Posted by Jerry on May 31, 2007
Just another rather insidious bromide comes to mind: the fusing of disparate concepts so as to blur conceptual boundaries and produce some foggy, ill-defined, anti-concept. Examples of these include, all property is theft, all action is force, all creations are art, and all facts are opinions.
Indeed, I suspect, people consider such vacuous proclamations as rather profound insights. But if so many crucially important concepts like property, force, art, actions, and facts actually have no clear and distinctly defined boundaries, then, by implication, all knowledge is also a blur, since all knowledge is inextricably linked to one another.
Thus, if all property is theft, then property rights become meaningless, the definition of theft becomes blurry, the concept of rights is undermined, the pursuit of one’s happiness becomes illegitimate, the value of life becomes questionable, the notion of valuing anything at all becomes meaningless, and therefore owning property becomes superfluous because all property is theft.
The reason I started writing this post out was because I read somewhere someone criticizing Rand’s notion that rational men can deal with each other without any use of force. The criticism was that Rand was too simplistic in her understanding of human interactions, because, according to the commenter, all action is force, depending on whose perspective you choose. Thus, force is an inherent aspect of human interaction and cannot be avoided, according to this person.