Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Biddle on Rights and a Free Society

In the Fall 2011 issue of The Objective Standard, Craig Biddle has a new article entitled, "Ayn Rand's Theory of Rights: The Moral Foundation of a Free Society".

Biddle's article discusses the core philosophical issue that underlies all the current political battles over health care and (more broadly) the welfare state. Most of the political discussions presume some implicit or explicit understanding of the proper functions and limits of government, and the corresponding scope and limits of individual rights.

We're seeing similar discussions about rights and the proper scope of government as citizens ask politicians, "Out of every dollar that I earn, how much do you think I deserve to keep?"

During the ongoing health care debate, it's easy to get lost in the details of wonkish issues such as Medicare reimbursement policies, insurance regulations, and accountable care organizations, while losing sight of the broader issues of freedom, individual rights, and the proper scope of government.

Biddle's article does a nice job of covering those broader issues, while demonstrating their relevance to the current debates over health care, "entitlement" programs, the housing crisis, and our current runaway spending problem.

The full text of "Ayn Rand's Theory of Rights: The Moral Foundation of a Free Society" is available online for subscribers and non-subscribers. I highly recommend reading it and sharing it with others!