What Happens When You Believe in Ayn Rand and Modern Economic Theory

BOOK REVIEW

Good Thinking: Seven Powerful Ideas That Influence the Way We Think, Author: Denise Cummins.
Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, Author: Ayn Rand.
The Fountainhead, Author: Ayn Rand.
Atlas Shrugged, Author: Ayn Rand.

By Denise Cummins – The core of Rand’s philosophy — which also constitutes the overarching theme of her novels — is that unfettered self-interest is good and altruism is destructive.

This, she believed, is the ultimate expression of human nature, the guiding principle by which one ought to live one’s life.

To many of Rand’s readers, a philosophy of supreme self-reliance devoted to the pursuit of supreme self-interest appears to be an idealized version of core American ideals: freedom from tyranny, hard work and individualism. It promises a better world if people are simply allowed to pursue their own self-interest without regard to the impact of their actions on others. After all, others are simply pursuing their own self-interest as well.

So what if people behaved according to Rand’s philosophy of “objectivism?” What if we indeed allowed ourselves to be blinded to all but our own self-interest?

Modern economic theory is based on exactly these principles. A rational agent is defined as an individual who is self-interested. A market is a collection of such rational agents, each of whom is also self-interested. Fairness does not enter into it. more> http://goo.gl/iL35Mt

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