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Atlas Now?

“…Objectivist ethics is the moral base needed by that politico-economic system which, today, is being destroyed all over the world, destroyed precisely for lack of a moral, philosophical defense and validation: the original American system, Capitalism.  If it perishes, it will perish by default, undiscovered and unidentified:  no other subject has ever been hidden by so many distortions, misconceptions and misrepresentations.  Today, few people know what capitalism is, how it works and what was its actual history.”

“When I say ‘capitalism,’ I mean a full, pure, uncontrolled, unregulated laissez-faire capitalism–with a separation of state and economics, in the same way and for the same reasons as the separation of state and church.  A pure system of capitalism has never yet existed, not even in America; various degrees of government control had been undercutting and distorting it from the start.  Capitalism is not a system of the past; it is the system of the future–if mankind is to have a future.”

“…altruism…regards man as a sacrificial animal, which holds that man has no right to exist for his own sake, that service to others is the only justification of his existence, and that self-sacrifice is his highest moral duty, virtue and value.  The differences occur only over the question of who is to be sacrificed to whom.  Altruism holds death as its ultimate goal and standard of value–and it is logical that renunciation, resignation, self-denial, and every other form of suffering, including sefl-destruction, are the virtues it advocates.  And, logically, these are the only things that the practitioners of altruism have achieved and are achieving now.”

“…The social theory of ethics substitutes “society” for God–and although it claims that its chief concern is life on earth, it is not the life of man, not the life of an individual, but the life of a disembodied entity, the collective, which, in relation to every individual, consists of everybody except himself.  As far as the individual is concerned, his ethical duty is to be the selfless, voiceless, rightless slave of any need, claim or demand asserted by others.  the motto “dog eat dog”–which is not applicable to capitalism nor to dogs [that’s my favorite part]–is applicable to the social theory of ethics.  The existential monuments to this theory are Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia.”  [recall that the author has some familiarity with the latter]

-Ayn Rand, “The Virtue of Selfishness,” 1961

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