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Free Market Revolution. How Ayn Rand’s Ideas Can End Big Government
Yaron Brook and Don Watkins, Palgrave MacMillan, 2012, 221 pp
“If we are going to succeed in ending Big Government, we have to recognize that a half-hearted defense of free markets is worse than no defense at all. We have to recognize that capitalism – full, unregulated, uncontrolled, laissez-faire capitalism – is not simply ‘less bad’ than any alternative: It is the only moral economic system in history. And, further, that it is moral not because it helps the poor or teaches us to be good citizens but because it enables the individual to make the most of his own life – to exercise his mind, take risks, make money, pursue and achieve his own happiness.”
These words, taken from the introduction to Free Market Revolution, lay the basis for what follows, which is, the defense of what Ayn Rand called “rational selfishness”. This is the idea that only by pursuing rational, long-term self-interest as a virtue, can true economic freedom flourish.
In the book, the authors describe the foundations for the growth of government. The book starts from the beginnings of the Progressive movement at the end of the nineteenth century through America’s decisive split from capitalism under the New Deal.
Then it focuses on the failed move to the right under Ronald Reagan, and ends with the government-created housing crisis and today’s over-regulated economy.
Laying the blame on both political parties, they argue that even those who defend capitalism today don’t do so in a way that would do anything to curtail the growth of government.
What’s needed, they write, is a moral defense of capitalism, which they lay out in Part 2 of the book. And they do so by using Ayn Rand’s ideas of the morality of self-interest to defend the profit motive and business success.
The book is written in an easy-to-understand style, with a minimum of economic jargon and statistics.
If you have any interest at all in combating the rampant growth of government, and in understanding what has caused this growth, I recommend this book as an excellent treatise on what constitutes true capitalism.
Visit AynRand.org for more information on her philosophy and other writings.
Tags: ayn rand, book review, free market revolution, regulation
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