Anti-State is Anti-Freedom
By Yaron Brook and Don Watkins
The purpose of this newsletter is to define and defend a new moral ideal: Effective Egoism. But every moral ideal implies a political ideal. This essay, originally published on economist Bryan Caplan’s Substack, lays out the political ideal that follows from Effective Egoism— laissez-faire capitalism—and contrasts it with the ideal advocated by many libertarians: anarchy.
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How do we liberate individuals from the rule of brute force and create a free society? The main answer coming out of the classic liberal tradition is that we establish a constitutionally limited government devoted to the protection of individual rights.
Libertarian anarchists take a different view. They argue that getting rid of government will—or at least could—unleash “market competition” among “private defense agencies” that will protect freedom better than any limited government has or could.
These anarchists have come to dominate the libertarian movement, if not in numbers than in influence. Even libertarians who are not anarchists typically express sympathy. Anarchy, they say, is an impractical ideal—but an ideal nonetheless. The closer we can get to dismantling the state, the better.
We disagree. We come at this issue, not as libertarians, but as Objectivists—advocates of Ayn Rand’s philosophy. One of the major reasons Objectivists have gone to great pains to distinguish ourselves from libertarians is that they make common cause with anarchists. On our view, anarchy does not lead to anything like freedom: it means and has to mean the rule of brute force. A rights-protecting government, by contrast, is neither an unnecessary evil nor a necessary evil, but a positive good.
What Freedom Is
A free society is not a society where you can do whatever you want—it is a society that subordinates might to right. That is the function of individual rights. In Rand’s formulation:
“Rights” are a moral concept—the concept that provides a logical transition from the principles guiding an individual’s actions to the principles guiding his relationship with others—the concept that preserves and protects individual morality in a social context—the link between the moral code of a man and the legal code of a society, between ethics and politics. Individual rights are the means of subordinating society to moral law.
Political freedom follows from a moral perspective that values the individual and aims at his flourishing. At the most basic level, human beings flourish through thought and production. We use reason to discover what’s true and what’s good, and we use that knowledge to build secure, fulfilling lives—chiefly through the creation of material values.
That’s true even of a human being living alone on an island. But human beings live best in society, where they can benefit from the thought and production of billions of other people. Not any society, however, will aid in human flourishing: it is far safer to live alone on an island than in Afghanistan or North Korea. Human beings thrive in rational, productive, free societies.
How do we create a society that safeguards an individual’s pursuit of life and happiness through thought and production? How do we create a society that allows individuals to gain the benefits of living in society while avoiding the potential harms? We define and protect the individual’s right to live a moral life. Rights are moral principles—not principles governing what each individual ought to do, but what an individual ought to be free to do in society.
If it is right that the individual seek to preserve his life, then we should organize society so that each individual is free to preserve his life. If it is right that the individual think, then we should organize society so that each individual has the liberty to exercise his own judgment. If it is right that the individual produce, then we should organize society so that each individual is free to earn and use property. If it is right that the individual seek his own happiness, then we should organize society so that each individual is free to pursue his own happiness. The rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness form the guiding principles for creating a free society.
There is only one way to violate these rights: the initiation of physical force. Force is not the only harm other people can inflict on us, but it is a unique harm: it is the only harm that renders us incapable of living according to our own thought and effort. To be sure, we can think about how to avoid force or how to respond to it, but to the extent we are at the mercy of a murder, a rapist, or a thief, we are not free to live according to our own judgment. When a boss fires us or a partner cheats on us, the results may be more devastating than getting punched in the arm, but we remain free to try to repair the relationship or go our own way. Going our own way is precisely what we cannot do in the face of physical force.
The initiation of physical force includes, most obviously, direct physical contact with someone against their consent. But it also includes indirect deployments of force—especially the threat of force. “Your money or your life” represents the initiation of force, even if the thief never pulls the trigger. The IRS seizes your income by force, even if you mail the check and armed agents never show up at your home. Such “transactions” only take place because they are backed by the promise of direct force. Similarly, menacing constitutes the initiation of force. If a man storms into a restaurant waving a gun in the air, you are not free to go about your business, and you do not have to wait for the bullet to come flying at you before acting in self-defense.
A society that protects individual rights from violation by force is a free society. Free individuals may face any number of challenges and obstacles on the path to achieving happiness—but no one can stop them from pursuing their happiness through thought, production, and voluntary cooperation with other people.
Why a Rights-Protecting Government is Necessary
To protect individual rights, a society must do two things.
It must define the individual’s rights in a legal code so the individual knows his sphere of freedom
It must enforce that legal code through retaliatory force, which itself must be governed by rights-protecting laws
The rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness name our fundamental rights. But these rights are too abstract to provide us with all the knowledge we need to function in a society.
For example, does your right to property give you the right to oil far beneath your house, or does that right belong to the oil company that discovers the deposit and accesses it through horizontal drilling? Does an embryo have a right to life—or does that right belong only to the mother? If you write a novel or design a new technology, can your neighbor copy your creation and sell it—or is he violating your intellectual property rights? Can you build a road around someone’s house and charge her a million dollars to cross, or is she entitled to an easement?
If human beings are to live among each other without conflict and chaos, these and countless other such questions have to be answered. They cannot be answered by reading them off from our fundamental rights—and they certainly cannot be answered by deducing them from some “non-aggression axiom.” Beyond certain clear-cut cases, like punching a stranger in the face unprovoked, what counts as aggression usually can’t be determined until our rights are specifically defined. To define our rights in the necessary detail, lawmakers and jurists must translate our fundamental rights into a legal code.
But a legal code is only a legal code if it is enforced. A law against murder is only a law if murderers face punishment. This requires the use of retaliatory force.
In a free society, human beings deal with one another through voluntary persuasion or they go their separate ways. The person who resorts to force doesn’t allow men to go their own way. He refuses to deal with human beings by reason and so he must be answered by force. In Rand’s formulation:
It is only as retaliation that force may be used and only against the man who starts its use. No, I do not share his evil or sink to his concept of morality: I merely grant him his choice, destruction, the only destruction he had the right to choose: his own. He uses force to seize a value; I use it only to destroy destruction.
But just as we need laws to define our sphere of freedom, we need laws governing the use of retaliatory force. This includes procedural laws governing how a crime is investigated, when an arrest can be made, how a trial is conducted, how guilt is determined, and how punishment and restitution are determined. Each of these steps creates the potential for initiating force against innocent parties. For example, a suspected murder lives with his parents. Can detectives search the suspect’s room? The entire house? The neighbor’s adjacent property the suspect may have crossed on the night of the murder? To ensure force is used only in retaliation, these and countless other decisions must be determined, not by the whim of investigators, but by law.
Such laws not only ensure, so far as possible, that only the guilty are penalized—they allow other members of society to know the use of force is retaliatory. Remember, the threat of force is force. If you march into town and gun down Bill in the street because you say he murdered your cousin, it is irrelevant that you know in your own mind Bill is a killer. From the perspective of bystanders, you are a threat. It’s only when retaliatory force is deployed according to defined laws, and the public can see that this is so, that there is a clear demarcation between the initiation of force and the retaliatory use of force.
The institution we create to define and enforce rights-protecting laws is government. “A government,” writes Rand, “is an institution that holds the exclusive power to enforce certain rules of social conduct in a given geographical area.” It “is the means of placing the retaliatory use of physical force under objective control—i.e., under objectively defined laws.”
The need for geographical exclusivity is built into the purpose of law. The purpose of rights-protecting laws is to organize society and so they must extend over a society—over a geographic region where people can live securely in their rights. This region, then, must be large enough for an individual to build a life in. If different laws govern your interactions with each of your neighbors or each of your roommates, or if they differ from neighborhood to neighborhood or block to block, the result would not be clarity and peaceful coexistence but chaos and perpetual conflict.
Anarchists will often point to interactions between citizens of different countries as counterexamples allegedly demonstrating that geographical sovereignty is unimportant. But these interactions almost always occur under the jurisdiction of one government or another. Where neither country has jurisdiction, we don’t see complex commercial interactions, but high-risk interactions that can hardly be called “free.”
Government is a tool: it’s an institution created by individuals and should be used to protect their rights so they can live and flourish in a free society. A government that fulfills its proper function is not a necessary evil because it is not an evil. It is a force for good. It does not limit people’s freedom but in a very real sense creates their freedom.
Man, in a “state of nature,” is not free. He is subject to coercion from any person (or gang) stronger or more ruthless. Man, in a society safeguarded by a rights-protecting government, is free. He can think, produce, trade, live free from force.
Why A Rights-Protecting Government Is Possible
Anarchists argue that a proper, rights-protecting government is a fantasy: either it is outright impossible or highly improbable.
A proper government is impossible, anarchists claim, because a government must initiate force against “competitors.” Philosopher Michael Huemer summarizes the argument:
Government, by definition, holds a monopoly on the services it provides. It maintains this monopoly through the use of force against anyone who attempts to compete—that is, anyone who attempts to provide the same services as the government. Now, either the provision of these services constitutes aggression, or it does not. If it constitutes aggression, then, by the Non-Aggression Axiom, government is unjustified. But if it does not constitute aggression, then to use force to prevent other people from providing these services is itself to commit aggression. In other words, if the state violates rights, then it must be abolished; if the state does not violate rights, then it can have no valid objection to other organizations doing the same thing as the state is doing.
This objection fails apart under the most cursory scrutiny. A rights-protecting government defines the procedures governing the use of retaliatory force, including the personnel empowered to carry out these procedures. The rights of a judge are not violated because he cannot also act as arresting officer, prosecuting attorney, jury, and executioner.
What anarchists describe is not a situation where someone is providing the same “service” as a government, the way one might offer the same service as one’s neighborhood barber. They describe a situation in which someone wants to deploy the use of force unilaterally, without legal authorization. In a free society, or anything close to a free society, no one has no such a right, and so the government is not violating their rights by stopping them.
If an individual resorts to the unilateral use of force, it does not matter if he believes himself to be using force to protect rights. He is using force in defiance of the legal safeguards that establish retaliatory force as retaliatory. Like the man who guns down a supposed murderer in the street, he is by that very fact a threat to other citizens, and the government must stop that threat to defend its citizens’ rights.
There is no right to the arbitrary use of force, and force is used arbitrarily whenever it is not used according to the procedures defined in an objective legal code.
But even if a proper government is possible, is it probable? Anarchists claim that Objectivists cannot point to examples of proper, rights-protecting governments—but the anarchist, by contrast, can point to countless examples of governments that violate rights.
This is true but utterly beside the point. What Objectivists can point to are abundant partial examples of governments placing the use of force under objective laws aimed at the protection of individual rights. And if governments can do this partially, there is nothing stopping them from doing it consistently.
Objectivists often point to late 19th century America as approximating an ideal government, but we can also point to America today, or Canada, or Germany, or Sweden, or Japan, or South Korea. All these countries, whatever their flaws, are nothing like Iran, North Korea, or Hamas. They have established governments with more or less limited powers that operate according to the rule of law, with many of those laws aimed at the protection of individual rights. From an historical perspective, these governments have done an admirable job establishing societies where people coexist peacefully and can live self-directed lives. They are far from ideal—but they are even farther from authoritarian regimes that do more to threaten their citizens than to protect them.
What we don’t have—not in any way to any extent—are examples of rights-protecting anarchic societies.
“But Medieval Iceland!” But Medieval nothing. No one can claim that Iceland’s primitive, tribal, brutal society achieved anything like a legal code that protected individual rights. The most anarchists can muster is that it achieved a similar amount of poverty and stagnation as its neighbors. Its only distinction is that it managed to stagnate without a state, which counts as an achievement only if your standard for successful social organization is that there be no government.
Nor do the relationships between different countries offer a model for the relationship between individuals under anarchy. The peaceful dealings we see between the US and Canada, for instance, are made possible by the fact that they are governments with the exclusive power to enforce laws in a defined geographical area. Many conflicts between countries originate over contested territory. And the only reason anyone could mistake international relations for a model of peaceful coexistence is that the US has been the world’s dominant superpower since World War II. When there is no peace-loving dominant power, international relations have historically been defined by conflict, not cooperation. If anything, international relations illustrate the value of a monopoly on force.
We don’t need to look to examples borrowed from the governed world or to an historical aberration like Iceland to see what anarchy looks like in practice. Anarchy has a long track record—and it is ugly. Anarchy exists wherever there is no government able to establish a monopoly on the use of force. It exists in every gang-run neighborhood and in every prison. It existed in Somalia, in Lebanon, in the countries being torn apart by warring narco cartels. Anarchy is so unlivable that human beings have generally preferred to live under the heel of oppressive governments rather than be caught in the crossfire of warring gangs.
Libertarian anarchists disclaim all of these examples: their theory would unleash anarchy in a form that looks nothing like anarchy as it has actually existed. We must not look to history or to the world today to judge their theory. We must judge their theory on its own merits. Fine. Let’s consider their theory and what it has to say about how force should be used.
Libertarian Anarchists Advocate “Might Makes Right”
If you value your life, you should value an ideal, fully free social system, and fight restrictions on freedom wherever you find them. But if you value your life, you should also value what’s good in today’s system. The freedom we have in countries like the United States is substantial. The formulation of the ideas that lead to this freedom and the (partial) implementation of these ideas in practice have been real and noble achievements.
Objectivists appreciate these achievements and seek to build on them—to create governments that don’t protect rights partially, but fully and consistently. What libertarian anarchists propose is that, if we should ever succeed in creating a fully rights-protecting government, our next step should be to destroy it.
True freedom, they say, is not to be found in a society where the government brings the use of force under objective control—it’s to be found in the government standing aside and letting anyone, anywhere deploy force against its citizens. Under a constitutionally limited government, the state will zealously stop a prosecutor from introducing evidence that hasn’t been secured by a lawfully governed chain of custody—anarchists demand that the state do nothing as masked Antifa thugs and white supremacists impose their notions of “justice” at the point of a gun.
Conventional statists at least have the decency to openly oppose the creation of a rights-protecting government; libertarian anarchists say they want to see a rights-protecting government come into existence and then tear it down.
“We don’t want to tear it down,” they say. “We need to transition to anarchy.” But “transition” is just a euphemism for vigilantes taking up arms against their fellow citizens while the government stands by and does nothing.
“We don’t support vigilantes,” they say. “We support defense agencies.” Another euphemism. There is nothing in what anarchists propose that limits these “agencies” to defending their customers. Under anarchy, people can pay for any use of force they desire. But, anarchists assure us, people will generally only pay for laws that libertarians like—though anarchist David Friedman acknowledges:
Whether these institutions will produce a libertarian society—a society in which each person is free to do as he likes with himself and his property as long as he does not use either to initiate force against others—remains to be proven. Under some circumstances they will not. If almost everyone believes strongly that heroin addiction is so horrible that it should not be permitted anywhere under any circumstances, anarcho-capitalist institutions will produce laws against heroin. Laws are being produced for a market, and that is what the market wants.
This admission should disturb anyone who values freedom. Anarchists do not seek to subordinate might to right but to subordinate right to public auction. If enough people are willing to pay enough money, then that is the law they will get. What will happen to abortion rights? Patent rights? Banning CO2 emissions? Breaking up “monopolies”? A supporter of freedom works to create a system that will protect what’s morally right. An anarchist aims to tear down the state and leave you to try to outbid anyone who wants to violate your rights. Does your womb belong to you? No. It belongs to whomever pays the most to control it.
The anarchist will reply that the situation is no better with government, where your fellow citizens can (and often do) vote to violate all these rights. But this a false equivalence. The government of a free society is constitutionally limited to the task of protecting the rights of all citizens, each citizen has an equal say in choosing who will govern him, and each citizen can appeal to a legal system that, in principle, places his rights beyond the reach of government or popular opinion. The system, whatever its failures, is designed to protect an individual’s rights because it is right.
This is precisely what anarchy is not designed to do. It is not designed to protect rights but to auction the use of force. Libertarian anarchists insist that their system is, in Caplan’s words, “a miniscule step” from a rights-protecting government. But if we look at their theory as they advocate it, its closest cousin is not a rights-protecting government but the pressure group warfare that characterizes the worst aspects of a mixed economy.
In mixed economies, people live under force with no recourse to the principled, objective, impartial use of retaliatory force. They have to band together into gangs (pressure groups) in order to seek protection from other gangs (other pressure groups), with each gang seeking to advance its members’ particular interests over the interests of rival factions without regard for principle. But this is just a description of anarchy.
Philosopher Harry Binswanger captures this overall point eloquently:
Under a governmental system, the government is the agent of all citizens, providing each with “equal protection under the law” and equal representation. Under “anarcho-capitalism,” each private militia would be the agent of just those who are paying it, as attorney’s today are of their clients. The proposal to put coercion “on the market” means: “Let’s arm the lawyers.”
The Underwhelming Argument for Anarchy
Anarchists can offer responses to these criticisms, but they all amount to the claim that anarchy will approximate by “market forces” what a rights-protecting government achieves by design and on principle. And to the extent their responses have any plausibility it is because they imagine their “defense agencies” will act like a government.
Consider: In their anarchic fantasy, do the competing defense agencies all view one another as legitimate and do they all accept some single legal code and overarching framework for how and by whom decisions to wield retaliatory force will be made in cases of disagreement? If so, then these agencies jointly constitute one complex institution with a monopoly on force—one government. If they don’t, then there’s no difference at all between what anarchists are proposing and neighborhoods dominated by gangs competing with one another and with the government.
Let’s go further and fantasize that we have a society with a freedom-loving culture that tries to implement libertarian anarchism. Most people in this society, let’s imagine, agree on what the law should be, and how it should be interpreted and enforced, and so the defense agencies most people hire differ from one another only in minor details.
Nevertheless, there will be a few minorities with different views who form their own defense agencies. There’s the anti-immigrationists who forcibly eject people from the country (fearing that they might take jobs or establish a government). There are the anti-abortionists who try and execute certain doctors for their crimes against the “unborn.” There are the Sherman brigade that forcibly breaks up large companies for the “crime” of being monopolies. There are the Warriors of Lived Experience who are opposed to the phallocentric, Eurocentric standards of evidence used by most of the courts and who summarily execute those accused of wrongdoing by members of historically marginalized groups. There are agencies that “defend” Muslims from speech that mocks the Prophet, that prosecute gays for crimes against nature, that protect pedophiles from what they call “consensual” sexual relationships with young children.
These illiberal agencies are all small and have few members. But they are killing people, menacing them, threatening them with force. Is it okay, to the anarchist, for the more dominant, liberal defense agencies to ban and forcibly disband these agencies on the grounds that they enforce unjust laws by unjust means? If so then these dominant agencies are enforcing a single, monopoly standard concerning the use of retaliatory force (even if there may be options within it), and (insofar as they cooperate through treaties and the like) they jointly constitute some sort of government. If they cannot forcibly disband these agencies, then libertarian anarchy unleashes, not freedom, but brute force and injustice. Their theory leads to precisely the real-life examples of anarchy they disclaim.
In short, if libertarians subordinate might to right, the cease being anarchists—and if they remain anarchists, they refuse to subordinate might to right.
The question is: why bother? Why concoct these elaborate schemes of “competing defense agencies” if only to argue—unconvincingly—that they will mimic what we know a rights-protecting government can do by design?
There ought to be some compelling answer. There ought to be something so potentially superior about libertarian anarchy—superior at least in theory—that it would make sense for self-proclaimed advocates of freedom to endorse overthrowing a rights-protecting government, or demanding that a rights-protecting government stand back as citizens unilaterally unleash force on one another.
But shockingly, we find nothing like that. Bryan Caplan, for instance, treats the issue almost as an afterthought. After arguing that there is little difference between a rights-protecting government and anarchy, he says:
If the distance from minarchy to anarcho-capitalism is so small, who cares? My best answer is that even the smallest government carries a high demagogic risk. Under minarchy, power-lusters will continue to turn to politics—and gradually rechart a course back to big government. In free markets, in contrast, what drives elites is not power-lust, but greed. Which, as my book in progress argues, is much better and much safer. In slogan form: Markets do the good things that sound bad; governments do the bad things that sound good. If we ever get to minarchy, refusing to take the final step into anarcho-capitalism would be short-sighted indeed.
The best that can be said of this is that it is naïve. Are we to believe that power lusters will not maneuver for the profits and power offered by “defense agencies”?
But the full truth is worse because the intellectuals promoting libertarian anarchists are too smart to be naïve. Caplan knows full well that a profit-seeking company attracts its share of envious power lusters. And he also knows that what protects us from profit-seeking power lusters is precisely that, in a free society, they don’t have the power to use force. Their only power is economic, not political.
But it’s the distinction between economic and political power—between the dollar and the gun—that libertarian anarchists want to abolish. Just as the left conflates economic and political power, insisting that a hungry man is not free and that a business exploits us by offering us jobs and products, so the libertarian anarchists conflate economic and political power by speaking of “markets” in force and “competition” in law. The left conflates economic and political power in order to shackle businesses—libertarian anarchists conflate economic and political power in order to arm them. Binswanger explains why no defender of freedom should ever conflate these two kinds of power by speaking of a “market” in coercion.
Production must be kept strictly separate from destruction. A business deals in the creation of goods and services to offer on a free market; a coercer deals in destruction. The proper use of destruction is to combat destruction—to wield retaliatory force against the initiators of force. But retaliatory force is still destruction, not production. There is no such thing as “the market for force-wielding.” For there to be a market in the first place, those who would simply seize goods must be met with force. The benefits of a free market presuppose that freedom has been established. Market mechanisms can’t establish or protect the precondition of there being a market.
There is something else that Caplan knows, or ought to: namely, that the cause of statism’s growth is not demagogs. Hitler (or even Trump) could not have taken power in the United States in 1789. Anarchists attribute the growth of statism to facts inherent in government, but such accounts cannot explain the many areas and eras where governments have become freer and less interventionist throughout history.
What, then, does explain the trajectory of political systems? Ultimately, it’s a culture’s dominant philosophy. This is a point Rand discusses throughout her work and we have argued at length elsewhere, so we will not belabor the point.
What’s relevant is that this is the best anarchists can do to explain why we should overthrow a proper government. That fact is revealing. It is like building a healthy marriage and being told that it is at a high risk of falling apart if your wife cheats, so the best solution is to become swingers. You would not believe that a person offering such advice was genuinely interested in the health of your marriage. The same goes for libertarian anarchists claiming to be champions of freedom. Their theories do not reveal a love of freedom but a hatred of the state.
They are not impractical idealists. They are enemies of a free society.
The authors wish to thank Harry Binswanger and Greg Salmieri for inspiring many points that appear in this essay.
 Ayn Rand, “Man’s Rights.” For an accessible introduction to the Objectivist view of rights, freedom, and government aimed mainly at libertarians, see Onkar Ghate and Greg Salmieri’s lecture series, “What is Liberty?” We also cover these issues in our book Free Market Revolution.
 Onkar Ghate notes that someone “would have a legitimate objection that he is being prohibited from exercising his right of self-defense only if he were banned from making use of the government apparatus that has been erected—as, for instance, was the case for ‘colored’ people in the Jim Crow South.” See Onkar Ghate, “Rand (contra Nozick) on Individual Rights and the Emergence and Justification of Government,” in Foundations of a Free Society.
 Vincent Geloso and Peter T. Leeson, “Are Anarcho-Capitalists Insane? Medieval Icelandic Conflict Institutions in Comparative Perspective.”
 This doesn’t mean, however, that a one-world government is desirable. To name just one reason, since no single country is ever guaranteed to remain free, having multiple governments increases the chances there will remain free societies somewhere on the globe, without undermining the sovereignty that the protection of individual rights demand.
 Conflicts over issues like abortion and climate certainly exist today with government. But the reality is that governments have wildly successful at allowing us to resolve these conflicts through the ballot box. As divided as the US is today, we have not had to resort to civil war to settle these debates. Anarchists have absolutely no grounds for thinking their system could equal that achievement.
 Bryan Caplan, “Anarcho-Capitalism Isn't Crazy, Just Ahead of Its Time.”
 Bryan Caplan, “Reflections on the Brook-Caplan Anarcho-Capitalism Debate.”
 One issue that deserves further comment is the false model of human behavior that informs most libertarian arguments for anarchy. For a non-Objectivist analysis that points out some of the flawed assumptions behind anarchist reasoning, see “Against Anarcho-Capitalism.” Objectivism holds that it is in a person’s rational self-interest to respect the rights of others (see Gregory Salmieri, “Selfish Regard for the Rights of Others,” in Foundations of a Free Society). But human beings have free will, and people regularly act against their own interests. Indeed, the default is for human beings to function close to the perceptual level, particularly in circumstances where their rights aren’t secure, which leads to tribalism and conflict rather than peaceful cooperation. Elan Journo discusses the Objectivist view of tribalism in “The Virulent Pull of Tribalism.” The larger lesson is that we cannot use assumptions that are derived from situations where force has been largely extracted from social relationships and use them to predict how human beings will function when force hasn’t been extracted from social relationships by a government.
Effective Egoism 101
The conception of earthly idealism I champion was defined by Ayn Rand. Here are three key works that summarize her perspective:
Faith and Force: Destroyers of the Modern World by Ayn Rand
Causality vs. Duty by Ayn Rand
The Objectivist Ethics by Ayn Rand
And if want the full case for egoism, you can buy my book Effective Egoism: An Individualist’s Guide to Pride, Purpose, and the Pursuit of Happiness.
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