Ayn Rand on Civil Rights
Adults should be completely free to practice homosexuality
"All laws against homosexual acts should be repealed. I do not approve of such practices or regard them as necessarily moral, but it is improper for the law to interfere with a relationship between consenting adults.
Laws against corrupting the morals of minors are proper, but adults should be completely free." [Quoted from a lecture given in 1968]
Source: Ayn Rand Answers, by Robert Mayhew, p. 18
, Jan 1, 2005
Defend businessmen like we defend racial minorities
The defense of minority rights is acclaimed today, virtually by everyone, as a moral principle of a high order. But this principle, which forbids discrimination, is applied by most of the "liberal" intellectuals in a discriminatory manner: it is applied
only to racial or religious minorities. It is not applied to that small, defenseless minority which consists of businessmen. Yet every ugly, brutal aspect of injustice toward racial or religious minorities is being practiced toward businessmen.
Source: Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, p. 44, by Ayn Rand
, Jul 15, 1986
Preferential treatment by race means racial quotas
The inversion of all standards--the propagation of racism as anti-racist, of injustice as just, of immorality as moral, and the reasoning behind it, which is worse than the offenses--is flagrantly evident in
the policy of preferential treatment for minorities (i.e., racial quotas) in employment and education.
Source: The Ayn Rand Letter, III/14/1, by Ayn Rand
, Jan 1, 1979
Racial quotas are obviously racist
The notion of racial quotas is so obviously an expression of racism that no lengthy discussion is necessary. If a young man is barred from a school or a job because the quota for his particular race has been filled, he is barred by reason of his race.
Telling him that those admitted are his "representatives," is adding insult to injury. To demand such quotas in the name of fighting racial discrimination, is an obscene mockery.
The quota doctrine assumes that all members of a given physiological group are identical and interchangeable--not merely in the eyes of other people, but in their own eyes and minds.
Assuming a total merging of the self with the group, the doctrine holds that it makes no difference to a man whether he or his "representative" is admitted to a school, gets a job, or makes a decision.
Source: The Ayn Rand Letter, I/21/2, by Ayn Rand
, Jan 1, 1979
States' rights don't help individual rights
[Alabama Governor George Wallace] is not a defender of individual rights, but merely of states' rights--which is far, far from being the same thing. When he denounces "Big Government," it is not the unlimited, arbitrary power of the state that he is
denouncing, but merely its centralization--and he seeks to place the same unlimited, arbitrary power in the hands of many little governments. The break-up of a big gang into a number of warring small gangs is not a return to individual rights.
Source: The Objectivist, #5, "Presidential Candidates," by Ayn Rand
, Jun 1, 1968
Racism is morally evil, but shouldn't be legally forbidden
No man, neither Negro nor white, has any claim to the property of another man. A man's rights are not violated by a private individual's refusal to deal with him.
Racism is an evil, irrational and morally contemptible doctrine--but doctrines cannot be forbidden or prescribed by law.
Just as we have to protect a communist's freedom of speech, even though his doctrines are evil, so we have to protect a racist's right to the use and disposal of his own property.
Private racism is not a legal, but a moral issue--and can be fought only by private means, such as economic boycott or social ostracism.
Source: The Virtue of Selfishness, "Racism," p.134, by Ayn Rand
, Nov 1, 1964
Property rights have priority over civil rights
The 'civil rights' Bill, now under consideration in the 1963 Congress, is another example of a gross infringement of individual rights.
It is proper to forbid all discrimination in government-owned facilities and establishments:˙the government has no right to discriminate against any citizens.
And by the very same principle, the government has no right to discriminate for some citizens at the expense of others.
It has no right to violate the right of private property by forbidding discrimination in privately owned establishments.
Source: The Virtue of Selfishness, by Ayn Rand, p.156
, Nov 1, 1964
Page last updated: Jan 28, 2020