This weekly podcast features the second half of a conversation between Jim Lakely, Heartland’s communications director, and Yaron Brook, president of the Ayn Rand Institute. In this half of the interview, Jim and Dr. Brook discuss President Obama’s treatment of capitalism, corporate cronyism, and the morality of libertarianism.
Dr. Brook describes Obama’s rhetoric as “the language of taking”, in which greedy executive take an unfair share of “our income”. It is a dangerous road the President wants to lead America down, one that invalidates hard work and innovation. Dr. Brook emphatically: “We do build it. We do make it”.
On the subject of corporate cronyism, Jim and Dr. Brook discuss how it is the people who have taken federal bailouts, and who have colluded with the government against the capitalist system, who might not “deserve” what they earn. But they are not real proponents of the free market at all, are they?
The morality of libertarianism takes up the latter part of the discussion. In the question of moral goodness, the only answer can be what the individual considers to be valuable. Dr. Brook says that he believes a political system that acknowledges human reason will respect people’s autonomy. Yet today we have a system in which both Left and Right try to undermine individuals. Politicians have forgotten that government is a means, not an end.
The conversation is brilliant, ranging across many of the issues facing the free market and the causes of reason and independence. While things may seem bleak in political circles at the moment, Dr. Brook seems confident in people’s ability to resist the oppression of the state in the end.
Listen to the podcast in the player above.