Rebirth of Reason

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Post 20

Tuesday, April 25, 2017 - 7:07amSanction this postReply

Marotta, you really need to reread Rand.  You were so wrong when you said this:


Regulations are necessary to a functioning society.
On the questions of the F.D.A., I submit that Ayn Rand would have approved of it, and, while she herself (and through Alan Greenspan) argued against financial regulation, she did not attack medical regulations specifically.  In her lifetime, the Sulfanilamide Disaster of 1937 typified the need for the government to be pro-active, just as they would break up a ring intent on bank robbery before the criminals actually robbed their first bank.

Ayn Rand would never have approved of the F.D.A.  Your reasoning is so flawed.  She did not specifically attack regulations requiring those who want to braid hair having to get a state licence, therefore she would have approved of those regulations?  Give me a break! 


She was quite specific in the principles involved.  Individual rights can only be violated through the threat to initiate force, the initiation of force, theft or fraud.  Therefore only those things can be the basis of moral laws that prohibit actions.  Robbing a bank is usually an initiation of force, certainly a threat to use force, and clearly theft.  When there is evidence that those acts are in the process of being carried out (which might include the planning phase, when done by an established bank robbery ring), the government has a moral right to act.  Remember as well, that government has a moral right to act in defense of individual rights (stopping an initiation of force) and does not have to wait for the act of force to be completed.


If appears that you have totally thrown aside the basic Objectivist principles regarding individual rights as the means of judging what is or is not proper for government and are simply talking about some fuzzy, pragmatically based, floating abstraction of "pro-active government" - which presumably will be carefully monitored and controlled by a knowledgable elite of properly licenced experts who will use "public safety" as their standard.  But wait a minute... isn't that argument of the left.... of the progressives?


You argue against a government that stands idle watching harms occur until it can act.  (Your words)  You really are a progressive who, strangely enough, think that you are an Objectivist and supporter of capitalism (or at least you once would have described yourself that way.)

Post 21

Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 3:49amSanction this postReply

In 1972, Edwin Newman interviewed Ayn Rand for his show “Speaking Freely” on NBC-TV. Among other statements, Ayn Rand said: “I am not an enemy of labor unions. Quite the contrary. I think that they are the only decent group today, ideologically. I think they are the ones who will save this country, and save capitalism, if anybody can.”  ...


A few minutes earlier, on the same show, speaking of the proper role of government, she said“But on the matter of protecting people from physical danger, if certain conditions of employment, let us say, are unsafe and it can be proved that there is a physical risk – I don’t say that we have to wait until somebody dies – then the employer who is creating this risk can be sued, and can be severely punished financially. In other words, there can be a law protecting a man from physical injury by another man. In this case, the employer who puts men into conditions of danger – not accidentally, but intentionally or carelessly – can be penalized because he is infringing the right of his workers not to be injured physically.”  The entire interview and many others are collected in the anthologyObjectively Speaking: Ayn Rand Interviewed, edited by Marlene Podritske and Peter Schwartz (Lexington Books, 2009).



(Edited by Michael E. Marotta on 4/26, 3:49am)

Post 22

Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 1:04pmSanction this postReply

If Rand was talking about "suing" -meaning civil suits, or if she meant, a form of fraud where an employer promised one thing but provided another, or even allowed an assumption to stand in the employee's mind when the assumption would be wrong, an assumption of some safety that didn't exist, and if a rational man would have made the same assumption... then I agree with her.  Otherwise I don't.  There are many jobs that are inherently dangerous - like fishing in the North Pacific.  It is reasonable to assume the owner of the boat has properly equipped it - say with emergency radio equipment.  But even the finest vessel properly equipped is in danger in some seas.  You can't legislate that out of existence.   And it would be the wrong direction to go. 


When Rand talks about an employer acting to intentionally, or due to carelessness, put a worker in danger, I have to assume that there was a reasonable alternative.  Something that any reasonable man would assume should be standard practice in those circumstance, then I agree that it is a place for a civil court and there should be an action under an implied contract.


Absent fraud or contract violation individual rights don't arise.

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