The Quote by Ayn Rand on American Abundance
“America’s abundance was created not by public sacrifices to the ‘common good,’ but by the productive genius of free men who pursued their own personal interests and the making of their own private fortunes.” -Ayn Rand on American Abundance
My Thoughts on the Cause of America’s Abundance
What is it that has led to American abundance? Sacrifice? Government redistribution of wealth policies? Unions and other groups that restrain private industry? No, no, and no. As said in this Ayn Rand quote on American abundance, America’s abundance was caused by free-thinkers and free men who decided to take a leap, go against everyone else, and develop an idea into a usable product.
Just think about the great inventors we all (hopefully) learned about in history class in middle and high school. Eli Whitney and the cotton gin. Cornelius Vanderbilt and the railroads. Henry Ford and the assembly line for cars. Thomas Edison and electric currents. Those men were innovators and inventors; what they did not create, they adapted and made a fortune from doing so. In doing so, they created the state of American abundance that we all now enjoy.
Why did they do that? Because they wanted to make money. They did not care a whit about the “public good,” or, if they did, they did not let it get in the way for their ascent to greatness. They wanted to provide something of value and make tons of money from doing so, as most Americans throughout history have.
Just read about the early American republic. While the Founding Fathers wanted to create a better nation, they never let the vague concept of the “public good” get in the way of their business endeavors. Washington did not stop growing tobacco to help other Virginia farmers make more money, he switched from tobacco to wheat because he examined the facts and saw that doing so would help him make more money. Yes, militarily, the Founding Fathers made sacrifices; they devoted years of their lives to the Revolution and that is commendable.
But making those sacrifices is not what Ayn Rand is talking about in this quote of hers on American abundance. She is instead talking about the nebulous idea pushed forward by the left that businessmen are not acting in the interest of the “public” and should, therefore, be published. They don’t want independence or to defeat tyranny, they just want to tear down the successful to build up the weak and unsuccessful. That is the opposite of the American ideal and goes directly against the spirit that created American abundance.
Just look around you. Stores (as long as they have not been looted by people the Democrats claim are acting in the interest of the “public good”) are full of every sort of ware you could possibly imagine. New ideas and pieces of technology are developed into useful or entertaining products every day. And we all have opportunities to earn money to buy those products. That is American abundance; we have more wealth and a higher standard of living than any other major nation.
That is because, unlike most other places, we care about individuality and individuals or companies working towards success. Up until socialists like Bernie Sanders started railing against the successful, all Americans praised those titans of industry because we could see that they were living out the American dream; we saw that they were working in their own self-interest and, in so doing, creating a better and richer society. They are creating American abundance by working to build vast fortunes.
Anyone who has read one of Ayn Rand’s works, especially Atlas Shrugged or The Virtue of Selfishness, would already understand this quote of hers on American abundance. In those books, she rails against the concept of the “public good” because she saw the evil inherent in forcing one man to work for the benefit of another. More people need to learn about and understand that.
Finally, I want to challenge you to take a good, hard look at the state of American abundance that we now enjoy and think about what got us here. If you do, the likely result will be that you will see that it was capitalism that brought us to this point. We are a wealthy nation not because of any “sacrifices” businessmen have made to the “public good,” but because they struck out on their own to build a fortune. Be like them, not the sniveling socialists that whine about the “public good.”