So let’s see. We need “total war,” which amounts to a murderous denial of individual rights, in order to preserve a government based on individual rights. And since this is WAR, you understand, in defense of individual rights we also need to adopt a utilitarian calculus: whatever it takes to win is what we’ll do. These are the imperatives of reason itself.
“As a free nation, we have the moral right to defend ourselves, even if this requires mass civilian casualties in terrorist countries,” says another Objectivist. The rest of his article accepts every collectivist premise under the sun, including of course the very concept of a “terrorist country.” We are likewise presented with philosophical rigor along the lines of, “This is how modern warfare is conducted, so this is what we must do,” which begs every important philosophical question.
In short, the defense of individual rights demands a herd mentality, the unquestioning acceptance of all modern ideas about war, and a willingness to — without apology — lay complete waste to civilian populations. Naturally, it also involves assuming that our own government is always in the right, for didn’t you hear us the first time when we said it supported individual rights? What are you, some kind of moral relativist?
These are the same people who cannot abide religious dogma, because it trespasses unduly on the free exercise of human reason — a faculty to which, we can all see, they are so deeply devoted.
To any Objectivists who oppose mass murder: I know you exist, but why not take these savage collectivists apart? Wouldn’t that be a useful occupation for man’s mind?6:19 pm on May 29, 2008 Email Tom Woods