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Is it immoral to steal an election so an Objectivist candidate wins?

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JacobGalt
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Well, let's understand the end: what will this Objectivist achieve as an elected official?

If you're asking something broader: like stealing the whole Congress, then that's the realm of fiction, and even that will not achieve anything but prosecution for those involved. That's the best outcome" more likely, there'll be revolution, and not only will the usurpers end up with prison, but others who call themselves Objectivists will probably be shut down as well.

There is absolutely no way to fool people in any important way on an issue like this.

Edited by softwareNerd
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Who is the rightful owner of an election? How does a person forcibly take that election from the owner, rather than purchasing the election?

If you don't rob it, the people that win it will use government power to violate my Rights.

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I mean steal the election by buying votes.
By which I assume you mean overtly paying people to vote for your candidate. That is not theft. Theft refers to forcibly taking the property of another person's property. The only "property" involved here is a man's right to vote. But you are not forcibly taking away his right, you are using money to induce a person to vote a particular way.

So to make any sense of your question, you should phrase the question totally differently. Your question is "May a candidate morally secure votes by promising something of value in return?". The answer to that is "clearly yes, if they offer the right thing of value". If Craig Biddle promises to oppose expansion of government power and promises to work to restore my rights, if I vote for him, then that would be a very moral proffer. On the other hand, if Obama offers to provide me with taxpayer-supported medical care, in exchange for my vote, that would be very immoral.

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By which I assume you mean overtly paying people to vote for your candidate. That is not theft. Theft refers to forcibly taking the property of another person's property. The only "property" involved here is a man's right to vote. But you are not forcibly taking away his right, you are using money to induce a person to vote a particular way.

So to make any sense of your question, you should phrase the question totally differently. Your question is "May a candidate morally secure votes by promising something of value in return?". The answer to that is "clearly yes, if they offer the right thing of value". If Craig Biddle promises to oppose expansion of government power and promises to work to restore my rights, if I vote for him, then that would be a very moral proffer. On the other hand, if Obama offers to provide me with taxpayer-supported medical care, in exchange for my vote, that would be very immoral.

What if someone stole the election by hacking into the voting booths?

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Is that your new definition of "stealing an election"? That would be as immoral as promising free health care, as a way of securing more votes.

Hacking into voting booths would be as immoral as promising free health care?

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I agree with Claire here. It's hard to imagine that in learning a new philosophy, one which a person might consider using as a guide to their life, that these questions would be in the forefront of the mind. Are these questions that truly plague your mind as applicable to your everyday life? Or are they more the "just curious" trivial kinds of questions?

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I agree with Claire here. It's hard to imagine that in learning a new philosophy, one which a person might consider using as a guide to their life, that these questions would be in the forefront of the mind. Are these questions that truly plague your mind as applicable to your everyday life? Or are they more the "just curious" trivial kinds of questions?

While they are "just curious"-type questions, I ask them to see if my application of what I've learned in OPAR is similar to what Objectivists think.

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Yes; I'm glad you got that.

Hah. This made me laugh.

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Anyway, short answer is no, it's not moral to "steal votes" even if it is for the greater good.

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While they are "just curious"-type questions, I ask them to see if my application of what I've learned in OPAR is similar to what Objectivists think.

If this is your intent, maybe you should post your own answer and reasoning along with your question.

"This is my question: _________. I think __________ because ______. Does my answer make sense in terms of the Objectivist philosophy?"

I say this because at least it shows that you are making an attempt to formulate your OWN answers and using your own mind, rather than just asking other people to tell you what you should think. After all, using your own mind and reason is what O'ism is about... Letting other people think for you or give you answers which you don't then rigorously check yourself would be the antithesis.

Just a thought.

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Hacking into voting booths would be as immoral as promising free health care?

Yes. Perhaps even moreso.

The most fundamental right from which all others, and, in fact, all government, is derived, is the right to decide the course of ones own life. Now, a man may choose, for his own good, to offer time and resources to a coalition of people who will use these resources to protect his rights. Part of the contract between this man and this group may be that the man has a say in who runs this coalition. Someone needs to make decisions and the man wants to be sure a competent leader which shares his interest is in command. Now, if you were to take the right to choose away from this man, through fraud, you are very much violating this man's right to life. He does not have the canidate he wants, but puts up with it because he feels he can use his voting right later to change course, but now that you have introduced fraud into the equation, this is a false belief. He is now spending money on a deal he never wanted and has to help a group whom he no longer believes in, and he still thinks he's getting the full bargain.

It gets worse in a system like ours where people can't stop their cooperation without harsh repercussions. You've essentially suggesting making a oligarcy out of a democracy, where these people work with your puppet leaders while you control the shape of things from the shadows. Eventually, as others have mentioned, someone will find out, and then it all comes crashing down around you and whatever lofty goals you have will be tainted by association with your crime.

I hope by now you can see why such a thing is not compatible with Objectivist ethics.

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Leonard Peikoff said that in a podcast.
I guess I will be generous on the assumption that English is not your native language. Your question is unclear and your responses don't make things clearer. You appear to think that people here would hold that hacking into those computers was moral; and I asked why you would think that people here would hold such a position. The normal response to that would be for you to explain what could have led you to that conclusion. Replying with an out of the blue comment about what Peikoff said in a podcast is non-responsive. That could only be relevant if you believe that we either mindlessly agree with Peikoff, or mindlessly disagree with him.

So now, back to my question: please explain the logic behind your conclusion.

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I guess I will be generous on the assumption that English is not your native language. Your question is unclear and your responses don't make things clearer. You appear to think that people here would hold that hacking into those computers was moral; and I asked why you would think that people here would hold such a position. The normal response to that would be for you to explain what could have led you to that conclusion. Replying with an out of the blue comment about what Peikoff said in a podcast is non-responsive. That could only be relevant if you believe that we either mindlessly agree with Peikoff, or mindlessly disagree with him.

So now, back to my question: please explain the logic behind your conclusion.

First, English is not my native language, you are correct in saying that.

Second, I believe that you have the right to violate someone else's property is that person is going to use that property to destroy the world.

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Second, I believe that you have the right to violate someone else's property is that person is going to use that property to destroy the world.
That explains your beliefs, but not your conclusion about our beliefs.

The only context where an individual has the right to use force against another person is when that person has initiated force against them, and it is an immediate self-defense emergency (that is, it is not possible to hand the matter over to the law). Thus if a person threatens to stab you, you may use whatever force is required to save your life. Otherwise, only the government has the moral right and obligation to use force to protect the rights of individuals, and it may only do so in accordance with objective law.

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