mentioned in the very definition of the NAP as stated by Rothbard, and he has written in detail about fraud in books like The Ethics Of Liberty (to name just one). You confirm my impression of Objectivists as not very good thinkers or readers of anything besides Rand.

  3. Of politics. Rand said "I am intersted in politics only to bring about the day that I do not need to be interested in politics"

  4. The big problem with the "non-agression principle" is that it is defined by a negative. Since a negative references NON-existience while a principle is a positives statement of what TO do and how come, meaning, that there are existent tenents to warrant the action(s) stipulated; therefore, a principle cannot be defined using any negatives

  5. The most succinct statement that Rand made about capitlaism was "It is slavery-free". This tied it to her political views of individual rights, which decended from her ethics of Egoism which derived from her metaphysical outlook i.e. worldview and her take of epistemology; i.e. mindset.This is a cohesive structure from top to bottom

  6. — THE FIVE QUESTIONS —-
    by Larken Rose
    1) Is there any means by which any number of individuals can delegate to someone else the moral right to do something which none of the individuals have the moral right to do themselves?
    2) Do those who wield political power (presidents, legislators, etc.) have the moral right to do things which other people do not have the moral right to do? If so, from whom and how did they acquire such a right?
    3) Is there any process (e.g., constitutions, elections, legislation) by which human beings can transform an immoral act into a moral act (without changing the act itself)?
    4) When law-makers and law-enforcers use coercion and force in the name of law and government, do they bear the same responsibility for their actions that anyone else would who did the same thing on his own?
    5) When there is a conflict between an individual's own moral conscience, and the commands of a political authority, is the individual morally obligated to do what he personally views as wrong in order to "obey the law"?

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