Monday, January 16, 2012

Mitt Romney's "Crime"

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is being pilloried for having been a venture capitalist.  His company used its own and investors' money (which was theirs to do with whatever they wanted) to purchase usually failing enterprises.  Their goal was to make them better and sell either parts or all of them for a profit.

Much has been said by pseudo conservatives like Santorum, Gingrich and Perry—and by the collectivists in the media, academia, not-for-profits and Democrat Party—that in risking their own money and trying to make a profit Romney and his colleagues somehow "took advantage"of the failing companies.

Worse than that anti-capitalist rant is the chorus' lament that in Romney’s investing, buying, fixing and selling, some people lost their jobs.

What everyone seems to be missing, however, is the insidious implication lurking in that lament: that those who lost their jobs were deprived of something to which they were entitled.  That the capital and labor of Romney and his colleagues was somehow to be used to benefit not themselves and their investors, but instead sacrificed for the benefit of the employees of the companies they had purchased.

Webster’s defines altruism as "the doctrine that the general welfare of society[other people] is the proper goal of an individual's action" — the antithesis of one acting in pursuit of his or her own interests.

The late Ayn Rand defined altruism this way: “the ethical theory which regards man as a sacrificial animal which holds that man has no right to exist for his own sake, that service to others is the only justification of his existence, and that self-sacrifice is his highest moral duty, virtue and value.”

That's what Mitt Romney is being accused of by his supposed friends and avowed enemies alike: not being an altruist. 

According to them, Mitt Romney’s "crime" was not sacrificing his own interests to those of other people. 

Not serving others at his expense.

To be moral—presumably like the mystic Santorum, the conniver Gingrich, the lightweight Perry, the confused Paul and the altruists/collectivists/statists of the Democrat Party—Romney was supposed to squander his time and lose his (and others') money so that the employees of failed and failing companies could keep their jobs.

That's not only not capitalism. 

It's ethical and economic cannibalism.