Friday, May 06, 2011

Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal
Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal 

"A rational mind does not work under compulsion; it does not subordinate its grasp of reality to any one's orders, directives, or controls; it does not sacrifice its knowledge, its view of the truth, to any one's opinions, threats, wishes, plans, or "welfare."  Such a mind may be hampered by others, it may be silenced, proscribed, imprisoned, or destroyed; it cannot be forced; a gun is not an argument. (An example and symbol of this attitude is Galileo.)
 It is from the work and the inviolate integrity of such minds -- from the intransigent innovators -- that all of mankind's knowledge and achievements have come." (Ayn Rand, "What is Capitalism?", p 9)

-  In 1967 I began undergraduate studies in the College of Letters and Science at the University of Wisconsin. Within a year I had chosen Economics as my major and embarked on a path to fulfill the requirements of that degree. Shortly before, I had discovered the works of Ayn Rand and this volume, which was first published in 1966, joined with volumes of Hayek, Friedman and Mises as part of my auxiliary reading in the economics of capitalism. I say auxiliary because, except in the history of economics course, none of these authors were on the syllabuses of the Economics Department at UW-Madison.
-  For students of economics, both young and old, the most valuable feature of the book is the Recommended Bibliography. While less than two pages long, it contains the best of the classic works needed for a foundation in understanding economics. The essays included in the book range from philosophy to history and commentary on current (circa 1960s) policies. The good thing about economic principles is that they do not change with the political currents and are not based on the whims of individuals, but are grounded in objective reality. That is what gives Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal its continuing value for all who desire to understand the nature of capitalism.

View all my reviews

No comments: