9 an intriguing anatomy of capitalism
I wish I had read her book earlier. Nothing would have been more satisfying than a face to face conversation with her. The book is a mind-blowing read. Totally against what I have learnt in the past 20 some years. She launched a full fledge attack on my value system! Do you believe in Altruism? If you are, you are one of her target as well.
She had a tough time when she was in Soviet. Her anger over Soviet and Communism was hard to miss in the book. Somehow those experience made her blindly praising a “pure” capitalism society. Nevertheless, it was a fruitful yet uneasy rethinking of my value system. Her idea was completely different from my learning. She is hardliner anti-antitrust. Mr. Alan Greenspan made a strong note that monopoly is actually good for the economy as a whole! They are strong advocate of a free economy where the only time a government can use force is to protect property right. Otherwise the economy is best to be on its own. She capped conservatives to be subtle statists. According to her, altruism and self sacrifice are the worst sin of human society. Instead profit seeking and self interest are the best ways to promote ethical behaviors. She bitterly criticized majority consensus (yet no alternative provided);
She gave elaborate examples during her times to prove her points. Her seamless logic and immaculate rhetoric left little space for her opponents to argue. She was a historically significant person. Her philosophy inspired a generations of aspiring youths. Despite my disagreement with her, I respect her knowledge and skills.
I was so eager to read another of her bestseller Atlas Shrugged, until I saw the thickness of the book (equals at least 5 Da Vici Code together). I will make my time sometime later.
I have to say that I do not agree many of her points. I strongly believe the thrive of humanity is because many great people made the sacrifice and conducted selfless deeds. (Great does not equal to famous. Our parents may not be famous, but without their sacrifice, I won’t be typing here today). Her ideology is aspiring but her argument short of a fatal flaw. It is the same flaw that failed pure communism. Human are not as divine as Max assumed: they don’t always work for the well being of others; similarly, human are not as rational as a pure capitalism desired. Greed and fear are consistently altering human behavior. Majority people do not see the long term benefit to be voluntarily conscripted; they do not establish a company to last for thousand years. The different level of irrationality has to be regulated;
Neither can a pure free economy nor a pure controlled economy escape eventual doom.
There are stages of the economy where a lenient government is necessary: the recovery stage. The resilience reaches its full potential under limited control: after 2nd world war, the beginning of Han Dynasty in China and Renaissance, the laissez faire government helped the recovery. But that is not the case when the economy reaches saturation. More control is required to channel the energies cradled during the recovery. The recent financial melt down is a best example.
It is an eye opening read. It is good to see things from another prospective. Her undeterred pursuit for reasoning, objectivity and free market earned her a deserving reputation. It really made me crave for more of her knowledge and ideas. A must read for modern philosophy lovers.