Politics

  • Philosophy: Who Needs It
    The answers given by ethics determine how man should treat other men, and this determines the fourth branch of philosophy: politics, which defines the principles of a proper social system. As an example of philosophy’s function, political philosophy will not tell you how much rationed gas you should be given and on which day of the week — it will tell you whether the government has the right to impose any rationing on anything.
  • Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal
    The basic and crucial political issue of our age is: capitalism versus socialism, or freedom versus statism. For decades, this issue has been silenced, suppressed, evaded, and hidden under the foggy, undefined rubber-terms of “conservatism” and “liberalism” which had lost their original meaning and could be stretched to mean all things to all men.
  • Return of the Primitive
    It is political philosophy that sets the goals and determines the course of a country’s practical politics. But political philosophy means: abstract theory to identify, explain and evaluate the trend of events, to discover their causes, project their consequences, define the problems and offer the solutions.
  • The Objectivist Newsletter
    Politics is based on three other philosophical disciplines: metaphysics, epistemology and ethics — on a theory of man’s nature and of man’s relationship to existence. It is only on such a base that one can formulate a consistent political theory and achieve it in practice. When, however, men attempt to rush into politics without such a base, the result is that embarrassing conglomeration of impotence, futility, inconsistency and superficiality which is loosely designated today as “conservatism.” Objectivists are not “conservatives.” We are radicals for capitalism; we are fighting for that philosophical base which capitalism did not have and without which it was doomed to perish.
  • The Virtue of Selfishness
    The basic political principle of the Objectivist ethics is: no man may initiate the use of physical force against others. No man — or group or society or government — has the right to assume the role of a criminal and initiate the use of physical compulsion against any man. Men have the right to use physical force only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use.