Thursday, May 17, 2012

On Capitalism and a Proper Morality...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

Ayn Rand Lexicon - Theory: Capitalism is a social system based on the recognition of individual rights, including property rights, in which all property is privately owned.

The recognition of individual rights entails the banishment of physical force from human relationships: basically, rights can be violated only by means of force. In a capitalist society, no man or group may initiate the use of physical force against others. The only function of the government, in such a society, is the task of protecting man’s rights, i.e., the task of protecting him from physical force; the government acts as the agent of man’s right of self-defense, and may use force only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use; thus the government is the means of placing the retaliatory use of force under objective control.

The Objectivist Ethics: The moral justification of capitalism does not lie in the altruist claim that it represents the best way to achieve “the common good.” It is true that capitalism does—if that catch-phrase has any meaning—but this is merely a secondary consequence. The moral justification of capitalism lies in the fact that it is the only system consonant with man’s rational nature, that it protects man’s survival qua man, and that its ruling principle is: justice.”

What Is Capitalism?” - The action required to sustain human life is primarily intellectual: everything man needs has to be discovered by his mind and produced by his effort. Production is the application of reason to the problem of survival . . . .

Since knowledge, thinking, and rational action are properties of the individual, since the choice to exercise his rational faculty or not depends on the individual, man’s survival requires that those who think be free of the interference of those who don’t. Since men are neither omniscient nor infallible, they must be free to agree or disagree, to cooperate or to pursue their own independent course, each according to his own rational judgment. Freedom is the fundamental requirement of man’s mind.

In a capitalist society, all human relationships are voluntary. Men are free to cooperate or not, to deal with one another or not, as their own individual judgments, convictions, and interests dictate. They can deal with one another only in terms of and by means of reason, i.e., by means of discussion, persuasion, and contractual agreement, by voluntary choice to mutual benefit. The right to agree with others is not a problem in any society; it is the right to disagree that is crucial. It is the institution of private property that protects and implements the right to disagree—and thus keeps the road open to man’s most valuable attribute (valuable personally, socially, and objectively): the creative mind.

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. His success depends on the objective value of his work and on the rationality of those who recognize that value. When men are free to trade, with reason and reality as their only arbiter, when no man may use physical force to extort the consent of another, it is the best product and the best judgment that win in every field of human endeavor, and raise the standard of living—and of thought—ever higher for all those who take part in mankind’s productive activity.

For those who understand and embrace capitalism nothing more need be said.

Those who chose to denounce capitalism rather than embrace it because of their fear of individual responsibility and accountability nothing that could be said will change their myopic view of reality.

To those who are open to a greater understanding of capitalism and the immense societal benefits that capitalism has bestowed on us I recommend visiting the following websites. The Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights: Capitalism, The Ayn Rand Institute, Objectivism, and Understanding a proper morality (my words.)

Via: Atlas Shrugged


  1. For those who denounce capitalism, I ask them to examine history. It comes as naturally to man as eating and breathing. We run our families, tribes and clans as collectives, but try to extrapolate it out much further and the enterprise will collapse.

  2. Since what we have is not capitalism, please explain what relevance Rands comments have in today's mess.
    What does Rand say should happen to those individuals, that cannot (through no fault of their own) produce an ability to sustain themselves?

    1. I suppose first one has to grasp the concepts before one can understand the relevancy to today. We have had this discussion before and we'll have to just agree to disagree.


  3. One area in which we all might agree is reducing the power of the FED (they're the ones who did more to cause the housing bubble than anyone else by so radically distorting the market and creating a bailout culture) and getting rid of all of this cronyism; that incestuous relationship between big business, big government, and big labor.

    1. Agreed. Ron Paul ought to be the next Chairman of the Federal Reserve. At least he "gets it." Perhaps change might actually happen under a Paul stewardship.

    2. Not only did he get it before me, he also got it before Greenspan, Paulsen, Bernanke, and Geithner (the 4 Muskestooges). Yep, he would be a very good choice.


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