Objectivism 101
Download
1 / 20

Objectivism 101 - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • 134 Views
  • Uploaded on

14th Annual Summer Seminar of The Objectivist Center Diana Mertz Hsieh Lecture Five: Individual Rights and Capitalism Thursday, July 3, 2003. Objectivism 101. Objectivism 101 Schedule. Sunday Ayn Rand and Philosophy Monday Reality and Reason Tuesday Life and Happiness

loader
I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
capcha
Download Presentation

PowerPoint Slideshow about 'Objectivism 101' - chaney


An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript
Objectivism 101

14th Annual Summer Seminar

of

The Objectivist Center

Diana Mertz Hsieh

Lecture Five: Individual Rights and Capitalism

Thursday, July 3, 2003

Objectivism 101


Objectivism 101 schedule
Objectivism 101 Schedule

  • Sunday Ayn Rand and Philosophy

  • Monday Reality and Reason

  • Tuesday Life and Happiness

  • Wednesday The Virtues

  • Thursday Individual Rights and Capitalism

  • Friday Art as Spiritual Fuel


Politics
Politics

  • Politics defines the proper social system

  • The basic questions: What principles should govern people’s interactions in society? What are the purpose and legitimate functions of government?

    “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 rationing on anything.”

    — Ayn Rand, “Philosophy: Who Needs It”


The left the right

Freedom of expression

Environmental laws

Lifestyle freedoms

Welfare for the poor

Public schools

Federal control

Rights of the accused

Personal freedoms

Regulations on obscenity

Economic prosperity

Family values

Private charity

School choice

Local governance

Rights of the victims

Economic freedoms

The Left: The Right:


Objectivist politics in brief
Objectivist Politics in Brief

  • Individuals have the right to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness

  • The government’s only legitimate function is to protect those individual rights from coercion

  • Capitalism is the only economic system consistent with individual rights


The foundation of rights
The Foundation of Rights

“Rights are conditions of existence required by man’s nature for his proper survival. If man is to live on earth, it is right for him to use his mind, it is right for him to act on his own free judgment, it is right to work for his values and to keep the product of his work. If life on earth is his purpose, he has a right to live as a rational being: nature forbids him the irrational. Any group, any gang, any nation that attempts to negate man’s rights, is wrong, which means: is evil, which means: is anti-life.”

— Ayn Rand, “Galt’s Speech,” Atlas Shrugged


Life and freedom in society
Life and Freedom in Society

  • In order to live and flourish in society, we need to be free to…

    • Pursue our own lives and happiness

    • Form and act on our own judgments

    • Pursue both material and spiritual values

    • Trade with others to mutual benefit


Life and freedom
Life and Freedom

  • In order to live in society, we need to be free to pursue our own lives and happiness

  • This freedom is grounded in the ethical principles of egoism and individualism

  • Opposing view: The lives of individuals are merely a means to the collective good of all


Reason and freedom
Reason and Freedom

  • In order to live in society, we need to be free to form and act on our own judgments

  • This freedom is grounded in the epistemological principle of reason as the only source of knowledge

  • Opposing view: People must be forced into holding the right opinions and taking the right actions


Values and freedom
Values and Freedom

  • In order to live in society, we need to be free to pursue both material and spiritual values

  • This freedom is grounded in our human nature as beings of integrated mind and body

  • The opposing view: Material or spiritual values are too important to be left to individual choice


Trade and freedom
Trade and Freedom

  • In order to live in society, we need to be free to trade with others to mutual benefit

  • This freedom is grounded in social ethics principle of harmony of interests

  • The opposing view: Trade is necessarily exploitive because life is a zero-sum game


The necessity of freedom
The Necessity of Freedom

  • In order to live in society, we need to be free to…

    • Pursue our own lives and happiness

      • Egoism (ethics)

    • Form and act on our own judgments

      • Reason (epistemology)

    • Pursue both material and spiritual values

      • Mind-body integration (human nature)

    • Trade with others to mutual benefit

      • Harmony of interests (social ethics)


Ayn rand on rights
Ayn Rand on Rights

“A ‘right’ is a moral principle defining and sanctioning man’s freedom of action in a social context. There is only one fundamental right (all others are its consequences or corollaries): a man’s right to his own life. Life is a process of self-sustaining and self-generated action; the right to life means the right to engage in self-sustaining and self-generated actions—which means: the freedom to take all the actions required by the nature of a rational being for the support, furtherance and the enjoyment of his own life.”

— Ayn Rand, “Man’s Rights”


Individual rights
Individual Rights

  • “A ‘right’ is a moral principle defining and sanctioning man’s freedom of action in a social context” (Ayn Rand)

  • Rights concern action, not goods or outcomes

    “…for every individual, the right is a moral sanction of a positive—of his freedom to act on his own judgment, for his own goals, by his own voluntary, uncoerced choice. As to his neighbors, his rights impose no obligations on them except of a negative kind: to abstain from violating his rights.”

    — Ayn Rand, “Man’s Rights”


The violation of rights
The Violation of Rights

  • Rights can only be violated through the initiation of physical force

    “To violate man’s rights means to compel him to act against his own judgment, or to expropriate his values. Basically, there is only one way to do it: by the use of physical force.”

    — Ayn Rand, “Man’s Rights”

  • Two potential violators of rights: criminals and governments


The role of government
The Role of Government

“The only proper, moral purpose of a government is to protect man’s rights, which means: to protect him from physical violence—to protect his right to his own life, to his own liberty, to his own property, and to the pursuit of his own happiness”

— Ayn Rand, “The Objectivist Ethics”

  • So the only legitimate functions of government are:

    • Police

    • Courts

    • Military


Economic systems
Economic Systems

  • Socialism: Government control of economic affairs

    • No private ownership or control of property

    • No freedom to privately contract

  • Fascism: Government regulation of economic affairs

    • Nominal private ownership of property, but with government control

    • Regulation of contracts

  • Capitalism: Separation of government and economic affairs

    • Private ownership and control over property

    • Full freedom to contract


Capitalism
Capitalism

  • Laissez-faire capitalism as moral ideal and practical necessity

  • Capitalism as system of trade and individual rights


Violations of rights
Violations of Rights

  • Drug laws

  • Welfare programs

  • Business regulations

  • Anti-discrimination laws

  • Environmental regulations

  • Gun regulations

  • The draft

  • Anti-trust laws


Today s topics
Today’s Topics

  • The requirements of human life in society

  • Individual rights

  • The evil of coercion

  • The role of government

  • Socialism and fascism versus capitalism

  • Violations of rights


ad