For over a century, politicians, special interests, taxes, cronyism, favoritism, and arbitrary rules have eroded trust in America’s republic and wrecked America’s economy.
Yet, The Free Market Revolution: How Ayn Rand’s Ideas Can End Big Government, Yaron Brook’s and Don Watkins’ clarion call for unbridled capitalism, challenges you to defend Ayn Rand’s ideals of capitalism as philosophical and moral principles and to shrink government dramatically.
Yaron Brook, Executive Director of the Ayn Rand Institute, and Don Watkins, a fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute, provide a two-part dialectic analysis of how government expands (by demonizing capitalism) and how Ayn Rand’s ideals of economic purity can restore our country to greatness.
The authors pull no punches in Part One as they cast the blame for government growth, rightly, on Republicans and Democrats alike. The authors harangue conservative stalwarts, such as Irving Kristol (and later in the book even the Founding Fathers), for being apologists of the “selfishness” of Capitalism. Writes Brook and Watkins, “When one goes looking for a moral defense of free markets by capitalism’s defenders, what one finds, by and large, are moral attacks.” How very true.
Further, Part One, supplies definitive evidence that government caused and perpetuates the current economic malaise shrouding this country. With peer-reviewed research and rigorous fact checking, this section is vital to educating intellectually-honest people on the causes of the financial meltdown.
Part Two, The Solution, is an intellectual reevaluation of our capitalistic ideals. Consider the “selfishness” of Bernie Madoff and Steve Jobs, for instance: B
oth were wealthy at the expense of others; they are selfish and greedy, right? We are taught selfishness and greed is immoral. How does society use the same words to describe these different men? Madoff is selfish and destroyed; Jobs is selfish and produced. Is not the goal of any person, to live a long, productive, happy life? How is Madoff selfish, asks the authors, if, in the long-term, his business model lands him in jail and destroys billions in wealth? Madoff typifies irrationality. Jobs – by utilizing rationality, productiveness, and trade – typifies rational selfishness. He created billions in new wealth and bettered the lives of innumerable people.
As is typical of Rand’s own writings, The Free Market Revolution is hard hitting. The goal of the book is to completely separate the state from economics. Brook and Watkins are unapologetic: capitalism is the only moral system. Any deviation from this system is an injustice on all for limiting the freedom to pursue one’s life, liberty, and happiness. Individual liberty, free from physical coercion, posit the authors, will cure the ills afflicting society today: an entitlement mentality, high health care costs, exploding deficits.
To the authors, the separation of the state from economics will not be a public policy victory; rather it will be an intellectual victory. It will take a critical mind to reevaluate the proper role of free-market capitalism and government in society.
The challenge is opening people’s minds that profits are moral. The challenge is to convince your neighbors that selfishness is virtuous and sacrifice vicious — because, by forgoing rational selfishness, an individual willingly undervalues their benefit to their fellow man. On the other hand, because of the profit motive, Wal-Mart is providing the best goods and services to Hurricane Sandy victims; through lack of profit motive, FEMA fumbled many essential services needed immediately after the storm.
The challenge is to recruit and elect leaders who can defend the morality of markets – who believe in a truly limited government, one that trusts the people and markets. A government that believes individuals can succeed when left to their own devices. These leaders need to recognize that the only moral functions of government are to protect property rights from threats foreign and domestic and to serve as an impartial arbiter in administering objective laws.
The Free Market Revolution provides the bedrock principles from which to win the argument for people’s minds and unleash America’s capitalist potential. Are you up for the challenge?
Sam Pfister is Director of Membership for America’s Future Foundation. Ayn Rand Photo from flickr user nickleus.
Source: AFF Doublethink Online | James Velasquez
Source: AFF Doublethink Online | Joseph Hammond