An excerpt from the Introduction to Andrew Bernstein’s forthcoming book Capitalist Solutions: A Philosophy of American Moral Dilemmas. Reprinted in Capitalism Magazine by permission of the author.
To be blunt, the United States faces enormous challenges as it enters the second decade of the twenty-first century. Environmentalism and its claim of pernicious man-made global warming constitute one major issue; the danger from terrorism generated by Islamic Totalitarianism, a second; affordable, quality health care, a third. Additionally, education in America has remained an unresolved dilemma for decades.
Nor do these issues exhaust the list. There are numerous others. Currently, the United States Government pushes the nation remorselessly toward socialism in its attempt to resolve America’s problems.
Obamacare is one, but by no means only example of this. The government’s increasing control of the banking industry, its massive bailouts of foundering auto makers, and its proposal of cap-and-trade are also examples of the same principle: an expansion of government’s power—real or recommended—over the lives of individual American citizens.
But, in fact, whatever the delusions of the United States Government, morally upright and practically efficacious solutions come solely from moving to the opposite end of the political–economic spectrum: to full protection of individual rights and to establishment of laissez-faire capitalism. Individual rights and free markets are, in every case, the solution to America’s problems.
In Atlas Shrugged , and in her nonfiction works, Ayn Rand developed a systematic body of thought, a comprehensive philosophy she dubbed “Objectivism.” It is a revolutionary body of thought that has been sadly neglected by professional intellectuals for fifty years, but which, today, is finally, properly beginning to be seriously studied in academic philosophy departments. Objectivism provides the moral and philosophic validation of the political—economic principles of individual rights and free markets. Analysis of today’s gravest issues within the philosophic framework provided by Objectivism constitutes the single greatest hope of identifying rational solutions to these issues.
That is the goal this book seeks to accomplish. Consequently, it consists of two parts: (1) A brief introduction to the relevant principles of Objectivism. (2) A much longer section—the main part of the book—showing that and how Objectivism’s validation of individual rights and free markets, applied to today’s thorniest dilemmas, resolve those dilemmas both morally and practically.
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