Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal Reissue Edition, Kindle Edition
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- Length: 420 pages
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Top Customer Reviews
Somewhere along the line, I began to start questioning my beliefs. I went back to school to earn an MBA and learned more about finance and economics. I hypothesized my own views about all this as though I were a business owner or CEO, facing turbulent market conditions. Then I noticed something. No business owed me a job, no gov't agency owed me survival, no one else owed me anything. In simple terms, my needs place no justifiable moral obligation on anyone else.
Although I was familiar with this book, I felt for a long time that I wasn't ready for it. Should all those liberal beliefs I'd adopted turn out to be wrong? In some ways, no. I was still sure that bigotry and nationalism weren't defensible. In basically every other way, yes. Liberal economic ideas are, once you're honest about policy ideas, fully indefensible.
Conservative or liberal leaning, I definitely recommend one take the ideas advanced in this book seriously. Consider them and be honest with yourself. The most extraordinary idea for me is that the cause of most of the problems of which we lament is the same regulatory power we hope will fix them. After this I'll be studying economic history of this regulatory environment to determine if/how it led to market imbalances and distorted incentives. So long as gov't has legal power over commerce, crony capitalism (NOT REAL CAPITALISM) will never end. Yet I'm curious to see how the regulatory machinery may create more problems than it solves. For now, I'd consider myself tentatively in favor of laissez faire capitalism.
I can also fully recommend the blog talk radio podcast of Dr Yaron Brook. It's a very thought provoking show for those tired of being locked into the outdated liberal-conservative buckets.
Ayn explains the flaws with critiques of capitalism and how they often aren't rational, why the 'capitalism' of today isn't the capitalism she advocates, why aiming to profit by taking advantage of others isn't congruent with capitalism, and why the laissez faire capitalism she *does* advocate is based on goodwill and justice, not deceit and plunder.
As such, she presents capitalism as an economic system almost as an aside: she focuses on it as a moral system, and tells you why it's superior to its predecessors and various alternatives.
While there are a few things out of place, and the overall philosophy isn't perfect, this book presents a powerful case for why laissez faire capitalism should be the bedrock of a peaceful, rational society.
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