Of course, the idea that "One should be entitled to that which one produces" rests upon the assumption that the cost of production is nil. Let's start with an example with which Ayn Rand would have no disagreement: were you to borrow money to build a factory, you are entitled to that which you produced minus what you owe to those who lent you the money.
Now for the great leap forward: the value of the land upon which your factory is built has tangible value in a non-financial sense: if there are any trees there, they produce oxygen, which offsets global warming and lets you breathe. So you owe something to that as well. And if your factory pollutes at all, that's a cost, and you must pay to clean up your own mess. Hence environmental laws.
It seems quite instructive to me that Ayn Rand believed that the world was basically a giant scrapyard from which you could take what you want and dump what you want, without any sort of compensation. Perhaps the fact that this was once more or less true in America, which is why she is taken more seriously there than elsewhere, where this proposition was always visibly false.
Similarly, the plot of Atlas Shrugged depends on the nobility of people whose great claim to fame is unlimited energy: basically, what those people stand for (and what Ayn Rand admires about them) is the repeal of the second law of thermodynamics. Instead of perpetual motion, you could substitute slave labor and have a pretty clear idea of what her philosophy depends upon: getting something for nothing (land, power, resources, loyalty, or whatever), and then exploiting that gift to turn a profit.
Hardly what I'd call noble, but reasonable people differ.
says that I say Ayn Rand condones slavery. That's not what I said. She was against slavery, it is true. However, the fact is that her views depend on the moral
or technological equivalent
to function. That is, I'm arguing that Ayn Rand's philosophy
, as a whole, has some unexamined inconsistencies
in it. vladkornea
should have realized this in the treatment of property rights quoting Ayn Rand's treatment of the topic. After all, it rests on the premise that the West
in the sense of unsettled
before European development
. This is of course not true
, as the Native Americans
were present, and had cultivated
, and should probably have been considered its owners
. And, in any case, this returns to the problem of something for nothing.