>If competition and war are not successful, does that mean that Capitalism as
>defined by Ayn Rand is incorrect? I was always under the belief that
>selfishness created by war and competition actually created wealth and
>prosperity for all. Any ideas???
I have no comments about Ayn Rand, however, I do not believe the creation
of wealth and prosperity for all follows directly from selfishness created
by war or any other avenue. Wealth and prosperity result from activities
that generate revenues in excess of costs, and one big lesson from wars of
the past two hundred years or so is that revenues of any sort from a war do
not automatically exceed their costs. Consider the [mostly war-related]
bankrupt regimes of 17th century Spain, 18th century France, early 20th
century Germany, and late 20th century Somalia, Angola, and many others.
Selfishness may generate wealth when coupled with a more inclusive world
view (that is perfectly compatible with competition), but not when coupled
with the inherently excusive world view that accompanies a war effort.
David H. Richards
University of Minnesota
2904 Fairmount Street S.E. phone: (612) 625 0328
Minneapolis, MN 55414 fax: (612) 626 9408
USA Internet: firstname.lastname@example.org