Americanculturalandintellectualhistoryfinal revised

Capitalism is ultimately an ideology that rewards

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Capitalism is ultimately an ideology that rewards those that do harm to others. Those that take at the cost of others, at any cost in fact, are those that succeed. America was created to escape the tyranny of monarchy and the corruption of absolute power, but capitalism teaches every man to aspire to be a monarch. There is no limit in capitalism, no ceiling, it urges limitless growth, limitless wealth and limitless power all in the hands of one; the monarch inside all of us.
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The next example comes from the Declaration of Independence, the document that stated our rationale for creating a new nation, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Rand's version of individualism explicitly states that there exist two classes of individuals, those that are a benefit to society and those that are a burden. Those that are willing to sacrifice their more human natures, to abuse and deceive their fellow man in the name of achievement and wealth, and those that are too unintelligent or possess too much moral fortitude to participate. To combat that point I turn to Emerson, “The power, which is at once spring and regulator in all efforts of reform, is the conviction that there is an infinite worthiness in man which will appear at the call of worth...” 10 . All men are active men when the need for reform rises. The final example comes from the preamble of the Constitution, the pillar upon which our entire government, law, and society is built.“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America” There could not be a more clear denunciation of Rand's ideology. Where as the constitution calls for union, Rand calls for isolation. Where as it endorses justice, she endorses egoism. Where as it seeks to protect tranquility, she seeks to protect wealth. Where as it promotes the general welfare, she only promotes the welfare of the self. The constitution is not an assertion of unrestrained capitalism, it is the rejection of an undesirable system of government. It is a statement of reform, and as Emerson says, “what is a man born for but to be a Reformer, a 10 Ibid
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Remaker of what man has made; a renouncer of lies; a restorer of truth and good, imitating that great Nature which embosoms us all...” 11 . The language reform is etched upon the fabric of America, they are inseparable. Emerson's version of individualism is more American because he understands that this nation was not created by individuals working for the one, but rather individuals working for the whole. Individuals willing to sacrifice, to die for the ideals of freedom and democracy. These individuals were not perfect, as no man is and they created an imperfect nation, as all nations are, but they struggled and bled for a greater good. They gave of themselves willingly so that others might enjoy the fruits of their labor, they gave of themselves in the name of reform. The essence of America is reform, not unmitigated self-satisfaction, and although capitalism may still be an issue it is important to remember that man is a great reformer. 11 Ibid
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