Ayn Rand on Economic Crises

Congratulations to the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights — newly established in Washington, D.C. — for its recognition by Time.

The Center issued an outstanding release by Alex Epstein quoting Rand.

Epstein notes that some writers have blamed the spirit of Ayn Rand for the economic mess. He replies:

There was no free market in mortgages or finance–these markets were riddled with controls and distortions, courtesy of the Fed, Fannie and Freddie, the CRA, the FDC, and Sarbanes-Oxley. And that lack of a real market was precisely the problem; it induced irrational behavior through dictates, handouts, and bailouts.

If the critics of capitalism had bothered to read Ayn Rand, they would know that their attacks are part of a historical trend of blaming capitalism for the sins of government intervention — a trend that needs to stop if we are to prevent further economic damage.

The release then quotes Rand from The Voice of Reason: “One of the methods used by statists to destroy capitalism consists in establishing controls that tie a given industry hand and foot, making it unable to solve its problems, then declaring that freedom has failed and stronger controls are necessary.”

And in Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, Rand wrote:

If a detailed, factual study were made of all those instances in the history of American industry which have been used by the statists as an indictment of free enterprise and as an argument in favor of a government-controlled economy, it would be found that the actions blamed on businessmen were caused, necessitated, and made possible only by government intervention in business. The evils, popularly ascribed to big industrialists, were not the result of an unregulated industry, but of government power over industry. The villain in the picture was not the businessman, but the legislator, not free enterprise, but government controls.

In related news, Diana Hsieh quotes from a release by Senator Jim DeMint, who writes, “This plan does nothing to address the misguided government policies that created this mess and it could make matters much worse by socializing an entire sector of the U.S. economy.”

One thought on “Ayn Rand on Economic Crises”

  1. Whoa! You are a free thinker. A classical liberal, I believe. What city are you in? We could use you down here in the SW corner of Co. We have been overrun by California socialists. I am a registered Libertarian, though I still believe that the GOP is the lesser of the two evils. I swore I’d never vote for a socialist. I lied. I voted for Bush because I thought he was less dangerous than Gore, the leader of the world’s largest cult. Then Bush turns around and nationalizes the banking industry. Glad I voted Libertarian after that (election, 2000). Failure to recognize the overregulation of the banking industry has doomed us to failure, I’m convinced.

    We do worship the losers we elect. I’d rather elect someone in a coma and on life support. He’d do less damage than virtually all of these other clowns. Remember gridlock? Saved our butts from those “Rome on the Potomac” control freaks. The only good law is one that repeals ten others.

    I do have one disagreement with you which I’ll need an increase in courage to attempt. You’re quite analytically persuasive and I’ll probably get my butt kicked. So I’ll save that for later.


    Bayfield, Co.

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