Re: Ayn Rand on Society (Finally!)
Mon, 18 Jan 1999 09:23:48 -0700

Terry writes:
This is horribly out of context, but here goes:

"Since there is no such entity as 'society,' since society is only a number of individual men, this meant, in practice, that the rulers of society were exempt from moral law;..."

Now that I've reread it I see that she's just giving her own definition of society, but I knew I had seen something about no such thing as society.


Right, notice the wording: "no such entity". She was reminding us that society has no independent, concrete existence, contrary to the hoary fashion of reifying, and ultimately deifying, the idea. Encouraging our tendency to "thingize" groups, particularly "society", "community", "government" and so forth, has allowed the power freaks to get away with murder (literally, in many cases). They know that most people won't take the trouble to examine the fallacies to which we're prone.