You can now preorder the softcover edition of Yaron’s and my national bestseller Free Market Revolution: How Ayn Rand’s Ideas Can End Big Government, which will be released on September 10. This edition includes a new preface as well as a long list of discussion questions.
If you haven’t read it—or if you haven’t bought copies for all your friends, family members, and co-workers, now’s your chance.
America, which would become the world’s freest economy, had been founded on the principle that each individual has an inalienable right to his life, liberty, and the pursuit of his own happiness. To be an American was to be an entrepreneur in the deepest sense: “to be the master of your own fate and the captain of your own soul.” It was to take responsibility for exercising your own thought, your own creative effort, and to carve out for yourself a life of happiness and worldly success. As a result, the economic system of America became more and more geared to the life of a rational and industrious trader—an Edison, a Carnegie, an Allison, a Ford. Such men exemplified what would become known as the American or capitalist way of life, and it was the desire to protect that way of life that led men to create capitalism.
Men flocked to America not for the easy life but for freedom. Capitalist America did not guarantee you success, but it offered you an unobstructed road: In this country, you could make your own way. Today the supporters of Big Government are fond of telling us that “a hungry man is not free.” Those who immigrated to America during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries knew otherwise. They arrived poor—even famished—but ambitious. . . .
Not every American shared this attitude toward life, of course. No nation is filled only with the rational and industrious, who seek nothing more than the right to live an independent existence. There were thieves, crooks, moochers, and bums—but the system was not designed for them. It was designed for the best among men and the best in each man—not only the productive genius but anyone willing to think and produce.
-Free Market Revolution
Joshua Shnayer has written a positive review of Free Market Revolution: How Ayn Rand’s Ideas Can End Big Government at the New York City Junto site:
Rand’s conception of selfishness is illustrated in the contrast the authors set up between Bernie Madoff and Steve Jobs. Because selfishness means concern with one’s own rational long-term self-interest rather than mere whim-worship, Bernie Madoff was not selfish. He destroyed his life and the lives of everyone he knew, and openly admits that every moment of scheming was a “nightmare”–what selfish person would crave this lifestyle?
Steve Jobs was often labeled with the pejorative “selfish”. His critics chastised him for being “primarily concerned with his vision and his company’s success–not with the welfare of others.” Indeed, the technology magazine Wired–which could be expected to honor Jobs–published an editorial calling him “nothing more than a greedy capitalist who’s amassed an obscene fortune. It’s shameful.”
Brook and Watkins see this demonization of self-interest as the source of the moral opposition to capitalism. Jobs was selfish, the authors insist, but that is a moral virtue. He made his own life better through a passion for good products, and his investors, employees, and customers also benefited. This fair exchange in which all parties to a trade prosper–Rand called it the “trader principle”–is the essence of capitalism (and ethics). But because there is no sacrifice involved in this win/win exchange, it does not generally receive moral approbation.
Read the whole thing here.
Also, you can read Michael B. Kitz-Miller’s review on the Gannett Company’s delmarvaNow.com site here.
What’s the mystery that Free Market Revolution was written to solve? In this short video, co-author Yaron Brook describes the puzzle and indicates how his book answers it.
Since our book, Free Market Revolution, came out, Yaron and I have gotten a lot of requests for discussion and study questions. Well, here they are, below the fold.
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