Capitalism as a political system is one of the corner-stones of Ayn Rand's philosophy, and this book is an extensive collection of articles and essays by Rand and other well-known proponents of her views (Nathaniel Branden and Alan Greenspan, to name a couple).

Amidst some interesting and insightful essays on the topics of capitalism, man's rights, and goverment's role in everyday life, there are some articles which are hard to read and understand, mostly because today they read "out of context": Many articles in this book were collected from the "Objectivist newsletter" (a publication dedicated to Objectivisim) during the 1960s. They mostly deal with issues which were "hot" back then - political turbulences in universities, opposition to the war in Vietnam, and so on. It's hard to relate to these articles now in 2006.

I'm not one to be convinced that laissez-faire (which means "leave us alone" in French, by the way) is the way to go economic-policy wise, and yet I got this book to try and understand capitalism in a deeper sense from Rand's point of view. Having finished it without gaining much new information, it dawned on me that this in itself is the answer - capitalism is simple, basic, natural. It's so simple that it takes one catch-phrase to understand (laissez faire !), it really does boil down to "leave us alone and let us trade as we see fit".

I think I probably need to read more on the topic though, preferably some non-fiction works comparing capitalism and the various forms of socialism / monarchy as alternative political systems from a historical point of view.


Comments

comments powered by Disqus