Ayn Rand is passé?

In an interview printed in Canada’s Globe and Mail, one entrepreneur and individualist said this in answer to the following question:

Aren’t we in a collectivist period, not an individualistic age? Karl Marx is on top, and Ayn Rand is passé?

I guess it’s how you look at it. You can be Karl Marx and you can have mediocrity for a long, long time. Do you want a life of mediocrity or a life of greatness interspersed with periods of depression? I’ll take the greatness with periods of depression, rather than the life of mediocrity.

I remember reading about Jeremy Bentham and his “greatest good for the greatest number.” Imagine yourself among people from all walks of life designing an economic system before you’re born. You don’t know where you will be in the system, but you want to ensure success and happiness. You will design a system that allows the greatest good for the greatest number, not a system that allows for extreme wealth and extreme poverty.
At least two of Bentham’s assumptions may not hold: 1) it’s the job of the human-designed system to ensure success and happiness, and 2) the designers and the participants are risk-averse.
Clearly the interviewee (above) is not risk-averse. Furthermore, laissez faire capitalism is the only system that puts no faith in the “System.”

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