Ayn Rand Followers Discuss Moral Capitalism

Syed Jafri | Staff Photographer

Syed Jafri | Staff Photographer
Faces of objectivists relatively scary, new survey says.

A controversial discussion on “Why Unregulated Capitalism is the Only Moral System” brought out about 40 community members to discuss capitalism’s effect in America on April 14 at 7 p.m. in the Crystal Cove Auditorium.
Dr. Yaron Brook, president of the Ayn Rand Institute and renowned speaker for controversial topics such as “Why Conservatives Are Anti-Business” and “Democracy vs. Victory: Why the ‘Forward Strategy of Freedom’ Had to Fail,” led the discussion.
“Who caused the Great Depression?” Brook asked at the beginning of the lecture, and answered with “the Federal Reserve.”
According to Brook, the economic control by the government and the Federal Reserve cause crises like the Depression through mistakes like the Community Reinvestment Act, a federal law established in 1997, which Brook said was “focused on getting poor Americans to buy homes” by requiring banks to give a certain “percentage of loans to low-income people,” but also raising interest rates and making those homes unaffordable, thus harming the economy.
“When all collapses, who is to blame? Wall Street [and] mortgage lenders … not the mortgage buyers,” Brook said. Brook actually blamed the government for the failing of the American economy.
In attendance were UC Irvine students and members of the Ayn Rand Institute, an organization devoted to novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand’s philosophy of objectivism.
Brook, along with the Objectivist Club at UCI, follows the late Rand’s ideology that objectivism is the moral way of life, strongly opposing religion, altruism and socialism.
“My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity and reason as only absolute,” according to one of numerous quotes immortalized by the Ayn Rand Institute, along with the essence of her philosophy of metaphysics, epistemology, ethics and politics.
Brook explained that some people believe that everybody should be the same and that the moral ideal is “to sacrifice [and] give up stuff for others,” but he felt that “altruism and capitalism can’t go together” since one cannot “sacrifice [and] be a true capitalist.” Brook agreed with Rand’s idea of rationalism