Opposition to Capitalism as Dependent on Bad Epistemology

An excerpt from chapter 11 on Capitalism from Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand by Leonard Peikoff.

The opposition to a political system involves the same category of thought as the defense. Although the opposition to capitalism often claims to be purely economic or practical in its concerns, it is in essence philosophical. It derives from a certain moral and, above all, epistemological approach.

The moral issue, by now obvious, is that one cannot combine the ethics of sacrifice with the politics of individualism. In addition, morality in this context is what gives content to “practicality.’’ The “practical” is that which fosters a desired result, and morality is what specifies the results a social system should aim to reach. In Ayn Rand’s words, “The evaluation of an action as ‘practical’ … depends on what it is that one wishes to practice.”20 If what one wishes to practice is power lust, going “back to nature,” sacrificing the able, and/or sacrificing everybody (egalitarianism), then capitalism is not practical; it represents the opposite of all such practices.

The deepest root of politics, however, is not morality, but …

Read the rest in Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand.

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