Key Concepts of
(For a graphical
representation of the proper relationship between persuasion and
Having sole control over one's own life. (This includes moral
autonomy, regardless of whether one's decisions are objectively
proper or improper.)
- Compossible: When a principle applies to everyone equally at the
same time; everyone must be able to practice/do "X."
- Freedom/Liberty: Absence of direct/indirect coercion/force initiated
by others. Applicable only in a social context. The right to do
anything that is peaceful and (mutually) voluntary. The absence of
involuntary servitude/slavery (of any degree).
- Freedom of
Association: The right
of an individual to interact (or not to interact) (peacefully)
with any other person for any reason whatsoever. This includes
rational or irrational discrimination; job and housing choices;
social situations; businesses; customers; etc.
Will: Ability to
focus; to make abstract/conceptual level choices. A prerequiste
for following a moral code.
- Individualism: A single person is the basis for society, morality,
rights. One person is not the means to others' goals (without
- Life: Provides the basis for choice/rights;
foundation for self-ownership.
- Morality/ethics: Guidelines for individual behavior. Must be able to
choose among alternatives and act upon one's choices/goals.
- No Prior
Restraint: One must be
left alone unless and until one engages in an action that violates the rights of another person. (Or [in
the limiting case] there is a clear-and-present, imminent danger that one will do so.) Any government laws
and regulations that restrict the actions of all
people because some people
might engage in rights-violating actions are
wrong. This includes policies that treat individuals as guilty
until proven innocent: business regulations, licensing, permits,
- Principle: A general guideline for behavior applicable in any
number of different, concrete situations.
- Property: Earned values, both material and nonmaterial. How
one physically implements choices; the means/tools to implement
choices; delimits scope of an individual's choices, i.e., what
aspects of life are to be under one's sole control.
- Responsibility: A person must accept and deal with the consequences
of his own choices/actions, negative or positive. One must be able
to benefit from one's own good choices and must not impose upon
others the negative results of one's bad choices.
- Rights: Guidelines for peaceful social
interaction; establish boundaries of control among individuals
that must not be violated.
Rights: the right
to be left alone; arise from self-ownership; no permission or
consent needed from others to do "X."
Rights: others must
provide one with "X." Valid only when voluntarily agreed to by
both provider and recipient, i.e., by mutual agreement; e.g., a
You own yourself, your life,
Your life belongs to
"What part of your
life/money/property belongs to me?"
Do you choose/decide for
yourself or does someone else choose/decide for you and force you to
do what he wants?
People have the
right to do the wrong thing. (If such
behavior does not violate rights.)
The "needs" of others never
impose unchosen obligations or justify the violation of someone
The ("good") ends never
justify the (bad) means.
Might never makes right.
Merely because people are
capable of doing "X" or
because "X" is the way things are or have been does not (in and of
itself) serve as a valid justification for "X."
Moral ends always require the use of moral means.
To aid us in making proper decisions,
we should always strive to rely upon...
...and not focus upon borderline
cases until the main claim has been accepted or rejected. Extreme,
unlikely, or emergency situations should be dealt with only
after establishing whether "X" is true or not and
then only to establish the boundaries of the issue.
A key point to remember: government
has only delegated
(enumerated) powers; a government has no rights and
can do only what it is expressly permitted to do.
A proper government (the employee) is subordinate to those who
created it, i.e., the people (the employer), and can be fired
whenever it fails in its duties or goes beyond its proper
Individuals have the right
to do anything (that does not violate the rights of other
individuals) even if what they do is not right.
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