Now that you mention it I do remember her saying the thing about man ceasing to be a man when he violates rights. I might take that to mean that when a man chooses to violate rights he is implicitly saying that rights are not valid thus implicitly negating his own rights which would open him up to being attacked validly by the one being violated.
It’s in mans nature to be a mammal but it wouldn’t make sense to say man has a right to be a mammal. So that would suggest that if something that would be considered a right must be something that is able to be chosen by man as well as being able to be violated by others. So rights only exist as a social abstract concept and not so much as a tangible concept.
Some would say that this makes rights subjective but I would disagree. I would say that they are objective but not in the Objectivist sense. For example we wouldn’t say that the scientific method is subjective just because it can not be chosen in favor of some other method of obtaining knowledge such as say praying for the gods to bestow knowledge upon us while we close our eyes and mumble incantations. Clearly there is a preferable method to gaining knowledge about reality that has produced tangible results when compared to alleged other means of knowledge acquisition.
I view ethics the same way. Man can choose a view of ethics that has more tangible results than other ethical theory’s. the reason for this would be that man has a nature in a social context. Such as the same reason the scientific method is the best method we have for leaning about reality is because nature, has a nature. Lol
Thing always get convoluted when discussing abstract concepts like rights, ethics or the economy etc. There’s just so much room for two people to talk past one another and not realize that they are doing it and they both end up getting frustrated with one another. That’s why I believe a clear defining of terms and highlighting of underlining concepts implicitly assumed in all statements must be discussed.
The main problem I had with Objectivist ethics is that it said the state is necessary. This glaring contradiction is what caused me to abandon it. It’s a violation of the nap. Maybe it’s because politicians cease to be man when they are elected?!? Lol! Hey maybe she was onto something here! Haha.
Also she said man is born tabula rasa which to me is just totally wrong.
But aside from Objectivist ethics Rand does have a rather robust view on epistemology that has shaped my world view. “Introduction To Objectivist Epistemology” is a book I highly recommend if you are interested in other aspects of philosophy.