Bill Gates Failed to Make a Moral Self-Defense

by | Apr 6, 2000

Locke said that the only way Gates can fight government prosecutors is for the Microsoft founder to "assert proudly his right to his own existence -- which means: the right to do business not as a public servant but as an individual with inalienable rights."

Judge Thomas Jackson’s decision against Microsoft is a travesty of justice, claimed Ayn Rand Institute senior writer Edwin A. Locke, but he also blamed Gates for not defending his right to his own life and property.

“The fundamental value our country was founded on is: the right to one’s own life — which includes the right to one’s own property,” Locke said. “This means that you have the right to trade freely with others, neither forcing others to accept your terms nor being forced by others to accept theirs. And it includes the right to make a profit, as big a profit as you are able to earn in a free, unregulated market.”

“If the existence of Gates’ superbly productive company can be justified only in terms of a duty to serve the ‘public interest,’ then the government — as the representative of that ‘public’ and the executor of its indefinable ‘interests’ — has the right to dictate the terms of Gates’ continued existence.”

“The government may claim the right to regulate your prices, your products, your contracts, and your methods of competing with your rivals. If you are only a servant of society, then nothing you do can be free of government controls.”

Locke said that the only way Gates can fight government prosecutors is for the Microsoft founder to “assert proudly his right to his own existence — which means: the right to do business not as a public servant but as an individual with inalienable rights.”

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The author is a contributing writer to Capitalism Magazine.

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