Book Review: "Free Market Revolution: How Ayn Rand's Ideas Can End Big Government"

We've been hearing a lot about free enterprise over the last few years. Dr. Yaron Brook and Don Watkins both take this to the next level by making a moral case for capitalism. Photo: Objectivism on the march

FLORIDA, October 28, 2012 — Over the last few years, free market economics have seen a dramatic rise in popularity.

It would seem that there is no definitive reason for this. Some might say that the Obama administration’s fiscal policies have caused a strong reaction among right-leaning Americans. Others could just as easily hold that the Great Recession has made people more conscious about dollars and cents. 

Either way, there can be little doubt that the ideas of less regulation, lower taxes and reduced government spending are very much in style. Scholars Dr. Yaron Brook and Don Watkins have co-authored a book about the subject, Free Market Revolution: How Ayn Rand’s Ideas Can End Big Government.

Released last month, it has already become a national bestseller. Instead of simply articulating well-worn ideas, though, it makes a moral case for capitalism.

Ayn Rand Stamp

Utilizing Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism, the authors articulate why it is not only financially, but socially beneficial to embrace free enterprise. They believe, in so many words, that if individual achievement is championed, people will become inclined to actualize their respective full potentials. 

Needless to say, this is an argument that none too many people would disagree with. More than a few points of contention might arise down the line though. For instance, the authors support doing away with Social Security and the Department of Energy, as well as returning to the gold standard. 

One can see how such opinions are in line with a school of thought that emphasizes individualism. However, are they practical? Do they promote public policy measures that will be viable in the long run? 

As an individualist myself, albeit an unabashedly pragmatic one, I would say that the answer is no. 

Nonetheless, Free Market Revolution should not be judged on narrow criteria. The authors criticize misguided rightists with no less scrutiny than they do left-wingers. They stand for their principles with a conviction that is as ironclad as it is honest.

While you might not agree with Yaron Brook and Don Watkins, it is all but certain that you will learn from them. I certainly did, and I have a newfound appreciation for free market ideals — even though I remain a supporter of reasonable fair trade measures.

So, would I recommend giving “Free Market Revolution” a read? Absolutely. This book is many things, to be sure, but a disappointment is not one of them.

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Joseph Cotto

Joseph F. Cotto is a social journalist by trade and student of history by lifestyle choice. He hails from central Florida, writing about political, economic, and social issues of the day. In the past, he was a contributor to Blogcritics Magazine, among other publications. He is currently at work on a book about American society.

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