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Atlas Now?

“The only proper purpose of a government is to protect man’s rights, which means: to protect him from physical violence.  A proper government is only a policeman, acting as an agent of man’s self-defense, and, as such, may resort to force only against those who start the use of force.  The only proper functions of a government are: the police, to protect you from criminals; the army, to protect you from foreign invaders; and the courts, to protect your property and contracts from breach or fraud by others, to settle disputes by rational rules, according to objective law.  But a government that initiates the employment of force against men who had forced no one, the employment of armed compulsion against disarmed victims, is a nightmare infernal machine designed to annihilate morality: such a government reverses its only moral purpose and switches from the policeman to the role of a criminal vested with the right to the wielding of violence against victims deprived of the right of self-defense.  Such a government substitutes for morality the following rule of social conduct: you may do whatever you please to your neighbor, provided your gang is bigger than his.”

Ayn Rand, “Atlas Shrugged” (1957)

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