Wednesday, 22 December 2021

The concept of 'force' is widely misused and misunderstood today....


"The concept of 'force' ... is widely misused today....
    "Physical force is coercion exercised by physical agency, such as, among many other examples, by punching a man in the face, incarcerating him, shooting him, or seizing his property [it is is physical contact with the person or property of another without his consent and/or the threat of such contact]....
    "There is only one way to attempt to force a man s mind: by directing the force to his body (or property).... A volitional being, left unmolested, is free to initiate a cognitive process. He can struggle to untangle his confusions and replace them ultimately with truth. The only kind of 'social pressure' that cannot be resisted bv intellectual means is the kind that does not rely on intellectual means. If some group, governmental or private, tells a man: 'Either you agree with us or we will clean out your bank account, break your legs, kill you,' then a cognitive process on his part is ineffective; no such process avails in counteracting the threat. This, this category of threat or harm—physical force and nothing else—is what constitutes coercion. This is what sweeps into the discard the victim’s mind....
    "Coercion is not coextensive with frustration caused by others. It pertains only to those frustrations that men cause by invoking the methods of brutality...."
          ~ Leonard Peikoff, from his book Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand 

 

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