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I am asking from the perspective of practical implementation, NOT philosphy.

I wonder what the practical mechanics are of implementing rules in a society which is excluxively made up of Objectivists.

For example, in the U.S., the crime of battery only exists as a legislatively defined concept. Without such definition, and the authority granted by individuals to the legislature to create such definition, there would be no group-enforced punishment related to one individual striking another. Without such granted authroity, the act of extolling punishment, or not, would be left to the individual who was struck. This approach to societal interaction would turn out very poorly for the physically weak.

Would weaklings be required to fend for themselves? If not, how would Objectivists enact laws to protect individuals from unwelcomed physical harm - or enact other laws? Would each individual in said 'Objectivist society' be required to give their individual consent to EACH potential law enacted - OR would each individual simply consent to be represented by legislators (who would then study and enact laws they deem appropriate)? If the latter, then what happens if the representatives enact laws which SOME individuals who granted them the authority to do so, suddenly disagree with the decisions made? Also, how would this function contrast to how the U.S. was originally conceived?

Ultimately, are MANY Objectivists required to get permission of ONE Objectivist before they enforce each law upon them? If so, wouldn't it be impossible to form a government in the first place (thus the world would remain a 'fend for yourself', uncivil, society).

[In responding don't forget, Objectivsts, CONTRACTS are only enforceable by LAW. Without society defined government, nothing prevents me from disregarding our agreement and stealing from you!!(other than loss of reputation and inability to trade with you again)]

The purpose of my questions above is that I think that Objectivism has been philosophized about enough. The principles have been made clear - over and over again. It is time to move forward to IMPLEMENTATION in a just society. I am asking for your help in resolving this issue - perhaps a contradiction - because I have been unable to reason through it myself, so far. I still wonder how Objectivists might form a society, a 'Galt's Gulch' if you must, while remaining sovereign individuals? If 3,000 of us agree to establish laws through representatives (or otherwise), and those representatives establish them, but then 5 people disagree with one of those laws, what is the proper resolution of that conflict? If separation is the answer, then doesn't the society simply degenerate once again to an un-socitey?

asked Nov 19 '13 at 12:16

MarcMercier's gravatar image

MarcMercier ♦

edited Nov 19 '13 at 12:32

Greg%20Perkins's gravatar image

Greg Perkins ♦♦


To establish laissez-faire capitalism in the U.S., one would need some changes to the present U.S. Constitution to enact, in law, the basic political principles on which laissez-faire depends. Before that could happen, there would need to be a general consensus of the population and its intellectual leaders about what the appropriate political principles are. That, in turn, depends on a consensus about the basic philosophy underlying a laissez-faire political system. One cannot ignore or sidestep the role of philosophy in this process. It is not true that we have already achieved the philosophical consensus and it's now time to start implementing it. We are very far away from a cultural consensus on the philosophy that would enable and sustain a laissez-faire political system. And once established, such a system would be able to endure only as long as the underlying philosophical consensus and support can be maintained. One must not underestimate the power and importance of philosophy in all of this. It is philosophy that most fundamentally shapes all of man's evaluations and choices.

answered Nov 19 '13 at 22:08

Ideas%20for%20Life's gravatar image

Ideas for Life ♦

Regarding your statement, "It is not true that we have already achieved the philosophical consensus and it's now time to start implementing it." I suppose that all depends on your definition of "we". The premise upon which I asked my questions was that everyone attempting to form the governmental system was an Objectivst, thus they already shared a common, although not necessarily perfectly aligned, philosophical base. I do not underestimate the signifigance of philosophy. Without it, one's life is a ship on the ocean with no rudder or sail. Yet, without action, philosophy is just as useless.

(Nov 20 '13 at 10:29) MarcMercier ♦ MarcMercier's gravatar image

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Asked: Nov 19 '13 at 12:16

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Last updated: Nov 20 '13 at 10:29