Voting

  • The Ayn Rand Letter
    The right to vote is a consequence, not a primary cause, of a free social system — and its value depends on the constitutional structure implementing and strictly delimiting the voters’ power; unlimited majority rule is an instance of the principle of tyranny.
  • The Objectivist Newsletter
    A majority vote is not an epistemological validation of an idea. Voting is merely a proper political device — within a strictly, constitutionally delimited sphere of action — for choosing the practical means of implementing a society’s basic principles. But those principles are not determined by vote.
  • The Virtue of Selfishness
    Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority.
  • The Virtue of Selfishness
    The citizens of a free nation may disagree about the specific legal procedures or methods of implementing their rights (which is a complex problem, the province of political science and of the philosophy of law), but they agree on the basic principle to be implemented: the principle of individual rights. When a country’s constitution places individual rights outside the reach of public authorities, the sphere of political power is severely delimited — and thus the citizens may, safely and properly, agree to abide by the decisions of a majority vote in this delimited sphere. The lives and property of minorities or dissenters are not at stake, are not subject to vote and are not endangered by any majority decision; no man or group holds a blank check on power over others.