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Darkademic's Philosophy - Part III


This is the third part of my philosophical writeup. It continues where I left off in Part II and explores the realm of politics, building upon what was written about metaphysics, epistemology and ethics. As with the previous installment, this one coincides with the philosophy of Objectivism.

Part III - Politics

Politics is the fourth major branch of philosophy. It is the science that defines the principles of a proper social system, including the proper functions of government. It defines man's relationship among each other by applying ethics to social questions. Politics is the application of ethics to a group of people - to society.

Reason is man's prime means of survival, and reason does not function under coercion. The prime goal of a political system has to be the defence of reason against coercion.

Society can be greatly beneficial to the individual because of mutual protection, division of labor, and economies of scale. But it is only beneficial to the extent that the individual is still free to act and survive according to his own reason. ImportanceOfPhilosophy.com

The initiation of force is what a proper political system should defend its citizens against. Initiating force includes murder, theft, threats and fraud. Intiating force means acting against another person without their consent. Human beings survive by using reason, and initiating force against a person negates their ability to use reason. The use of force diminishes one's ability to survive proportionally to the extent it is used. Survival becomes increasingly hard until ultimately everyone dies. The blood-soaked history of communism provides enough of a reminder that this is the case. Since force inhibits survival, men can only thrive within a society if they are protected against the coercion of others. This is the proper role of the Government; to defend individual rights.

Rights & Law


Rights are an application and preservation of individual morality in a social context which guide the relationships between individuals. Rights define and sanction independent action within society, and subordinate society as a whole to a moral law. Rights are not arbitrary, negotiable or separable from ethics, but a derivative of objective morality, that being a derivative of reality. Rights are based on the nature of human beings. Individual rights are the only rights, because only individuals have the power to choose their actions; therefore group rights, animal rights, and the rights of yet-to-be-born human beings are no more meaningful than the rights of limbs or rocks. Rights are only applicable to individual human beings. Rights are guarantees of action, but not guarantees of successful action. It is a guarantee to the means but not the ends; e.g. a guarantee to the freedom to produce food but not a guarantee to the food itself.

The right to life is the most fundamental right of all. The right to life is derived from the fact that human beings are individuals and think as sovereign entities. Only the individual has the ability to choose between life and death, nobody else has the ability to make that decision for them, though others could force someone to die (murder) or even force someone to live. Naturally, human beings have control over their own minds and bodies, and the right to life is a derivative of this fact that allows human beings to live or die as they choose free from force. Practically speaking, the right to life must be the foundation of any civilised society. A society that doesn't respect the right to life of the individuals within it would be a chaotic bloodbath; it would be both unsustainable and immoral.

The right to liberty follows from the right to life. A human beings basic tool of survival is reason; the ability to think, judge, evaluate and plan. Reason is useless however if one doesn't have the ability to act on reason. The right to liberty ensures freedom of action (as long as you don't infringe upon the rights of others). The right to liberty is the sanction to act free from coercion by other people - and it is the right which denies the use of force against other people, except in retaliation.

The right to property also derives from the right to life. In order to live, one must think (hence the right to liberty), but the purpose for such thought is to manipulate the environment in order to produce things which sustain and prolong life (or things which one can trade with others for those things). The right to property ensures that people can use the product of their labour. Without property rights, anything a person produces could be subject to random confiscation, and ultimately, a person's life would be unsustainable. The right to life is useless without the right to act on one's reasoning, and the right to act on one's reasoning is useless without the right to use and keep whatever one produces through such action.

The right to the pursuit of happiness relates to values. To achieve values (things which one acts to gain or keep) one must be free to act on one's reason. A person ultimately only has their own mind to guide them, and the right to the pursuit of happiness gives individuals the freedom to pursue their goals, even if those goals are self-destructive. The right to the pursuit of happiness is an extension of the right to liberty - it is a right to action regardless of the nature of the action itself, and regardless of whether the result of the action is self-preservational or self-destructive, providing neither the action nor the result infringe upon the rights of others. It is a guarantee of being able to select one's own goals and values free from force.

The right to self defence is another corollary of the right to life and the right to property. To survive one requires the ability to defend one's self and one's property against invaders, thieves, fraudsters etc. Though the government's role is the defence of individuals, there are some cases where immediate action is required like when one's home has been broken into, so the right to self-defence gives individuals the right to take action against those who violate their rights. Implied in the right to self-defence is the right to bear arms.

The right to free-speech is based on the recognisation that speech in itself is not an initiation of force (except when it is fraud). Freedom of speech is required for liberty because without the freedom of speech, you can not persuade others of what is right and what is wrong. Without the freedom to persuade others, only force can make people act in a particular way. It is an important check on government because it allows transgressions to be identified and fixed rather than hidden and perpetuated.

Government & Law

The proper role of Government is the defence of individual rights, not the rule, regulation or control of the individuals which make up society. There are only three institutions that a Government should rightly consist of which are the police; to protect members of society against criminals, the military; to protect against foreign invaders, and the law courts; to settle disputes and enforce contracts. Any other functions are not necessary for a Government to perform, and would be an initiation of force and therefore immoral.

The Government has a monopoly on retaliatory force. Anarcho-capitalists argue that this represents an initiation of force, and that they should be free to select between "competing governments", and that a monopoly on the use of retaliatory force represents an initiation of force itself. The basic premise of anarcho-capitalism is false. There is no such thing as the "right" to employ force unilaterally -- then to remain immune from the requirement to publicly, objectively justify that use of force. No such right exists, so it is no "violation of rights" to require individuals to submit to an objective process to justify, publicly, their uses of force -- i.e., to submit to governmental authority. Basically, the anarcho-capitalist argument omits vital contextual considerations that attend any use of force in society: Firstly, that, as a matter of individual survival in society, one's use of force must be judged and evaluated by everyone else in society, by an objective procedure, in order to distinguish the aggressor from the victim (which is rarely self-evident). Secondly, that, at some point, a final verdict by society on the use of force must be objectively rendered through that process. Thirdly, that this final verdict must, at last, be imposed and enforced.

A proper Government does not create baseless legislation, it enforces objective laws - laws which are there to protect individual rights. Government should not have the power to enforce regulations, demand taxes, or do anything that constitutes an initiation of force. The purpose of laws is to make explicit the actions which constitute the infringement upon individual rights, and clear up any ambiguity therein. The populous then knows when retaliatory force is warranted. Laws are based on the fact that the peaceful, productive interaction of individuals requires the preservation and protection of individual rights, and the initiation of force make that impossible.



There is only one political system that fulfils the criteria of being both objective and moral, and that system is capitalism. Capitalism ensures individual rights are preserved and defended and ensures people are free to live their lives without being coerced by other human beings. Capitalism involves a completely free-market economy. This means the government does not regulate the economy at all, and the economy regulates itself through the laws of supply and demand. Capitalism is also devoid of any taxation, as taxation is an initiation of force due to it being compulsary. Capitalism recognises individual rights as the only rights, and places no group or individual above any other group or individual.

Capitalism vs Statism

Capitalism is the opposite of statism. Statism includes all the systems which concentrate power in the hands of the state such as monarchies, Nazism, fascism, socialism, communism or any other kinds of dictatorship. The one factor that unites all these systems is the subordination of individuals to some other entity via the use of coercion. A monarchy puts an all powerful king, queen or emperor in control. Fascism put control in the hands of a dictator. Communism enslaves people for the good of "society", as does nationalism or socialism. All statist systems are controlled, and none respect individual rights.

Since capitalism opposes any initiation of force, including taxation, it follows that the government is not a proper provider of "public services" like healthcare, education and emergency services. Capialism would see that all these services are privatised like any other service. The only way to maintain such public services is essentially through slavery - the forcing of one person to work (or pay for) some other person's (or group's) ends.

Capitalism is a system which maximises productivity. This is because capitalism allows free-thought and action, and so has the greatest potential for the creation of values - i.e. wealth. Statism has the reverse affect as coercion destroys productivity to the extent it is used. Statism destroys the source of all wealth; the human mind, by coercion and preventing or restricting rational action in favour of some collective or "higher" purpose.

Summary of Politics

• Reason is rendered useless by the initiation of force.
• A moral political system bans the initiation of force.
• Individual rights are based on the objective nature of human beings.
• The proper role of the government is to defend individiual rights.
• Statism is the destruction of individual rights.
• Capitalism is the only moral political / economic system.

Continue to Part IV: Aesthetics >>>