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An Octogenerian's Blog | Ayn Rand, Freedom, Capitalism, Libertarian Party, Autocratic (Issue 138)

I just read an article about BB&T bank making a considerable contribution to WCU College of Business. Included in the contribution was a stipulation that Ayn Rand‘s philosophy of objectivism be taught to explore the “moral and ethical foundation of capitalism.”
 
The article also stated, “Plus another $500,000 in matching funds it hopes to obtain from the State Legislature.”
 
Capitalism is an economic system in which means of production and distribution are mostly privately owned and operated for private profit.

In its purest form, it’s a system where individuals invest their privately owned assets into a venture of producing and distributing a particular thing for profit. It’s a risk-taking proposition. There are no guarantees a profit will be realized; there is always the possibility of a loss of the privately invested capital. Conversely, if the venture is a success and enjoys a profit, the individual investors reap the resulting power of their risk-taking venture.
 
In one brand of socialism—a system which opposes private ownership of property—fascism is a system whereby private money is invested in a venture to produce and distribute a particular product or service, but is managed and controlled by a centralized  political government. This was the form of government under Hitler. And is not free enterprise, but still a form of capitalism.
 
Lo so many years in this country we thought of capitalism and free enterprise as being synonymous. However, control of the means of investment and production by a centralized government to any degree is not free enterprise. It’s a garden variety sharecropping system.
 
The  private contributions by a bank investing in a learning institution to teach the philosophy of Ayn Rand sounds like a noble cause, BUT, the seeking of tax money to mix in with it muddies the water and in my opinion, gets into an area of fuzzy-wuzzy capitalism.
 
Taxes by definition are an involuntary relinquishment of one’s property, hence thievery. The antithesis of freedom.
 
I’m very familiar with the writings of Ayn Rand. I was living in Tokyo in the mid-fifties when I read “Atlas Shrugged” shortly after it was published. I thought it was the greatest book I had ever read, and it changed my life. She is a brilliant intellectual writer. After returning to the states I read, “We the Living” and “Anthem” and subscribed to her objectivist newsletter, then read everything by her number one student, Nathaniel Brandon.
 
Later on, I read her famous Playboy interview. In that interview, she spoke of her belief in a limited form of political government, which is idealistic but unrealistic.

How can there be a limited form of political government? Who is going to limit it? It’s the nature of political government to expand, expand, expand its tentacles of power . . . to erode away at individual freedom and private property rights.
 
Individual freedom and private ownership is incompatible with political government. Autocratic government is self-government. One cannot self-govern with the powers of control dictated by another entity.
 
Liberty is a state of being whereby one is free of compulsion and coercion from another human source. The very word “liberty” and “libertarian” has been so mixed up with socialism to varying degrees, we can’t trust the usage of the word to convey its true meaning. The Libertarian Party covers a multitude of varying opinions. Some in it hold government jobs, paid from taxpayer money, while preaching Libertarianism.
 
Therefore, when I read about a private business contributing to a college to teach the philosophy of Ayn Rand, then included in the article is information the same school is seeking a half-million of taxpayer dollars to fund them further, there are two conflicting philosophies involved.
 
One can’t be half-pregnant. Either you are or you are not. Nor can one teach individual freedom and private ownership of property in an institutional setting funded by the stolen loot collected by a political state. One either accepts freedom, which is self-control and self-responsibility as a moral concept, or one buys into the immoral concept of legal plunder, which is thievery and socialism. You cannot have it both ways and claim morality. Thievery and legal plunder is in violation of the Laws of Nature and is an immoral system inconsistent with the great moral guides of the Ten Commandments and The Declaration of Independence.
 
In this connection, from all I have read in the writings and philosophy of Ayn Rand, she favors and supports individualism versus the state in everything, with just that one small exception in the Playboy interview.
 
She did not invent the morality of individual freedom, but discovered it and wrote so brilliantly about it, which is applicable to all of us, i.e. the discovery of freedom. It’s all a matter of discovering its true meaning. For me, it has been an interesting and exciting journey.
 
Personally, after many travels seeking teachers who understood the subject, reading a lot of books and arguing about it from every angle, I finally “got it.”
 
Let Freedom Ring!

From “The Freedom Lady.”

JUST ME,
AC

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