Capitalism Economic System
Ayn Rand has been a supporter of capitalism economic system and a defender of the moral principles of making profits through privately owned businesses. In her novels, she reveals injustices done to business owners and business executives by the government bureaucratic and communist apparatchiks. In her defence for business, she explains the unstable mixture of freedom caused by the endless government controls which drive the economy into crisis. Instead, Rand gives solutions and says, “there is a need for separation of state economics in the same way and for the same reasons as the separation of state and church”. This would outlay the physical force initiated among men and hence allow individuals to produce freely, trade and pursues their life and happiness.
Reasons businesses should be defended
One of the reasons Ayn Rand thinks businesses should be defended is the need for a society to have creators of value. Businessmen, financiers and industrialists make this possible. As Ayn Rand states in her novel, ‘Atlas Shrugged’, money made from unjust ways is not valuable but wealth is worthy if it is created in a free market in a system of production and trade. The money will satisfy one’s desires, but it will never provide one with the desires. You can have money but spend it unwisely, that is why, having money alone will never be an ultimate goal. The business people will always be the drivers of money, and they deserve the entire honour as they represent the value of work done by other people. According to her writings, a free economy would be the only way to create a society that is more dynamic and justified. This is because, the old wealthy class which is characterized by force of preferential laws, regulations and taxes earn their wealth through undeserved ways. Their dependents and heirs feed on this wealth and provide no real value in return. Introducing an economy where markets can freely operate will eventually swipe out the free riders (Brennan 302).
From her essay, ‘What is capitalism?’ capitalism is a gateway for people to develop by their efforts through one fundamental consideration which is making profits. The only way one can make profits is by increasing production of wealth. Profits will come from inventing new products, producing goods efficiently and creating markets in a faster, better and smarter means. In this way, capitalism will be an open field where people will work hard to improve their skills and get riches as their reward. She gives an example of Microsoft Company pointing out how people make millions of money through their ability to create and sell computer programs. Therefore, businesses play a greater deal in driving the economy through qualified means. Ayn Rand defends businesses because she believes inventions are best drivers of the economy. Inventions, however, will be encouraged if people are free to compete over who can produce best. The social system is busy helping the non- producers by slitting the throats of those that are busy producing. This does not give room for people to accumulate wealth from their abilities but instead reverts the game to who can take most bribes and who can call in more favours.
According to Ayn Rand, businesses require a new philosophical-moral approach of objectivity and rational self- interest. Philosophers attempt to study human behaviour without considering that a man is conscious. In political economy, there is also an attempt of studying and devising the social systems that do not reference to the conscious nature of a man’s Ayn Rand continues to defend for businesses in her easy, she states that the political economy came in during the time post-Kantian philosophy was integrated, and no one challenged its base. That is when political economy was studied as manipulation of the community’s or nation’s resources. She wrote, “The nature of these resources was not defined; their communal ownership was taken for granted and the goal of political economy was assumed to be the study of how to utilize these resources for the common good”. Man was simply regarded as a factor of production just like forests and mines. The political economist uses the ‘common good’ as a strategy for some men to treat others as sacrificial animals and take precedence over their good. According to the objectivity theory, the good is evaluated on the facts perceived by man’s consciousness as real according to the rational standard of value. This good is not invented, but it must be discovered. Man has always been producing and trading, and that will remain so. The political economists started observing this in the midstream and then created a problem of devising the best way to dispose of human effort. Man should be allowed to be a free and independent individual as her ability to produce brought the institution of private property into existence through capitalism
The proper defence of businesses
To swipe out the issue of control and freedom in the business arena, Rand suggests for the abolition of all forms of controls in the production and trade. When business people make fortunes without use of force, government assistance and interferences, they will have created new wealth (GHATE 222). One of the solutions she offers is to the government. She urges the government to recognize the individual rights and banish all the deceptive practices and physical force used by the certain groups to violate these rights. The government should be responsible for protecting man’s rights. It should utilize its power to retaliate against the people that initiate the use of physical force. The societal laws, institutions, and the government should determine the relationship and terms of the association between individual living in an area. This relationship should be relevant to man’s natural judgment and interest dictate.
To completely defend businesses from injustices, the government should further untangle those practices like bribery by defining the pros and cons of each practice. By using this format, all the acts that initiate any form of physical force should be fully banned while all acts that bring intrinsic harm regulated. According to Rand, bribery is a dishonest act that initiates a physical force in contracts to the common view that bribery is intrinsically harmful. First, the press should not mislead people by failing to properly distinguish the use of the term ‘bribery’ as described in the literature. Secondly, everyone including the legal authorities should bother to get the right legal definition of the term. Initiatives should be taken to fight for the rights of business owners whenever they find themselves in dealings that are deceptive. If bureaucrats are acting in a free market and they demand actions for example payment by private businesses in exchange for a contract, they will be giving a contract by causing harm. This is a form of bribery because they will be acting like government representatives but in the real sense, the government is the only arm that has a legal monopoly of using physical force. She states that bribery should not be viewed just as any as a simple form of payment but a complex context that should be carefully defined.
People are also brought into play and asked to treat the idea of the free market not just as a means of efficient production alone, but as a moral institution. Business rights would be defended if people concentrated on learning and supporting a just political and economic order that truly reflected the nature of man. Ayn Rand explains that, for a significant change to take place in the culture, every individual needs to evaluate her or her moral statement that justifies her or her self-worth. With this, people will not accept a false guilt as a moral concept of upholding their virtues. As Rand explains in her speech about ‘America’s Persecuted Minority: Big Business,’ American’s businessmen have been forced to believe that they are the cause of low standards of living experienced by workers. This blame is based on actions they take like the negotiations they make with labour unions. The reasons businesses take these decisions is to keep corporates stable and make profits which are the key objectives of business, yet they take the blame for the results that drive up the economy (Robertson 117). In this article, Rand suggests that business people should not be used as a scapegoat for the poor living standards of people while there are so many contributing factors such government interventions. Business people must view these attacks as obstacles preventing them from exploring their full potential of producing and also as a distraction from enjoying their pride of achievement.
Brennan, Jason. Libertarianism: What everyone needs to know. Oxford University
Ghate, Onkar. “A Free Mind and a Free Market Are Corollaries.” A Companion to
Ayn Rand (2015): 222.
Robertson, Paul Mark. Social Movements, Ideology, & Ayn Rand in The
21 St Century. California State University, Sacramento, 2014.