A look at how our current crises are caused by too much government, and how Ayn Rand's bold defense of free markets can help us change course.
The rise of the Tea Party and the 2010 election results revealed that tens of millions of Americans are alarmed by Big Government, but skeptical that anything can or will be done to stop the growth of the state. In Free Market Revolution, the keepers of Ayn Rand's legacy argue that the answer lies in her pioneering philosophy of capitalism and self-interest –a philosophy that more and more people are turning to for answers. In the past few years, Rand's works have surged to new peaks of popularity, as politicians like Paul Ryan, media figures like John Stossel, and businessmen like John Mackey routinely name her as one of their chief influences. Here, Brook and Watkins explain how her ideas can solve a host of political and economic ills, including the debt crisis, inflation, overregulation, and the swelling welfare state. And most important, they show how Rand's philosophy can enable defenders of the free market to sieze the moral high ground in the fight to limit government. This is a fresh and urgent look at the ideas of one of the most controversial figures in modern history – ideas that may prove the only hope for the future.
In this lengthy but digestible tome, Brook and Watkins, of the Ayn Rand Institute, tackle the 2008 housing crisis, subsequent Wall Street crash, Bernie Madoff, and the healthcare industry through the lens of Rand's principles. Their premise is that the "rational selfishness" of the players in a free market economy regulates the system, because it is not in their long-term self-interest to take advantage of consumers. The argument is predicated on a historically popular notion that human "rationality" is wholly separate from, and superior to, the "emotional" impulse, but fails to address modern neuroscientific arguments for the interconnectedness of the "emotional" and "rational" parts of the brain. The book challenges existing value judgments of self-interest, self-sacrifice, and the morality of business people, deeming them not selfish but heroic, saving less intellectually skilled workers from "starv in hopeless ineptitude." Overall, the principles of smaller government, with no subsidies at all, will appeal to libertarians, who view both parties as too liberal and the promotion of a "government entitlement state" akin to socialist dictatorship.
Whether new to the ideas of Ayn Rand or an experienced reader looking for a great and motivational read, this book is excellent. At a time when government continues to grow and individual rights continue to fade, this book lays out the nature of the fight and what must be done if we are to ever change course.
One of my favorite books!