Ayn Rand saw collectivism in all its forms as an impediment to human rights. “The good of society” cannot be the basis of rights, since society is merely a collection of individuals, and so the only proper rights are individual rights. When we base rights on what is good for society, that begs the question: Who speaks for society? Throughout history, such people who claim to speak for society inevitably turn out to be tyrants. You have a few, even a single person, deciding what is good for the people. Rand thought that people ought to decide for themselves, based upon rational self-interest.
While on the subject of rational self-interest, John Locke had this to say:
“Any single man must judge for himself whether circumstances warrant obedience or resistance to the commands of the civil magistrate; we are all qualified, entitled, and morally obliged to evaluate the conduct of our rulers. This political judgment, moreover, is not simply or primarily a right, but like self-preservation, a duty to God. As such it is a judgment that men cannot part with according to the God of Nature. It is the first and foremost of our inalienable rights without which we can preserve no other.” ~ John Locke
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If you like that episode, you make like Ayn Rand on Racism, from a couple weeks ago.
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