The Nature of Government
The Virtue of Selfishness
Do men need such an institution, and why?
Since man's mind is his basic tool of survival, his means of gaining knowledge to guide his actions - the basic condition he requires is the freedom to think and to act according to his rational judgment. ... Men can derive enormous benefits from dealing with one another. A social environment is most conducive to their successful survival - but only on certain conditions.
"The two great values to be gained from social existence are: knowledge and trade. ... But these very benefits indicate, delimit and define what kind of men can be of value to one another and in what kind of society: only rational, productive, independent men in a rational, productive, free society." (The Objectivist Ethics)
A society that robs an individual of the product of his effort, or enslaves him, or attempts to limit the freedom of his mind, or compels him to act against his own rational judgment - a society that sets up a conflict between its edicts and the requirements of man's nature - is not, strictly speaking, a society, but a mob held together by institutionalized gang-rule. Such a society destroys all the values of human coexistence, has no possible justification and represents, not a source of benefits, but the deadliest threat to man's survival.