The Objectivist Ethics

June 1, 2023

The only proper, moral purpose of a government is to protect man’s rights. This means:

  • to protect him from physical violence
  • to protect his right to his own life, own liberty, own property and the pursuit of his own happiness.

Without property rights, no other rights are possible.

The political theory of Objectivism is in full detail in Atlas Shrugged.

Every political system is based on and derived from a theory of ethics. Objectivist ethics is the moral base needed by the original American system of Capitalism that is today being destroyed all over the world because it lacks a moral, philosophical defense and validation.

If it perishes, it will perish by default, undiscovered and unidentified. No other subject has ever been hidden by so many distortions, misconceptions and misrepresentations.

Today, few people know:

  • what capitalism is
  • how it works
  • what was its actual history.

“Capitalism” is the full, pure, uncontrolled, unregulated laissez-faire capitalism.

  • It has a separation of state and economics, like the separation of state and church.

A pure system of capitalism has never yet existed, not even in America.

Various degrees of government control had been undercutting and distorting it from the start. Capitalism is not the system of the past. It is the system of the future—if mankind is to have a future.

My book For the New Intellectual explains the psychological causes of the philosophers’ treason against capitalism throughout history.

Objectivist ethics is the morality of life. This is different from the 3 major schools of ethical theory:

  1. The mystic
  2. The social
  3. The subjective

These 3 schools differ only in their method of approach, not in their content. These base their morality on death.

Altruism is the ethical theory which regards:

  • man as a sacrificial animal
  • that man has no right to exist for his own sake
  • service to others is the only justification of his existence
  • self-sacrifice is his highest moral duty, virtue and value.

In content, the 3 schools are merely variants of altruism.

The differences occur only over the question of who is to be sacrificed to whom.


Altruism holds death as its ultimate goal and standard of value.

  • This makes logical renunciation, resignation, self-denial, and every other form of suffering, including self-destruction, as the virtues it advocates.
  • Logically, these are the only things that the practitioners of altruism have achieved and are achieving now.

These 3 schools of ethical theory are anti-life, not merely in content, but also in their method of approach.

The mystic theory of ethics is explicitly based on the premise:

  • that the standard of value of man’s ethics is set beyond the grave, by the laws or requirements of another, supernatural dimension,
  • that ethics is impossible for man to practice,
  • that it is unsuited for and opposed to man’s life on earth,
  • that man must take the blame for it and suffer through the whole of his earthly existence, to atone for the guilt of being unable to practice the impracticable.

The Dark Ages and the Middle Ages are the existential monument to this theory of ethics.


The social theory of ethics substitutes God with “society”. It claims that its chief concern is life on earth, the life of a disembodied collective entity.

The social theory of ethics is not concerned with the life of man or the individual, but its relation to every individual, everybody except himself.

An individual’s ethical duty is to be the selfless, voiceless, rightless slave of any need, claim or demand asserted by others.

“Dog eat dog” is applicable to the social theory of ethics. It is not applicable to capitalism nor to dogs,

The existential monuments to this theory are Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia.


The subjectivist theory of ethics is:

  • not a theory, but a negation of ethics.
  • a negation of reality, of man’s existence and all of existence.

It states that:

  • man needs no objective principles of action
  • reality gives him a blank check on values
  • anything he cares to pick as the good or the evil, will do
  • a man’s whim is a valid moral standard and the only question is how to get away with it.

Only the concept of a fluid, plastic, indeterminate, Heraclitean universe could permit anyone to think or to preach these.

The existential monument to this theory is our present culture.

The civilized world is threatened to be destroyed by the kind of moralities that men have been asked to practice.

  • It is not threatened by men’s immorality.

Those imposed moralities are from the philosophers of altruism.

  • They should be shocked by their own success.
  • They have no right to damn human nature.

Men have obeyed them and have fully realized their moral ideals.

Philosophy sets men’s goals and determines their course. Only philosophy can save them now.

Today, the world is facing a choice: if civilization is to survive, men must reject the altruist morality.

“You have been using fear as your weapon and have been bringing death to man as his punishment for rejecting your morality. We offer him life as his reward for accepting ours.” (Addressed to all the moralists of altruism, past or present)

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