States’ Rights

  • The Virtue of Selfishness
    The constitutional concept of “states’ rights” pertains to the division of power between local and national authorities, and serves to protect the states from the Federal government; it does not grant to a state government an unlimited, arbitrary power over its citizens or the privilege of abrogating the citizens’ individual rights.
  • The Objectivist
    [George Wallace] is not a defender of individual rights, but merely of states’ rights — which is far, far from being the same thing. When he denounces “Big Government,” it is not the unlimited, arbitrary power of the state that he is denouncing, but merely its centralization — and he seeks to place the same unlimited, arbitrary power in the hands of many little governments. The break-up of a big gang into a number of warring small gangs is not a return to a constitutional system nor to individual rights nor to law and order.