July 20, 2012 17 Comments
Many, probably most, of you are Christians, and many, like me, are serious about it. That’s good but, let’s think about something, one of the things that distinguishes us is our belief in our individual judgment by God, himself. We know we won’t pass muster because our cousin or next door neighbor lived a good life, it’s completely our responsibility as individuals to find our path, which is as it should be.
The economic system most like that in this world is capitalism. When properly structured, capitalism rewards, or punishes, you and you alone for your actions. If you invent something that is universally useful, you’ll most likely get rich, if not, you won’t. Has it been corrupted? Sure. So has Christianity.
This introduction for those of you you have been frightened off of Ayn Rand because she was an atheist. She was, and she meant it, I think it had something to do with being raised in the Soviet Union but, it doesn’t matter. But capitalism has rarely had a better advocate.
The creator stands on his own judgment. The parasite follows the opinions of others. The creator thinks; the parasite copies. The creator produces; the parasite loots. The creator’s concern is the conquest of nature. The parasite’s concern is the conquest of men… The parasite seeks power. He wants to bind all men together in common action and common slavery.
Look at history. Everything we have, every great achievement has come from the independent work of some independent mind. Every horror and destruction came from attempts to force men into a herd of brainless, soulless robots… It is an ancient conflict. It has another name: the individual against the collective.
And because I like you, here is the scene, with Gary Cooper no less.
Now it’s time for you to do some critical thinking
- I want you to think about how many parallels this has with our individual faith in God.
- I also want you to think about how neatly this dovetails into what the United States was envisioned as, by the Founding Fathers.
- Now I want you to think about an economic system that complements both No. 1 and Number 2.
My conclusion is:
Liberty is a three legged stool: God, Individual Freedom, and Individual Economic Freedom; it can be summed up as the Sovereign Individual.
Our assignment, if we choose to accept it, and if you have reached the same conclusions I have, is
How do we get there from here?
Hattip to John Malcolm
Note that I am not an an Objectivist as Ms. Rand’s strict followers are called. That doesn’t prevent me from seeing the truth.
- The Fountainhead – Howard Roarks defense – A Plea for Individualism (mschuettblahblahblah.com)