• • Q & A: George Gilder
Katy Bachelder, Hillsdale Collegian (Hillsdale College, MI) Altruism |Capitalism | [Q:] Your thesis in your famous book “Wealth and Poverty” is that investors begin with altruism. How does this differ from the Randian school of thought, and what was their reaction to it? [A:] Ayn Rand devoted her last speech to a critique of “Wealth and Poverty.” I liked Ayn Rand, and I thought she was a tremendous figure. Her fiction was wonderful and imaginative. I think her novels show quite a full range of human behavior. She just didn’t understand my point, particularly. Entrepreneurs have to collaborate and respond. They can’t be chiefly concerned with their own narrow interests and succeed as capitalists. They have to have an imaginative response to the needs of others. She was in a battle against Christianity, which she identified with altruism. They were psychological insights, not political or economic. The extreme Randians could not tell the difference between a Ronald Reagan and a Barack Obama, and that is a problem with libertarianism from my point of view.