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

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

3.6 5
by Yaron Brook, Don Watkins

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A look at how our current crises are caused by too much government, and how Ayn Rand’s bold defense of free markets can help us change course.


The rise of the Tea Party and the 2010 election results revealed that tens of millions of Americans are alarmed by Big Government, but skeptical that anything can or will be done to stop the growth of

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A look at how our current crises are caused by too much government, and how Ayn Rand’s bold defense of free markets can help us change course.


The rise of the Tea Party and the 2010 election results revealed that tens of millions of Americans are alarmed by Big Government, but skeptical that anything can or will be done to stop the growth of the state. In Free Market Revolution, the keepers of Ayn Rand’s legacy argue that the answer lies in her pioneering philosophy of capitalism and self-interest –a philosophy that more and more people are turning to for answers. In the past few years, Rand’s works have surged to new peaks of popularity, as politicians like Paul Ryan, media figures like John Stossel, and businessmen like John Mackey routinely name her as one of their chief influences. Here, Brook and Watkins explain how her ideas can solve a host of political and economic ills, including the debt crisis, inflation, overregulation, and the swelling welfare state. And most important, they show how Rand’s philosophy can enable defenders of the free market to sieze the moral high ground in the fight to limit government. This is a fresh and urgent look at the ideas of one of the most controversial figures in modern history – ideas that may prove the only hope for the future.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this lengthy but digestible tome, Brook and Watkins, of the Ayn Rand Institute, tackle the 2008 housing crisis, subsequent Wall Street crash, Bernie Madoff, and the healthcare industry through the lens of Rand’s principles. Their premise is that the “rational selfishness” of the players in a free market economy regulates the system, because it is not in their long-term self-interest to take advantage of consumers. The argument is predicated on a historically popular notion that human “rationality” is wholly separate from, and superior to, the “emotional” impulse, but fails to address modern neuroscientific arguments for the interconnectedness of the “emotional” and “rational” parts of the brain. The book challenges existing value judgments of self-interest, self-sacrifice, and the morality of business people, deeming them not selfish but heroic, saving less intellectually skilled workers from “starv in hopeless ineptitude.” Overall, the principles of smaller government, with no subsidies at all, will appeal to libertarians, who view both parties as too liberal and the promotion of a “government entitlement state” akin to socialist dictatorship. Agent: Laura Blake Peterson, Curtis Brown. (Sept.)
From the Publisher
"A joy to read. Even as it merges hefty philosophical arguments, detailed discussions of key economic concepts, and numerous historical examples, its light and breezy prose enables quick reading…Free Market Revolution could not have come at a better time.”—The Objective Standard

“Free Market Revolution will raise the ire of every statist, socialist and crony capitalist.  Rand understood – as do the authors of this all-too-timely book – that free markets are, indeed, moral while Big Government is manifestly not.”—Steve Forbes

“A powerful and unapologetic case in support of capitalism. For those who think more government will solve our nation’s problems, Free Market Revolution will open your eyes. For those who can already see the light, it will sharpen your vision.”—Peter Schiff, CEO of Euro Pacific Capital, Inc., host of the Peter Schiff Show on, and author of The Real Crash: America’s Coming Bankruptcy—How to Save Yourself and Your Country

"Free Market Revolution is must-reading for an age in which the government seems to be treating Atlas Shrugged not as a warning, but as a how-to manual."—Glenn Reynolds,

Free Market Revolution is a potential game-changer. Brook and Watkins dismantle the myth that free markets are responsible for today’s ills, and they teach us how to take the moral high ground in the fight against Big Government. If there are any Occupiers left, this book should make them lay down their signs in surrender. Anyone who wants to understand why we have strayed so far from the Founders’ ideals, and how we can find our way back, should read this book.”—Mallory Factor, Founder, Mallory Factor, Inc., and Professor of International Politics at The Citadel

“This book is a must read for anyone concerned about the demonization of capitalism and deification of collectivism. Yaron Brook and Don Watkins meld philosophy with practicality in their cogent analysis of how Ayn Rand’s moral defense of capitalism can bring down the limitless growth of government and restore its original, intended purpose—protection of individual rights. Changing the trajectory of the country calls for a long and intense fight with very steep odds against victory. But the concept of the Free Market Revolution, celebrating the individual pursuit of rational, long-term self interest as a virtue, provides the arsenal for the assault. And Brook and Watkins give a battle plan of surefire approaches to limit, and then eliminate, even such massive incursions as the government’s takeover of healthcare.”—Jim M. Kilts, Former CEO of Gillette Company


“The most important issue in our society today is the morality of capitalism. Free Market Revolution lays bare how capitalism is the only economic system consistent with man’s nature as a thinking being who must act in his long term rational self-interest to survive and prosper. This is an important book which integrates philosophical ideas with their real world consequences.”—John A. Allison, Retired Chairman & CEO, BB&T Corporation


Free Market Revolution: How Ayn Rand’s Ideas Can End Big Government is very welcomed indeed. With clarity and courage Brook and Watkins presentfithe basic teachings of free market economics, and place them within the-context of Ayn Rand’s broader moral-philosophic system. As the problems? with government intervention into the free market become more and more-evident to larger segments of the population, Ayn Rand’s writing, especially her epic Atlas Shrugged, takes on a new life for a new generation.”—Peter J. Boettke, Professor of Economics, George Mason University

Kirkus Reviews
"Capitalism is the system of selfishness--of rational selfishness." Ayn Rand acolytes Brook (Neoconservatism: An Obituary for an Idea, 2010) and Watkins sing the same old hymn, with a slightly different chorus, to the same old choir. In case you've forgotten the Randian message, bundled up here in utterly predictable form, it's that we all owe each other nothing. Our sole duty is to ourselves, and thus it behooves us to claw and scratch our way through this Darwinian world and amass as much wealth as possible. In the radical right-wing version that's infecting the dreaded big government in Washington and that pervades this primer, a truly free-market approach would lead to "the ultimate abolition of all entitlement programs including Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and public education; abolition of all government controls on business; the privatization of all property, including public lands, utilities, and roads." Brook and Watkins, executives at the Ayn Rand Institute, play the usual rhetorical games: Barack Obama is Hitler, or maybe Goebbels, but we really didn't mean to suggest that he was; Mussolini and Hitler were socialists, and so is Obama, but we don't really mean to cast aspersions; government regulation is evil because it keeps solid citizens from opening restaurants with bathrooms tiled to their individual tastes. Of course, Hitler and Mussolini weren't socialists, and neither is Obama, and there are reasons good and true to require restaurants to use tiles that plainly reveal when they're filthy, just as there are reasons to have regulations on food and pharmaceutical safety, seat-belt regulations, speed limits, and all the other things of government that Randians don't like. What would Howard Roark do? Maybe find a more persuasive apology for Randian money-grubbism.

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Product Details

St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author

Yaron Brook is Executive Director of the Ayn Rand Institute. He has written for the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Investor’s Business Daily, and, and appeared on The O’Reilly Factor, The Glenn Beck Show, On the Money, and Closing Bell, among others. A former finance professor at Santa Clara University, he is the co-writer with Don Watkins of a column on business and capitalism at


Don Watkins is a fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute and the co-writer with Yaron Brook of a column on business and capitalism at He appears regularly on radio and TV, and his op-eds have appeared in such venues as Investor's Business Daily, The Christian Science Monitor,, and Forbes.

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