The Virtue of Selfishness - Chapter 12, "Man's Rights", Ayn Rand (1963) Summary & Analysis

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Chapter 12, "Man's Rights", Ayn Rand (1963) Summary and Analysis

This chapter is a conversation on the notion of rights as they pertain to individuals and that a truly free society must be founded on the principle of individuals' rights. To begin, Rand defines rights as a moral principle, one based on principles that guide an individual's actions and that denote proper social relationships between individuals in a society. In essence, a right is the freedom of action, and in a moral society, men are to live by upholding one another's freedom of action. She says, "individual rights are the means of subordinating society to moral law". In other words, moral law in society is created with the sole purpose of upholding individuals' rights. A free society cannot stand above moral law, which it has historically exhibited in nations led by...

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