Sunday, January 25, 2009

Ayn Rand's Ideas on Government - Crucial For Today

In light of the fact that we have a new President, one that has definite socialist leanings even though he has proudly proclaimed he has no ideology it is time to revisit Ayn Rand and what she had to say about government and its proper role. But first let's read what Obama said in his inaugural address (read):
  • "What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them — that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works — whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. Those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account — to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day — because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government. "

  • "Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our gross domestic product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart — not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good. "

Point #1 - Our government IS too large, bloated and meddling in things that are none of their business, like the market place.

Point #2 - The market spins out of control precisely because of government meddling! What was the banking crisis caused by but the government demanding that banks give out loans to the needy - remember subprime loans!

Point #3 - What does he mean when he says a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous? Does he mean by "favors" powerful government officials using their menacing power to intimidate big business to play by the rules and only then they'll get favors?

Ayn Rand defined a proper government thus: "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, ..."(Galts Speech in Atlas Shrugged and For The New Intellectual).

"The fundamental difference between private action and government action - a difference thoroughly ignored and evaded today - lies in the fact that a government holds a monopoly on the legal use of physical force. It has to hold such a monopoly, since it is the agent of restraining and combating the use of force; and for that very same reason, its actions have to be rigidly defined, delimited and circumscribed; no tough of whim or caprice should be permitted in its performance; it should be an impersonal robot, with the laws as its only motive power. If a society is to be free, its government has to be controlled."

"Under a proper social system, a private individual is legally free to take any action he pleases (so long as he does not violate the rights of others), while a government official is bound by law in his every official act. A private individual may do anything except that which is legally forbidden; a government official may do nothing except that which is legally permitted."("The Nature of Government" in the Virtue of Selfishness, 148; p 109)

1 comment: said...

Ayn Rand spoke and Obama shrugged.