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Objectivists think that it's wrong for the government to force people to pay taxes. Taxes fund our roads (and other services). Are Objectivist hypocrites for using these roads then?

asked Sep 18 '10 at 10:03

rationaljenn's gravatar image

rationaljenn ♦

Philosophy is never at odds with ones survival. The purpose of a philosophy is to act as a guide to one’s life. It is absurd (and a product of religious/collectivist philosophies) that people tend to think of philosophy as this “thing” out there, and sometimes it may be at odds with our own happiness and lives.

In regards to this particular question (which Rand discusses in “On the Question of Scholarships”) we must take into consideration the standard of all values, which is life. Not life as an abstraction, but one’s own particular concrete life. It is the only one any of us will ever have. To claim, we must not use government roads – or accept scholarships, or eat food that is regulated by FDA, or live in a house which is effected by government interference – is to claim that our lives are not important to us and we must sacrifice our ability to survive because we live in an irrational society. This is obviously flawed thinking.

The relevant principle here is to not help the government to expand. It is to always try and contribute to the delegation of a proper government – one whose sole job is to protect individual rights. It is perfectly in one's interest to accept a government job, if there are no good alternatives in someone’s particular field, or go to a public school if there are no good alternatives that is possible to that person, etc.

We should advocate the sale of public roads into private hands, but this does not mean we should never leave our jungles and enter into society simply because basic rights are not recognized by an irrational government.

answered Sep 18 '10 at 16:55

Kirk's gravatar image

Kirk ♦

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Asked: Sep 18 '10 at 10:03

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Last updated: Sep 18 '10 at 16:55