Friday, February 13, 2009

Two Quotes on Capitalism

In the 20th century, the Soviet Union made the state’s role absolute. In the long run, this made the Soviet economy totally uncompetitive. This lesson cost us dearly. I am sure nobody wants to see it repeated. (...) Nor should we turn a blind eye to the fact that the spirit of free enterprise, including the principle of personal responsibility of businesspeople, investors, and shareholders for their decisions, is being eroded in the last few months. There is no reason to believe that we can achieve better results by shifting responsibility onto the state. (...) “The time for enlightenment has come. (...)

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in a speech delivered at the opening ceremony of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, 2009

- Caption: "Look to the West", by Nathan Struttman (Quent Cordair Fine Art, Napa) -

If one wishes to advocate a free society - that is, capitalism - one must realize that its indispensable foundation is the principle of individual rights. If one wishes to uphold individual rights , one must realize that capitalism is the only system that can uphold and protect them. (...) Individual rights are the means of subordinating society to moral law. (...) It was with the destruction of individual rights that the destruction of freedom had to begin. A collective tyranny dare not enslave a country by an outright confiscation of its values, material or moral. It has to be done by a process of internal corruption. Just as in the material realm the plundering of a country's wealth is accomplished by inflating the currency - so today one may witness the process of inflation being applied to the realm of rights. The process entails such a growth of newly promulgated "rights" that people do not notice the fact that the meaning of the concept is being reversed. Just as bad money drives out good money, so these "printing-press rights" negate authentic rights.

Ayn Rand, "Man's Rights" from "The Virtue of Selfishness", reprinted in"Capitalism: the Unknown Ideal"

- Caption: Cover design of "The Virtue of Selfishness", by Nick Gaetano (Quent Cordair Fine Art, Napa) -


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