Rights can only be violated by the initiation of physical force.

Rights can only be violated by the initiation of physical force. There is only one way that one can stop one from acting by one’s mind. That is by using physical force against them to interfere and prevent them from acting, i.e., coercion. (Legally, fraud is an indirect use of initiating physical force).

In a political context, freedom objectively has only one meaning — freedom from the initiation of physical force by others. By initiation is meant those who start the use of force to achieve their ends, i.e., a bank robber, i.e., a con-man, i.e., a murderer.

Writes Ayn Rand on The Nature of Government:

“Man’s rights can be violated only by the use of physical force. It is only by means of physical force that one man can deprive another of his life, or enslave him, or rob him, or prevent him from pursuing his own goals, or compel him to act against his own rational judgment. The precondition of a civilized society is the barring of physical force from social relationships—thus establishing the principle that if men wish to deal with one another, they may do so only by means of reason: by discussion, persuasion and voluntary, uncoerced agreement.”

Only by the initiation of force can one be prevented from speaking, or robbed of one’s possessions, or murdered. Only the initiation of force can stop one from acting by reason, rendering ones mind useless as a means of survival. This is the idea behind “force and mind are opposites.” Only by the initiation of physical force can an individual’s rights be violated, and as such, it is the one action banned in a proper, capitalist society.