Monday, November 23, 2009

Ayn Rand / Thomas Jefferson Monday

Ayn Rand, perhaps the most misunderstood and maligned philosopher of the 20th century, never wavered from her conviction that individual rights were inalienable, and exceeded the misguided belief that the good of the collective exceeded that of the individual.

Rands premise in essence was that free men and women had the right to interact with other free men and women on the basis of mutually agreed upon choice. As such, each individual was free to act as their own independent agent, free to engage in trade as they deemed fit.

It goes without saying, and is implicit, that each individual would make decisions based on the mutual benefit of the parties involved. Such benefit would be determined without the involvement of, or consideration being given to, governmental influence, consideration, or prejudice.

It is what is known as the free market. A market absent government subsidies, obtrusive regulation or influence, special interest influence, over burdensome and crippling taxation that results in a loss of competitive advantage (crucially important in todays global economy), and the realization that if what was offered in trade was inferior to the competition your enterprise would fail.

The market at work defining the best the market has to offer. Based on the judgement of free traders within the free market, and based on the judgment of excellence as determined by those freely trading in any specif segment of said free market.

So simple, so true, and yet so difficult to understand in todays environment of altruism, socialism, and statism. The very political and economic premises that made this nation the greatest the world has ever known, and that Ayn Rand understood and fought to maintain, is slowly slipping away. Rand were she alive today, would be at odds with both the Democratic and Republican parties because both have forsaken the promise of our founding fathers.

I leave you with the folowing quotes.

Thomas Jefferson:

A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned - this is the sum of good government.

Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.

I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.

Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.

Ayn Rand:

Upper classes are a nation's past; the middle class is its future.

The right to life is the source of all rights--and the right to property is their only implementation. Without property rights, no other rights are possible. Since man has to sustain his life by his own effort, the man who has no right to the product of his effort has no means to sustain his life. The man who produces while others dispose of his product, is a slave.

A private individual may do anything except that which is legally forbidden; A government individual may do nothing except that which is legally permitted.

Capitalism demands the best of every man – his rationality – and rewards him accordingly. It leaves every man free to choose the work he likes, to specialize in it, to trade his product for the products of others, and to go as far on the road of achievement as his ability and ambition will carry him.

When I say 'capitalism,' I mean a pure, uncontrolled, unregulated laissez-faire capitalism – with a separation of economics, in the same way and for the same reasons as a separation of state and church.

Thomas Jefferson video:

An Audio on Ayn Rand economic philosophy:

Sounds a lot like Thomas Jefferson and Ayn Rand may have had much more in common than they would have differences.


  1. Rational - there is something wrong with my blog list and it does not update with your recent posts. I did not know you had anything new recently :(

    I love the walk down philosophy lane. Reminds me of my schooling days.

  2. c-gen - Happy that you enjoyed it, I enjoying taking the stroll as well.

    I typically try to post something each day, sometimes I do more.

    Thanks for stopping in at RN USA, great to see you!


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