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“Humanity’s Darkest Evil:” The Lethal Destructiveness of Non-Objective Law

Tara Smith

Presented at: OCON 2009

Date: Jul 03, 2009

In Atlas Shrugged Judge Naragansett condemns non-objective law as “humanity’s darkest evil.” This lecture explores exactly how destructive non-objective law is.

Rand’s view of the purpose of government, Dr. Smith shows, is essential to understanding the nature and value of objectivity in law. Her identification of individual rights as moral claims to freedom and of the indispensability of freedom to the exercise of reason shows why (contrary to the claims of anarchists) proper government is a necessary good, but also why government’s tremendous power must be held in check through a strictly objective legal system. By drawing on examples from Atlas and from history, Dr. Smith makes plain the material and spiritual ravages of non-objective law, demonstrating how the injection of any elements of non-objectivity into a legal system necessarily contaminates other aspects of law, ultimately undoes the rule of law, and thereby undermines the protection of freedom.

Note: This lecture is a version of an essay in Essays on Ayn Rand’s "Atlas Shrugged."


Parts: 1

Handout: none