Ayn Rand on Free Trade



Anti-trust laws become haphazard & apply to anyone

Since "free competition enforced by law" is a grotesque contradiction in terms, antitrust grew into a haphazard accumulation of non-objective laws so vague, complex, contradictory and inconsistent that any business practice can now be construed as illegal.
Source: The Voice of Reason, by Ayn Rand, ch.24, p.255 , Jun 30, 1990

Unhampered, unobstructed operation of the free market

The only actual factor required for the existence of free competition is: the unhampered, unobstructed operation of the mechanism of the free market. The only action which a government can take to protect free competition is: Laissez-faire!--which , in free translation, means: Hands Off! But the antitrust laws established exactly the opposite of the results they had been intended to achieve.
Source: The Ayn Rand Lexicon, by Harry Binswanger, p. 80 , Jan 1, 1988

Free trade liberated the 19th-century world

The essence of capitalism's foreign policy is free trade--i.e., the abolition of trade barriers, of protective tariffs, of special privileges--the opening of the world's trade routes to free international exchange and competition among the private citizens of all countries dealing directly with one another. During the nineteenth century, it was free trade that liberated the world, undercutting and wrecking the remnants of feudalism and the statist tyranny of absolute monarchies.
Source: Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, p. 39, by Ayn Rand , Jul 15, 1986

Capitalism and trade encourage peace; statism encourages war

The trader and the warrior have been fundamental antagonists throughout history. Trade does not flourish on battlefields, factories do not produce under bombardments, profits do not grow on rubble. Capitalism is a society of traders--for which it has been denounced by every would-be gunman who regards trade as "selfish" and conquest as "noble."

Capitalism gave mankind the longest period of peace in history--a period during which there were no wars involving the entire civilized world--from the end of the Napoleonic wars in 1815 to the outbreak of WWI in 1914.

Just as, in domestic affairs, all the evils caused by statism and government controls were blamed on capitalism and the free market--so, in foreign affairs, all the evils of statist policies were blamed on and ascribed to capitalism. Such myths as "capitalistic imperialism," "war-profiteering," or that capitalism has to win "markets" by military conquest are examples of the superficiality of statist commentators and historians.

Source: Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, p. 38, by Ayn Rand , Jul 15, 1986

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Page last updated: Apr 30, 2021