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What We Believe: Capitalism, Freedom, Individual Rights, and Natural Law

October 30, 2010

I’d like to share the following excellent and educational videos produced by PJTV, an Internet-based media organization in the United States that promotes individualism, limited government and free-market capitalism. In these videos, Bill Whittle declares what they and the freedom-loving Americans believe in.

These are what PJTV and the freedom-loving American citizens believe:

  1. Small government and free-market enterprise.
  2. The menace or the problem with elitism by the democrats, liberals, leftists and statists.
  3. The power of wealth creation and who makes wealth possible.
  4. The truth of natural law, which should be the basis of laws in any country.

Just a background information. Ayn Rand supported and advocated for all these ideals during her lifetime. She said that we have to be very interested in politics in order to better protects our freedom and individual rights.

On the nature of government, which should be limited government, Ayn Rand wrote:

The only proper purpose of a government is to protect man’s rights, which means: to protect him from physical violence. A proper government is only a policeman, acting as an agent of man’s self-defense, and, as such, may resort to force only against those who start the use of force. The only proper functions of a government are: the police, to protect you from criminals; the army, to protect you from foreign invaders; and the courts, to protect your property and contracts from breach or fraud by others, to settle disputes by rational rules, according to objective law. But a government that initiates the employment of force against men who had forced no one, the employment of armed compulsion against disarmed victims, is a nightmare infernal machine designed to annihilate morality: such a government reverses its only moral purpose and switches from the role of protector to the role of man’s deadliest enemy, from the role of policeman to the role of a criminal vested with the right to the wielding of violence against victims deprived of the right of self-defense. Such a government substitutes for morality the following rule of social conduct: you may do whatever you please to your neighbor, provided your gang is bigger than his. (Galt’s Speech, For the New Intellectual, 183.)

On free-market capitalism, Ayn Rand wrote:

Capitalism is a social system based on the recognition of individual rights, including property rights, in which all property is privately owned.

The recognition of individual rights entails the banishment of physical force from human relationships: basically, rights can be violated only by means of force. In a capitalist society, no man or group may initiate the use of physical force against others. The only function of the government, in such a society, is the task of protecting man’s rights, i.e., the task of protecting him from physical force; the government acts as the agent of man’s right of self-defense, and may use force only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use; thus the government is the means of placing the retaliatory use of force under objective control. (“What Is Capitalism?” Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, 19.)

On elitism and collectivism, Ayn Rand wrote:

Collectivism holds that the individual has no rights, that his life and work belong to the group . . . and that the group may sacrifice him at its own whim to its own interests. The only way to implement a doctrine of that kind is by means of brute force—and statism has always been the political corollary of collectivism. (“Racism,” The Virtue of Selfishness, 128.)

Here’s also what Dr. Leonard Peikoff, the intellectual heir of Ms Rand, wrote:

The philosophy of collectivism upholds the existence of a mystic (and unperceivable) social organism, while denying the reality of perceived individuals—a view which implies that man’s senses are not a valid instrument for perceiving reality. Collectivism maintains that an elite endowed with special mystic insight should rule men—which implies the existence of an elite source of knowledge, a fund of revelations inaccessible to logic and transcending the mind. Collectivism denies that men should deal with one another by voluntary means, settling their disputes by a process of rational persuasion; it declares that men should live under the reign of physical force (as wielded by the dictator of the omnipotent state)—a position which jettisons reason as the guide and arbiter of human relationships.

From every aspect, the theory of collectivism points to the same conclusion: collectivism and the advocacy of reason are philosophically antithetical; it is one or the other. (Leonard Peikoff, “Nazism vs. Reason,” The Objectivist, Oct. 1969, 1.)

On the concept of wealth, Ayn Rand also wrote:

Money is the tool of men who have reached a high level of productivity and a long-range control over their lives. Money is not merely a tool of exchange: much more importantly, it is a tool of saving, which permits delayed consumption and buys time for future production. To fulfill this requirement, money has to be some material commodity which is imperishable, rare, homogeneous, easily stored, not subject to wide fluctuations of value, and always in demand among those you trade with. This leads you to the decision to use gold as money. Gold money is a tangible value in itself and a token of wealth actually produced. When you accept a gold coin in payment for your goods, you actually deliver the goods to the buyer; the transaction is as safe as simple barter. When you store your savings in the form of gold coins, they represent the goods which you have actually produced and which have gone to buy time for other producers, who will keep the productive process going, so that you’ll be able to trade your coins for goods any time you wish. (“Egalitarianism and Inflation,” Philosophy: Who Needs It, 127.)

If concern for human poverty and suffering were one’s primary motive, one would seek to discover their cause. One would not fail to ask: Why did some nations develop, while others did not? Why have some nations achieved material abundance, while others have remained stagnant in subhuman misery? History and, specifically, the unprecedented prosperity-explosion of the nineteenth century, would give an immediate answer: capitalism is the only system that enables men to produce abundance—and the key to capitalism is individual freedom. (“Requiem for Man,” Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, 308.)

This is what Ayn Rand wrote on natural law:

Are you in a universe which is ruled by natural laws and, therefore, is stable, firm, absolute—and knowable? Or are you in an incomprehensible chaos, a realm of inexplicable miracles, an unpredictable, unknowable flux, which your mind is impotent to grasp? Are the things you see around you real—or are they only an illusion? Do they exist independent of any observer—or are they created by the observer? Are they the object or the subject of man’s consciousness? Are they what they are—or can they be changed by a mere act of your consciousness, such as a wish?

The nature of your actions—and of your ambition—will be different, according to which set of answers you come to accept. These answers are the province of metaphysics—the study of existence as such or, in Aristotle’s words, of “being qua being”—the basic branch of philosophy. (“Philosophy: Who Needs It,” Philosophy: Who Needs It, 2)

Watch the rest of the videos:

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