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Physical Force

“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.  The ethical principle involved is simple and clear-cut: it is the difference between murder and self-defense.  A holdup man seeks to gain a value, wealth, by killing his victim; the victim does not grow richer by killing a holdup man.  The principle is: no man may obtain any values from others by resorting to physical force.”

Ayn Rand, from “The Objectivist Ethics” in “The Virtue of Selfishness

“The precondition of a civilized society is the barring of physical force from social relationships—thus establishing the principle that if men wish to deal with one another, they may do so only by means of reason: by discussion, persuasion and voluntary, uncoerced agreement.”

Ayn Rand, from “The Nature of Government” in “The Virtue of Selfishness

Fire away!

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