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Showing content with the highest reputation on 04/06/12 in all areas

  1. Ok, how about this: Property are those values that man earns, rightfully, through work and/or trade. "Bear in mind that the right to property is a right to action, like all the others: it is not the right to an object, but to the action and the consequences of producing or earning that object. It is not a guarantee that a man will earn any property, but only a guarantee that he will own it if he earns it. It is the right to gain, to keep, to use and to dispose of material values." - Rand Now this raises the question : Is reputation a material value? Intellectual property is a material value, and yet the actual property isn't a book or a cd or a blueprint or other material thing, but the arrangement of concepts that the book, cd or blueprint represents. A reputation, likewise, has no material existence, but as Rand herself acknowledged (mentioned elsewhere above), is a necessary tool for making reasonable evaluations of others without requiring us to become subject experts in every subject on the planet. If a reputation is used to determine whether one will work with some other (say, a contractor), then that reputation is OF material value to that contractor. What that contractor has earned is the right to have people form opinions about him based upon his actions, and while he has no right to direct the nature of their opinion, I contend that he HAS earned the facts about his actions that are used as the basis of those opinions. Those facts about what he did and what he is are HIS FACTS, and his alone - he caused them to exist just as surely as Hank Reardon caused Reardon Metal to exist - and when someone puts forth falsehoods as if they were facts, they corupt the basis that should be used in the forming of those opinions. They destroy his property - the facts about him - without any right to do so.
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  2. To use a definition of force from physics in reasoning about ethics and politics is to commit a context error. Nothing true or good can come from an error. Force is a first person acting upon another person without that second person's consent. Actions identified as examples of force include (as referents of the concept of force) actual assault and battery, spoken threats of such, and possession or destruction of property without right. Rights are freedoms to act without physical compulsion, coercion or interference by other men. Property rights are freedoms to act (use, consume, transfer or dispose) upon objects external to a person's body (objects not a referent of the concept 'person'). In a recent legal innovation (merely hundreds rather than thousands of years old) the law recognizes non-tangible intellectual property as objects of property rights so long as they can be objectively defined. Examples of intellectual property are copyrights, patents and certain (not all) aspects of reputation especially allegations of criminal acts.
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