• • • The Tree of Liberty: Why Defend Capitalism?
Tristan de Liège, California Aggie (UC Davis) Capitalism |Egoism |Individual Rights | Ayn Rand, the novelist-philosopher who was a champion of laissez-faire capitalism, once wrote, “Capitalism is a social system based on the recognition of individual rights, including property rights, in which all property is privately owned. The recognition of individual rights entails the banishment of physical force from human relationships: basically, rights can be violated only by means of force. In a capitalist society, no man or group may initiate the use of physical force against others.” It is clear that our rights are violated when we are robbed by thieves or kidnapped. But when the government intervenes in economic activity, whether it is via regulations or wealth redistribution, it is also initiating force against its citizens and to that extent violates their rights.