Are America’s best days behind her? It sometimes seems that way. You can’t pick up a newspaper without hearing that:
- millions of Americans are unemployed
- wages are stagnating
- economic mobility is decreasing
- government debt is out of control
- health care costs keep rising
- energy costs are soaring
- American education is failing to educate
The solution, we’re inevitably told, is some new government program, regulation, or redistribution scheme.
We disagree. We believe the problem in every case is government intervention in the economy–and the solution is to unleash the power of American productivity and voluntary cooperation by freeing the economy.
Only laissez-faire capitalism–the total separation of state and economics–can cure today’s high unemployment, resolve tomorrow’s entitlement crisis, or pave the way for a prosperous day-after-tomorrow.
But Americans have never learned the truth about capitalism. On issue after issue, the opponents of capitalism have rewritten history, distorted the facts, twisted the economics, and left us with an enduring mythology: that free markets were tried and failed and that the path to a brighter future requires giving the government more and more power.
The rewriting of capitalism worked because of a widely accepted philosophic premise, which holds that the pursuit of self-interest is dangerous and immoral. This premise motivated and emboldened capitalism’s critics, disarmed its defenders, and made the anticapitalist myth seem plausible. A nation steeped in an ethical doctrine that condemns self-interest could not long tolerate capitalism, a social system in which individuals are free to pursue their self-interest.
This twin assault on freedom–rewriting the facts about capitalism and attacking its moral essence–unleashed a trend of increasing government control over the economy. As a result, America today is not a capitalist nation, but a mixed economy–a mixture of capitalism and government intervention, steadily moving in the direction of complete state control.
That’s why we created Laissez-Faire: The Uncompromised Case for Capitalism. Our goal is to help reverse today’s anticapitalist trend by bringing you the gold standard in pro-capitalist thought.
The critics of capitalism have it partly right: capitalism is the system of self-interest. But both they and capitalism’s traditional defenders have radically misconceived the nature of self-interest. That is Ayn Rand’s pivotal contribution to the fight for economic freedom.
Rand was the Russian-born novelist-philosopher who, in works like Atlas Shrugged and Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, laid down a profound understanding of human nature, human self-interest, and human interaction–one that allowed her to explain in a way no other thinker ever had why capitalism is a moral ideal, and why any form of government intervention is immoral and destructive.
Rand approached self-interest by asking: What genuinely promotes the individual’s long-term well-being? She argued that what is actually in your self-interest is not fraud, exploitation, and plunder–but thinking, producing, and mutually beneficial trade with others. Such self-interest is not a vice to be suppressed and apologized for–it is the essence of human virtue. The implications of this for capitalism are revolutionary.
Capitalism’s great virtue is that it protects the pursuit of self-interest–and thereby unleashes the magnificent power of human reason, productive ingenuity, and voluntary cooperation. This is the fact that explains the transformation of human life over the last 200 years–a transformation that has brought us from primitive hovels to air-conditioned high-rises, nearly tripled our lifespan, and filled our lives with pleasures and amenities unimagined by kings and nobles of centuries past.
Government intervention, on the other hand, restrains and distorts self-interest–and thereby unleashes all the economic troubles, crises, and disasters that surround us today.
At Laissez-Faire, our goal is to give you an unrivaled understanding of today’s economic issues, and show how, in case after case, the free market is the solution. To achieve this goal, we approach every issue with a ruthless commitment to absorbing the important facts in the field, and to utilizing the incredible power of Ayn Rand’s timeless philosophic principles.
- We believe that human reason is the source of the individual’s ability to know, produce, and live–and that therefore he needs the freedom to act according to his own independent judgment.
- We believe that productive work is a noble activity, and that a person has a right to the wealth he creates through his productive actions.
- We believe that each individual is an end in himself: he has a moral right to exist for his own sake.
- We believe that individuals should deal with one another as traders, exchanging value for value, engaging in win/win relationships.
- We believe it is morally wrong to sacrifice the individual to the group, whether it be the tribe, the race, society, or any other collective.
- We believe that selfishness–the individual’s pursuit of his rational, long-term self-interest–is a virtue, and that sacrifice of any kind, whether of oneself to others or of others to oneself, is immoral.
- We believe that voluntary cooperation by individuals is the most powerful force for solving problems and continually improving human life.
- We believe that the initiation of physical force is evil: it is the only way in which one person can stop another person from acting according to his own rational judgment.
- We believe that the only moral purpose of government is to protect the individual’s right to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness, so that he is free to live by his own judgment and for his own sake.
- We believe that laissez-faire capitalism–the system of individual rights and voluntary cooperation–is the only moral social system.
- We believe that the status quo is corrupt: what exists in America today is not capitalism, but a deteriorating mixed economy that severely restricts our freedom to pursue our life and happiness, making our lives shorter, poorer, and less enjoyable.
America’s best days need not be behind her. We can achieve a richer, freer, better future. But to reach that goal we urgently need a new generation of free-market advocates–not just professional intellectuals, but interested members of the public who have learned the truth about capitalism and are willing to fight for the complete separation of state and economics. We hope you’ll join us.
Welcome to Laissez-Faire.