Capitalist Solutions: A Philosophy of American Moral Dilemmas


The US is facing enormous challenges as it enters the second decade of the twenty-first century. Some of these major issues are environmentalism and its claim of global warming; the danger from terrorism generated by Islamic fundamentalism; and affordable, quality health care. Additionally, education in America remains an unresolved dilemma contributing to America’s lack of economic competitiveness.

Andrew Bernstein argues that the US government is pushing the nation toward ...

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Capitalist Solutions: A Philosophy of American Moral Dilemmas

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The US is facing enormous challenges as it enters the second decade of the twenty-first century. Some of these major issues are environmentalism and its claim of global warming; the danger from terrorism generated by Islamic fundamentalism; and affordable, quality health care. Additionally, education in America remains an unresolved dilemma contributing to America’s lack of economic competitiveness.

Andrew Bernstein argues that the US government is pushing the nation toward socialism in its attempt to resolve America’s problems. The government’s increasing control of the banking industry, its massive bailouts of auto makers, and its proposal of emissions legislation are also examples of the expansion of government’s power. Bernstein argues that whatever the intentions of the government, or its illusions about the workability of its proposals, morally upright and practical solutions can only come from moving to the opposite end of the political-economic spectrum: the establishment of laissez-faire capitalism.

In Atlas Shrugged, and in her non-fiction works, Ayn Rand developed a systematic body of thought, a comprehensive philosophy she dubbed “Objectivism.” This philosophy has been neglected by most professional intellectuals, but it is now beginning to be seriously studied in academic philosophy departments. Objectivism provides the moral and philosophic validation of the political-economic principles of individual rights and free markets. Analysis of today’s gravest social and political issues within this philosophic framework, as undertaken by Bernstein in this volume, constitutes a unique way of identifying rational solutions to these pressing issues.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Capitalist Solutions: A Philosophy of American Moral Dilemmas argues that the U.S. government is pushing the nation towards socialism as it attempts to handle its social, political and economic challenges. Chapters argue for the alternative: an establishment of laissez-faire capitalism, and considers the moral superiority of a capitalist system based on individual rights and less government involvement in social affairs. Philosophy, politics and social issues blend in his discussion for morality and political responses to modern dilemmas, suitable for any college-level American politics collection.” —The Midwest Book Review, California BookwatchCapitalist Solutions provides pithy and passionate arguments grounded in individual rights and informed by extensive research in history, economics, and science.” —Ari Armstrong, The Objective Standard “The US is facing tremendous challenges—from rising health care costs to the rising threat of Islamic totalitarianism. Today's political and intellectual mainstream has nothing to offer but more of the poison that created these problems. Americans desperately need new solutions based on the principles of individual rights, individual freedom, and free market capitalism. This book is a welcome contribution to the growing body of work applying Ayn Rand's ideas to today's most important issues.” —Yaron Brook, president and executive director, The Ayn Rand Institute "Capitalist Solutions is a powerful and penetrating analysis of some of today's most pressing issues. In it, Andrew Bernstein has gone beyond the typical debates to illuminate the crucial moral superiority of a capitalist system of individual rights. The book addresses controversies ranging from global warming to gay marriage within the framework of how capitalism provides both a moral and practical solution. It is an intellectual tour de force." —Eric Daniels, Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism, Clemson University "The solutions to social problems recommended by Dr. Bernstein are both morally upright and practically sound. They will promote health, physically and psychologically, for millions of individuals worldwide—and for society as a whole." —Ellen Kenner, clinical psychologist; author, The Selfish Path to Romance (with Dr. Edwin Locke); host of The Rational Basis of Happiness® radio show “Professor Bernstein begins by distilling Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism down to two essentials: “values are the meaning of life,” and “the moral is the practical.” He then proceeds to show the power of fundamental ideas by applying them to as diverse a set of problems as it is possible to imagine—from Islamic terrorists to abortion to our failing school system—he shows that all problems dissolve when they are confronted with reason wielding the right ideas.” —M. Northrup Buechner, St. John's University, New York
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412842945
  • Publisher: Transaction Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/13/2011
  • Pages: 180
  • Sales rank: 1,465,949
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Andrew Bernstein is professor of philosophy at the State University of New York at Purchase and was visiting professor philosophy at Marist College. His work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Washington Times, and the Los Angeles Daily News. In addition, he is the author of The Capitalist Manifesto, Objectivism in One Lesson, and Capitalism Unbound.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Introduction: Resolving the Country’s Problems Part 1: The Relevant Principles of Objectivism Part 2: Rational Solutions to Current Moral/Political Problems 1 Repudiating Environmentalism in Theory and Practice 2 Defeating Islamic Totalitarianism 3 A Free Market Solution to Problems of Health Care 4 The Right to Abortion as an Application of Individual Rights 5 The Superiority of Free Market Education to Government Schooling 6 Individual Rights Applied to Representative Issues Epilogue: Re-Stating the Theme Index

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 23, 2012

    Read this book. It is important.

    This is a dynamic, powerful book. It is filled with in-your-face pull-no-punches logic and reason. Oh these Ayn Randians (Bernstein has written and lectured with the Ayn Rand Institute for some time). Do they never stop spouting about individual rights, freedom of choice and rational self-interest?

    It is a short book, 175 pages in hard cover 6″x 9″ format. It is easily digestible although this like-able academic (I attended a 3-lecture course he gave on the book this summer, Bernstein is a pleasant, down-to-earth, nice guy) does lay down a few vocabulary words I had to explore. (Ineluctably, sedulously, farrago, abstemious, exegetically. Penury wasn't totally alien. Shudder that I should increase my vocabulary while reading.)

    He starts the book with a reminder/explanation of the Relevant Principles of Objectivism. It is a good condensation for Ayn Rand readers and non-readers alike. If you're not sure you want to tackle Atlas Shrugged you can get the bare essence in simple terms here in less than 30 pages.

    A few quotes:
    "The proper name of Rand's moral code is: "rational egoism."
    "She defines values as: "that which one acts to gain and/or keep." A value is always the object of an action-it is not a wish, a dream, or a fantasy." (Both p. 5)
    "Therefore, Rand states: "Man [each man] must live for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself.""
    "In Atlas Shrugged, Rand provides a comprehensive answer. The freethinking rational mind is the fundamental means by which human beings create values."" (Both p. 9)

    Part II consists of 6 chapters discussing various moral dilemmas we confront today. The first five are Environmentalism, Islamic Totalitarianism (woof! no-holds-barred here!), Health Care, Abortion Rights, and Free Market Education. The final chapter of the book has subsections discussing The Right to Bear Arms, The War on Drugs (Libertarians will love this one, waste yourself to death on drugs if you choose), Immigration, and Gay Marriage.

    Epilogue - Re-stating the Theme:
    "The book's theme can be re-stated succinctly: in all cases, consistent protection if individual rights and establishment of a free market constitute the solution to America's current dilemmas. There are no exceptions." (p. 175)

    You get the idea. Read this book. If you value a book by the weight or number of pages rather than the conciseness of thought then it is moderately expensive. You'll find a way.

    Liberal progressives (Democrats), Conservatives, and Libertarians will all find something to love and something to hate in this book (or at least disagree with). What will it be for you?

    For me, I must re-read this book again soon. It is important.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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