Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Need for an Objective Law to Uphold a Free Society

[A]ll laws must be based on individual rights and aimed at their protection.

“The Nature of Government,” Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal

Under objective law, what is the fundamental difference in the scope of private action versus government action?

A private individual may do anything except that which is legally forbidden; a government official may do nothing except that which is legally permitted.

“The Nature of Government,” Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal

[W]hen men are caught in the trap of non-objective law, when their work, future and livelihood are at the mercy of a bureaucrat’s whim, when they have no way of knowing what unknown “influence” will crack down on them for which unspecified offense, fear becomes their basic motive, if they remain in the industry at all—and compromise, conformity, staleness, dullness, the dismal grayness of the middle-of-the-road are all that can be expected of them. Independent thinking does not submit to bureaucratic edicts, originality does not follow “public policies,” integrity does not petition for a license, heroism is not fostered by fear, creative genius is not summoned forth at the point of a gun. Non-objective law is the most effective weapon of human enslavement: its victims become its enforcers and enslave themselves.

“Vast Quicksands,” The Objectivist Newsletter

An objective law protects a country’s freedom; only a non-objective law can give a statist the chance he seeks: a chance to impose his arbitrary will—his policies, his decisions, his interpretations, his enforcement, his punishment or favor—on disarmed, defenseless victims. He does not have to exercise his power too frequently nor too openly; he merely has to have it and let his victims know that he has it; fear will do the rest.

“Antitrust: The Rule of Unreason,” The Voice of Reason

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