Government as an Agency to Protect Rights

An excerpt from chapter 10 on Government from Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand by Leonard Peikoff.

If society as an organized body is to protect man’s rights, the citizens must create an agency with the power to do the job. Since force can be stopped only by force, such an agency must banish coercion by itself using force against the force-wielders. This agency is the government.

“A government,” in Ayn Rand’s definition, “is an institution that holds the exclusive power to enforce certain rules of social conduct in a given geographical area.”15 In reason, such a power cannot be a primary. Government is a social creation, and society consists of individuals. Any powers of government, therefore, must …

Read the rest in Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand.

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