29 March 2011

Yaron Brook at Babson College

Why does society reject free markets and like the idea that the government will solve our problems? Why, after a century of ever-increasing government regulations and spending, do Americans think the obvious solution is to increase government regulations and spending? Why, when companies in the least regulated industries prosper and those in the most heavily regulated industries struggle and fail, do people blame failures on capitalism and free markets?

Yaron Brook asked—then answered—these questions in an exhilarating speech, “Capitalism without Guilt: The Moral Case for Freedom,” at Babson College last night.

The answer, of course, is morality. As long as people hold morality to mean sacrifice, altruism, and suffering—as long as people regard selfishness to mean what they have absorbed uncritically since childhood: namely, a predatory or hedonistic satisfaction of personal whims—political freedom is impossible. In articulating every man’s right to pursue his own happiness, the Founders of America expressed, as Dr. Brook pointed out, the most profoundly selfish political declaration in history. The essential foundation for capitalism and political liberty is an embrace of reason and rational self-interest.

If you ever get a chance to see Yaron Brook speak, you should not miss it. He is one of the greatest living heroes in the fight for liberty.

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