RNS Quote of the Day

The American philosophy of the Rights of Man was never grasped fully by European intellectuals. Europe’s predominant idea of emancipation consisted of changing the concept of man as a slave of the absolute state embodied by a king, to the concept of man as a slave of the absolute state embodied by “the people� – i.e. switching from slavery to a tribal chief into slavery to the tribe. A non-tribal view of existence could not penetrate the mentalities that regarded the privilege of ruling material producers by physical force as a badge of nobility.

Ayn Rand: What is Capitalism – 1965

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RNS Quote of the Day

Progress cannot be achieved by forced privations, by squeezing a ‘Social Surplus’ out of starving victims. Progress can come only out of individual surplus, i.e., from the work, the energy, the creative over abundance of those men whose ability produces more than their personal consumption requires, those who are intellectually and financially able to seek the new, to improve on the known to move forward. In a capitalist society, where such men are free to function and to take their own risks, progress is not a matter of sacrificing to some distant future, it is part of the living present, it is the normal and the natural, it is achieved as and while men live and enjoy their lives.

Now consider the alternative – the tribal society, where all men throw their efforts, values, ambitions and goals into a tribal pool or common pot, then wait hungrily at its rim, while the leader of a clique of cooks stirs it with a bayonet in one hand and a blank check on all their lives in the other.

Ayn Rand: What is Capitalism – 1965

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RNS Quote of the Day

The ‘practical’ justification of capitalism does not lie in the collectivist claim that it effects “the best allocation of natural resources�. Man is not a ‘national resource’ and neither is his mind. Without the creative power of man’s intelligence, raw materials would remain just so many useless raw materials.

Ayn Rand: What is Capitalism – 1965

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RNS Quote of the Day

Capitalism is a social system based on the recognition of individual rights, including property rights, in which all property is privately owned.

Ayn Rand: What is Capitalism – 1965

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RNS Quote of the Day

In regard to political economy, this requires special emphasis: man has to work and produce in order to support his life. He has to support his life by his own effort and by the guidance of his own mind. If he cannot dispose of the product of his effort, he cannot dispose of his effort; if he cannot dispose of his effort, he cannot dispose of his life. Without property rights, no other rights can be practical.

Ayn Rand: What is Capitalism – 1965

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RNS Quote of the Day

The two greatest values to be gained from social existence are: knowledge and trade. Man is the only species that can transmit and expand his store of knowledge from generation to generation: the knowledge potentially available to man is greater than any one man could possibly begin to acquire in his own lifespan; every man gains an incalculable benefit from the knowledge of others. The second great benefit is the division of labor: it enables a man to devote his effort to a particular field of work and to trade with others who specialize in other fields. This form of cooperation allows all men who take part in it to achieve a greater knowledge, skill and productive return on their effort than they could achieve if each had to produce everything he needs, on a desert island or on a self-sustaining farm.

Ayn Rand: The Objectivist Ethics, The Nature of Government – 1963

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RNS Quote of the Day

Today, this principle (the protection of individual rights) is forgotten, ignored and evaded. The result is the present state of the world, with mankind’s retrogression to the lawlessness of absolutist tyranny, to the primitive savagery of rule by brute force.

In unthinking protest against this trend, some people are raising the question of whether government as such is evil by nature and whether anarchy is the ideal social system. Anarchy, as a political concept, is naïve floating abstraction: a society without an organized government would be at the mercy of the first criminal who came a long and who would precipitate it into the chaos of gang warfare.

Ayn Rand: The Nature of Government – 1963

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RNS Quote of the Day

The fundamental difference between private action and governmental actions – a difference thoroughly ignored and evaded today – lies in the fact that a government holds a monopoly on the legal use of physical force. It has to hold such a monopoly, since it is the agent of restraining and combating the use of force; and for that very same reason, its actions have to be rigidly defined, delimited and circumscribed; no touch of whim or caprice should be permitted in its performance; it should be an impersonal robot, with the laws as its only motive power. If a society is to be free, its government has to be controlled.

Ayn Rand: The Nature of Government – 1963

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RNS Quote of the Day

The necessary consequence of a man’s right to life is his right to self-defense. In a civilized society, force may only be used in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use. All of the reasons which make the initiation of physical force an evil, make the retaliatory use of physical force a moral imperative.

Ayn Rand: The Nature of Government – 1963

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RNS Quote of the Day

The evolution of the concept of “government� has had a long, tortuous history. Some glimmer of the government’s proper function seems to have existed in every organized society, manifesting itself in such phenomena as the recognition of some implicit (if often non-existent) difference between a government and a robber gang – the aura of respect and of moral authority granted to the government as the guardian of ‘law and order’ – the fact that even the most evil types of government found it necessary to maintain some semblance of order and some pretense at justice, if only by routine and tradition, and to claim some sort of moral justification for their power, of a mystical or social nature.

Just as the absolute monarchs of France had to invoke “The Divine Right of Kings�, so the modern dictators of Soviet Russia have to spend fortunes on propaganda to justify their rule in the eyes of their enslaved subjects.

Ayn Rand: The Nature of Government – 1965

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RNS Quote of the Day

In accordance with the choice of the majority of the citizenry of San Francisco to voluntarily disarm themselves in their own homes…..

Man’s rights can be violated only by the use of physical force. It is only by means of physical force that one man can deprive another of his life, or enslave him, or rob him, or prevent him from perusing his own goals, or compel him to act against his own rational judgment.

If some “pacifist� society renounced the retaliatory use of force, it would be left helplessly at the mercy of the first thug who decided to be immoral. Such a society would achieve the opposite of its intention: instead of abolishing evil, it would encourage and reward it.

Ayn Rand: The Nature of Government – 1963

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RNS Quote of the Day

The nature of the laws proper to a free society and the source of its government’s authority are both to be derived from the nature and purpose of a proper government. The basic principle of both is indicated in The Declaration of Independence: “To secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their powers from the consent of the governed…�

Since the protection of individual rights is the only proper purpose of a government, it is the only proper subject of legislation; all laws must be based on individual rights and aimed at their protection. All laws must be objective (and objectively justifiable): men must know clearly, and in advance of taking an action, what the law forbids them to do (and why), what constitutes a crime and what penalty they will incur of they commit it.

Ayn Rand: The Nature of Government – 1963

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RNS Quote of the Day

A society that robs an individual of the product of his effort, or enslaves him, or attempts to limit the freedom of his mind, or compels him to act against his own rational judgment – a society that sets up a conflict between its edicts and the requirements of a man’s nature – is not, strictly speaking, a society, but a mob held together by institutionalized gang rule. Such a society destroys all the values of human coexistence, has no possible justification and represents, not a source of benefits, but the deadliest threat to man’s survival. Life on a desert island is safer than and incomparably preferable to existence Soviet Russia or nazi Germany.

Ayn Rand – The Nature of Government (1963)

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