Social Systems

A social system is: 
a set of 
in a society’s 
laws, institutions, and government, 
which determine 
the relationships, 
the terms of association, 
among the men/women 
in a given geographical area

It is obvious that 
these terms and relationships 
depend on 
an identification of man’s nature, 
that they 
would be different 
if they pertain 
to a society of rational beings 
to a colony of ants

It is obvious that they will 
be radically different 
if men/women 
deal with one another 
as free, independent individuals, 
on the premise that 
every man/woman 
is an end in themself
as members of a pack, 
each regarding the others 
as the means to his ends 
to the ends of “the pack 
as a whole.”

There are only 
two fundamental questions 
two aspects of the same question 
determine the nature of any social system: 

Does a social system 
recognize individual rights?
Does a social system ban 
physical force from human relationships? 

The answer to the second question 
is the practical implementation of 
the answer to the first.

A social system is 
a code of laws 
which men observe 
in order to live 

Such a code must have 
a basic principle
a starting point,  
or it cannot be devised. 

The starting point 

is the question: 

Is the power of society 
limited or unlimited?


Individualism answers: 

The power of society 
is limited 

by the inalienable, 
individual rights of man. 

Society may make only such laws 
as do not violate these rights.

Collectivism answers: 

The power of society 
is unlimited

Society may make any laws it wishes, 
and force them upon anyone 
in any manner it wishes.

The political philosophy of collectivism 
is based on a view of 
man as a congenital incompetent, 
a helpless, mindless creature 
who must be fooled 
and ruled 
by a special elite 
with some unspecified claim 
to superior wisdom 
and a lust for power.

Ayn Rand - 'Who will protect us from our Protectors? and Philosophy Who Needs It ?