Introducing Objectivism — Ayn Rand Lexicon


My philosophy, Objectivism, holds that:

  1. Reality exists as an objective absolute—facts are facts, independent ofman’s feelings, wishes, hopes or fears.

  2. Reason (the faculty which identifies and integrates the material provided byman’s senses) is man’s only means of perceiving reality, his only source ofknowledge, his only guide to action, and his basic means of survival.

  3. Man—every man—is an end in himself, not the means to the ends of others.He must exist for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others norsacrificing others to himself. The pursuit of his own rational self-interestand of his own happiness is the highest moral purpose of his life.

  4. The ideal political-economic system is laissez-faire capitalism. It is asystem where men deal with one another, not as victims and executioners, nor asmasters and slaves, but as traders, by free, voluntary exchange to mutualbenefit. It is a system where no man may obtain any values from others byresorting to physical force, and no man may initiate the use of physical forceagainst others. The government acts only as a policeman that protects man’srights; it uses physical force only in retaliation and only against those whoinitiate its use, such as criminals or foreign invaders. In a system of fullcapitalism, there should be (but, historically, has not yet been) a completeseparation of state and economics, in the same way and for the same reasons asthe separation of state and church.

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