Self-Defense

  • The Virtue of Selfishness

    The necessary consequence of man’s right to life is his right to self-defense. In a civilized society, force may be used only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use. All the reasons which make the initiation of physical force an evil, make the retaliatory use of physical force a moral imperative.

    If some “pacifist” society renounced the retaliatory use of force, it would be left helplessly at the mercy of the first thug who decided to be immoral. Such a society would achieve the opposite of its intention: instead of abolishing evil, it would encourage and reward it.

  • Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal
    The individual does possess the right of self-defense and that is the right which he delegates to the government, for the purpose of an orderly, legally defined enforcement.
  • For the New Intellectual
    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.
  • For the New Intellectual

    Just as an individual has the right of self-defense, so has a free country if attacked. But this does not give its government the right to draft men into military service — which is the most blatantly statist violation of a man’s right to his own life.